Bright shiny design objects 002

Bright shiny design objects 002
September 21, 2014 Kelly

Bad design on purpose. Subversive?

ironic bad design is still bad design

ironic bad design is still bad design

Ok, the new iPhone-mania is all the media rage and Bloomberg Business Week is no exception. What is surprising is their Tim Cook cover. Truly, truly bad. Purposefully so? Let’s hope there was a reason behind it. The magazine’s creative director states: “We were really happy with the spirit of the cover photo, and how it’s the antithesis of the formality and seriousness you might expect from a portrait of a powerful CEO,” Vargas told me in an email. “We found and experimented with the font Learning Curve– we thought the playfulness of it made a great match and enhanced the surprise.”

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Seriously? Are we supposed to believe that? Do you think the design (or lack thereof) could be a commentary on Tim Cook’s perceived lack of creativity? Or does it portray him as light-hearted? Does the magazine have an ax to grind with Apple? Was it brilliant marketing and click-bait? Or are you wondering what’s the big deal, you like it? (If so, see me after class.)

And this isn’t the first time Bloomberg has chosen a less-than-flattering cover for Tim Cook (with a nod to Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Newman):

o-BUSINESSWEEK-facebook Read more here By the way, don’t even think about turning in a design like this. “Intentionally bad design is still bad design.”

An open letter to design students everywhere

Here is some good advice for those getting ready to graduate, just entering the department or somewhere in the middle. (Yes, I’m talking to you.) Read more here 13 ways designers screw up client presentations Ha! Our good friend, Paul Diamond at DMH, sent this gem to me this week. Be forewarned — there are swear words in this article, it’s real world. I know, you aren’t in the job force — yet — but there are some pretty great tips that applies to your presentations as well. See #3, #6, #7, # 8 (read that twice), #9 (ok – I DO want to hear about your typeface choices) Read more here

Judging books by their cover


The 2013 50 Books / 50 Covers winners were recently announced. It was organized by Design Observer with AIGA and Designers and Books.  Ahhhh. As Prof. Kidwell says “Print isn’t dead, it’s important.” Check out the 50 books here And the 50 covers here

This week in vernacular typography (in case you are looking to get me a present …)


Speaking of books, I am currently coveting designer Louise Fili’s newest book, Grafica della Strada: The Signs of Italy. It is vernacular typography at it’s Italian finest, documented and curated by a typographic master. Speaking of VT (as I shall now refer to one of my favorite distractions), you might want to check out Molly Woodward’s website or or

Making the wait more entertaining & safer

I love this stop walk installation in Lisbon, Spain. Makes me wanna dance. And it makes people actually stop, wait, and watch. the-dancing-traffic-light_dezeen2

What makes it more fun, it that the dancers are actually nearby pedestrians: dancing_traffic_light_dezeen_468_18

Check it out


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