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Friday, February 7th, 2014

Cool Stuff We Spied Around the Web This Week

Becky

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What caught your attention on the web this week? Certainly there was plenty of Sochi not-so-funny terrible conditions fall over the internet. Here are five things that made me say wow this week.

1. Swimming on the Metro. The proposals for the abandoned Metro stations in Paris was my favorite link this week. Can you imagine if this:

Magically transformed into this?

What a beautiful and unique subterranean spot for getting some laps in.

Photos via NK Paris and RATP/ 20 Minutes; story via Messy Nessy Chic

2. Sochi, oh Sochi. I don’t know where to start, but this graphic certainly lightened the mood for me. Yes, I’m 12, potty humor gets me every time. I have to wonder about the graphic artist who had to sit and illustrate things like “don’t put a fishing pole in the toilet,” or “don’t do your business in the ‘upper deck.’” Is the one on the bottom right some sort of Olympic athlete-caliber calisthenic? That position looks tougher than eight-angle pose:

photo via @SebToots/Twitter

3. Thomas Wold adds his magic to Pinterest’s offices. I was so excited to see ingenious designer Thomas Wolds installation at Pinterest get attention from The Wall Street Journal online as well as at Fast Company. Though I would like to state for the record that I asked him for an interview about it months ago but the man was too busy building more magical things. Way to go Thomas!

Photo by Victor Ng

4. Other people’s Facebook Movies (or even your own). JUST KIDDING! Seriously Facebook, when we X it out as “annoying or unintesting,” stop putting them in our news feeds! Sheesh.

5. Vintage NASA photographs. There’s something so cool about these, I want to blow one or two up and design a room around them. I think it would be really neat for a kid’s room as well:

photo by Neil Armstrong/NASA via NBCNEWS.com

What kinds of cool things did you catch on the internet this week? Please let us know in the Comments section.

Also, we’ve been trying our hand at Instagram (I know, we’re WAY behind the times on that one!) Please feel free to give us any suggestions on how we can be better Instagrammers, we could use the help. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Great Exhibition: Paul Rand at MoDA

Becky

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Hey All! If any of you are in Atlanta between now and January 30 2013, I highly recommend swinging by the Paul Rand exhibition over at the Museum of Design Atlanta. It was very inspiring; I had no idea one man was behind so many amazing logos, book designs and graphic design principles. Unfortunately, trying to Google “Paul Rand” brings up some a lot of unrelated sites, so I’ve included the direct link to the exhibit at the end of this post.

MoDA is located right across Peachtree Street from the High Museum of Art in a very cool building that was redesigned/remodeled/given a green makeover by Perkins + Will. The MoDA space is on the first floor; its entrance is next to the entrance to the public library.

The lobby is filled with inspiring quotes from Rand, as well as an interactive exercise and a four-minute video.

Rand looked to so many different things for inspiration, including buoys:

The exhibition included a slew of amazing book cover designs by Rand.

His iconic UPS logo is one of his best known. What I enjoyed much was some of the original mock ups they have. The IBM rebus graphic below is just cut-up paper affixed with Scotch tape:

The resulting graphic:

The exhibition also included fabric he’d designed, his own chair designed by Alvar Aalto, and the plans for his and his wife’s modern home, which I would  love to learn more about as it looked like a very thoughtful mid-century mod abode with a cool courtyard. I’ll see what I can find and get back to you on that later.

Another highlight were these Rand-designed covers for Direction when he was in his 20s.

Alright, I’ll stop spoiling the entire show for you; click here to learn more about it and MoDA.

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Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Designer Interviews: These Are Things

Becky

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Today we’re sitting down with Jen Adrion + Omar Noory of These Are Things to learn a bit more about what inspires their designs, what Columbus Ohio has to offer and how their fascination with maps began. Those of you who have been reading Hatch for awhile know about my obsession with maps, so this was a dreamy interview for me.

How did you two meet? When did you discover you two together would make a great partnership?

We met in art school where our first class together was an intro to typography class. We always had a great time together so we made to sure to schedule as many of the same classes together as we could. Many hours were spent sitting in the back of classrooms, sketching and laughing. We didn’t discover our “great partnership” until we were a couple of years out of college.

Modern World Map in Aqua

Your world map reminds me of my Cold War youth – was the RUSSIA area a nostalgic reference?

Our original world maps were heavily inspired by the mid-century modern art of the 50s during the start of the Cold War. We wanted to capture that look but also bring it into this century with some refreshes and more modern labeling (for example, choosing Russia instead of U.S.S.R.)

When did your interest in maps begin? Is there anywhere you’re dying to travel to that you stick a push pin in?

We both have a love for travel. Besides the business, it’s where most of the money we earn goes. We had traveled to a few places before we designed our first map and thought it would be great if we could have some sort of physical pin map to track our travels. We searched for months and couldn’t find anything that matched the specific look we wanted so we decided to create our own. We designed our original world map (the World Map / Aqua) and had it produced in our first run of 50 maps. Fortunately for us, lots of other people liked the look of it too. We ended up selling out of our first run almost instantly and the rest is history.

American Flags Map

How are you reinterpreting and putting your own stamp on them?

A lot of what we work with is a simplification of whatever we’re mapping. Kind of like getting the essence of that area. This means that sometimes areas get cut which has spurned a few armchair cartographers. At the end of the day, there are plenty of great sources for maps with every city, country, mountain range, river, and so on labeled; we’re just offering an alternative to that.

Map of Washington, D.C.

I grew up in Cincinnati and people I went to high school with flocked to Columbus. What do you love about it?  What’s the scene like for creative types?

Omar actually grew up around Cincinnati too. He moved for the same reason many other college-bound teenagers move, to get some distance from his parents :) Columbus is a great city for starting a business like ours. While it may not be as culturally relevant as a New York or a San Francisco, it also comes with a much, much lower cost of living which has given us the ability to invest most of money right back into the business. Columbus also has a growing creative culture, tons of great restaurants and lots of fledgling design groups along with some large established ones. Simply put, Columbus is a great balance of culture and affordability which makes it a great home base for a creative business like ours.

Please tell us about your neighborhood.

While we live in Columbus proper, we live on the edge of a neighborhood called Grandview Heights (we’re technically right across the street from it). It’s a nice quiet neighborhood with a lot of greenery and we’re only a couple of blocks away from Jeni’s, the best ice cream in Columbus.

Could you please tell us a bit about finding the perfect fonts to correspond with your maps and the places they cover?

Type choice has always been one of the most important steps in our design process. We’ve always been fans of classic fonts that have stood the test of time. We also take into account the time period those fonts came from when matching them with the look of our designs. More recently we’ve become interested in older, hand drawn typography as well.

What do you do when you have a creative block to shake it loose?

The best part of working for yourself is that if there’s a creative block, we’re not forced to stew in front of our computers. On those kinds of days we shake the block loose by getting away for a bit. We bike or walk if the weather is nice, other times we try to see if there’s a cool event going on, and sometimes we just decide to take a nap on the couch with the cats. Going back to the screen with a clear mind almost always does the trick!

World Map in Black

What’s your studio like? Any advice for keeping a good space where one’s creative juices can flow?

We live in a fairly small one bedroom apartment which also doubles as our studio. Things used to be much tougher when we also stored all our inventory and packing supplies but earlier this year we hired a fulfillment company to store and ship our prints which literally gave us back half of our apartment.

We look at our space the same way we look at our designs. Over the past couple of years, we’ve pared down all the non-essential items in our apartment. It’s much less effort keeping a clean and clutter-free area when you only have a few dozen things in your house. Without all the extraneous junk, it’s easier to focus our work and also easier to relax when work is done.

Thanks so much to Jen and Omar for taking the time to chat with us today. I’m going to have to get to Columbus and see if Jeni’s can hold a candle to Graeter’s Ice Cream.

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Monday, April 5th, 2010

Inspiration Monday: Dribbble

Becky

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Do you Dribbble? No, I’m not talking about something from Dairy Queen, hoops, or an inability to contain saliva, I’m talking about a really fun image sharing website. Since I am usually not exactly anywhere near the cutting edge of new web sites, I’m sure many of you probably already have. But for those of you who haven’t:

Dribbble is show and tell for designers, developers and other creatives. Share sneak peeks of your work as “shots” – small screenshots of the designs and applications you’re working on.

Here’s a little sampling from the current front page. Go to Dribbble.com to peruse a zillion samples of other people’s work – you can comment, mark and/or follow your favorites, and post follow ups to shots you like. When you roll over the shots on the site, it tells you a little information about what the project is; click on the names and it links to everything the designer has uploaded to dribbble.

Thanks to Vanessa for posting this on Facebook!

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