“When I Grow Up” Video by Fever Ray

When I Grow Up video from Karin Dreijer Andersson’s solo project, Fever Ray.
Karin Dreijer Andersson
Publicity shot of Karin Dreijer Andersson.

Karin Dreijer Andersson has a solo album out now, under the name Fever Ray. She is one-half of the sibling pair that is The Knife, and the solo album is very much a continuation of their moody work on Silent Shout.

This is the second Fever Ray video, and it’s a nice compliment to the gothy/creepy visuals in the first video, If I Had a Heart, which was directed by frequent Knife collaborator Andreas Nilsson. (See the video for Silent Shout, and his visuals for their last tour.)

And no, that’s not Karin in the video – she hasn’t appeared regularly in her videos since her days in the Swedish indie band Honey is Cool, in the 90s. (A few notable exceptions include You Take My Breath Away, a chipper duet with former First Floor Power front-woman Jenny Wilson, and her guest vocals on Röyksopp’s club hit What Else is There? No, she’s not the floating chick, but the one sitting at the table, mid-way through.)

Speaking of that Röyksopp song, this video is directed by the same director, Martin de Thurah, a Danish filmmaker that seems to have a thing for effects and screwing around with the laws of physics – beautiful work.

I warmed to the album almost instantly, but seeing the songs come to life in these videos, they’ve started to take on a cinematic quality inside my head. Like all of Karin’s work, some people might be turned off by her singing style or be too quick to dismiss her as Björk-lite. I like this album, and I like it more and more after each listen.

Purchase & Download Fever Ray »

Interview magazine interview with Karin »

The Crash of Flight 3407

Flight 3407 – Reuters
CREDIT: Gary Wiepert, Reuters [via]

Last night, Continental Flight 3407 crashed in route from Newark to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, just a few miles from its scheduled destination. The crash site is just five or six miles from where I grew up, in a suburb of Buffalo, NY.

The Buffalo News has a living topic page dedicated to coverage of the event, which they are updating with articles, photos, video and other resources, as they are put up. They also started live blogging the story, and linking to outside resources provided by citizen journalists.

CNN is carrying live video from the local NBC affliate.

My heart goes out to the victims, their families and the nearby communities. It’s important to remember that these things rarely happen, but when they do, especially so close to home, it’s impossible not to feel sad.

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.

The Weekender

This is a pretty good parody of the New York Times Weekender commercials, that play on basic cable stations throughout the Tri-State area and New England. Appearances by Paul Rudd, Eugene Mirman, and The State/Stella alumni Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and David Wain. It makes me want to go see some comedy at 92YTribeca.

Also, I must find something besides the Times to blog about.

[via NYMag]

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.

U.S. Airways Jet Crashes Into Hudson River

US Airways Plane Crash & Rescue

My photo from the 21st floor of the New York Times Building, in midtown.

From City Room:

A USAirways plane that took off at 3:26 p.m. from La Guardia Airport landed in the Hudson River five minutes later, where it remains mostly submerged. Ferries and other boats converged to help with a rescue effort, as the plane drifted south. There was no immediate information about the 151 people on board.

According to Channel 4 television news, the plane, USAirways flight 1549, took off from LaGuardia Airport at 3:26 p.m. was bound for Charlotte, N.C. and had 146 passengers and 5 crew members. The plane, according to the news report, may have hit a flock of birds. The pilot tried to return to the airport when the plane fell into the Hudson.

US Airways Plane Crash & Rescue
Photo of the rescue, posted by Janis Krums on Twitter/Twitpic.

I watched from the 21st floor of the Times Building, as the plan drifted south with the tide. I believe that the rescue operation completed before it came into view, and it has since drifted out of view.

The plane did not break up on impact; divers, commuter ferries and a lot of emergency personnel are assisting with rescue operations. Everyone is reported to have survived the crash and rescue, as of this moment, but there are injuries. CNN is currently interviewing passengers, live on-air.

UPDATE: I don’t know how the Graphics team put this together so quickly and so elegantly, but NYTimes.com has an interactive piece today, that tracks the plane’s path.

Also, CNN has been running a Google Earth animation of the flight, which is less pretty, but kind of cool.

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.

NY Magazine on Innovation at the Times

Renegades
Aron Pilhofer, Andrew DeVigal, Steve Duenes, Matthew Ericson, and Gabriel Dance.
Photo courtesy NY Mag / Mike McGregor
Election Day Word Train »
Faces of the Dead »
Pogue-o-matic »

Sure there’s been a lot of recent bad news about the New York Times Company, and newspapers coast-to-coast are pulling back coverage, filing for bankruptcy and closing. But there is also another story to tell.

New York Magazine has a piece in this week’s issue on the Times Multimedia, Graphics, Interactive Tech and R&D groups, titled The New Journalism: Goosing the Gray Lady. It details some of the organizational steps taken by the Times, in order to position itself for the day when the online product eclipses the print edition in reach, revenue and relevance.

Continue reading ‘NY Magazine on Innovation at the Times’

Design Loves a Depression

Vermelha Chair

This past weekend, The New York Times Week in Review argues in a story headlined Design Loves a Depression that the recent economic slowdown will force designers to eschew novelty and the impractical, and focus more on the “intelligent reworking of current conditions”:

Design tends to thrive in hard times. In the scarcity of the 1940s, Charles and Ray Eames produced furniture and other products of enduring appeal from cheap materials like plastic, resin and plywood, and Italian design flowered in the aftermath of World War II.

Will today’s designers rise to the occasion? “What designers do really well is work within constraints, work with what they have,” said Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art. “This might be the time when designers can really do their job, and do it in a humanistic spirit.”

Related: Designing Through the Recession, by designer Michael Bierut

UPDATE: Murray Moss takes the WIR to task in a piece today on Design Observer:

Design loves a depression? I can assure you that design, along with painting, sculpture, photography, music, dance, fashion, the culinary arts, architecture, and theatre, loves a depression no more than it loves a war, a flood, or a plague. Michael Cannell’s article is regressive and mean-spirited, and it demands a response.

…quite a provoking discussion.

Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

New Year’s Eve in the Berkshires

Reverse

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Things have been quiet around here over the holidays. I turned 31 years old on December 22, and then Lisa and I spent some time in Buffalo with our folks, where I got to see my newest baby cousin Aline.

North Adams
The MASS MoCA campus was once the Sampson Shoe Company.
Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective »
Anselm Kiefer: Sculpture and Paintings »

Then, after a few days back in Brooklyn, we headed up to the Berkshires for New Year’s Eve in North Adams – it’s not the most exciting town to ring in the new year, but we visited MASS MoCA, stayed in a wonderful hotel called The Porches, and had the best meal North Adams has to offer at the Gramercy Bistro.

I didn’t do a lot of reflecting and resolution-making, but I am thankful for my family and friends, and for how great 2008 was for Lisa and I. Lisa is fond of saying that each year has been better than the last, which is more than one can hope for in this world.

More photos below the jump.

Continue reading ‘New Year’s Eve in the Berkshires’

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 »

Love Is All @ The Bowery Ballroom

light

Love Is All performing at the Bowery Ballroom, in Manhattan.

It was not as legendary as their first show at the Knitting Factory, or the sweat-dripped set at Market Hotel in Bushwick this past summer, but Love Is All still knows how to bring it. They played a mix of songs from the new album A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night as well as from their debut, and even mixed in their Flock of Seagulls cover.

UPDATE: My Photos on Flickr » | NYCTaper’s Audio From the Show

Bruce McCall on Letterman

I TiVo most of the late-night talk shows each night, in the hopes that some band or author that I love is featured – somehow, that’s easier than preemptively scanning TV Guide. But, I was genuinely surprised and thrilled to see the illustrator and writer Bruce McCall as a guest on David Letterman’s show, the other night.

I’m far too young to know his work from the National Lampoon, but McCall’s New Yorker covers are ingrained in my memory:

Bruce McCall New Yorker Covers

Some of Bruce McCall’s New Yorker covers, from 1995–2008.

Letterman’s show might not have the cultural relevance that it once did, but you get the sense by watching the segment that he’d rather be sitting there talking to McCall, than Mary-Kate or that chick from Twilight. It’s just one of the many things that make Dave tick, and why I have a TiVo season pass for the Late Show.

In the clip below, Letterman and McCall look at and discuss some of the work in McCall’s new children’s book, Marveltown.

Continue reading ‘Bruce McCall on Letterman’

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.

Saving Buffalo’s Untold Beauty

Downtown Buffalo

Photo Credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York TimesA photo of downtown Buffalo.

The Times had a great piece yesterday on Buffalo’s architectural legacy, and recent attempts to save historic buildings:

Buffalo is home to some of the greatest American architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with major architects like Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright building marvels here. Together they shaped one of the grandest early visions of the democratic American city.

Yet Buffalo is more commonly identified with the crumbling infrastructure, abandoned homes and dwindling jobs that have defined the Rust Belt for the past 50 years. And for decades its architecture has seemed strangely frozen in time.

There is also an accompanying slide show, from which the photo above was taken.

Full disclosure: I’m originally from Buffalo.

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.

Who Said Print is Dead?

OBAMA
Today’s edition of the New York Times.

I count myself lucky today, for scoring a copy of the paper before they ran out. Apparently, the situation is the same throughout the city, (though I’ve heard rumors of another 50,000 copy run).

In fact, there are a hundred or so people standing on line outside the Times headquarters, waiting for a fresh delivery of news, printed on dead trees.

Print Isn’t Dead

A hundred or so people, waiting on line for today’s paper, in front of the Times headquarters in midtown.

From Gawker:

Everybody wants a souvenir of Obama’s victory, and you know what makes a great souvenir? That’s right, a newspaper. This is a photo of a line outside the NYT building on 40th Street of people waiting—for a newspaper!

I hope that people still come to the Times for more than just a souvenir.

New York Times Anthrax Scare

Who?

Equipment and officials from some government agency that I’ve never heard of, in the lobby of the New York Times Building in midtown.

The lobby of The New York Times Building, where I work, was closed this past Wednesday, after an employee on the 13th floor opened an envelope that contained a powdery substance. (The 13th floor is where the editorial board and some columnists have offices.)

It turned out to be a hoax, but for several hours the building was in near lock-down mode. Unfortunately, I decided to disregard warnings and went out to meet Lisa for lunch. When I returned, I was locked out for almost an hour, as the police had roped off the building’s entrances. Peering through the windows on the 8th Avenue side of the building, I saw a huge curtain stretched across one of the elevator banks. Some firemen went in with a stretcher, and the broadcast news media started converging on the street. (Apologies to the very friendly NY1 camerawoman, for refusing to talk to her on camera.)

All I could do was to take some photos, and wait to be let in. After about an hour, I received word from a colleague inside that they were letting employees back in through the freight elevators in the loading dock down 40th st. That was about all the fun I could handle for one day… back to work.

More Photos below the jump.

Continue reading ‘New York Times Anthrax Scare’

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.