// BarryBlog //

A creative dumping ground for issues that interest me personally and professionally, with the thought they may interest you too. Issues such as the business of design, the design of business, the design of objects, design strategy, creative direction, innovation, creativity, thought leadership, observations, as well as recommendations, mid-century modern decorative arts and architecture, and the state of my thinking (and currently the state of my heart).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tom Fishburne's Brand Camp: Poser Marketing

Tom Fishburne's varied abilities amaze me. For starters, his ability to boil down complex issues into simple cartoon answers. And two - for his willingness to share. His illustrations are literally all over the web, probably due to the degree to which they resonate with people, and for his charitable spirit.

This particular illustration points to something that is so prevalent — marketing that believes it is effective, yet isn't. It's like a marketing person with spinach stuck in their teeth who's friends are afraid to point it out or are also unaware. The audience of course notices right away, and either laughs at this or ignores it completely. He explains how prevalent this is and why here.

See other of Fishburne's telling and clever cartoon's here.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Poster Palooza: Mid-Century Modern Ad Posters

Illustrator Bob Staake is amazing. I've always enjoyed his work and wished I owned a piece of his art. But as I was looking through my Mid-Century Modern results in compfight (which I have mentioned before), I stumbled across one of his Flickr sets called Poster Palooza! Amazing Mid-Century European Advertising Posters. Slideshow here.

His Poster Palooza Flickr set
description it says...

A gallery of imagery, graphics and designs sure to inspire anyone who truly appreciates and understands the history of the advertising poster. The European 'poster aesthetic' of the mid-20th century continues to influence countless illustrators, designers and visual artists -- and this sampling of iconic, awe-inspiring images shows why so many of us remain unabashed poster fanatics.
Check out all of his sets. Bob is an amazing talent.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Flea Market Find: The Paymaster Series 7000

Don't mess with the Paymaster! Everyone knows the Paymaster wins – everytime. Either pay now, or later. It just doesn't matter. The Paymaster WILL get paid.

Got this at a flea market for 6 dollars. Sweet.

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709 Finds: A 3rd Installment

Installments include: 709 Finds, 709 Finds 2, Mid-Century Objects, Harry Wysocki, Found Object

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Thrift Store Find: Vintage HiMark Air Coffee Pot

Saturday I popped into one of my local thrift stores and walked out with a gem. It's a Himark Air Coffee Pot, dated 1978, and designed by Saltera. I have no idea who Saltera is yet, but plan a second try later to find who this designer is.

The graphics are really cool, and quite elaborate. The coffee pot appears to be lightly used or possibly never used, and it is rather flawless, which is a bonus.

It was 1/2 off, so the $3.00 price tag is in fact a $1.50 purchase.

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Liquid Resize: Cool Idea, but does it work?

Grandiose rumors have been flying on this one for well over a year, but now it's fact. Liquid Resize was sold to Portland based onOne software (Genuine Fractals, Phototools, Focal Point, etc.) and Liquid Resize is now in demo form as a free disc image (DMG) download. Liquid Resize began as the brainchild of Austria based husband-wife team of Ramin Sabet and Irmgard Sabet-Wasinger, and is based on the work of Shai Avidan and Ariel Shamir that made its first appearance in a video released at Siggraph 07. I have embedded that video at the end of this post.

Liquid Resize is a "content aware" image resizing application that allows you to resize an image without traditional geometric limitations while minimizing any distortion that would typically result from changing the original aspect ratio of an image. In short this means you can shrink the width of an image, and not the height. If you were to do that before, the image would be half as wide and would appear skinny (duh). But through algorithms and perhaps voodoo, this supposedly works.

The innovation of the idea itself reminds me of the quality of thinking and the work Blaise Aguera y Arcus presented in the form of Seadragon (how we look at and interact with images and information) and Photosynth (visual information can can be smoothly browsed regardless of data amount involved or network bandwidth).

Try LiquidResize for yourself. It may blow your mind. It did not mine. I found it to work better with some images than others, but by no means did it work well in any usable way that would get me to pay money for the full Photoshop Plugin. Not as it stands. I would if it worked well. And considering the hype, I would say I am disappointed thus far.

It will be interesting to follow the story and see how it's received, how the software changes (as the site claims it will before it becomes a full fledged product) and if anyone likes it. I really appreciate the thinking behind it, and hope it eventually will deliver on the promise. And it does sound promising.

Thanks Chris for the tip.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Jane Maraid McDevitt: Flickr Set Shares

MaraidDesign is the work of York England freelance web designer Jane McDevitt. Great work, great blog, but what caught my attention was her Flickr Sets, especially her...

In Print set, her Matchbook Labels set, her Photo, Film and Sound Ephemera set.

Thanks Jane for sharing your photography, your vintage gems, and all the rest with us.

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1964 Marx & Co.: Weird-Oh Digger Plastic Toy

Here's a toy I've had since childhood. It's 43 years old. One owner. He's a Weird-Oh brand and goes by the name Digger. Age 43, marked 1964 by Louis Marx & Company. A Hawk Model to be exact.

See his extended family HERE.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Modernism101. All the books you've never seen.

Everyone's heard of Rare Air. Well in my estimation, Randall Ross is the Michael Jordan of the Rare Book world. Simply put, his Modernism101 store has the most, and the best jaw dropping rare publications on the business and art of design. Word has it the boys at Grain Edit have some gems too but I can't find where. Randall's breadth and depth of products are amazing. Take for instance the Alexey Brodovitch Portfolio Magazine complete set he has available at the time of this post (or not if this post is old). Don't be shocked at the price. I have seen them for more. But the point is you don't see this stuff come up to auction much.

Since I was about 20, I have been a fan of
Brodovitch, Paul Rand, Lester Beal, George Nelson, John Massey, Wim Crouwel and others. Randall either has or has had books by and about these designers as well as nearly everyone and everything else imaginable.

Frankly, he has every rare book you've never seen.
He also does a remarkable job describing the books. You can get a design education reading through his descriptions. This is a big plus to his store in my estimation. He describes his store as:
... an excellent and ever-changing selection of rare and out-of-print design books and periodicals covering all aspects of 20th-century visual culture. I specialize in the areas of Graphic Design, Architecture, Interior and Industrial Design, and Photography
Go to Modernism101 now. You never know what you'll find.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

FontStruct. Create a Font. Or Jack One Up.

FontStruct. A free font-building tool by FontShop that allows you to create a font from scratch using geometrical shapes, arranged in a grid, like tiles or bricks. When you're through, FontStruct generates a production-quality TrueType font you can download and/or share with others—Mac or Windows. Sharing is encouraged. In fact, you can even download other people's "FontStructions" and make your own variations by jacking up what they've already done. There's a great gallery of other people's fonts here. I haven't had time to try yet, but Stewf has. For all you Mid-Century Modern fans, he did a take on Eero Saarinen which he aptly named Eerostyle. I met Stewf (Stephen) here. He administers a bunch of Flickr groups, including my favorite, Mid-Century Modern Interiors Pool. He also edits the FontShop's blog, called Fontfeed, the Type Journal Typographica, as well as his own blog— midcenturymodernist. At midcenturymodernist.com, he made me blush with his review of my post about my Herman Miller Eames Executive Management Time-Life Chair for which I now have 8.

Since you're so kerncerned, why not give it a shot.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Terminology: What is Modern?

Recently I was emailing back and forth with a Flickr friend who has an amazing eye and fortune for all things thrift shop. We spoke about how often people misuse the word "modern" when they are describing something "new" or "now." But I believe it's worth clarifying that "Modern" really has more to do with design approach than time. Dieter Rams designed products in the 1960's which are nearly 50 years old now, and yet are all considered modern today. They are also retro and vintage.

Just a thought.

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