NPR’s Planet Money recently ordered a batch of tee shirts. They followed its journey from seed to its arrival — hey, what about the designer?! What ended in the US, started in the US but took a circuitous path touching many people along the way. See how that journey unfolds in what is an excellent primer for those outside the business to learn what it takes to make a “simple” tee.
As a group of humans who operate in a society we have compassion even for those who have made decisions we disagree with. We do not effectively end their lives by refusing them medical care because we are not savages. It is our social contract. As a result we each shoulder the burden, mainly through increases in health care prices.
Requiring by law that people follow what the public deem to be prudent guidelines, either in the form of mandatory protective gear or sufficient insurance for their recovery care, while operating on public roads is in effect a use tax. As such it more fairly distributes the economic impacts those who put themselves at greatest risk.
The argument that helmet or insurance laws violate our freedom could also be seen either as a socialist view in the sense that society must share the cost of individual healthcare for all (as is the current state of affairs) or unfettered capitalism in that we should repeal the aforementioned social contract so that only those who can afford health care should receive it – effectively leaving the injured to die in the street. Neither view is particularly American in nature.
The question government(s) should honestly ask themselves is ‘who should be responsible for the medical costs?’ Should it fall on all people equally through higher health care costs (effectively a regressive tax) or should it fall on the riders themselves?
Seen this way I am comfortable with either mandatory helmet laws or a mandatory minimum insurance concept (see Michigan) as each requires me as a rider to be accountable for my decisions, either by taking precautionary measures or by ensuring that I am not a burden on society.
Put into practice, it would seem that the helmet law is more easily enforced as it is plainly visible to police. However the mandatory insurance is likely more politically viable — we Americans love to have a choice. Two keys to the insurance concept are 1) establishing the value of the dollar figure so that it fairly reflects actual costs and 2) increasing the visibility of a rider’s insurance status perhaps through unique tabs or some other solution to improve enforcement. Here’s a thought: a ticket for lack of both helmet and insurance is $200. Of that, $100 goes to the government and $100 goes to an insurance trust for the rider.
In short, freedom, like power, requires great responsibility. If you are responsible enough to provide for your own healthcare costs as a result of your decision to ride without a helmet, ride on.
My eyes about popped out of their sockets when I saw this custom Ducati Sport Classic. As you can see, the details are absolutely amazing.
The only thing was it struck me, as it did many viewers, as being overly busy. Counting out the colors, green, cream, black, silver and red add up to about one too many for just about any bike. And while I actually like chrome, it seems to work best in limited doses. If overused it becomes hard to see the forest for the trees. I chose to cut out the red entirely. It is a small but powerful change. Secondly just a little de-chroming, by making the fender green and the swing arm black. Treating the fender as a piece of the bodywork and the swing arm as part of the frame maintains some logic and retains the balance while really calming down the back end.
Approaching the first anniversary of the passing of Beastie Boy MCA, artist James Curran created and animated these 35 prints. Each print contains a reference to a Beasties lyric. How many can you name?
Brilliant work from KW43 Branddesign
Via Logo Design Love
About as clean and detailed as anyone could get, this manual for the iconic NYC subway system is the work of legendary designers Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda. Timeless and perfect, there is no better signage system in my view. This site, featuring an original printed copy of the manual, is absolutely fantastic. It takes you from a well thought out system overview to the intricacies of kerning every possible letter combination (and putting in an easily digestible grid) to the precise construction of elements as humble as the arrow. All this is done with the goal of simplifying a complex system for the efficiency of its users.
Often times clients will tell me, “I just need a logo.” I don’t do that, because that’s not what they need and I am in the business of providing clients with what they need. While the logo is probably the single most important part of a company’s visual identity, even the greatest logo without consistent application is a failure. What is Coca-Cola without red or UPS without brown? What is the NYC Subway without colored discs? The purpose of consistent design elements is to create recognition and build trust. For this reason I don’t do “just a logo” work. When you hire C Davis Designs for your graphic identity, a graphic standards manual is part of the package – fonts, color specifications, application rules – all this at a minimum. Will it be a 168 page tome? No, but there will be a graphic standards manual and it will be appropriate to the needs of the client, big or small.
When bringing the services of three large and successful brands together under one name, you would expect a pretty bland result. That’s not the direction chosen for “WEVE”, a joint venture of EE, Vodafone UK, and Telefonica UK. Not so much a logo as a logo treatment, the WEVE ad campaign does what conventional wisdom deplores – they’ve put treatment above logo. They’ve also put originality ahead of grammar. But let’s look at what they’ve managed to accomplish. They’ve got themselves a name they can trademark anywhere for an abstract product that is an amalgamation of three brands at once. That is an impressive achievement. And that is what was accomplished by SomeOne.
“Weve offers a single point of contact, a single point of focus. The coming together of all things mobile and mobile commerce. The name and brand reflects this. The duality of the name means that Weve can talk about the partners, and the benefit they offer together. “Weve come together to make mobile communications easier…” as well as the inference of “weaving together” what were complex mobile offers. The identity is simply formed by things coming together.Designed to change, frequently, regularly and relevantly. You’ll see Weve made of mobile phones, people, marbles, digital data, light bulbs, footprints, ball bearings, cogs, clients logos, branded products, faces…”
Now let’s take a closer look at that treatment. They chose to assemble like objects into a readable configuration to create the logo. They also chose to do it in multiple ways and these ways appear to have no end. Furthermore they can choose any iconography they want to adapt to any message they want. Does WEVE have a great idea? A hundred or so light bulbs will get that message across. Will WEVE save you money throughout Europe? How about a logo made up of a hundred coins? One logo, one treatment, infinite messages.
You can already see how easily this could be animated as the objects disperse and coalesce. Taking it further, you can see how the business cards retain the theme as they would assemble to form the logo.
You can already see how easily this could be animated as the objects disperse and coalesce. And with the wealth of platforms currently available to display animation – especially for a wireless carrier – the animation becomes all the more important for this client.
Viewed from afar, it has the appearance of a halftone, with more depth and interest up close.
Yes, the logo breaks the rules and ruffles a few feathers in the process, but when it is done so, so well none of that matters. In fact, it helps the brand demonstrate that its sole purpose is to break new ground. Gutsy choice by the client. Gutsy choice by the agency.
Via Brand New
Anyone I’ve spoken to or even reads my posts on Hell For Leather will find these thoughts familiar. Motorcycle design, and the design of its related industries, has veered off over the last 10-15 years into a desperate attention grab. Fake parts and parts which serve no purpose beyond questionable styling has diluted the essence of these products – especially in the standard and sport varieties – into something befitting shelf space in a toy store. Covered mechanical parts in plastic, often times intended to look like cast aluminum, has gotten so out of control that genuine cast parts are often criticized as looking like plastic, to wit the rear subframe of the poor Triumph Daytona 675 being mistakenly decried as fake. The pervasive dishonesty in materials is cheapening the industry and detaching it from an upcoming generation that places real value on the genuine article. It’s time, not to bring the past back, but to bring forth a sense of design that is not condescending toward its customers. End users need to be respected and we need to have the faith in their intelligence to see through the smoke screens of marketing that are selling image over substance and controlling and ruining design in its wake. The era of “perceived value” is the past. The future is a blending of aesthetics and engineering, not of the former hiding the latter. We’ve gotten to the point where mechanical limits far exceed the ability of humans to exploit them. As an industry we have to better understand the mechanical and the beautiful from both perspectives at once. This is the intersection where great products have been, and will continue to be born. Styling is for the whims of fashion. Design is what lasts.
A little tweaking to the levels so we can see what’s going on.
Pics via Hell For Leather.
You’ve got to feel sorry for the Spanish athletes at the Olympics. This was tweeted by Spanish Field Hockey team member Alex Fabregas. Hopefully the entire team has his sense of humor.
I am starting to like where Honda is headed, at least with their concepts and with this bike. But I’m not a fan of the red fender, gold stripe, or silver wheels. That’s just throwing too much at this little bike.
The red fender was way out of place here, looking as though it came off another bike. And when you’ve already got black, white, blue, red, and silver, the gold around the red stripe is only adding confusion.
The colorway is now simplified and more cohesive with the color count reduced (gold swapped for silver) and the fender now one of the main panel colors. This brings continuity to the uses of red (graphics) and white (bodywork). You may think the white wheels a bit too much, but this whole colorway is about being bold and really, white’s not that much harder to clean than the light silver they were using. Plus, they just look good…when they’re clean.
Black wheels look much better than silver too. They also serve to clarify the color hierarchy. In order of most to least: black, white, blue, red, silver.
These manufacturers need to start running their colorways past me before taking them to production.
The flow really got disrupted with the yellow tank and black tail. By stacking the color vertically, the bike looks slower and it really emphasized the roundness of the tank which is out of place with other lines of the bike.
An overlooked option for the 2012 the ZX-10R – Black/Silver. They should have ditched color on the upper fairing for every colorway.
Here are the colors they went with.