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Stop: look and listen #3

Categories: Inspiration, Stop: look and listen

Look
Christmas noire!
Check out Bendik Kaltenborn’s beautiful cover illustration for the Norwegian literature magazine "Vinduet".

A year of bad art
You might not agree, but these are the worst album covers of 2010. According to Pitchfork.

Interview Project
On a road trip across the United States, director David Lynch has been busy conducting interviews with a selection of people he found interesting.

Stranger than fiction? Have a look.

Listen
Keith Jarret: "The Köln Concert” (album)
An absolute jazz classic from 1974. Improvised music doesn’t get much better – or easy-going – than this. And the record has got an interesting story behind it too.

Brian Eno: "A small craft on a milk sea” (album)
In addition to containing this year’s most poetic song titles, “A small craft on a milk sea” is an arresting journey through a typical Enoesque musical landscape. You know, music for a film that doesn’t exist … it's all in your head. Sit back and enjoy.

If you've got an iPhone, check out Eno’s “Bloom” app on iTunes. DIY ambient!

Looking back

Categories: Inspiration, Nice stuff, Useful/interesting

I seem to be on a bit of a typographic history binge at the moment; starting in the 60s with Mad Men typography the other week, I've now jumped into the early 70s.

Why? Because that's when the very first volume of U&lc – Upper and lower-case – came out and it's just been made available to download (for free) thanks to the kind folks at Fonts.com.

The scanned pdfs are pretty hefty but worth the download time as they're full of amazing typographical treats; including these creatures which reminded me of what I did with some Type Faces a while back.

(Though these chaps are much cleverer and more refined than my little project – I especially love the snail.) 

Want your own a piece of typographic design history? Download U&lc Volume 1 from over on the Fonts.com website.

Stop: look and listen #2

Categories: Inspiration, Stop: look and listen

Look
James Blake: "Limit to Your Love" (music video)
Well, this is both a look and a listen, I guess: An interesting video. A striking piece of music. James Blake has two really interesting EP's out. This track, which is a cover of a Feist song, is from his forthcoming album. I really can't wait to hear more.

BBC: Sherlock (DVD)
A contemporary take on Sherlock Holmes – classy, stylish and inspired entertainment. Three feature-length episodes on DVD. A new season is in the making.

Trent Reznor and David Fincher (interview)
Trent Reznor and David Fincher talk to Pitchfork about their collaboration on "The Social Network".
 

Listen
Mats Eilsertsen: "Radio Yonder" (album)
Mats Eilertsen is a Norwegian bass player, who's been involved in an uncountable and diverse range of collaborations on the contemporary jazz scene. "Radio Yonder" is Eilertsen working with his own quartet, playing only original compositions, with one exeption; a haunting cover of A-ha's "Hunting High and Low". A beautiful, timeless jazz recording. (Read The Guardian review of the album.)

Royksopp: "Senior" (album)
"Senior" is the dark twin of last year's album "Junior". Less pop, more prog – and it's all the better for it.

Design exploits …

Categories: Data design, Inspiration, Useful/interesting

After writing a quick post about the visualisation of data not long ago, it's been stuck in my head, niggling at my brain.

Data visualisation is really interesting to me. Not solely on account of it being efficient (and I do like efficiency) but because conveying facts and figures in an engaging, digestible and, yes, nice-looking way is in many ways the perfect design challenge.

Affording Healthcare by Camille Kubie
Affording Healthcare by Camille Kubie

You have fixed information to work with and essentially the same brief/problem each time: (accurately) make complex data clear, understandable, and interesting; make the most of it, I suppose.

So, when Paul Bradshaw tweeted a link about data visualisation for journalists, I got curious and had a squizz.

The site visualizing.org has been set up as an open resource for journalists and a place where designers can go to get data to visualise. And it's all free – no payment is required for using the graphics.

The Worst Oil Spills in History by Gavin Potenza
The Worst Oil Spills in History by Gavin Potenza

After a quick look-through, it seems the data's fairly USA-centric and there are a few glitches on the site – but it generally appears to be a pretty interesting and useful resource; in terms of both the visualisations and data, but also as a bit of a push to think more about how infographics can be used.

It's got me thinking anyway.