Edgy fashion and football. Is there any other way to spend your Sunday? I’m calling today’s shoot “Two Beers and a Runway” because Molly Morettes and other up-and-coming Chicago designers turned Moher’s Pub into a runway. Check christyre.com later this week for the full shoot. Cheers to the designers and models today.
I woke up this morning to log onto my Yahoo account and had a double take of Yahoo’s logo. I paused and asked myself, “Is that Optima?”. Apparently Yahoo changed their logo a couple days ago but I normally check my email via my smart phone.
Anyway, I feel very mixed about this new logotype. I also feel that the logo itself feels the same way. Did Yahoo need a fresh look? Yes. Am I glad they stuck with purple? Yes. Does this logotype most likely reflect all the chaos and changing policies going on at headquarters behind office doors? Yes. Do I think designing a logo to be equal parts “corporate” and “whimsical” is a bad idea? Yes. To my knowledge, Google is the only major corporation that has pulled that look off successfully, but the reasons why that works for them goes far beyond what you see on your browser.
Many corporate businesses stay clear of the color purple, so I give Yahoo credit for staying true to their roots in that aspect. Hues of purple evoke a wide range of hidden meanings so most businesses stay clear of it. In fact, at work, my marketing team and I joke and commonly say, “I think that would look better in mauve”. But color aside, Yahoo went with the typeface Optima, which is unique in its own right. Optima is a hybrid of a serif and sanserif. A typographical contradiction if you will. Most typefaces are either one or the other. Interesting enough, John McCain had used Optima in his 2008 US Presidential campaign. I always thought that choice in type made a lot of sense as a political candidate because it tries to please everyone by staying in the middle and not taking a clearly defined stance. As a result, you often please no one. No need to recap that election. True, McCain’s competition that year did have a very strong, iconic logo. But I digress.
CEO Marissa Mayer stated, “We knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo! – whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history.” Well, “fresh” is basically inherent whenever you release something new. “Modern” is too subjective, so throw that term away. (Side note, Optima was designed by Hermann Zapf in the mid-1950s.) “Whimsical”? I get the exclamation point. But other than that, the style is fairly straight forward. Text not lining up on the baseline and an “O” a few point sizes larger than the other looks more like a mistake than whimsical, but I’ll classify that under “a nod to” to give them the benefit of the doubt. “Sophisticated” is a nice, simple term for “there are problems that we wish not to discuss”. And the “nod to our history” seems like a full on bow.
My biggest question for Yahoo would be why didn’t they take this opportunity to reinvent themselves? Your biggest competition is Google. Be bold. A design facelift, which this is more or less, is just a bandage over a broken bone. A shot of 5-Hour Energy at best.
Over all, I do think the new logo is cleaner and a big step up from what they had before, but I felt there was so much more potential. Maybe what increased that notion was that Yahoo intern, Max Ma, released a Yahoo concept logo on his personal website. (Below.) Now this better exemplifies 2013 “fresh and corporate” that still gives nod to their history and has a youthful-whimsical element to it. Well executed Max. I will be on the lookout for more of your designs.
Folks, it’s been long while since there was an update on “P.S.” and a new blog post. I know. But there has been a lot of activity in the background. Months of editing, evaluating, frustration, joy, and more editing. But things are finally coming together and it gives me great pleasure to announce the premiere of “P.S.” in Chicago, the city in which it was filmed.
The amazing talents of so many gifted creatives came together to make this production possible. If you are in the Chicago area, mark Friday, September 6th on the calendar. The premiere will be at 8pm at the Patio Theater located at Irving Park Rd. and Austin Ave. in Chicago. It should a fun, eerie, psycho-dramatic night!
Has it been awhile since you’ve had a fun and psycho-dramatic night? Well that’s what you get when you combine the creepily fantastic writing abilities of Rick Gawel of Herbivore Productions, with the beautifully haunting ambiance of Jason Williams‘s score, with the exceptional apparel design and eye of Caroline Borucki, and the raw purity of Hubert Neal Jr‘s drawings.
Let’s not forget the acting. You’ll laugh nervously and shake unwittingly after following the bizarre and twisted journey that Mike (Mathew Montalvo) and Pam (Joette Waters), two seemingly different neighbors, take you on. Then there’s Gen (Rachel Mazza), Artie (Marcus Forman), and Maria (Susaan Jamshidi) who all dial it in, swaying the mood pendulum from dark to humorous to frustratingly intriguing throughout the course of the film. With so many adjectives, can all of this possibly be true? I guess you’ll have to come out and see for yourself.
Chicago has always been a leader in art and innovation. With that said, it may not surprise you that The Art Institute of Chicago has released a free guided tour app. In the age of apps and GPS addicts, AIC released their response to “there should be an app for that”. They are the first major world art museum to release an app of this nature and they went the extra mile of installing wi-fi and other hidden hardware among the limestone walls so not only is the app at full strength, but it acts as a GPS turn by turn, gallery by gallery throughout your visit.
This tour app is brilliant because it allows you to search by collection, by current exhibition, by tour time, and by theme. The “tour by theme” may be the best part. Options include Birthday Suit, Chicago Artists, Loves Me/Loves Me Not, and Monkeying Around to name a few. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that Birthday Suit will take you to nudes, but the Monkeying Around theme literally takes you to all the paintings that depict monkeys! Perfect for children and twenty year old art students. Although the Art Institute will always be regarded in the utmost respect and prestige, this app really makes art accessible to everyone at all ages. After all, let’s not forget that Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte has a little monkey in the foreground.
Remember it’s not the how that’s significant when discovering art; It’s the action of discovering and exploring artists’ works that is important. This app will help you get there. It even tells you were all the restrooms are located in addition to the coat check, exits, and other useful navigation information that many people are usually embarrassed to ask about. (Take note other large institutions that offer apps but not directions.)
The AIC gets an A+ in my book for investing the time, money, and efforts to be at the forefront of what is sure to me a rising trend in museums and galleries. This enhancement doesn’t take away from guided tours at all, yet it allows visitors another way to navigate and better understand what they are viewing. (And it’s free.) However, I do imagine that there will be an audio tour option (whether for free or as an in app purchase) as newer versions of the app emerge over time. The app is available on both Apple and Android devices.
Now that the app finished downloading on your phone, get out there and use it!
I’m always trying to “look beyond” and in these couple images I’m doing it in the physical sense. I took these similar looking compositions on back to back days in two completely different settings. The top image is taken from a mountain overlooking the countryside in northwest Vermont, not too far from Burlington. The following day at rougly the same time, I hiked up to the highest point I could find in Montréal (my first Canadian city) and I found a similar view, but this time overlooking the cityscape.
Let’s kick off the first post of 2013 with a trailer shall we… This is the trailer for “P.S.” a short film I’ve been working on in association with Herbivore Productions. It’s a psychodrama that uses Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood as its backdrop. The neighborhood is best described by Slightly Insulting Chicago Posters as “Roaring twenties charm meets psych ward with no walls”. For a full synopsis of the film click here.
For stills and more info on the production, cast, and crew Like us on Facebook!
Of course, no post of mine is complete without referencing typography in some capacity. The typeface used in the trailer is called DK Formosa designed by David Kerkhoff. It’s a beautiful, handwritten-style font which is in reference to the notes that Pam “Boo Radley” leaves at Mike’s backdoor. But I don’t want to reveal too much about the film just yet! For more fonts designed by David Kerkhoff visit his page on dafont.com.
And in case you were wondering, the eerie sketches of Mike were drawn by Belizian artist Hubert Neal Jr. More posts on “P.S.” in the months to come. But in the meantime enjoy the trailer and feel free to leave me your thoughts and feedback.
The weather is getting cooler in Chicago and I have been working with winter imagery the past week and a half at work. When I saw this week’s photo challenge it instantly reminded me of this lonely walk of solitude. It’s a long exposure I took a couple of years ago in a forest preserve northwest of the city. The sun sets quickly in early December, but the numbness sets in quicker.