Experimental Jetset is an Amsterdam graphic design unit founded in 1997 by Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers and Danny van den Dungen. Focusing on printed matter and installation work and inspired by modernism and rock culture, Experimental Jetset has done work for clients such as the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum (SMCS), Purple Institute, Centre Pompidou, Colette, Dutch Post Group (TPG), Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN), Le Cent Quatre (104), De Theatercompagnie and t-shirt label 2K/Gingham. Since being formed, Experimental Jetset has emerged as one of the most respected studios in Europe. Continue reading “Intervista: Experimental Jetset”
On a side note: I don’t like how their site functions. It’s pretty and all but it becomes very annoying when I have to wait for a new piece to load in Flash. It ends up taking forever to see all of the work and I quickly lose interest. I also don’t like that you can’t easily see all the work at once, even in thumbnail form. All the work should be right there and easy to view rather than having to explore the site in the dark. A good portfolio displays all the work at once, clearly and organized, so it makes viewing faster and more exciting. Area 17 is a great example of this. Flash is definitely the biggest cause for this issue. I think it’s being used more and more in a way where it’s become a barrier between the user and the work. In my opinion a simple CSS site works so much better for portfolios.
I’m not trying to trash There, they do awesome work, it’s just something I’ve been bothered with for some time now and needed to vent.
So I thought about it for a while and I was growing tired of the look of the site. The theme was based on an Upstart Blogger theme that is great, but I was in a rush and it really didn’t come out looking how I envisioned it. So once I decided that it needed to change my initial thought was to create a whole new theme from scratch using Sandbox. I designed the theme is Photoshop and started to implement it into the Sandbox platform but I ran into the same problems as I did on my last theme quest. After some frustrating hours, I came to the conclusion that it would take too long for me to create a theme from scratch, I just don’t have that kind of patience. So I ended that and began focusing on finding a theme that was very simple, easy to customize and was built on some kind of grid system. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.
After some searching I finally found Marber by Apt Studio. It’s based on Romek Marber’s 1961 grid for Penguin Books, which is a huge plus, and when I looked at the CSS it was all clean and easy to understand. In no time I was on my way to creating a theme that I think represents my style as well as the content of this blog. I wanted a simple, clean design that payed homage to the modernist era and I think I accomplished. What ya think?
I’m going to be tweaking it in the next few days so pardon me if the site is down for quick changes. I haven’t tested how it looks on a PC so if those of you who do use a PC could give me some feedback that would be great.
I want to thank the folks at Apt Studio for creating such a wonderful theme. It might not be a theme with the most “eye candy” but it sure has a lot of underlining meaning to the form and structure that makes it so valuable. You can read a bit of the background to the theme here.
Here are some features:
- A simple, two-column theme.
- Six colour schemes, easily changed via the backend.
- Three layouts, for 800px width, 1000px width, and fully fluid, again easily switched via the admin panel.
- Widgetized sidebar.
- WP 2.3+ only – includes tags.
- Typographically set to a baseline grid.
- Author comment highlighting.
- Cross-browser compatible, with subtly different layouts for Mozilla, Webkit and IE browsers.
- Integrated microformats.
- Fully valid XHTML and CSS.
- Integrated WordPress.com stats (with no smiley!).
- Custom 404 page.
If you enjoy Wim Crouwel’s work as much as I do then head over to the new Wim Crouwel Flickr Group I created and join up! The group was created to bring all of his work together in one place for everyone to enjoy. So if you have any work of his or photos of any publications that feature his work, add them to already growing collection. The group is only a day old and we already have an excellent collection.
For this second edition of AisleOne BookShelf I have some real goodies. The hard to find IDEA Number 323 which is entirely dedicated to Wim Crouwel, the new Peter Seitz: Designing a Life book and The ABCs of Bauhaus. I was actually blown away by the content of the IDEA issue. There is a ton of stuff in there, a lot of which I’ve never seen. It also includes Crouwel’s New Alphabet in full detail. This one is definitely a keeper. I recommended going over to You Work For Them and picking one up before they are all gone. The Seitz book is full of design goodness as well and the Bauhaus book is definitely a reader. I have to sit down and soak that one in.
On a side note, I still haven’t be able to figure out how to take good pictures of these books. The biggest problem I’m having is keeping them open without damaging them and without getting my dumb hand in the picture. If anyone can give me some advice on how to do this well that would be great. There has to be a way cause I see it done well all the time.
IDEA Number 323: Wim Crouwel
Special Feature: Wim Crouewel’s adventures into the experimental worlds. This issue of Idea specially devoted its 190 pages to Wim Crouwel’s representative design works, including posters, book designs, logotypes, stamps, typefaces and others. His legendary New Alphabet is also introduced with full details. Two historical essay’s by Crouwel and comments from imporatant design figures are also featured.
Peter Seitz: Designing a Life
Peter Seitz: Designing of a Life is the first in-depth documentation of Seitz’s unique story and influential work. Containing new historical research and never-before-published images, the book includes essays by Andrew Blauvelt, Kolean Pitner, and Bruce N. Wright that survey the compass of his prolific and influential life.
The ABCs of Bauhaus
The ABC’s of Bauhaus traces the origins and impact of the Bauhaus in relation to design, graphic design, and typography. The book, designed by the authors, invokes the Bauhaus ideal of synthesizing editorial concept, typography, and format. The essays address such issues as modernist design theory in relation to the nineteenth-century kindergarden movement and Bauhaus graphic design in relation to the idea of a universal "language" of vision. Additional essays address psychoanalysis, fractal geometry, and Weimar culture. This book includes two essays by Mike Mills.
That’s it for this edition. You can view more photos of the books on the AisleOne Flickr page.