Archive for the 'links' Category

Mother’s History of Birds

My col­league and friend Elliott Malkin just fin­ished his short sub­ject doc­u­men­tary, Mother’s His­to­ry of Birds, the third film in his fam­i­ly tril­o­gy. In it, he tells the sto­ry of his moth­er through her pet birds. (I love Roberta’s taste in eye­wear.)

Also, if you haven’t seen it, check out his home movie recon­struc­tions.

The Bold Italic

Jason Kot­tke just linked to an inter­est­ing design tid­bit – the launch of a web mag­a­zine in San Fran­cis­co called The Bold Ital­ic. (No, not that bold ital­ic…)

We’ve seen some small-scale exam­ples of art direc­tion on the web, but this seems to me to be some­thing in the ‘medium’-scale range – I real­ly love this stuff, hope­ful­ly they can keep it fresh.

Also, I can’t wait for the day when ad bud­gets and tools are at the point where design­ers can art direct on the arti­cle-lev­el, as opposed to just design­ing tem­plates and frame­works. Maybe this gets us an inch clos­er to that goal.

Fever° From Shaun Inman

Shaun Inman launched Fever today, a re-imag­ined feed read­er. The big dif­fer­ence between Fever and oth­er prod­ucts like Google Read­er, is that it is designed to help float impor­tant or trend­ing links and dis­cus­sions to the top. So rather than read­ing through hun­dreds of posts to find what’s hot, Fever ana­lyzes all of your feeds, and looks for re-link­ing and repeat ref­er­ences.

I haven’t yet sprung for a license, (most­ly because there isn’t any offline caching so that I can read on the sub­way). But, there is a love­ly look­ing iPhone-opti­mized site, and it looks as thought­ful­ly and lov­ing­ly designed as his web ana­lyt­ics prod­uct, Mint.

Be sure to watch the video demo, and note that Fever is not a host­ed service—you have to install it on your own serv­er.

Introducing Typekit

Jeff Veen announced Type­kit today, a host­ed solu­tion for embed­ding fonts on the web:

We’ve been work­ing with foundries to devel­op a con­sis­tent web-only font link­ing license. We’ve built a tech­nol­o­gy plat­form that lets us to host both free and com­mer­cial fonts in a way that is incred­i­bly fast, smoothes out dif­fer­ences in how browsers han­dle type, and offers the lev­el of pro­tec­tion that type design­ers need with­out resort­ing to annoy­ing and inef­fec­tive DRM.

Soon enough, @font-face CSS at-rule sup­port will come to all major browsers, so use of non-tra­di­tion­al web fonts will increase. If this catch­es on, the web in 2010 might look a lot dif­fer­ent than it does now—I won­der who will be the first major online con­tent provider to use it?

Al Shaw on Redesigning the Front Page of Talking Points Memo

On Redesign­ing the Front Page of Talk­ing Points Memo »
Al Shaw talks about some of the design con­sid­er­a­tions and tech­ni­cal wiz­ardry that went into the face lift of the Lib­er­al-lean­ing pol­i­tics blog. Be sure to watch the video demo of the ajaxy front page CMS edi­tor.

David Letterman Got Married

Wow: David Let­ter­man got mar­ried!

President Obama Unveils New Stimulus Logos

The stim­u­lus pack­age is now law, so there are going to be a lot of pub­lic works projects in need of a logo, right?

Yes­ter­day, the pres­i­dent unveiled 2 such logos – designed by Mode, Aaron Draplin and Chris Glass. The logos will be stamped on pub­lic works fund­ed by the eco­nom­ic stim­u­lus pack­age, FDR style. Pres­i­dent Oba­ma said that its intent was to remind Amer­i­cans that:

When you see them on projects that your tax dol­lars made pos­si­ble, let it be a reminder that our gov­ern­ment – your gov­ern­ment – is doing its part to put the econ­o­my back on the road of recov­ery.

One won­ders if the Oba­ma team is going to rebrand the entire Fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, one agency at a time.

U2 on Letterman, $4 Album Download

U2 kicked-off their his­toric 5-night res­i­den­cy on David Letterman’s Late Show last night, with a per­for­mance of Breathe. They even par­tic­i­pat­ed in a lit­tle sketch, where Dave had them out­side on 53rd Street, shov­el­ing snow.

The res­i­den­cy is to cel­e­brate the release this week of their twelfth stu­dio record, No Line On The Hori­zon. And it just so hap­pens that you can grab a copy of it in non-DRM MP3 for­mat for $4 from Ama­zon. I don’t reg­u­lar­ly lis­ten to U2 much any more, but this is a great thing for a major-label artist to do, and I’m more than hap­py to give it a few lis­tens for that price and for­mat.

UPDATE 3/5: Night two, the boys played Mag­nif­i­cent, which sounds like a clas­sic U2 song. Bono needs to treat his voice with more care, though.

The Times on Brooklyn Food, Frank Bruni on Buttermilk Channel

Today’s Times Din­ing sec­tion has some great cov­er­age of Brook­lyn food. First, there is a great arti­cle on food pro­duc­ers through­out the bor­ough:

These Brook­lynites, most in their 20s and 30s, are hand-mak­ing pick­les, cheeses and choco­lates the way oth­ers form bands and artists’ col­lec­tives. They have a sense of com­mu­ni­ty and an appre­ci­a­tion for tra­di­tion­al meth­ods and fla­vors. They also share an aes­thet­ic that’s equal parts 19th and 21st cen­tu­ry, with a taste for bold graph­ics, sal­vaged wood and, for the men, scruffy beards.

Make sure to check out the inter­ac­tive map, too.

Also, Frank Bruni reviews one of my favorite new restau­rants near our home in Brook­lyn, But­ter­milk Chan­nel, along with an audio slideshow:

But­ter­milk Chan­nel [is] a restau­rant of real stan­dards, note­wor­thy ambi­tion and uncom­mon slav­ish­ness to trends. It’s laud­able and pre­dictable in equal mea­sures. And it was packed every time I went…

The look of the restau­rant, whose cor­ner loca­tion affords it pret­ty win­dows on two sides, is on the pol­ished side of homey. There’s nice­ly buffed wood, a spi­dery brass light­ing fix­ture and a hon­eyed glow from it and hand­some sconces along the walls.

There’s also ample space between tables: the own­er, Doug Crow­ell, isn’t try­ing just to jam in as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. But he does ask you to trade some com­fort and con­ve­nience for the refresh­ing­ly low prices.

These few blocks on Court Street are start­ing to fill with inter­est­ing and tasty culi­nary oper­a­tions: But­ter­milk Chan­nel, Frankie’s Spunti­no, and the new­ly opened and not-yet-vis­it­ed soon to open Prime Meats.

UPDATE: The Times post­ed a Q & A between read­ers and sub­jects of the Brook­lynite food pro­duc­ers piece.

Gondry’s Flight of the Conchords

The first four episodes of sea­son two of Flight of the Con­chords were unin­spired and for­get­table, but that all changed with episode five. Direct­ed by Michel Gondry, the Con­chords return to the top with two great songs – the Sausage­fest anthem Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor, and an ode to Jemaine’s ex-girl­friends titled Car­ol Brown.

I’m just catch­ing up on this sea­son now, but episode six has Kris­ten Wiig from SNL… omgz!

Michael Bierut on the Move from the “Drawing Board to the Desktop”

From Michael Bierut’s piece in the Times this week­end, Draw­ing Board to the Desk­top: A Designer’s Path:

All of us assumed that these machines [com­put­ers] were just fan­cy hybrids of type­writ­ers and cal­cu­la­tors. We did all the art­work with rub­ber cement, col­ored paper and paint. We had no idea, but we were look­ing at the begin­ning of the end, and the end came quick­ly.

Michael is a part­ner at Pen­ta­gram, and blogs reg­u­lar­ly at Design Observ­er.

A New Whitehouse.gov, and New Typefaces

As of noon today, we have a new pres­i­dent, as well as a new WhiteHouse.gov. The much-admired, Gotham-based typo­graph­i­cal iden­ti­ty is gone, but as Jason San­ta Maria points out, the design­ers went instead with two oth­er type­faces from the same foundry: Whit­ney and Hoe­fler Text.

Anoth­er major redesign this week also involved the use of Whit­ney: kottke.org – though you’ll need to have the font installed on your machine in order to see it.

Which begs the ques­tion, Is Whit­ney the new Gotham? (Seems like just yes­ter­day we were ask­ing, Is Gotham the New Inter­state?)

Hoefler+Frere-Jones is on a roll.

Obamicon.Me

Make your own Obam­i­con:

Your image in a style inspired by Shep­ard Fairey’s icon­ic poster. Regard­less of your can­di­date of choice in the 2008 elec­tion, here’s your chance to sound-off.

From the folks at Paste, via Sean.

A New Pair of Sox for the Red Sox

New Red Sox Identities

This design link is near and dear to my heart – The Boston Red Sox recent­ly updat­ed their team iden­ti­ty and uni­forms. Over­all, I think it’s a pos­i­tive evo­lu­tion, though seems a bit nos­tol­gic. I love the gray pri­ma­ry road jer­seys.

Armin Vit most­ly likes what he sees:

Replac­ing the old seal as the team’s offi­cial logo is the lone pair of red, hang­ing sox. Unless I’m wrong, there is no typog­ra­phy asso­ci­at­ed with it. None. No “Boston.” No “Red Sox.” If that’s the case, this is one of the best cas­es of visu­al iden­ti­ty and brand equi­ty becom­ing so strong the icon doesn’t need expla­na­tion. They are sox. They are red. They can not be any­thing oth­er than the Boston Red Sox.

Illustration courtesy of Boston.com

Icon-maker Shepard Fairey — Person of the Year 2008 — TIME

TIME Person of The Year 2008 Cover
Shepard Fairey’s cover for TIME.

Time.com has a nice video inter­view with Shep­ard Fairey, design­er of the HOPE and PROGRESS posters of Barack Oba­ma that were near­ly ubiq­ui­tous dur­ing the ’08 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Time Mag­a­zine named the Pres­i­dent-Elect Per­son of the Year 2008, so it seemed only nat­ur­al to hire Fairey to do the cov­er.

In the video, he shows the process used to cre­ate the piece – tech­niques learned from his days as a screen print­er.

Via Sean

Blur to Re-Form for Massive Hyde Park Gig

Blur to Re-Form for Mas­sive Hyde Park Gig »

It end­ed in acri­mo­ny, with the gui­tarist brand­ing the singer an “ego­ma­ni­ac”. But after months of spec­u­la­tion, Blur have con­firmed that they will be reunit­ing for a mas­sive gig in London’s Hyde Park next sum­mer.

My favorite band of the 90s, togeth­er again for the first time since gui­tarist Gra­ham Cox­on quit the band in 2002.

More: Blur In Video » | Review of Gra­ham Cox­on Solo Show in 2005 »

The Mostly True Story of Helvetica and the New York City Subway

The Most­ly True Sto­ry of Hel­veti­ca and the New York City Sub­way:

There is a com­mon­ly held belief that Hel­veti­ca is the sig­nage type­face of the New York City sub­way sys­tem, a belief rein­forced by Hel­veti­ca, Gary Hustwit’s pop­u­lar 2007 doc­u­men­tary about the type­face. But it is not true—or rather, it is only some­what true. Hel­veti­ca is the offi­cial type­face of the MTA today, but it was not the type­face spec­i­fied by Uni­mark Inter­na­tion­al when it cre­at­ed a new sig­nage sys­tem at the end of the 1960s.

r-train
R-train icon, set in Helvetica and Standard.

I noticed this dis­crep­an­cy ear­li­er this year – I had to recre­ate some MTA sub­way icons for use on a project, and noticed that the R train map icon looked noth­ing like the Hel­veti­ca “R”. The MTA’s own web­site seems to be con­fused about the type used in the sys­tem icons, let alone its sta­tion sig­nage.

Enter typog­ra­ph­er Paul Shaw, and his 10,000+ word piece on AIGA’s site. Did you now that Boston’s sub­way sig­nage sys­tem was the first to use Hel­veti­ca, with­out mod­i­fi­ca­tions? Ever curi­ous as to the process by which enam­el signs are made? Want to just look at pret­ty pic­tures of sub­way signs over the years?

It’s a great his­to­ry, for fans of typog­ra­phy and the MTA.

What’s Hebrew for “Yes We Can”?

Well, that didnt’t take long – giv­en the suc­cess of Barack Obama’s dig­i­tal and design strat­e­gy in our recent pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, some­one was bound to, ahem… com­plete­ly rip him off, soon­er or lat­er.

Sur­pris­ing­ly, the most recent exam­ple is the cam­paign of Ben­jamin Netanyahu, the con­ser­v­a­tive Likud leader run­ning for prime min­is­ter of Israel. The Times reports:

The col­ors, the fonts, the icons for donat­ing and vol­un­teer­ing, the use of embed­ded video, and the social net­work­ing Face­book-type options — includ­ing Twit­ter, which hard­ly exists in Israel — all reflect a con­scious effort by the Netanyahu cam­paign to learn from the Oba­ma suc­cess.

I won­der if that type is the Hebrew Gotham?

wp-Hyphenate by KINGdesk

Wp-Hyphen­ate is a very promis­ing plu­g­in for Word­Press, because it enables some typo­graph­i­cal con­trol not pre­vi­ous­ly avail­able for the web:

With it your left aligned text will be less ragged, and your jus­ti­fied text will avoid the ghast­ly word spac­ing that has pre­vented seri­ous web design­ers from using it.

It’s still in its ear­ly stages, but I’m exper­i­ment­ing with it here – using jus­ti­fied para­graphs and block­quotes. Let me know what you think.

Out of the box, the plu­g­in broke my linked flickr image codes, so I had to put <a> tags on the whitelist, so the plu­g­in ignores any linked text. Hope­ful­ly that issue will be addressed in the future.

UPDATE: Nov 16, 2008 – Jeff King has updat­ed his plu­g­in to address the issue described above.

Grant Park — Alex Wright

My col­league at NYTimes.com, Alex Wright, hap­pened to be in Chica­go last night, so he made his way to the Grant Park cel­e­bra­tion. I’m sure that will be a moment to remem­ber for some time.

Newsweek’s ‘Hackers and Spending Sprees’

Newsweek.com has some inter­est­ing tid­bits about the recent­ly com­plet­ed pres­i­den­tial elec­tion between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin:

  • Palin’s “rogue” shop­ping spree was greater than the ear­li­er report­ed $150,000.
  • Oba­ma didn’t choose Hillary Clin­ton for the VP slot most­ly because of her hus­band.
  • Palin appeared with noth­ing on save for a tow­el, when McCain aides and strate­gists came to her hotel room to brief her at the Repub­li­can Con­ven­tion.
  • Oba­ma thinks some debate ques­tions are stu­pid.

More will be released on Newsweek.com in the com­ing days.

How Hackers Show it’s Not All Bad News at the New York Times

Apolo­gies that this blog looks a lit­tle New York Times-y late­ly, but I had to share this – O’Reilly’s Andrew Savikas wrote a very inter­est­ing post on some of the inter­est­ing stuff we’re doing:

…there‘s some­thing going on at the Times that prob­a­bly won‘t make it to Sil­i­con Alley Insid­er, much less the main­stream busi­ness press, and it‘s some­thing that‘s start­ing to make me think the Times just might suc­ceed in adapt­ing to the chang­ing rules of the media and pub­lish­ing game…

So what’s the Times doing that’s so impor­tant? They’re hack­ing.

Savikas goes on to list a lot of exam­ples, but the best one that I can pro­vide is the com­ing release of our APIs, which will enable peo­ple on the out­side to play, tin­ker, and mashup NY Times con­tent. There are only a few APIs cur­rent­ly pub­lic, but there will be a flood of releas­es in the com­ing months.

[via Jere­my]

UPDATE: Oh man, a bit after I pub­lished this today, we launched our Visu­al­iza­tion Lab – a part­ner­ship that uses IBM’s Many Eyes tech­nol­o­gy. More Info Here »

What the Hell, Malcolm Gladwell

My friend Julia writes today on Huff­in­g­ton Post – What the Hell, Mal­colm Glad­well. She takes the Tip­ping Point author to task for not includ­ing one woman in his new book Out­liers, which exam­ines high achiev­ers:

But what about Vir­ginia Woolf, Susan Son­tag, Tina Brown, or Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pep­si­Co?

What about Oprah?

The omis­sion of women in Out­liers says more about the nature of “big think” books than it does about Mr. Glad­well.

I think that lets him off the hook easy, but it’s inter­est­ing to read Julia’s thoughts on the book pub­lish­ing world. She posts reg­u­lar­ly to the Harp­er Stu­dio blog, at 26thstory.com.

New York Magazine Profile of Nate Silver

New York Mag­a­zine has an inter­est­ing pro­file on Nate Sil­ver, the man behind the polit­i­cal web­site FiveThir­tyEight.

Sil­ver uses data analy­sis to track and weight polls, based on their his­tor­i­cal track records and method­olo­gies. What’s inter­est­ing is that he right­ly pre­dict­ed the out­come of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic pri­ma­ry race, while com­men­ta­tors at the time were talk­ing about a Hillary Clin­ton come­back.

This Election’s Poster Child

Design crit­ic Steven Heller looks at poster design this pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cycle, and the unprece­dent­ed out­pour­ing of sup­port for Sen­a­tor Barack Oba­ma:

So, do these posters have any impact on vot­ers? Not the spe­cif­ic images or mes­sages but cumu­la­tive­ly they are a grass­roots effort that excite through the show of col­lec­tive sup­port. What’s more, posters often appeal to per­son­al needs and emo­tions, not all rouse in the same way for every­one. Hav­ing many options allows par­ti­sans to engage as they choose. This show of sup­port goes in the plus col­umn for Barack Oba­ma.

Take a walk down Smith Street in Brook­lyn, and you’ll see Shep­ard Fairey’s poster in many shop win­dows – it’s almost com­ic… not just street art any more.