This year I started using del.icio.us. I love it. It's brilliant, unobtrusive and very useful.
Since the start of the year I've bookmarked over 700 links. So when I sat down to write a review of the year and I worried that I'd focus too much on the last three months rather than give a true reflection of the year I simply looked back at everything I'd bookmarked through the year.
Ladies and Gentleman, I bring you a del.icio.us review of 2007.
You could use this post as a handy page of interesting things to read over the rest of the Christmas season. Good, eh?
My most popular picture on Flickr this year with 4,199 hits. Odd.
So let's begin with Dynamo Projects, a cool site where Malcolm Garret reviews web design and other digital stuff like this smart summary of the iPhone's interface. Swiss Miss is always full of gems like this typeface based on each letters frequency of use in the English dictionary. Our old friend Jakob Nielsen wrote a brilliant article called Usability In The Movies Top 10 Bloopers. Includes the hilarious "The Hero Can Immediately Use Any UI" and "Time Travelers Can Use Current Designs". Very funny.
I never understand why more people don't talk about disambiguated URLs. They make so much sense. Don't know what I'm on about? Read Good URLs are important. The best URLs are readable, reliable and hackable and find out. I hope you've read this by now but if you haven't then you MUST read the BBC's Fifteen Principles. It will improve your web design.
On a lighter note you could watch Steve Job's All Time Favourite words or you could read about Matthew Smith who takes broken iPods, fixes them, and gives them back out to the freecycle community for free. You could look inside Steve Ballmer's office or you could browse the most helpful html website known to amateur coders like you and me.
Glance at The Economist and look at how colour builds language and language builds colour or map the flow of people round a city in real time via the mobile phone. Read how w+k Neil's blog of the Nokia pitch induced "a stir". Had the last laugh on that, eh Neil?
Lewis Moberly appointed two board directors to help create the 'consultancy of the future' (wonder how they're getting on with that?), Google gave everyone a free bike and Durex looked for condom testers.
I loved watching the 7 minute Sopranos and intend to visit all of London's 50 Best Unsung Museums. Obviously. I'm always thinking about signing up for the RDI Summer School, but I never get round to it. There are some great pictures from inside ILM and there were all these great pictures in the bad usability 'This Is Broken' Flickr pool. The excellent Khoi Vinh writes about the "subtle, dotted grid pattern printed on the backside of Hallmark gift wrap that serves as a guide as customers cut away the necessary amount to wrap presents" which is the kind of little design twist I love. More on Khoi later.
Alice Rawsthorn wrote this great article about designing for the other 90% and the BBC talk about a typeface. Yes, that typeface. The Guardian wrote this good list of incredible uses for everyday things, it's the kind of thing Readers Digest would have written many moons ago. The Boston Herald worked out all the things you could buy with the cost of the Iraq war ($456 billion). Did you know that $456 billion dollars would feed and educate all the world's poor for five and a half years?
There's gotta be some Bierut in my del.icio.us and there's no better place to start than these two posts, why Michael Bierut hates ITC Garamond and 13 ways of looking at a typeface. Brilliant. Have a look at his brilliant typographic campaign for Saks and read why a Bierut design will increase your share price by 25%. Lastly read an interesting article in the beauty/strategy debate.
Take a look these postcards from 1900 predicting what 2000 would look like. Includes Roofed Cities and The Moving Pavement.
Earlier in the year someone asked me what my favourite blog was, which kinda misses the point because it's the combination of blogs that makes them so interesting. But anyway. If you had to pin me down I might say Khoi Vinh, I might say AceJet170. Here's an example of AceJet170 from back in May, Found Type Friday and the Penguin Car Handbook. In fact the whole Found Type Friday series is well worth a look.
Someone reckons we've done a D&AD lecture. Which we haven't. How to sell books on mobile phones (and it's not a Kindle). Some fantastic stuff from Wil at Ghost School, airplane food trays, there will be tears and a hip hop sound track and a difficult day at work. Wouldn't it be nice if all news was reported like this?
Why Facebook is the new Apple including my quote of the year "looking at it isn't like pouring acid into your eyeballs". One of those posts which makes you go yes, yes, yes by Dan G for Howies. A fantastic proposal for a replacement Vegas sign. A link which needs no explanation, "German woman drives into underground station entrance".
That logo. David, really, really hated it. Claire Beale hated it. Beeker's receptionist was worried, Michael Johnson was crossing his fingers and Coudal Partners liked what it wasn't. Armin liked it and Bowbrick loved it. The Government weren't for turning and Wolff Olins never asked to be liked. Which is just as well, really. There was a lot of talk about what could have been with, really, the only elegant suggestion being Daniel Eatock's. Although I doubt very much they'd let you do that with the rings.
Rhodri Marsden plays Wichita Lineman on a saw at interesting2007. Amazing.
The equally amazing Thomas Heatherwick beach hut. A defining and much quoted post on flexible identities from Michael Johnson. Bad design harms pupils. Yes, harms - "90 per cent of those who took part in the research said that classroom layout is the single most important factor in the school environment when it comes to teaching and learning.". Tom Jones' hard-to-believe-he-did-that cover of the Arctic Monkeys' I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor.
Some good, funny, stuff from David and some interesting thoughts on the Royal Festival Hall and new media from Chris. "We’re moving from a world of stuff, from the idea that there’s a finite amount of gold out there, a finite amount of almost anything out there. Throughout all of history, people fought over stuff: land, fuel, stuff." Important stuff.
The 7 Deadly Sins of Digital by the king of blog lists Mr Iain Tait. See also 10 Things Digital Planners Should Be Able To Do and 10 Reasons Why Digital Is Better Than Anything. The amazing "A Birth in 13 Places" series by Dan Hill. The Relentless Lisa Strausfeld. The new shite Chrysler logo "I have seldom seen so graphic an expression of how far we have fallen, in 45 years, from the skill and confidence of modern design."
This bit is the impossible-to-spell-right Khoi Vinh section. First up how much design is too much design? Next up, aging gracefully, "an object should be designed not just for sale, but also for day to day wear and tear. With use, this iPhone should get more attractive, should become like a trusted and inseparable friend." Then, eloquently stating the obvious, "I’m more of the school that content should be designed appropriate to each medium." His brilliant Control presentation and teaching design to Management Information Systems students and last but not least, how to design like Khoi.
You must look at this original Macintosh user manual. Cracking. "Life is good with your clients when you get along and communicate well. Often, that's not the case." Very, very true. Ziba on buttons. Every one of Michael Johnsons 873 D&AD Annuals. Are Big Ad Agencies shit etc etc yes yes there there. An article about blogs in The Sun, but only the sex ones and there's no url's; int the dead tree press brilliant? One Laptop Per Child is a failure, maybe because people want clean water and not YouTube? Just a thought.
All the best Gorilla remixes from the Head of Planning at Saatchi and Saatchi.
Are the best studios truly multi-disciplinary without realising? The different Pantones used to promote brands. The London Fire Brigade Museum. I'll say that again, The London Fire Brigade Museum. The plan to get rid of agencies. Ooops, I didn't realise there was a plan! "The only thing I can tell you for certain is that we are not sitting here saying, "The answer is six blades." Err yeah, right. Inside the Ideas Room at the Gillette Technology Centre in, er, Reading. How to present a brief to creatives, good superfluous free advice from Andrew.
If Architects Had To Work Like Web Designers - "My house should have somewhere between two and forty-five bedrooms."
The iPod death clock, try it. You'll be surprised. Do we need it? Can we live without it? Is it designed to be durable or multi-functional? 11 Questions to Ask Before You Design, Specify, or Buy Anything. Lovely, lovely, lovely signs. "The sensitivity of artists, the technical know-how of production engineers and amused and well-tempered minds" - RIP Richard Guyatt.
"It's fine. Nice looking enough. Works. Makes calls. The apps run. But it's nothing overwhelming. You couldn't put it in a plexiglass case and make nerds drool looking at it." The gPhone.
Those fucking charts. MIT sue Gehry. What The War did to packaging. A truly sustainable design firm in SE1. "Google kids I hooked up with yesterday -- fucking brilliant. They care deeply about Africa...THE SOLUTION: (RED) Ads by Google" Hilarious. The brilliant Ruby on brands.
And what better way to finish the year than Mr Davies showing why he's better at all this than anyone else. Have a great 2008.