This week, “sneaker freakers” and fans of the beloved 80’s Back To The Future film trilogy finally saw the realization of one of the holy grails of movie-fashion concept designs: The Nike Air MAG. A prop designed and used for the second installment of the film, the Air MAGs (or Magnetic Anti-Gravity) were fantastic futuristic sky tops complete with lights and auto-lacing technology. They were of course only an idea in a film about a supposed future, but fans fell in love with them and hoped, prayed and even petitioned to see their fateful production.
This week, Nike, in partnership with Universal Films and the Michael J. Fox Foundation released a limited line of 1500 pairs of the Nike Air MAG to be placed on eBay for charity auction to raise funds for the Fox foundation seeking a cure for Parkinsons disease. All of this is wonderfully explained on Nike’s new microsite Back4theFuture.com, a cleverly devised website to promote not only the legend and spirit of the films and the storied shoe, but also aiming to shed light on the affliction of Parkinsons in a witty and encouraging way. The site, which I believe was designed by Nike’s longtime agency of record Wieden and Kennedy, follows a similar structure to the previous Nike Better World site, leading the visitor downward through a series of automated tiles displaying messaging and finally landing at an interactive display video complete with a cameo from The Doc himself.
The site is clean and brisk, with bold messages set in Nike’s 80’s trademark tightly kerned bold Futura to give a perfect retro-future look and feel. Also, be sure to check out “The Continuum”, a running blog of sorts on the site that collects news, articles, events and social network activity related to the release.
Visit Back4theFuture.com here.
Posted in advertising, branding, design, fashion, interactive, product, technology
Tagged air mag, auction, back to the future, charity, culture, design, Graphic Design, interactive, michael j. fox, movies, nike, product, sci fi, sneaker, sneakers, technology, website, wieden and kennedy
Not exactly “breaking news” but AIGA, the nation’s largest organization devoted to the profession of design, recently relaunched and redesigned their website and it’s a radical departure for a somewhat staid institution. Adopting the ever more popular website style I refer to as “Chinese Buffet”, the AIGA site no longer has a traditional flow or “above the fold” content layout, but a scalable column system of multiple content boxes and “ads” that shift position depending on the size of your browser. It’s a layout and design that could look disastrous, cluttered and unfocused in the wrong hands, but AIGA wisely and subtly creates hierarchy and order amidst the chaos, especially in the nice touches of blog-style tags and categories, and greying out certain columns of information that only become more apparent when scrolled over, leading your wandering eyes in a more curated way.
It’s not a perfect design, but it’s a great evolutionary step for a web presence devoted to the multitudes of graphic arts and creativity. I personally hate when you maximize your browser window to take full advantage of the reshuffling tiles, only to scroll down to find certain columns are exceedingly and inexplicably longer than others. But it’s a minor quibble that could easily be fixed by allowing all the tiles to reshuffle freely.
This buffet style of web design, where you pick and choose what content to access and what to avoid is not for everyone, but for AIGA, an organization devoted to the visual craft of design and it’s myriad forms and developments, it’s a great opportunity to showcase lots of talent, events, and social activity that can keep you educated and entertained long after a more traditional layout would have.
Visit the new AIGA website here.
Posted in branding, design, inspiration, interactive, technology
Tagged AIGA, design, Graphic Design, interactive, internet, opinion, technology, web design, website
Paris based design and creative thinktank, M/M continue their collaborative partnership with Icelandic singer Bjork, in the form of a newly relaunched website for the artist to promote her upcoming album, Biophilia. Currently just an interactive home page (use your arrow keys to navigate around the space) and links to a forum and newsletter signup, something tells me the expansive concept will soon contain much more interesting content as the promotional rollout continues.
Best seen in either Chrome or Safari, visit Bjork.com here.
In early 2010, while working at Unison, I had the pleasure of working on designs and concepts that would eventually become the new website and online portfolio of Bowie Gridley Architects, based in Washington DC. Recently launched, BGA’s website is a robust and clean window into not only their extensive portfolio but also their process and methodology. Congrats to Unison and their team for another great website!
Visit the BGA site here.
You know, some of these bulky, clumsy-to-use font management programs like Linotype and FontFolio could learn a thing or two from the burgeoning world of online type tools and apps. Wordmark.it is a simple visualizer that helps you quickly find an appropriate font or typeface by allowing you to type in a phrase or word and showing you how it looks with all your installed fonts. It’s great if you are looking for that perfect display face or to just reacquaint yourself with your collection.
Visit Workmark.it here.
Posted in design, inspiration, interactive, product, technology, Typography
Tagged design, font, interactive, product, technology, type, typography, website
Sports titan Nike has recently launched it’s “Nike Better World” website, a highly informative, visually engaging site devoted to sharing the corporation’s recycling efforts, devotion to the art of sport around the world and to motivate it’s customers and users to enact change as well. The facts alone are impressive, but what I really enjoy is the interface itself – a simple dotted line connects seemingly disparate facts into a joined, unifying narrative. I also really like the multi-layered imagery, which gives an almost 3-d quality to the visuals. I assume this is the work of the highly talented Wieden+Kennedy, but I can’t find mention of it on their site.
Visit Nike Better World here.
Update: Nike Better World was designed by Duane King and Ian Coyle in collaboration with Wieden+Kennedy.
Posted in advertising, branding, design, inspiration, interactive, technology
Tagged advertising, design, green, interactive, nike, recyclye, technology, web, website
IDEO, the conceptual and creative powerhouse, has turned it’s sights on reinventing the social music player. The digital age has certainly seen a proliferation of players, but many remove the sensual delight of touching and interacting with the actual songs in some kind of format. c6o (featured in their new book I Miss My Pencil) aims to the back by embedding “song cards” with RFID chips that sensors within the player can read and form playlists and even mixes from, these cards carry a signal that prompts the player to recall the track form a database or your home computer, playing it through your speakers. I love this concept, especially for more social gatherings, like having a “mixtape” party where every one brings five of their favorite song cards to share and incorporate into a longer mix for the evening. Of course, that can be done now, through hooking up iPods and whatnot, but this allows for people to touch, handle and mix at will, all without the nuisance of looking at a screen, making it less about the technology and more about the music itself.
Visit the “I Miss My Pencil” website here to see more videos and fantastic ideas from IDEO.
Posted in book, design, inspiration, interactive, music, product, technology
Tagged book, books, design, IDEO, inspiration, interactive, music, products, technology