studiotwentysix2 the art + design of tom davie

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Studio On Fire

I love me some letterpress and quality design, so I was naturally quite impressed by the work of Minneapolis-based Studio On Fire. The site is clean and easy to navigate, and the photo documentation of their work is really nice as well.

The Studio On Fire site is certainly worth a bookmark, and if you’re so inclined, custom cards, calendars and posters can be purchased through their online store.

  • Studio On Fire
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    Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Graphic Design Career Videos

    WARNING...Sense of humor required.

    Tom’s running diary of things he learned while watching these graphic design career videos:

    1. When discussing your qualifications, be sure to keep your awards and diploma visible at all times

    2. Awards and praise let designers know that what they’re doing is “making a difference”

    3. An Associates Degree will allow you to “go places”

    4. Design elements should be integrated into the design

    5. If a sports team has a preexisting color scheme, you may want to incorporate those colors into their design work

    6. There are many different ways you can apply for different jobs

    7. Clients like to pick-and-choose design elements

    8. Clients really like “energy bursts”

    9. Clients probably won’t like your font or color choices

    10. Clients like to put their logo on their worker’s jackets

    11. Clients will be happy with the end results, as long as they’re given variety

    When producing a set of graphic design career videos, always remember to:

    1. Sit in front of a computer that is older than your teenage child

    2. Never turn down the volume on your monitor — it allows your audience to appreciate the sounds of the world’s first screen saver

    3. Never edit your footage to make your career video better

    4. Rarely make eye contact with the camera, but be sure to look down-and-to-the-left and to the producer standing to the side of the camera as often as possible

    5. Never waste time writing a script, they are overrated — your audience will appreciate your ability to “keep it real”

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    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Daily Heller

    Print magazine’s web site is hosting a daily blog written by art director, design educator and design historian Steven Heller. Heller has written and edited numerous books about graphic design. He is currently co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts and writes for the New York Times.

  • Daily Heller via Print
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    Monday, April 27, 2009

    Valspar Paint Commercials

    I really enjoy the quiet sophistication of these recent commercials for Valspar paint. They combine a strong concept, interesting visuals and refined music — all of which help to create a set of memorable 30-second spots. Well done.

    In case you were curious, the agency of record for Valspar is Euro RSCG Chicago.

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    Friday, April 24, 2009

    Jordy Fu

    Check out this series of interesting cut lampshades by artist Jordy Fu.

  • Jordy Fu shop

  • Lamp exhibition images
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    What is Proper Punctuation, Alex.

    You would assume that a show that thinks as highly of its intellect as Jeopardy does, would employ someone smart enough to know the difference between a quotation mark and inch mark. Surely someone on that staff graduated with a degree in Journalism and owns a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style...I’m just sayin’.

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    Thursday, April 23, 2009


    Apparently computer viruses are now being developed specifically for the Mac — but as of now, “The program infects only computers whose users downloaded pirated versions of the Mac software iWork.”

    This is my favorite part of the article:

    ‘It is in the interest of software companies like Symantec, who spread the news, and McAfee, which has downplayed the presence of the Trojan, to raise concerns so they can promote their antivirus software packages, he said.

    “Yes, it is going to become a bigger problem and, yes, people have to become more aware, but I think that what McAfee and Symantec would like is for the panic to start and for people to start rushing to antivirus software,” which isn’t necessary yet, Etherington said.’

  • Malicious program targets Macs

  • About the Mac apple pie
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    Washington Natinals

    In other sports related news, two players from the Washington Nationals wore misspelled jerseys on Tuesday. Majestic Athletic, the company responsible for making the jerseys offered this apology...

    “We take 100 percent responsibility for this event and we regret any embarrassment for the Nationals organization, players and fans.”


  • Jersey error

  • Oh, and if you love you some athletic typos, here’s an article containing a brief history of uniform typos.

  • Uniform typos
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    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    Dead Presidents movie soundtrack

    Dead Presidents was one of those movies I always intended to see, and then never got around to actually watching it. Well, this weekend I finally had time to see it, and while I thought the movie had interesting characters and a nicely developed story, the soundtrack was by far the best thing about the film. The soundtrack wasn’t just good; it was Hall of Fame movie soundtrack material.

    iTunes doesn’t offer the Dead Presidents soundtrack, but here is the artist track listing with song samples via

    Dead Presidents, Soundtrack CD
    1. If You Want Me to Stay - Sly & The Family Stone
    2. Walk on By - Isaac Hayes
    3. Payback, The - James Brown
    4. I’ll Be Around - The Spinners
    5. Never Gonna Give You Up - Barry White
    6. I Miss You - Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes
    7. Get up & Get Down - The Dramatics
    8. If There’s Hell Below - Curtis Mayfield
    9. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man - Aretha Franklin
    10. Where Is the Love - Jesse & Trina
    11. Tired of Being Alone - Al Green
    12. Love Train - The O’Jays
    13. Look of Love, The - Isaac Hayes
    14. Dead Presidents Theme - Danny Elfman

  • Dead Presidents, Soundtrack

  • Dead Presidents, Volume II Soundtrack CD
    1. I Got the Feelin’ - James Brown
    2. Keep on Pushing - The Impressions
    3. Smiling Faces Sometimes - The Undisputed Truth
    4. Right on For Darkness - Curtis Mayfield
    5. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) - The Temptations
    6. Cowboys to Girls - The Intruders
    7. Never Gonna Give You Up - Jerry Butler
    8. I Was Made to Love Her - Stevie Wonder
    9. I Want to Go Back, (Man Oh Man) - The Impressions
    10. When Something Is Wrong With My Baby - Sam & Dave
    11. We People Darker Than Blue - Curtis Mayfield (live version)
    12. Ain’t That a Groove - James Brown

  • Dead Presidents, Volume II Soundtrack
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    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Detroit Lions Redesign

    I guess when you happen to be the worst franchise in professional sports, you start anew by rebranding yourself — case in point, the Detroit Lions.

    The lion illustration is a modification of their previous logo, with the new version having a bit more definition and detail than the original. While not a major redesign, it is in my opinion, a modest, but nice overall improvement. The updated type on the other hand, wishes it was as cool as this, and should have a shelf life just surpassing that of the recent Tropicana rebranding.

    So it’s a split decision for the new Detroit Lions logo — which is significantly better than the team’s record last year.

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    Monday, April 20, 2009

    Business Card Blog

    Italian graphic and web designer Francesco Mugnai maintains the design blog, ‘Oh My God. It even has a watermark.’ The blog is a nice reference collection of contemporary business card design, categorized by color, style and printing technique.

  • Oh My God. It even has a watermark
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    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    A Filter Is Not A Concept

    Please, repeat after me...

    A filter is not a concept.
    Photoshop is capable of horrible things.

    A filter is not a concept.
    Photoshop is capable of horrible things.

    A filter is not a concept.
    Photoshop is capable of horrible things.

    A filter is not a concept.
    Photoshop is capable of horrible things.

    There, now I feel a little better.

    Actually, I don’t, because I still can’t read the name of the band — assuming that’s what the text 1/4 of the way down is supposed to represent. Perhaps if I shut my eyes, the whole thing will just go away.



    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Ad Council Obesity Prevention

    Trying to create Public Service Announcements for an issue such as obesity prevention is without a doubt a slippery slope. You need to attract the viewer’s attention without being judgmental or preachy — while still getting your point across in an interesting manner. I think that McCann-Erickson (New York) did an admirable job with the visuals, concept and content in this campaign for Ad Council. The ads are clever, attention-getting and have just the right mix of seriousness and humor...which is certainly not an easy task.

  • Ad Council’s Obesity Prevention campaign with additional ads
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    Friday, April 10, 2009

    Nick Cave

    During my travels this week, the work of artist Nick Cave was mentioned during a dinner conversation. I wasn’t familiar with his work, so I wrote the name on a napkin, and decided to check him out when I had the chance — and I’m certainly glad I did. The installation images of his recent Soundsuits exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery are phenomenal.

  • Nick Cave at Jack Shainman Gallery
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    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Bad Things That Can Happen To You

    Here’s a little Thursday afternoon humor for all the hard and hardly-working folks that decided to check out the blog on this fine day.

    I really like the specificity of many of the ‘bad things’ that have been compiled for this list, but often times I just don’t agree. Having “the fed ex guy tell you a dirty joke,” is hardly in the same ballpark as “the girl you like turns out to be a man” — of course that’s just this guy’s opinion. Enjoy.

  • Bad Things That Can Happen To You
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    Sketchbook for web designers

    This is a handy resource for all those interested in web design. Italian web designer and developer Vladimir Carrer has created a simple but useful printable browser template for sketching web design layouts. The sketchbook templates can be printed as blank browser pages, or with printed 10px and 100px grids.

  • Web designer sketchbook
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    Monday, April 6, 2009

    Blog News

    I have a pretty hectic schedule the next two weeks, which includes traveling for the better part of it. I will post when I can, but don’t be surprised if I disappear for days at a time.



    Friday, April 3, 2009

    Super Nature

    Super Nature combines a nice portfolio, site design and company description / philosophy. I like when a studio can sufficiently express intent without relying on mass quantities of cliché and buzzwords — although “tailor-made solutions” is pushing it.

    “SUPER NATURE is a Shanghai based multi-discipline design company. It specializes in interactive design, visual communication & media technology. It takes on challenges through experimentations in new media and physical computing. Super Nature provides tailor-made solutions from conceptualization to design, using new technologies integrated in production.

    Seeking innovative solutions is Super Nature’s ultimate goal. It constantly commits to research & development. The partnership with its research associate - Hyperthesis Visual Lab in New Zealand was established to build a strong collaboration in finding new ideas with innovative and cohesive digital solutions.

    In Super Nature, the definition of good design is ‘creating moments of engagement’”.

  • Super Nature
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    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    John Cage 4’33”

    It was rather amazing to see that iTunes is offering John Cage’s avant-garde masterpiece 4’33” as a free download this week. I will withhold my thoughts on the piece to avoid ruining the surprise for anyone not familiar with the work. However, after you have finished listening, be sure to read the following link for additional information about Cage and insight into 4’33”.

  • American Masters: John Cage
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    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    Here’s a post for the Lit fans among us. Co-author Seth Grahame-Smith has appropriated Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice — and as you can guess from the title, a touch of the living dead has been added.

    “But no sooner had she grabbed the handle of her weapon than a chorus of screams filled the assembly hall, immediately joined by the shattering of window panes. Unmentionables poured in, their movements clumsy yet swift; their burial clothing in a range of untidiness. Some wore gowns so tattered as to render them scandalous; other wore suits so filthy that one would assume they were assembled from little more than dirt and dried blood. Their flesh was in varying degrees of putrefaction; the freshly stricken were slightly green and pliant, whereas the longer dead were grey and brittle – their eyes and tongues long since turned to dust, and their lips pulled back into everlasting skeletal smiles”.


  • ‘Pride And Prejudice’ Heroines Battle The Undead via npr

  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at
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