There I was, minding my own business watching Sunday morning football, when these sexy pieces of design snuck up on me. Typically my brain turns off at the first sight of a car commercial, but this 2010 spot for the BMW 3 Series is a breath of fresh air. It’s great to see a company going back to their roots. Interspersed with the requisite this-is-a-car-commercial-and-we-are-driving-on-a-closed-road-that-doesn’t-exist type shots, there is some really terrific graphic design. Watch it on the BMW homepage for the highest quality version I could find (header image 2 of 5).
It’s not the first time BMW has impressed us with their design sensitivity, check out these vintage ads as well.
FujiFilm has just released a gorgeous, large-sensor compact camera that was inspired by traditional analog film cameras. The camera, called the FinePix X100, has a 12.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor (approx. 1.6x crop factor). The X100 also has this new feature called the ‘hybrid’ viewfinder that allows the user to switch between optical and electronic viewfinders and project shooting information into the optical viewfinder. If all that was too much for you, check out this video.
More importantly than that though, I find the subtle design of the lip over the LCD, the viewfinder flip switch and the shutter and aperture controls to really sell me on the design. Listed below are also more of the features that are sending me head over heals. Oh wait a second, news just coming in: the camera ships March 2011 for $1000!
It always seems that when something great goes away, we don’t realize how great it actually was until its nearly gone. Film is that thing. Although I wouldn’t say film is gone, it certainly has been on its way out. I know I’ve personally taken it for granted, but when I see cameras like this or the return of the Polaroid, it makes me want to experiment.
This camera by Steven Monteau is called the Guillotine / Adidas Camera and was intended for use shooting ultra-wide action sequences on 120 film. The effect that the three images as one create is really beautiful.
The way the camera works is by sliding the long angular strip that acts at your shutter quickly once to expose the film. The body is built out of cardboard and utilizes two winding knobs to wind the spool. I’m quite curious though whether or not there are stops so you know how far you’re winding the spool or if you have to guess.
Before jumping into this process post I want to define my terms: This project revolves around the concept of ‘FOMO’, which if you haven’t come across, stands for “Fear of Missing Out”. Fomo is a very real and worrysome condition that can affect anyone at anytime. It describes that feeling of jealousy and helplessness when you miss out on something great. Typically the condition becomes more prevalent during the weekends, summer, and nighttime. For example, “When I was looking at John’s pictures from the submarine party last night, I had a really bad case of fomo.” If you are stuck at work right now and your friends just went skydiving, you have fomo.
Nofomo by contrast refers to the state of being in which you have cured your fomo. You do not have a fear of missing out because you are always the one doing something awesome. You actually cause fomo, rather than experience it yourself. If you are living your life to the fullest and saying yes to everything, you have probably achieved such a state.
This is a project about NOFOMO. (And while it may not seem like it, yes this was for school.)
Last year I invented an aeronautical research company called Aeolas International. Their sole purpose was to take my Youtube personality hostage and post videos of their scientific findings. Ideally people would think that this was actually happening and I would eventually become mega famous. This didn’t happen exactly as planned, but the process of diving deep into a self initiated project was terrific and something I would highly recommend. I’m excited now to get a chance to further explain the project; the motivations behind it, the process, and what eventually unfolded.
Some of you may know that I am also a musician. Most of the work I have online is design related, but I also maintain a Youtube page where I mainly post covers of my favorite songs. I’ve been posting over there for about 2 years now and some videos have done quite well (150K + views). Most chill somewhere around 15K. Overall it’s been a great way to get my musical side out there and generate a fan base. An example of a “normal” pre-Aeolas video is below.
At the end of last year I decided it was time to switch it up. I was enjoying my periodic recording sessions, but I wasn’t nearly as into it as I was when I started. The market had become significantly more saturated with cover artists and I felt like I was just one of thousands of people doing exactly the same thing. Initially, I felt like I was distinguishing myself with higher quality recording techniques, but even this became relatively commonplace. After an intense brainstorming session, I decided it would be best to invent an old aeronautical research company called Aeolas International that would take me hostage. I didn’t really have much of a plan beyond that when I started.
If you can look past the periodic in-your-face product endorsements (I know you can!), these videos are actually very cool. I am a big fan of Danny Clinch, Wolfmother, Jay Z, (and John Mayer), so what’s not to love here. Makes me want to to quit everything and travel around the world with a band. That or quit everything and start a band and hire a photographer.
The Jay Z collaboration just came out a few days ago, while the Wolfmother one has been out for a while now. With both of these, they are obviously promos for Absolut, but they’re mainly just well-shot rock&roll mini documentaries. The class I’m in now is basically an advertising class and I have really come to appreciate it when a company put something like this together — especially compared to most of the nonsense you see out there. Just about all of the Absolut ads are very well done, most are up here. And if you haven’t seen the Spike Jonz “I’m Here” trailer you must watch it immediately.
The always excellent Watsonian — who also brought you the Super 8 packaging — have posted these beautiful examples of vintage Kodak film packaging. Every time I see something like this the first thing that pops into my head is “Why doesn’t more commercial packaging look like this anymore?”. I then tell myself “If more commercial packaging looked like this you wouldn’t find it as interesting.” I think that point could be argued but you can’t argue that strictly from a design standpoint, these are just plain better than this crap.
I guess the next question though is whether some kid in 30 years will think the more recent example is better, but I seriously doubt it. I really feel like more attention was paid to the quality of design before the age of computers, I guess the practitioners were just more skilled given the level of training required. Now it’s “have Photoshop will travel”, which obviously cuts both ways. What do you think?