Date Archives August 2009

Hillbilly Truffle

There’s a great article in the September issue of GQ which explores the world of Tom Michael’s, a man who grows Tuber melanosporum, aka black truffles, in the hills of Tennessee. Black truffles are normally known to be collected in France, but Michaels is changing all of that, mining “black gold” as you could call it. I knew absolutely nothing about the truffle business before this, but it’s a good read and author Alan Richman does a great job of making me quite curious about trying them one day.

“The black truffle found in Périgord and Provence, and now Chuckey, Tennessee, has dozens of fungal relatives, some of them used in cooking, a few of them not bad at all, none of them its equal in beauty or bouquet. Once cleaned, the black Périgord truffle glitters. Cut open, the veins resemble mica. (When they are cooked, the marbling disappears.) Although the truffle possesses a pleasant crunch, it is treasured not so much for its taste or appearance but for its aroma, which has been likened to bedsheets after a night of abandon, slatterns who disdain to bathe, all that is dark and alluring about the human body and soul.”

Click here to read the full article.


Original Penguin Holiday Collection

Original Penguin
has released a new set of images of their Holiday 2009 collection which is designed by Ann Doty Payne, penguin’s creative director. This is her first collection she’s designed, usually taking care of things like advertising and store design. I have to say that she did a pretty remarkable job. I’m totally loving that peacoat/half trench with it’s military profile and thick lining. There’s also that sweet looking zip cardigan which you should totally get if you want to write a novel this winter. My other favorite piece is that bag, which looks like a perfect tote/carry all that would get you through the most blustery of winters.

Is Penguin gonna start going the J. Crew route?


The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Spike Press

This week’s desktop wallpaper is a gem that I’ve been holding on to for a while, way too long in fact, but sometimes I need to save some of these for a while to surprise you all. The wallpaper was designed by John Solimine, who some of you may know better as the guy behind Spike Press. John is an amazing illustrator and does some of the best concert posters out there.

His wallpaper features some cosmonauts obviously getting ready to blast off into space. John was stoked to be able to do a full color illustration cuz’ most of the time he has to stick to 3 or 4 colors for the posters he does. This looks like a kind of cartoon from the 70’s where you’d get an explanation of what NASA does and the astronauts would talk about what they do.


The Federation for the Advancement of Time Posters

826LA is taking pre-orders for a new series of time travel related posters designed by Amy Martin, and boy do they look amazing. Working along with copywriters Mac Barnett and Jon korn, Amy has created some really fun and vibrant posters that help you remember the joys and perils of time travel. The colors, type and textures really make these posters pop, and for only $20 each they’re totally a steal.

If you needed a better reason to order them, all of the money goes to 826LA’s programs, so you know you’re helping kids when you buy these posters. Get a cool poster, help some kids, feel great.


Extreme Makeover: Craigslist Edition

Wired recently asked some designers from around the web to redesign the aging look of Craigslist. It’s simplified structure hasn’t really been changed much since it’s inception, why fix something that isn’t broke? After seeing these redesign ideas though, I think there could definitely be some room for improvement.

Pretty much every designer kept their designs with an ultra-minimal text only look, but it was how they dealt with this text that was really important. My hands down favorite is Khoi Vinh’s from He suggested making it more like a web app, placing the search box prominently at the top and taking away the distracting grey backgrounds. What’s left is a clear and concise display of all of the services you could be looking for.

Click here to check out the rest of the redesigns.


Snoopy and Kaela Kimura for Hot Pepper

I constantly get catchy beats in my head, so I had to share this gem of an ad. It’s for the free discount/coupon paper Hot Pepper, featuring Snoopy and Japanese pop star Kaela Kimura singing the best song I may have ever heard. I just can’t stop listening to this! And she’s so cute too, dancing around in her little tights and oversized shirt. I dare you to not play this over and over.

Found through Jean Snow


Gentlemen Mobile

These little gents popped into my inbox this morning and I thought they were pretty rad looking. Called Gentlemen, these little guys make up a simple mobile that you can hang over your little bambino, or in my case, perhaps in my kitchen or bathroom. I think the guy on the right looks like Napoleon, and the one on the left is some sort of Swiss mountain climber. Designed by Our Children’s Gorilla.


Live Visuals for Nosaj Thing

The video above is sampling of video clips for Nosaj Things live performances. It was created in a partnership between Adam Guzman and Julie Tsao who created a ton of different visuals that go along with the live performance. In Adam’s own words:

The live show for Nosaj Thing, a collaboration with Julia Tsao. Video clips are the formatted for mixing in Modul8. Each clip belongs to a certain part of a song. We triggered and manipulated each clip live with 2 midi controllers. Our performance is focused around disorientation and using the projector as a light source. The first half of the show is dedicated to slowly building a visual style. The images are black and white lines and squares. The positive/negative space is used to create rhythm that is synced with the audio. As the set progresses, the imagery becomes less abstract and focused less on light. Patterns begin to form and space begins to open as if the two dimensions exploded into a third. The relationship the graphics create with the performer is interesting. As the graphics become more spatial, the performer flattens, becoming a 2-D cutout version of himself.

I’m absolutely enamored with this. I love the part where the light gets liquid-y, and all of the balls floating around in space. Does anyone have any idea what kind of program you would use to try and create graphics like this? I’d love to play around with something like this. It also kind of reminds me of something UVA might do.

Found through today and tomorrow