Website Interface Stencil by Design Commission

Web Stencil

If you’re a web designer who still likes to do your initial sketches using good old fashioned paper and pencil, this ingenious little web stencil kit may be exactly what you need.

Originally sent out as a limited-edition promotional item by Design Commission, their web stencil was so popular they’re doing another run that will go on sale in January, 2009.

The kit will include:

  • Custom-etched eraser shield
  • Browser pad (fully W3C compliant!)
  • A handy mechanical pencil for those “hard to reach” places

See their blog post for more information.

via Swiss Miss

Content precedes design

I just came across this quote by Jeffrey Zeldman in my bookmarks and realized I forgot to blog about it:

Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.

I couldn’t agree more.

It seems pretty simple, right? It’s along the same lines as, “form follows function”. But regardless of whether it’s a website, brochure, poster, or whatever, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked… Can’t you just design it, and I’ll give you the content later? My answer is always the same… yes, but it won’t be as good.

Now that’s a big freakin calendar

Stendig 2009 Wall Calendar in our kitchen

For 2009 Anne Marie and I decided to dress up our kitchen with a little classic design… or should I say, a BIG classic design. It’s the Stendig 2009 Wall Calendar, available from Crate & Barrel.

This 4’x3′ calendar is based on a 1966 design by Massimo Vignelli, which is on permanent display in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. It alternates every other month from black text on white to white text on black. It really is beautiful.

Bettie Page dies at 85

Bettie Page

I was so sad to hear this. Celebrated 50’s pin-up model and pop icon, Betty Page, died yesterday as a result of a heart attack she suffered on December 2nd. She was 85 years old.

From LA Times:

A cult figure, Page was most famous for the estimated 20,000 4-by-5-inch black-and-white glossy photographs taken by amateur shutterbugs from 1949 to 1957. The photos showed her in high heels and bikinis or negligees, bondage apparel — or nothing at all.

Decades later, those images inspired biographies, comic books, fan clubs, websites, commercial products — Bettie Page playing cards, dress-up magnet sets, action figures, Zippo lighters, shot glasses — and, in 2005, a film about her life and times, “The Notorious Bettie Page.”

Interesting note on Bloomberg:

The college-educated beauty queen who disappeared from the public eye after 1957 was unaware of her renewed popularity until “Entertainment Tonight” broadcast a television segment about her almost 40 years later. She had disowned her glamour lifestyle after becoming a born-again Christian in 1959, and later battled mental illness in Florida and California.

Links: | Wikipedia | Time | LA Times | CNN | Bloomberg | Flickr

The Photographic Work of Andy Julia

Catanzaro - Tome 4 by Andy Julia
© Andy Julia. All Rights Reserved.

I recently came across the work of Andy Julie. While many of Andy’s photographs are heavily influenced by the past, they also have a distinctly contemporary feel. His images are stunning, highly stylized, and occasionally border on fetish… but not in a creepy way. I really like his work.

If you want to see more of the photographers that I like, I have a long list, on my photoblog.

via Life on Mars?

New Media Douchebags in Plain English

I thought this was hilarious!

On a related note, I’ve always been slightly confused by the term New Media, especially when someone calls themselves a New Media Designer. I’ve always preferred the title, Multimedia Designer.

The term, New Media, stems from a transitional period when websites, interactive CDs, video games, etc… were actually new, and designers wanted to distinguish those forms of media from traditional forms, primarily print.

My questions is, at what point does something cease to be new? We have generations of people now who have grown up with these technologies. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of that newfangled trend called, the internet. Should web designers actually be calling themselves New Media Designers, or should that title now be reserved for those developing holodecks, or that gizmo used in Brainstorm?

Designer’s titles aside, I do actually see the profound distinction between content generated by individuals, and content generated by “old media” outlets (Network TV, Radio, Newspapers, etc…). I guess what I’m trying to say is, in 1995 I was a New Media Designer and in 2008 I’m a New Media Douchbag. :)

Google Video Link | via Brian Dusablon

Cosmos Electronics High-Tech Fetish Campaign

Cosmos Fetish Viral Campaign

This image was part of a series of photographs from a viral microsite called, High-Tech Fetish, launched by Cosmos Austria (an electronics website). I don’t think their intended appeal is any great mystery, but basically the idea was to strategically place products that the company sells into images that would naturally draw attention.

I saw these images for the first time today, so I thought this was a new campaign. With a little internet digging I’ve discovered that the microsite was actually produced in 2006. It’s no longer active. You can see the images, here, and a semi-functional archive of the site, here.

Without passing judgement on the practice of using sex in advertising, I will say that the images are quite stunning. I haven’t been able to find any information on who produced them. if you know, please leave a comment

via Design You Trust

City of Shadows, by Alexey Titarenko

City of Shadows: Alexey Titarenko
©1993 Alexey Titarenko. All Rights Reserved.

I recently came across the work of photographer, Alexey Titarenko. He has some really excellent work, but I especially like his series entitled, City of Shadows.

I can’t quite tell if the images were created using long-exposure, or multiple images being layered together, but the result is crowds of people being blurred into 1 mass of movement.

via Design You Trust