I have been flying a rather insane amount over the last few weeks. I complain about a lot of things when I’m traveling: the food, babies, people that insist on stuffing overhead luggage when it will NOT fit, etc. The one thing I have never considered is the boarding pass. Tyler Thompson has written an excellent article on why the boarding pass is indeed worthy of scrutiny. Take one look at the old Delta pass above and you’ll see why. As he states, “It was like someone put on a blindfold, drank a fifth of whiskey, spun around 100 times, got kicked in the face by a mule (the person who designed this definitely has a mule living with them inside their house) and then just started puking numbers and letters onto the boarding pass at random”.
Tyler has done Delta a big favor and redesigned their boarding pass, the design of which you see above. I think it’s obvious that aesthetically, these are much more pleasing to the eye. I would want to hold onto these after my flight was over just because they look awesome. Now of course, the design of a boarding pass has to be more than just beautiful. There are a number of criteria and limitations in place that might prevent your boarding pass from becoming a little piece of art. Worth mentioning in this regard is Timoni Grone’s response to Tylers inital designs. She runs through a meticulous process to come up with a redesign of her own, taking into account all the necessary “practicalities and priorities”.
The cool thing about his project is how he opened it up to others to submit reworkings and suggestions, a few of which he’s posted as you scroll down his page. He’s provided the Illustrator file for download and tweaking. Make sure to head over there and submit yours if you’ve got something brewing. And feel free to sound off if you too feel like the boarding pass design is indeed a fail.
I must say my favorite part of any boarding pass is the little scribbles the security guards make when you pass the initial check at the metal detectors. They do it with such purpose and apparent deliberation, that I think the scribbles must mean something. I always wonder what would happen if I augment their scribbles with scribbles of my own (or scribble before they do). Would I get sent to Homeland Security? Maybe two scribbles on your boarding pass = terrorist. Anyway. I feel safe knowing we have such a complicated system in place.
I could write a similar article about the terrible design of movie tickets, which I feel have slid drastically in the past few years. Since when is a movie ticket printed on receipt paper worth saving? I used to love hoarding all of my movie ticket stubs — now, calling it a “stub” would be an absurd misrepresentation. I call my movie tickets trash.
I only post one image by itself when I think it’s worth it. This one, advertising the Hvass&Hannibal show at the Kemistry Gallery, is such an image. I like the layout, sure, but the main reason I found this so captivating is the color combinations. Each little circle has a different (and often bizarre but terrific) color combination. Each could easily jump off this poster and onto whatever project you happen to be working on (assuming the word “fun” might describe your client…) Pink and green? Why not. Lime and red? Let’s do this. My favorite is 6th row down, 4th across. Reminds me of a Deth P Sun type palette.
Now I’m inclined to think that H&H had everything to do with the design of this poster, but I cannot find the credit information anywhere. It looks like something they would drum up, but if not, let me know and I’ll be sure to link out. If you’re in London, be sure to check out the exhibit! Here is the invitation.
Yes! League! When I look over my ffffound over the last few weeks, there has been one dominant style I’ve been gravitating towards for its beauty and sophistication. This work by League sums it up perfectly. It’s often imageless, utilizes type in some unusual way, is bold and graphic, and has some crazy asymmetrical balance at work that makes me want to practice graphic design forever and quit it immediately…simultaneously.
I love layouts with many scattered elements, all necessary and unable to be removed, but you’re not sure exactly why. For example, those tiny thick black lines on the CFP AA poster above — wee bits like this are amazing to me.
And by the way their home page might be my favorite single page on the web right now.
via Dirty Mouse
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday last week (or weekend if you’re abroad)! I just got back from DC tonight after a nice long break and was greeted by this excellent work by Hey Studio. Their entire portfolio is filled with incredible work, but I was especially attracted to this piece for the Observatori del Treball. I love information graphics more than most things in the world and these illustrative forms reminded me of some really beautiful graphs I’ve seen in the past. Of course they aren’t providing any “info” here, but they look so good I don’t mind at all.
Check out the rest of their portfolio here. (The Playboy poster, third one down, made me smile…). Via Changethethought.
I’m always a sucker for letterpress. You could almost use any design and I’ll love it if it’s on the right paper and embossed like this. Perky Bros., aka Jefferson Perky, is producing some beautiful work out of his studio in Nashville, TN. You can check out the rest of his portfolio here.
I forgot when I heard this, but this girl with a letterpress was explaining how in the old days it was actually frowned upon to de-boss the paper. The more skilled the letterpress operator, the lighter the impression the type would make when it printed to the paper. She went on to explain how in recent times artists have begun to purposefully de-boss the paper when printing as an effect. It’s always interesting to see how people take equipment that’s been painstakingly designed to produce a certain effect and turn it on it’s head to do something new and creative. It sort of reminds me of a lot of recording techniques where you’re taking something designed to produce the most pristine possible sound and abusing the process to create effects and distortions.
Via Graphic ExchanGE
Absolutely beautiful work from Beijing-based JOYN:VISCOM Workshop. Loving the die-cuts and texture, would love a notebook that looked like this.
Via the excellent Graphic Exchange
Older poster series by Darren Firth. I’ve always been a fan of Darren’s web work and recently came upon the project above while searching around for innovative ways to shoot pictures of printed work. I thought this was a cool idea; playful and interesting without being distracting. Of course the poster design is what I really like. I’ve never been able to pull off this kind of mega overlapping layout, and I always appreciate it when it’s done well like this. Hopefully going to see some new projects soon! Keep an eye out at Darren’s portfolio.
Follow up reading: AisleOne interview with Darren.
The University of Brighton has a nifty website up displaying the work of their Spring 2009 design and illustration graduates. I’ve placed some of my favorite pieces above, but there is a lot of impressive work to be seen. I think it’s great that the school puts this together for the graduates. While each student seems to be very web-capable (at least in terms establishing an online presence), this kind of collective resource allows each student to benefit from the aggregate buzz of the project. This institution-sponsored online portfolio presentation is something I think we will be seeing more and more of (in conjunction with, or probably as a replacement for, the onsite end-of-semester shows).
The work above is by the following designers, in this order: Kirsty Hole, Richard Carey, Edd Harrington, Kyle Bean. Those old school phones remind me of some of the work by Dan Mcpharlin.
via The Strange Attractor