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Category “Life”

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Massimo Vignelli 1931-2014

Massimo Vignelli

Mas­simo Vignelli passed away this morn­ing. I can’t even begin to explain how much of an influ­ence he was on me. I wouldn’t know half of what I know about design if it weren’t for him. I will con­tinue to learn from Mas­simo for years to come. He will be missed, but his work will live on for generations.

Riposi in pace, Massimo.

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The Encounter Collection

This short film by Process Cre­ative for fur­ni­ture and bag designer Stephen Kenn is just per­fect. It’s beau­ti­fully shot and the story is very emo­tional. It really high­lights how an object can carry so much his­tory and sentiment.

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Charity: Water Poster Series


For those who aren’t famil­iar with Char­ity: Water, they’re a non-profit orga­ni­za­tion that brings clean and safe drink­ing water to every per­son in the world. Most of us take clean drink­ing water for granted, but not every­one is so lucky. Here are some stats to ponder:

90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhy­gienic liv­ing con­di­tions are in chil­dren under five years old. The WHO reports that over 3.6% of the global dis­ease bur­den can be pre­vented sim­ply by improv­ing water sup­ply, san­i­ta­tion, and hygiene.

For their Sep­tem­ber Cam­paign, Char­ity: Water invited 14 design­ers to cre­ate limited-edition India-inspired posters. The poster fea­tured here was designed by Jonathan & Melissa Motzkin of Makewell.

The posters are only $20, and 100% of prof­its will go to water projects in Orissa, India. Get one here. Get some nice art to dec­o­rate your walls, and help get clean and safe water to peo­ple who need it.

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Design Assembly 3

Design assembly 3

To cel­e­brate its third birth­day, Design Assem­bly has retired the site and pro­duced three lovely books archiv­ing the past 3 years of pub­lished arti­cles, com­ments, as well as show­cas­ing new and exclu­sive words and images from some great con­trib­u­tors.

And it’s all done for a great cause: fight­ing can­cer. 100% of prof­its from the sale of the book will be dis­trib­uted glob­ally between three can­cer char­i­ties: Can­cer Research UK, LIVESTRONG and WCRF Inter­na­tional.

Great design. Great con­tent. Great cause.

Pur­chase a copy from their site.

Buon Compleanno Massimo

Massimo vignelli

Mas­simo Vignelli turned 81 years old today. His work and ideas on design have had a huge influ­ence on me. I thank him so much for that. Thank you, Massimo.

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays

Another year has come and gone. Time flies as you get older. Any­way, just want to thank you all for mak­ing this site what it is today. I really appre­ci­ate all of the sup­port. I wish you all a safe and happy hol­i­days and new year.

Posts will be sparse over the next week. I’m going to relax a lit­tle with the fam­ily, but I’ll be back in the new year. See ya then.

A Backup System


For the last 6 years or so, my backup setup con­sisted of one unre­li­able 120 GB drive that I would man­u­ally update when­ever I remem­ber to do so. That’s pretty much a pathetic way to go about it and I’ve been extremely lucky to not have had a cat­a­strophic drive failure.

I’ve been mean­ing to get seri­ous about my file man­age­ment, but I never did any­thing about it. That’s until I read Frank Chimero’s insight­ful arti­cle about his setup and how he deals with file man­age­ment. It moti­vated me to finally put a sys­tem together to pro­tect my impor­tant files, and to write this arti­cle detail­ing my cur­rent setup. I fig­ured that it can’t hurt to have more infor­ma­tion avail­able on the sub­ject for those who are interested.

The Equip­ment

Right away, I knew that my lame 120 GB drive wouldn’t make a good base for my setup. The key fac­tor in any good backup sys­tem is redun­dancy. The more copies you have of your data, the safer you are. I first looked into RAID 1 sys­tems. A RAID 1 sys­tem is essen­tially made up of two dri­ves, one drive is where you backup your data, and the other drive is used to mir­ror that drive, cre­at­ing a backup of your backup. The ben­e­fit of a RAID 1 is that it all hap­pens on the fly, so when data is stored to the first drive, it’s instantly mir­rored to the sec­ond drive. I found a few options that might work, but they were either too expen­sive or noisy.

I then looked into sin­gle hard dri­ves, which had to be quiet and large enough to store all of my data. To cre­ate redun­dancy I knew that I’d needed two sep­a­rate dri­ves. After a few days of research­ing and ask­ing on Twit­ter, I pur­chased two Lacie Quadra 1 TB dri­ves. They’re silent, afford­able, offer four con­nec­tion inter­faces and look damn sexy.

To build on the setup, I also signed up for Back­blaze, an online file backup ser­vice that’s really cheap and easy to use. The ser­vice con­stantly checks your machine and exter­nal dri­ves to see if any­thing has changed and needs a backup. It all hap­pens in the back­ground, so you just set it up and never think about it again. The first backup does take a few days, though, depend­ing on the amount of data you’re stor­ing. They have a free 15 trial, which is a great way to test it out.

I also pur­chased SuperDuper, an inex­pen­sive desk­top app that allows you to com­pletely clone your machine, cre­at­ing a bootable copy. You can even sched­ule back­ups, which is great.

Finally, the sys­tem also makes use of Drop­box and Apple’s iDisk. More details below on how I use these two services.

The Setup

I put together this dia­gram to help visu­al­ize my setup. Here’s how it works:

All of my data is kept on my iMac’s inter­nal drive. Cur­rent and archived work files, impor­tant doc­u­ments like my resume, and my Aper­ture Library Backup, live in my Drop­box folder. I do this to cre­ate more redun­dancy for my most impor­tant data.

I’ve kept my old 120 GB drive and use it to store really old work, videos, pic­tures and my iPhoto Library. This is not pre­cious data.

Every other day I have SuperDuper clone my iMac to one of my Lacie 1 TB dri­ves, lets call this one Drive A. Imme­di­ately after that is done I have SuperDuper clone Drive A to my other Lacie 1 TB drive, let’s call this one Drive B. Once a month SuperDuper clones my 120 GB drive to Drive B. I only do it once a week because the data on that drive won’t change that often. All of the SuperDuper back­ups are set to Smart Update. It’s a great fea­ture that only copies files and fold­ers that are new or have changed. This con­sid­er­ably speeds up the process after the ini­tial backup.

Once a week the cur­rent work folder in Drop­box, my Address Book and iCal data­bases, Safari set­tings, key­chain, fonts and cur­rent pho­tos are copied to iDisk using Apple’s Backup app.

For extra secu­rity, I’ve setup Back­blaze to con­stantly backup my iMac’s inter­nal drive, which includes my Drop­box local folder, and the 120 GB drive.

Dur­ing all this I have Time Machine con­stantly backing-up to Drive B.

This setup cre­ates 6 copies of my vital data:

 – Inter­nal iMac Drive
 – Exter­nal Drive A
 – Exter­nal Drive B
 – Drop­box
 – iDisk
 – Back­blaze

and 3 copies of my unim­por­tant data:

 – Exter­nal 120 GB Drive
 – Exter­nal Drive B
 – Back­blaze

This is a good amount of redun­dancy and will pro­vided a good level of secu­rity and piece of mind. I’ll prob­a­bly expand on this in the future. Those Lacie dri­ves are cheap, so why not get another one to clone one of the other dri­ves. Even­tu­ally, I want to have an off-site drive, just for added security.

When I was first looked into backup sys­tems, I had no idea where to begin. Hope­fully this arti­cle has been help­ful to those who are still unsure on how to pro­ceed. I also sug­gest read­ing this arti­cle by John Gru­ber for more infor­ma­tion on the subject.

Happy Holidays


So, another year has passed. I want to thank you all for mak­ing this site what it is today. I also want to wish you and your fam­i­lies a healthy and happy holidays.

I’m going to take the next few days off, but I’ll be back next week with more design good­ness. In the mean­time, I leave you with this sneak peak of the lat­est Buddy Carr skate­board that I had the plea­sure of design­ing. More to come in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

It's Not The Gear

Robert Moses Beach iPhone

Lately, I’ve been hit with the pho­tog­ra­phy bug. It usu­ally hap­pens to me once a year. It goes some­thing like this: I get the bug, I research cam­eras for a week, I buy an expen­sive cam­era, I use it non-stop for a few months, the bug goes away, I sell the camera.

I’m a gear head, so when I become obsessed with some­thing I imme­di­ately try to find all the best gear that I can get my hands on. It’s good because I get to learn and expe­ri­ence new things, but it’s also bad on my wal­let. And when it comes to photo gear, there’s no stop­ping me.

Until recently.

After count­less cam­eras, and years of search­ing for the per­fect cam­era that would push my pho­tos to the next level, I’m now a firm believer that the best cam­era is the cam­era that you have with you. Yes, a Has­sel­blad H4D-60 will blow any other cam­era away, but you don’t see many peo­ple in street with a $42,000 cam­era hang­ing from their necks.

I hated lug­ging around a big ass body, with a big ass lens and a hood attached to it. That was the pri­mary rea­son why I would stop shoot­ing: I didn’t want to carry around all that stuff. I used to carry around a Has­sel­blad 503, with a prism and metal hood. The damn thing weighted a ton — and it sure cap­tured some amaz­ing pho­tos — but after a few hours of car­ry­ing it, I wanted to throw it in the garbage. I hated that feel­ing because it ruined the moment and even­tu­ally led me to feel unmo­ti­vated. The tool was get­ting in the way of my creativity.

Now I just shoot with my iPhone 4. I already carry it around, and the built-in cam­era is pretty damn good. When I see an inter­est­ing shot, I just pull it out and snap a photo. The joy and spon­tane­ity of shoot­ing is instantly back. I would love it if Apple added some advanced fea­tures to the cam­era app — like shut­ter and aper­ture con­trol — and I do miss me some depth of field, but over­all the phone pro­duces some fine images.

I think I’ve achieved some good results with this lit­tle cam­era. I took the photo to the left with my iPhone. This guy did a fash­ion shoot with an iPhone 3GS. Granted, he used a great light­ing sys­tem, but the images are still impres­sive. Check out these folks who took a great look­ing shot with a Canon Pow­er­shot SD630 and some basic light­ing. Pro­fes­sional fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher Terry Richard­son does entire shoots with a Yashica T4 point and shoot and the pho­tos look great.

Don’t get me wrong, it is much eas­ier to pro­duce a great photo with high-end cam­era. That’s why it’s even more impres­sive when a great photo is taken with a lower-end one. The tal­ent truly shines in that case.

My point is, in any cre­ative field, the tool isn’t impor­tant. It’s what’s behind the tool that counts. So, don’t stress about get­ting a Canon 1Ds Mark III or the lat­est ver­sion of Pho­to­shop. Just create.      

Nooka Mercury


It’s good to be back. Hope every­one had a great week.

While I was away, lifestyle brand Nooka released this super min­i­mal, ridicu­lously styl­ish sun­glasses. The shades fea­ture a poly­mer injected frame, blue lenses with sil­ver mir­ror fin­ish and are avail­able in 6 fancy colors.

I’m a huge fan of Nooka, and with the Mer­cury they con­tinue their sim­ple approach in both aes­thetic and con­struc­tion. It’s a great addi­tion to their already excel­lent lineup. Matt and crew are drink­ing the good stuff over there.        


I’m tak­ing a short, but much needed vaca­tion over the next few days, so I won’t be post­ing any­thing new until the end of the week. It will be over before you know it. Ciao.        

New Site Design Coming in 2010

Howdy folks. Hope every­one is hav­ing a great hol­i­day sea­son. As you’ve noticed, I haven’t posted much in the last week and won’t resume until next week. Just enjoy­ing this time off with the family.

Any­way, I just briefly want to men­tion that I’ll be launch­ing a revamped site in about a week or so. I’m pretty happy with it and I think you’ll like it a lot. Emil Ols­son of Type­Neu is doing all the cod­ing and he’s imple­mented some awe­some func­tion­al­ity. I’ll let you all know right before I switch over to the new design because the site will have to be done for a lit­tle while.

Also, if you look in the header, on the right, you’ll notice a small ad. AisleOne is now part of the Fusion Ad Net­work. It’s a great net­work that caters to design­ers, devel­op­ers, pub­lish­ers and cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als. The ads are small and for the most part well-designed and unob­tru­sive. I’ve always strug­gled with dis­play­ing ads on the site, I’ve been approached by many com­pa­nies in the past, but this is the first time that I feel com­fort­able doing it. The net­work is great and this is an easy way to pay for the site host­ing and other site related costs. I’d love to know what you think about the new ads since your opin­ions mat­ter most to me.

This ver­sion of the site won’t be up for long so I plopped the ads at the top, but in the new site design I’ve placed them in a much bet­ter space that isn’t so distracting.

Well, that’s it for now. I want to wish every­one a Happy New Year! I’ll be back on Mon­day. Peace.