Thursday, July 12th, 2018
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
Great fun illustrated article on the aesthetics of Trumpism by Nick Hilton.
This next product, emblazoned with the number 45, looks more like a golfer’s baseball cap than a trucker’s … that styling — №45 in fancy serif font — would be perfectly at home on the label of a $100 bottle of scotch. Someone wearing this cap would not be immediately outing themselves as a ‘deplorable’ (as was, to a large extent, the appeal of the MAGA hat). It’s a flashback to a moment when the Trump brand was all about luxury hotels and links courses. No wonder it’s on sale.
Hilton also wrote a piece on Trump-based magazine covers.
Saturday, May 5th, 2018
I keep referring back to this article by Kyle Chayka — beautifully and ironically illustrated by Daniel Hertzberg — and in a nice homologue I keep forgetting the term it coins, airspace:
It’s the realm of coffee shops, bars, startup offices, and co-live / work spaces that share the same hallmarks everywhere you go: a profusion of symbols of comfort and quality, at least to a certain connoisseurial mindset. Minimalist furniture. Craft beer and avocado toast. Reclaimed wood. Industrial lighting. Cortados. Fast internet. The homogeneity of these spaces means that traveling between them is frictionless, a value that Silicon Valley prizes.
The title says it’s sterile but is it? The word never appears within the article. Isn’t airspace more a vocabulary? Here in Brighton there are nasty pastiches of it (Tortilla: Real Californian Burritos and Tacos), lovely expressions (Gails Bakery) and sophisticated extensions (Smallbatch Coffee).
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018
“Jon [Favreau] said, ‘Look into his eyes. If you look into his eyes you will know. Is he being asked a question or is he asking the question?’” On the making of Iron Man’s HUD.
Wednesday, April 4th, 2018
Since I’m returning to it for some refreshment, time to add the link: “How to Use Clashing Fonts” by Jonathan Hoefler. “It’s often the dialogue between typefaces that most effectively communicates how information is meant to be understood.”
Sunday, March 25th, 2018
Craig Mod’s interview with Offscreen Magazine. “In my life, America is three locations: New York City, the Bay Area, and Asheville in North Carolina.” This writer/designer, who first impressed me with his review of the Apple Watch, lives in a small coastal town in Japan — some sort of digital-hipster James Bond. Things are very considered.
Tuesday, March 20th, 2018
Ward Nicholson summarizes the current state of play regarding web typography. He mentions my two go-to Adobe plugins, BalanceText and Dropcap, both of which will eventually be part of CSS.
Sunday, March 4th, 2018
Monday, February 26th, 2018
Monday, February 12th, 2018
Good gumption. Frank Chimero expresses many thoughts I’ve had on the depressing explosion of complexity in web development. I particularly agree about being able to View Source, which is one important reason I don’t use CSS pre-processors: I want people to be able to read the CSS as I coded it, whether to know what to copy or what not to copy.
Friday, January 26th, 2018
A deep dive into iPhone X’s notches by interaction designer Brad Ellis. [via Daringfireball]
Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
In what seems a common pattern, Jony Ive started early, eschewing the liberal education of say Oxbridge, instead selecting the most renowned college in the field in which he was already winning prizes: industrial design. And this great achiever of our times grew up under the happy and mighty influence of his father, an educator who rose to prominence due to character and a drive to bring design literacy to British education.
The bulk of this book about Ive constitutes one of the stronger, more detailed histories we have of Apple itself, told mainly from the perspective of the IDg, the internal design group he leads. We learn for instance that in order to meet Steve Jobs’ deadline for creating the iMac — the first product upon Jobs’ return and which revived the company — they needed to streamline the product process by making the files of the design software interoperable with those of the manufacturing software.
Someone says Ive is even less replaceable at Apple than Jobs. This isn’t quite fair because Jobs worked to make himself replaceable. Let’s hope Ive does as well.
Saturday, December 30th, 2017
Engagingly written albeit disappointingly somewhat thin, the useful angle here is how Apple differs from conventional wisdom.
Secrecy, even internally, is paramount; it helps alleviate internal politics and keep people focused. There is little internal promotion, taking seriously the Peter Principle. Unlike the rest of Silicon Valley, perks are minimal; working at Apple is the perk.
A product of its time (2012) and of the author’s lack of access, the book is marred at the end by pessimistic obsession with Apple’s viability post-Jobs, but is nonetheless ultimately worth reading because it does convey an impression of what Apple is like.
Thursday, December 7th, 2017
Friday, October 13th, 2017
This is a video of a talk by Pamela Jerome on restoring the metalwork on both Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Guggenheim Museum together with a transcript. What an honor, to have worked on both masterpieces.
Monday, July 17th, 2017
I appreciate this nicely laid out summary of wisdom reminders for the working life by Studio Lovelock, This Much We Know.
Wednesday, June 28th, 2017
What an internet treasure. Standard Ebooks is — according to their web site — “a volunteer driven, not-for-profit project that produces lovingly formatted, open source, and free public domain ebooks.” These are some beautiful, consistently-designed ebooks. The epub version works a charm in iBooks.
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
Nicely presented on Vimeo, Jen Simmons of The Web Ahead podcast gives a 1-hour talk on web design at a 2016 An Event Apart conference entitled Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts. Lots of nice slides of magazine layouts, where she suggests web designers should be returning for inspiration.
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
Thursday, February 18th, 2016
Anyone who goes to [Beethoven’s] Ninth Symphony then sits down and designs a wallpaper pattern is either a confidence trickster or a degenerate.
Adolf Loos, Ornament and Crime
Saturday, January 30th, 2016
Regarding these great pithy quotes typographically set by London-based graphic designer Kyle Robertson, they all look very different but most use the same font: Archer!
Thursday, January 28th, 2016
Looking for a way in to a responsive refresh, and because Engaging has a paid-up account at cloud.typography.com, I switched the main font at my personal site adamkhan.net from Georgia to Archer. However, this AIGA article, “Is Archer’s Use on Target?”, points to the font’s role in our larger socio-economic situation, and that I’m about 7 years behind the curve. There are also the Archer Alert and Archer Beat blogs. Turns out it’s everywhere, from US postal stamps to One Direction albums. Nonetheless I feel slightly redeemed by the conclusion at “The Devil Uses Archer”.
Friday, January 8th, 2016
Goodbye, grids, I at least hardly knew ye. Ethan Marcotte, coiner of the very term responsive design, argues that a web design today should “algorithmically generate a responsive layout that best reflects the importance of the information within it.”. Yes! Another choice quote: “The breakpoints we introduce to our responsive designs aren’t tied to the shape of a device’s screen. Instead, our media queries defend the integrity of the content we’re designing.”
Thursday, December 31st, 2015
Interesting, easy-to-understand breakdown of colors used in iOS app icons in 2015. Reds are most popular, then blues. By Hwee-Boon Yar. [via MacStories]
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
I’m not sure that I agree with the author’s criticism of the Apple Watch screen, and unlike him I like how small the thing is, but his comparison—that Apple Watch leather is to leather as the pink chicken sludge of chicken nuggets is to chicken is insightful and in retrospect obvious. Article is complete with apt photo illustrations. [via Daring Fireball]
Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
Oh I’m enjoying tab toggling between 38mm Space Grey Aluminium Case with Black Sport Band and 38mm Space Black Case with Space Black Stainless Steel Link Bracelet.
Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Saturday, June 21st, 2014
Lots of good thought and results in Vincent Kartheiser’s (Mad Men) tiny Hollywood home.
Monday, May 26th, 2014
Simplistic, kind of repetitive, engrossing, not too much I didn’t already know I don’t think, but necessary reading. Nice last paragraph even if redundant last chapter.
Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Sunday, September 8th, 2013
The squat, the perch—a reminder that we are not designed to defacate in seating position.
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Sunday, May 12th, 2013
Cary Grant’s 1963 op-ed in This Week magazine on dressing well.
Saturday, January 19th, 2013
The 20 Most Popular Homes in Dwell. Many of these homes are small so encourage ingeniousness and are in general encouraging.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
Stand up for your work! Or as The New York Times puts it, “Taking a Stand for Office Ergonomics”.
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
Andy Ihnatko, MacTech Conference attendee, on the group tour of Disney Animation, an advance screening of Wreck-It Ralph, and John Lasseter’s desk. [via TidBits]
Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
The Frank Lloyd Wright archives are moving to New York, reports Arch Daily; paper to Columbia University’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library , models and prototypes to MoMA.
Monday, August 20th, 2012
The Making of The Spy Who Loved Me by the BBC for the Open University, 1977. Episode #1: Cubby Brocolli, Producer. #2: Ken Adam, Production Designer (“not indispensible”, “preferable”, “unique”, “important”). #3, Barbara Bach, Bond Girl.
Sunday, August 5th, 2012
Fascinating, that Apple’s Sony-inspired designs for the iPhone back in 2005 were more like the iPhone 4 than what was subsequently initially released. Had they been leading up to the 4 style all along?
Sunday, July 15th, 2012
Thursday, July 12th, 2012
“in casa un espresso come al bar”: On the marriage of coffee and aluminum, icons of modernity, in Bialetti’s Moka Express.
Monday, June 18th, 2012
An interview at frocktalk.com with Being There costume designer May Routh. “Rene Magritte: I think that this came after shooting of the film and can be seen in the advertising and posters, but I never heard it discussed.”
Thursday, May 24th, 2012
Designs from the 2012 International Contemporary Furniture Fair brought to the rest of us by the estimable and venerable The New York Times. I really should subscribe and support it.
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
On Windows 8, and an illustrated history of Windows itself, by Steven Sinofsky. Long and juicy. [via daringfireball]
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012