Date Archives February 2010

Fancy, New Blogs Round-Up







In the past couple weeks I’ve come across a few new blogs that I’ve been enjoying, so I thought I’d share them and see what you think. They’re mostly design related, I think more in the product realm than anything, but I think these folks have a great start to what they’re doing.

1) Black Harbor – I was introduced to Black Harbor through one of it’s members Mike and immediately I was impressed by it’s visual design. It feels really polished and well put together, which makes me want to dive deeper. Mike describes the site as a “Art/Design online magazine” and I’m totally digging it.

2) Pratt // Liam Jeff Rubino – Through my stat counter I can see who’s linking to me and where my hits are coming from, and I noticed that Liam’s blog had linked to me, so I checking it out. I’m not really sure what his story is, all that I’ve sussed out is that he goes to Pratt and he’s got a great eye for design. I’m not usually a fan of Tumblr blogs but this guy knows his art and product design, so scrolling through his site is quite enlightening. Plus I love the general aesthetic with the wood background and big white tiles, it really sets the site off.

3) FRESH01 – This was another blog that randomly linked to me that I lurked to. It’s run by a fellow named Cobus who’s programmed an absolutely beautiful experience. What’s really brilliant about his blog is when you scroll down the two blue dots change depending upon where you are on the site. If you scroll past a photo post you get the date in the left circle and a polaroid shape in the right circle. It’s something you need to experience for yourself, so definitely check this one if you’re a UX dork.

4) Werd – This site was sent to me by it’s owner Marc and I feel like he’s got a really good vibe going on with Werd. It reminds me of Uncrate a bit and feels very masculine to me with it’s choice of colors, fonts and tone.

Definitely visit all of these folks and let me know what you think in the comments. I’m sure all of these blogs would love to hear positive feedback, so if you’re going to be critical at least do it respectfully.

Bobby

‘Ready. Fire. Aim.’, A New Show by Shawn Wolfe





A long time ago in suburb far, far away I was just a kid who was using his internet connection to discover a world beyond anything he could imagine. This was in the early late, late 90’s early 00’s when I obsessed over sites like K10K, Design is Kinky and Newstoday, but there was one site that really opened my eyes, and that was We Have A Problem. They were, and still are, a Seattle based art gallery, though for some reason my younger self never knew that. All I knew was that they had this great batch of really collective people on their site and I was totally smitten and inspired.

But one artist always stood out to me, a guy named Shawn Wolfe. Back in the day Mr. Wolfe created this random, abstract device called Removerinstaller (see this cover) that I think was meant to represent all the random crap that people buy that they absolutely don’t need. But I honestly hadn’t heard anything about him until last week I got an email from the folks over at Subtext Gallery in San Diego saying they were hosting a show by him called Ready. Fire. Aim. I have to say I was kind of shocked, it was like a weird uncle just showed up on your doorstep after 10 years without talking.

The show opens this Friday, February 26 and from what I can tell features a bunch of hand made signs he’s created which all feature witty, but hand made, slogans. Feels very late 90’s, but hell, more power to him. If you’re in the area be sure to pop by and say hi.

Bobby

‘Neighbourhood’ by The Go Find

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You know how you get a song stuck in your head and then suddenly you have to hear it right away? Yeah that’s why I’m posting this song. I was walking to the bus earlier tonight and I was suddenly humming a tune that I couldn’t quite place. Finally I figured out it was Neighbourhood by The Go Find. The Go Find is headed up by Dieter Sermeus, a Belgian musician with an amazing voice and a lot of talent.

There’s just something about this song that makes me really happy, and especially, something really great about his voice. When he sings the part, “We were hanging out, in the neighbourhood…” it just chills me out. It’s kind of got this electronic kind of element to it, plus you have the synths behind his voice just adding to the effect, it’s totally perfect.

If you enjoy this song be sure to check out Everybody Knows It’s Gonna Happen Only Not Tonight on Morr Music where the song was taken from. It’s a great and extremely overlooked album from last year.

Bobby

Bursts of Color in Public















It kind of felt like the blog needed more color today, so I think I’ve found the perfect solution to this. I was browsing over on design work life, one of my newest favorite blogs which is run by Courtney Doloff who runs a design studio in New York called Seamless Creative. Courtney posted about two separate projects, one was called Chalk Walk by Katie Sokoler and the other was a new gallery show called Crystals & Lasers by MWM in Paris.

I thought they were both so extremely beautiful and I loved that they both had some sort of place in public. Technically most of MWM’s work was inside the gallery, but he did one huge mural on the outside wall which people can soak in. All the colors and facets to his huge mural are so amazing and make me want to paint my own giant mural. As for Ms. Sokoler’s Chalk Walk I just think it’s a cute idea, sort of like cheap interactive art. I’m sure people smiled as they got closer to these colorful footsteps.

Neither of these projects are completely groundbreaking but they certainly make me happy, and that’s the important part to me.

Bobby

I Want To Build A Table By Hand

Here’s the thing, I feel like I have very few… real world skills. By this I mean that I’m not really an expert at anything that matters if say, the internet was forever gone. I don’t know how to plant crops, I can’t change my own oil (even though I don’t have a car) and I don’t know how to build a table. And build a table is exactly what I want to do.

Currently I’m using an IKEA Vika Amon tabletop with crap Vika Amon table legs. Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually been a pretty great desk. I’ve had it now for about 5 years now and there are signs of wearing, but other then that it’s still stable and working. But it’s also not big enough, and well, it’s just particle board.

I really want a nice table, something that’s larger so I can spread my crap around, and made of real wood so that, you know, I can hand it down to my kids one day. My question for you is, do you know anyone who can teach me how to make a table? They’d need to here in Los Angeles and I’d be looking to work on the weekends to make it. I’m totally serious about this, I even think it would make for a great series of posts. So if you or anyone you know wants to help me out leave me a comment or shoot me an email.

Update: I appreciate that you all have faith in me that I could do this on my own, but the thing is that I live in a tiny apartment. I have nowhere to build so I was hoping to borrow someones studio space or workshop. If I had any room I would attempt it, but it ain’t gonna happen.

Bobby

‘Eat Breakfast’ by Always With Honor

I was browsing around my Flickr earlier tonight and I came across this older image from the amazing duo of Always With Honor, who I’m still smitten with. It was done for the project Advice To Sink Slowly which I posted about a bit ago. I just thought it was too fun to pass up and I’m not sure it got much recognition. Great images and a true title, I just wish I could get a print of this for my kitchen!

Bobby

‘The Spades’ New Bag’ by Amy Larocca

There was a great article published last week about Andy and Kate Spade called The Spades’ New Bag which was about their rise and… well, continuing rise to success. I never really knew about the history of this talented couple, so it was great to hear their story. As some of you know, Kate Spade started her name brand, hi-end women’s bag line back in 1993 and was an instant hit. In 1998 Andy Spade started Jack Spade, the men’s bag line that is still a huge hit with men wanting cool bags. But over the years they sold a percentage of the companies to Neiman Marcus, who then bought the companies from them and then sold them both to Liz Claiborne. Phew.

Nowadays though Kate is just a mom, raising their daughter Bea, while Andy runs Partners & Spade, the brains behind J.Crew’s beautiful Liquor Store. I’m just amazed by their sheer talent and the fact that more than anything they’re just doing things that make them happy. This is my favorite part of the piece:

A decade later, of course, it’s hard to see any of this as unique; Spade’s aesthetic has been knocked off all over the map, but Soho, circa 1999, was in the throes of the clunky heels, the color black, and the addition of spandex in places it really had no right to be.

And in the end there is something especially accessible—and enduring—about the Spade brand: It is friendly, and it is almost goofy, and, most important, it offers a way of being fashionable without looking absurd. Twenty years from now, you’re not going to look at pictures of yourself in a button-down and cords and wonder what you were thinking. And it manages to be preppy without the whiff of the restricted country club: It takes much more delight in the world than that. “It’s the world of Dobie Gillis,” says Andy’s friend Glenn O’Brien. “It’s just a more casual and user-friendly experience.” It’s preppy, yes, but it is definitely not Republican.

To read the entire article click here.

Bobby

‘Sea Legs’ A Collaborative Journey of Jolby & Ashley Forrette





My friends Jolby, a duo made up of Colby Nichols and Josh Kenyon, have teamed up with photographer Ashley Forrette for an art show called Sea Legs. The show is a combination of both of their work, with Ashley’s photos providing the backdrop while the boys do their illustrative thing. The combination of the two is pretty beautiful, as you can see above.

The show will be at the Together Gallery in Portland and it opens Thursday, February 25. If you happen to be in Portland be sure to stop by and say hi for me!

Bobby

#musicmonday

Phew, can’t believe it’s already Monday afternoon already! Time certainly is flying today. I was able to grab a few new records over the weekend which I think are pretty great, so that’s what I’ll be sharing today.

1) The Radio Dept. – Yes, I know I wrote first about The Radio Dept. last week, but I was able to grab a copy of their new album Clinging to a Scheme and I can’t stop listening to it. Like their other albums it’s quite melodic but has that My Bloody Valentine drone to it. You absolutely need to hear the song Heaven on Fire (which will probably be on the next Mixcast).

2) Joanna Newsome – I was really excited for this album, especially after hearing Good Intentions Paving Company. But I have to say that the whole thing just kind of sounds the same so far. And it’s like 30 songs long… 30 songs of the same thing over and over. It’s not exactly a bad thing, I was just hoping for a bit more musical diversity. I shall listen to it more and see if I this opinion changes.

3) Lawrence Arabia – This was such a great find over the weekend. Lawrence Arabia is basically James Milne, a New Zealand based musician who’s like Dr. Dog with a Beatles twist (hear: The Undesirables) to it, make sense? The guy is a genius and will be featured on this week’s Mixcast as well. I highly suggest checking out his newest Chant Darling, that is if you can find it.

As usual feel free to add me on Last.fm by clicking here.

Bobby

How Can We Save Newspapers? Make Them Personal.

In the most recent issue of Monocle there’s a story about the Swiss Post that got me thinking. The first few paragraphs talk about how the Post has teamed up with a start-up called Syntops which “greeted their customers (“Guten Morgen Herr Graf”) and offered an individually tailored mash-up of the day’s stories.” Which led me to this idea: If old school news wants to survive, they need to become personalized.

In my mind there are two big reasons why newspapers are failing. The first is that there’s no reason to pay for your news, not when it’s free online, and the second is that by the time it hits your doorstep it’s already old. But what if your morning paper was custom tailored to just the things you wanted to read, much like the Swiss Post is doing?

For example, when I got to The New York Times website (I don’t read the actual paper) I tend to browse the front page, then head over to the arts section, browse technology, hit up Fashion and Style and end with T Magazine. Sometimes I might even check Food & Dining and Science if I’m bored. But, I don’t own stocks, so I don’t visit the Business section, and I don’t live in New York, so I don’t really care what’s going on there… you get the point.

So imagine a profile page, or something like Google Reader, where you could choose from a list of sections that you’d like to have delivered to you every morning. Take that idea even further and you could create a list of people, places, things that you enjoy that would be pushed to the front of your news. Or on the flip side, you hate hearing about the Octo-mom or Jon and Kate so you exclude them from your news. Perhaps based upon your selections there are articles that are suggested based upon your interests, and even the advertising is sorted to fit your likes.

It could also be interesting if you could add or reduce content to the paper, which in turn would add to or decrease the cost of the paper accordingly. Everyday you could manage the flow of news coming to your doorstep, so while it may be old, it would be exactly what you want to read.

I’ve obviously overlooked the technical limitations of how papers are printed or problems like the newspaper boy delivering the wrong paper to the wrong house, but the idea is far from impossible. This discussion is meant to be about possibilities, not about naysaying, and if print wants to keep going they’re going to need to start innovating.

Bobby