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You Say You Want a Devolution? Seen in Vanity Fair

When I opened up the January issue of Vanity Fair magazine, I noted with interest an article titled “You Say You Want a Devolution.” “The face of American culture used to change radically every decade or two,” writes Kurt Andersen, “but 1992 and 2012 look disturbingly alike.”  So, in light of Taylor Design’s 20th anniversary, I thought I would investigate. read on

Dots and More Dots

Yayoi Kusama

Man, I wish I could have taken my twin two-year olds to Australia (OK, via teleportation, not the 20 hour flight from NYC to Brisbane) to take part in this art installation at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama created a large, blank canvas out of a living environment, called The Obliteration Room. Everything—couches, walls, light fixtures, cabinets, plants, and dishes—were painted the whitest of whites. Then, over a two week period, all of the children who visited the museum were given thousands and thousands of colored adhesive dots and invited to transform the space. An eruption of color ensued.

The finished product is now on display for all to see through March 12, 2012 as part of Kusama’s Look Now, See Forever exhibition in the museum.

There’s a fun interactive game for kids (and adults, trust me) on the museum’s website where you can cover your own room with dots and learn more about the artist at a kid-friendly level.

Good Riddance IE6

Over the past two years, I often dream of the day that support would be dropped for Internet Explorer 6. So I was excited to find out that Google and WordPress were ending support for IE6 last year, providing that final push for IT departments to upgrade. I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I wasn’t alone. The Aten Design Group, for example, held a funeral for IE6 and created ie6funeral.com. Even Microsoft began an advertising campaign directed to users, strongly suggesting they move away from the decade-old browser. When a company that creates a product starts begging its users to change, it’s certainly time. In March, Microsoft launched ie6countdown.com to educate users about the global goal to eliminate the browser that has caused so many headaches for the world’s web developers. Internet Explorer 6 officially reached less than 1% usage in the United States earlier this week. This calls for a huge celebration and Microsoft did just that by baking a “Goodbye IE6” cake.

It’s the Stupid Economy

Over the past few years I have made the transition to non-linear television viewing. Whether it be the internet, Hulu or Netflix, I prefer being in control of the content that I consume. Recently, I have been trending toward documentaries, more specifically, economic history documentaries. One of my favorite speakers of late has been Niall Ferguson, the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. After viewing The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, I was hooked. Check out one of his latest shorts on The Daily Beast, a powerful piece with beautifully animated type and illustration.

The Architect and The Painter

Charles and Ray Eames

I’ve been a huge fan of Charles and Ray Eames—the husband and wife dynamic design duo, best remembered for their mid-century modern furniture—since I was first introduced to them on a high school field trip to the Museum of Modern Art. So, I was really excited to see that PBS’ American Masters series was premiering a film about them called “The Architect and The Painter” on December 19th. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I forgot to set the DVR, so I missed it. Luckily, PBS has the full length film available on their website. It’s worth a viewing to learn more about this fascinating pair and their influence on American culture.

Note: This happens to be my second post involving them… See Ice Cube and the Eames.

New York’s Curbside Haiku

Haiku is a short form of Japanese poetry, begun sometime in the 1600’s, that is characterized by three qualities: use of three lines of 17 or fewer syllables; use of a season word; and use of a “cut” to contrast and compare two events, images, or situations. A creative new campaign from the New York City Transportation Department is using haiku to spread messages of safety to areas where a high percentage of accidents have taken place. Developed by artist John Morse, the twelve different signs have been placed in areas near cultural centers and schools in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.

Designing with Less, Part I: Paper

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Did you know that fifty thousand trees are cut down to print the New York Times every day? Wait, that can’t be right. The fact is, I haven’t a clue how many trees it takes. I don’t even know where one would find that sort of information. For all I know, it could take just one tree, but at three hundred sixty-five times a year, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that more trees are used than we care to admit. Even if it did take just one tree to print one issue of any newspaper, that would still be pretty hard to swallow. It makes me sad.

As a graphic designer, I create a lot of waste. In spite of that fading phenomenon know as the web, many of the projects I work on are multiple-page print documents. Flyers, brochures, and magazines—they don’t look or feel the same on screen as they do in your hand, and they never will. Designers review each and every layout many times, in addition to presenting alternative layouts to colleagues and creative directors, long before a client sees anything and recommends changes of their own. If I printed each page as many times as I made edits, whether a change in image, layout, type size, color—you name it—I could probably collect the equivalent of a small forest of paper myself, each day. And I used to. read on

Free Pinterest Style Buttons

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PInterest style buttons

Pinterest is a website that many designers and collectors have come to love. It is a website where a person can “pin” pictures of their favorite things onto “pinboards” and share it with others. Pinterest also has a fantastic design to go with its uniqueness. Today, I have created a free PSD file that contains Pinterest style buttons for use by anyone, free of charge. These are in the style of the login buttons found on the Pinterest login page. They are completely scalable and made entirely of shape layers and text. All you have to do is download the zip file and it’s yours.

Ice Cube and Eames

Before he became a rapper and an actor, Ice Cube studied architectural drafting, so it’s not completely out of left field that he agreed to pay homage to this revolutionary husband and wife design team and the art and architecture of Los Angeles in a promotional video for “Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. from 1945 – 1980.” Over sixty cultural institutions across Southern California are celebrating the birth of the L.A. art scene, including the various L.A. art movements of the postwar era and their continued influence on art and design today.

What impresses this proud South Central native about Charles and Ray? Their resourcefulness. “…Got off-the-shelf factory windows, prefabricated walls…They were doing mash-ups before mash-ups even existed.”

The Devaluation of Stock

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On Monday, March 2nd, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial average fell under 7,000 for the first time since 1997. NPR had assured me of this as I was packing up for the day. Since I rarely concern myself with the stock market, the numerically sound fact struck me as something that surely related to design, but I couldn’t remember what that was. I wrapped a scarf around my neck and headed out, one foot in front of the other trying to reconnect-the-dots in the frigid winter air. As soon as I entered my apartment, I began fervently shuffling through papers in the recycling bin. Whatever complacent connection I was trying to make was in there somewhere.

Earlier that day, I received an email from a well-known stock photography site that announced the sale of photographs for as low as one dollar. This was nothing new—other sites have offered similar prices for a couple of years now. But the email brought a feeling of contempt deep within that I could not, at the time, explain. In my mind, the stock house was devaluing its product. This particular web site offered a better-than-normal selection of stock photographs. You might find a handshake, let’s say, that doesn’t look like most handshakes. After I did a few quick image searches, however, I realized that the site was not selling more images for a cheaper price. Rather, it was cheapening the quality of more of its images, a depressing thought.
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