Friday, May 25, 2007

102. Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design.

Michael Bierut's new book, 79 Short Essays on Design, was released today on Amazon. (A lot of the content has already been released as essays on Design Observer – where he discusses why he was compelled to compile this material into a book.) But I think it'll still be well worth the Jackson. I've already purchased mine and will update this post with highlights.

Friday, May 11, 2007

101. BMW Art Cars.

I recently had the opportunity to visit the BMW manufacturing plant's Zantrum (that's German for museum;) in South Carolina and saw an exhibit of art cars designed by such greats as Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Matazo Kayama, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol - of whom I'm not a big fan just so you know. Apparently every year from 1975 and 1999, BMW commissioned one artist to paint one car. The cars provided a great medium for which to show off their unique styles and I hope that they restart this tradition soon. Check them out here, and here. (And for diecast versions - click here.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

100. Cross-Country Design.

Over the past week, I had the privilege of driving cross-country from San Francisco to Greenville, SC. This country is amazingly beautiful, but when I wasn't admiring the scenic views or stopping for a bag of these - I had time to think about two almost-design-related items. First, I believe that Tennessee has the best (standard) license plate of the states. It's pleasing, a lot of the state looks just like the image, and as a bonus - the numbers are quite legible too. Also, as I passed all of those U-haul trucks I wondered which state had the best mural (U-Haul calls them supergraphics by the way.) You've seen them on the sides of their trucks. Though none are well-designed per se, I have to give the nod to Louisiana, with the worst design by far going to Arizona. I have to admit that they are a guilty pleasure for me, I was forced to look at each one as I passed. (I have always liked what Budget does with their trucks too. But where's the D in this one?) I promise to get back to serious design matters within a few days.