Date Archives November 2009

KN Work // Aquarium Drunkard Redesign

A couple months ago I got an email from Justin Gage, creator of the Los Angeles music blog Aquarium Drunkard asking me if I’d be interested in helping his site out with a redesign. I had been a fan of his blog for years now, so I was totally excited that he asked me to help him.

Checking out his old blog, which I failed to take a screen cap of to show the before and after, it was kind of a mess. First off it was extremely dark, using prmarily blacks, browns and golds. Second all of the content was contained in one tiny main column and it was all pushed to the left side, only 20px left of the edge of the browser. To say it felt cramped would be an understatement. My idea for the site was to lighten everything up, increasing font sizes, giving the site brighter colors and making it feel more welcome in every way possible.

My inspiration for the site was old bars, as Justin and I are both expert beer drinkers. The difficult part was not making it too campy or too tongue in cheek, with bottles of booze or drink rings. I went through several versions, you can see earlier versions under the cut, but it wasn’t until I created the background pattern that I found my direction. I decided to go with a blue and creme color palette with accents of black. I also wanted to make things a little gritty cuz that’s how a bar should feel and I like how it looks.

Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out. As with all my projects I really try to focus on simplicity, usability and legibility. Making it snazzy looking is just a perk of the job. Big thanks to my buddy Justin for reaching out to me on this project, I had a blast doing it.

Check under the cut for more early versions of the site.

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Good Monday, hopefully your day has been good so far. This week’s #musicmonday definitely feels better than last week’s, though I’m not sure why. Numero Uno is Beach House since I haven’t stopped listening to their upcoming Teen Dream. It’s my late-twenties dream. I’ve really been enjoying the Bowerbids album Upper Air, though I’m annoyed that their name isn’t BowerbiRds. Doesn’t that sound better? (EDITThey are called Bowerbirds. Phew.) Animal Collective snuck back in there because of their new Fall Be Kind EP, which lead me into listening to Feels a lot as well.

I came across this band called Venice is Sinking and their album Azar and have really been digging it. Kind of remind me of Dirty on Purpose mixed with Explosions in the Sky. I’ve also been listening to Princeton when I walk around town, it’s cheery and upbeat with hints of Magentic Fields and more than a nod to Jens Lekman. Girls and Real Estate round out the list, and you can catch the latter on the Mixcast No.015.

Feel free to add me on if you’d like.


Daniel Carlsten

After five years Acne art director Daniel Carlstein has decided to head off into the wilderness of freelance design, so in preparation he’s put together a portfolio of his work and there’s some nice looking stuff. He did a series of posters for Restaurang de Ville which make me laugh (and hungry) but my favorite piece was this invitation for Acne Paper’s 5th issue, the elegant issue, that’s been shaped like a gentleman’s get-up. Fold it open and voila, all is revealed. Cute and charming.


I Love Hot Dogs

I can’t remember how I came across I Love Hot Dogs, but I’m really in love with this little blog. Runby Shannon Maldonado, she posts still from films old and new, showing the beauty (and randomness) of movies. She also puts up old movie posters as well, a lot of them being older and quite campy. One entry that really caught my eye was the entry for the 1967 film called A Colt Is My Passport, about a hitman who’s sent to eliminate a rival gang boss. Of course after Googling it I see that it’s in a Criterion collection which absolutely makes sense, it’s an amazing looking Japanese film noir. I’m definitely going to put this on my X-Mas list.


Kitsune Noir Mixcast / No.015

It’s Friday! This week’s Mixcast is both fun and kind of silly. It’s fun because there’s a theme, which about oceans, beaches, water, surfing and those kinds of things. The reason is because I’ve noticed that a lot of bands these days are taking their names and titles of songs/albums from these sorts of themes. For the past 10 years or so it was animals, but I think that’s starting to change…

The reason the mix is silly is that I honestly don’t know a lot about these bands, they’re all pretty new and I never really had a good chance to learn about them yet. So if I sound like a fool you have my sincere apologies. I guess it’s also kind of silly because I basically made a summer album in the middle of winter… well, it was 70º again here in LA, so I suppose I have a good reason.

Enjoy the mix.

Here’s this week’s tracklist:
Let’s Go Surfing by The Drums
It’s Kate’s Birthday by Washed Out
Over The Ocean by Best Coast
Daydream by Beach Fossils
Bird of Paradise by WIndsurf
Punk Spirit by Wave Machines
To the Love Within by Megapuss
Friends by Ducktails
Asleep at the Party by Memory Cassette
Black Lake by real estate
Slow Jabroni by Surfer Blood
Take Care by Beach House


Martin Scott-Jupp

“These photographs document several of the various types of mould which can be found growing on your average loaf of bread, given enough time and neglect.”

So says Martin Scott-Jupp, the photographer behind these amazing photos. They’re from a series called Colony featuring the beauty and wonder you can find in decaying matter and growing fungi. If you weren’t told that these were molds you probably wouldn’t have ever known, thinking they were some kind of tiny flowers or a set of miniatures shot in a sort of tilt shift way. Who know something so gross could be so beautiful?


‘Heaven Can Wait’ by Charlotte Gainsbourg

Charlotte Gainsbourg’s new album seems to be shaping up nicely, especially now that I’ve heard her new song Heaven Can Wait. Beck, who produced her upcoming album IRM, is also featured on this track and the two of them sound pretty great together. But it’s funny because it’s not only the song, the video is equally creative and amazing.

It was directed by Keith Schofied whom also did the video for BPA’s Toe Jam, where the people make fun shapes out of the censor bars. I’ve watched this video like 10 times now and I”m still catching new things. It’s funny how it seems like such a weird and bizarre version of Los Angeles, but not that far from the truth. How rad is the part where the guy is being chased by the ax?!

Amazing track and an amazing video, definitely one (two?) of the best of the year.


15 Uses For Newsprint

I received an email earlier today from Mr. Josh Cochran letting me know that him and his studio mates have created a fun little project called 15 Uses For Newsprint. It’s like a little newspaper filled with art on one side and tips for what you can do with it if you happen to get sick of it, like writing a ransom note, wraping a fish or covering a hole in a wall to escape jail. The artists participating are San Weber, Jillian Tamaki, Leif Parsons, Jessica Hische, Chris Silas Neal, Ted McGrath, Grady McFerring, Rachel Salomon, Gilbert Ford, Jennifer Daniel, Alex Eben Meyer, Zach O’Hora, Kim Bost, Joel Speakmaker and Josh Cochran himself. It’s a really cute project and it’s only $10.