Category: designers

Gift Idea Numero Uno: Ring Pencil Sharpener

Friday 12.09.11

Right now, this would be my number one gift choice for anyone who deigns to pick up a pencil. Much to my chagrin, I don’t believe these are in production. But maybe if we send Ignacio Pilotto (the designer) some pleading messages, he’ll get the ball rolling.

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Blind Spot

Friday 11.18.11



Bob Dinetz, a prolific and talented graphic designer, based in San Francisco, has taken a series of photographs documenting three different areas of interest: flattened gum, covered up graffiti and chewed gum. The series is called Blind Spot. I’d love to see these really really big!

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Italy On My Mind

Thursday 11.10.11

At a loss for words? Want to be fluent in Italian? Just pick up this gem of a book, practice the gestures, and before you know it you’ll be freely communicating the entire length of the boot. Speak Italian was first published in 1958 by artist, photographer, sculptor and all around genius, Bruno Munari. The photographs capture something from a time long since past. But the gestures themselves are still as current as can be. The book (a bilingual edition) was reissued a number of years ago by Chronicle Books, something for which I am very grateful.

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White or Black?

Saturday 10.15.11

I went to buy a couple of new alarm clocks yesterday — we have a cat who is occasionally unruly and hurls everything on the bedside tables to the floor. no clock could stand up to such repeated abuse — and was reminded of how truly ridiculous we designers can be sometimes. As I was standing at the counter trying to decide between the black version or the white one and back again, the soft-spoken, very design-ey gentleman in charge of the shop inquired in the nicest way possible, “Does it really matter?” Instead of taking offense, as perhaps I should have, I burst out laughing. He’s right, it doesn’t freaking matter. It’s a clock for crying out loud. It’s unobtrusive, simple, well-designed. Who cares if it’s white or black? Would it really make a difference in my life one way or another? It’s not going to work better if it’s one color versus another. This particular clock is a re-issue of a design originally created in the 90s by Dietrich Lubs and Dieter Rams for Braun. Oh, and for the record, I bought two black ones.

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One Spoon to Rule Them All

Tuesday 10.11.11

Sustainability can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To me, the ultimate green product is the one that you never ever ever throw away. You buy it once and then you are finished. Done. End of story. And that thing you just bought…you use it! It’s the tool you reach for every time. This approach is not exactly the one that the manufacturing sector wants to promote, but it is a standard that I go back to over and over again. So, to that point, let me introduce the one and only serving spoon you will ever need or want. It was designed in 2000 by Antonio Citterio for the Finnish company Iittala. The thing is a workhorse. And what’s better, it looks good, feels really great to use and…here’s the kicker…it survives the cous cous test. It is the only serving spoon I have ever owned that does not spill a single grain from pot to plate. Pure genius. Yes, it’s a little pricey. For more info click here.

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Hello…Buzz Me In Please.

Tuesday 09.06.11

I know this is a long post, but it wouldn’t be as fun if it were just a few images. Incidentally, these are not my photos, they are the work of Leandro Lattes, an industrial designer and one of the founders of El Vivero, a design studio based in Madrid. He has authored two books that beautifully document many of the less homogeneous design details of Madrid — things that are heading towards obsolescence from the urban landscape such as bar stools, door knobs, signage, facades, store displays, and on and on. The on and on part is what I love!! These intercoms are some of my favorites. Please note that these pictures are but a small percentage of the total for this particular category. Do yourselves a favor and check out the rest of the books. Do it here.

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Calculators by Tweed Tom

Wednesday 08.17.11

I saw these prints on Swissmiss this morning and fell for them in an instant. I am a true sucker for the mundane and the obsolete appearing in numbers. And I love the texture and flatness of these images. Good job Tweed Tom (real name, Tom Rowe). And thanks Swissmiss for having such a keen eye. If you want to live with one of these, go here.

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