Late last year, we conducted a Readers Choice survey — asking thousands of very tolerant readers to identify a few of your favorite things — artists, movies, books, apps, colors, typefaces, and the like. Obviously, all of these responses depend on context as well as project and client. But many of you were kind enough to attempt an answer in the spirit of the moment. My initial thought was that the survey results might provide insights and story ideas for 2015 but, as I wrote recently in the Jan/Feb GDUSA magazine, it is wondrous and scary how little you all agree with each other. About anything. Nevertheless, some of the data are suggestive, amusing, even intriguing. I present some of the results here and will do more later.
For every two graphic designers, it seems, there are three opinions. I’ve been studying answers to questions we pose each year to our People To Watch and Students To Watch — favorite book, fine artist, music, website, etc. — to mine for clues as to what you all are thinking, feeling, planning, doing. As usual, it is largely a fruitless and patternless task. For example, the 2014 design students cumulatively listed 55 favorite bands; not one single musician is mentioned twice. Another example: this year’s group of working designers mentioned 51 fine artists, with no overlap but for two mentions of Miro and Picasso.
Nonetheless, I did manage to find a couple of points of consensus. One relates to favorite gadgets: the Apple “i’s”, as in iPhone, iPad, iPod, are popular. Yawn.
Movies turned out to present a more intriguing accord. Among this year’s People To Watch cohort, Blade Runner is the clear favorite.Read More
Every time I watch Orange Is The New Black — the exceedingly popular tv comedy-drama based on the prison memoir — I try to match up the women’s faces in the opening credits with the characters in the show. Apparently, I’ve been wasting my time, since none of the women appearing in the opening credits actually appear on the show.
The story behind this unusual approach: show producer Jenji Kohan and design firm, Thomas Cobb Group, wanted to communicate that the show would tell many stories of women behind bars, not just the story of the memoirist Piper Kerman and her tv version Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling).
To achieve this, the Venice CA design group photographed real women in jail in closeups that manage to hide their identities but create a sense of intimacy. Executive Producer Gary Bryman explains that they asked each woman to “visualize in their mind three emotive thoughts: think of a peaceful place, think of a person who makes you laugh, and thing of something you want to forget … Thomas found this really interesting sweet spot of cropped compositions that would not necessarily reveal who the person was, but at the same time provide a portal into their soul through their eyes.”
An interesting twist to this design approach is the inclusion of the “real” Piper in the opening credits. The author of this riveting tale is the blue-eyed woman who blinks about a minute into the opening and can be seen below.Read More
What do you do when you’re tired of the prospect of dating? Two good friends with opposite relationship problems found themselves single at the same time. As an experiment, they dated for 40 days.
GDUSA named both Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman as People to Watch in 2013. I guess we were right on the mark because now you can watch them for the next 40 days as they go through the motions of a relationship and hopefully overcome all the fears and inadequacies that go hand in hand with the New York City dating scene.