Dyson Reinvents the Fan

Sir James Dyson continues to innovate with his bladeless fan, “The Air Multiplier.” Using the same technology from his “Airblade” hand dryer to create an addition to his long list of unique products. Although not available in stores until next year, you can get into the queue at Dyson.co.uk.

Designing a Font to Preserve a Vanishing Language

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In the state of Washington, type designer Juliet Shen has been working with a Native American tribe, called Tulalip, to create a font for the Lushootseed language. At the time, the Lushootseed was near extinction. Only five tribal elders were known to be fluent in the language. This was largely because the U.S. government launched an ill-guided program in 1912 to “assimilate” indigenous people into American society by sending their children away to boarding schools where they were forced to adopt European ways. Under threat of punishment, the children were forbidden to speak their own native language. Since Lushootseed had no written tradition, the history of the culture had all but vanished by the 1960s.

It wasn’t until Thom Hess, a University of Washington linguistics graduate student, started recording the stories told by elders in 1967 that an effort was made to devise a written language for Lushootseed. His field work led him to a Tulalip woman named Vi Hilbert, who embraced his interest in preserving the stories of the indigenous people who lived around Washington’s Puget Sound. Using a variation of the International Phonetic Alphabet, a system of symbols used to record every sound the human voice can make, Hess taught Hilbert to phonetically write out the Lushootseed words. Together, the two produced two Lushootseed dictionaries and worked tirelessly to write down cultural lore told by the elders.

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What Goes Into a Brand Brief

Editor’s Note: Alina Wheeler’s book, Designing Brand Identity, just released in its third updated printing, is a reference for anyone involved in branding. A comprehensive review of branding fundamentals, Wheeler’s book showcases best practices and pares away complexities so that common processes are easy to understand. It is a great guide for those entering the business, and for old pros, her book can be used in the same way that experienced cooks consult a cookbook to make sure that they haven’t forgotten any essential ingredients.

Brand-Brief

Here’s Wheeler’s schematic of components that go into preparing a brand brief. “Many entrepreneurial companies have visionaries who walk around with this information in their heads; getting it on paper helps anyone who has the responsibility to execute the vision,” she says. “The best briefs are succinct and strategic, and approved by the most senior levels in an organization early in the process. If these briefs are approved, the balance of the project is more likely to be on track and successful.”

Read All About It! NYT Goes to Turkey

This one-minute commercial was produced by Leo Burnett to announce the launch of the Turkish edition of The New York Times. Actual pages from the first edition of the newspaper were used to “wallpaper” the façade of recognizable landmarks in Manhattan and Istanbul, giving viewers a quick tour from New York Harbor to the Bosphorus. Notice how the financial pages were used to create the NYSE and Wall Street and the entertainment pages Times Square, etc. The clever ad was directed by Quba Michalski, with 3D and compositing by Dreambox.

Evian: Mastering the Art of French Water

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Want to set an elegant table for the holidays? Don’t just put any old bottled water out for guests. Make it French. Make it designer. Make it from the Evian Paul Smith Limited Edition collection. In a tradition started in 2008 with a limited edition bottle designed by Christian Lacroix, followed in 2009 with Jean Paul Gaultier, Evian has just released the Paul Smith Limited Edition 2010 bottle.

The renowned British fashion icon designed the bottle in vibrant colors with a festive theme, featuring his signature stripes and five different multi-colored caps to collect. These days selling bottled water has become harder with countless brands vying for market share and sustainability proponents urging people to drink water filtered from the tap, even adding the bubbly themselves. With its designer bottles, Evian, owned by Danone Waters of America, isn’t touting how its product tastes, but how its bottles look. At $13.95 (USD) for a single 750ml bottle and $118 (USD) for a 12-bottle case, what consumers are buying is imaginative packaging that happens to have water inside.

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Pentagram Partner Kit Hinrichs
Announces Formation of New Office

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Editor’s Note: Normally we don’t post people announcements on our blog, but we are breaking the rule for Kit, @Issue’s co-founder and creative catalyst. Kit’s new studio is off to a running start, with his entire San Francisco staff still on his team and projects proceeding on schedule. Below is the joint announcement released by Pentagram and Studio Hinrichs. Watch for more great work from Kit. Congratulations, dear friend, and all the best.

October 1, 2009 — After 23 years as a partner of Pentagram, Kit Hinrichs announced that he is leaving the international consultancy to establish an independent design firm, Studio Hinrichs, in San Francisco.

“My more than two decades at Pentagram have been the most gratifying of my 40-plus years in design,” says Hinrichs. “I’ve been proud to be in partnership with many of the world’s most talented and dedicated designers. Their commitment to design excellence set the bar to which I’ve continually aspired.”

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A Salute to International Food

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The photographs tell the whole story in this advertising campaign for the Sydney International Food Festival, sponsored by The Sydney Morning Herald, in Australia. The national flags represent the countries participating in the event’s World Chef Showcase Weekend (October 9-11) and are made up of ingredients and/or dishes for which each region is known. The promotion was created by WHYBIN/TBWA in Sydney, with Garry Horner as executive creative director and Trish Heagerty as food stylist.

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Do RISD and Brown Reflect
the Changing Focus of Design?

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Better x Design, the student-run research center at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, is hosting its second annual “A Better World by Design” conference on the two campuses next weekend (Oct 2-4). Jan Chipchase, principal engineer at the Nokia Research Center, heads an impressive slate of 18 speakers known internationally for their ground-breaking use of design and architecture for social entrepreneurship and green innovation.

“Today’s students, no matter their academic concentration, are recognizing their unlimited potential to use integrative design methods to make the world a better place,” explains Willem Van Lancker, RISD ’10 Graphic Design, one of the conference’s chief organizers.

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ABSOLUTely Lyrical Installation Art

Sometimes it seems insulting to call a television ad a “commercial,” especially when it feels like a very very short film on the making of installation art, akin to Christo’s red gates of Central Park. That’s how ABSOLUT Vodka’s “Anthem” ad struck us. Created by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York, the ABSOLUT ad has a poetic quality that is magic to view. Shot at six different locations, the film presents vignettes of artisans creating gigantic installations of words shaped out of blocks of ice, wheat, 2,000 hanging ABSOLUT bottles, flying lanterns, gigantic balloons, and a myriad of glass cylinders. It’s entertaining enough to keep you from heading to the refrigerator during commercial break. The creative team included CCO/Art Director Mark Figliulo, Creative Director Rob Baird, Art Director Hoj Jomehri, and Director Rupert Sanders.

Quiz: Cheese or Font?

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This is a quiz to test your knowledge of cheese and/or type fonts. Created by Tony Gambone at mogrify.org in Richmond, Virginia, the quiz gives an unfair advantage to serious cheese lovers. However, if there is ever a quiz called “Chocolate or Font?”, some of us will leave you cheese lovers in the dust.

Click here to take mogrify’s quiz.

Look at the Camera and Say “Aaaah”

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If the Pixar animated robot “Wall-E” was a doctor, this may be what he looks like. Designed by Modo, the maker of specialized carts for the healthcare industry, this unintimidating device goes by the name “Practitioner Cart ™HDX™.” What makes it such a wonder of design is that it houses 14 separate telemedical technology components from Polycom and more than 97 feet of cabling in a footprint that is smaller than an office chair.
Compact enough to fit in a doctor’s small exam room, the Practitioner allows doctors in rural or remote areas to consult with experts from urban research centers. Instead of just describing symptoms, off-site physicians can interact face-to-face with patients. Modo CEO Bob Marchant explains, “In addition to making the equipment responsive, we lowered the video image to a comfortable, conversational height, so the physician’s image and voice are at the level of a seated patient.”

Live digital video and high-speed satellite connections give the offsite doctor the ability to diagnose illnesses in real time, without requiring patients to travel. A high-resolution digital camera can provide close-ups of skin lesions; a digital stethoscope can take heart rate and blood pressure readings, and x-rays can be uploaded for immediate viewing. Modo design manager Goo Sung says that “Using the system is as easy as having a conversation. There is no start-up calibration. You simply turn it on and talk to your doctor. No one wants to wait when their health is at risk.”

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