Saturday, May 31, 2008

come with us

blanka has launched a flickr site that's a who's who of seventies international graphic design. novel designs favorites from otil aicher's series for the '72 olympics in munich:

and unattributed:


two posters from the second biggest country in the world.

Friday, May 30, 2008

keys to the kingdom

aaron rose's "beautiful losers" came last night, an excellent book of street art and essays about the intersection of art, punk, skateboarding, surfing, and graffiti scenes and diy subcultures (i think each essay contains the word "cross-pollination" at least three times). it includes the work of ND darlings like ryan mcginley, shepard fairey, and geoff mcfettridge.

it also contains the work of steve powers, known as ESPO, as in "exterior surface painting outreach". powers subverted the traditional understanding of graffiti by approaching it as an urban beautification project. he would paint over the security gates of urban storefronts or other previously marred surfaces, leaving a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing facade.

of course, his "community service" project was still very illegal. a quick google search led me to this recent update via the nytimes: powers has won a fulbright to keep tagging! though powers never graduated from college, the fulbright committee bent the rules a little to honor his artistic vision. powers is currently traveling dublin and belfast to create public artwork with the help of teenagers from troubled housing projects.


a little wonkish for ND, but this poll, conducted by a republican political research firm in conjunction with NPR, is too interesting to pass up.

it's not (just) the poor approval rating of the current administration that augurs a republican defeat in 2008, it's the fact that the GOP message no longer resonates with the american public. on four key issues -- iraq, the economy, trade, and taxes -- the democratic message consistently won out over the GOP message by 11 to 25 points.

but here's the interesting part: when voters were given each parties' message, but not which party it was coming from, the results were even worse for republicans. on the economy, republican voters liked the democrats' message more than their own party’s message by a 14% margin when they didn’t know which party it was coming from. on taxes, support for the GOP message dropped by a gargantuan 53% when the party’s names were removed, leaving the democrats with a 14% advantage

also worth noting: this poll finds obama to be stronger than clinton among independent voters and against mccain

king of the impossible


don't switch the blade on the guy in shades

NHTVSN just launched a new website/blog. i'm not endorsing the line quite yet. but i dig their opening page photo hard:

feeling these shirt designs too. old school hockey and scrabble? yeah. that's up the novel designs alley.

there is hope yet

green upgrader posted from good magazine. a guide to improving your interior air quality:

somthing to look into for sure.

and promising news:
- the city of san francisco is looking to establish Sunday Healthways, where streets in the bayview, tenderloin and chinatown neighborhoods would be closed to cars on sunday mornings in lieu of walkers, joggers, bicyclists and even practitioners of yoga and tai chi.

- the neighborhood of williamsburg, brooklyn will enjoy four saturday afternoons in a row starting in June where its main street (bedford) will be closed to automobile traffic. Many of the merchants are enthusiastic, knowing it will allow them to accommodate more customers with outdoor seating on the street. The impetus? Would you believe it's the NY Department of Transportation, part of city's PlaNYC 2030 initiative to create more streets as pedestrian public realms.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

mellow is the feeling that i get

so soothing

if i leave here tomorrow...

for seven days dutch artist benjamin verdonck aka hirondelle dooi vogeltje (tranlastion: the great swallow) hung out in a nest he built on the side of a building in rotterdam. i really don't know what to make of this, but i believe the answer to your question is "why not?" the third picture just makes me laugh every time. nothing like a good old novel designs chuckle.

well, my kind's, your kind

zsuzsanna ilijin is probably one of the more innovative cartographers around. she has compiled a series of maps depicting the world's nations by their language, local music, immigration history and even concept of time. some samples:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

i don't have to prove...that i am creative! all my pictures are confused

create a masterpiece!

thanks to ND roomie sarah for the tip

une soiree a emporter sur le pont ephemere

on the off-chance that we've built up a french readership, i'm posting this ahead of time. the french music site blogotheque, home of the fantastiques "concerts a emporter" and single-handedly responsible for preventing me from forgetting how to read la langue francais altogether, will be hosting a whole "soiree a emporter" may 31st. fleet foxes, noah and the whale, the dodos, plus suprises! those of us stuck state-side will have to wait for the video post .

playing the building

penciling this in for the upcoming nyc trip. david byrne's installation in the battery maritime allows visitors to "play the building" by tickling the keys of this church organ, which in turn ping, rattle, and blow air through the building's columns, pipes, and girders through a series of low-tech cables and wires.

all my rich white friends feel so entitled

novel designs wants the following things:

cassette face watch (thanks madame lamb)

nike vandal supremes (thanks hypebeast)

glow in the dark grip tape for the scwhinn (thanks cinelli):

1984 la Olympics inspired shades (thanks trainer spotter)

the snozberries taste like snozberries

the nytimes has an astoundingly cool article about the miracle fruit, synsepalum dulcificum, the magical taste altering fruit at the center at a recent series of "bacchanalian food tasting smackdowns."
a novel designs tasting party is in the works as we delve deeper into the world of mad flavor science.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

it's nice, that

more design art from brighton. this keyboard can be used to convert pictures into music using a scale of color!

the sketchy crowd shows me drawings, they're alright

evening tweed is a graphic design collective composed of four brighton students. while all are novel designs post-worthy, jez burrows' work is particularly impressive. plus he has good taste in music.

challenged to respond to the word 'banausic' [def: serving utilitarian purposes only; mechanical; practical] he transcribed the entire destroyer's rubies album, producing "an exhaustive collection of diagrams and analysis, including: every word contained in the album in order of how many times it appears; references; grammatical structure; and the overall distribution of lyrics and 'la's."

[side note: pitchfork's 8.5 review of destroyer's rubies contained this quote: "Dan Bejar's vocals are, like many of his indie contemporaries, yelpy and dramatic, and many of his lyrics seem preordained to serve as mp3 blog headers." prescient.]

he also created a series of postcards inspired by quotes from the books' album "lost and safe."

and finally, a mcsweeney's quarterly waiting to happen: "The book has two covers and reads from both directions. One half of the book is composed of short stories inspired by illustrations, while the other contains illustrations inspired by short stories."

obama '08

scott hansen premiered his new obama campaign contracted poster. it's magnificent. buy one now. all the proceeds go to barack's campaign.

Monday, May 26, 2008

call it a ritual; call it whatever you will

inaugural novel designs muxtape, to be updated monthly or whenever we feel like it. enjoy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

keep in mind it's 1943

more international artwork here. tommy perman aka surface pressure is from edinburgh. some screenprinting on display along with some novel designs approved t shirt designs. that bike looks identical to asp's schwinn traveler (which has been working out just dandy i might add).

support responsible abstraction

geoff mcfetridge is a los angeles-based artist and filmaker, the man behind solitary arts, and a founding member of the director's bureau along with mike mills and sofia coppola. check out this video of his "bend the void: the space between yeah and yes" show in the netherlands