Category Archives: Design

My social media / cooking icons

I’ve been doing some things with social media lately. Not in my real life. In my work life. But then I started thinking (heh-heh). I love making food … and I like making tiny icons … why don’t I combine them somehow? And voila, a set of tiny social media icons with a cooking theme was created. I’ll probably revise or add to the set at some time, and maybe figure out a way to get them on my own blog. Anyway, these .gif and .ico files are yours to enjoy. If you do re-use, please re-use responsibly. ( Download zip file here »).

My Apartment

apartmentOMG, I don’t even know why I started doing this thing. It feels like it was a half century ago. Anyway, these were some pictures I took in my apartment, the one time it was neat and clean. And then I decided I was going to make a slide show, and it would only take a few minutes, I mean hours, and then … and then …

Well, here it finally is. Click on the image above to see the gloriousness.

Advice for living better from an Austrian guy

While often wary of lists that tell me how to live better, I do appreciate it when someone coins a few new and true bits of advice for humans. And so, a list from Austrian/NYC designer Stefan Sagmeister’s diary:

  • Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.
  • Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.
  • Being not truthful works against me.
  • Helping other people helps me.
  • Organizing a charity group is surprisingly easy.
  • Everything I do always comes back to me.
  • Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
  • Over time I get used to everything and start taking it for granted.
  • Money does not make me happy.
  • Traveling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life.
  • Assuming is stifling.
  • Keeping a diary supports my personal development.
  • Trying to look good limits my life.
  • Worrying solves nothing.
  • Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.
  • Having guts always works out for me.

There is also an interesting 15 minute video on a presentation from Stefan — if you noodle around on the link behind the picture here.

Another Reason Why Branding is Evil

Remarks from Debbie Millman who is, somewhat inexplicably, the president of design for Sterling Brands:

“If we aren’t careful, by 2025 our culture will have reached a place in our collective history where it is almost entirely composed of brands. The more information we have, and the more access to information we have, the more capacity we’ll have to participate in the composition of every human experience.
  By 2025, there’s the potential that for every human experience there will be a corresponding brand. There will be branded relationships, branded sexuality, branded religion, branded war, even branded children. There’s the possiblility that a branded government will rule us. Brands will be just about anything those in power can get away with.
  There will be a backlash of sorts —movements such as No-Logo and Slow Food—but those, in fact, will also be branded in order for them to be understood.
  The state of brand experience has more impact on our culture than any other medium. It’s circular; its reach is insidious—and if we’re not very careful, it isn’t going to stop.”

From the first moment I heard some executive blowhard blow branding out his blowhole, I knew branding was insidious. But why? Isn’t branding just another alias for advertising (60′s-70′s), and marketing (80′s-90′s)? Both of which I’ve been a cheery party to. Is branding simply more focused? And thus, somehow, more vulnerable?

Green, swirly design trends

We seem to be living through a green and swirly moment in design. Everywhere there are tendrils curling through our graphics, and layer upon layer of leaves, flowers and vaguely botanical-looking patterns. I find it pretty and soothing, and I, too, like creating restful vegetalscapes, but I suspect this will be one of those trends that quickly becomes trapped in amber. Will those transparent ivy-leaf overlays scream ’07 by the end of ’08?

I like Kuler, Mostly

Try Kuler Adobe’s Kuler is a Flash-based application that uses color theory to provide users with a variety of pleasing — or revolting — color pallettes. To develop you own color pallette, you can select a base color (your favorite green or yellow, for example) and then let Kuler offer up four compatible swatches. Or you can search through Kuler’s well-tagged library of color pallettes for words like “ocean” or “retro” or “dull” to see what other Kulerians have cooked up.

Kuler is a useful tool if you’ve realized that the swatches you’re working with are either ugly or all over the map, or there are just too many of them, and you need to edit. It’s also useful when you have no idea which colors represent concepts like “investment banking”.

What I don’t like about Kuler is, I’m not sure it works right. Or maybe I just don’t work right. My base colors never seem to stay in one place and my adjustments seem to run off when I’m not looking. Downloading and importing other users’ pallettes worked, but was so time-consuming that I resorted to the dumb guy strategy of just eyedroppering a screen grab.