We're going to be taking a much needed break from the world of design to celebrate the holidays with our family and friends. A huge "Thank You" to you, our loyal readers for your insight, news and communication about our shared design experience. We look forward to 2009 and all of its glorious opportunity!

Thanks again and have a very joyous holiday season.

I've compiled a list of 2008 Year in Pictures reviews from around the web. Enjoy, reflect and ponder what we have all shared within the past year.

What do you think we'll see next year?
What themes from these images stuck out for you?

The Big Picture


World Press Photos

Pitchfork Media

World Almanac

Flickr Group

One of our favorite designers, entrepreneurs and over all amazing persons of interest, Debbie Millman recently posted this video on her website. It not only stretched our minds but it provided a really great insight into the world of animation. Do check this out and give us your thoughts!
Whenever we get really bogged down trying to get the creative logo design juices flowing, its important to look and new and old sources for inspiration. One of the best design sites, Logoorange has a great look at the history and evolution of popular logo designs.

Though many of us studied this in school, its a nice, quick refresher into the old and new worlds of logo design.

For those of you not familiar with the difficulty in designing a logo, this is a great place to start.
Hey artists, designers and gamers!

The Design Your Whirled contest has announced its 2009 winners. The contest is run by Three Rings, a developer of casual massively multi-player games, and deviantART, the largest online social network for artists and art enthusiasts.

After signing onto Whirled, any player can design their own room with items of their own creation or those bought from the Whirled shop. The grand prize winner will receive a brand new Wacom Cintiq 12WX while second and third prize will be a Wacom Intours3 6X11 and a Wacom Bamboo respectively. In addition to custom virtual rooms, Whirled is open to a wide variety of player creations and customizations. Anything from simple image furniture to mini-MMO games can be uploaded by amateurs and professionals alike.

Sounds pretty cool! Definitely check it out.
Those of you who are making some mad money freelancing with Flash and the Adobe Design Suite should crack open your brains to learn Silverlight--from Microsoft. This new program from Gates and Co has been welcomed by Netflix and CBS. With the big names on the roster, its only a matter of time before art departments try to fit training of the software into their budgets--or, eek...give the project to freelancers who know how to work Silverlight. Don't say we didn't warn you.

More info here.
Press Release

In its annual "Best Electronic Design" issue, the editors of Electronic Design magazine have announced their choices for 2008.
The field of candidates began with the hundreds of briefings and demonstrations Electronic Design's editors participate in each year. "As editors we're privileged to work on the leading edge with electronics OEMs, find out what they're doing, and where they're going," said Joe Desposito, editor-in-chief of Electronic Design magazine. "Every so often, we come across that special product, whether chip, component, module, system, or technology that stands out in the crowd."
The "Best Electronic Design" issue highlights the technologies most significant to advancing electronic design and honors some of the outstanding end-product designs produced in the last year. Looking at the key technologies covered in the magazine's pages and online during the year together with reader feedback, the technical editors chose the products and solutions they feel had the greatest impact on design this year.

For the full list of winners please visit: www.electronicdesign.com/go/best2008

From LATimes.com

Another trickle down from the car industry bust comes from the hopeful talents of car design students. This highly techinical skill set may have to undergo an enormous shift with the coming years as demand for autos diminishes. One bright spot--people will we looking for alternative transportation! Don't put down those pencils too quickly, start designing!

On the same night that the Senate was killing legislation to bail out U.S. "Normally there are a lot of designers from the big companies, but with all that's going on, nobody is coming," said Julius Bernardo, 27, who has dreamed of designing flashy cars since childhood and spent about $100,000 on his education. "At this point in time, you have to start thinking about other kinds of jobs."

For the rest of this article, please click here.
From The Earth Times.com

Keeping morale andproductivity high within creative departments can pose a challenge,particularly in the current economic environment. A new survey of designprofessionals outlines the most essential traits for today's creative leaders,as well as specific actions firms can take to retain creative staff andprepare them to assume greater responsibility.

Among the Highlights:--

  • Open-mindedness and adaptability were cited as two of the mostvaluable traits of a creative manager, surpassing traditional attributes suchas patience and loyalty.--
  • More than four out of 10 (44 percent) respondents rated their leaders"fair" or "poor" at developing work environments that support risk-taking andexploration.--
  • Nearly four out of 10 (39 percent) respondents said "doing more withfewer resources" will be the greatest priority for creative leaders in thecoming year.--
  • Less than half (46 percent) of respondents said their firms are takingsteps to identify and prepare staff members to move into managerial roles.
For the rest of this article, and to read more about the report, click here.

I really love sites that see what other illustrators and designers are doing. It's incredibly fun to stretch the creative mind. Check out this amazing site, start a scrapbook and get inspired!

Do you have any other sites for great inspiration? Let us know!

The world's most interesting and forward looking designs have been nominated by industry experts spanning seven categories: Architecture, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Interactive, Product and Transport, to be judged by a high profile panel, chaired by Alan Yentob and including the designer and environmentalist Karen Blincoe and the architect Peter Cook. Shortlisted designs this year include Castleford Bridge in Yorkshire, the Big Brother logo, Westminster Academy, Heathrow Terminal 5 Live Adverts and Barack Obama's election poster.

The shortlist will be on show at the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year Exhibition from 12 February until 14 June 2009 at the Design Museum in London. A winner in each of the seven design disciplines will be announced at the end of February. These finalists will go forward to vie for the 2009 Brit Insurance Design of the Year, to be revealed at the Awards Dinner on 18 March 2009.
Over at Goodness Blog they've got a nifty share session that asks for graphic designers to contribute an inspiring book.

Please recommend a book that you have found particularly inspiring or meaningful to your development as a creative person.
The one restriction: Please no books on graphic design.

Head over and give your inspiring read!

The 90-year-old Pritzker Prize winner died in his sleep in Copenhagen on Saturday after suffering a heart attack.
Carina Christensen, Danish minister of Culture, said: “Jorn Utzon will be remembered as one of the Danes who in the 20th century put Denmark on the world map with his great talent."
Utzon was born in Copenhagen in 1918. He was inspired by modern Scandinavian design as well as Mayan and North African traditions, according to Adrian Carter, director of the Utzon Centre in Aalborg.
He won a competition to design the Opera House in 1957, but walked away from the project in 1966 after falling out with the client. It eventually opened in 1973.
Although it became his most famous project, Utzon never visited the completed building and some of the interiors and details were not of his design.
A £300 million refurbishment was launched in 2000 with the involvement of Utzon and his son.
He also designed the National Assembly of Kuwait and a series of high profile buildings across Denmark.

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

I'm sure that all of you are very famliar with Lorem Ipsum; though, I though it would be a nice reminder of just how historical this babble is to the business of design. Check it out. Enjoy!

The now closed epicenter of the Punk movement, CBGB is in the news again as the family of the legendary bar battles over the small fortune generated from clothing, memoribilia and auctions.

Says The New York Times, "the case is filled with accusations of fraud and deception, and it adds a bitter coda to the story of a beloved New York institution."

NYT continued...
In the suit, filed last year in Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan but amended in a hearing last week, Mr. Kristal’s 83-year-old former wife, Karen, says she is the rightful owner of the business, and that Mr. Kristal and their daughter, Lisa Kristal Burgman, 53 — who inherited the bulk of her father’s estate of more than $3 million — systematically deceived her by hiding money from the sale of merchandise.

For the rest of this article, please click here.

From Details:

While pretty much the entire economic landscape is in ruins, one gilded corner remains: the soaring art market. Thank Tobias Meyer, who has established himself as the art world's most dynamic deal-maker. In May, he engineered the sale of Francis Bacon's Triptych for an artist record $86 million. But his coup de grâce was persuading Damien Hirst to bypass dealers like Larry Gagosian and give his works directly to Sotheby's to auction. Meyer helped Hirst rake in more than $170 million, establishing the provocative Brit as the most bankable artist since Andy Warhol. Meyer's steely confidence and instinctive taste allow him to guarantee huge prices to artists with the certitude that he can sell their work for a profit. "Tobias is the James Bond of the art market," Peter Dunham, a Los Angeles-based collector, told the New York Times. "He's beautifully dressed [and] has beautiful manners. But he's tenacious and ruthlessly efficient in getting the deal done. His skill lies in his ability to make collectors and buyers feel comfortable." Even as everything else is crashing down around them.

Do you think that houses like Sotheby's are as influential as Sotheby's claims? Who do you think should be on the list?

From PRweb.com:

Clarizen, a provider of on-demand, online project management software, today announced it is exhibiting and presenting its SaaS project management solution at the Autodesk University trade show in Las Vegas from December 2-5, 2008. Clarizen will demonstrate its SaaS-based collaboration tool integrated with Autodesk's AutoCAD software at booth #201 in the General Design auditorium.

Autodesk University brings together a community of professionals, including product users, instructors, software developers and tools suppliers, to participate in a time-tested model of efficient learning and networking. "Our main focus is to help engineering teams who use AutoCAD software gain visibility throughout the design process," said Clarizen CEO, Avinoam Nowogrodski. "Clarizen is designed to help team members collaborate with each other and enable them to do their job as part of an overall project team."

About Clarizen

Clarizen is a leading global provider of collaborative online project management software that allows businesses to easily manage all of their projects and resources in a single environment. Clarizen's online project management tools facilitate true team collaboration and project execution, ensuring data is always up-to-date and aligned with business objectives. No complex software or hardware installations are required due to Clarizen's software-as-a-service (SaaS) structure, resulting in immediate business impact as teams and projects get up and running instantly. Clarizen's intuitive user interface and innovative e-mail integration capabilities ensure quick and smooth adoption by users, keeping everyone on track with up-to-date project data. For more information please visit www.clarizen.com.
Curana received the Design Management Europe Award (DME) at the recently held Cardiff Design Festival. This business award recognizes the skills and leadership of management to implement design in their business for commercial success. The winners were appreciated in how design is integrated in their strategy, management and processes to achieve commercial gains. Curana is a third generation family business that changed its strategy completely at the beginning of this century. Instead of focusing on own production, it transformed itself into a product driven company.” This strategic decision resulted in a turnover that quadrupled in six years time" says Vens. "Meanwhile, we have become a strategic development partner for leading European bicycle manufacturers."
Learn more about Curana here.

Parents and gadget-lovers alike need not fret about making a list and checking it twice this holiday season, for when it comes to function, design, durability, safety, and play value, the toy experts know best. With a diverse, award-winning line, WowWee, an Optimal Group company, products have been recently recognized as safe, creative, and fun finds.

These innovations include gadgets that walk, talk, crawl, fly, purr and enable remote telepresence and communications -- something for every member of the family.

FlyTech Bladestar(TM), a revolutionary indoor flying machine, is the first flying toy with sensor- based navigation, using two wings that spin with helicopter-like movement to propel itself through the air. Built-in infrared sensors allow the flyer to detect and avoid ceilings, walls, and other obstacles autonomously. Innovative design coupled with infrared technology also allow for dueling capabilities, enabling two FlyTech Bladestar flyers to faceoff in aerial combat.

The FlyTech Bladestar flyer was one of only 20 products awarded with an "Editor's Choice Award" by Popular Mechanics magazine at CES 2008 as a technologically advanced innovation.
Creative Child Magazine also named the FlyTech Bladestar flyer a winner of the 2008 Preferred Choice Award in the R/C Indoor Flying category. The flyer was also recently named one of Dr. Toy's Best Products Picks for 2008 and a Parents' Choice Approved toy by the Parents' Choice Foundation.

For more information, click here.
Here is an excerpt from Debbie Millman's interview at DeepGlamour.net. I encourage you to get to know Debbie, her insights and her amazing design innovation and brand sensibility.

As a branding consultant, Debbie Millman has worked for a long list of high-profile clients, including Unilever, Gillette, the NBA, and Kraft. As the host of the weekly Internet radio show/podcast Design Matters, she has interviewed an even more impressive list of designers and design thinkers, from Stefan Sagmeister and Steve Heller to Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin (and me). Her book How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer features conversations with 21 leading lights. Debbie is not only a good listener but as interesting as the people she talks to. She was kind enough to let us turn the tables and have her answer the questions.
Click here for the interview with Debbie.

It's that time of year when images of turkey and its Thanksgiving accouterments come and dance delightfully in our heads. Today, I wanted to focus on specific designs present and past to see how far we've come in our "Design of Thanksgiving." I encourage all of you to join in, submit your favorites--or even design your own!

The New York art and design world will big a fond farewell to Paul W. Thompson this Friday has he leaves for a new post in London. Mr. Thompson has been a force within the art and design spheres and he will be sorely missed. Farewell and good luck!

Paul W. Thompson, the director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, is stepping down to become the new rector, or president, of the Royal College of Art in London.
“It’s such a wonderful job in the art and design world, I really couldn’t say no,” Mr. Thompson said in an interview on Thursday.
The Cooper-Hewitt, which is part of the
Smithsonian Institution, is expected to announce Mr. Thompson’s departure on Friday.

Looking for a perfect way to market your designs whilst supporting charities? Check out Designgive for innovative, yet heartfelt ways to get your designs to the public.

Designgive is a web site for designers, by designers. We are here to give artists like us opportunities to create, to promote themselves and to better society by contributing designs for apparel that can be purchased on our site. A portion of the proceeds from each item sold will go to a charity of the buyer's choosing. A cause for design, plain and simple. As artists we were given a talent to create, it's up to you to use those talents to try and make a difference in the world.

Here is a full listing of their charities:

Looking for socially responsible gifts with great design? Check out a new find, Olio United. Based in Oregon, they offer handmade gifts made with love. If I weren't on the opposite coast, I'd head over there after work! Luckily for me, they've got an amazing website that I encourage you to check out.
From their website:
The Heart of our business
1. We partner with socially responsible designers and artists and share their story with you.
2. We work everyday to discover the most inspiring and innovative products to carry in our shop.
3. We want to connect our local community with our global community of artists.
How awesome!

From MTV.com

Morrison said that the idea for “Citizen Death” now is to invent a new genre, which he calls “pop art noir”: “very colorful, but with lots of sex and violence.”

Pop art noir--how very interesting! Lichtenstein meets Hammett?

What do you think? What other mashups to you see happening?

I'm constantly looking for little hiding places for the stuff that I accumulate over my daily commute. From my iPhone, keys, chapstick, pens, digital recorder, notepad, watch, extra earrings, Tide to Go, Kleenex tissues, etc--its gets to be a hassle finding the items when I need them in the crowded subway. That's why I was fascinated with this new bag over at the MoMA store. Of course, its a bit touristy--but its practical and quirky.
Any other suggestions for cool bags with a myriad of pockets?

Mrs. Obama, the forceful, graceful partner to our 44th has been effortlessly in the news lately with her mainstream yet chic fashion sense. From practically saving J.Crew to sporting off the rack dresses at big appearances; Michelle Obama has brought the American every woman who works to the forefront of fashion and to the globe.

The only balks seemed to be at her appearance election night in a couture dress by Narciso Rodriguez--and that may have been just for the cost. Mrs. Obama is now an icon for women who are successful, a little bit mainstream and no-nonsense; yet the fashion/design industry are claiming her to be something new and fresh. For us, she represents what America is now. America is cost effective, still stylish, still hard hitting--but no longer stretching budgets to afford luxury goods.

I ran across this interesting article from The Big Money that discusses how marketable she now is because of her fashion. But I think they go too far in claiming her as a thing instead of a person. She makes fashion marketable--affordable fashion marketable; and that's what the fashion industry thinks it needs now.

The problem with seeing her as simply a symbol or as a icon is that Mrs. Obama, the first African American First Lady is so much more than a mannequin for fashion.

What do you see are the effects of Mrs. Obama's choice of fashion? Do you see a trickle down effect with new design?
From MarketWatch today: Fashion Accessories First, Inc. (FAF), one of the leading suppliers of fashion jewelry and accessories to retailers worldwide, today announced that it has acquired Manhattan-based Catherine Stein Design, which designs and markets fashion jewelry.

According to the press release, the companies state that this move will enable FAF to expand into a wider range of markets. Perfect timing for Holiday shopping.

Read more here.

Want a piece of great Modern furniture but the current economic climate has put a dent in your expendable cash? Check out this amazing first time buyers auction at Sollo Rago Modern Auctions!

Sollo Rago Modern Auctions presents REAL MODERN, its first auction for the young buyer who wants to furnish an apartment with style without breaking the bank. The sale, on February 14 and 15, 2009, will consist of a large selection of affordable furniture and decorative arts for home and office by leading designers of the 20th century.

Online catalogue at ragoarts.com in late January 2009. For more information visit http://www.ragoarts.com or call 866-724-6278.

Be sure to peruse the auction prior to the startdates for ideas on what you'd like to purchase and to set a budget. We'd love to go!

This post on designer-daily blog asks the age-old question of should we listen to music while working? Thinking of design terms, I believe that it sparks creative juices and allows work to come out freely. Others believe that music can lower productivity because serious projects require a high-level of concentration. What’s your take on it?

Sean "Puffy" Combs got a little huffy in his attempt for birthday party decorated all in white. Mr. Combs reportedly paid upwards of $12,000 to turn a Chelsea club into a white retreat for him and his guests. Unfortunately for Mr. Combs, he chose poorly with regards to the designer. After creating a white room filled with luxurious fabrics and flowers per Mr. Comb's request, the designer surely felt that he was truly headed for big time design stardom. After Mr. Comb's viewed the white splashed room, he reportedly began to tear the decorations down in a rage and demanded all the money be returned to him. The designer nor Mr. Combs have not released statements. For designers, this is all too common. We'd love to hear your horror stories.

I’m a little obsessed today with these cutsey yet practical teapots by everyone’s favorite designer, Jonathan Adler. Perfect for wedding/anniversary presents or even for yourself (that’s if you’ve got expendable cash these days). Check them out at FredFlare.

Disney has launched a new lifestyle brand that is high on luxury and low on Mickey Mouse. The NYT had a great article on this today--with slideshow! It looks like cartoon branding is now no longer for kids and old cat ladies, Disney has gone couture!

We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Our faves above
I came across this great concept for a rollator called Freeroll by Heikki Juvonen on this latest post at The Design Blog. The interesting thing here is that unlike a standard rollator or wheel chair, it allows for free and effortless movement. The Freeroll comes with canvas seats instead of hard plastic ones, thus making it incredibility lightweight and user friendly. The Freeroll, designed for the elderly people, positions the user as part of the rollator instead of being an extension of it. The neat thing here is that the rollator is so compact that it can fit virtually in any room or space!
Many of you may be interested in one of our sister blogs, The Front End of Innovation. Today, they've begun a new poll concerning the future of innovation. Because of your interest in design, we'd love to have your input.

Check out the innovative designs at this year's past Woonbeurs Amsterdam expo. I especially love the lighting fixtures and simple/stylish nuevo-mod furniture.
These chairs are some of my favorites, too. I'd love to find out their materials. It looks almost plastic--lawn chairs, anyone?
Any great expos coming up? Let us know!

Take some time to take a look at the some of the new videos and content we’ve posted on the Fuse homepage. You’ll find some interesting testimonials from attendees, sponsors, and speakers from last year’s event as well as a clip of some the highlights you might have missed. Don’t forget to connect with us either on LinkedIn or Facebook as we will continue to keep you informed on the latest updates on design and brand strategy as well as our design related events.

This year’s Fuse event is going to be held on April 22-24, 2009 in sunny San Francisco California. Hope to see you all there!
I picked up a political button the other day from a corner store near work. It was handmade and obviously made to quickly capitalize over the Election 2008 frenzy. There is something funky about the handmade quality of this button in this overly designed election. So I thought that I'd share some of my favorite historical buttons with you today. Look at them from a design standpoint, seeing them for what they represent about the past culture. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on the new MacBook--if you can afford one.

Check out David Pogue's rant on The New York Times.

Check out the amazing works of book publishing art over at Creative Review's blog.
Old classics are given a new--and quite gorgeous spin.

My favorite, Jane Eyre is below:

What innovation are you seeing in traditional media methods?

Check out this great testimonial from our FUSE 2008 event! FUSE is a unique event that aims to connect, education and inspire fantastic innovation across design and technology. Each year, we host amazing speakers in amazing arenas. Our 2008 event was held at the epicenter of technology, New York City. We're looking forward to the 2009 event, stay tuned for more information!

Thanks for stopping by. We're here to relay great design news, innovations, education and to connect you with other design professions. We strive for authenticity in our reporting and we wholly welcome your input on what we produce. From corporate to non-profit; if you're into design and a creative--you've come to the right place. Again, welcome.

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