Here’s to the Crazy Ones
• Happy Mac by Susan Kare
I was very saddened by the passing of Steve Jobs today. But I’m not here to mourn. It made me realize how my personal life is enriched and my professional life as a designer is made possible through his and Apple’s contributions, for which I’m greatful.
Even though this is from a commercial about Mac users, I think it’s most true about SJ himself: “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
About That Vignelli Canon
• Last sentence from “The Vignelli Canon”
“The Vignelli Canon” is a highly recommended collection of guidelines “set by ourselves for ourselves,” as Massimo Vignelli, one of design’s great village elders, puts it in the introduction.
Throughout his career, MV applied and perfected his views on what makes good design. He distilled his approach into principles which produce what he would consider good results.
MV’s Canon is an elegant text which is a pleasure to read. So go ahead, download “The Vignelli Canon” (PDF), follow the footsteps of a great designer and discover how he gets to that fulfilling coda.
I Caught You a Delicious Bass
• Saul Bass’s “signature”
What else is there to say, I love doing research.
Otl Aicher: Designer/Model
• From Thomás Gonda: A Life in Design by Philip B. Meggs
Now isn’t this the greatest designer portrait of all time? Except for Wim Crouwel’s 22nd century space suit, of course.
Dark Side of Pink Floyd
• Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat, record sleeve detail
If you are reminded of the iconic record sleeve for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon by Hipgnosis, like I am, you’re about 30 years off target. This one was designed by Alex Steinweiss in the 1940’s while he was working for Columbia Records. One could consider it a precursor or an early inspiration.
Thanks to Holger Jost for digging this up.
Making Type Dance
• Detail from a poster for a choreography workshop by Peter Biľak
I haven’t seen anything in quite a while that was so elegantly relying only on type to convey the message.
Stefan Kanchev, Applied Graphic Artist
• Some of my favorite SK (1915–2001) logos
I just recently discovered the Bulgarian graphic designer — or “applied graphic artist”, as it was called back then — SK and his work.
I have a particular fascination for his logos, which remind me a lot of Anton Stankowski’s marks (PDF). The sheer amount is amazing in itself. Looking closer, you probably won’t find a single logo that isn’t constructed with great precision or unrelated to its subject, form and content in perfect unison.
This site for SK is a great resource that will hopefully grow over time. I’d love to see more projects like this, which preserve the work of great designers.
A Serious Trailer
• Still from the trailer
Apple recently debuted the trailer for the next film by the Coen Brothers, A Serious Man. And it’s definitely one of those rare gems. The rhythm and pacing are brilliant while it builds up to deliver the punchline. I’m so looking forward to the movie, which hopefully is just as good as this glimpse.
Go ahead, watch the trailer for A Serious Man.
We’re gonna be fine.
Art Catalogues from the Past
• Stedelijk by Wim Crouwel, 1971 | Akari by Josef Müller-Brockmann, 1975
Recently, these art catalogues found their way into my collection and made me very happy. It’s not just because they’re made by two of my favorite designers. There is so much thought and craft, you can feel it. In the case of the Stedelijk cover, literally—the letter-pressed black type is gorgeous.
I found the JMB at the design museum bookshop in Zürich and the WC at Counter-Print, which is a wonderful source for out of print gems.