"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris

Design Critique of US Presidential Candidate Logos

Posted: January 23rd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Graphic Design | Tags: , , | No Comments »

The New York Times has a fun cartoon analysing the designs of this year’s slew of Presidential wannabes.

Oh, and a belated Happy New Year to you all. Hope you have a splendid 2008.

Intelligent Image Resizing

Posted: August 30th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Graphic Design, Technology | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Thanks to researchers who recently presented at SIGGRAPH, we may soon have intelligent image resizing in Photoshop to help fit photos into any size and scale area. The technology looks at an image and tries to work out where the important parts are – so that when you re-size the image, it knows which parts can be reduce or expanded with minimal impact to what the image is trying to convey. Very clever indeed. The movie below gives some great examples of this.

And why might this soon be in Photoshop? Well Adobe has hired one of the co-creators to join their team so expect cool stuff like this in the future. Perhaps they’ll even release some kind of image server that lets you define important image areas and then vend right-sized thumbnails or reduced images on the fly without having to go through the manual slog of intelligently cropping it yourself. That would be pretty cool. [From Wired]

London 2012 Games Design Disasters

Posted: June 6th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Graphic Design | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Well the London Olympic games may still be a few years away, but there’s plenty of controversy to keep everyone entertained in the meantime. Recently the British Olympic committee unveiled the new logo design to immediate, countrywide disdain. The logo cost £400,000 (~ US$800,000) and it’s amazing to see what you get for that money – I’m sure it paid for a lot of focus groups & surveys.

2012 Olympic Logo (Pink)

So now the BBC is asking people to send in their version of a logo – most of which are, frankly, awful – but some of which show promise and are more in keeping with common London design styles (translation: lots of Gill Sans). What amazes me is that, as a country, we didn’t take this change to have an open public competition to create a logo and vote for it. Think of the money you could raise for the Olympic fund running a premium text message vote for ‘Britain’s Next Top Logo’? Unknown British designers could submit their designs and win a top prize plus a place on the design team. It would have been perfect, but old school ‘money for the boys’ thinking reigned supreme – no wonder the Olympic budget keeps getting increased.

Now there’s another uproar; the presentation video developed, I can only assume for even more money, includes a section of flashing lights that has triggered epileptic fits in susceptible people. So our beloved Ken, the Mayor of London, has waded into the fray and demanded that the company responsible not be paid for this “catastrophic mistake”. My feeling on this is that it is a more honest mistake, and I’m sure that plenty of government people reviewed the video first so is it really the fault of the company developing it? Britain has pretty strict rules about limited sighted people being supported on websites, but I’ve never heard of anything regarding epilepsy.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. I’m sure we’ll hear of more ‘mistakes’ such as these. I can only hope that as a country we don’t mess up by spending so much energy complaining about mistakes that we don’t have any left to make the games the success they should be.

Design Backlash?

Posted: January 12th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Graphic Design | Tags: | No Comments »

Core77 posits that a designer backlash is upon us, as increasingly people are either overwhelmed by design choices that become ‘yet more landfill’, or become ‘designers’ themselves. Is Stark to blame or the savior of design?

The Year of Feltron (2006)

Posted: January 10th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Graphic Design | Tags: | No Comments »

Nicholas Felton, aka Feltron, has created the most wonderful report of his year: The Feltron 2006 Annual Report. In it, with great style, he documents his life around Manhattan including the four plants killed, ratio of social to alone dinners (1.15:1) and 2,721 photos taken (of which 5.8% were posted to flickr of which most are amazing American car logos).

Oh, and by a strange coincidence we were both at Daedelus’ APT gig back in July. It’s a small Interweb sometimes.