Archive for Design

Not Art, an Art Project by Warsheh

My design crush, Warsheh, has done it again.

From the project’s Behance page:

This is Not Art.
It’s not deeply meaningful or vaguely philosophical.
It’s not calculated or exact.
It is in fact, a series of posters designed from classic paintings.
A simple reinterpretation of how we saw them.
Our tribute to art and design.

Check out their interview with the Huffington Post.

warsheh1
NOT The Conversion of St Paul

warsheh2
NOT The Valpinçon Bather

warsheh3
NOT Venus Bathing

warsheh4
NOT Saint Francis in Meditation

warsheh5
NOT Girl with a Pearl Earring

warsheh6
NOT Portrait of a Young Girl

warsheh7
NOT The Skater

warsheh8
NOT Doge Leonardo Loredan

warsheh9
NOT The Death of Marat

warsheh10
NOT The Birth of Venus

warsheh11
NOT Whistler’s Mother

warsheh12



Comments

Stop Stretching Images

I know that not everyone is a trained designer, but my mind absolutely refuses to accept some things, like stretched images.

FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, CAN’T YOU TELL THAT YOU SHOULDN’T STRETCH AN IMAGE? THE HEIGHT AND THE WIDTH SHOULD ALWAYS REMAIN PROPORTIONAL CAUSE IT LOOKS REALLY WARPED OTHERWISE, WHICH JUST DOESN’T WORK. HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU TURN ON YOUR FRONT-FACING CAMERA AND YOUR FACE IS SKEWED OUT OF PROPORTION? NOT NICE, RIGHT? THAT’S HOW IMAGES FEEL TOO. SO STOP STRETCHING IMAGES.

I mean, it’s common visual sense, no?



Comments

What’s it like inside Europe’s largest photo studio? IKEA Communications AB

With my life-long fascination with design, layout, and the Ikea catalog, it was absolutely awesome getting a chance to visit the IKEA studio in Almhult.

Not only are all Ikea roomsets you’ll ever see in your life done in the 8,000 square meter space, it’s also where the catalog is created, where all the photos are taken, and where the 3D artists sit. Did you take yesterday’s quiz? Were you able to guess which of the roomsets is shot in the studio and which was created by the 3D artists?

design team

Our tour was started by meeting Anne-Lene Wold, the Interior Design Manager at IKEA, and Kajsa Orvarson, the Information Manager. They showed us the little quiz (I was the only one who guessed all three images correctly, yay for the 3D Max classes we were forced to take in college), and then took us on a tour around the studio, which includes a hundred million gazillion props from all over the world, tens of roomsets being shot for next year’s calendar, and the working spaces of many of the creative people at IKEA.

My favorite part though about the studio? All the props.

I’ve always had a fascination with how Ikea makes such livable furniture. You know, livability isn’t something you buy with the flatpacked bed, nor is it a magic ingredient sprinkled into the wood or plastic.

Livability is a carefully-studied act of conscious design.

In a way, it’s similar to food styling (my latest obsession), and trying to make things look “yum”. It’s also a practical application of visual order and visual chaos, another topic I’m obsessed with.

Ikea are masters at perfecting livability. They somehow manage to take brand new furniture, shove it into a studio, and turn it into something that could easily be the much-loved home of a 26-year-old woman who works in marketing at a local restaurant. It’s genius.

For example, look at these rooms, shot in a cold, neon-lit, aluminum studio:

1

2

3

Are you kidding me? These are studio shots? When can I move into any of these rooms? I don’t mind living in a studio if my room looks like that.

Just look at these images. The way the shoes on the floor make you feel like someone just stepped out of the room. The way the books look so loved. The artwork so lovingly collected.

Holy cow, it’s hard to explain how difficult faking livability is.

With that in mind, I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY with Ikea’s rooms and rooms and rooms of props.

Check this out:

robots
Cute robots of all sizes

food
Different food items from all over the world to make kitchens universally appealing in the ctatalog

random stuff
Random items to spice up the rooms

brushes
Brushes and make up to make a girl’s room look like a girl’s room

sculptures
Sculptures for use in design

necklsaces
Hundreds of necklaces to suit every female in the universe

scarves
Scarves of all colors to be tossed on that bed or hung somewhere

shoes with leaves
This blew my mind… shoes with leaves glued on. Someone was just raking the leaves in the fall

ikea books
Color-coded books, baybee

ikea studio
A room in the making

So yes… this is the art and science behind the Ikea catalog. How amazing is this?



Comments (2)

Typographic Glasses

These insanely tasteful typographic glasses are, of course, from Japan.

Typefaces on offer are Helvetica and Garamond.

Oh, Japan.



Comments

Arabization Utter Disaster: The CNN Arabic Logo

When I saw the Arabic version of the CNN logo today, I didn’t know whether to laugh in disbelief, or cry from the sadness of butchered Arabic typography.

You’d think that CNN would bother and hire a real designer who actually reads Arabic to Arabize their logo. The solid, emblazoned characters of the English logo are comically morphed to look like a cheaply-designed 70′s typeface. And what’s with the dots? Why are they squished?

So strange. I can’t tell if it is a really bad design job from an Arab-based agency or the work of a designer not trained in Arabic type.

Arabizing Latin logos is not an easy job, I know. But anyone with basic design sense should know that it’s just a really amateur decision to combine BOTH the English logo AND the Arabic word in one very-funny-looking love child.

Here are some nicely done Arabizations:

Pictures by Hussein Al-Azaat, more here.

The trick with Arabization is to make sure the identity is clearly still visible, without butchering the essence of Arabic lettering. There are reasons the letters look the way they do, you know.

Also, whoever did the Accessorize Arabization should find a more suitable career.



Comments (1)

Oh, Twitter, Your New Icons Make Me Want to Cry

What in the world possessed the design team at Twitter to pollute their interface with these horrendously-designed icons?

Everything about them is wrong… like the strange birdhouse icon for home. The ugly feather in the camera-shutter-style box. The absurdly weird ears of the really horrendous silhouette of a person’s head, and the strange space beneath the jaw. The gray rounded corners of the message icon.

And each seems to be designed by a different designer, who had no idea what the other designers were planning to do. No consistency whatsoever in the style, the colors, or the size of the rounded corners.

Actually, the entirety of the top bar is a design disaster. Everything is… floating. Like the poor Twitter bird in the center.

I feel like someone sent me back to 2007.



Comments (1)

Previous Page