After watching the Winter Olympics I found this History of Ski Aerial Acrobatics pretty amusing. The whole thing is basically just a bloopers reel of guys eating it off of jumps. Towards the end they start nailing the landings though and the super-8 style film is pure vintage goodness. Check the awesome lens flare at 3:24.
We’ve had the “Random Nostalgia” category on this blog for a while, but I think this is the first time a post has truly fit the bill. I was searching around my hard drive last night and stumbled upon this gem from my past, the photo you see above (sorry for the poor quality, I can’t find the original photo I scanned this from). I’m not quite sure, but this is probably from sometime around mid-1999 in Sacramento. This was the firs time I assembled what I would consider a proper studio, although it was just my bedroom (you can see the futon folded up in the right corner). I think before this I had a Roland MC-303 and SP-202 set up on a dresser in the corner so this was a big step up from that. This was also when I started using a computer to record; I had previously recorded everything into an ASR-X Pro sampler which could handle about 6 minutes of audio. I would then record the outputs of that to Minidiscs (still have a huge box of those I need to sift through).
This was before I really started designing but if you look closely you can catch one of my very early visual influences on the left wall. I rescued that tapestry thing from a dumpster; it depicts a waterfall made of rainbows. Pretty bad I know, but looking back I realize that color scheme and subject matter informed a lot of my earlier work. Not sure what happened to it, must have lost it in a subsequent move. The same goes for the other stuff, the only things I still have around are the computer keyboard, the grey box in the stereo cabinet and the wooden table in the foreground. I gave the keyboard stand to Dusty Brown and I saw it at the show in Sacramento this weekend, nice to know it’s still alive and well with the same Renthal sticker on it. As for the other stuff, it was either sold on eBay or junked (the milk crates that are holding up the desk, for example). Here’s a kit list of what I can make out from the picture:
- ASRX-Pro Sampler / Sound Module. Used this to make Science of Patterns a few years later.
- Roland JP-8000 Synthesizer.
- E-MU Orbit Sound Module (don’t ask why I owned this)
- Yamaha Stereo EQ
- Gemini 4-channel DJ mixer
- Sony MD recorder
Crazy story about the JP-8000, I put it on eBay about a year after this shot was taken. The winner of the auction was from the area so he came out to pick it up. It turned out to be Shaun Lopez, we ended up becoming friends and he still does mixing work on my tracks today (Daydream, Adrift, Disconnect to name a few).
From Square America — the same people who brought us the excellent “IBM Slides: 1975” — comes this set of images depicting what seems to be a Moose Lodge-sponsored neighborhood watch program of some sort. I love hand-set type like that; so perfectly imperfect.
Also love the name, reminds me of this.
In part 2 of the Vintage Ski Ads Series I chose some that focused in on the skis themselves. When I see skis these days they either look like pop culture threw up all over them or they were designed by the same guy who makes the info graphics at the bottom of the ESPN screen. Looking at the examples above it’s plain to see they had a little more appreciation for subtlety and a sense for classic design back in the day. Either that or the printing methods were such that they were limited to simple shapes and colors and the designer in me is just picking up on that.
When I think about it, this could be the case with a lot of older stuff. I think we as designers often appreciate unintended aesthetic elements; things that were a function of necessity or limitation rather than deliberate design decisions. A good example would be vintage audio equipment. I think the Neve Sidecar is one of the most beautiful inanimate objects ever created. But when you really look at it you realize it was designed by engineers; pretty much every design decision was dictated by necessity and function. So I must be reinterpreting that as physical beauty creating a connection between the idea of an object’s functionality and it’s aesthetic beauty. In other words, maybe I only like how it looks because I appreciate how it works (or in this case, sounds). Then again, I have some gear around the studio that I love the sound and functionality of but is just downright ugly to look at.
Anyways, all those Rossi’s are incredible. This whole style needs to make a comeback, but it seems these days people need to be beaten over the head with design instead of left to appreciate its finer points on their own. I’m not saying there’s not a place for busy, crazy graphics on skis — I myself have designed several busy, crazy skis — I just wish there were more like these to choose from. I guess it’s a different industry, no longer do guys in mock turtlenecks with comb-overs get all scientific and wear collared dress shirts while developing new skis in the lab, now it’s just this guy and a Nintendo DS in a dark room.
I got my first couple days of skiing for the season in last week right after some nice snow up at Heavenly. Skiing always reminds me of being really young and going up with my parents, Sacramento is only an hour from the Sierras so we’d get up a few times a year. I loved all the design associated with ski equipment and I found that when I first started out in design I was always trying to emulate that style in my work.
My latest trip got me thinking about vintage ski graphics so I set out to track down some good examples. Most of what I found were from magazine ads, this first set focuses on racing imagery. I’ll be posting some more in the days to come, hope you enjoy this first batch.
So we all download and save images of items, graphics and photos from the internet daily and some of the time you have no idea where to give credit besides maybe the guy that posted it first or second randomly on a blog. I‘d like to get some answers on a few of these but also just post some interesting pieces that we come across that might have been sitting on our drives for awhile that are go to for inspiration or just found randomly on a forum with no info attached and just look great. Either way hopefully the point that gets across here is that they are inspiring in some sort of way to you as well.
For the 3 images up here: the first one I have a feeling is Will Calcutt’s who takes photos for Ghostly International but I have no proof either way it’s an intense shot, nothing like the average landscape shots you see these days. The second one I just wanted to know what is going on, is this a operator jail? The third one I like only in a Royksopp cute kinda of way, a bit amateur in parts and wears his influences on his sleeve and it feels abit unfinished but I enjoy the colors and shapes of the “mum like” mountains.
Sad to think that never again will we ever get to discover such a look and feel in a TV show, elegance and hi end style in the aesthetics won’t ever reach this level again, especially with what is on TV now.
The Prisoner – Opening Credits
Here is the 4th installment of “Images From Where? and By Who?” So we all download and save images of items, graphics and photos from the internet daily and some of the time you have no idea where to give credit besides maybe the guy that posted it first or second randomly on a blog. I ‘d like to get some answers on a few of these but also just post some interesting pieces that we come across that might have been sitting on our drives for awhile that are go to for inspiration or just found randomly on a forum with no info attached and just look great. Either way hopefully the point that gets across here is that they are inspiring in some sort of way to you as well.
The first one has to be my favorite album cover of all time but only when someone takes a photo of the vinyl sleeve and it catches this pearly yet worn look and then a slight hue of yellow over the whole thing. Who ever thought of the idea of simply just photographing this white helmet but having that mirrored visor wins an award in my book.
I remember finding this NASA illustration and it inspiring me a lot for awhile for Moodgadget material, I could of gone without the blue and orange crayon background.
I am pretty sure this “cubes on a waterfall” was an advertisement and if it was i’ll buy whatever they’re selling…especially the cubes.