SFMOMA reopened last month. Exciting! Of its 170,000 square feet — the architecture firm Snøhetta integrated a 10-story expansion with the original Mario Botta building — 3,500 square feet are devoted to architecture and design, including modern and contemporary architecture, furniture, product and graphic design. I was delighted to be able to visit two weeks ago and see “Typeface to Interface: Graphic Design from the Collection,” one of 19 special exhibitions on view.
To boldly go where no web developer has gone before! I’m a huge sucker for space and In Space We Trust is next-level website inspiration. It’s a video-game-infographic-interactive-typographically-awesome timeline of landmark happenings in the world of space exploration. Even if you don’t swoon over Sputnik or moon over the moon like I do, check out this graphic masterpiece. You’ll learn something and come away dreaming of the design work. Plus, you can download some of the imagery as wallpapers.
The trash can. The pouring paint bucket. The disc. The happy Mac (or sad one). Susan Kare designed them all. In creating these and most of the other icons on the original Apple Macintosh, she established the framework for modern visual communications: The Point-and-Click Era. Here, Kare, icon of icons, talks about the creative decisions behind some of the best-loved symbols of the past four decades.
Kare delivered this presentation at last year’s Layers Design Conference in San Francisco, but the video was only recently posted online. It’s full of fresh observations about the creative process, insights about her time at Apple, and advice for designing with accessibility in mind; so even if you’re familiar with Kare and her work, I’m willing to bet you’ll find something new here. I learned from Kare’s 2013 book, for example, that the command icon (⌘) was originally a symbol used to denote interesting features at Swedish campgrounds, but the story of how she stumbled upon the symbol in the first place, and how she weighed its merits at the time. (Her description of her first trip to Sweden, decades after she copped the command icon for Apple, is also pretty damn charming.)
Her talk’s about half an hour long and well worth watching in its entirety. The second half of the video, a Q&A between Kare and Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, is also worth a watch.
Gastrotypographicalassemblage, Lou Dorfsman’s 1966 typographic mural design for the CBS New York headquarters cafeteria has been restored and permanently installed at the Culinary Institute of America’s Marriott Pavilion and Conference Center in Hyde Park, NY.
Gastrotypographicalassemblage embodies design and art movements popular in New York in the 1960s. Three-dimensional words about food, in various typefaces and lettering styles, interlock with wry sculptures of everyday delicacies, such as bagels, a sandwich, and canned food, and the whole is suggestive of the work of artists such as Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana, as well as the Push Pin enthusiasm for eccentric nineteenth-century type. The compartmentalization of the wooden words and letters also reflects a minor fad in the 1960s and ’70s for wood type and obsolete type cases. Dorfsman himself recounts that inspiration for the wall grew out of a birthday gift he made for CBS president Frank Stanton that was a collection of wood type, metal type, and CBS memorabilia nestled into the compartments of a type case.