Netflix teases upcoming documentary series, ‘Abstract: The Art of Design’

Abstract: Art of Design

At this point there’s a documentary about nearly every topic. And now, thanks to Netflix, design is continuing to become more mainstream. Sure, we have Gary Hustwit’s documentary trilogy of Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized. Outside of Helvetica though, they mostly played to those particular audiences.

Abstract: The Art of Design, will be a documentary series that focuses on a wide variety of creatives (think Chef’s Table but for design) which Netflix describes as showcasing “their creative process, explore their work, and discover how their innovative designs have profoundly affected our every day lives.” Featured in the series is Paula Scher, Christoph Niemann, Platon, Tinker Hatfield, Ralph Giles, Bjarke Ingels, Ilse Crawford, Es Devlin.

It’s a pretty phenomenal line-up, but I find it interesting that there are some folks like Bjarke Ingels who I’d classify as an architect, not a designer. Same with Christoph Niemann, phenomenally talented but I’d certainly put him more int he camp of illustrator. Either way, it’s great to see creatives in our line of work being highlighted in this way. Hopefully the show is a hit and we get several seasons to enjoy.

The series starts streaming February 10.

January 23, 2017 / By

How to have the most #000000 Christmas

How to have the most #000000 Christmas

#000000. Most designers are familiar with this hexadecimal code and understand it represents the color black. Black is timeless, it’s chic, it’s mysterious. A color that, when worn, works for any occasion, pairs well with any other color (yes, even blue, don’t believe the myth), and gives anyone wearing it a sleek, sophisticated look. Black products tend to look futuristic (Apple is particularly good at this) as well as seeming to be more precious and luxurious.

No matter the application, black will never go out of style. Please enjoy this list of products that explores the range and versatility of #000000.


Fellow Stagg Pour Over Kettle

Calling The Kettle #000000

Stagg Pour Over Kettle by Fellow – $79


Claire Vivier -  Asphalt Flat Clutch

For The #000000 Eyed Girl

Asphalt/Black Flat Clutch by Clare V. – $215


Blu Dot Toro Modern Lounge Chair

The #000000 Throne

Toro Modern Lounge Chair by Blu Dot – $1299


Études Etoile Black Accent Sweatshirt

The #000000 Letter

Etoile Accent Sweatshirt by Études – $138


Garrett Leight Milwood Sunglasses

Framed in #000000-ness

Milwood Sunglasses by Garrett Leight Optical Company – $315


Ghostly International Coffee Mug & Canister

I Drink My Coffee #000000

Canister and Mug Bundle by Ghostly International – $70


Goodbye Doormat by Parra

#000000 Omen

Goodbye Doormat by Parra – $54


Makr Black Speckletone Notebook

Little #000000 Book

Speckletone Notebook by Makr – $28


Karl-Johan Table Lamp by New Works & Signe Hytte

Turn On The #000000 Light

Karl-Johan Table Lamp by New Works & Signe Hytte – $265


Shinola & Zippo Matte Black Lighter

For The Man in #000000

Zippo Lighter by Shinola – $50


B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

A Sound Most #000000

A2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker by Bang & Olufson – $399


ADIDAS Tubular Viral W sneakers

A Walk in the #000000 Forest

Tubular Viral W Sneaker by ADIDAS – $103

December 12, 2016 / By

Get ready for 2017 with these minimally designed calendars

2017 Minimal Design Calendars - The Fox Is Black

2017 is nearly upon us (honestly, it can’t come soon enough) and now it’s time to start thinking of the year ahead. Planning is essential to your business and a trusty calendar hanging on the wall (or sitting on your desk) ensures your projects are organized and completed on time. Business aside, it’s critical to have that persistent reminder that your anniversary is just around the corner and worse, you still need to buy your mother a birthday present.

The 2017 calendars below are minimal in a way that won’t distract from your important work yet will serve to dress up your space with a bit of style. You’ll agree, these calendars are all you’ll need.


Best Made Co. Japanese 2017 Daily Calendar

For The Japanophile Minimalist

Japanese Daily Calendar by Best Made Company – $38


Knoed Minimalist 2017 Wall Calendar

For The Minimal Design Goth

Minimalist Wall Calendar by Knoed – $30


Octagon Design Timeless 2017 Block Calendar

For The Daily OCD Minimalist

Timeless Block Calendar by Octagon – $37.65


Muji Bagasse Paper 2017 Calendar

For The Eco & Budget Conscious Minimalist

Bagasse Paper Calendar by MUJI – $8


Snug Studio Toyblocks 2017 Calendar

For The Abstract Minimalist

Toyblocks Wall Calendar by Snug Studio – $21


Stendig 2017 Calendar - Designed by Massimo Vignelli

For The Traditional Minimalist

Stendig Calendar by Massimo Vignelli – $49


Sunlight 2017 Calendar

For The Colorful Minimalist

Sunlight Calendar by All The Way To Paris – $52


Cubes Perpetual Calendar

For The Cubist Minimalist

Cubes Perpetual Calendar by MoMA


Bubble Wrap 2017 Calendar

For The Stressed Minimalist

Bubble Wrap Calendar – $27

December 8, 2016 / By

Welcome to BOY CLUB Magazine

I started Kitsune Noir, what we know call The Fox Is Black, back in 2007 not knowing the path it would set me down. At the time, blogging was still sort of unknown. A few people were doing, some of them making a living off of it, yet there’s was still a wildness to it. Cut to now when anyone can create a digital presence with ease, be it Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. I think this is great btw, it’s easy to create a self-expression that fits you, the true you, despite the trappings of your physical situation.

That physicality though, and the constraints associated, are kind of awesome. We as designers do our best work when presented with limitations, they’re guard rails which focus and hone our ideas. So last November my partner Kyle Fitzpatrick and I started down a path to write and design a magazine called BOY CLUB, and as of today, we’re ready to show it to the world.

BOY CLUB Magazine - Cover Detail

BUY ONLINE HERE

We consider BOY CLUB a magazine for people who like men. It leans toward the world of gay men, telling stories and highlighting situations that we find interesting, but we created this for people of all genders and sexualities. We intended this to be irreverent and slightly off-kilter, elements that feel completely missing in a world of minimal, Kinfolk-ian inspired publications.

While Kyle handled all of the editorial and writing for the entire magazine (he’s the Editor In Chief) I had the joy (and slight bit of horror) of designing the book, as well as photographing 95% of it. As a lot of you know, I’m a web designer by trade. My current creative director role at Disney has me overseeing the design of sites, apps, creating for social media, video branding, etc. Designing a magazine is something I’ve never done and it ended up being such a great challenge.

You can read Kyle’s thoughts on the development of the issue over on his site.

BOY CLUB Magazine - Cover DetailBOY CLUB Magazine - Interior

BUY ONLINE HERE

To start, I knew in my gut that it needed to be colorful. Culturally gays are an expressive and vibrant group of people, I mean, look at Pride, the movie The Birdcage—hell, we have a rainbow pride flag! There’s nothing about us that isn’t a bit eccentric and over the top and I wanted to own every bit of that.

From a type perspective I chose a face called Noyh, which was created by Chatnarong Jingsuphatada, a Thai designer who’s based in Bangkok. The typeface comes in a regular, slim and rounded version, 72 fonts total, so there was a lot of flexibility for me to play with. I loved that it’s a quirky, odd little font. Again, my goal was to create something with a unique character, that would be stand apart at the newsstand.

BOY CLUB Magazine - Interior

BUY ONLINE HERE

When I think of the layout of BOY CLUB, I remember changing everything about 100 times. Slightly hyperbolic but you get the idea: it’s never perfect right away. The first issue is 88 pages, so you can imagine the challenge of bringing cohesion page after page, ultimately telling a story from a single point of view. I love using big, full-width images to capture nuance or emotion with food or people. The hardest part to design was the recipe section which were also the pages I started with. Illustrating a step-by-step process is like dancing to a song you don’t know.

BOY CLUB Magazine - Interior

BUY ONLINE HERE

The last big hurdle we faced was printing the magazine. Lots of challenges here were around price and quality. We obviously wanted this to be of the highest quality but we received quotes for 300 copies at around $9,000. No, thank you. Ultimately we printed the book offset on a thick matte paper with a nice glossy cover. Were we excited by the printed result? I would say I’m 95% happy with the final product, which isn’t too shabby for never having printed anything like this in my life. Plus the ink on the paper smells so damn good. Overall I think we’re 100% happy and 1000% proud of what we’ve accomplished. This is only the beginning, though. We’re already running with the production of the next issue and have concepts for the next 3 issues (and beyond), which will be published quarterly.

In order to continue, we’re looking for sponsors and advertisers to be involved. We self-financed the first issue because we truly believe in what we’ve created. Additional help from the design/art/creative community would be amazing. Collaborations in the future would be super fun as well. If you’re interested definitely email me at thefoxisblack@gmail.com.

Below is a list of links where you can purchase the first issue as well as follow us along on our journey, which we’ll be updating as stockists pop up.

• BUY ONLINE HERE
• Skylight Books, Los Feliz, Los Angeles
• & Pens, Los Angeles
• ReForm School, Silver Lake, Los Angeles
• Coming Soon: Needles & Pens, San Francisco
• Coming soon: BQDSD, NYC
• Coming soon: Shorthand, Highland Park, Los Angeles

March 28, 2016 / By

A nerve-racking photo series by Aaron Tilley and Kyle Bean

How do you illustrate the feeling of anticipation? Perhaps sweaty palms or a perspiring brow? That’s not exactly the most… appealing, of imagery. Aaron Tilley and Kyle Bean though have come up with a refined, almost elegant way of portraying this haunting emotion for a recent issue of Kinfolk. They’ve put together a series of common objects and placed them in high-stress vignettes. You know what’s going to happen in each, the inevitability strikes you instantly.

You can see more images from the shoot and read the article by visiting Kinfolk here.

In Anxious Anticipation by Kyle Bean and Aaron Tilley

In Anxious Anticipation by Kyle Bean and Aaron Tilley

March 8, 2016 / By

This Old Website

I wouldn’t say I’m the type of person who watches a lot of TV though I feel like I am. When I get home from work my partner Kyle and I tend to put on one of a hand full of shows. We love Black-ish or Jessica Jones, some Adventure Time or Absolutely Fabulous. Afterwards we gravitate toward the type of show where someone talented needs to make something. Top Chef, Project Runway, The Mind of a Chef, A Chef’s Life… these are the kinds of shows we tend to get sucked into.

Enter our most recent fascination, the classic PBS television show This Old House. First airing back in 1979, it was one of, if not THE, original home improvement show, focusing on renovating older houses back to a pristine (albeit slightly updated) condition. Bob Vila used to host the show but lord knows what that guys up to these days.

Watching the show is interesting to me as a designer, particularly as a designer who works primarily digitally, because it raises a lot of conflicting feelings in myself. The work these guys do is precise, measured with lasers and chalk lines. At the same time it feels very loose. Mortar is effortlessly slashed across the top of a brick, roof shingles are nailed down in seemingly random places, a massive trench is dug with giant machine by a rather sloppy looking man named “Lenny.”

When I compare these renovations to my world of designing apps and websites and shareables and GIFs, my “craft” is more like applying wax to a Pysanky egg. But that’s not even it. It’s precise, it’s calculating, but I can Command + Z my way out of any mistakes. That and there’s nothing visceral about the work, nothing fulfilling about that custom Pinterest image, or sense of glee after you’ve applied that filter to the photo of the quiche you’re about to eat.

What I’m trying to get to is that it’s impressive to watch anyone who’s skills allow them to create something with a “permanence” in life, permanence meaning the thing made could at least last a few lifetimes. Your UI will be a fad, your UX will seem retro, and your IA will seem archaic. But that old house? It’s still going to be there.

Now to get back to that magazine I’m digitally designing…

February 10, 2016 / By

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