Items tagged with 'design'
So, some Capital Region park or public space might need these: A Dutch company has designed an outdoor seat that looks like a tulip. The Tulpi seat stays folded up like a tulip bloom when not in use, and then folds down to provide a place to sit.
The company that makes the seat says they're durable, ergonomic, and the fold-up design helps keep dirt and rain off the seats. Brochure blurbage:
The Tulpi is a perfect combination of design, ergonomics and sustainability. The tulip shape of the chair immediately creates an atmospheric scenery that will brighten up public spaces. Tulpi's are loved by kids, especially in parks! They love the bright colors and the fact the Tulpi can rotate 360 degrees.
The chair won a recent design award for street furniture.
There's also a tulip-shaped trash can.
photos: Tulpi / Marco Manders
This made us smile: Local designer Curtis Canham has created a book about A-holes.
The negative space in a letter A, of course. (Why? What were you thinking about?)
Canham is currently raising money on Kickstarter to publish the coffee table book. As of this morning, the campaign needs just about $2,500 with 11 days to go. He explains how the book came about in the quick video embedded above. (Pretty sure he was trying to see how many times he could say "a-hole" in that video.)
Here's a sample from the book, which covers the anatomy of a-holes, historic a-holes, and families of a-holes.
There are a handful of interesting things about the Hudson Valley Seed Library. A few of them:
+ It started at the Gardiner Public Library in Gardiner as a "lending" program for seeds -- people could check out seeds, grow the plants, and then return saved seeds.
+ It's dedicated to "growing, harvesting, and celebrating" heirloom varieties of vegetable, herbs, and flowers -- including many varieties with connections to New York.
But the first interesting thing you'll probably notice about the Hudson Valley Seed Library is that it has beautiful seed packets. The company commissions artists to design the seed packets in a range of media -- here's the page that collects all the designs (there are many) -- and the work really make the packets feel special.
Here are a few examples that caught our eye...
JES emailed us recently:
Been noticing the new signs, etc. on the Nano [College] buildings. Do you know what the mythological character is that has been added to those signs?
The character in the
logo seal is the god Hermes from Greek mythology.
And why did SUNY Poly CNSE pick Hermes?
A business acquaintance of mine is looking to redesign some logos for their (2) apartment complexes and I was wondering if anyone from your community might be able to recommend someone they've used that has done good work and is local.
There are a lot of designers out there, and if you know of a local one who could be a good fit for this project, by all means please mention that person (bonus points for why you're recommending that person).
But because there are a lot of design options, it can be hard to sort through them. So, got some advice on what to look for in a good designer or design firm? We'd love to hear about that, too.
The artwork above -- known as "The Poestenkill Lion" -- is now on display at the Rensselaer County Historical Society. It's a sharp turn of fate for artwork -- it was almost firewood a few years back.
From an RCHS press release:
The lion first came to RCHS in 2011, when long-time RCHS supporters Hughes and Eva Gemmill donated this delightful painting. The painting, which dates to c.1840 and is by an unknown artist, is done on four wide boards, thinly painted with milk paint on unfinished wood.
Discovered a number of years ago during the demolition of a summer kitchen in a house in Poestenkill, the lion was almost lost to history. The dismantled wood was slated to be used as firewood. Thankfully, before these four boards were burnt, the Gemmills noticed a bit of color peeking out from underneath layers of plaster and wallpaper. After some careful removal of the plaster and wallpaper, the complete image of the lion appeared.
The Gemmills did find evidence of at least one other animal. RCHS also has in its collection the small fragments of wood that depict another animal, possibly a leopard, which came from the same space. It is possible that there were more animal figures on other boards that did not survive.
Once the Gemmills had the complete painting of the lion, they hung the four boards over their bed, until they decided to donate the painting to RCHS.
RCHS says the lion is probably based on an illustration from a Bible or maybe the work of Edward Hicks. The artist is unknown.
The historical society got a $2,500 grant this year to restore the work, and sent it to O'Connor Art Conservation in the Berkshires for cleaning and repair.
image: Rensselaer County Historical Society
Historical illustration of the day, because Thanksgiving week: "The Wild Turkey," from Zoology of New York, published in 1844. Or: The New-York Fauna: comprising detailed descriptions of all the animals hitherto observed within the state of New York, with brief notices of those occasionally found near its borders, and accompanied by appropriate illustrations.
The book was the work of James Ellsworth De Kay, a medical doctor and zoologist with a somewhat colorful backstory, and artist John William Hill. The author and illustrator produced the work for the New York State Geologic Survey.
image via NYPL
The annual Albany Antique Postcard Show is set for December 6 at the Polish Community Center on Washington Ave Ext in Albany. Blurbage:
Over 1 Million Vintage Postcards on display and for sale at the 4th Annual Antique Postcard show held at the Polish Community Center in Albany New York. Dealers from 5 different states will be set up with cards from all over the world. Collectors will come from all over the east coast to look for every subject imaginable. Small towns from all over New York state, over 100 years old. Free appraisals on location.
The company behind this show is Mary L. Martin Ltd. Postcards, which has an interesting backstory -- one that started in Albany. As the story goes, the eponymous Mary Martin was living in Albany during the 1960s when she got interested in postcards via her husband's stamp collecting hobby. Martin started collecting and trading the cards, and that eventually turned into a job for her and later a family business. (Along the way the Martins moved to Maryland.) Mary Martin died in 2001, and the business is now run by Martin's daughter, also named Mary, who grew up in the family business. It has a 10,000-square-foot warehouse in Maryland and claims the world's largest collection of postcards. [Baltimore Sun] [Baltimore Magazine] [Baltimore Sun x2]
The postcard show at the Polish Community Center is from 9:30 am-3 pm on December 6. Admission is $3.
You know that 1916 brochure touting Albany as the "The Wide Awake City" -- the one that sang the city's praises in verse -- that we mentioned earlier this week? Laura Glazer (of Hello Pretty City fame) downloaded it and had the brochure printed.
A batch of them is for sale about the Fort Orange General Store on Delaware Ave in Albany. They're $10 each.
Mitch sent this along and we thought it was fun: It's an Albany patch -- like, the kind of patch you can sew on things. He explained:
Over the course of the past year or two, I've been on an occasional (but ongoing) search for an embroidered Albany souvenir patch. I came to the conclusion that we somehow live in the only city in the entire country that DOESN'T have one of these that can be purchased with 2 clicks of a mouse or a trip to a store.
I decided to take the task on myself. I'm a designer at a local agency, so it sounded fun anyways.
Mitch is selling them online -- they're $6 each.
We asked him if he had any specific applications in mind for the patch. His reply:
Honestly, the only real application I really had in mind for the patch was to put it on MY jacket. I think that part of the beauty of something like this is that everybody can, if they want to, figure out their own application for it. Like I said though, it's really just something that I couldn't believe didn't already exist, especially considering the local pride that Albany residents have.
Election Day is Tuesday, so it's time to pull the lever for part two of Campaign Yard Sign Election 2014.
The first half of the design election included spleen throbbing induced by questionable typography.
Will the next batch of campaign signs go over better?
Election Day is next Tuesday, and that means campaign yard sign season is at its peak. Front lawns, street medians, parking lots, and many other spots are now filled with the signs -- they're everywhere.
So we thought it'd be fun to get together a few designers again to critique this year's crop of campaign yard signs as design objects. (Alternately, you might view this as test of how much questionable typography it takes to make a designer's spleen start throbbing -- and we now have an answer.)
Because it's a campaign yard sign bumper crop, we've split the signs into two batches. First up: governor, state Senate, and Schenectady Family Court.
Kidd is probably best known for this book covers. He's designed a bunch of them, many for famous authors, while working with Knopf since the 1980s. In fact, you probably have a Chip Kidd-designed book cover on your bookshelves right now. Kidd has also written a few novels, a Batman graphic novel, and multiple books about comics.
The Skidmore event starts with a talk titled "! or ?: Let me be perfectly clear. Or mysterious" at 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 13 in Palamountain Hall's Gannett Auditorium. A Q&A with the audience is scheduled for 8:30 pm. And there will be a book signing at 9 pm. It's free and open to the public.
We are thinking about doing a kitchen renovation. Got the contractor, got a "look" picked out, but kind of clueless about the actual design process. Has anyone had a good experience with a designer, either through one of those kitchen renovation one stop shops, or an independent person?
We're always a little amazed by how talented designers can look at a situation and see solutions/angles/ideas non-designers might miss. And, sure, hiring one will probably be more expensive. But when you think about how much a kitchen gets used -- and how frustrating a design flaw can be over the years -- it can be worth the extra money.
So, got a suggestion for M.? Please share!
It's time we did something about the backyard. But we're not interested in some HGTV thing with all parts sourced from a Big Box DIY store. We're looking for a creative designer/contractor who will design and build a natural backyard space to include replacement of a ratty deck, a rattier wood fence, inclusion of an existing inground pool, two existing happy doggies, and most importantly, an awareness and interest in those gray areas between indoors and out and work it into our passive solar house. Can anyone recommend someone who will think outside The Box and help us realize our ideas? Cuz we're clueless.
Even on a small project there can be a big difference between what the typical person can scratch out on the back of an envelope and what a professional designer can put together. And a landscape designer might be able to lend some helpful expertise on the sort of plants and other features that will make the new backyard easier to maintain over the long run.
So, got a suggestion for Chuck? Please share!
This past Thursday was the 231st birthday of Martin Van Buren -- eighth President of the United States, the first president to be born US citizen, and the most famous native of Kinderhook, New York.
Because it was MVB's birthday this week, and it's Friday -- and, you know, just because -- here's a collection of portraits in honor of his 231st. (OK, some of them aren't technically portrait, but they're interesting to look at.)
The postcards are from a Boston Public Library collection. All the postcards are thought to have been printed between 1930-1945.
Some of the cards depict places that no longer exist, though many of the Albany spots have endured, if not necessarily with the same purpose. But even the cards that show buildings that still stand probably present a version of that place that never truly existed -- the backgrounds de-cluttered, the landscaping manicured, the scenes mostly devoid of people. It's the past as it was idealized by someone then.
Wish you were here...
We enjoyed flipping through this project Aaron sent along today: re:albany -- in which he basically re-imagines empty buildings around the city via Photoshop.
The image above is a good example. It's his imagining of what the long-empty Larkin building on Lark Street could be. As explains on the site:
Remember the Larkin? It used to be a great Lark street spot between Eldas and Crisan. ... I like the use of garage doors in bars/restaurants. If it's nice out, you're open to the outdoors. When it's cold, keep it closed and its still a good look. Wood siding on the upper half to balance out the industrial beams of the lower half. Hopefully it doesn't look too much like a wild west saloon.
Sometimes the here-let-me-redesign-that-for-you approach doesn't necessarily play well. But in Aaron's case, it seems to be coming from a good place. As he explained via email:
I believe in small cities. I think they are the key of getting the best of both worlds (character, food, and places as amazing as your closest big city, BUT without all the stress that comes with living there.) So, I wish nothing more than downtown Albany to be a destination, full of shops, restaurants, lofts, and bustling foot traffic. Something similar to what it was back in the day when breweries ruled and packed trolleys ran down the hill. However, the best I can do is give a suggestion and maybe some inspiration to someone who can do something.
His Tumblr has just a few re-imagines so far -- but it sounds like he has more in the works. We hope he keeps at it. (And we hear he's taking suggestions...)
By the way: You might know Aaron from Barons in the Attic.
We happened upon this collection of old postcards -- including cards from the Capital Region -- from the Boston Public Library not once, but twice this week. And after the second time, we figured we pretty much had to do something with them.
All the postcards are thought to be printed between 1930-1945. Some of the cards depict places that no longer exist. And even the cards that show places still standing probably present a version of that place that never truly existed -- the backgrounds de-cluttered, the landscaping manicured, the scenes mostly devoid of people. It's the past as it was idealized by someone then.
The collection includes postcards from different spots around the area. So we decided it'd be fun to periodically pull a handful from a spot, map the locations depicted, and match them with the current streetview.
First up: Troy.
On an otherwise ordinary day, Elliot discovers something extraordinary: the power of mindfulness. When he asks his neighbor Carmen for a snack, he's at first disappointed when she hands him an apple--he wanted candy! But when encouraged to carefully and attentively look, feel, smell, taste, and even listen to the apple, Elliot discovers that this apple is not ordinary at all.
Lushly and humorously illustrated, No Ordinary Apple makes a traditional technique for training mindfulness a fun and enjoyable way for children to learn to slow down and appreciate even the simplest things.
"Lush" and "humorous" are good words to describe Phil's style -- his work is often colorful and witty. You've no doubt seen his work -- he's designed a bunch of book covers, as well a version of the Twitter bird.
Earlier on AOA: The book on Phil Pascuzzo
This could be worth a stop: Swissted, in which Troy native -- and now NYC-based -- graphic designer Mike Joyce mashes up punk rock and Swiss modernism, will open at the Arts Center of the Capital Region on Saturday (April 13). From the blurbage:
Drawing from his love of punk rock and Swiss modernism, two movements that have almost nothing to do with one another, Mike has redesigned vintage punk,hardcore, new wave, goth, grunge, and indie rock show flyers into International Typographic Style posters. Every single one of the shows represented actually happened.
Joyce's Stereotype Design studio has worked with a bunch of music clients, including Iggy Pop, Katy Perry, The Stooges, The Strokes, Maroon 5, Natalie Merchant, The Lemonheads, Morphine, Heart, and Aretha Franklin.
The Swissted exhibit will be up at the Arts Center April 13-21. On April 18, Joyce will be there for a reception and book signing from 6:30-8:30 pm.
Yep, the Arts Center advertises on AOA.
Opening this Saturday (February 9) at the Albany Institute of History and Art: The Legacy of Currier & Ives, an exhibit that includes 64 prints from the famous 19th century printing and publishing firm. Blurbage:
The exhibition, organized around five themes of Identity, Progress, Home, Success, and Artist, introduces the visitor to the firm of Currier & Ives and illustrates, through interpretive and educational materials, how their imagery became ingrained in the national consciousness. During the seventy-two years that Currier & Ives operated (1834-1907) the firm produced more than 8,000 lithographs. Their colorful prints, which hung in homes and public buildings across America, gave testimony to the events and ideas that shaped national history, its progress, and art. Currier and Ives worked with several prominent artists like Eastman Johnson, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, and George Henry Durrie, whose designs are represented in the exhibition along with others.
The story behind the firm Currier and Ives is interesting -- it specialized in identifying images that would be popular and then producing them inexpensively. We bet Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives would have been all over the web if they were operating today (CurrierIvesFeed?).
The Albany Institute exhibit runs through June 15. It could make a pretty good double bill with the also-currently-open Making of the Hudson River School exhibit.
The Albany Institute advertises on AOA.
image: "Awful Conflagration of the Steam Boat Lexington," from the Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts
The touring show highlights "higher thinking in graphic design, excellence in print production" -- and not surprisingly given the sponsor -- "appropriate paper choice." The exhibit has already made a handful stops around the country, and after Cohoes it's headed for Europe.
The exhibit will be on display from 6-9 pm. It's free.
image: Neal Whittington / Present & Correct / Mohawk Fine Papers
Opening this week at Sage's Opalka Gallery: "Milton Glaser: In Search of the Miraculous: One Thing Leads to Another" -- a collection of recent work by the famous designer. There's a reception for the exhibit this Friday (November 2), from 5-9 pm.
On November 14, there will be a screening of a documentary about Glaser, To Inform and Delight. The doc's director, Wendy Keys, will also be there. The screening is at 6 pm -- it's $5.
The Opalka Gallery is on the Sage Albany campus, at New Scotland Ave/Woodlawn Ave/S Lake Ave. It's open Monday-Friday 10 am-8 pm, and Sunday noon-4 pm.
Observation: the results of our campaign yard sign design primary matched up surprisingly well with what actually happened in last week's primaries.
Here's the breakdown...
Yesterday we started our political yard sign design primary with a look at signs for Albany County DA, and a few local state Senate races. Today, we move onto a handful of local Assembly races. And there a lot of signs. So let's get to it.
As in part one, we got a trio of accomplished local designers to critique signs. Here are the results...
The primary elections for state and local offices is this Thursday. And that means lawns, medians, parking lots, and other spots all over the Capital Region are currently adorned with political signs. So. Many. Political signs.
You can't help not seeing them. They're everywhere. So we thought it'd be fun to look at the signs a little differently, a little more fundamentally -- as design objects. And we got a trio of accomplished local designers to critique the design of signs from a handful of local races.
Because of the vast herds of signs this year, we've broken the design primary up into two days.
Today: design primary results from races for Albany County DA, State Senate 43rd, and State Senate 44th...
The state's tourism arm introduced a new advertising campaign today that plays off the iconic I (heart) NY design. It replaces the heart with other images that are supposed to represent fun things from around the state: pizza, the track in Saratoga, Finger Lakes wine, and so on.
One of the TV spots for the campaign is embedded above. The ads will be shown around the state, as well as in markets such as Hartford, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Montreal.
The Cuomo admin press release says the tourism arm will also be collecting submissions from the public for the logo, which will then be displayed online.
About the original logo...
The logo has been appropriated/re-mixed/ripped off almost everywhere. A few years back the state hired an anti-counterfeiting firm to crackdown on unlicensed uses. [I Love NY]
Check it out: one of local designer Andrew Gregory's t-shirts is for sale at the Gap.
Rock On was originally designed for a community challenge - Threadless Loves Minimalism II. Most of my tee designs are fairly simple and I thought that the design was a great fit for the challenge. While it didn't win that challenge, I knew it was a strong design and had even considered printing it myself. Two months after I submitted the design, I received an email from Threadless stating that my tee was under consideration for inclusion in the Threadless + Gap line. A few months later, I got the word that Rock On had made the final cut. Needless to say, I was relieved, thrilled and humbled by the news.
He's giving one of the shirts away on his lunchboxbrain Facebook page.
This caught our eye this week: there's an effort in Chattanooga, Tennessee to develop a signature typeface for the city. The effort is organize enough that it's produced a video explaining how the typeface could help the city market itself, and there's a Kickstarter project aiming to fund it.
This got us thinking about what an Albany typeface might look like. It'd be an interesting challenge -- finding a way to acknowledge the city's long history, but also working in the fact that city's most prominent architecture (the ESP) is more modern.
Or maybe even more fun: a collection of Capital Region typefaces -- for Albany, Troy, Saratoga, and Schenectady -- that could be used on signage and other related materials. It'd help reinforce the idea that each of those places is different, with their own unique feel.
Noted designer Michael Bierut will be giving a talk at St. Rose September 30. Opening a few days before that at the school's Esther Massry Gallery: "Michael Bierut 30 Years 90 Notebooks." From the blurbage:
In this exhibition of work stretching over three decades, Bierut has recorded his work and thoughts in a series of identical notebooks dating back to 1982. Today there are more than 90 such notebooks. The exhibit presents a selection of completed pieces that are juxtaposed with an assortment of Bierut's notebooks. Viewers can make connections between original, very rough sketches and finished work and gain insight into the design process as a result.
Bierut is a partner at the famed design firm Pentagram. He's worked with a long list of well-known clients (example: The Atlantic redesign, the New York Times building sign, the Saks shopping bag.). He co-founded Design Observer. And In 2006 he received the AIGA Medal, the highest award in the design field.
Embedded after the jump is video of Bierut talking about his notebooks.
photo: Christian Witkin
Troy-based illustrator Owen Sherwood emailed this week to let us know that he has a Troy design entered in the "Threadless Loves Your City" t-shirt contest. As his blurb reads on his entry at the Threadless site:
Troy, NY is not only my Hometown but the long time home and final resting place of Mr. Samuel Wilson... Also know as the one and only Uncle Sam! Like that famous historical figure, us Trojans we love our fish-fry, vibrant art scene and tiny hot dogs. We ride bikes and think we're hipper than Bushwick. We may be small but we're tough. With Uncle Sam for our role model, we are strong yet sensitive, thoughtful yet gnarly and most importantly, welcoming to all newbies. Join the Trojan Army! Vote For the best little city in New York! Vote for TROY!!! CAN YOU DIG IT!!! (Did I sound like Breaveheart, I was going for Braveheart)
And, as he said to us in the email: "Help me put Troy on the map... Or at least on a shirt!" Voting ends next Wednesday (August 24).
We came across this photo today while getting Carl's piece about the Livingston Ave Bridge together. It's a locomotive from the old New York Central railroad -- the railroad organized by Erastus Corning (the great grandfather of the longtime mayor of Albany).
The engines were designed by Henry Dreyfuss, one of the celebrity industrial designers of the 1930s and 40s. Among Dreyfuss' many notable designs is the classic "Lucy" telephone.
This streamlined engine design (the "Hudson") went into service in 1938 after being manufactured in New York Central's huge West Albany yard (the engine under the hood was produced by Alco in Schenectady). The stylish locomotives powered the famous 20th Century Limited line.
If/when New York ever gets high-speed rail, we kind of hope the engines look this.
The Graphic Design: Get the Message exhibit at the Albany Institute of History and Art is definitely worth a visit for design nerds, it will also be interesting to anyone who's a critical consumer of media -- or just curious about the images we see every day.
Stay a little while and you'll see it's also about world history, innovation, how far we've come as a country, and how we absorb information...
Here's something to look at. It's a video for the Phantogram song "Make a Fist" by greater Capital Region locals The Ravacon Collective. It's like something from a turbulent dream. We like it. (Though we're glad to be experiencing it awake).
Ravacon created a dozen different visuals for Phantogram to play during their national tour this year. You can see how the visuals were used from this concert clip shot at a show in Louisville back in September.
There's one more after the jump, video for the Phantogram song "Running from the Cops."
There's an interesting interview with local designer Phil Pascuzzo at design:related about his work on the now ubiquitous Twitter logo and his ongoing relationship with the company. A snip:
[Twitter co-founder] Biz [Stone] had sent over the bird mark that he designed, which Twitter was using at the time. I think he said something to the effect of "can you redesign this logo and add some Phil-style." Being a Twitter newbie, I did some research and asked friends that used this communication tool so that I had a better idea of what the product was. Giving the mark more life and vibrance really made sense at this point. Like most projects, I began by doodling in my lined notebook and quickly came up with something I liked. From there I worked in Illustrator to execute the mark in a polished way.
There's a lot more in the interview, which also includes some great design eye candy.
The site for Phil's studio -- Pepco -- has a bunch of examples of his work, including many of the book covers he's designed.
And check it out: Phil's also the drummer for Scientific Maps.
Despite (or, perhaps, because of) pushing pixels all day, we're total suckers for great paper products -- stationery, cards, tags, whatever.
It's not as expansive as Etsy (what is?), but it made from some happy browsing.
photo: M-square Press postcard
RPI cut the ribbon on EMPAC today. And you know what? It's pretty cool. There's nothing else like it in the Capital Region. Heck, there's probably nothing else like it in the world right now. You should definitely check it out.
A lot of people have already written about all the crazy artistic and technological potential at this place, so we'll leave that to them. We did take a tour today, though.
Here are a bunch of pics...