Freaky and Funny

Originally, I planned to do a post today as a long and angry rant against something. I didn't know what that would be. I considered people who walk in front of you very slowly and weave so you can't pass them. Or, spending an hour and a half today in traffic to sign one piece of paper that could have been faxed. Or, clients who share a project in process with a "designer" friend who has no ethics and no problem pointing out issues like "that capital E looks like a backward 3." Really? Wow, I ever noticed that. See, now I'm ranting.

Instead, I'm going to do the opposite. Rather than focusing on the negative, I'm going to play the glad game and find things I like (are you sick yet?) First, Nicole Jacek's placeholder for her website under construction. It's the most exciting work I've seen in years. It's out of control and may push the viewer to a seizure. There is no attempt to make it feel like high, classic print design. It's RGB and screaming. I read some criticisms about it from people who didn't like its frenetic energy. So, go to the DMV website. Nicole's site is freaked and proud.

I also found the Jarritos website designed by Daniel Arenas at Sunday Morning. Again, its for Jarritos, so that makes it great already. But it is unapologetically fun. There are Day of the Dead characters, Mexican wrestlers, and  flat voice-overs. I could do without the "letterpress" type, but I like pretty hideous typefaces like Tiffany Ultra Bold Italic, so I can't be trusted. That's a tiny piece; it's pretty wonderful. Like Nicole's placeholder page, it's honest and doesn't try to convince me that Jarritos is healthy with real fruit grown locally and picked as gently as possible to cause no pain to the tree., design: Sunday Morning, design: Sunday Morning, design: Sunday Morning, design: Sunday Morning, design: Sunday Morning

The Happy Place


Last week, I heard on NPR that beenies were the fashion thing for men now. I thought beenies were the hats that looked like yarmulkes and had propellers on top. I was told, "No, they are knit caps." Followed by, "Boy, I wish I lived in your world." I assume that means Pleasantville. I wish that were true. I'd like to say I laughed only at episodes of I Love Lucy. But something is wrong with me. I needed to be told that Zero Dark Thirty was not a comedy, and laughter was not appropriate during torture scenes. Who knew?

I'd like to live in Pleasantville, but  one of my favorite places is Scarfolk, UK. It's a wonderful town in North West England that hasn't progressed beyond 1979. Richard Littler's genius website about Scarfolk describes it this way: Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science. "Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay." It looks like a nice place to live, except it's in northwest England, which means it's cold, and rains, and gets dark early, and people are probably sick a lot, and not tan. But it looks like they have a handle on the rabies issue. I've collected some of the wonderful collateral produced below.



Knife in Water

Here are two things I don't know: how to speak Polish, and how to code a full screen video image run behind the content on a website. I probably won't learn Polish. But I am determined to solve the video issue. I'm sure anyone under thirty, or any tech smart people are already saying, "That's like way easy." The website for Nowy Teatr in Poland does this and is a joy to explore. The site, designed by Huncwot, a remarkable agency in Warsaw could be the trickiest site in the world. The content leans toward the avant-garde, but the site's design remains consistently concrete and provides gravity. The minimal typography and restraint is piercing. The full screen moving imagery could be obtrusive, but it's hypnotic. If you ask me, the people at Nowy Teatr and Huncwot should be pretty darn proud. The site was the talk of the school last week at Art Center, and left me, a complete philistine, thousands of miles away, speaking only SoCal english, awed.

Nowy Teatr, Huncwot, Warsaw