The Weekly Wraparound: November 4
Editors’ note: “The Weekly Wraparound” is an editorial roundup of links to the week’s best design stories, posted every Friday by the editorial staff of AIGA.org. For recommendations all week long, follow us on Twitter at @AIGAdesign.
As we prepare to set our clocks back an hour and go off Daylight Saving Time this weekend, we take a look back at stories from the past week.
This week designer, researcher and educator Rafael Fajardo curated Design Envy, finding his inspiration in the details: from Tiny Wings’ watercolor-like graphics that change with each game to Scratch’s visual and audible cues that make programming accessible—at last.
On Monday, the world’s population reached 7 billion. Perhaps the hoopla around that specific number was a bit much, but the trend that led to it definitely warrants special notice—especially from designers. In “Designing Our Competitive Advantage” on Core77.com, SVP and CMO of GE Beth Comstock writes: “The complexities of our expanding world require innovations that go beyond simply adding more to meet the growing demand, but that identify the true roots of the demand, consider the context surrounding the need and apply creativity and empathy to defining the solution. In short, design thinking is the answer to managing the growing global community.”
Maira Kalman’s illustrated edition of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules (essentially “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”) came out the day after Halloween. Coincidence? We think not. Back away from the leftover fun-size Snickers and get a glimpse of this timely guide on Brain Pickings.
Since last week’s “Breakthroughs” webinar focused on the power of data, we were particularly interested to read this story on Co. Design about frog’s use of raw data to cohesively brand Bloomberg’s many—and often disparate—parts.
Coinciding with National Novel Writing Month, 30 Covers, 30 Days is underway once again, led by John Gall, vice president and art director for Vintage/Anchor Books, and sustained by a speedy and talented team of designers, whipping up a book cover a day during the month of November.
This week Google made significant changes to the look and functionality of Google Reader, aligning it more closely with Google+. The general reaction (not surprisingly) has not been kind. Brian Shih, a former product manager for Google Reader, calls it “a disaster” (via @grokstar). And in public post on Google+ Robin Sloan of Twitter likened the experience of seeing his Google Reader minus its previous sharing features to being alone in a forest (thanks, Caren Litherland). Have you been using it? What do you think?
“It’s been a hard slog” for publishers, says Frank Mauran, owner of Gaspee Publishing in Providence, RI. So why start printing a newspaper in this day and age? We were encouraged by this hopeful story of how The Onion’s franchising model for its printed edition (described in typical Onion style as being “like dial-up, only slower”) is helping local publishers by allowing them to sell their own ads and keep the profits.
What have you been checking out lately? Let us know what we missed in the comments.
Compiled by Sue Apfelbaum and Rasika Welankiwar