Monday, August 31, 2009


Yet another compare and contrast post. This time featuring the different styling and photography adopted for different Vogue magazine covers, to suit the different international markets and their definition of what's hot in their respective countries. Who better a chameleon than Missy Kate Moss. (i-D and TAR covers were thrown in the mix, for fun)

+ For more comparisons, check out The Simpsons spoof


"Display typeface constructed from a personal tie collection. A large amount of the collection was acquired from my dad, the rest bought at flea markets, thrift stores with a few brand new purchases sprinkled throughout. I hope to soon extend this project to add alternates, numbers and ligatures as the collection grows."

+ Also, Oscar Nunez 'fills in the cat and a pack of dogs'!


The Good Design Awards Expo held in Tokyo feature more than 2,000 items ranging from consumer electronics, automobiles and furniture to office equipment, building designs and consumer goods like this Freshness indicator for meat pack labels. Designed by To-Genkyo, the hourglass shaped label contains special ink that changes color based on the amount of ammonia emitted by the meat (the older the meat, the more ammonia it releases). Functioning like an hourglass, the bottom half of the label “fills up” as the meat ages. Consumers can judge the product’s freshness at a glance. When the meat is no longer suitable for sale, the ink blocks the barcode at the bottom so that it cannot be scanned at the cash register. Brilliant!

Of course, here in the US, giant supermarket chains might never implement this 'for the consumer' label, because most of the labels would never scan anyway. Oh for the love of bovine.

+ To really get your message across, try the Ninja Shuriken!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Here again is another Lego story. This time thousands of people have answered UK's Top Gear presenter James May's call for help building a new house entirely out of Lego bricks - which the TV star has vowed to live in when it is completed.
A total of 1,200 volunteers were granted free tickets to the Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey where the two-storey building is being constructed. The life-size house uses over three million bricks and features a staircase, toilet and shower.

For more pics and an update on the house { here }
More Lego fun is of course available on The Dirtyblog { 1 } { 2 }
Don't forget to check my Amazon Store for Lego Architecture series featuring Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water and even Sears Tower. Wish List!! Read about my visit to the Barnsdall House


As the fires rage on in the foothills of La Canada here in Los Angeles, we retreat once again into our A/C cooled environments of our homes, chalking up huge summer rated electric bills. I just can't help but feel, baked, when the sun goes down every day this past week. Here's my ode to Wayne White.

Funny how out of all the heat and destruction we are given a spectacular gift every evening. (Yeah right it's the pollution!)

+ See clever typography by Jung Von Matt used for these Ikea ads. Don't worry, it's not Verdana!


This looks interesting. A vertical bike rack that looks good and is perhaps, unobtrusive. Looking like a plastic flower pot designed by Phillippe Starck, the Cycloc Bicycle Storage is made of 100% post industrial plastic and retails for $135 from Zwello or my Amazon Store. According to the site, it "mounts your favorite vehicle to an interior wall space. The sound construction fits a wide range of bike frames. Additional storage located within the cup-shaped storage unit."

Remember to mount your rack on a stud! I have purchased and installed quite a number of bike racks available out there and quite frankly many of them cannot withstand the weight of a mountain bike or the constant 'on/off' action which causes the rack to shift (just STEER CLEAR of the tension pole variety - bike racks must and should be mounted on the wall or ceiling).

As for Cycloc, I have not tried it but am interested. If it's made of the same sturdy and tough plastic that bed-risers are made of, it might just, if I may, hold up. Measures Dia 9.8" D 11.8"

+ Bike sharing in Denver Colorado, see if it'll work in B-Cycle.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


That's right. It's the Alternative Rugby Commentary actually. Humorous promos and typography from NZ. Good on yer, mate!

Written and Directed by Jed Thian and Fraser Davidson
Animated & Produced by Fraser Davidson

(Seriously, I haven't a clue, well kinda, what this site is all about. I guess it's just commentary that's more raw. Rawr!)

+ Don't miss out on Tokyo based, WOW.
+ or visit the bizarre world of French illustrator


What a great way to introduce kids to the alphabet and typography. This book is a gem, I wouldn't mind having it on my reference shelf as well. Created by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss, clever shapes and forms of animals are assembled with different typefaces, in the alphabet their names begin with. (Perhaps inspired by WordWorld, which I like)

Some of you might actually be wishing they identified the typefaces ie. their names, too. Remember it's for the kids not you. You can purchase this book from my Amazon Store for $13.59. (click here for more images)

+ Check out the logos of the candidate cities vying to host the 2016 Olympics

YU vs IF

No, you're not seeing double and no, it wasn't created by the same design group.
Here are 2 beautiful film titles, dramatic and well choreographed that somehow evoke illustrated story books I use to read as a kid. Both use the paint splotch on canvas effectively but the former, representing bloody battles and the latter, calligraphy.
Just thought I'd showcase this very graphic novel approach to 2 very different films, for comparison and contrast. Maybe they both hired the same freelancer? (click images for movie)

• 300 (2006, created by yu+co)

• The Mummy : Tomb of The Dragon Emperor (2008, created by Imaginary Forces)

+ Look back and compare the titles of the Alien : Quadrilogy.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I don't know what it is but I have this thing for small pod-like human dwellings. Maybe it's because of the sight of the futuristic flats featured in Janet Jackson's Doesn't Really Matter or even Bruce Willis' cigarette spewing residence in The Fifth Element. Maybe it's because I had a most interesting experience staying at The Pod Hotel in NYC (they have a very sexy shower in the rooms). I loved my room and the hotel. It's right across the street from the Singapore Consulate and a couple of blocks from the MOMA. If you're not concerned about space but desire clean and chic amenities at an affordable price (NYC standards) then I recommend a check-in. They have great deals direct from the website.

Pod residences are here to stay.

The Piercy Conner Microflat is a small, efficiently designed, high quality, compact dwelling that is around two thirds the size of a conventional inner-city (London) one bedroom flat. "Efficient use of space means that Microflats can provide more homes for more people within the same space. The purpose-built, pre-fabricated utility pod for the shower room and kitchen helps save on construction costs. The compromise is dwelling density; but with this comes developments that support local amenities, shops and facilities. Grouping young professionals and key workers together will provide pockets of self-sustaining Microflat communities, breathing life back into the city."

Sounds good to me. Now step up NY and LA.

+ For a more luxurious experience in tight spaces, you might try the Hotel Ilyushin


Designed by Polish architects moomoo architects, the house looks incredibly graphic with its clean geometric lines and matte smooth texture. Based on traditional Polish dwellings (hmm really?), the house will be clad entirely in a plastic insulating material called Thermopian normally used for roofing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Five Minutes a Day for Fresh-Baked Bread
By Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François. This article and recipe makes good common sense. You make an extra moist dough, refrigerate, cut off what you need, shape and bake. That easy? You might want to find alternatives to purchasing equipment they recommend. So not that easy unless you already have a baking stone, pizza peel and a broiler tray.

+ How about some KFC a.k.a. Korean Fried Chicken?


Today, I received an email from the creator of the Lemonade movie (see previous post), Erik Proulx. In it he tells a wonderful story about hope and coincidence. Perhaps things are looking up... please read on

"You may remember Kurtis Glade, the creative-director-turned-documentary-film-maker from the trailer. As a reminder, he was the one who "lost his job and is finally doing something that [he] thinks matters." What you don't learn from the trailer is that his daughter has Cystic Fibrosis, and that the documentary he's making is about professional surfers who hold surf camps to help kids with CF. Of course, like me, Kurtis is not earning any money to create this documentary. All he wants to do is share an amazing story and raise awareness for the disease. So to pay the bills, Kurtis has to freelance anywhere and everywhere that will have him. He's going to where the work is, as am I.

Fast forward to last Friday, when a creative director from Razorfish (an interactive advertising agency in Seattle) called me about a week-long freelance project. They wanted me to start right away, so I booked a flight and showed up bright and early on Monday morning. I walk in the meeting to get briefed, and who is sitting there? You guessed it...Kurtis Glade. Razorfish contacted two writers. One was me, the other was Kurtis.

Now, you might be thinking that they found us both from the trailer. Because, honestly, that's what I thought. But when I asked the creative director if that's how he paired us, he said no. He hadn't even seen the trailer yet. We were just two writers that he wanted to work on the project.

So Kurtis and I met through Lemonade several months ago. And now we meet again through advertising. One small world, two chance meetings. These weird little karmic things have been happening since we started filming Lemonade. My re-run in with Kurtis is just the latest. And I'm certainly not going to question them."

Good luck Erik and hurry on up with the release of your movie!


San Francisco based artist Chris Dorosz drops paint onto acrylic rods creating scenes of human life. He's also created a replica of his parents' living room. Check out the video of this installation and a preview of more of his work here. Amazing!

Chris describes his work.
"Out of material discovery I began to regard the primacy of the paint drop, a form that takes shape not from a brush or any human-made implement or gesture, but purely from its own viscosity and the air it falls through, as analogous to the building blocks that make up the human body (DNA) or even its mimetic representation (the pixel). With this in mind I’ve been working towards creating a narrative of materials as the groundwork to explore changing ideas of human physicality in an age pushing towards virtual reality."

+ Get more inspired by 39 Visions

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


RVCA. Sydney based design studio Like Minded Studio collaborated with designer DMOTE to create these typographical excursions for the RVCA clothing label in Los Angeles. Some were used as part of their popular T-shirt collection. (above : detail from illustration for LoDown mag)

Nicely done Like Minded!
Ted or Alive. This appears to be an editorial spread for Texas Monthly. Impressive.

Creative Director Luca Ionescu has worked alongside major brands like Zoo York, MTV America, Nike, Etnies, Reebok, VH1 and Stussy to name a few. Check out their dazzling array of work on their website. (I was pretty blown away!).

+ Perfect your Handwriting, all over again!


UK's Sneaky Sound System recently held a contest for budding animators and designers to create a music video for their hit single, It's Not My Problem. The winning creation came from Maik Hempel, an animator from Melbourne and fan of the band.

Although, my pick would have been Luke Gibbs' entry, showcasing some original typography and 'low tech' animation. Brilliant!

BTW Sneaky Sound System is available here


At $4 a box, these trendy looking Help Remedies might help ease the pain when reaching for them, if not for their cures but for their delightful packaging made of molded paper pulp and a bio plastic made primarily of corn. "We use these materials because they are interesting to look at, and they are compostable—which means one day, they might become part of a large tree. Maybe you can cut down that tree and make it into a speedboat."

16 pills in a box make them great for traveling or by the bedside. Available for purchase online @ Help Remedies (cool site BTW), my Amazon Store or at stores like the Food Emporium, Malin+Goetz, Famima and even on Virgin America flights. Feel better?

For a closer examination of its contents { HERE }


The Shuriken has captured the witty imagination of Taiwanese designer, Weilang Lee, and it’s been reconceptualized as the Ninja Shuriken Magnet . In Edo times, delivering secret marks was an important mission for Ninja. This less deadly version is still an important means of getting one's attention (I doubt throwing it is that good of an idea though). Ninja note says: "Oi! Remember to pick up some milk, 2% preferably." The Ninja Shuriken Magnet will deliver the message with the unusual combination of gravity and humor, for $19 available at Epaulet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I doubt if copywriters would even dream of coming up with a headline like that today, even if it's for an Eames thingy.
(Then again, it would be more attractive then say, 'Ménage a Tues'? Sorry I just couldn't help it.)
Still, a well designed brochure/ad from yesteryear announcing the latest in audio technology. The full ad can also be found here.


Learn how to write again with this post on Flickr by Millie Motts.

Monday, August 24, 2009


The View From There
, was created by Japanese team WOW.
"The various ideas that flow from moving through this stimulating and distinct environment influence the unique designs of Japanese cars."

{ more info }

Factory and Fantasy. WOWLAB participated in the OCCUR2009 event organized by Sendai Creative Cluster Consortium, with this stunning installation. The work was exhibited at Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai, Japan in March 2009. Architects, visual image composers, musicians and scientists came together to produce a visual experience, inviting visitors to interact with fantastical silhouettes, bouncing giant balls and bursting bubbles, projected on a room-filled canvas. (This technology can be witnessed and experienced in many new large installations such as the Samsung center at the Time Warner building in NYC too.)

iTunes Visualizers. Being the experimental arm of the WOW team, WOWLAB have also created 11 beautiful quartz composed, iTunes Visualizers, available for download. I have not installed any of them yet.

MTV Flashback IDs. To round off this mega post about WOW, here's a cool alternative for a station ID or M IDs, probably only available in Japan. Remember: MTV still uses VJs and cool animation as part of their On-Air programming and promotion, outside of the US. Aah the good ole days.
Designers: Takuma Nakaji, Naoki Takano

PS. check out an interesting concept of people living in a crowded city possibly Tokyo, time-sharing spaces and areas of activity, in this whimsical animation called Megahouse


For a limited time, Apple is offering AIGA members a 17% discount on any of their products, third party included.

{ info here }


Kentaro Nagai creates the Chinese Zodiac out of the map of the world. Some of it works. How Rorschach.


Rendezvous from Adam Lee on Vimeo.

Adam Lee interprets Alan Seeger’s Poem, Rendezvous With Death. Vignettes of decaying city blocks nestling large type, provide the appropriate canvas for Seeger's words, spoken by Artie Brennan.


It's here.
Also check out this short making of and interview with Charlize Theron about the shoot.


Leeser Architecture, an internationally recognized design firm, has won an invited competition for a five-star luxury hotel in the Zayed Bay in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Called the Helix Hotel for its staggered floor plates, it rests in the bay, partially floating in the water and adjacent to the serpentine Sheik Zayed Bridge currently under construction by designer Zaha Hadid.

Conceptually, the Helix Hotel participates in a critical dialogue between opulence and urbanness, between the variety of services offered by a small city and the demands of a five-star hotel guest. The floor suggests the curves a winding street would take through a bustling town, and many programmatic elements are open to views from across the central void. Though the void seems to offer unmitigated visibility, there are enclaves for private meetings and guest privacy. It is designed so that one activity feeds into the next rather than affecting sharp separations between each activity. In this way it develops a feeling of being free to whimsically experience all aspects of the hotel without having to decide on an agenda in advance.

{ Read more and see more here }


Fill In The Cat. Pack of Dogs.

I want these. Nice entryway pieces. These were created in 2006. Gosh where have I been? Here's the 'cept:

Three characters disappear from large, solid white blocks, and their absence suddenly makes them important. The resulting emptiness is filled with the user's belongings and through this action the silhouettes' meaning shifts. The pieces suggest a continuous play between interaction and representation, where daily use generates a continuously changing story: a cat that reads Italo Calvino, a book filled with coins, a living room where birds come to eat the cake's crumbles…

Hmm pretty but not practical. Keeping those nooks and crannies dust-free, clean and bright white, will be fun.

{ Oscar's site }


Definitely one of the best music videos I've ever seen. Coldplay's Strawberry Swing directed by Shynola. A true act of brimming brilliance!

Lest we forget...ah the interview with the creators HERE

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Rent a bicycle a.k.a. Bike Share, is finally in the US. Woohoo! The not so good news is that it's only available in Denver, Colorado. This European-style bike sharing system enables residents of Denver to access bicycles conveniently at various stations throughout the city. By replacing short car rides with environment-friendly biking, B-Cycle helps to keep the air clean, our bodies healthy, and spirits high.

Their bikes, made by Trek, are supposed to be low-maintenance and high tech. The company claims a B-cycle “never needs air in the tires or grease on the chain.” They’re also outfitted with electronic gadgetry: “All your rides are tracked by the system. Data such as distance, duration, calories burned, and carbon offset will be captured and uploaded to your personal page at” Denver is the first city in line. They’re getting a 500-bike, 30-40 station B-Cycle system this summer.

{ click here for more }
and vote for B-Cycle to be in your city


Jung von Matt created this clever set of ads for Ikea. We likey!


Once again, the amazing Zaha Hadid has thrilled us with a design for an awe-inspiring Building for People. This time it is for the Chaoyangmen Soho III project, located in the city center of Beijing, China. Surrounded by the Foreign Affairs ministry and buildings of Soho I & II, the design is based on the traditional Chinese courtyard of an inner space within a building. It was conceived as a series of flowing volumes that coalesce, fuse and pull apart in the form of stretched bridges, creating a world of continuous mutual adaptation. (Wow. All that for a building?!)

Oh and here is a glimpse of the happy Chinese celebration for the launch of this project featuring a pair of spirited, interpretive dancers expressing joy, luck...(I love jazz ballet)

+ also, La Estancia Chapel


Art Center graduate, Jonathan Jarvis visualized this credit crisis, in his effort to educate the uninitiated and the perplexed. Lotsa work but a good effort. Thanks Jonathan.


"The chapel was conceived as a box and compressed to form a peaked roof. Different shapes were traced on its lateral facades to form a prism which was then subtracted from the main volume. We covered the four facades with U-profiled glass and spaced each piece 10cm. apart from each other. In the altar façade, a cross was outlined and subtracted from the glass veil creating a window that looks out onto the surrounding garden. Exuberant vegetation permeates through the glass lattice walls thus creating a graceful and rhythmical dialogue between the artificial and natural environment."

Architects : Bunker Arquitectura
Location : La Estancia Gardens, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
Photographs : Megs Inniss & Sebastian Suarez
Full article plus more pix HERE


Miles Davis' gets redux. Kind of Bloop is a somewhat daring experiment of the must-have Davis album. Perhaps. The 8-bit sound album is available for purchase and download for only $5 from HERE. Think old skool Nintendo. Abomination! Kudos to the team at Waxy. (All we need now is a Play Like Miles game using a Wii horn instrument)

Here's a teaser


Yet another Lego entry. I especially like the Anna Wintour and André Leon Talley shots. Bravo!

{ movie here too }

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Just comparing. Enjoy.

One of my favorite excursions in celluloid pleasure from the house of Lynch.

{ Lost Highway titles }

Brian Eno and David Bowie's haunting vocals prepare you for the ride, as Jay Johnson's frenetic titles introduce David Lynch's Lost Highway, starring Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette.

{ Girl on a Motorcycle titles }

Jack Cardiff's zigzag titles for Girl on a Motorcycle in 1968, might have inspired the former discussed above. Alain Delon (of course) and Marianne Faithful (wow!) star.


is a non-profit writing/tutoring center dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.
Recently designer and writer for the LA Times, Amy Martin created a new set of posters for The Federation for the Advancement of Time. The updated retro artwork composed with beautiful typography have a Russo-Political poster flavor, but without the propaganda. The only (positive) information you get is the clever copywriting announcing eco-conscious messages and reminders. The typefaces Turnpike and Featured Item were designed by Stu Sandler at Font Diner. The script face, Vitrina, is from Cubanica. $19.99 a pop, for sale at the 826LA store.

Check out Amy's blog, META FOR EVERYONE for more of her work. We did and we likey.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I absolutely love Eddie. Here are 2 brilliant interpretations of his monologue - Death Star Canteen and Late Night Petrol Station Shopping (Lego style!) Good job to whoever created this. Viral funny!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I discovered this beautiful installation from Damien Hirst on the Paul Stolper Gallery site. As usual Mr. Hirst never fails to please but this time it's a pharmaceuticals is the new religion thingy. The crucifix and white box are exquisite.


Alyssa Monks' beautiful work can be viewed at the National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts' exhibit, Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820–2009, from July 8 - November 15, 2009. (1083 Fifth Avenue @89th New York, NY 10128)

In this small gallery below, you can witness her growth as an artist; how her eye for detail and subtle strokes of genius evolve into works that are almost photographic.

click here for more on Alyssa or the National Academy

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


click above to view the awesome Simpsons' spoof


Love the name, the art and the blog.


Filling her compositions with filigree patterns and textures created from typography and cardboard smooth illustrations, Jessica Hische's creations invite you to take time to appreciate each piece's subtle humor and beauty. Brooklyn based Hische has already been tapped to produce whimsical pieces for periodicals like Boston Globe. Enjoy more of her use of subdued color and letter form on this collaborative site.


Rick Seaney is one of the country's leading experts on airfare, giving interviews and analysis to news organizations, including ABC News, NYT, Reuters, etc. On his site, he's listed a bunch of taboo phrases that should never be uttered as a matter of courtesy or personal safety. Funny yet true, here are my top 5:

  1. "If you put me in first class, I'm sure the urge to hurl will pass."
    You didn't pay for first class, so you're not going to get first class, no matter how many empty seats there are and no matter how many threats you make. Your only chance is if you're an elite member of a miles club. If not, forget it. So quit whining. You're annoying everyone else suffering in steerage.
  2. "I'll hang up when I'm good and ready, lady. Besides, we're still at the gate."
    Will the plane explode if you keep talking on your cell phone? Doesn't matter. If a flight attendant tells you to turn it off, do so. Or continue your conversation with the cops. And, no, the plane will probably not explode but your head might, once the crew starts yelling at you.
  3. "Oh, my goodness, was that your foot?"
    The above comment is invariably made by your window seatmate, clutching a 2-liter bottle of water, during all of their five trips to the restroom. We are talking about a 60-minute flight. For some reason, Lavatory Lizard will not wait for you or the middle seatmate to move out of the way -- just climbs on over and, inevitably, lands on your brand-new loafers. Next time, remind them that, for the price of that economy-sized bottle of water, they could have reserved an aisle seat.
  4. "Uh–oh, have you seen my doggie?"
    Please don't say this. It means you decided to let Sparky out of the carrier, and that's not allowed. Keep him caged, or risk having your pet bounce off the ceiling during turbulence, or get smacked by an errant drink cart. Or maybe an irate passenger will quietly stuff the poor pup in an overhead bin.
  5. "Do you know who I am?"
    This is the one, sure-fire way to turn everyone against you but, unfortunately, the people who use this phrase tend to have the sensitivity of a Simon Cowell. Still, try a snappy comeback: One of my employees swears she heard a passenger use this immortal phrase on a flight attendant, who smiled sweetly and said, "You're right, I don't know who you are. But let's take a look at your ticket, I'm sure we'll find the answer there!"