Last week rolled out it’s latest site redesign. For the record, I think it’s an improvement, much easier to navigate than the old site (which I hated), and I find the video integration into the articles rather slick. My biggest quibble is that header, it’s a little overwhelming. And it got me wondering…is bright red really the only thing we’re using for news sites nowadays? Take a look…

The Daily Beast

(A few noticeable exceptions to this rash of red…,, and – which is, surprisingly, predominantly blue.)

Happy Earth Wind & Fire Day

September 21, 2009

It’s the 21st night of September, which mean’s it’s time again for dancing the night away. Badeeya.

Anthropologie, again

August 29, 2009

Anthropologie adorableness

Well, I have been neglecting this little area of the internet lately. Since starting a tumblr, I’ve been trying to relegate my, “This is cool!” posts to over there, and more Substantial Thoughts On Design™ to over here. And I guess I haven’t had the time lately to have many of those. (I’m working on it!)

But I’m going to bring these over here, as I’m amazed at the level of customer engagement and attention to detail in the brand, in these Anthropologie birthday coupons. When I found this in my mail, a pretty standard “Save 15% the month of your birthday” offer, it really did almost feel like getting a birthday card in the mail. Clearly, I’m already susceptible to everything Anthropologie (except the prices), but this is just an innovative twist on the traditional coupon. And I’m having a hard time saying anything more substantial than “Look how cute!”


look, buttons!

museums are now

The MCA Chicago has got some great new graphics on their front steps for the summer. It looks fab, and if you’re in the area you should swing by! (Free Admission Thursday nights!)

*Bonus, look for my photo (the above) on the museum’s facebook page as well as some of their other promotional materials for the summer.

The Ministry of Type

March 17, 2009

There are several design blogs that I try to keep up with to keep inspirational juices flowing, and keep up with the latest design trends. One of my favorites is The Ministry of Type, by English designer Aegir Hallmundur. Not only because the site itself gorgeously designed, he has this compulsion with tracing everything, which I love. It’s the design/illustration equivalent of taking something apart to see how it works, and it’s something I feel like I should do more of every once in a while. You can look at all the inspirational images in the world, but in taking them apart you’re going figure them out so much better.

Some of his retracing inspiration (but visit the site, they look better in context):

the fox


upside down landscapes

It’s getting to that point in the winter when all you want is spring. The hint of a sunny day sends everyone outside, though there’s not all that much to look at yet. I headed out the other day with my camera, and ended up with this series, which I’m looking forward to exploring further. More on my flickr.

upside down landscapes

upside down landscapes

Tropicana UnReBrand

March 12, 2009

Tropicana Packaging

I know, I’m late to this discussion. The rollback of the Tropicana re-branding sent minor design shock-waves last month, with Pentagram’s Paula Scher even calling it “..the worst thing that happened to graphic design since focus testing.” [via]

Now this just might be naivete, as I’ve never worked on a major corporate re-branding project, but I have to respectfully disagree. I’m absolutely sure that it must be a pain to try and get these big corporate companies to do something new, and a little bit daring. And pulling things back when the initial reaction might be just reactionary does set a bad precedent. I agree.

However, in this case, the quality of the design absolutely is part of the discussion. The rebrand just rather missed the mark. I think the old packaging could use an upgrade, but the redesign missed all emotional connection to the brand. Several people in the Brand New comment thread recounted memories of trying to stick a straw in an orange as a child, just like on their Tropicana carton. That’s a powerful image, and I wonder what the rationale was to scrap it.

The re-brand just seems like a case of designers designing for designers, rather than their audience. It’s an easy out to disparage the audience as the ignorant masses. Including your audience in the design process doesn’t mean you have to dumb down your designs. It means you have to make them smarter.

[photo via design:related]