Loads of "experts" send us trend reports, and most of them go right in the trash along with all the press releases from people who think they've reinvented branding. But Razorfish's Digital Outlook Report won over our cynical hearts with its depth and shrewd analysis. Read up on everything from the future of TV and mobile marketing to a phenomenon the company dubs Social Influence Marketing. You'll find contributions from movers and shakers at Google, Comcast, Microsoft and more. Just be prepared to put on your reading glasses: This text-heavy experience is worth the effort.
The World Press Photo winners' gallery showcases the best photojournalism of 2008, but it also presses pause at the exact moments when history was made. You'll find Barack Obama sneaking in chin-ups on the campaign trail, Usain Bolt breaking a world record at the Olympics and Chinese citizens making due in post-earthquake rubble. With a mix of single shots and photo stories, this stunning time capsule doubles as a master class in visual storytelling, with techniques that might apply just as well to a brochure or website.
Most magazines are filled with images so slick you might have trouble holding onto the pages. But I Heart Magazine takes the opposite approach, featuring street photography that's authentic, surprising and even downright peculiar. In the debut issue, there are 88 candid black-and-white images culled from 25,000 submissions. People rein supreme in these pages, whether they're in the middle of a backflip or holding impromptu band practice on the sidewalk. The experience crossbreeds the voyeuristic pleasure of Found magazine with the talent of the legendary Weegee.
Oh, to travel back in time and spend a week as Alexander Girard. This mid-century designer created textiles for Herman Miller and collaborated with the likes of the Eameses and George Nelson. Until you fix the flux capacitor on your DeLorean, House Industries has brought you the next best thing: a collection of fonts and objects inspired by Girard. Choose from whimsical alphabet blocks, a timelessly illustrated memory game, a delightful family of fonts and more.
You don't have to worry about running into any rhinestone-studded sweatshirts at RISD's Bedazzled exhibit. Instead of an infomercial craft machine, the show chronicles a fascinating piece of graphic design history known as dazzle. This counterintuitive brand of camouflage was developed for hulking World War I-era ships—the strategy called for dizzyingly wild paint jobs designed to confuse the enemy. Think stripes, chunks, organic forms and even bright colors. See plans and photos through March 29 at RISD's FLEET Library or browse through many of the startling designs online.
Maybe we've been eating too much Kashi GoLean, but we haven't uncovered a raft of stickers at the bottom of a cereal box for a long time. But we did manage to find a Flickr set that creates a similar prize-induced high without so much sugar. This graphic time machine is packed with more than 200 cereal-related stickers, mostly from the '70s and '80s. There are stick-on graphics for your BMX, "Stay Out" door stickers for your room and familiar faces ranging from Tony the Tiger to Cap'n Crunch ... and even fluorescent stickers to make your playground pals jealous.
Repeat after us: I want my design TV. If you're suffering from the January blahs, Real World marathons might be tempting, but Ovation network's weeklong celebration of design makes couch time practically productive. Next week you can tune into the U.S. premieres of Adventures in Architecture and Designer People. The first takes you on a globe-trotting look at the built environment, while the second profiles successful creatives, including graphic designer Ed Fella. We also set the DVR for Brilliant Green, a special on eco-friendly design efforts from the likes of Subaru and Patagonia.
Most people we know have a conference story that involves tipsiness. So unless one is particularly drawn to the bottle, it only seems natural to combine professional development with alcohol appreciation. The Flash on Tap conference brings together an impressive line-up of Flash design and development speakers with a craft beer festival. It takes place May 28 to 30 in Boston, and to make networking effortless, you'll be able to walk around some sessions with drink in hand. Just don't expect to find Bud Light on tap.
No worries: This is strictly a PG-13 item. The wonderful folks at Modern Dog and Blue Q have teamed up to bring you the Naked Guys With Balls magnet set. And if reading that didn't make you giggle, clicking through to the picture definitely will. These magnets bring humor to your fridge through the magic combination of sports equipment and partial nudity. We know you want to see an average-looking guy strategically covering his private parts with a soccer ball. Anyone for ping-pong?
If you're feeling scrooge-y instead of festive, we'd like to suggest a little mood enhancement through advertising. Design firm zig has created a clever holiday campaign for IKEA Canada calculated to boost seasonal cheer … if not give you the sudden urge to buy low-cost Swedish furniture. A series of billboards and online banners spell out simple holiday greetings—such as joy, love and hope—with IKEA products. Each ad features a bird's-eye view of a room where the sofas, chairs, tables and other products become letters. And for lucky Toronto residents, zig created a 3D billboard with real furniture. Continuing education bonus: This being a Canadian campaign, the messages are in both English and French.