Posts Tagged ‘graphics’

About a year ago, Michael introduced me to the glory that is IKEA Hacker, and with Diana’s recent mentions of the fabulous Swedish retailer and the current economic climate, encouraging creative uses of budget-friendly furniture seems significantly more appealing than promoting buying pre-distressed furniture or fixtures at places like Restoration Hardware.


(Image from IKEA Hacker)

There are some ridiculously creative ideas out there, such as this one that took a bathroom cabinet and turned it into a comprehensive jewlery case, or this one that took a popular frame and turned it, in multiple sizes, into wall art, that it’s impossible not to be inspired.

Check it out for yourself:


(image from IKEA Hacker)

How is this not fantastic?


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This is a fantastic screed against shitty graphic design. There’s lots of f-bombs being thrown about, but he’s totally correct in doing so.

I’m really going to miss passing 50’s-era motor inn signs in the future, especially if what’s replacing it is this 70’s era crap. Between just driving around with my dad going to train shows to driving through central PA due to marching band cavalcades and indoor drumline competitions, these signs have been fantastic visual landmarks for me. The second they are replaced with crap…it marks the end of an era.

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Found online, 4/3/08, noonish. 

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Arial is not Helvetica;




New Haven, Temple St. Garage, Nov. 1 2007, 6:55 PM.

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New York magazine’s latest issue boasts a review of some of the most important design revolutionaries in the city’s recent history, with a focus on names that are perhaps not ones tossed about at home, but whose contributions have permanent imprints on the visual landscape.  It is only natural, then, that such a homage must include a nod to Massimo and Lella Vignelli, creators of not only the American Airlines’ “brand identity” but perhaps more importantly the instantly recognizable New York City subway system map.  I’ve mentioned them before only a few weeks ago, as their work was part of the “Helvetica:  50 Years” retrospective at the MoMA, but because I cannot get enough of gazing at the elegant, abstract simplicity of their 1973 map, I’m posting it here:

 map071029_560.jpg I won’t try to regurgitate the article; you can read it here if you like.  But this technique, aped from the London Underground maps and still in use today, has turned the otherwise dull transit map into some of the most aesthetically pleasing maps out there: 

Philadelphia’s SEPTA map (1980):


Washington Metro Rail Map:


 Milan Metro Map:


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Few things intimidate me more (creatively speaking) than a few yards of fabric, unfurled in all its glory on the floor or a bed or similar.  With many of the creative projects I undertake, generally there is plenty of room for error, or at least reimagining:  it’s easy to disassemble a necklace and restring the beads, a botched sketch can be thrown away and started anew on a fresh page, ridiculous verse or prose can be deleted with a few keystrokes.  But fabric is decidedly different; one bad snip and the entire piece could be ruined. 

For this reason (in addition to not owning a sewing machine), I don’t take on many fabric-related projects.  I was never terribly prolific, mind you—just some pillows, random stuffed animals, and doll clothes back when I was very little, and a yoga bag constructed junior year of college—but not having a machine to make strong, even stitches makes me wary of creating anything that needs to, well, hold up to anything.  Or look particularly neat.  Or see the light of day.  It was last year, though, after Michael and I moved in together and we bought things like curtains that a solution was presented to me, at least for some basic crafts:  fabric tape, or the iron-on solution. 

Whenever we travel to IKEA (not really much of a journey, mind you, as it’s about ten minutes away) I have to stop in the textiles section and admire the rugs and bolts of reasonably-priced fabrics, mostly because they all have such a strong graphic appeal, unlike what is available at most chain fabric stores.  I wasn’t really even looking for anything when the following caught my eye like a thunderbolt:


 And so I bought 2 ½ yards, folded it up, and shoved it into my closet, untouched through most of the summer.  That is, until yesterday.  

Presented with the unexpected pleasure of a Columbus Day holiday and a desire to do something creative, I finally cleared the floor, grabbed my iron, ironing board, tape measure and scissors, and got to work on what would become a table-runner and eight placemats for our upcoming party in a week and a half.  The runner will span our kitchen table, and the placemats will be out to artfully present the other displays of food we’ll have throughout the apartment.  I’ll post pictures the day after the festivities. 

Though not the most ambitious project I’ve ever undertaken, it was the right push to get me out of the creative funk I’ve been in…perhaps a dive into my bead box is now in order.

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