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Archive for October, 2009

Greetings from Tromso

Posted by Scott

IMG_0023
After a very long couple days, I’m finally here in Tromsø for Insomnia. Please excuse the bad photo, there were these incredible landscapes on the way in but all I had was my little Canon Elph and it was very dark. As you can see, the Elph doesn’t handle it very well… Suffices to say, the pic doesn’t do this place justice; I’ve never seen anything like the view from the plane tonight. I have the big Nikon out now and hopefully I can get some good shots of all the amazing design and typography here over the next few days and maybe some better landscapes on the way out. I walked around a little bit this evening and this place is incredible. It seems almost fake, I don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t anything close to this. Wish I was staying longer.

Just a quick note about the video situation a lot of you were asking about in the workshop post: I will see what the organizers have planned tomorrow, but I’m not sure if they are set up to record. I will be doing similar workshops in Amsterdam and Toronto coming up though so I will try to get one of those taped properly.

Time to rest up for tomorrow, my sleep schedule is all wrong right now. Hope to see some of you tomorrow at the workshop.

Sketching and Design

Posted by Alex

spencer
Spencer Nugent posted an interesting article on the Levels of Sketching over on IDSketching (that’s his image above). I don’t know a lot about industrial design, or the complex role sketching appears to have in the field, but I was really interested to read a little more about it. What came to mind immediately was the sketching process we are constantly encouraged to go through at graphic design school. I am always terrified of this part and try my best to avoid it (which is impossible). Of course, though the role of the sketch is different in this case — as it serves as a rough internal mock up rather than a deliverable for a client — it’s importance remains of a high level (for a number of reasons, many of which Milton Glaser explains in this video that’s been floating around the last couple weeks).

The sketching process for the project I mentioned a while back has been pretty intense. Recently I’ve been working through countless concepts and designs, sketching my hands off. I was lucky to figure out my direction/concept early on, but it’s taken me forever to figure out the right way to render it. This has meant ENDLESS amounts of sketches and crappy little mock ups. I guess I lack the patience to sketch well, and my process book looks like I was drawing blindfolded, drunk, and with my off hand.

Seeing the way industrial designers sketch, I am truly envious. To be able to render something that detailed and precise, without a computer sometimes, I can’t imagine. Of course, I am reacting this way because I grew up designing with the computer. “Process” to me has always meant keyboard and mouse, not pencil and paper. I recognize this as a potential weakness in my workflow, and have been trying really hard to incorporate sketching into this project. Results have been here and there so far, and I wonder if I will ever be able to develop my sketching ability to where it’s consistently worthwhile.

I know David Airey for one is a big proponent of sketching, and has written many interesting articles on the subject. How do the rest of you feel about sketching when it comes to the graphic design process? When starting a project (especially a logo design for example), do you start with pencil or mouse (or the hybrid, Wacom Tablet)?

The Horrors+Ariel Pink+Zomby+Fruit Bats

Posted by Jakub

The Horrors
Wow. just wow. this new single from The Horrors is one of the more subdued but catchy singles of the year. I know I know the band’s aesthetic or how they carry themselves might not be everyone’s cup of tea but musically its just refreshing, at times it reminds me of why I loved U2′s Achtung Baby or INXS when I was really young and I have to name drop those records because everyone else is saying Joy Division. The video below is simple and stylized pretty well, good lookin’ band.

Ariel Pink melts together some of the more popular sounds that we’re the softer side of the 70′s but adds that lo-fi touch. He would be the last character i’d expect to use a saxophone but makes it work, can’t wait to buy this record.

Zomby is one of the more well known dubstep guys in the US I think because of his digital releases get a ton of love on iTunes US and eMusic, he can be hit or miss for me but Digital Fauna grabs me right away with its catchy drive, nothing reaching for attention, and this switch up to shuffle right in the middle of the song.

You know how if you sometimes see something more than 7 times and then you finally are like okay i’ll buy in and I guess i’ll check it out, that’s how it was with Fruit Bats. I’m still on the fence of if I like it, I guess I can add it to my upbeat Americana folder, in there with America and a few Old Neil Young songs I like….there, not to shabby, maybe i’ll put it on cassette and drive cross country with it.

The Horrors – Whole New Way

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Can’t Hear My Eyes

Zomby – Digital Fauna

Fruit Bats – The Ruminant Band

The Horrors – Whole New Way video

ISO50 Free Workshop – Tromso Norway

Posted by Scott

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I just arrived in beautiful Newark for a brief layover before the second leg of my trip. I’ll be flying into Oslo and then on to Tromsø for the Insomnia Fesitval. I’m doing an ISO50 workshop on Friday at Verdensteatret Cinematek. The workshop is free (thanks to Insomnia, Tank.no, and Grafill) — you can register here.

I’ll be covering a lot of ground during this one, walking through the process of creating the new Tycho album cover and talking about graphic design in general. Space is limited so be sure to register.

I’ll also be playing a Tycho live set at Insomnia on Satuday night. Hope to see you all out there. I just finished one of the worst salads ever at the Sam Adams Brew Club at Newark and they’re calling for first boarding so I’m off to Oslo. See you in Norway.

ISO50 Workshop Registration (free)
Insomnia Festival Tickets

Photo via NTMY

Bibio+WashedOut+HudsonMohawke+Leo123

Posted by Jakub

Bibio - Ovals & Emeralds
New Bibio music coming from all angles, man just when I getting into Vignetting the Compost then Ambivalence Avenue came along and blew my mind and now a new EP? life is good.

A new Washed Out EP is out as well, this Phone Call track is on repeat every day in my room, I think this might be his best song yet, it doesn’t count on a slow tempo and gets me excited about what else this guy can do.

I hope HudMo starts producing Top 40 because he’ll add a fun aspect to the whole stale genre, his snare hits have a funny sound though, like some cartoony feel to them I can’t put my finger on it, either way it unique, I also like how he gets his synths to sound like a cassette player is eating his tape.

I got to hang out with Leo 123 while Eliot Lipp and Mux Mool we’re in town, a really funny guy and knows his synths really well too. He has that Disco/Hip Hop fusion sound going, loopy yet a ton of good synth playing over it all which I can always respect.

Bibio – Carosello Ellitico

Washed Out – Phone Call

Hudson Mohawke – No One Could Ever

Leo 123 – Silvo

Mrs. Eaves Long Lost Husband

Posted by Alex

SMrR
Mrs. Eaves is one of my favorite typefaces. Especially when it comes to serifs — which admittedly, I use infrequently — Mrs. Eaves has long been a go-to. I agree with designer Zuzana Licko’s description that “Mrs Eaves was a mix of just enough tradition with an updated twist. It’s familiar enough to be friendly, yet different enough to be interesting.”

After much anticipation, the sans-serif companion Mr. Eaves is complete. It comes in two varieties; Mr. Eaves Modern and Mr. Eaves Sans (character map pictured above). Like Mrs. Eaves, both variations were designed by Zuzana Licko for Emigre. I’m excited to use this — especially the lowercase ‘a’ variant pictured at the bottom.

Mr Eaves was based on the proportions of Mrs Eaves, but Licko took some liberty with its design. One of the main concerns was to avoid creating a typeface that looked like it simply had its serifs cut off. And while it matches Mrs Eaves in weight, color, and armature, Mr Eaves stands as its own typeface with many unique characteristics. [ Purchase ]

The Nocturnal Suite

Posted by Jakub

Artwork by: Philistine DSGN

Artwork by: Philistine DSGN


Today is a big day for the Suite series (The Rorschach Suite, The Synchronicity Suite, The Nocturnal Suite), the third edition has come out on Ghostly International. The series is a various compilation collection that explores the variety in electronic music. Also, celebrating the 5 year anniversary of Moodgadget we made the last 2 Suites only 4.99 on iTunes which both have 20 songs each, I hope you all can enjoy something on here, there is some major melody going on in these songs, below is a great description by the talented editors at Ghostly:

Ghostly affiliate Moodgadget Records exclusively releases music by up-and-coming artists; with the Nocturnal Suite, Moodgadget not only “exposes the diversity in electronic music” (the label’s mission statement), it unites dazzlingly talented, like-minded artists working in wildly divergent stylistic fields into a grand, unified whole. Like its predecessors, the Moodgadget-curated Rorschach Suite and Synchronicity Suite, the Nocturnal Suite plays like a lovingly assembled mixtape, compiling brief, catchy, electronic-minded pop songs built for obsessive repeat listening.

The Nocturnal Suite is eclectic, but even among its stylistic diversity (the liquid space-disco of Faux Pas’ “Rose’s Lament (Gadget Edit),” for instance, sits right next to Wild Yaks’ caveman-like “Crazy but Not Afraid,” which flanks 800Beloved’s Psychedelic Furs-esque anthem “Galaxies”), there’s a distinctly nighttime-y mood, folding acoustic guitars and sleepy vocals in with its distressed beats and synths. Daedelus’ remix of Praveen & Benoit’s “Chiaroscuro” clothes a distant clattering beat in ambient reverb swells and wisps of orchestral flutes; Bluejay’s “Blurry” wraps its bedroom electro-pop around a deliciously melancholy hook; City Center’s “Summer School” is an exercise in pastoral dream-beat, a psychedelic fog of a track that drifts like a late-afternoon beachside nap.

The Nocturnal Suite encompasses dance music, indie rock, synth-pop, experimental instrumentals—and, yes, electronic music—but its emotional core is its biggest asset. Even in the closing track, Daniel Johnson’s deadly serious cover of Sophie B. Hawkins’ 1991 classic “Damn (Wish I Was Your Lover),” the pea soup-thick production turns the jaunty original into a much more resonant affair; it’s a fitting end to a compilation that turns every genre it touches into perfect late-night listening.

Mux Mool – Ballad of Gloria Featherbottom

Bluejay – Blurry

Wisp – Arpeggiating Edgar

Landau Orchestra – Wheel of Fortune

Faux Pas – Rose Lament (Gadget edit)

Buffalo ‘66 Stills

Posted by Scott

BUFF1
BUFF2
BUFF4-1
BUFF7
BUFF25
BUFF16
BUFF11

I’m posting these stills from Buffalo ‘66 partly because they’re awesome and partly because it’s a good chance to tell the story where me and Dusty saw Vincent Gallo at my neighborhood market on a Tuesday. It was surreal, I think we must have been staring uncontrollably because he was in line and had this look on his face like “are these idiots going to ask me something or stab me?” (all love knife style). We also saw him with Sean Lennon at a bar once and got some horrible blurry iPhone shot of him and Dusty. So I guess that makes us officially stalkers now.

By the way, Whatthefont says “Buffalo” is Prelo Compressed Medium. Not quite sure though.

Stills via the always incredible I Love Hotdogs.