One of the perks of being the managing editor at AIGA is spending my mornings reading design stories and calling it “work.” But not everyone gets to (or wants to) peruse RSS feeds like it’s their job. Consider this a hit list (as well as a few things you may have missed) of the most interesting things I’ve and seen, read, and watched this week. You can follow along every other day on Instagram @AIGAdesign and on Twitter @AIGAdesign.
This week I…
…hope that Wired.com follows the lead of its UK counterpart and gives its homepage a much-needed refresh (seriously, just compare the two). Not that the new Wired.co.uk redesign is the most brilliant thing I’ve even seen—its image-heavy tiles are a bit overwhelming, a tad generic, and lack organization—but it’s a big improvement.
…love the fun gag behind this fiction writer’s interactive website. Kudos to Alan Trotter for proving that not all novelists’ websites have to look like they were made at the dawn of the internet in your nephew’s 9th grade computer class. (Oh what, don’t believe me?)
…wish a happy 80th birthday to Penguin Books, which is celebrating with the launch of Little Black Classics, a pared-down reprinting of 80 titles priced at 80p apiece (about $1.25). The publishing house did the same thing when it turned 60 (60 titles for 60p each), though it was no less of a challenge for art director Jim Stoddart to find a design solution that fit the budget this time around. And while I love the simple, smaller books in this collection (I have a thing for palm-sized print), I’m crazy about the website, which lets you spin through enticing quotes from all the titles, an exciting new way to revisit old favorites.
…worry that the new wireless-charging furniture IKEA announced it will release in April is a sign that we’ve indeed given up and admitted that the machines have won. Okay, it’s probably not that dire, but here I was thinking that the week-long phone fast “New Tech City” initiated for its Bored and Brilliant project was proof that it was still possible for humans to live full, productive lives without being perpetually plugged in, or, err, wirelessly charged.
…want to know the title of the sic-fi story Paola Antonelli mentioned in her Reddit AMA, which posits that by the 2060s designers will rule the world. “In the meantime,” she said, “we are getting there, bit by bit.”
…eagerly welcome Design Matters back from its brief midwinter hiatus with Debbie’s latest guest, Isaac Mizrahi, who lives up to his reputation as a lively and surprising interviewee. Now I’m just waiting for this bit of advice he casually mentions to make it onto a T-shirt: “It all comes down to balls.”
…honestly cannot believe there’s just one teeny-weeny cover line on the latest issue of Bazaar. Of course, when Rihanna’s your cover girl (shot by the talented Norman Jean Roy), you don’t need to muck up a good photo of her with headlines scattered all over the place just to sell copies. (Side note: no, this isn’t a real shark, but Rihanna actually did swim with some big ones for the shoot, which I also almost cannot believe.)
…can stop wondering what the “Netflix of design” would look like, now that manufacturing company PCH has rescued Fab from its deathbed, though if history has taught us anything we can just wait a couple of years until the beleaguered flash-sale site becomes devalued yet again and flipped into something else.
…get to know Dylan Davis and Jean Lee of the brilliant Seattle-based Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, whose jewelry I proudly wear and design objects I wish I owned. And lest you non-product designers think you have nothing in common with people who work with metal and wood all day, they have epic software-crashing woes and tech gripes just like you do. And if you’re in the midst of growing your own business, hear how Davis and Lee manage their on- and offscreen work and get their tips on the programs (SketchUp, DraftSight, GoDaddy Bookkeeping) that may not be sexy, but do make their lives as designers who must also manage sales accounts easier.