May 24, 2011
There is a genius to graphic designer Michael Bierut‘s latest essay over on Design Observer. He shares what he learned while watching HBO’s Talking Funny – an hour long documentary about comedy. And while the lessons are aimed at graphic designers, they are pertinent to anyone doing creative work.
The show’s premise is simple. Take four comedians at the top of their game - Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Louis C.K. – and ask them to talk about their craft. What I loved is that Bierut learned anything at all. Most of us would have watched it and been entertained, maybe found a bit of fodder for the next dinner party or a quip to offer up in the office the following day. But Bierut managed to watch it through a design filter and by the end of the hour had seven design lessons. The last sentence of his essay says it all, “… look for lessons wherever you can find them.”
So what are the seven lessons? I wouldn’t dream of paraphrasing the man! You can read the original post here.
January 22, 2010
This is the first in our new Friday round-up of top sites. How do we define a top site? It’s a website, blog, online magazine that has caught our attention through images, strong writing, wit, humor or just plain great design. I’m sure you’ll have more to add but let’s start with five and see where we end up.
1. “I’m blogging” | David Airey He’s a graphic designer who creates visual identities for big corporations and little one-person start ups. He’s also smart and funny and his blog is a must-read for anyone trying to understand this weird online world we regularly find ourselves in. Look out for our interview with David next week. Best place to start: Check out his post on design agencies and studios who use Twitter well (and those who don’t).
2. Core 77 I know this wont come as a surprise to most of you. This online design mag has been around since 1995. Under the keen eye of editor-in-chief Allan Chochinov it just keeps getting better. Best place to start: The news sections are excellent but don’t overlook the photo galleries. Funnily enough I didn’t make it to Dutch Design Week last October but Core 77 did and they’ve got the pics to prove it.
3. Modern Tom Andersen and Gina Federico blog from their own modern home in Westchester, New York. While the design of the blog is a little rough around the edges, their obsession with all things modern plus a strong sense of style makes this a fun read. Best place to start: Check out the woodpile studio Piet Hein Eek designed for musician Hans Liberg.
4. Discovering Design OK, full disclaimer – this addition is slightly self-serving in that it is part of Herman Miller’s website. But I’ve seen the stats and I don’t think enough people know about this cool design source. Best place to start: Choose a product or designer and just click. I like George Nelson’s audio files – especially him talking about the origins of the wood slat bench.
5. Design Observer After you’ve looked at lots of pretty pictures it is time to get down to some smart writing and this is the place to be. The site was founded in October 2003 by Michael Bierut, William Drenttel, Jessica Helfand and Rick Poynor with design and technology by Ruby Studio. It’s one of the few places you can still read essays online. Best place to start: An excellent piece by ex-I.D. editor-in-chief Julie Lasky about the demise of that beloved design magazine.