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A little while back I got an email from a very unlikely source, someone I never thought I’d hear from because it would just be too random, but that’s the fun of having a design blog. It was from a guy named Chaz Bundick, who some of you may know as the musical artist Toro Y Moi. You’ll recognize his music name if you’ve listened to my Mixcasts or follow what I’m listening to on #musicmonday. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time now so I’m pretty stoked to have him participate in the DWP.
Yesterday, Toro Y Moi had his second album released called Causers Of This, and it’s definitely one of my favorites of the year. It’s kind of electronic, kind of J Dilla inspired and all around laid back and a solid album all around. So he decided to send two images for wallpapers, and I think they sum up his style pretty well. They have this washed out kind of ethereal vibe that floats through his music. Plus I think the colors and textures are awesome, I already have the top image set as my iPhone background.
I’ve also included a few MP3s from Causers Of This, Fax Shadow and Thanks Vision, so you can get a taste of what he sounds like. I highly recommend you picking up this album. You can grab it over on Insound or iTunes, whatever you prefer.
This isn’t going to be the last music related wallpaper either, I’m gonna try and branch out and get more of my favorite musicians to do some like Lady Gaga, Bono and Guns and Roses…
Kyouei Design is small firm based out of Shizouka City, Japan which is about 2 ours West of Tokyo. They have a big body of products that they’ve created and distribute, a lot of you will remember this Umbrella Pot that waters a small plant at the base through runoff from the umbrella. But I’m really enjoying this weird liquid collection they have going on.
First is the Liquid Lamp which looks like a lampshade that has started to melt from the inside, creating a small puddle of red metal at the base. I wonder if that extra splotch comes along with it? Then there’s the liquid bookmark which looks like your bookmark is melting inside your book. Each of these silicon bookmarks are handmade, so no two are alike. Is drippy the new black?
Found through Hypebeast
British Illustrator Emma Kelly has released a brand new print today and I’m kind of drooling over it. It’s of a a vintage Olivetti Valentine typewriter which was designed Sottsass with Perry A. King back in 1969 to be “anti-machine machine”. I think her interpretation of this classic is spot on and I love how her illustration feels kind of loose and hand drawn but also very technical and realistic. I think what I’m really loving is that red halftone pattern she used that fill in the work but also kind of fade outside of the lines.
To grab yourself one, or maybe for a loved one on Valentine’s Day, be sure to visit Emma’s site by clicking here.
The folks over at UX Magazine have posted up Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines for the iPad and it’s a quick but interesting read. I thought some of their guidelines could really be used in design in general and specifically, web design.
Enhance Interactivity (Don’t Just Add Features)
The best iPad applications give people innovative ways to interact with content while they perform a clearly defined, finite task. Resist the temptation to fill the large screen with features that are not directly related to the main task. In particular, you should not view the large iPad screen as an invitation to bring back all the functionality you pruned from your iPhone application.
I think this goes for design in general. To sum this up it’s saying don’t add a bunch of useless crap to what you’re doing. You could be painting or designing a blog it doesn’t matter, the ability to edit yourself as an extremely valuable skill that allows you to see your own missteps.
Flatten Your Information Hierarchy
Although you don’t want to pack too much information into one screen, you also want to prevent people from feeling that they must visit many different screens to find what they want. In general, focus the main screen on the primary content and provide additional information or tools in an auxiliary view, such as a popover.
This one is mainly for web designers but could also relate to those who do environmental graphics. A lot of people seem to have this idea that you can put everything you need to know about a site on a front page, just cramming it full of shit. Instead though you should really focus on what’s important and display that prominently and allow that secondary or tertiary information to float to other pages. This ties back in perfectly to the first point as well, that being able to edit the unimportant parts out is critical.
This last one is my favorite:
Enable Collaboration and Connectedness
Think of ways people might want to use your application with others. Expand your thinking to include both the physical sharing of a single device and the virtual sharing of data.
I think this is a great point just in general, no matter what creative endeavor you pursue. The idea that whatever you’re making is for other people is something that greatly interests me. When I started Kitsune Noir I made it for myself, which in some respects is still true. But I’m also quite aware of the large number of people who visit and expect something from me as well. It’s why I started the Desktop Wallpaper Project and and Mixtapes & Mixcasts. It was a way for me to give back to you and to share my ideas.