Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

nov
29
2004

red state, blue state

Ever since the election, there have been a ton of stories in the media about “red states vs. blue states,” with regard to the results of the most recent presidential election and what the pundits and critics believe those results …

nov
12
2004

heard: criminal design

From a coworker, on designers who commit egregious faux pas that deserve prosecution: “They should be taken to the design Hague.”

oct
29
2004

worst. costumes. ever.

TheStranger.com features “2004's Scariest Halloween Costumes.”

oct
20
2004

color code

On a random design note, I really like the way the folks at roanoke.com have set up their left navigation bar. There are clear topic headers (with links related to the Roanoke Times, news content, classifieds, etc.), with clear sub-links …

sep
01
2004

mmm … colors

Does whatever a spider can” apparently also includes color critiques.

aug
21
2004

exploration

I’ve been considering a new hobby of late: letterpress, the art of printing type by hand using a press and block letters (like a mini-Gutenberg). The result more tangible than electronic work, and I think the hands-on nature of it …

jul
19
2004

walking back

This month also marks an important anniversary. Twenty-five years ago, Sony introduced the Walkman music player. (Knight Ridder/Tribune News: “July 1979: Walkman spawned a revolution” - 07/16/04) Twenty-five years ago this month, America tuned out. A midnight-blue-and-silver brick with astonishing …

type geekery

I’m a lightweight type geek. I like to impress (or annoy) friends and relatives by pointing out typefaces I recognize on signs, menus, commercials and the like. (I do the same with movie scores that have been repurposed for other …

template

Blogger recently rolled out some fab new CSS/XHTML-based weblog templates, created with the help of Web usability group Adaptive Path. Jeffrey Zeldman and the folks at HappyCog contributed a few designs. Some of them are really spiffy. I wish Movable …

jul
06
2004

money talks

Phillip Su, a developer who worked on Microsoft’s Money product (1999 and 2001 releases), posted an interesting retrospective on Money’s history and the various company priorities that came into play during its product development. The most fascinating detail: Early on, …

jun
29
2004

ikea-like

I got an e-mail this morning announcing the launch of CB2, apparently the new “young, urban hipster” offering from Crate and Barrel. While there’s only one “live” store so far — in Chicago, so I’ll have to add it to …

jun
23
2004

design your ideal workspace

A poster to Slashdot yesterday posed a great question: How would you design an ideal office environment for, in this case, 40-45 employees of various disciplines? The responses thus far have been fascinating. In many replies, there was a definite …

jun
17
2004

user-centric newspaper design

Editor and Publisher today reports on the unique approach the Columbia Missourian took to its Sunday newspaper redesign. (“‘Missourian’ Opens Redesign to the Public” - 06/17/04) Instead of designing and “focus-grouping” the new design almost entirely in-house, the team behind …

jun
15
2004

computers get interesting

Computer makers have finally, in the past couple years, begun to follow Apple’s example of offering more aesthetically appealing computer hardware designs, to the point where now, according to a story in Business Week, the old “beige box” may be …

jun
14
2004

foxnews.com redesign

Poynter’s Jim Romenesko pointed out this morning that FoxNews.com launched a site redesign today. According to a story in today’s Wall Street Journal, the site was designed in-house, and with a strong interest in attracting high-profile advertisers. (“Fox News Redesigns …

jun
07
2004

dunny hop

First came the bulls and bears. Then came the donkeys and elephants. And the pandas. Now come the dunnys. The Visionaire Gallery in SoHo, NYC, is hosting “The Dunny Show,” an exhibition of unusual takes on a series of bunny-like …

aesthetic piracy

Bopping about the Web, I occasionally notice instances of design theft, as people repurpose graphics, page elements and — at its most egregious — entire site designs. There was a rather public example of the latter reported on in the …

jun
04
2004

title sequence

Following on yesterday’s post, this month’s issue of Wired has a story about Kyle Cooper, known for creating inventive movie title sequences. (“The Dark Genius of Kyle Cooper” - June 2004) Cooper, 41, specializes in crafting title sequences - the …

jun
03
2004

cover story

The Onion A.V. Club has a great interview this week with book designer Chip Kidd, whose credits include (among tons of other things) the cover to Jurassic Park (which was also used for the movie poster and within the film …

apr
25
2004

personal pantone color

Pantone has a “colorstrology” Birthday Color feature. Look up your birthdate and see “your” color. Mine, apparently, is “Slate Rose,” and my personality traits are “dynamic,” “dramatic” and “clever.” Its description of me: You have a convincing and dramatic nature. …

apr
11
2004

writing about design

I read plenty of weblogs about a variety of topics — personal commentary and reflection, popular culture, technology, web design — but until a few weeks ago, I’d been unable to find a blog with substantive discussion about design, in …

feb
19
2004

pass the remote

The New York Times has a fascinating article today about the design process that went into the TiVo remote control. (“Now Preening on the Coffee Table: The TiVo Remote Control” - 02/19/04) When Paul Newby, TiVo’s director of consumer design, …

feb
17
2004

rest in peace, webmonkey

Wired reported today that Webmonkey is shuttering its virtual doors. (“Webmonkey, RIP: 1996 2004” - 02/17/04) With its combination of quirky humor and plainspoken explanations, the tutorial site has been a fantastic reference for web developers for the past six …