Tomorrow marks the beginning of National Design Week, an annual initiative of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, to spread the word about fields ranging from graphic design and architecture to fashion and product design. Among the week's highlights will be the National Design Awards gala, and the celebration is not limited to those on the star-studded guest list. Tune in online this Tuesday, October 12, at 7:00 p.m. EST as graphic designer Stephen Doyle hosts a panel discussion with his fellow National Design Award winners, including Lisa Strausfeld (interaction design) and Tom Dair (product design). Wondering how good design can also be good business? Don't miss the museum's live webcast of its "Business of Design" event on Wednesday morning.
A team of workers renovating London's Notting Hill Gate subway (tube) station recently unearthed walls of colorful posters that have been there since the last round of major repairs—in the late 1950s. The postwar posters include highly stylized advertisements for films of the day (Around the World in 80 Days, Too Many Crooks), events including the Daily Mail's annual "Ideal Home" exhibition, and consumer products such as Pepsodent toothpaste ("You'll wonder where the yellow went"). Don't bother crossing the pond to examine the treasure trove of vintage graphic design, which remains inaccessible to the public. Just head to Flickr, where you can view the London Underground's photos of the inspiring posters.
Make your Labor Day delicious and easy on the eyes with Recipics.com, a collection of "visual recipes" created by Lauren Bugeja. The Australian user experience designer developed a system to translate written recipes into a diagrammatic form that simplifies the preparation of labor-intensive dishes ranging from Eggs Benedict to rigatoni sardi a mari—even if you've never poached an egg and would be hardpressed to pick rigatoni out of a pasta line-up. We recommend kicking off your long weekend with a "Jug of Danger," Bugeja's pictographic take on the famous and fruity British summer drink known as the Pimm's Cup.
What do a rotting steamship, a fleet of ice cream trucks, and a runaway giraffe have in common? All three have been discovered in the waters that surround New York City. A new blog explores these soggy specimens and many more through the stories they evoke. Created in the wake (get it?) of a 2009 article in New York magazine, Underwater New York (UNY) aspires to be an online anthology of stories, art, and music inspired by the underwater objects and phenomena that surround New York City. A recent UNY post detailed a haul from Brooklyn's Dead Horse Bay that included a pair of lizardskin handbags, a headless Dutch boy figurine, and a mysterious object resembling a fossilized baguette. Those bound for the Big Apple are advised to bring scuba gear and a sharp eye, as the site is currently seeking submissions "in any genre."
Photoshop turns 20 this year, and Adobe is celebrating with a search for the "Next Photoshop Evangelist," one among the legendary application's legion of multilayered fans. (Admit it. You have a Photoshop window open right now.) The company will select a primo proselytizer of all things Photoshop based on video submissions. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: create and upload to Vimeo a two-minute Photoshop video tutorial demonstrating why you should be the Next Photoshop Evangelist. Your video must use Photoshop CS5, a new Photoshop CS5 feature, and, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Photoshop, incorporate the concept of "20" somewhere in the final image. The winner receives a fresh copy of CS5 Design Standard, a trip to next spring's Photoshop World, and the chance to demo his or her tutorial at the conference. Plus, all finalists will be showcased on the Photoshop YouTube channel. Ready to spread the Photoshop gospel? Entries must be received by Tuesday, August 24.
Pinhole cameras: They're not just for watching solar eclipses anymore! The ultimate low-fi imaging device gets its close-up in this Flickr pool of traditional and digital pinhole photography, which includes some jaw-dropping shots of people, places, and (yes) penguins contributed by "pinholers" from all over the world. Trying your hand -- and eye -- at the age-old technique is easier than you think, with a wealth of webpages offering step-by-step instructions for creating your own pinhole camera out of an empty, light-tight box (scarf down those Pringles and you're in business). Be prepared for exposure times that are more than a snap, particularly if you're using your lensless wonder in low light, and with a little practice, you'll see firsthand why pinhole photography is getting its day in the sun.
Your weekend mission, if you choose to accept it: create a video that will be shown to a global audience in one of the world's leading art museums. YouTube and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation have joined forces to create YouTube Play, which aims "to discover and showcase the most exceptional talent working in the ever-expanding realm of online video." Anything goes, as long as it's creative, from animation and mini-documentaries to music videos and non-narrative hijinks. A jury of experts including Stefan Sagmeister and Animal Collective will select up to 20 videos to be presented at the Guggenheim in New York City in October, with simultaneous presentations at the Guggenheim museums in Berlin, Bilbao, and Venice. Ready to nominate your work and claim your rightful place in the art world? The deadline for submissions is Saturday, July 31. Only one video is allowed per person, so choose carefully—and creatively.
It's hard to believe that a decade has elapsed since the birth of Threadless, the wildly popular t-shirt company with an ongoing, open call for design submissions. They're celebrating with the Threadless Everywhere Tour, a three-month, cross-country whirl of art parties, craft fairs, and community meetups that kicked off yesterday in San Francisco. Look for the company's distinctive Airstream trailer/art studio and spray-painted van tooling around your town or rally a Facebook group to convince them to stop by on the tour's third crowdsourced leg. Expect graphically intense birthday cake and plenty of t-shirts, including relaunched versions of some favorite designs from the last ten years.
Have you caught World Cup fever? When there's no time to take in an entire, maddeningly low-scoring match, savor the highlights... in Legos! Since 2007, self-described crazy soccer fan Fabian Moritz has spent thousands of hours meticulously recreating major soccer matches in stop-motion animation with squads of smiley-faced Lego players. The resulting videos are collected on his website, Lego Fussball. Now the Hannover, Germany-based animator is working 'round the clock on World Cup matches. Among the most popular so far: Team USA's opener against England, which featured an astounding fumble by Brit goalie Robert Green. "In general, unusual scenes are a lot of fun, because I get to be very creative," said Moritz recently. "I have never recreated a goalkeeping error before, so I really enjoyed it."
Journey to the center of the color universe at the Pantone Hotel, a new boutique property in Brussels that invites you to experience the Belgian capital "through a lens of color and a spectrum of comforts." Designers Michel Penneman and Oliver Hannaert selected a distinctive palette for each of the hotel's seven floors (which range from "daring and fiery" reds to "captivating, esteemed, silky" shades of violet) and upped the contrast with clean white walls and the saturated outsized photographs of Victor Levy. Pantone consultants are on call to assist with any color crises. Our favorite touch? A rooftop bar serving color-matched cocktails. Choose from Pink Champagne (Pantone 12-1107), Lemon Drop (12-0736), or Daiquiri Green (12-0435).