22 December 2011

Happy Hanukkah

My best wishes for a Happy Hanukkah. My your candles burn bright to illuminate family, friends and lots of latkes.

16 December 2011

Core77 Gift Guide

Core77 always has the best gift guide for the year and this year is no let down. The theme is End of Year / End of Days for those who are not too sure 2012 will not be the end as some predict. Just incase it does get nasty, you will be happy to have a new hatchet or a bracelet that turns in to a safety rope. Browse and enjoy at Gift Guide 2011.

02 December 2011

Design Matters - Andrew Gibbs; The Dieline

It is always exciting to see a past packaging design student of mine do good and Andrew Gibbs is doing just that. Today marks the release of Andrew's interview by Debbie Millman for her fabulous podcast series, Design Matters.

Andrew founded The Dieline shortly after graduation in 2007 as a place to find inspiration in the world of package design. He saw a hole and filled it with the most beautiful package designs from around the world. The site started with his passion and has grown into the world's leading "go to site" for all information related to package design, The Dieline awards, several conferences, and a job bank to name just a few.

You can download the podcast via iTunes or listen to it at the Design Observer site.

Congratulations Andrew on your continued success. The Dieline just keeps getting better and with Andrew's continued passion, I am excited to see where he takes it in the future.

01 December 2011

New Media In Museums

The New Media Consortium has released an interesting report on where media is moving in museum environments.
In partnership with the Marcus Institute for Digital Education in the Arts (MIDEA), the NMC is pleased to release the NMC Horizon Report > 2011 Museum Edition. This report, the second in the NMC Horizon Project Museum series, examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in education and interpretation within the museum environment.
To read more or to download the report go to this link at the New Media Consortium.

23 November 2011

iPhone Lens Dial

Now I don't have an iPhone 4 yet (still sporting the 3GS) but if I did and had a few extra dollars this would be the toy to have. Photojojo has this wonderful lens dial that attaches to your iPhone 4 and adds telephoto and fisheye to the camera. The price point is $249 but if you are going to only carry one camera this holiday season, this add on will help with your creative pics.

(via Core77)

22 November 2011

Safe Thanksgiving Fry

We wish you a safe Thanksgiving an if you are frying up a turkey, take a look at these videos, one starring William Shatner. Fry safe and enjoy your bird.

18 November 2011

Photographic Portraits - Louis Daguerre

The magic of a photographic portrait was made possible by the contributions of Louis Daguerre (18 November 1787 – 10 July 1851) in the development of what was called the Daguerreotype images. The process started by first exposing silver-coated copper plates to iodine, obtaining silver iodide. Then Daguerre exposed them to light for several minutes, coated the plate with mercury vapor heated to 75° Celsius (to amalgamate the mercury with the silver) and finally fixing the image in salt water. This process gave an exact image and allowed photography to come to the masses. It was still an expensive and time consuming event but available to all through trained photographers. Many great examples of Daguerreotypes can be found at the Library of Congress to explore. Thanks to Daguerre's innovations, photography has become not only an everyday activity but a beautiful way to explore history.

13 November 2011

Happy 105th Birthday Eva Zeisel

Remarkable in every way is Eva Zeisel. Today marks Eva Zeisel's 105th birthday which is remarkable but what is even more remarkable is Eva is still active as a designer. Yes, she works at a slower pace today but her passion stills flows out in creative products that fill the shelves of stores such as Eva Zeisel Originals (run by her grandson, Adam Zeisel, who stated he had a pleasant dinner with Eva this past week), Design Within Reach, Crate and Barrel, Room and Board, and The Orange Chicken.
“Design is pleasure for me”, Eva Zeisel has staed. This statement perchance is the secret to becoming an icon of design but it may also be the blueprint to living a long life. Eva Zeisel who turns 105 today was born in Hungry and found that her passion was to be a “maker of useful things”. Eva has designed thousands of products over her long life that beautify our lives. Eva’s work graces both the permanent collections of the world’s finest museum and the tables of every day life.

One of the keys to Zeisel’s success has been her consistent maxim of “the playful search for beauty”. Eva’s designs arouse the senses with their sensual curves and delightful lines that standout from the commonplace. Making designs that are fresh, intelligent, and discerning would be hard work for most but Eva has been doing it for the last 80 plus years.

Eva learned design and the craft of pottery in Hungry as a young woman. She completed her internship and used her experiences and designs to allow her to see the world. Seeking out opportunities, she selected the job that took her the farthest from her home in Budapest to Germany.

Eva was one of the first to design dinnerware for mass production in 1928 for Schramberger Majolikafabrik in Germany. She moved to Russia in 1932 to design dinnerware, bath fixtures and numerous household products. Zeisel was named the artistic director of the Soviet ceramics industry. In 1936 while working in Moscow, she was arrested by the Stalin regime and placed in a prison camp for 15 months. She was charged with “plotting against the life of Stalin”. Just as suddenly as she was taken prisoner, she was released with only the cloths on her back due to the influences of important European intellectuals that contacted Stalin. Upon Eva’s release in 1937, she traveled to Vienna. She married Hans Zeisel at this time and they both moved the USA as the Nazi movement grew in Austria and Germany.

In late 1938, Eva and Hans move to New York. Eva raised two children with Hans, their son John Zeisel and daughter Jean Richards. She started working on numerous designs and began teaching at the Pratt Institute in 1939, founding the industrial ceramics curriculum. Eva’s designs have been sought after over these many years. She has designed dinnerware and products for all the major china companies the world over in her career.

In 1946, Eva Zeisel had the first one women show at MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). Her work can be found in every major museum collection around the world from MoMA and the Metropolitan in NYC to the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert in London. In 2005, Zeisel was awarded the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Eva has continued to design over the years, never letting her passion for design to dwindle. “I design better than before, I have so much experience” said Eva. At the young age of 101, she designed the One-O-One collection of tableware for Royal Stafford.

Eva’s work is available today at Eva Zeisel Originals run by her grandson, Adam Zeisel. Adam wrote earlier this week, “EvaZeiselOriginals.com is having a successful year. We have already added the Eva Zeisel Lounge Chair and Bird Shakers to the collection. My relationship with Eva continues to be strong and joyous.”

We all can learn a great deal for the wonderful career of Eva Zeisel. Design with passion, love your family and friends, laugh, and always look forward. Seeing, using and touching one of Eva’s exquisite and graceful designs might just be our way to drink from the fountain of youth that Eva Zeisel has discovered. May design continue to flow from your heart and mind, Happy 105th Birthday Mrs. Zeisel!!!

11 November 2011

The "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month"

Today is special not just because it is 11/11/11 but also for what we now call Veteran's Day. The origins go back to the end of World War I where the armistice was signed to end the "Great War". The armistice went into effect on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" to put an end to the battles on the Western Front.

Let us today not only remember it for the once in a lifetime date of 11/11/11 but also remember those who have served.

(images via Library of Congress)

08 November 2011

SNCF Tilt-Shift Video

The French national railroad, SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer français) presents this great ad to communicate the rail crossing changes and other upgrades they have instituted to increase the safety of rail travelers. I love the "tilt-shift" process and think it was a great way for the SNCF to share with their riders.

(via DesignTAXI)

31 October 2011

Happy Halloween

As Halloween comes to an end, I hope you treats were plentiful and your tricks were villainous.

(image via National Park Foundation's Flickr)

30 October 2011

The Fabulous Debbie Millman

Yesterday was the birthday of the fabulous Debbie Millman who has a great new book out, Brand Thinking. You can read an section over at Fast Company from Brand Thinking about Starbucks that gives you a great insight to the book. To hear Debbie directly take a listen to her presentation from the Creative Mornings series below.

I wish Debbie a happy year full of many wonderful moments and memories. Happy Birthday, Debbie!

2011/02 Debbie Millman from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

The World's Most Photographed Lady

Friday marked the 125th anniversary of the world's most photographed lady, Lady Liberty. Her formal name, the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886. After 125 years she is still a beautiful lady. To read more visit the National Park's Statue of Liberty National Monument.

(images via LOC.gov)

27 October 2011


We all want to be "do gooders" and here is your chance at 52x52. Designed / developed by Jessica Hische this site allows you to give to charities at a dollar or less per week.
We’re not a charity, we’re a group of people committed to helping others. Every week, 52x52.org will highlight a different charity and call on you, those willing and happy to help others, to donate directly to that charity. Don’t feel like donating to one of the featured charities for whatever reason? No problem. Donate to a cause you love. The charities we’ll feature will be suggestions and since we are not collecting any money, you’re free to donate to whomever you wish. We’re a messenger, not a middle-man. If $52 is too much for you to commit to give, donate $25. If $25 is too much, donate $10. Give whatever you can, each and every week for one year, and together we will make a giant difference.
52x52.org has just begun gathering names of those pledging to help others. We’ll begin highlighting charities in November, so sign up now. If you don’t pledge by the initial launch date, no worries, pledge your own 52 weeks. It doesn’t matter when you start as long as you commit to finish.

A Thermostat for Today - Nest

Today homes need today's technology and this is where Nest comes to play. Founded by Tony Fadell who, back in the day, was in charge of the iPod at Apple, has developed and designed a thermostat that learns and saves you energy. The beautiful design is smart, easy to use and will save you energy. Nest found it "unacceptable... that the device that controls 10 percent of all energy consumed in the U.S. hadn't kept up with advancements in technology and design."

According to the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the annual energy bill for a typical single-family home is approximately $2,200, with heating and cooling (HVAC) accounting for approximately half of the bill. The programmable thermostat, developed in the 1970s, promised to help people conserve energy, but 89 percent of owners rarely or never set a program (source: ACEEE, 2010). The devices are simply too complicated. In fact, Energy Star revoked its certification of all thermostats in 2009 when it became apparent that people weren't actually engaging with programmable thermostats to reach their proper functionality.

Nest addresses the programming problem through a combination of sensors, algorithms, machine learning, and cloud computing. Nest learns behaviors and preferences and adjusts the temperature up or down accordingly, making you comfortable when you're home and saving energy while you're away. Nest also provides people with tips and information to help them make energy-saving choices.
This is an excellent example of how design and function can come together to create a product the improves our lives. To read more visit the Nest site.

(via Core77)

25 October 2011

Rum Diary Poster

I love this simple yet effective poster for the upcoming film, The Rum Diary. Trailers and background are available on the official website.

16 September 2011

Grito de Dolores

Today marks Grito de Dolores ("Cry of Dolores") also known as El Grito de la Independencia ("Cry of Independence"), uttered from the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato on September 16, 1810 is the event that marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence and is the most important national holiday observed in Mexico. Enjoy the Mariachi and a margarita this holiday evening.

15 September 2011

Historical Medicine

The National Library of Medicine has a vast collection of images all things medical of course. The image collection crosses over to cover items from around the world in illustrations, photographs, advertising and posters. The collection is another great inspiration site with many images that are copyright free from the government. Go for a browse and explore at this link.