My Favorite “Designer as Teacher”: Aaron Draplin Builds A Logo In 10 Minutes

Aaron Draplin Builds A Logo In 15 Minutes

Portland based designer Aaron Draplin is well-known for his straightforward attitude and no-nonsense sense of design. You could even describe him as a “champion” for the design community, a person who has an immense output of quality designs, and by all accounts I’ve heard, one of the nicest and most supportive folks on earth.

Last week he took Lynda.com‘s logo design challenge, creating a really simple, strong mark in less than 10 minutes. He walks you through his process and his reasoning which gives you a fascinating look at how he gets from nothing to something. His confidence and the easy way he demonstrates his work makes you feel like you should go out and make 100 logos on your lunch hour. Love this guy.

The Fox Is Black’s “My Favorite Things” 2014

The Fox Is Black's "My Favorite Things" 2014

Traditionally I’ve never done gift guides, not really my style, and I’m not a fan of “Best Of” lists either, very subjective and overly time restrictive. This year I’ve decided to put together a week of posts highlighting My Favorite Things, ranging from food, to design, to fashion, to experiences. Might you want to purchase some of these things? Sure, but the point is really to highlight the talented folks who’ve inspired me. Hopefully you can feel equally inspired by their output and take that energy into the new year.

Win an Online Figure Drawing Class With Craftsy (Sponsored)

Win an Online Figure Drawing Class With Craftsy (Sponsored)

Enter now for your chance to win the online Craftsy class Figure Anatomy for the Artista limited-time giveaway for The Fox Is Black readers.

Conquer the complexities of figure drawing with the indispensable system of line, shape and form used by Da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo.

With this class, you’ll discover the formula artists have used for centuries to draw the human form with captivating realism. Fine artist Roberto Osti guides you step by step through essential techniques, from realistically replicating the underlying structure of the body, to creating a muscle map with volumetric form and realistic dimension. You’ll also find out how to depict the hands, feet, and skull with striking accuracy, and gain instant access to helpful skeletal and muscular anatomy diagrams. Enjoy lifetime access to 8 HD video lessons that you can watch at your own pace.

One winner will be randomly selected on December 16, 2014 at 11:59pm MST.

Enter now at Craftsy.com.

Miito Reimagines The Electric Kettle Into An Artful Object For Your Kitchen Counter

Miito Reimagines The Electric Kettle

Nils Chuda and Jasmina Grase have taken an interesting way to boil water, induction heating, and applied it to their creation, Miito.

Miito is an innovative product that heats liquids directly in the vessel to be used, hence eliminating the heating of excess water. Simply fill your cup with water, place it onto the induction base and immerse the rod in the liquid. The induction base heats the rod, which then heats the liquid surrounding it. Miito works with non-ferrous vessels of any size, for example a pot of tea when inviting guests. Miito can also heat your soup or milk for a coffee. The clean shape of the rod allows it to be cleaned easily.

Miito Reimagines The Electric Kettle

While not being a new concept the application of inductive heating with the elegant form of Miito is what excites me. There’s nothing more you need for an idea like this. The base and metal stem are elegant forms that achieve the goal of boiling without any other pieces necessary. In my mind it’s almost so elegant that it presents itself as a piece of art for your kitchen counter.

Unfortunately this seems to be only a prototype for now. I know if it were a real product I’d definitely snag one of these.

Miito Reimagines The Electric Kettle

Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year… Marsala?

Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year... Marsala?

Pantone has released their color of the year for 2015, Marsala. Here’s how they describe the color.

Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.

To put it ineloquently… yuck. This reminds me of the late 90’s, mandarin collar button-ups, vineyard themed kitchens. It’s dried blood, it’s wine stains, it’s the color of regret. I’m also not a fan of the name which makes me think of Chicken Marasala. While it’s a delicious dish, it’s quite ugly from an aesthetic standpoint.

Also, what’s going on with the scandalous photo shoot below? This is taken directly from the Pantone site. Does the idea of a ménage à trios help to sell a color?

Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year... Marsala?

Mysterious Camouflage Self-Portraits by Lucia Fainzilber

Mysterious, Camouflage Self-Portraits by Lucia Fainzilber

Camouflage has always been intriguing to me. It was created as a natural defense mechanism though these days it’s more widely seen as a trendy fashions statement. Photography Lucia Fainzilber sees it in yet another light, a means to create a dialogue through art.

Fainzilber has always had a keen interest in fashion, and dressed flamboyantly even as a child. Now the artist, who also works as a fashion photographer, uses her images to show the ways we use fashion to convey identity, and the way fabrics can simultaneously cover us and express who we are. Fainzilber recognizes that sometimes clothing completely hides our identity, and many of her portraits communicate this feeling, as her own identity is entirely concealed, and further obscured by the world around her.

Mysterious, Camouflage Self-Portraits by Lucia Fainzilber

You can read more about her work on Artsy.

Draw Better Portraits With a Free Class From Craftsy (Sponsored)

Draw Better Portraits With a Free Class From Craftsy (Sponsored)

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Warm Your Hearth and Home Digitally with Yule Log 2.0

Warm Your Hearth and Home Digitally with Yule Log 2.0

Yule Log is a website composed of a collection of short films created by illustrators, animators, directors, and creative coders, that wants to bring back the age old X-mas tradition. The site’s creator, Daniel Savage, did a version last year as well which was equally great. I’d rather put one of these fine pieces of art on my TV rather than watch A Christmas Carol on repeat for 24 hours.

Below are a few of my favorites.