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Flashback: Retro Design

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New Victionary book about retro design and how it’s appearing in contemporary graphical work. Looks good as both inspiration and a reference tool.

Emerged today as the perfect marriage between old and new, retrospective designs are deemed to be an inevitable phrase in the design cycle when designers begin to look back and find inspirations for new graphic styles in the depressive pixel age. Some think these designs has cheered the digital era with the lost enthusiasm for new findings and the future, others reckon it as a tribute to the prominent art and design movements between 1920 and 1990. Taking a trip down memory lane, Flashback unveils how the epoch persists to be an enduring spring with a bold and pronounced application of colour, shapes, typefaces and illustration works in contemporary graphic art.

Gestalten Books

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Two crazy (and crazy interesting) books from Gestalten showed up on my desk this week. Both are worth checking out!

The first is called Papercraft: Design and Art with Paper (top) and is all about the crazy and ingenious projects people have managed to do with paper and some serious time and dedication. The second book is admittedly bizarre but still awesome. It’s called Hair’em Scare’em and shows a collection of photographs exploring the inventive possibilities of hair as a medium for artistic expression. Yes, there are some crazy hair styles inside. Inspiration for the next time I hit the salon? Perhaps.

The Buried Life Goes MTV

My pals from The Buried Life just dropped me a note with a link to their new trailer shown above. If you missed the news, they’ve been given there own MTV show! Fantastic coverage of what they’re up to in this past Sunday’s New York Times


Four buddies set off across the country in an R.V., video camera in tow, to knock items off their "100 things to do before I die" list: kiss the Stanley Cup, get a tattoo, grow a mustache.

With plenty of high jinks and adolescent humor, "The Buried Life" seems like the perfect MTV reality show, except for one unexpected twist. At each stop the group helps deserving locals with their own wishes. In Idaho, for example, they took eight children with brain cancer on a shopping spree at Toys "R" Us.

Congrats guys, keep it up!

Make Something Cool Everyday 2009

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We all made new year’s resolutions, but Brock Davis is actually sticking to his. The artist has vowed to Make Something Cool Everyday, an ambitious project with a self-explanatory title. Each day in 2009, Davis puts together a photo, painting, or video, starting with a Lego scultpure nailing his mission statement in one word: ‘Build’. January saw a wave of clever illusions through photo, followed by various throwback graphics and pictures of shattered non-glass items. Following Davis’ interests through his daily work leads you to varying series, none of which are the same and all of which have us waiting for tomorrow. We’re seriously impressed, check it out on Behance.

Mark Your Calendar: The 99% Conference

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Behance believes there are too many ideas in the world, and not enough action. The name is inspired by Thomas Edison’s famous quote, “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” The conference is for people that already have great ideas, but need to make them happen. The speakers are all people that have a track record of executing their ideas again and again, successfully. Seth Godin, our Threadless friends, Michael Bierut from Pentagram, Scott Thomas, the director of new media for Obama’s campaign, our friend Ji Lee and a few other very impressive folks. Perhaps the 99% Conference will be the kick in the ass that people with great ideas sometimes need?

Get your tickets now. Seriously. April 16th and 17th. Use the code 99EARLY09 and get $100 off the regular ticket prices. This looks like it’s going to be an amazing event, and probably the first of many to come.

This Is Backwards

Smells like teen … inspiration! Our young friend Ethan Bodnar has come out with a new series of posters calling for social change in the most typographically literal way possible. The 11 x 17  “This Is Backwards” series has a couple of motivational statements in, of course, backwards facing font. Wrong-headed ideas, like sitting on your ass all the time or going grocery shopping without a reusable bag, are spelled out against variations of solid blue. Clever. Just don’t hang them in front of mirror — or you’ll be getting the wrong message.

Adobe XD x INSPIRE

Where would you be without Adobe? Since they launched Photoshop in 1989, the technologically ubiquitous software company has been vital in transferring your imagination onto your computer screen. By creating programs like Dreamweaver, Illustrator, and After Effects (among others) you may think they’ve already seen a lifetime of inspiration through to its logical conclusion. But they already have. While Adobe may not be boasting about a program that can help you conjure graphic brilliance from thin air, INSPIRE, a new bi-monthly web publication from Adobe’s Experience Design team (a seriously bad ass group) is a welcome supplement to the company’s cluster of creativity. The online periodical seeks to connect the developer/designer community and put an accent on the importance of experience when it comes to dealing with a wide variety of applications. The new web mag will feature a new theme every two months and include videos, posts, and presentations from different conferences around the world. The theme for the inaugural issue is “New Experiences” and we’re confident after this new experience you’ll keep coming back for more. Even the UI of the site is inspiring, congratulations guys.

Also, be sure to watch the video of Chris Heimbuch, XD Practice Lead, and Ty Lettau, XD Design Manager, discuss the whys and wherefores of Inspire.

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