Sure, it sounds like a self-effacing metaphor gone off the tracks. No, there's no punchline, and yes, it's pretty cool. Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder are currently living and working 24 hours a day in their "architect performed building" shaped like a 25-foot hamster wheel. The two artists, who have been collaborating on large-scale installations since 2007, will inhabit "Orbit" until March 9 and o view through April 5 at The Boiler in Brooklyn.
With all necessary furniture fixed around (and often through) the huge wheel, one person maintains life on the inside while the other occupies the upper/outer part of the ring. They use tandem movement around the wheel in order to change task, whether sleeping, working or staying physically active.(more...)
Do you have what it takes to make your own wine? Most likely not. But with this fancy gadget and a lower-than-average amount of skepticism, you might. Drink like Jesus did with the Miracle Machine: just add water, grape concentrate, yeast and a vaguely described "finishing powder" to impart that truly barrel-aged flavor without true barrel-aging.
The modestly named Miracle Machine is a household appliance with the capability of fermenting and age-flavoring fine wine within three days, for as little as $2 per bottle in materials. It's got a fairly elegant exterior, plastic but something you wouldn't resent for taking up counter space. The accompanying app lets you choose the type of wine you want to make and provides status information so that those of us too impatient for bread-baking can hold out long enough to reap the alcoholic bounty. Check out the project video:(more...)
From concrete planters cast from fruit to whittled toothbrush shanks, Pratt Institute graduates Chen Chen and Kai Williams (CCKW) have been exploring industrial processes and materials to create furniture, products and art since 2011. "Our design philosophy is very bottom-up," Chen says. "We experiment with materials and allow them to inform us of what products to make from them."
One of the first results of this design philosophy was a set of Cold Cut Coasters, inspired by the way in which deli meats are sliced at the point of purchase. Chen and Williams wanted to replicate that effect with a product where they could pre-make a "loaf" and slice it depending on how much a customer wanted.
"Eventually, we came to the realization that this was not going to be possible," Chen says. "But in trying for that goal, we came up with a way to make composite materials with intricate patterns by soaking fabric in resin and then wrapping it around solid materials like wood. This process brought an element of chance into each composition we made, as we had no idea what the slices were going to look like until they were cut." That material exploration also laid the groundwork for what would become a series of four rugs made in collaboration with Tai Ping Carpets and released during Art Basel Miami Beach last December.
Detail views of Coast Occult Dress (top)
The Oldest Stucco Star is another one of the four rugs Chen Chen and Kai Williams designed for Tai Ping Carpets(more...)
Show master CEO Ralph Wiegmann with award winners from South Korea
Last weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the iF design awards 2014 night, which took place at the impressive BMW Welt museum in Munich. Some 2,000 guests involved in design, business, culture, politics and press enjoyed a relaxed get-together while show master Ralph Wiegmann (iF CEO) hosted the ceremony, personally handing out no less than 75 iF gold trophies, which deserves some respect, to three categories of winners: product, communication and packaging.
In January, some 50 jury experts from all over the world came together for three days in Hannover to select the winners of the iF design awards 2014.
Read on to see our top five picks:
iF product design awards
To select the 1,220 winning entries (including 50 coveted iF gold awards), an international jury of experts came together at the Hanover exhibition center to review no less than 3,249 (!) entries from 48 countries. Here are three of our favorite product winners, from big to small:
The BMW i3 is the first large-scale production car with an all-electric engine manufactured by BMW Group is tailored to the requirements of sustainable and emission-free mobility. With its revolutionary architecture and CRP passenger compartment, the BMW i3 weighs only 1,195 kg. Learn more about the innovative new vehicle in our feature story on the BMW i3, including an exclusive interview with Head of Design Adrian van Hooydonk. BMW Group München, Germany
Of all the product designs people are willing to wait in line for, it's been demonstrated that iPhones, iPads and game consoles get a big "yes." But will people stand in line for something more mundane, like a cup?
They will if it was "designed" by Dominique Ansel, the NYC pastry chef famous for his queue-creating Cronuts. Following an announcement via Instagram by Ansel, Eater.com reports that the Frenchman recently tried his first Oreo; after learning that it was meant to be eaten with milk—"[not] a natural combination in French culture"—Ansel pushed the alien concept further, crafting a milk-holding cup from a cookie.
His resultant Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shots are going to be unveiled this Sunday at SXSW. And if his Cronut sales are any indication, the lines for these things will probably start somewhere north by northeast.(more...)
The toughest challenge for any charity is working out how to get your audience to emphasise with your cause. In a new film to highlight the third anniversary of the crisis in Syria, Save the Children achieves this by asking us how it might feel if it was happening in London. The spot is our Ad of the Week.
Made by creative agency Don't Panic, the ad takes the format of a 'second a day' film, with a young girl recording a year where her life moves from middle class normality into the chaos of war. At 90 seconds-long, the shifts are subtle, with events in the background – TV news reports and neighbours arguing – offering the first hints of what is unfolding. Soon the effects of a spiralling situation are obvious in the child though: an excellent performance by the central actor sees her turn from a light-hearted girl celebrating her birthday into a child wracked with uncertainty and fear. The film ends on her next birthday, which is spent in a refugee camp.
The Save the Children film is shocking, although as some reports on it have pointed out, the experiences shown are still nothing like as horrifying as those that many real Syrian refugee children will have gone through. At ten million views and counting on YouTube, it has clearly struck a chord with the public, and with a clearly labelled 'how you can help' button displayed on the film, will hopefully also lead viewers onto the Save the Children site where donations can be made and other info is available.
Wang I Chao creates much more than toys. The Taiwan-born, New York-based designer chooses to focus more on the creative potential of the user than the features of his toys. That's not to say his creations are boring by any means—on the contrary, his abstract inspirations bring a greater element of imagination to the experience. We chatted with him about three of his designs that caught our eye: "Shadow Monsters," "The Red Nose Circus" and "Belly Button Chair." Learn what he has to say about the playtime, making toys for kids and adults and how The Little Prince inspired his designs.
Core77: What's the most important aspect, in your opinion, to making the well-designed toy?
I Chao: I think a well-designed toy should be fun and inspirational. For me, the most important aspect of a toy is its ability to spark creativity. We can't learn this type of thing through a textbook, so it's best we play and find our creative sides naturally.
How do you see your own designs fitting into the modern world of toys and playtime?
It's my goal to design toys that enable our artistic talents. I regard my design as a framework to guide and contain users' inspirations. The framework uses storytelling to invite users into the games and at the same time, it sparks their creativity and imagination by encouraging them to make their own tale.
Aesthetics is an important and subtle influence in artistic inspirations too. When considering this, I pay great attention to the quality of my sculptural forms, and also engage them with character. The toys are not just designed for children, but also for grown-ups who enjoy novelty as well as aesthetically beautiful objects. From playability, story, to sculpture quality, I wish to design artsy toys that can be appreciated by users of all ages.
Photo: Olivier Saillant for Chanel
For its 2014 Fall/Winter fashion show at Paris Fashion Week, Chanel turned the Grand Palais into the world's glitziest supermarket complete with 500 Chanel-branded products in packaging designed specially for the show
At the Chanel Shopping Centre, sneaker-wearing supermodels - who have probably never set foot inside a real-life supermarket - strutted through the aisles pushing trolleys or carrying Chanel shopping baskets with leather and gold chain handles and the double C logo.
Photos: Olivier Saillant for Chanel
Seating was mocked-up to look like upturned supermarket cartons sealed with tape. The trolleys were equipped with Chanel tweed-covered locks, while the check-out sign featured a symbol of a Chanel customer wearing one of its trademark jackets.
Photo: ELLE France
Photos: Olivier Saillant for Chanel
The soundtrack was frequently interrupted by announcements of an in-store promotion on Noix de Coco (coconuts), or to say that a little girl was waiting for her mother at the checkout.
Chanel's version of Pringles. Photo: ELLE France
Chanel won't say who designed all the packaging but whoever it was had the dream-job of producing the complete Chanel-branded range of 500 products with over 100,000 mocked-up items on the shelves.
Photo: ELLE France
Photo: ELLE France
These included Jambon Cambon (the address of Chanel's first boutique in Paris), Coco Pop cereal, Chanel N° 9 eggs (a pun on the French (n)oeufs = 9), Lait de Coco (coconut milk), Mademoiselle Cognac and Cocoquillettes pasta. The product range extended to Coco Carbone car oil, detergents, feather dusters and doormats.
Photo: ELLE France
Photo: ELLE France
Photo: ELLE France
"A supermarket is for everybody, the rich included," said Chanel creative director Karl Largerfeld, generously. "It's a modern approach to luxury. If you're lucky enough to be able to buy these things, buy them, but don't wear them to show how rich you are....The big thing in Chanel is that we can play with everything and do whatever we want. Nobody tells us what to do, we are totally free." Which is nice.
Photo: ELLE France
Photo: ELLE France
Photo: ELLE France
Photo: ELLE France
Photo: ELLE France
The cheese counter, Chanel-style. Photo: ELLE France
Initially destined for a charity auction, the products were snatched off their shelves by avid fashionistas at the end of the show (check out the film here). A Chanel doormat with the legend 'Mademoiselle, Privé' was particularly in demand.
Many thanks to ELLE France for all the packaging images - see their story here
As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we are once again pleased to be partnering with the International Home + Housewares Show. With over 60,000 homegoods professionals showing off the newest housewares, it's easy to overlook the lineup of speakers the event has to offer. Fear not—the International Housewares Association has put together a series of blogposts featuring the event's keynotes—including speakers from Kickstarter, Food Network and Catalyze Chicago, the new community for hardware entrepreneurs, among many others. Make sure to read up and plan out your must-sees before you head to the big show.
Watch this space starting next weekend for our coverage, live and direct from the exhibition hall at McCormick Place.(more...)
As these things go, Day One of the 2014 Design Indaba Conference was a bit behind schedule from the get-go. Experimental Jetset acknowledged as much in their regimented presentation that morning: after introducing themselves by way of banter, Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers and Danny van den Dungen explained that they'd be spending the rest of their 40-minutes time slot by sharing their influences from A to Z, spending one minute on each topic. Taking the notion of a timed talk to its logical extreme, the Dutch trio went so far as to include 60-second countdown timers on each slide—a nod, perhaps, to their cerebral approach to graphic design.
L: Stolk's parents were founding members of the Provo anarchist movement (’65–’67); R: Invitation for Wim Crouwel: Architectures Typographiques
Of course, it didn't play out that way: Stolk clocked in "Anarchy" in exactly 60 seconds, but from "The Beatles" on, it was clear that the concept was a tad overambitious. (On the other hand, when it seemed that one of them would finish earlier than the 60 seconds on a couple of the letters, he or she would knowingly stretch the explanation.) Still, anyone familiar with their work could have guessed what "H" would be: they've been typecast (in a manner of speaking) as strict Helveticists since their memorable turn in Gary Hustwit's 2007 documentary on the ubiquitous typeface. Adherents to this day, van den Dungen duly noted that "We signed our own death sentence... in Helvetica."
Dean Poole, on the other hand, gushed about letterforms as archetypes; the self-effacing New Zealander's presentation which followed lunch on the third and final day of the conference, was rife on wordplay and visual puns, his understated punchlines deadpanned to a tee. Indeed, language and its mode of mechanical representation figure heavily into his work (where Sagmeister turns things into typography, Poole does the opposite) as the founder of Auckland-based studio Alt Group. Hence his rather more rapid 'characterization' of the letters of the alphabet—set in Futura, if I remember correctly—as ideograms, which, when juxtaposed with the Amsterdammers' ABCs, results in a series of non sequiturs:
I didn't catch Dean's versions of "P" and "U" and I haven't been able to get in touch with him; leave a comment if you happen to know what they are...(more...)
Rising star Javeon and director Ben Strebel have been collaborating on a series of gritty and compelling music videos of late. They have created a set of five interconnected promos to be released before the summer: the third is out today. CR talks to the duo about the experience of making the videos.
The three videos so far released in the series have introduced us to a number of characters. At their centre is Katy, a young bride who is caught up in a wedding day from hell, as captured in the video for Lovesong, which came out last September and is shown below.
The next two videos, for tracks Give Up and Intoxicated (out today), take us to a dingy roadside café, where we find a new cast of characters, some sympathetic – the hardworking chefs that star in the Give Up video – but most unpleasant. Katy makes a reappearance working in the café in the Intoxicated video, which ends on a cliffhanger.
Strebel has skillfully created a gripping, complex storyline across the videos, and has also drawn out some excellent performances from the actors starring in them, which include Sarah Smart and Josef Atlin. Below, CR talks to both him and Javeon about how the series came out.
CR: How did the collaboration start – did you know each other?
Ben Strebel: We’d never met before. I first met the boys from PMR Records. They were looking for a director to collaborate with on a gritty British series of videos for their exciting new artist, Javeon. Although there was talk of embarking on a trilogy, we decided to tackle Lovesong first and then take it from there. The success of the first one lead to what has become a fruitful relationship and a lot more than we had ever planned on making. It’s been a very organic project from the outset.
CR: What appealed about each others' work?
Javeon: I knew I didn’t want to just make a normal music video, so what drew me to his work was the balance between film and music in past videos that he’d directed. There’s a classiness about his work that I thought was interesting, from the tones and colours to the narrative. Everything seemed quite thought through and that’s what I was looking for.
BS: We both share a profound fascination with the eccentricities of the Brits and love British Realism as a genre. I love the freedom I was given by Javeon and his team. I think we share the same ethos of wanting to challenge preconceptions of what a music video should be and creating contrasts between the song and visuals. When the music is fast, the visuals should be slow and so on, which was the stylistic rule I set for Lovesong. Give Up was just supposed to be a side project – a B side. In the end we agreed to create an anti music video – it’s as much a chamber piece as it is a music video. I wanted to create the simplest, most intimate story based in the confines of one sticky, sweaty room. The music ends up playing a key role in the story. Its presence is felt, as it divides the two squabbling chefs at first before bringing them together. With regards to Intoxicated and the films that will follow, Javeon and I agreed we wanted to contrast the compassion and emotions of his songs with the gritty harshness of Katy and her world.
Javeon and Strebel on set
CR: Is there an overall theme to the videos, or is each one unique?
BS: The theme and story is Katy’s harrowing downfall. There is an overarching story, but I tried to retain a certain level of individuality within each film. Adding a layer of surrealism to the straightforward realism meant I was able to create abstract strands of narrative. As a result each film could be a standalone piece as well as part of a continuous narrative. There seems to be a new wave of British independent films that are starting to embrace the surreal. I liked the idea of opening up a discussion and creating metaphors, without prescribing too much to the viewer. It gives you the freedom to invest your own imagination, which is kind of fun. I tried to do this by obscuring the boundaries of what’s real and what isn’t.
Strebel on set
CR: How did you come up with the stories in the videos? Did you do this together?
J: Generally, the way we’ve been working is that Ben would have my music along with any initial ideas me and my team may have come up with. Ben then would come back with the master plan and we’d tweak slightly it together. I think because I don’t like straightforward thinking and like to bury meanings behind things in both the artwork and songwriting, that’s where Ben and I are very much alike. Before we’ve even started a new video it already has a mystery about it that leaves it wide open to interpretation, which I love.
BS: It’s funny because when we first spoke of continuing with Katy’s story we really connected over a similar fascination for roadside diners. Javeon turned around one day and asked, 'hey why doesn’t the kid in Lovesong drop Katy off at a roadside diner?' Obviously the story has evolved since, but I loved the idea of Katy seeking refuge at a roadside café. There is no place like it. They attract people from all walks of life – a place full of characters, where Katy would fit right in. The lyrics and sounds are full of heartache and compassion. I wanted to reflect this deep felt sentiment through our main protagonist, Katy. She suffers.
CR: Do you see this as an ongoing collaboration?
BS: I feel like it’s definitely an ongoing relationship and hopefully we’ll continue to work together in the near future. I love the way his songs are stories in themselves – highly emotive pieces based on personal experience. But there’s always another level of meaning to his lyrics. He’s a visionary, thinks outside the box and wants to subvert and abstract what appears so straightforward. There’s something haunting about his songs that really pulls me in and gets me excited.
J: This collaboration of ours has been going on since the summer last year we’re both enjoying it because it’s fun and exciting, which makes for the best kind of work! There are a few potential videos for the future we have spoken about, but it’s still very early days yet. Beyond this album, we’ll definitely work together again. That’s the great thing about when something works: we can always revisit the way we’ve worked together, but on a new project.
Intoxicated by Javeon is out in March on PMR Records. More of Ben Strebel's work can be seen online here.
Haymarket creative director Paul Harpin has teamed up with Typespec to launch a campaign selling fonts in aid of Cancer Research UK and MacMillan Cancer Support.
Buy Fonts Save Lives is selling three fonts through typespec.co.uk - one designed by Harpin, another by Matt Willey and one created by Paul Hickson and commissioned by Haymarket for its founder, Lord Heseltine. Proceeds from each will be donated to the cancer charities and Harpin says other designers will also be taking part.
Harpin decided to launch the project after the death of his 26-year-old niece Laura and has spent 14 months creating a type family named after her. Available in four styles and 12 weights, Laura is Harpin's first font, but he has been making hand lettering for children's books since around 2010.
"My old bosses John Miles and Colin Banks told me that type design was the holy grail of communications and I know they were right," he says. "My niece would have laughed, if she realised that her name has the most difficult kerning problem: an L followed by an A," he adds.
To make Laura, Harpin cut letters out of A4 paper before scanning and tracing them in Illustrator and using Fontographer. He was helped by Paul Hickson, Eichi Kono and Typespec founder Joe Graham, whose brother passed away aged 34.
"Paul kindly helped with the dark arts of kerning and metric. Joe...has done a thorough check and helped with hinting, and I realise now that I should have used Font Lab. I had done all 5,142 drawings for the weights and Joe and Paul told me that if I did 192 more that they, with Font Labs, could help make it Pan European," he explains. "I learnt so much...and feel I have found a secret art," he adds.
Heseltine's font is available in two styles, text and titling, and was produced as a gift from Haymarket Media to Heseltine on his 75th birthday. It was recently updated for his 80th to include italics.
Willey's contribution, Mfred, was originally drawn for Elephant magazine and has since been used in Port and the US edition of Wired. Henrik Kubel at A-2 Type assisted with the design, and Willey donated the font in honour of his father, Nick.
Harpin says the team are looking to raise as much money as possible, and two more typefaces have since been donated. To buy a font, visit typespec.co.uk/buyfontssavelives. To donate one, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the UK design industry's true greats, Mike Dempsey, is to give the next Typographic Circle lecture
In a talk entitled Life Without CDT, a reference to the studio he co-founded in 1979, Dempsey will be looking back on a 40-year career during which he was won just about every industry accolade going.
Since stepping back from the business, Dempsey has also revealed himself to be a witty, insightful and occasionally sharp-tongued commentator on the design scene via his Graphic Journey blog, Should be a good one.
Mike Dempsey: Life Without CDT is at JWT, Knightsbridge Green, London SW1 on March 27. Tickets are £10 for members (£16 for non-members) and £6 for students (£10 for student non-members). Details here
Start the day a sexy way with this new, probably not-safe-for-work video for The Coward by The Jullien Brothers.
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The Jullien Brothers are graphic designer Jean, and his brother Nicolas, who as well as being a director and animator is an electronic musician. He works under the names of both Niwouinwouin and The Coward and is behind the music in this vid.
It's been over a year since we've seen interactive restaurant tables in the news, but here comes a new one from Pizza Hut. Yes, the American fast food joint is hoping that if their deep-dish pizzas aren't enough to get you inside, perhaps their fee-yancy touchscreen table will be. Have a look:
What's interesting about this, from a business perspective, is that Pizza Hut is owned by Yum! Brands, which also owns KFC and Taco Bell. While the last interactive restaurant table we looked at was integrated into a one-off restaurant, Yum! Brands (God I hate typing that stupid exclamation point in their name) has some 40,000 restaurants in over 125 countries.
As for the actual interface design (which was done by creative firm Chaotic Moon), it still seems a bit cutesy to me; I'm not confident that people will want to do a two-finger drag to choose a pie size, for instance—I suspect they'd rather just hit an S, M or L button. But the visual representation of how large something is will probably prove popular. And once the balance between what the technology can do and what people actually want has been worked out, if Y!B decides to move ahead with this concept, we could see mass uptake in a relatively short time period, on account of their size. Presumably they've got the juice to require individual franchisees to integrate these units, handily spreading the costs out.
We all take the floors we tread on for granted. Not only are they more reliable than a best friend when it comes to catching you after ill-fated falls, but they also introduce an entire expanse of possibilities in terms of data collection. If you've done your reading, you may remember a group at the Georgia Institute of Technology we covered that's working to harvest energy from footsteps through a collapsable, charged contraption located underneath the floor. This time we've got something a little different, but just as awesome.
German-based Future-Shape has introduced the 2mm thick SensFloor, a large textile underlay that fits underneath flexible floor coverings like tiles and parquet. The conductive mat can track the movement of several people moving on top of it at once, as well as those in wheelchairs.(more...)
Hooks are one of my favorite organizing products—and my clients love them, too. It's just easier to throw a coat over a hook than it is to put it on a hanger—and easy is good, since it increases the chance that the coat (or whatever) isn't going to just get tossed on the floor. So hooks are worth considering for your own work spaces, as well as for end-users who may find them handy.
When I say "hook," you may think of classic hook designs, such as this double hook and robe hook—which are both perfectly good and useful, but there's no need to stop there. The opportunities for innovation within this basic form are nearly endless.
Or consider this CNC router-cut wall hook from Grain, made from a block of ash.
Some hooks are designed for easy installation, without the need for sheetrock anchors, etc. (More on installation issues later.) Unihook from Pat Kim installs with a single nail—but due to its clever design, which spreads the load downwards along the wall from that one nail, it can hold an amazing 10 kilograms of weight (about 22 pounds).(more...)
That crusty industrial building may not look like much, but it's special for two reasons. One, it's located in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, a city with little history of industry, meaning buildings like that are not commonplace. And two, it's going to become a creative incubation hub to the tune of some CAD $30 million in funding.
The Bayview Yards Innovation Centre, as it's called, is nearly 46,000 square feet of raw space that will house a rentable digital media and animation lab, meeting and presentation spaces, design studios and a makerspace dedicated to "industrial design, prototyping, fabricating and additive and subtractive manufacturing."
The aforementioned $30 mil in funding, half of which is from the city and half from the province, isn't a mere gesture of largesse; the bread is intended to provide "a big boost to the creative sector that has been waiting to emerge in this city for decades." The local talent-drain problem is well known, with creative types easily lured to cities like Toronto or New York; by giving, say, the industrial design grads at Ottawa's Carleton University a cool place to make stuff, the government bodies reckon they can hang on to their citizens while creating jobs and wealth.(more...)
This week's ad round-up features work from Google, Coke, and Bigelow Tea, plus a compelling film from Thames & Hudson to promote a new book by South African photographer Roger Ballen. First up though is a new charity ad from BBH London for the Mayhew Animal Home...
The spot is the first directing job for BBH creative director Dominic Goldman, who also wrote it. It has a bit of a twist, so we won't give away the punchline here, but it's an unexpected and rather charming take on the typical animal welfare spot. Production company: Moxie Pictures. Post: The Mill.
Geoff McFetridge stars in the first of what is promised to be a series of films for Bigelow Tea. Titled While You Were Steeping, the films demonstrate what artiness can be achieved while you are waiting for a cup of tea to steep. Agency: Ideo. Director: Bucky Fukumoto.
To accompany Roger Ballen's latest monograph Asylum of the Birds, Thames & Hudson has released this six-minute film that takes viewers inside the unsettling world of Ballen's photographs. It's a gripping watch. Director: Ben Crossman.
This new spot for Google features a voiceover taken from Pixar's Andrew Stanton's TED talk from 2012. Broadcast during the Oscars, the spot celebrates moviemaking and storytelling, and shows how using Google can help you make your own films.
Also from Google is this film and website to promote the Google Science Fair 2014, a global science and technology competition open to students aged 13 to 18. The site features a nifty 'Ideas Springboard' to help kids think of projects for the competition. See more at googlesciencefair.com.
We finish on an amusing note with this film for Coke from Memac Ogilvy Dubai, which proposes a remedy for those addicted to social media in the form of a Coke branded 'social media guard' (which looks suspiciously like an collar for injured animals). It's a funny take on a common problem, if a little out of character for a Coke ad (this other recent spot for Coca Cola Light from Johannes Leonardo is much more in keeping with expectation, almost to the point of seeming like a spoof itself). Creative director: Ramzi Moutran. Associate creative director: Sascha Kuntze; Designer: Diana Alzubeidi.
In a radical shift in its business model, Getty Images is now allowing users to embed watermark-free images on websites and blogs free of charge
An option to "Embed this image" has been added to images on the Getty site. Choose this option and users are given an embed code (similar to those used on YouTube) whereby the image can be embedded on the users' site without any watermark. Instead, the image will carry a link back to Getty and a credit for the image and its photographer. Usage is restricted to editorial purposes.
As with YouTube, however, the linked content may be deleted at any time leaving users with a blank space on their site.
It's a radical departure for Getty but one that follows a similar model to Imgembed, which we reported on last year, a service created by the same Singapore team behind Creative Finder and Design Taxi.
US site The Verge (read their full post here) quotes Craig Peters, a business development executive at Getty Images, on the rationale behind the move. "Look, if you want to get a Getty image today, you can find it without a watermark very simply," he says. "The way you do that is you go to one of our customer sites and you right-click. Or you go to Google Image search or Bing Image Search and you get it there. And that's what's happening… Our content was everywhere already."
Peters argues that if Getty provides a clear, legal path for using its images, publishers will take it, thus opening up new revenue streams for both Getty and photographers. Once images are embedded (using an iframe code) the company can in the future collect data on users and even implant ad messages replicating the success that YouTube has had with pre-roll advertising and 'buy here' options.
That functionality isn't being employed as yet but appears to be one of a number of opportunities Getty is thinking about. But in the meantime, the embed option will at least credit both Getty and the photographer. "The principle is to turn what's infringing use with good intentions, turning that into something that's valid licensed use with some benefits going back to the photographer," The Verge quotes Peters as saying, "and that starts really with attribution and a link back."
Here's what Getty's Ts & Cs say about the usage of embeddable images: "Where enabled, you may embed Getty Images Content on a website, blog or social media platform using the embedded viewer ... Not all Getty Images Content will be available for embedded use, and availability may change without notice. Getty Images reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove Getty Images Content from the Embedded Viewer. Upon request, you agree to take prompt action to stop using the Embedded Viewer and/or Getty Images Content. You may only use embedded Getty Images Content for editorial purposes (meaning relating to events that are newsworthy or of public interest). Embedded Getty Images Content may not be used: (a) for any commercial purpose (for example, in advertising, promotions or merchandising) or to suggest endorsement or sponsorship; (b) in violation of any stated restriction; (c) in a defamatory, pornographic or otherwise unlawful manner; or (d) outside of the context of the Embedded Viewer.
Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetise its use without any compensation to you."
More detail on how the embed system works here
Read BJP's useful 10 facts you need to know about the service here
It's a fascinating move by Getty, especially if/once they start to explore the potential of data collection and embedding ad messages. Photographers will be wondering when and how the promised new revenue will appear.
Manchester creative studio MARK has designed a set of stickers for Johnson & Johnson that celebrate everyday items invented by women, from windscreen wipers and chocolate chip cookies to the fire escape.
The stickers will be placed around Johnson & Johnson's head office in Berkshire to raise awareness of International Women's Day on March 8. The company is hosting a series of events to mark the date and wanted to increase staff engagement.
"We were given an open brief to devise a simple, impactful and quick to produce idea that would engage staff interest and create a curiosity about the day itself and the history behind it," says MARK creative director Mark Lester. "People are then informed about specific events mostly through email,” he says.
Eight stickers have been designed in total and each uses elements of a visual system MARK created for Johnson & Johnson late last year - the studio also designed office graphics, induction packs, internal communications and iconography (see more pics on MARK's website).
It's a simple yet effective solution, and while it's a shame the stickers won't be appearing elsewhere in the UK, Lester says they will be applied to various desks, doors, kettles and other spaces at J&J's headquarters.
Illustrator Andy Smith has created a range of joke-themed prints, books and coasters for a new solo show at Bristol’s Soma Gallery.
Smith has worked on campaigns for Cadbury, Sony, Orange, Penguin and the Guardian and specialises in cheerful typographic illustrations with a hand drawn feel. He came up with the idea for his latest exhibition while designing the cover of a children’s joke book for MacMillan.
“Flicking through all these cheesy puns and one liners, it occurred to me that they’d make great prints – I really like the way they are very sharp and succinct in their delivery and how they play with words,” he says.
“I’ve tried to use old ones that we’ve all heard before and that are familiar to us. Even though they are obvious, it’s difficult not to smile a little,” he adds.
Most of the works on display are available to buy at Soma Gallery’s online shop – including a set of coasters featuring a range of ‘walked in to a bar’ jokes.
The show is open until April 19 at 4 Boyces Avenue, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4AA and you can see more of Smith’s work on his website - or read our post on his previous Soma exhibition, Sunny Side Up, here.
It looks like Lydia Nichols has mastered her fine arts - and how! Check out these projects and more (thirteen total!) from her corner of the Good Measure MFA Thesis Exhibition at the Tyler School of Art Graphic and Interactive Design. Her colors and her facility with the printing process and layering make her work bright and crisp, and it all looks like wonderfully functional work as well. From her description of the projects:
Tyler’s program focuses heavily on authorship, so most of the projects include research, authorship, design, and illustration.
Personally, I don’t have the authority, but Lydia: you’re hired!
Scott Gwynn hurt his drawing hand so his left hand is picking up the slack.
Love the looseness of these drawings. Might be a good exercise to try switching hands every once and while. Forces you to think about shape and over all design rather than surfacey stuff like line and texture.
Hope your hand gets well soon, Scott!
More great work on Scott’s tumblr.
Koyama Press is putting out issue 3 of Ryan Cecil Smith’s S.F. later this year.
Ryan Cecil Smith is one of my favorite cartoonists, period, and S.F. is at the top of my must-buy list—you can still get #1 and 2, along with the excellent S.F. Supplementary File(s), at his site. Very excited to see him get the Koyaman treatment. I don’t know who designed that cover, but oo-wee!
I’m going to take the opportunity to toot my horn, and spread the news about my new book from Nobrow. So: hey, check out my new book from Nobrow! It’s called Destination X. It has rocketships and cryo-chambers and aliens and you should buy a copy or two!
It debuts at TCAF in May, and will hit stores in June, but if you’re impatient you can order it directly from Nobrow this very instant.
Anyone in the New Hampshire area ? Check it out!
This is being operated by a particularly active and excellent typography programme in Poland.