As an editorial resident here at AIGA, I spend heaps of time on the internet scouring social media and websites for the choicest design news. You’re too busy with your life to do this each week, so I’ve brought all my findings here—consider it my weekly gift to you (you’re welcome). Follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesign, Facebook and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.
Hey designers, you know what you’re not thinking about enough? Words. That’s right. Words. I’m not talking about typography here—I know you think about x heights, hot type, and ligatures all the live-long day, but what about the substance of those sentences you’re kerning? Personally I don’t think you’re giving them enough thought. It’s not just me either; the digitally minded designers at ustwo have started noticing a lack of attention to detail when it comes to copy in the digital space. “Words are just as much a part of a good user experience as effortless interactions and beautiful visuals,” they say. “In fact, since they’re the primary form of communication between a product and a user, they’re the most important thing to get right.” Right!
I know what you’re thinking; this asshole writes words for a living, of course he thinks they’re more important than design. Not true, I swear. Rather I, like ustwo, believe that “good, clear and considered language makes a product better for people with good comprehension, but also for non-native speakers or those who have learning difficulties.” Designers hit that sweet spot when they’re thinking about words as much as layout, and it benefits everyone.
Anyway, I could waffle on about this all day, but that would negate everything I’ve said about considering your words. Point is, ustwo has released this handy copy guide, so you can better manage the words you use when creating digital products. Their rules can equally be applied to physical products too—apart from the bit about interaction. You book designers can just ignore that one.
I have a confession to make: unlike Justin Bieber I detest all team sports. Never been good at them, never enjoyed watching them, and I struggle to feign enthusiasm when people want to discuss them with me. Soccer is the worst of all—a total waste of time. But I’m putting my horrible prejudice aside for just one second to point you in the direction of a stunning bit of animation.
British illustrators and animators Stevie Gee and Nicos Livesey have collaborated on a spot for Adidas’ Here to Create campaign that transforms Messi, Pogba, Firmino, and Suárez into four gravity-, reality-defying animated heroes, whipping around the pitch with colorful flair. It’s seriously tasty business, and is probably the longest piece of pitch action I’ve watched all year.
New York-based designer Mirko Illic is currently on the road touring his latest poster show, Tolerance. The travelling exhibition invites designers and illustrators to contribute a poster each on the title theme, and “with each country the show travels to, one of the most prominent designers from that country is adding a poster on the subject,“ says Illic.
Contributions so far have come from the likes of Yuko Shimizu, Reza Abedini, Milton Glaser, Fons Hickmann, Paula Scher, Niklaus Troxler, Katarzyna Zapart, and Michel Bouvet among others, with contributions expected to grow as the tour goes on. Having exhibited in Slovenia, Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the show is slated to land in Spain in the fall, and later move to the Netherlands and UAE. Keep an eye out if you’re passing through.
This week I’ve very much been enjoying Use All Five’s work for The Bohen Foundation, a not-for-profit supporting “contemporary artists, independent organizations, and visual culture.” In need of a new website to communicate the depth and breadth of their output, the foundation approached Use All Five to produce a website that encouraged different levels of engagement with the foundation’s work; “a scrollable feed, a loose and filterable timeline, an artist list, tags—and ‘history strips’ that reflect the projects visitors spend the most time on, allowing them to re-explore it,” says the studio.
“Details like the history strips were inspired by the inventive modularity of the Foundation’s West 13th Street space, designed by architectural design studio LOT/EK. Both visually compelling and conceptually relevant to the Foundation’s identity, the building’s architecture provided an essential point of inspiration for the website. In addition to these features, we supplied a backend that allows the client to easily add and change content as they continue their path forward.” The desktop website looks great, but it’s the mobile site that really shines. Check it out!
Some interesting editorial for you to devour elsewhere in the form of a Fast Company article exploring the unusual combination of doctors and developers that comprise Flatiron Health, a Google-backed tech company looking to revolutionize the way patient data is accessed and shared within healthcare, which for anyone who’s visited a hospital lately, will know has been a long time coming. Let’s hope these guys live up to the hype.
Down in old San Francisco the local AIGA chapter has just launched the 10th anniversary edition of SF Design Week. Taking the theme “Question Everything,” the seven-day festival aims to highlight the extraordinary diversity of design disciplines taking place across the Bay Area. “San Francisco’s great influence in creativity and innovation plays an important part in the Bay Area’s success and prosperity. The community of design talent underscores San Francisco’s distinguished position as an international design destination,” says Dawn Zidonis, executive director of AIGA SF. So until June 22 you can enjoy a whole host of exhibitions, events, workshops, and installations that show off the very best of SF design. Want to know more? Everything you need can be found right here.
Did you know there was an election happening in the UK last week? I’m afraid so. And I could bore you all to tears with intricate details of what a fiasco it was. But I’ll save you the heartache and simply refer you to this excellent article over on Creative Review that explores the alleged myth of the left-leaning tendencies of the design community, taking an in-depth look at the 2006 re-brand of the Tory (Conservative) party and the effect it had on London’s Perfect Day agency. The results are surprising.
And here’s a UK election-themed Instagram suggestion. Try following Supermundane for some subversive but attractive poster designs, like the catchy Open Your Eyes to the Tory Lies.
Ciao for now!