In 1999, I had the good fortune to work alongside Dan Licht at an NYC digital startup called SenseNet, RIP. Back then, although still in his early 20s, Dan was already an accomplished art director and digital designer. Today he’s a fantastic comics illustrator, artist, and creative director. Check his recent art on Instagram and his client work at Daniel V. Licht dot com.
Over the decades I’ve used computers, my drawing skill has all but vanished—along with my ability to do calligraphy or even write legibly. Which is why I’ve started forcing myself to sketch again every day. Practice is the best form of hope.
FANS OF ICON ART and The Big Web Show, listen up. Tomorrow’s Big Web Show guest is Justin Dauer (AKA @pseudoroom) of The Dead Pixel Society. Justin was a web icon artist in the mid-1990s, back when I also dabbled in the art. Indeed, it was talented folks like Justin and my friends at The Iconfactory who made me realize that specializing in icons was probably not going to be a thing for me, as they were so much better at it.
Ah, for the days when a pixel was a pixel!
To celebrate those times and that body of work, Justin has gathered together some of the best of those 1990s icon artists at The Dead Pixel Society. Its mission: to “honor the humble pixel with desktop icon creations we would’ve designed the past 18 years, via 1996 ResEdit-esque constraints.” The site, although it has not yet officially launched, is now available in preview.
I loved those days of the early web, when progressive enhancement meant making sure it worked in 16 colors as well as 216. So I’m quite excited about my upcoming conversation with Justin. You can listen in to the live taping tomorrow, Thursday October 2nd, from 10:00AM–11:100AM EDT on 5by5.tv. The final, edited show will be posted a few hours later at 5by5.tv/bigwebshow; you can also subscribe via iTunes and/or RSS. Here’s looking at you, pixel!
JANE IS A FAMOUS British comic begun during WWII to improve troop morale. The title character is a plucky English lady who always seems to lose her clothes at inopportune moments. This strange predeliction was enough to keep the fighting men happy and helped inspire them defeat the Gerries back in those horrible yet strangely innocent days. With constant changes of illustration style, the comic persisted into the 1960s. Of course the pill and the sexual revolution made the strange little cartoon irrelevant, and that was the end of Jane.
(I learned about Jane from the Penguin Book of Comics, which I was lucky enough to discover as a boy.)
Edward Hopper 1882-1967, Soir Bleu, 1914. Oil on canvas, Overall: 36 × 72in. (91.4 × 182.9cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Josephine N. Hopper Bequest 70.1208. © Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper, licensed by the Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Whitney Museum of American Art | whitney.org
In Issue No. 322 of A List Apart for people who make websites: respect the doodle, honor the sketch—use the power of visual thinking to create and share ideas:
by Sunni Brown
The teacher who chastised you for “mindless doodling” was wrong on both counts. Far from shutting down the mind, the act of doodling engages the brain in the kind of visual sense-making people have practiced for over 30,000 years. Doodling sharpens concentration, increases retention, and enhances access to the problem solving unconscious. It activates the portions of the visual cortex that allow us to see mental imagery and manipulate concepts, and unifies three major learning modalities—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Doodle Revolution leader Sunni Brown introduces strategic doodling and presents the ABCs of our shared visual alphabet.
by Mike Rohde
You don’t have to be a great singer to write a great song—just ask Bob Dylan. Likewise, you needn’t be a Leonardo to draw your way to more and better ideas. Sketching helps you generate concepts quickly, exploring alternatives rapidly and at no cost of resources. The looseness of a sketch removes inhibitions, granting clients and colleagues permission to consider and challenge the ideas it represents. Mike Rohde outlines the practice, surveys the tools, and shares ways to become confident with this method of brainstorming, regardless of your level of artistic ability.
People who are coming to New York for the first time always ask me what they should see. So I’ve made a little list. Here are eighteen of my favorite places in New York City.
I wrote a true story of love, obsession, heartbreak, and candy and my friend Jason Santa Maria art directed it. I’m proud of this tiny, fast-reading story, which is like condensed essence of me (and all these years later, nothing has really changed) and I love what Jason’s done with the page. Please enjoy Pixy Stix, the October 19th Candygram.
Circa 1963, Andy Warhol, Henry Geldzahler, David Hockney and David Goodman; photo by Dennis Hopper.
Scads more in “DAVID HOCKNEY | STYLE” at The Selvedge Yard.
My first book didn’t sell very well but it had an effect on people’s hearts. Web designers around the world circulated a single copy of Taking Your Talent to the Web, adding their autographs, drawings, photos, and other verbal and visual messages to every page—even the covers and spine.
While unpacking from the office move, I found this special world-traveled copy of the book and snapped a few pages at random. Some people who signed this book went on to do amazing things on the web. Others lowered their profiles but continued to do work of quality and significance. Still others simply disappeared. (At least they disappeared from the worldwide web design community.) I love every one of them. Thank you all again.
A photo spread on Flickr Around the Word with Web Talent.
[tags]webdesign, community, talent, takingyourtalenttotheweb, newriders, publishing, book, books, zeldman, writing, dreamless[/tags]
Travel day. While I’m singin’ in the rain between New York and Philadelphia, here are some nice, dry links for your pleasure.
- Cover Browser
- Jackpot link! Recall every lost issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Identify with Betty or Veronica. Discover the Mad Magazine you never knew. Cover Browser intends to catalog the cover of every comic book (not to mention every book, game, DVD, magazine…) ever printed. With 77,000 entries, they are just getting started. Via Veer.
- Things on Things
- If basking in the nostaliga of Cover Browser (above) makes you feel like everything that can be digital is becoming so—and if that thought (however inaccurate it may actually be) makes you wonder if widespread digitization is changing the way we perceive and value reality—you’re not alone. But you may not be as articulate about it as the pseudonymous author of the untitled essay posted yesterday at Things Magazine. Read it. Bookmark it. Share it. Via Coudal.
- Learning from the Facebook Mini-Feed Disaster
- The great Jared Spool on lessons to be drawn when a hot new feature fails to please the public for whom it was ostensibly created.
- Multi-touch on the desktop
- Hockenberry on interface design. Some people who love the iPhone can’t wait for multi-touch to come to the desktop. Hockenberry explains why it won’t.
- Radio Telepathy
- Eclectic music podcast.
- Design Interviews: ROB WEYCHERT of Happy Cog Studios
- Web designer, artist and writer Rob Weychert on typography, humor, haiku, neurotically meticulous attention to detail, and the bearded cult.
- A photoset on Flickr (and a new meme). Fun!
- There is no “first blogger”
- Scott Rosenberg, co-founder of Salon corrects the breathless coverage of The Wall Street Journal, beginning with its fallacious assertion that “It’s been 10 years since the blog was born.” There are journalists who get this stuff right, but not nearly enough.
- Icon Archive
- Over 12,500 desktop icons, organized in sets, for Windows, Macintosh and Linux Systems. Non-commerical use is allowed in most cases. The site’s offerings are culled from other sites (e.g., Star Wars 2, by Talos, comes from Iconfactory); original authors are credited and linked.
- “No Compassion“
- Artist Jiri David’s manipulated photos of Bush, Putin, Berlusconi, and Chirac.
- Hope is Emo, Chapter 9
- Hope gets emotionally damaged at a family wedding. (Video.)
Get up in my grill. View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia.
[tags]comics, cover art, digitization, UI design, rob weychert, jared spool, facebook, multi-touch, icons, manipulated images, hope is emo, wallstreetjournal, salon, blogs, blogging, first blogger, radiotelepathy, itrapped [/tags]