Let's Talk Generic
We all go shopping. And most of us have specific brand names of items we like. Sometimes we'll purchase that favorite brand of ketchup or potato chips where nothing else will do. Still, many of us will only purchase anything named "Apple" when buying electronics.
Brand names are well and good, but what about the generics? More importantly, what about the logos, or branding, that these "no-names" have? I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how these so-called, subservient brands rate in terms of their marks.
Art in the House
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, recently visited the White House for his first-ever visit to President Obama. Although they talked about a lot of issues, one of the most interesting things to me was the exchange of art they gave to each other.
Mr. Cameron gave the President a painting by graffiti artist, Ben Eine. The work is called Twenty First Century City. I love the use of space and typography used.
I am impressed not only by the choice of art as gifts, but also the infusion of culture in diplomatic relations.
You can check out the entire article on this, here.
It's All Black and White To Me
Web site design has certainly come a long way since the '90s. Remember when it was all HTML? Later, we got into XHTML, Flash, CSS, and other types of scripting? Web designers have had to keep up with all the changes in coding just to keep ahead. Now, there is a type of Web design that goes back to the basics of most of them - black and white.
A Bite From The Apple
It seems that Apple is doing some censoring in a few of their various apps. I just read a report that they've asserted some control over what they deem appropriate in their app store and iBookstore. Not only have they blacked-out gay-themed, illustrated books, such as two men kissing, they've also censored some of the great literary works of all time. Can you believe that in Moby Dick, they altered the word sperm whale into s***m whale? I guess that Apple has reversed their censorship after an outcry on the Internet. Good move. C'mon Apple, work on your products and technologies that have made such an impact. Fix the iPhone!
Don't Bite Your Nails!
What with the Lindsay Lohan's controversial nail polish message during her recent court appearance, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the art/design of this practice. Not that all nail polishing habits have to contain the F-word, there are a lot of ways that women, and men, choose to design their nail polishing works of art.
The Signs of Rural Life
I've always loved signage and typography, well at least for a long time now. After spending some time in rural Ohio this summer, I've had the opportunity to see some interesting signs along the country highways and biways. It's interesting to me to see typographic styles on signs that were done before the digital age. It seems that there were a lot of talented sign painters through the years.
Here are some examples of what I'm talking about.
A Whole New Way To Stand - I Mean Fly
The design of airliners and passenger seating has taken a new turn. As we all know, the business of commercial air travel has gone through great lengths recently to retain their passengers without pissing them off too much. It's no wonder, with all the fees and extra charges that make most flyers cringe.
It seems now that there is talk about allowing passengers to purchase airline tickets at phenomenally low rates - only if they are willing to stand on the flight.
Revamped BP Logos Tell It Like It Is
With the largest, man-made environmental disaster currently going on, I not only take pause to reflect on how sad it is that this is happening, I also have to think about the corporation(s) that are responsible. There's plenty of blame and finger-pointing going on which won't solve the problem. With BP at the top of the blame list, it's funny to see how some folks out there have taken it upon themselves to reconfigure, and redesign, the company's logo.
Take a look at some that I consider the best.
If Your Picture Were in the Dictionary
Remember looking through old encyclopedias or other reference books at the pictures and drawings that were contained? There were so many wonderful images to look at - and they were all very inspiring for young artists. Chronicle Books has come out with another fabulous book that captures the images of dictionaries of old. Pictorial Webster's - A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities is a grand book that captures thousands of engravings which accompanied entries in this reference book for many years. It's a delight for the eyes.
Chwast - What More Can You Say?
There's a book that came out by Chronicle this summer called Seymour - The Obsessive Images of Seymour Chwast. It's about time, I must say. Many, if not all of us, know the icon that is Seymour Chwast and have seen his work all over the place. He is responsible for a "transformation of American visual language from the '50s onward." Read on...
Pop Culture Like You've Never Seen
This writer receives a LOT of books to read and review. Recently, I got a book that I am so happy about. Chronicle Books has done it again with a wonderful pictorial book by Isabel Samaras, the celebrated artist of today's Pop Surrealist scene. From the moment you open this book, called On Tender Hooks, you'll really BE hooked.
Why Are We So Obsessive?
As designers, we all know how obsessive we can be. How do we get our ideas and where do they come from? How does what we design shape the world and mark a place for us in the history of the world? Well, I Miss My Pencil, a new book put out by Chronicle Books and IDEO, delves into these obsessions and takes a look at what shaped, and shapes, our world.
A Different Way to Tweet
We all know how to tweet these days, right? Well, let's not forgot the origin of such an act - that of birds. Chronicle Books has recently published Birds, with pictures by Jeffrey Fisher and words by Christine Fisher. This book is exactly what the title states - Birds.
Tagging as an Artform
Here is another review of a book from Chronicle Books that has to do with the "art" of tagging - or graffiti. For all of us who live in an urban area, or have ever visited one, we see this art all over the place. Sometimes crude, many times beautiful, this art on public walls and edifices is a way of life. Now there's a book that chronicles this on the subways of New York City.
S'more Books to Read
Here is an enstallment on some other books that were recently sent to me by Chronicle Books. I've been getting a lot of design and some architecture books that have been really interesting. It's just good that there are such great resources available to all of us.
The books this time range from designer sketchbooks to small, micro buildings.