If you haven’t noticed by now i’m a huge fan of Benoit Pioulard, he is a Portland based folk musician. He has his next album coming out on Kranky October 14th which will include this brand new single “Brown Bess” for free for us to share. As for other talents he has a few things flying under the radar a very simple but effective website pioulard.com where if you catch him at the right time of year you can buy limited handmade versions of his albums and look thru his polariod pictures.
Benoit Pioulard – Brown Bess (Temper: October 2008)
Benoit Pioulard – Needle & Thread (Precis: 2006)
Benoit Pioulard – Kids Are Getting Younger (Enge: 2005)
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – The Seedling (Benoît Pioulard version)
Here are a few new tracks a little more from the indie rock end. Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning whole LP is superb, a great follow up to Kevin Drew’s LP. Also, new tracks grabbed from the B-sides and demos of LCD Soundsystem, a forthcoming Stereolab full length single and the highly anticipated Walkmen album is finally out.
Peter Gabor has posted a Tribute to Herb Lubalin just to remind us all of how inferior our design skills really are. There are 11 pages of Lubalin’s work spanning all the way from his logos and branding up to his more conceptual art and photography. It’s a rather thorough collection and a good starting point if you’re looking for inspiration from one of the original masters of our medium. Link
On a side note, Gabor’s tribute prompted me to brush up on my Herb Lubalin Trivia by going over his Wikipedia entry. I was shocked to find that he passed away at age 63. Maybe seeing another of my design heroes, Wim Crouwel, looking fit and sounding sharp at age 78 in the Helvetica film gave me an unrealistic ideal of longevity, but I always thought of design as the sort of trade you could still be plugging away at and actually producing relevant work well into your 60’s and 70’s (desire permitting, of course). It’s a shame he passed so soon and it’s incredible what he was able to achieve in the relatively short time he had. I wonder what his thoughts on the digital revolution would have been? And perhaps more importantly, how would he have viewed the resurgence and near ubiquity of his famous typeface (Avant Garde) in the past decade of graphic design?
The long rumored Nikon D90 is now official and is the first DSLR with HD video recording capabilities. The $999 (body only) 12.3MP camera sports a new image sensor with similar high ISO performance to it’s bigger brothers the D700 and the D3, but at a considerably lower price point. Sounds like a winning package; I currently use a D80 and a lot of the features described would be welcome upgrades to my current rig. But at this point, it wouldn’t be worth it to move over to a camera with such marginal performance increases, I am thinking the recently announced D700 will be my next upgrade (or whichever is their latest at that level when I do take the plunge).
This new Nikon release comes in the wake of Canon’s recent 50D announcement. The 50D is the first pro-sumer level camera with the lauded Digic 4 processor. With the 15.2MP sensor on board, it’s a nice entry point for people not willing to fork over the dough for the 5D. At $1400 (body only) the 50D is considerably cheaper than it’s more robust sibling, but will at least get you in the same performance ballpark as the 5D.
I think these two cameras are a great sign of things to come for us graphic designers. Having a high performance camera in your kit is essential for any serious designer, but it’s hard to justify spending so much on one when photography isn’t your primary occupation. I think the D90 and 50D fill a nice little gap in the DSLR price range, and although the 50D carries a larger price tag (a $400 bump over the D90) it sounds like the extra features make a compelling case for the extra expense. I just don’t know if I can make the move to Canon just yet, I’ll have to see how this plays out.
Logitech’s new MX1100 mouse has been getting some glowing reviews and I’m pretty excited to get my hands on one. I have been using an MX Revolution for a couple years now and the battery is failing, so this new model with replaceable batteries will be a welcome addition. The ergonomics on the Logitech mice are great, but the hyperscroll wheel is reason enough to switch (so handy when you’re way zoomed in on a PSD and want to move around quickly). I have tried to make the switch to Wacom pads before without much success. How about everyone else? Do you use a mouse or a tablet, or both? Do you find either is more conducive to design or is it just a simple issue of ergonomics? Let us know in the comments