Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Review: How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul

How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul Design is written by design guru Adrian Shaughnessy; who has most recently release this book's expanded edition in September 2010, with a new cover design, as seen above in gray.

You can tell that Shaughnessy had been working on this book for some time, perhaps years, because it reads similar to journal entries. The book as a flow of practical business solutions mixed with uplifting inspirations; thoughts that I have found to manifest slowly in years of being in the design business. And it seems as if he collected these thoughts and wrote them out into chapters.

This book's chapters span many topics from how to find a job to how to run a design studio. Yet, the chapters do not read as step-by-step guides; instead Shaughnessy offers a background of intelligence providing considerations that you may have not thought of yourself in the normal stresses of the daily design life.

Many phrases and bodies of text hit home and warm the heart while others are a surprising; may are relieving ways of looking at normal design life. The book ends with pages of how good work is also green work, plus graphic designer interviews and samples. Shaughnessy's wisdom and warmth makes his somewhat "how-to" book into an enjoyable conversation with a fellow experienced designer.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cute and Creative Christmas Ornaments


Looking for a design gift for a gamer? Then check out these fun Game Controller and Console Christmas Ornaments.The Game Controller Christmas Ornaments come in a set of seven ornaments and feature a range of video game controllers including a Wiimote, NES controller and a PS3 controller. While the Console ornaments come in a set of ten, including Playstations, Nintendos, and others.

These sweet ornaments are available in a range of colors, including red, black, white, and blue. If you want a set these ornaments are available for $25 (controller) to $35 (console) from Ponoko.

Give the gift of recycling this year and promote folks to get a real tree. Earth911.com is providing you with this paper tree Christmas ornament to remind you to recycle your real Christmas tree and also provide you with holiday ideas to make your holiday green. Click here to get the file and make some for your friends! 

Get crafty this year with s folded paper ornament from FoldingTrees.com. You can use old newspaper, maps and colorful craft paper to make these flowers shine. Read Flora's Life blog to see how easy it is to make these. I think they will also make great gifts.

And for those camping types, like my in-laws who just got a new RV this summer, there is a great selection out there of RV Christmas ornaments. I know, I found it hard to believe myself, but check out Amazon for the cutest RV ornaments. There is an ornament out there for everything!


Image from swissmiss via ffffound.com

Halo packaging like Gameplay

Someone is going to get this awesome package, or um, awesome video game for the holidays. This design is taken right from game play. Supposedly these crates are what game players of Halo receive to prolong life, they contain items such as food, supplies, portable generators, armored boots and more. I think its a great concept that goods in the game come just like goods on Christmas day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Left Hand Brewery

Another great beer packaging. You should also see their website. http://www.lefthandbrewing.com/
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sam Adams to Launch Champagne Beer Worthy of a Toast

Sam Adams to Launch Champagne Beer Worthy of a Toast also check out this sexy packaging!

Custom Advertising

Check out this magazine ad in my Real Simple magazine; it has a little personal note just for me. In the left-hand corner it writes," Dear Real Simple reader, relieve (and help prevent) dry, irritated skin this winter with Curil. Sensitive skin remedy lotion." Do you see that the text is a little smudged, that's because its a second printing on the advertisement. I need to know more about this, I haven't seen this before inside a magazine. How is this done?
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

AIGA CMYK Event Buffalo,NY

I attented this week's AIGA event in Buffalo,NY. It took place at The Blue Monk located at 727 Elmwood Ave. The event was called CMYK, which as a designer you know this abbreviation as cyan, magenta, yellow and black, but for this event it's know as "come meet your own kind". It was a small turn out this time at a bar with too good a draft list. The Blue Monk is a bar that has a focus on Belgium style beers, which are my favorite. At The Blue Monk I was able to try long awaited brews as well as be able to ask people about what they were drinking that looked so delicious and beautiful in their tulip shaped glasses. On the down side, the bar itself was pretty loud which was hard to work around; when you're trying to make professional connections; standing too close is just oxword, you know. But either way I meant some new folks, learned about some unexpected in-house design locations, and fulfilled my Belgium beer sweet tooth. Can't wait for the next event.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jonathan Harris's AIGA presentation called Cold : Bold


Jonathan Harris is an artist, photographer, coder, and human. He really takes a look at being human in a world that is becoming so digital. Within this AIGA video Jonathan talks about his transition from sketchbook to computer science and how it effects the human psyche and anthropological ways that we are human.

In the beginning of Jonathan speech he talks about how he is a fine artist and used to write and draw very detailed illustrations and stories within his sketchbooks. Until one day within his travels his items are stolen and he encounters a lost of several months of work. Above is an image of one of beautiful sketchbook spreads.

After acquiring a degree in computer science he starts making self generating websites that collect images off the web. His sites consisted of any images posted online; they represented the most current photographics shared with the online world. This digital collage represented the story and emotion of that moment in time; as seen above.

One if the most moving of Jonathan's work was a show he did at the Museum of Modern Art. He designed and programed a representation of online dating. Originally he designed it as an apartment building with neon lights, but then scraped the idea to design a much more humanistic representation of "home", a balloon. Although he changed his idea because another design manifested too similar, I think his execution is imaginative, whimsical, humanistic and on target. The idea to use a balloon to represent an outer skin of self really speaks about the thin layer we have around us. Home is not where our stuff is kept, but what we have inside us and what we carry with us to define ourselves. This also makes me  think about the line from the show Parenthood that mentioned how when people fall in love they make a bubble around themselves, a bubble of love, that grows in size as family grows but needs to retain its size to stay collective.

What Jonathan is speaking about within this video is who we are as people and how we may be losing the way we connect. As people we play many roles in life, such as an employee, a mother, a maid, a mechanic, a cook, etc. It many be even more defined such as the days when I am a poetic artist and when I am designer, or when I am self-promoting and when I am sharing. We have loss of our humanistic ways simply because we have been made so complex. Life isn't as simple as "Like" on Facebook, or as informative and a hyperlink. We are people and we want to be connected we just have to remember that looking up at a person beside us is a stronger connection than speaking with letters, numbers, and buttons directed to an algorithm of code on what we call today a social networking site.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Festive Magic Hat Packaging

MagicHat is known for their fantastic art, with their psychedelic, colorful, and eye-catching style they impress again. Magic Hat just come out with their winter sampler pack. Within this green and lovely Magic Hat box they have a delicious selection of hibiscus odd notion, the infamous #9, Encore, an IPA on tour, and Howl winter lager. But, back to this box again, so great and beautiful I had to talk my husband into getting it just so we can store our homebrews in it forever and ever.
I must recommend that you visit Magic Hat's brewery. It's a brewery that has a mean focus on design; with a dark gift shop of black lights, fun taps, and awesome items.
Magic Hat employs two designers for their trippy artwork, from posters, packaging, apparel and so much more. My husband remembers them telling us that one of the designers worked for the Grateful Dead, super cool, I'll believe it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Education of an Art Director Book Review

The Education of an Art Director is an interesting how-to book, written in a informal how-to way. There is no clear answer to how to actually become an Art Director in this book, but many individuals telling their stories, (mostly working for up and coming print magazines) on how they got to where they are today. There was a lot of great names mentioned like Alexander Liberman and Paul Rand, that only make you wish you were in the height of your career in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's.
This book was written by Steven Heller, a very well know graphic design education book writer and Veronique Vienne a well know writer on design ethics and business practices. Some chapters held great inspiration while others read a bit dry but got a similar point across; that the education of an Art Director does not necessarily come from school education but from your apprenticeship to those great around you.
Passage from the book on hiring well, "Design Director Joe Dizney at Wall Street Journal oversees a staff of fifty in New York metro area, plus small staffs in Brussels and Hong Kong. 'Hire good people, hire smart people, then be fair and honest with them,' he says. 'I see myself as an entertainer first, then a friend, then a boss.'"
Topics that this book talks about range from starting out as a intern, to mentoring and teaching. A great read for those of us who need to look up and out and appreciate many of the co-workers that help bring their strength and creativity to the table.