Last Gasp Books

I've not heard of Last Gasp Books until recently but I am quite familiar with their creations; art books by the likes of Ron English, tons of Robert Crumb publications, Daniel Johnston and tons more. The list is really exhaustive and beyond impressive.

But, unsurprisingly, funds and resources for print publications are running thin and they've turned to Kickstarter to help them flesh out their Fall schedule. The rewards are great - I opted for the Punks Git Cut anthology by Jay Howell but there's no shortage of desirable goods you can nab while supporting a 40+ year art print house.

Squarespace Seven

The new version of Squarespace that recently launched - Seven - is another impressive refinement of the Squarespace brand. Goes without saying, there's some classy work going on here! The intro video is phenomenal and there are several very inventive implementations for scrolling - check the cover pages or Google apps pages for prime examples.

Break Hearts

Back in 2009, How I Became the Bomb released their album Deadly Art - a synth pop undertaking that was right up my alley. After a bit of touring and playing around town to bigger and bigger crowds they just disappeared. I've heard tale of a followup every year since and kind of decided that it was just local fairy tale that it would ever happen.

I am happy to report that they've released a new track - Break Hearts - and promise a new album, Adonis, in the coming months. I'll still believe it when I see it but the prospects are looking quite good.

David Mikula

David Mikula has worked for the likes of Nike, Microsoft, Whole Foods, Sesame Street, Wieden + Kennedy and Digital Kitchen. That is to say, he's got a track record of impressive clients and great work. His new site is a very clean presentation of many of these goods and I recommend diving in headfirst. I love the Redscout Rebrand, the Undefeated Experiments and this Taste Journey video game pitch - but that's really just a quality sampling. Lots to be inspired by here by in terms of the work and the presentation of it.

Affinity Designer

I'm sure I'm being effectively woo'ed by their pitch but this Affinity Designer looks like one helluva alternative to Illustrator (and possibly Photoshop depending on your needs). The intro video alone is enough to convince someone that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Yes, it's marketing and in reality it likely has its share of bugs but that's not enough to make me not want to try it out! Someone's gotta take down Adobe eventually, right?

Friday Videos - Oct 3rd, 2014

I write this from the past to post in the future so that it is available during your present - right now. The offerings are short this week from being out of town and being hunkered down with work but I think you will rather enjoy what you find within. Need more? Watch this Crazy David Bowie SNL performance or any of these new Broad City Season 2 Bonus Episodes or just gaze into this greatness. You're all set.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Out of Office: NOLA

Headed to New Orleans this evening and out until next Tuesday. I will be updating the sidebar of various links but the main blog, here, will be left to stagnate a little bit. I'm just letting you know in case, ya know, you got worried.

I suggest everyone spend some time stalking Creative Works - a design conference in Memphis this weekend. I have high hopes for some solid sneak peeks on the happenings via their Instagram.

The Pebble Smartwatch Look

Despite being one of the largest Kickstarters to date, I've never browsed around on the Pebble Smartwatch site. Surprisingly, they have a very strong pixel art vibe going on! I love the Our Story pieces and it's a nice compliment to their display restrictions.

It's a tricky place to be - because they certainly don't want to look like a cheap device but they've managed to inject a good bit of personality into their brand. The next few years should be very interesting for them.

Dhani Harrison & Friends

I should probably dive more into his catalog of personal works but, thus far, my familiarity Dhani Harrison is almost entirely of him covering songs by his father, George Harrison. That tradition continues with this Conan performance of "Let It Down"*. Dhani's voice has an eerie similiartiy to his father's (understandably - see also: the Lennon boys) but he does an incredible job of staying faithful to the original material; horns, backup singers, lotsa guitars and doesn't mess with the vibe of the song one bit.

There's more from Conan's weeklong tribute to George Harrison that you can watch here.

* Bonus: the guitarist is a familiar face.

Famo.us

After reading through this Quora inquiry about the benefits and downsides of Famo.us javascript I'm incredibly intrigued. The promises the tech makes - fast animation engine, very low latency, no backend - sound familiar but really get more interesting once you read into the details of how those things are accomplished. They really do seem to be taking a fresh approach to making Javascript faster and making building apps easier.

Quilt Bot vs Pixelsorter

What happens when one automated, image generating Twitter bot tweets at another automated, image generating Twitter bot? Well, when its Quilt Bot to Pixelsorter, it results in an endless loop of manipulated, glitched out madness. These kinds of "conversations" are probably rampant on Twitter but this is the first of its kind, to me, with image volleying. Hopefully whomever is behind both the bots is tweaking their algorithms to help make this loop grow and change into something even more intriguing than it already is.

Jakub Rozalski

I'm a sucker for a solid retro-future / alternate history visualization and Jakub Rozalski has them in spades. His concept art seems to mix Renaissance simplicity with Mech Warrior - and yet it still feels quite classy. There's a lot of potential album art just waiting to be mined and used for the right pairing.

via

Groundislava

"Girl Behind the Glass" is a track from Groundislava's new album Frozen Throne but it also doubles as the backdrop for an interactive piece from the We Did It collective. Even if you're not into the music the interactive piece is a nice throwback to 80's neon overload visuals - complete with Power Glove-y first person cursor. It's a strange, glitchy, rainbow fever dream - and that's a combination of words meant as a compliment.

via Brian.

Friday Videos - Sept 26th, 2014

I'm headed into a weekend of travel and celebration with friends at the wedding of one my best friends. I can't wait to celebrate such a great occasion in his life.

But enough personal celebrations, here's your playlist! Need more? Enjoy this lovable oaf, this terrifying view or this bit of insight into a classic. Oh, and don't miss this gem.

Have a great weekend.

The First Thing Your Website Should Say

Rather enjoyed this Robert Williams piece on The first thing your website should say as it contains some obvious but often overlooked insight many startups could do to heed the advice of:
So many websites start by telling you about their great solution. Whatever the app, service, or product they all claim theirs is the easiest and best to use. Usually, they make these sweeping statements in big bold letters. It's always the first thing you read on a page. ...

It's sorta like a comedian going on stage and just delivering punchlines without the setup. It wouldn't make sense and it wouldn't be funny. Also, it wouldn't be very hard to be a stand-up comedian. There's no skill in delivering a punchline. Anyone who can speak can do that.
It's a problem that you see all the time - state the solution before the problem is established. I highly suggest reading the rest of the piece and taking it to heart.

via Daniel

Manual For iPhone

Manual is a high class, iOS, app for turning your powerful iPhone camera into a dSLR. Meaning, it takes all those automated focus and white level smartness and puts the control in your hands. Assuming you're comfortable with a manual camera, it seems like a nice option for doing it your own way.

Bonus, the intro video is quite amusing. Just the right amount of flippant absurdity. The outtakes aren't bad either.

NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual

I can't stop thinking about this NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual Kickstarter Project. The story behind the manual is quite a feat:
If you found yourself in the New York City subway in the 1960s, you were probably lost.

Signs didn't help you find your way, standards didn't exist, even handmade lettering was common. Mass confusion was the status quo.

In 1970, the Standards Manual changed everything.
Designers Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda created a graphic system that unified the entire subway system and is still, by and large, in place today. The KS project is reprinting the entire manual in its entirety.

I'm a bit torn on spending a decent chunk of money on an inspirational coffee table book but also quite compelled by the idea of a such a noted, albeit under recognized, piece of graphic design history.

Give some serious consideration to backing it.

Soderbergh's Raiders of the Lost Ark

In case you missed it, Steven Soderbergh took it upon himself to create a version of Raiders of the Lost Ark as a "staging study" of the film as a whole. You can see plenty more examples of these kinds of investigations here but Soderbergh's is particular interesting because (A) It's a black and white version, (B) It's got The Social Network soundtrack underneath it - giving it a particularly odd new vibe on the whole and (C) it's Steven Soderbergh and rarely do you see notable directors posting bootleg versions of popular films on Vimeo. Watch it while you can.

Pictura

A Flickr image search plugin for Photoshop sounds like one of the most obvious and "how does this not exist already?" things I've encountered in awhile. I tend to lean more on Illustrator these days but I can think of any number of occasions where this would be incredibly useful.

Dimensions

There's a level of pixel pushing that can be extremely aggravating as a developer. Being told to literally move a pixel one or two pixels in a particular direction seems asinine until you realize that somehow that difference actually ends up mattering with the final product. This Dimensions extension easily lets you view the distance between elements - so when you feel the need to be really sure that something is off by a pixel or two,