Johnny, Where have you been?

So, what’s been going on you say? Well, a lot, last weekend J and I went to Denver to visit a friend. So, how was denver? It was fun, We saw the art museum, which is one of the coolest, craziest buildings. We went skiing, 3 1/2 mile long runs… in 30 inches of fresh powder. Nice (besides my mogul face plants). We watched showgirls all the way through uncut, pure insanity. So that’s Denver. You know I was surprised by the amount of forced design I saw on the main strip there. Everything is so new and the branding is very calculated, so it gives the city a movie set type of feel, instead of the gritty non-time square nyc i’m used to. So, it seems once again that I love NY. (the city, not the show, minus a few choice quotes, “I’m afraid of parrots because they don’t know how to speak English diction”)

As far as this blog, i’m movin on up, to my own host, I figured it was pretty lame for a web designer to use a stock theme for his blog, so I am working on skinning my own blog over at johnnybrazil.com, however it is not linked because I am not ready to push, however it will be soon.

Also, I finished the beta test of my most recent site for the law firm Donahue & Goldberg.

And Speaking of law firms, I also just recently busted out some CMS (Content Management Systems) skills for my Morgenstern Jacobs & Blue site. Originally a static site, I recently retooled a wordpress theme to act as the dynamic interface for this site. I will be launching it soon.

Links to follow.

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Photography of the Moment: Andy Clymer

Steam

I just recently found this photoblog by Andy Clymer, type designer at Hoefler & Frere-Jones, and really love this Steam picture. Check out his site, for his other photos and buy beautiful fonts from typography.com.

I dont play video games much.. but this is funny.

These new World of Warcraft commercials are ha.larious. Seriously, Mr. T is awesome, and so is Shatner, but Mr. T wins this one for me.

Sand Artist, Jim Denevan

This guy takes drawing in the sand to a whole new level. I’ve seen a few posts about these photos, here and here, and now that I have seen his site, I am drawn even further into these beautiful photographs. Amazing the amount of work that goes into these pieces of art only to be washed away by the tide.

b2.jpg

Song of the Moment (Señor – Willie Nelson and Calexico)

via

Todd Haynes is possibly one of the best people to create a bio-pic of sorts on Bob Dylan. The last thing we need is another Ray. The best bio-pics are usually of people who don’t have such a public perception, (read Raging Bull). However, there seems to be another way of telling these stories. Todd Haynes, who was able to tell the story of Karen Carpenter with Barbie dolls, (quite poetically, or so I’ve heard from people who have been lucky enough to see it) has now decided to channel Dylan using multiple actors….more specifics after I see it or you can read about it here — for now lets get to the music.

This post is about the music, so here is a cover of Señor by Willie Nelson and Calexico that is one of the best on the soundtrack… other notable tracks are Knockin on Heaven’s Door by Antony and the Johnsons, and the title track for the movie I’m Not There by Sonic Youth — Genuine disappointment, Eddie Vedder doing Watchtower. Really Eddie this is the best you got, I expect better. Maybe you should just stick to Who Covers.

Enjoy.

In Response to Landmark Websites

Over at Speak Up Armin posed the following, i’m summarizing because you can get lost in all of the comments over there, and I wanted to solidify my point as a complete idea:

Milton Glaser’s Dylan poster. Paul Rand’s IBM logo. Paula Scher’s Public Theater posters. Massimo Vignelli’s New York subway map. Kyle Cooper’s Seven opening titles. These are only a few landmark projects of our profession… But when it comes to web sites, I can’t think of a single www that could be comparable — in gravitas, praise, or memorability — as any of the few projects I just mentioned. Could this be?

My Response:

While you talk about the IBM logo, and the Dylan poster, as landmark, they are landmark to designers. The average American doesn’t relate. Within the design field you are talking about what designers find influential to the future of that particular medium.

What we have in web-design is individual’s who inspire approaches. People like Jeffrey Zeldman, Eric Meyer, Khoi Vinh, and Dave Shea, just to name a few. Champions of CSS, standards, and grids in web design. These guys may not all be designers but they give designers the inspiration to create future design just as Paul Rand inspired by his work.

Speaking of Dave Shea what about The CSS Zen Garden, arguably one of the most influential websites in modern web-design. While the website has over a hundred versions, (not all beautiful) the impact on showing the possibilities of CSS have made a definite impact on the medium.

Think about how design is evolving. Design is now created to change. Michael Bierut’s Saks Fifth Avenue Identity has hundreds of variations. The NYC logo (for good or for bad) was created as a container for future iterations, and so on…

(side note: while I am a big Kyle Cooper fan, when I think landmark and film titles I think Saul Bass.)

Follow Up 1:

>(Armin stated that:) This discussion is about designers, not the average American.

My Response:

Yes, I understand, I was just using this point to set up the rest of my statement, that the concept of landmark design in today’s design world is evolving, in print and on the web, we need to broaden the scope a bit.

Follow Up 2:

>Other member’s sited Threadless as a possible landmark website.
>Someone else posed the question, who are influential web designers?

My Response:

Threadless is a store and a very niche market. I don’t know how much impact it has on the design community at large.

The question is really what constitutes as landmark print design in the last 7 years?

As far as influential web designers. I already made a case for Khoi Vinh, although Armin discounted nytimes.com already. But what about his beautiful A Brief Message.

I think there is a strong case for the guys at Coudal, I mean Armin himself is taking part in their Layer Tennis tomorrow.

What about the guys at A List Apart. Who not only educate, but lead by beautiful simplistic example.

All of these guys are all stripping down the web to it’s essentials and working within the confines of the medium, using system fonts, CSS and images, all while teaching the community at large how to follow suit. Try that print designers.

Design:Related or Behance

Social Networking for Designers

I recently joined two new social networks, both related to design. I have been a member for a little bit now, however, until now I haven’t posted any projects. I am going to do a little comparison. I am posting the same work on both sites, and I will then track my progress on both. The site I get better use out of I will use. So check out my profile at Design:Related profile or my profile at Behance Network or both.

Do I really need another two social networking site to update? Sure, why not (although I have to work on the social part). So far, Behance seems to give me more options on how I present my material, however posting my portfolio on Design:Related was quick and easy. As I use it I’m sure my pro’s and con’s list will grow. For a while, I was unsure what projects to highlight. Currently my thoughts are to post design that I have had free reign to experiment with. Some are working out techniques, other’s are works that bands have used for promotion. I will be adding personal projects occasionally to my portfolios as I get inspired and I will post links here.