Tag Archive for 'nytimes'

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Farewell Sean & Louise


Cupcakes! – Photo by Villafranca.

This week, the nytimes.com Design group says farewell to two real­ly tal­ent­ed col­leagues – Sean Vil­lafran­ca and Louise Ma. Sean is leav­ing to become Design Direc­tor at time.com, and Louise is going to free­lance, full-time.

I’m still new around these parts, but Sean and Louise made me feel at home. We’re going to miss you guys! (But, we are hir­ing…)

Con­tin­ue read­ing ‘Farewell Sean & Louise’

McCain’s Optimum Look

Can a type­face tru­ly rep­re­sent a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date? Yes­ter­day on the Times’ Cam­paign Stops blog, Steven Heller invit­ed sev­er­al design­ers and crit­ics to com­ment on John McCain’s use of Opti­ma for cam­paign col­lat­er­al.

Is it dat­ed? Clas­sic? Does it con­vey strength? Or, quirk­i­ness? The replies run the gamut; many of them fun­ny or tongue-in-cheek. Michael Beirut notes the font’s resem­blance to the one used to carve the names on the Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Memo­r­i­al, and Matthew Carter mus­es about how the type­face will hold up with the addi­tion of a run­ning mate this sum­mer. But, my favorite judge­ment comes at the end, from Rudy Van­der­Lans:

What does Opti­ma say about Sen­a­tor McCain? Noth­ing. It prob­a­bly says more about the design­er than any­thing else. Who, except design­ers, would judge a can­di­date by the type­face?

Oh, and ear­li­er this month, Heller did a sim­i­lar dis­cus­sion with brand­ing expert Bri­an Collins, on Obama’s Gotham-heavy design scheme.

Google Earth in 3D

Google Earth now has 3D-build­ings, and it’s real­ly fun to play with. Here is the Times Build­ing, where I work:

Times Building

A 3D rendering of the New York Times Building in Midtown, as shown in Google Earth.

If you have Google Earth installed, see it for your­self. Or, try land­ing on the deck of the Gold­en Gate Bridge, (just zoom in).

There seems to be data for a lot of cities, includ­ing my home town of Buf­fa­lo, and for­mer home of Boston.

Polling Place Photo Project

If you’re going to vote tomor­row on Super Tues­day, con­sid­er doc­u­ment­ing your expe­ri­ence for all to see. The Polling Place Pho­to Project, an exper­i­ment in cit­i­zen jour­nal­ism that “encour­ages vot­ers to cap­ture, post and share pho­tographs of this year’s pri­maries, cau­cus­es and gen­er­al elec­tion.”

William Drent­tel ini­ti­at­ed the project dur­ing the 2006 midterm elec­tions, and for this elec­tion year The New York Times and AIGA have part­nered to expand it.

Pri­maries or Cau­cus­es will be held in 24 states on Feb­ru­ary 5 – take a pho­to of your polling place, and share it with the world. And don’t for­get to browse through some pho­tos, too!

2/5 UPDATE: Here is a link to my pho­tos on the PPPP site.

New Hampshire

It’s New Hamp­shire Pri­ma­ry Day, (already?!), but I’m not going to make any pre­dic­tions. Hillary? Oba­ma? McCain? Huck­abee? The polls have swung dra­mat­i­cal­ly in the past week or so, in both par­ties. And, it seems that the coun­try is com­ing to one of those cul­tur­al tip­ping points that only occur once or twice per gen­er­a­tion.

Some have com­pared this cycle to the elec­tion years of 1992, 1980, 1960… But, per­haps it’s more like the first months of 1968, before the assas­si­na­tions of Bob­by Kennedy and Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. derailed all hope, as well as the cam­paign of Eugene McCarthy. We find our­selves in an unpop­u­lar war that nobody knows how to get out of, sad­dled with an lame duck Pres­i­dent with low approval rat­ings, and no sit­ting Vice Pres­i­dent in the race, and we’re fac­ing some eco­nom­ic uncer­tain­ty ahead. Still, there is hope on both sides of the aisle.

Is it a gen­er­a­tional tip­ping point? Are we as a nation head­ing toward a year much like that annus hor­ri­bilis of 1968? Nobody knows at this point, but maybe it’s best not to look back for com­par­isons – every­one across the polit­i­cal spec­trum is eager to move for­ward.

Con­tin­ue read­ing ‘New Hamp­shire’

The New NYTimes.com

The New York Times launched a mod­est redesign over the week­end, and it does a great job of pre­sent­ing large amounts of infor­ma­tion in a coher­ent, orga­nized way.

new NYTimes.com

The new homepage of NYTimes.com.

Khoi has the details on his weblog:

I think it’s a ster­ling piece of work, a great exam­ple of how to evolve a user expe­ri­ence rather than rein­vent it: the best reac­tion it could receive from read­ers (those not among that van­ish­ing­ly small sub­set of the gen­er­al pop­u­lace who can be called “design savvy”) would be some­thing along the lines of “The new design looks just like the old design.” That would suit me fine, because it would sig­nal a con­ti­nu­ity that I think is com­plete­ly appro­pri­ate for such a close­ly watched site like The New York Times’, and besides, I know for a fact that it’s more ele­gant and more use­ful than it was before.

And though Khoi says that he is not respon­si­ble for the design, it’s clear to me that who­ev­er is was heav­i­ly influ­enced by his work – espe­cial­ly the recent re-launch of The Onion. Bra­vo!

Waitin’ Tables

Can’t help but pass along this Remain­der from Jason Kot­tke — NY Times food crit­ic Frank Bruni spends a week “under­cov­er” as a wait­er at a [Cam­bridge] restau­rant. In the end, he real­izes the hell that is being a wait­er:

try­ing to be flu­ent in the menu and the food, calm in the face of chaos, patient in the pres­ence of rude­ness, avail­able when din­ers want that, invis­i­ble when they don’t. It’s a lot, and I should remem­ber that.

Does this real­iza­tion damp­en his din­ing expec­ta­tions? Nope:

I’d still like fre­quent water refills. And a mar­ti­ni from hell. Straight up.

It reminds me of the polite lit­tle argu­ments Pres­ley & I have on whether or not to leave 20%, even when receiv­ing shit­ty ser­vice. Though I nev­er advo­cate leav­ing less than 15%, I also think that the bonus tip should be reserved for com­pe­tent, polite servers. What’s wrong with that?

My Electoral Nightmare

I was fool­ing around with this neat New York Times inter­ac­tive Elec­tion Guide, and I inputted my pre­dic­tions for how the states will vote in Novem­ber.

This was my worst-case sce­nario, with Bush win­ning both Flori­da and Ohio… the result? TIED.

It’ll be the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives rather than the Supreme Court, this time around…