Of course the best way to comment on the current state of art and technology has to be through a GIF. What other form could it take? A website? A painting? No: a GIF. (Or perhaps a single channel video on a flat television, a la Brian Bress?) Portland artist Zack Dougherty is colliding classical art with very forward focused technologies that come together in retro future GIFs. They’re mesmerizing and dark, perhaps admonishing the dwindling talents of contemporary artists.
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.
M&E is the design studio of Matthew Bolger and Emelie Lidström. The couple live and work in the Swedish city of Malmö where they combine design, illustration, photography and typography to amazing effect.
Recently they made some great work for OFFSET; a creative conference in Dublin which took place last month. M&E created lots of promotional material and branding for the conference but it was their short colorful video stings that introduced each speaker which really caught my eye.
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.