I had the chance to go to the San Francisco premier of Objectifed last night. It was the first of four screenings here in the city, and part of the film’s journey as it makes its way around the world, showing in over 100 cities. After the screening, there was also a short Q&A with the filmmaker Gary Hustwit and a few designers from the film. It was sold out, as it is for the two showings tonight, but if you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth going to check out anyway. There were more than a few open seats and I think they release a few tickets at the door. If not, Gary mentioned it would return in June to the Yerba Buena Center, and possibly release on DVD later in the year (though this seems really soon).
I feel like it takes two viewings for me to really formulate my opinion on a film, but my initial reaction to Objectified is very positive. I really enjoyed it and came out a lot more inspired than I was going in. Hustwit has a very accessible style; he is able to quickly engage the viewer regardless of prior knowledge or experience. His subject choice is fantastic as well, and he captures some poignant and salient remarks from incredible minds working in the field. My favorite segment was probably the one on Marc Newsom (or maybe Rob Walker) but it’s hard for me to remember. I wish I could have taken more notes!
When I posted on the film a while back I didn’t really have any idea what the film was actually going to be about. I had heard it was about industrial design but that was about it. After the screening tonight, I’d say it’s really about everything; design in a general sense. (Interestingly, the term “industrial design” only occurs once or twice.) As with Helvetica, what is said about the chosen arena of (industrial) design can really apply to all design fields. Discussions of utility, objectivity, and efficiency come up regardless of whether or not you work on paper or in steel. The film is really about design thinking and the creativity designers bring to whatever problem they are solving. There was a mention, and I forget by whom, that designers are the philosophers and intellectuals of the future. For me, this sums up the film. Sure it focuses on industrial design, but the real takeaway is that designers are becoming increasingly valuable to society for their way of thinking and problem solving, not just for making pretty objects.
Comparisons with Helvetica are inevitable, and the one thing that Objectified was missing was an opposing perspective. Erik Spiekermann had an unforgettable segment in Helvetica that pretty much made the movie for me. His passionate hatred of the typeface was not only hilarious and entertaining, but also extremely valuable in that it provided a counter-argument to make the film more well rounded. Objectified is very optimistic and hopeful, and it stays this way throughout the entire film. As one of my classmates pointed out, there is no downer interview that provides an alternative perspective. Everyone is drinking the Kool-Aid so to speak. Regardless, it was fun to discuss this issue with my classmates after the film, and I would really recommend seeing it with fellow designers.
Seeing it in San Francisco was definitely a treat. The design community here feels very small, and I love it when there is an event which brings a lot of us together. After the film, everyone emptied out onto the street and hung around discussing the film and design in general. You could really feel the energy of so many people being creatively inspired all at once. I felt really excited and proud to call myself a Designer.
It’s hot as hell but luckily the summer-friendly tri-blend edition 1976 Heather Blue shirt by ISO50 is back in stock! Get them while they last this time, it’s going to be a long summer… Link
Stephen Shirley — a family friend — has been battling Hodgkin’s disease for over 2 years now. The cancer has been unresponsive to chemo so Stephen and his family are trying a new treatment center in Houston, TX which has had great results with patients affected by his particularly difficult to treat form of Hodgkin’s. Some friends of Stephen recently launched a website to chronicle his struggle and to raise money for this prohibitively expensive form of treatment. I am sure most of you can relate as cancer is a disease that touches all of our lives in some way. You can check out Stephen’s site here: savingstephen.com
There’s a certain point at which you just have to give up on graphic design because the Swiss beat you to it like 30 years ago and you know it. AisleOne has managed to capture that exact point and wrap it up nicely into a flickr album. Enjoy: Graphic Design in Swiss Industry / Schweizer Industrie Grafik Pleasantly reminiscent of the World of Logotypes stuff.
Moby’s got a new album coming and this is the first single. Whether or not you think Moby’s still relevant, he’s probably the only electronic musician who can get David Lynch to direct his video. At any rate, much better than what I heard from him last year and the video is great.
The official music video for Moby’s “Shot in the Back of the Head” directed by David Lynch. From Moby’s forthcoming album “Wait for Me” (out June 30 on Mute).
The debut EP from Vancouver’s synth pop duo Julian Carnrite and Kevin Schmidt has the right idea with a stripped down poppy soundtrack to a late night that is filled with inviting random friends out to hang out and enjoying cheap wine. The song Cool Your Shoes reminds me a little bit of Circlesquare meets Midwest Product, definitely a great cool down track for the long summer nights.
The new Machinedrum LP is finally out and the track Para Did is on repeat all the time at my place, its on this Outkast meets Blackalicious tip. Travis will be doing a lot this year so this won’t be the last time i’ll be posting on him.
I already posted this Fever Ray song but it was the remix, the lyrics won’t get out of my head i’m usually not a big lyrics fan so that means a lot I guess in my small world.
I don’t know much at all about the Clashing Egos but I do know Joakim always comes with the heat on remixes. The producer from Paris take us on a Beverly Hills sounding soundtrack cut with dreamy stabs that never begs for attention and layer upon layer of synth melodies, definitely worth your time.
Christine – Cool Your Shoes
Machinedrum – Para Did (Featuring Sarah Ruba / Jaunty)
Fever Ray – When I Grow Up
Clashing Egos – Aminjig nebere (Joakim’s mix)
I’m still chipping away at the project I mentioned last week. One of the requirements is the creation of three products to complement the film festival we are creating and branding. The products can be pretty much anything, but one has to tie conceptually to our overall vision for the project. I have no idea what I’m going to do in this regard, and I figured I would knock out the other products first. I decided to try out Schtickers and get a few custom iPhone/iPod skins made. I can’t imagine ever actually wanting to ruin the impeccable design of either device with a sticker, but for a hypothetical film festival mock up, I figured it could at least be interesting. As I am also creating a website for the festival, I thought the iPhone/iPods would look good next to the laptop displaying the page on presentation day. The “electronic” portion of the festival brand fully fleshed out.
Overall, I would recommend Schtickers if you happen to find yourself in the market for some custom skins. I think they are most useful for in-class projects, or perhaps an unusual gift, but are definitely not a serious design option for professionals. Print quality is fairly good, but nothing close to what you’d get on paper. For my image style, it actually ends up looking dead on, but I can’t imagine many people appreciating the softer edges and slight blur you get with the vinyl print. The design/order process was very easy and smooth, and the stickers arrived within two days. Compared to some of the other vendors I am outsourcing to, this was amazing turnaround.
For the above sticker mock ups, two of the images come from agnusleonard and matstace. For the final versions, I will be using my own tilt-shift work like on the record cover. Next up should be the poster, which if all goes according to plan (when does that ever happen?), should be printed tomorrow.
Semi-related, Zweiphone will make your iPhone look like another, out of date phone. (via Subtraction)