Handwritten note from designer Saul Bass to director Stanley Kubrick regarding Bass’ ongoing work designing the logo for The Shining.
All posts in design
“Choosing to use hollow icons for the sake of lightness / very-modern aesthetic is not the issue, it’s that to sacrifice the usefulness of what an icon does (aide in reading speed) for aesthetic feeling is really bad. Don’t follow bad design decisions to appease a platform.”
Read the article at Medium.
Update: a really thoughtful follow up and response is over at The Fox is Black.
I know that the world of icon creation can get sticky really fast for both users and designers. There’s not a clear line between visuals the universal mind understands, and visuals that require prior knowledge or context. Either way, the continuation of the illustration-as-information remains a critical part of our human experience in the physical world, as well as our (accessible) online one. The NounProject is an exceptional example of aspiration in this department. “The Noun Project is building a global visual language that everyone can understand. We want to enable our users to visually communicate anything to anyone.” They don’t want to talk about blind people as humans, but that’s ok – it’s clear what their goals are and they’re admirable. And as Khoi says, they’re having fun. Anyone can throw some work on Dribble, NounProject is crowd-sourcing design for good.
Magazine Advertisement for Interiors: 1960; Magazine Advertisement: 1956. More at Herman Miller.
Was tipped off to Macaw this morning. It’s still in preview but looks like an amazing tool for interface design. Very much looking forward to testing it out, as it functions as a web design tool, but also spits out real code. Take your wireframes and turn them into full-blown mockups that have real code you can transfer to your developers. Just amazing. Lots of amazing features to check out on their site, like absolute positioning within the interface, but static document conversion flow upon export, reusable components, saving of common styles, default percentage CSS, and fluid canvases and grids.
Have a look at the sneak video here – functions as a tutorial and preview of what Macaw can do. And don’t forget about Sketch, which already exists and works in a similar way. You can read what Khoi Vinh had to say about Sketch here.
98 year old Hal Lasko uses Microsoft Paint ten hours a day to continue working in the graphic arts, a field he started in when designers still used pencil and paper.
We start every project with a short, written specification that includes project goals, feature descriptions, site information architecture, a site map, and a branding profile. For a recent project Bearded worked on with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, we kept everything in a text document on Basecamp, where it was editable (and version-controlled) by everyone on the project. That helped us update it quickly, without misleading, out-of-date versions floating around. Version control also made sure that we had a record of any changing decisions, should they come into question later.
Many projects probably start with a similar document, but making it “live” somewhere editable at all times seems like the key to success here (huge benefits for the agency and the client).
Great piece by Robert Hoekman Jr. on Smashing Magazine offering thirteen essential tenets of user experience. My favorite is number one:
User experience is the net sum of every interaction a person has with a company, be it marketing collateral, a customer service call, or the product or service itself. It is affected by the company’s vision and the beliefs it holds and its practices, as well as the service or product’s purpose and the value it holds in a person’s life.
Visit Brain Pickings to see the beautiful illustration of Barthes’ dislikes, also beautifully done by Lynore Avery.
Design courses don’t have enough teaching about spec work. I remember when I was in formal education and my class had to work on a project for an outside client. The prize was to have your design used. This seems to be a common scenario, although it’s slightly different from the Obama gig, because all of my classmates’ designs were critiqued by the tutor and by our peers (alas, not the client, which would’ve also been useful). In any case, we learned something. Not as much as we could’ve if the project was handled differently, but it was something. I don’t see how hundreds, perhaps thousands of poster ideas submitted without feedback, compensation, or acknowledgement, is of any value.
Mural.ly is the ‘Google docs for creative people’: a real time, web-based app that lets creative teams share a virtual mural. The walls are zooomable, can contain all kinds of web content (videos, photos, etc.) and teams can chat as work goes up and moves around. What an amazing tool for creative teams working on projects from different locations. Can’t wait to have an excuse to use it!
Monotype has released a sort of Spotify for fonts with their master subscription service over at Fonts.com. The plan delivers “7,000 desktop fonts (delivered automatically on up to five workstations via SkyFonts), access to more than 20,000 web fonts (with 2.5 million page views per month over unlimited sites), and browser-based design tool Typecast.” Pretty cool. Read more, including thoughts on the service from Chris Roberts, over at .net magazine.
I’ve seen this illustration a few places, most recently this morning on Pinterest. And it’s kind of why I mostly hate Pinterest. Someone shared this with no attribution (fine, they didn’t know who it was by), but did include a URL. The problem? The URL went here, which also doesn’t tell you who actually produced the work. It’s an inspiration site, so I guess that means we don’t care about who actually does anything (ugh), and their attribution URL is simply this. I finally searched for the file name I’d seen (“rapture”) and the word elephant and found it featured in Eye Magazine with Stuart Patience’s name associated. From there, I was able to find his portfolio site, which is amazing, and you should go look at all his work because holy crap that’s an annoying experience if you’re him (I assume).