Paul Rand was responsible for iconic icons for IBM, ABC (America), UPS, etc.
- Heller, Steven. “Thoughts on Rand.” Print, May–June 1997: 106–109+
He almost singlehandedly convinced business that design was an effective tool. [. . .] Anyone designing in the 1950s and 1960s owed much to Rand, who largely made it possible for us to work. He more than anyone else made the profession reputable. We went from being commercial artists to being graphic designers largely on his merits.
If you are an admirer of graphic design, especially graphic design history you will enjoy this 4 minute tribute commemorating Rand's posthumous induction to the One Club Hall of Fame.
It demonstrates Rand's talent, had some great thoughts on the principles of design, and is very visually enjoyable to watch.
To watch the short film, click here.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
One of my dearest friends from my London days is Astrid behind Alice and Astrid.
Their clothes are incredibly beautiful and feminine; have a remarkable attention to detail; a delicate and luxurious approach to texture - just like my friend.
I have owned a pair of their double cotton pajamas for over five years, they look as beautiful as they did when I first got them; they are obscenely comfortable and gorgeous to boot.
If you are ever looking to spoil yourself slightly and can't make to their store in Notting Hill, take heart, you can also offer their creations online.
A absolute must check out for all girls.
I saw a multitude of miniature ghosts, witches, princesses, super-heros etc. on my way to work this morning.
I was also visited by a ghost-hound in my office (love that hound) and given a black cat shaped decorated cookie.
So to help others to get into the Halloween spirit I am giving everyone the chance to carve their own pumpkin.
To carve your own pumpkin, click here.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
It is Halloween time in North America and the costumes and the decorations are out.
Not having grown up in North America I still find the entire Halloween concept a little weird and the seriousness with which finding the 'perfect costume' is taken rather stressful. I've known many different people during my time here that have spent literally weeks agonizing over their costume choices.
When asked for my costume choice of preference my mind usually goes completely blank. Any costume suggestions from other people usually involve not wearing many clothes, which I am not so keen on due to the weather as much anything else and makes me even more stressed.
That said it really is fantastic watching so many people on the subway in their costumes.
However, for yet another year I bowing out of the costume drama and leaving the dressing up to the little kids who go trick-a-treating.
Thursday, 25 October 2007
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
I've known about this documentary, shown on CBC's The Lens, for a while but only got the chance to see it on the weekend.
Produced by Chocolate Box Entertainment the documentary follows David Manning on his quest to discover all things spam.
You have to give him credit for being comprehensive: he visits the SPAM (as in horrid food stuff) factory and gets their take; talks with the Monty Python comedian whose skit was responsible for the labeling of the computer phenomenon 'spam'; meets the person acknowledged as the very first person to send a mass marketing message using computer technology - 'father of spam'; looks into the battle against spam and the negative economic and technological consequences of it; tries to meet with a 'spammer'; and best of all actually tries out the products that spam sells. Seeing Manning in his 'weight loss' outfit is priceless.
It's a a great little doco, if I have attached a link to an excerpt below, but if you get a chance to view the entire piece I highly recommend it.
Click here to watch an excerpt.
NB: Did you know that according to the foodstuff SPAM representatives, if you spell SPAM in uppercase it means the foodstuff and lowercase 'spam' it means computer junk mail. Who knew! I think they might be a bit deluded in thinking that people make this distinction.
Friday, 19 October 2007
For reasons that are not necessary to go into, I spent time this morning colour sorting Smarties.
Every activity in life teaches us something (think wax on, wax off).
Here is what I learnt from this activity:
- I REALLY enjoy colour coding things, and I am insistent on using the colour spectrum as my guide, yes I am a bit of a freak, but a harmless one.
- There isn't an even distribution of the colours in Smarties packets. My sorting revealed a dearth of red (so less to look forward to if you eat them last) and an excess of pink (little boys will be horrified). As a result I was reminded of the scene in 'Casino' with the unequal distribution of blueberries in the muffins. Hmmmm... maybe I should contact Robert De Niro with my discovery.
- Smarties are a swift road to illness if you a pick-eater. I can't always eat a full piece of cake but I can eat my weight in Smarties. Hence, I had to get the residual candy away from me as soon as possible.
- If you grew up in Australia in the 1980s you would remember the huge hullabaloo over what colour to throw out when they introduced blue Smarties. Fortunately, my vote worked and the poo brown Smarties are no more. Studying Smarties today, we DEFINITELY made the right decision.
Are you excited by all this essential learning or WHAT!
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Artist/Historian/Economist Holly Crawford is very interesting to me.
You bring your opinions on art; they provide a curator/artist, champagne and a limousine. LOVE IT!
Her (Holly Crawford) "critical conversation" limousine picks up anyone who wants to join an hour-long salon about anything to do with art. She provides champagne while an artist or curator leads each discussion, which is recorded on camera. In the sound art limousine, participants hear music from local sound artists, who also act as DJs and hosts.
Not a fan of online dating but love this ad. Makes me even more grateful that I am off the market.
Arghhhhh!!!!.. Fruit Fly Invasion at the office..
Little blighters, so small yet capable of such great distress.
I swear one is my ear and another is on a kamikaze mission to be swallowed.
We've made those eco-friendly traps but they seem more interested in human torture.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
I saw the Mighty Boosh (who I think were merely 'Le Boosh' at the time) live at the comedy festival in Melbourne many years ago. I remember laughing so hard I cried.
Old Gregg is particularly funny to me for personal reasons. This probably more for Aussies than Canadians in terms of humour.
The Mighty Boosh - Legend of Old Gregg
Monday, 15 October 2007
Variations of breast-support undergarments have been around for centuries but 1907 is considered the official 'birthday' of the bra, as it marks the first reference by Vogue Magazine of the word "brassiere".
Hence the 'bra' celebrates it's centenary this year.
In the past 100 years bras have had an adventurous history as they have been wired, stuffed, burnt, pushed-up, and many men have spent considerable time trying to take them off.
As a lingerie lover, I say Happy Birthday Bras, thanks for 100 years helping to banish the bounce.
Friday, 12 October 2007
Question: What's 548 feet long, up to three feet deep and 10inches wide, and zigzags the length of the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern?
Answer: The artwork 'Shibboleth' by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, also colloquially known as 'Doris' Crack'.
The crack is said to represent the division problem of integrating immigrants into European society. Three people have injured themselves by falling into the 'crack' by stepping on it, mistakenly thinking that it was painted on.
It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I think this artwork is BRILLIANT!
Radiohead's new album In Rainbows is now available.
The ten track album can be downloaded from www.inrainbows.com
The cost of the downloaded album? Well, you get to decide. All verrrry interesting. I'd like to hear what people think.
If you like all the trappings of a regular CD, a more expansive discbox is also available to order for 40 pounds.
My kind of radio and a particularly nice pot of gold 'in rainbows'.
Thursday, 11 October 2007
Last night my father told me about how some Australians are trying to encourage more Aussies to eat kangaroo meat instead of beef. I already knew that kangaroo has practically no cholesterol and is very low in fat etc. but the other reason was a surprise.
If Aussies eat more kangaroo and less beef it could assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions that come from cows burping, yes, burping!
"Farmed ruminant animals are thought to be responsible for up to a quarter of "man-made" methane emissions worldwide though contrary to common belief, most gas emerges from their front, not rear, ends."(The Guardian, July 10, 2007).Kangaroo burps apparently do not have the same problem.
I didn't believe Dad at first and asked "Burps? Wouldn't it be more likely to be from farts?". He replied "No, the scientists say it's the burps far more than the farts."
Dad then tried to explain why it was the burping, but I was too busy laughing my head off because my Dad said the word 'fart'.
Juvenile I know, especially for someone over thirty but some things will always make me laugh like a hyena.
In the 1950s Jack Kerouac immortalized his buddy trips in 'On the Road'.
My Dad went on fishing trips with his friends all through the 1960s, 70s and 80s. My Boss has gone on an annual camping trip with his group of friends for almost 20 years.
Men going on vacations with their friends is by no means a new thing and is probably as old as civilization itself. Aristotle, back in ancient Greece, talked about the importance of friendship. His misguided views on women's friendships I won't go into today.
The term 'mancation' is a little newer, apparently coined by Vince Vaughn in the film 'The Break Up'. I think this term is delightful.
My boyfriend is about to go on a surfing vacation with his two best friends. He is beyond excited, probably more excited than he's ever been before one of our 'couple' vacations.
I don't mind at all, I think it's great, but I have to admit being able to snicker 'Sooo... how are you mancation plans going?' gives me far more joy and amusement than it probably should.
Apparently I 'Just Don't Understand' but so long as the word 'mancation' makes be giggle it doesn't really matter if I do or don't.
Happy Mancation Boys!
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Monday, 8 October 2007
It's a political bonanza time for people living in Ontario. On the 10th of October Ontarians will get the opportunity to vote not only for their next Provincial Government but have their say as to whether they want to reform the provincial electoral system.
The electoral reform referendum interests me greatly, so I've read the literature, gone to some informal functions and attended the debate.
I've decided that the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system is the one I support.
Of course there is the small problem that I can't vote because I am not a Canadian citizen. I just like to be informed.
SOOOOO...even though I can't vote, I think it's incredibly important that those who can do.
IF YOU ARE AN ELIGIBLE ONTARIAN VOTER... MAKE SURE YOU FLEX YOUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHT... GO VOTE!
Friday, 5 October 2007
Charles Eames was an amazing designer, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year.
Cleverly the Eames Office came up with a unqiue and totally cool way to help celebrate.
Not only have they released limited numbers of the plywood elephants; designed in 1945 but never previously produced; but have created a fun, short, stop-motion film about them titled "A Gathering of Elephants."
Whether you are a fan of Eames, a fan of stop-motion animation, or a fan of elephants you'll love this little film.
Click here to watch it.
The film was directed by Eames Dementrios (Eames grandson) and features the acting talents of Mr. L. A. Phant and Ms. Ella Faant.
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
If you are a fan of both of these shows, as I am, this is a bit like a comedic dream come true. It helps if your sense of humour leans towards the Aussie/British way of things too.
Communicating with God has gone high-tech in Britain.
Now the faithful can download religious wallpaper and ringtones expressing their faith, even download the entire bible if they wish.
The service, Ecumen, is marketed with the phrase: "The only Bible you can read in the dark."
Seems God not only works in mysterious ways but adapts to new technologies.
Monday, 1 October 2007
As a foreigner living in Canada a number of my friends, like me, are 'resident aliens', all at different stages in the immigration process.
On Friday night one of my friends; who has had a particularly adventurous journey down the immigration road; finally got her official approval and became 'Landed' as a Canadian Permanent Resident.
Celebrations included champagne and a group sing-a-long of 'Oh Canada'.
Congratulations Anna, on being well on your way to officially becoming part-moose!
Saturday night was Nuit Blanche, an all night contemporary art extravaganza that overtook downtown Toronto.
The excitement in the lead up to this event was fantastic. Everyone I know and everyone who knows people I know were all pumped to participate. Additionally; unlike last year's cold and wet climatic offerings; the weather was perfect for nocturnal wanderings on foot around the streets. My excitement grew when as my group of friends and I discovered that the TTC had sold out of tokens and day passes. Surely this event was going to be magnificent.
Indeed the numbers of people wandering from artwork to artwork around the city was impressive. The general atmosphere of good-willed curiosity and excitement was marvelous.
Unfortunately the art was anything but marvelous.
I preface my ramble on my dissatisfaction with the art by explaining that I am a huge supporter of contemporary art. I've seen everything from teddy bears covered in oatmeal; ants making patterns with string; murderer's portraits made of children's hand-prints; sharks in tanks of formaldehyde; and too many video and sound installations to shake a stick at. I'm not one of the cynics who shake their head at contemporary art and irritatingly say "my five-year old coudda done dat."
I can be a tough critic; if something has been too overdone, is too focused on trying to shock, or just plain idiotic; I am the first person to walk away shaking my head. However, if something hasn't completely reached resolution - but I can see that the idea was clever or interesting - I will be lenient and give it it's dues. If something is spectacular, even if it's really weird, I am the first to say I love it.
Sadly, on Saturday night there was a lot of head shaking and nothing worth bestowing leniency on, everything I saw was at best mediocre and at worst groan inspiring.
There seemed to be a mild obsession with using projections, but none of them were very good and few took into account or incorporated their physical placement. The success of last year's fog sculpture at Philosophers Way (which I LOVED) seemed to have everyone else obsessed with trying to ride on it's 'fog based' popularity - sadly without success.
The 'alien autopsy' was so pathetic it almost made me cross and the invitation by the conservation guy to 'write about how I feel about trees' on pieces of paper was so hypocritically ridiculous I could do nothing but stare.
As the evening faded to 4am, my friends and I held out one last hope for the art. There was a piece at the unused Bay Street Subway station that we hadn't seen. I'd never been to the 'hidden' station so if nothing else just getting down there would be a success. The station itself was cool; we all agree it would be a great venue for something; but the so-called 'sound installation' was so void that I won't even bother describing it.
Nuit Blanche is a wonderful concept that deserves praise but if they are to continue this event in future I would strongly recommend a significant review of the art selection process and the appointment of a decent (hopefully savage) curator. If they could lure some recognizable and acknowledged artists - who are actually talented - all the better. Otherwise I fear that if the event continues with such pathetic works on offer it will actually do contemporary art a great disservice.
All-in-all Nuit Blanche in it's current manifestation was over projected and it's resolution far too low to be replicated.