A Happy Family.

Thursday 04.21.11

Paris. Vanves flea market. Do they look French?

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Happy Anniversary Little Car!

Wednesday 04.20.11

The Renault 4 is turning 50 years old! Happy Anniversary!! Over 8 million vehicles were sold between 1961 and 1992, when Renault finally decided to retire the design. One of the interesting facts about this car is that during its 30+ year production run, the design itself remained virtually the same. The size and shape were a constant. This philosophy exists in total defiance of today’s approach to design, whereby marketing has wrested control of industry. Products change (not everything, but almost everything) simply for the sake of change. Not necessarily to make them better, but in the service of selling more. Not these babies.

For more pictures go here.

And thanks designboom for running this story.

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Tuesday 04.19.11

I am on a bit of a jag lately when it comes to my office supplies and tools. Like most of us, I used a regular stapler for the majority of my adult life. But then I came across the ZENITH, with its tiny elegant staples. Look at the difference in size compared to normal staples. Anyway, my stapling experience changed from boredom and often frustration to that of enjoyment. That is saying a lot for a pretty mundane task. I frequently ponder how and why we get attached to tools and functional objects. Sometimes it’s an aesthetic experience. Most often, for me at least, it is dictated by the efficiency and feel of the tool itself. If it works, AND it feels good to use it, then why use anything else. The other factor that looms large for me is the notion of longevity. If the thing feels as though it’s built well and will last the requisite eternity, then I am in.

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Cough Cough!

Monday 04.18.11

Lung preservers were recommended as a way of warding off dangerous chills, or worse. The beautiful pink specimen pictured above was found over at the spectacular graphic archive of Sheaff Ephemera. (A word of warning, their site is addictive.) The tomato-colored one is from the Science Museum of London’s website which chronicles the history of medicine. Times may have changed, but who says you can’t wear one of these anyway.

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Christoph Niemann

Friday 04.15.11

Just came back from Christoph Niemann’s archly funny talk, which was organized by Swiss Miss, for the fabulous monthly “breakfast” lecture series Creative Mornings. While I have paid attention to, and enjoyed Niemann’s work immensely over the years, I have never had the pleasure of hearing him speak. I now understand why the house was packed. The images above are from his forthcoming book entitled That’s How. It’s charming, offbeat and most definitely the product of a fertile mind and a gifted illustrator!

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Random Friday Photo

Friday 04.15.11

I don’t think there is any stranger picture of dog and ducks. That’s the late Eugene (a homely, but much beloved, muscovy duck) lurking in the background. For the sake of scale, it’s important to note that Pete the pug is still in his youth here. My friends Kevin and Kay are his guardians. This is their photo. And it has not been tinkered with in any way.

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Terry® Pen Clip

Thursday 04.14.11

It was love at first sight. I knew the very moment I saw this little clip that we were destined to spend the rest of our lives together. What I didn’t know, was how much this three dollar piece of metal and spring would alter my life. Having to search for a pen is the perfect impediment to committing an idea to paper. So the notion that I would always always always be able to find my pen, and that it would be attached to my sketchbook (!!) at all times, was a true game-changer. I spent some time trying to track these down online, with not much success. They seem only to be available in the UK, without any option to ship to the US. How can this be?

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