Design-Related Reading for the Weekend
Rick Poynor sparked an online firestorm when he took on design blogs (Speak Up in particular) in the May/June issue of Print. The upcoming long weekend presents an ideal opportunity to catch up with this often-heated debate. One of the most lacerating commentaries I've encountered on the subject can be found on Joe Clark's Fawny.blog. Clark is a Toronto-based writer and business consultant whose ferocious broadside brings to mind the bat-wielding high-school principal (played by Morgan Freeman in the movie Lean on Me) with whom he shares a name. Sample sentence: "Why are we even having a debate about Poynor-style unreadable, unillustrated, turgid, overintellectualized design writing on the one hand and design blogs on the other?"
This week saw the publication of the new book by one of Clark's other targets, the eminent Michael Bierut. 79 Short Essays on Design has a provocative concept: Each piece is set in a different typeface, leaving readers to connect the dots between content and presentation. "Stanley Kubrick and the Future of Graphic Design," for example, uses the director's favorite typeface, Futura. Last night's book party took place at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, which recently received a thorough rebranding from Pentagram.
The New York Times assembled an unlikely foursome to attend and comment on the recent International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Composed of a 13-year-old girl, a socialite in her sixties, a hip-hop entrepeneur, and a communications prof at NYU, the team offers a humorous array of responses to the contemporary furnishings exhibited at New York City's Javits Center. A slideshow featuring a selection of pieces from the Fair lets you make up your own mind.
Some lighting designers in California are unhappy about a bill that would replace standard incandescent light bulbs in the 25- to 150-watt range with CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs), which require far less energy and last longer. One designer tells L.A. Weekly, "I’ve experimented, but fluorescents give off a gray, pinkish tint. You can’t create theatrics, drama with fluorescents." Assemblyman Lloyd E. Levine, the author of the legislation, counters these claims on his website: "CFLs marked 'Soft White' provide the same luminosity, in the same hue, as incandescents."