Good Design

Dock It.

One thing that has always baffled me about my iPhone is the why it comes with a wall charger but no dock. Actually I know why it is. It’s all about the money, and by not giving you a dock they ask you to buy one for 40 bucks. The thing is, when I am shelling out the kind of money Apple want’s for a phone, the least they could do is toss in a dock. I hate the wall plug with the power cord snaking out of the wall across my counter or desk.

Thankfully though, if you want a dock you don’t have to give your money to Apple or whoever made your smartphone. You can instead opt for Native Union’s which costs about the same and frankly looks better, especially when it is bundled with their belt cable. I also like the fact that this design gives your phone additional support so the weight of your phone isn’t placed exclusively on the lightning connector and the port on your phone. (I’m pretty sure this is what eventually caused my old phone to stop charging and the port to eventually fail)

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Cuoiela is Gonna Save My Backside.

The older I get, the less crap I like to carry with me. This means my wallet is supposed to be getting thinner, and more compact. Unfortunately it isn’t, it’s actually gotten a bit thicker which means I can’t keep it in my back pocket when I’m driving or sitting. The thickness makes my butt and lower back hurt. Yes I’m serious. So what’s a guy to do? Look for a new wallet that limits the amount of crap you can carry with you.

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Cuoiela is a project I found on Kickstarter from Virginia based Nolla Design. This wallet has roo for 2 to 8 cards plus some cash. The design is thin, compact and flexible. It is a cure for the bulky oversized, overstuffed wallets so many people carry with them today. Cuoiela is a completely smooth wallet with no over stitching, that holds your possessions discretely. The Cuoiela wallet is made from high quality Italian leather and elastic fabric band, and has a nice simple look to it. Once again, form and function joined seamlessly to produce a well designed useful object.

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During my design research, I found that many card wallets are simply about function but if you think about it, a wallet is something that we carry around every day and show off to the world. Thus, I was motivated to design the Cuoiela, the wallet that is not only slim and convenient, but also feels stylish and precious to the owner.

cuoiela from nolladesign on Vimeo.

WTHR, Inspired by Dieter Rams and Braun.

WTHR, you can get it here.

If you are an iPhone user that is crazy about clean design, beautiful simple user interfaces, and clean graphics this app is for you. If you are into design, love Dieter Rams designed pieces for Braun, this app is for you. If you are looking for a simpler wether application for your iPhone, this app is for you. It won’t show you storm track Doppler radar, but it will give you current conditions in a quick easy read.

Designed by David Elgena, this app just got purchased and moved to my iPhone’s home screen.

Good Design is a Tough Job.

As a professional designer, I often hear from people things like “Design is a soft skill”, or “All you do is draw pictures, your job isn’t hard”. Trying to explain the complexity of what I do, and the difficulty that surrounds many aspects of design can be challenging at times.Anyone in the design business, knows exactly what I am talking about.

“Good Design is a Tough Job”, by Kirsten Dietz and Jochen Rädeker is a mix of manifesto and portfolio examples, built in 20 separate theses. Each thesis begins with the statement “Good design” followed with a statement like “…honest”, “…hard”, “…can change the world”, “…kills advertising”. The statements can be a bit heavy, but are fully explained on the pages that follow along with examples of work that reinforce the opening comment.

The book features 20 golden rules for agency success, that Dietz, and Rädeker from their personal experience at the award winning agency Strichpunkt. The 400-page book offers food for thought culled from the first 15-years of the agency.

Ray Power “Air” for LFZ.

I have always been fascinated with bent wood furniture. The idea that you can take a substance like Plywood and form it into an organic sinuous shape is wonderful.Today while browsing a ton of websites looking for replacement bed-side lamps I came across Air from LFZ.

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Ray Power has designed the Air lamps for LFZ which are made from a substrate called Polywood. The lamps have a natural and contemporary feel to them that is easy to love. Appropriately named Air, the lamps have a lightness to them that is expressed through the thinness of the material, and the bent organic form. Air is made using super thin sheets of polywood which the designer has manipulated into this unusual organic silhouette. Air is available as both a wall mounted lamp, and a desk lamp. Both come in a variety of colors, ranging from primary hues, to more neutral earthen tones.

Air was the recipient of the prestigious Red Dot design award, and the Good Design award in 2009. That doesn’t surprise me at all because these look stunning.