When it comes to streaming music I’m a devout Rdio user, specifically because of it’s clean, organized design. But now the originator of streaming music Spotify has released a fresh new design that almost feels like the dark, swarthy twin of Rdio.
The UI has been significantly cleaned up and simplified, though in my opinion it feels like it’s taken a lot of cues from Rdio, although still awkwardly it looks like a mash-up of iTunes and an old Windows application. Still, it’s too early to be hyper-critical of the effort. Clearly the design team there has been empowered to start making changes to the UI, and hopefully we’ll be seeing incremental changes rolling out from here.
You don’t often see animated typefaces often and for good reason, they’re generally meant to be legible and practical. Except there are cases like Zipeng Zhu’s Electrica typeface, inspired by electronic music, which defy the norm and offer up a pulsing, nonstop type that could potentially make you have a little seizure. Still, it’s an interesting concept that pushes the boundaries if what we usually consider to be type design.
Talk about an assignment. Abbott Miller and his team at Pentagram recently updated the branding of Sotheby’s, one the world’s oldest and largest auction houses, with a massive overhaul. The effort included an updated logo, ditching Gill Sans for a much sharper Mercury, a cleaner site design, and a host of rebranded peripheral items like paddles, stationary, and the hundreds of catalogues they distribute.
Overall the branding feels… right. It feels like this is what Sotheby’s should have looked like all along, if that makes sense. It’s also incredible that they were able to bring cohesion to such an immense company that spans the globe. For something of this scale you need something that’s simple and easy to institute, and in my mind, this definitely does the trick.
You can see the full brief by clicking here.
This week, Air France unveils its new campaign, “Air France, France is in the air.” The French agency behind it all, BETC, has slowly but surely been revealing the campaign with a series of posters. Featuring the amazing photography of Sofia & Mauro, bold design, and palettes to make any color-lover swoon, it’s a strong move in the right direction for the brand, and a reminder that advertising’s not so bad when it’s beautiful.
If, for one day, you had the power to make your world work better, what would you change?’ – This is the question posed in Shape, a new animated short from director Johnny Kelly. The film is part of a larger project called MakeShapeChange which invites young people to think about how the world around them is made and where design fits in. It’s a wonderful little film and a fantastic way to encourage people to think about design.