anonymous asked:

it's mod s from the blog h8keepers. i want to bring it to your attention that the 'ace triangle' is appropriated from the pink triangle that gay men were forced to wear during the holocaust. the triangle itself is homophobic, antisemitic, and anti-rromani, and to have a symbol of christianity drawn over it like you have in your icon is really insensitive. if you didn't know this i'm not accusing you, but as a jewish lgbt person i'm asking politely that you change it to something else. thank you.

Pretty sure that blog is a discourse blog…

From what I’ve seen the ace triangle was designed with the Kinsey scale in mind. I’ve never heard that it was appropriated and I never saw it that way. That icon was created by one of my followers and I’m pretty sure they meant no malice or insensitivity in making it. I’m not in the headspace to discuss this topic and I don’t want to offend anyone right now so I’m just going to go back to the icon I had when I first started this blog since I truly do like it a lot. I will say I truly am sorry if anyone did see that as offensive or insensitive.

7 Things Michael Bierut Loves About Design

Pentagram partner, Michael Bierut closed the first day of Design at Scale, and did so with mastery and aplomb. He laid out the cliches of what designers supposedly like… and then neatly shot down each one, with a series of things he actually loves. Hugely entertaining and, as with all the best presentations, also educational. Here’s a brief recap of things Bierut truly loves about design:

1. Incredibly Short [Design] Briefs
When Robert Stern became the head of Yale School of Architecture, there was panic in the halls that a new reign of fusty neoclassicism dawned. Instead, when commissioning Bierut to work on a new identity for the school, Stern simply said “I just want to surprise people.” The result: an identity which never uses the same typeface twice. The only consistency, said Bierut, is “lack of consistency.” Bold, memorable, clever.

2. Briefs that are Filled with Paradox and Internal Contradiction
Bierut trotted out some of the classic contradictory desires clients can express when trying to commission a design. They want old and new; male and female; consistent and ever-changing; timeless and surprising. “A lot of designers hear this and roll their eyes,” he said. But he gets to thinking about a way to hit both ideas. He showed work for Saks Fifth Avenue, most recently designed by Bierut’s former boss, Massimo Vignelli and which he updated to include a world of vigorous modern abstraction that also nods to the heritage of the department store. (Read Logo A-Go-Go, a NYT story from 2007 with details of the project.)

3. Working on Things I Don’t Know Anything About
Bierut told the story of working on the Harley-Davidson museum, confessing that he himself is not much of a hardcore biker, having never actually sat on a motorbike before. But rather than let this be a cause for dismay, he instead got to play the role of reluctant spouse to his partner, Jim Bieber. In the process, the museum became a destination for more than just those obsessed with every nut and bolt of the Harley machine. An important nuance here: you might not know anything about a subject, but you have to have passion for discovery. Not knowing and not caring is a recipe for disaster.

4. Working with Impossible Restrictions
This is a common theme from designers, who often recoil in horror at the nightmare of an open brief calling on them to do whatever they like. Bierut talked of the challenge of putting a sign on Renzo Piano’s building for the New York Times. Times Square isn’t known for its subtlety, while the occupants of the NYT building wanted the fancy exterior of their fancy building to speak for itself. Bierut helped devise a cunning plan to hack up the Times’ logo into 923 pieces and then mount said pieces onto the rods already covering the building. Cunning and ingenious.

5. The Very First Idea
Another great story, of the challenge when Citibank merged with Travelers back in 1998. On the very first meeting of the first day they worked on the project, Bierut doodled the “T” of the word “Travelers” as an umbrella handle. Now, he said, you see pretty much that exact idea everywhere. “99% of the word was done on the first morning.” He also good-humoredly acknowledged that partner Paula Scher insists she did the fateful doodle.

6. When the Very First Idea Gets Thrown Away
Bierut told of his desperate attempts to get the Museum of Art and Design to see sense and buy into a logo he’d developed which involved the lettering “A+D.” Despite his valiant efforts, they weren’t buying it, and the eventual solution, a typeface that recalls the architecture of the original building while providing a legible alphabet to write in, was clearly superior. Stop digging, said Bierut. Accept you’re not always right.

7. Being Told Exactly What To Do
Another project that caused heartache and teeth gnashing was the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida. Asked to create a logo for the Frank Gehry building, Bierut came up with a series of solutions that the client absolutely hated. Having presented one idea, he recalled, “they were supposed to see it and ask ‘how can we thank you?’ Instead the question was 'is this supposed to make us feel nauseous?” In the end, the company founder Michael Tilson Thomas sent a series of his own scrawled ideas. Usually a cue for designers to feel uppity and upset that a client is trading on their toes, Bierut welcomed the input, and used it to come up with the final (gorgeous) solution. See a video of the process here.

[Image c/o DMI.]

“You’re the man from my dream…” Rey murmured. She stepped forward and reached out, running her fingers over the scales on his snout. Her heart pounded harder in her chest.
“You have the same eyes he did.”

She reached out mentally, trying to coax something – anything- from him, but his mind was like a steel trap.
“I know it was you, Kylo. No one has eyes like you.”

A Girl and Her Dragon

@littlemanicmonday‘s amazing Dragon/Mage Reylo AU.

Finally got to draw Rey properly! I had fun with Kylo. The silver mimics the design of his mask, the scales made to look like the texture of  the tabard he wears in the final part of the film. Unfortunately you can’t see the full length of his horns in this shot. Next time. ;)


I’m a writer, not a presenter, and I am quite resigned to the fact that I’m often better at writing words than speaking them. Nonetheless, I think Redglass Pictures did a knockout job putting together this trailer for the upcoming DMI conference, Design at Scale. In it, my co-chairs and I talk about the theme of the event, while Jake Barton of Local Projects makes a guest appearance too. Thanks to Smart Design for organizing a lovely evening… if that’s a signal of how the two day conference will be, we’re all in for a treat.

Issues of Scale

In October, I’m co-chair, with GE’s Beth Comstock and Richard Whitehall of Smart Design, of the DMI-organized conference, Design at Scale. It’s shaping up to be a super event, with a ton of amazing speakers who will all add unique insight into this difficult topic. Questions of scale – how to do it, when to do it, why it’s apparently so enormously difficult – seem to dog the design industry. So I was interested to read this piece by Atlas Venture partner, Fred Destin, who writes about how premature scaling all too often kills startups stone dead. He’s writing from a technology standpoint, but it’s worth thinking about in terms of the design entrepreneurship that seems to be bubbling up right now. In particular, I liked his explanations of why startups scale before they’re really ready:

  • llusions of product market fit or price discovery
  • Confusing Founder Heroics with a Repeatable Model
  • Unprofitable Scaling / Absence of operating leverage
  • The Tail Wagging the Dog (Board Pressure)

Well worth a read. Story via new DMI president, Karen Reuther.


Oh Canada. What is more Canadian then using a canoe as a hall bench, an HBC blanket as wall art and trudging in the urban wilderness in your Hunter boots? With your Birkin in hand. 

In 1:12 scale

More at

One of my favorite presentations at Design at Scale was the conversation between Roo Rogers, president of Red Scout Ventures, and Cameron Tonkinwise, associate dean for sustainability at Parsons. By this point, we’d heard from a number of huge brands, including Frito-Lay, Starbucks and Coke. All of these were interesting in their own right, but at that point in the proceedings it’s safe to say I for one was feeling a little megabranded out. Rogers and Tonkinwise came to the rescue with a neat analysis of where we are in terms of defining a global “sharing” economy. Rogers is the co-author of the book What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, so knows of what he speaks, while this is also an area of passion for the supremely articulate Tonkinwise. I was hosting this session, so sadly don’t have notes on the many smart things that were said, though I was really taken with Tonkinwise’s challenge to the design community: Think about redesigning objects so they are specifically intended for shared use. As he pointed out, most of the objects that are currently used in the public sphere are lowest-common-denominator hideous, designed to survive nuclear attack but hardly to lift the soul or the spirit. Can’t designers come to our rescue? Please?

[Image c/o DMI.]