Well it’s about time. Communication Arts has finally released every issue, 400 in total, of their magazine in digital format. This is every issue dating all the way back to 1959 now available for download. They aren’t free. They are going for $9.99, but if you are looking for solid research materials and don’t want to have hundreds of hard copies lining your shelves, this is a good way to go. When I got the email about this, this morning I was hoping they might be offering a bundle deal. Something where you could get every issue for a fixed price, or buy a decade at a time for a fixed price, but apparently not. This means if you want them all it won’t be cheap. You’ll be spending $3996.00 for every issue from the current one all the way back to August of 1959. If you run a design library, or if you have a firm that can afford it this would be a valuable research tool for past styles, trends, advertising and communication history, and a barometer reading of the sociopolitical landscape from a design communications perspective.
When I got the email about this, this morning I was hoping they might be offering a bundle deal. Something where you could get every issue for a fixed price, or buy a decade at a time for a fixed price, but apparently not. This means if you want them all it won’t be cheap. You’ll be spending $3996.00 for every issue from the current one all the way back to August of 1959. If you run a design library, or if you have a firm that can afford it this would be a valuable research tool for past styles, trends, advertising and communication history, and a barometer reading of the sociopolitical landscape from a design communications perspective.
If you don’t want to drop any cash on these, you can still look through all the covers going back to 1959, and get a really nice overview of how design styles have changed over the last 58 years.
This morning while poking around on Behance I came across a really nice piece of design work for an air purifier system by junku jung. The TAC system is a minimalist cube with stackable filters that are placed on top of the unit in order to control the quality of air purification based on the environmental conditions. The unit is designed with 7 filters each taking care of a specific type of air pollutant. Pet allergies, Pollen, Dust, Oil/Mist, Smog, New House particulates, and Coal.
The minimalist white box allows each color coded filter to be stacked in a specific order to achieve the best results, and allow anyone familiar with the system to see what is being filtered with a quick glance. The unit looks to be a prototype, and there is very little technical information on how it works, how many filters can be used in conjunction with each other before the effectiveness is minimized, potential pricing or any other info.
As a proof of concept, this is a great idea. Clean discreet design with a few bands of color at the top. It also appears to be a well thought out system allowing for the unit to expand and adapt based on the location, changes in air quality and an individual’s needs. I love the look. It reminds me of Stadler Form’s Oskar humidifier which I proudly display in my house all winter long.
When I first watched this video on Vimeo, I was drawn in by the fantastic cinematography, and the atmosphere that is created in Alan Williams studio. The visuals hooked me but as his story, and discussion about process unfolded, I knew I was here for the full 8-minute duration. After watching it with the sound on, I muted the audio and watched it again, full screen and really looked at the way this was shot, edited, and composed. Ben Cox does a really nice job of framing his shots and using shallow depth of field to focus the viewer on specific elements within the frame. Lighting and color grading come together to really help enhance the story and create a mood that captures Alan Williams personality and the artwork he creates. This short has such a solid look, and great story hooks as well, it’s definitely going in the visual reference library for inspiration at a later date.
Do you know a video nerd in need of some new studio / edit bay / office decor? If so, this is the perfect lamp for them. Inspired by analog TV test cards, Hungarian designer Simon Forgacs has created the “Mono Lamp”, a table lamp that captures the essence of TV for a those of us who grew up with analog CRT’s. The lamps come in two variations, color, and grayscale, with the latter looking a bit like the Death Star from Star wars. Both are constructed from a plastic globe that is suspended above an ash wood base on an aluminum pole. Each is just under 12 inches in diameter with a height of 14 inches. You can pick one up on Forgacs Indigogo site, but if you live outside of Europe you’re going to need an adapter for the Type C plugin.
Do you feel that the fine feathered friends building nests in your yard’s trees need something a little nicer? Maybe a nice two bedroom Eichler inspired house, or something a little bit more Frank Lloyd Wright? Well Sourgrassbuilt is here to help you make sure that all the birds in your yard have a modern dwelling to call home. Designed and built by Douglas Barnhard for his company, Sourgrassbuilt, in Santa Cruz California these mid-century modern homes are pretty amazing. The birdhouses are handcrafted from valuable leftover wood and laminates that come from other furniture projects that Barnhard creates for Sourgrassbuilt. One of the really nice touches is the fact that many of the houses have small living garden space to help attract birds as well. Barnhard’sEtsy site says he is still taking orders through December 11 for Christmas delivery, so if you want be Santa to the birds this year, you better hurry.
About a year ago Google launched a new line of video shorts for YouTube called Google Spotlight Stories, a specific immersive video platform with mobile users in mind. The video below can be panned through as the action takes place, but where this really shines is when you watch the video on an Android or iOS device in the native YouTube app.
Rain or Shine directed by Felix Massie is the latest in the series of shorts and is really quite impressive beyond the technology. The story and character development are superb drawing the viewer in and engaging with them as the explore the environment as the story plays out. The story is simple yet clever. The main character, Ella puts on a pair of magical sunglasses and travels through her London neighborhood creating chaos before learning how to use the glasses for good.
This really is a better experience on your phone, so if you have a chance watch it and the other Google Spotlight Stories there.
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Over the last year I have noticed an emerging visual trend that has started popping up in all sorts of videos, and will probably make it’s way to the rest of the creative world. It is a black and white, lo-fi, grainy, not quite 8-bit look. It reminds me of 1980’s video camera footage that has been mashed up with a sort of hand-drawn style. I say sort of, because like in the video below it is obviously digital. The lines and shapes have a hand-drawn quality to them, but they are to clean. Like the art brushes that come with Adobe illustrator. Then there is the background texture, in this case paper, but in a number of other videos I’ve seen it’s is fine digital noise. Fake signal noise that has been added to the clip to give it a dirty analog look. I’m curious how long it’ll be before this makes it’s way to mainstream advertising, at which point we can add it to the “jumped the shark” list like so many other trends of late. (sketchbook, stop motion, hyper color, 8-bit graphics and sound…)
By the way, this is quite hypnotic. Consider yourself warned.