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Lisa Congdon

Art + Illustration

I’ve had Lisa’s site sitting open on my computer for awhile. It always makes me happy. She has a gorgeous illustration style and has worked on projects for an impressive client list.

You might also know her from her A Collection a Day project, where she took a photo of a collection of related objects each day for a year. The project started on a blog, but it’s now a book that comes out this month.

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street portraits backdrop

Don’t know if I’ve ever linked straight to a tweet before, but I saw this photo/tweet from Ryan Booth, one of my fav photographers/filmmakers and thought it was worth sharing.

I’m not sure if they’re holding up a screen or even a piece of trampoline mesh, but it creates a gorgeous effect in the background of the photo—kind of like a bokeh, but with a more tactile feel since it’s created physically on set instead of in the lens.

Like Ryan and Jeremy Cowart discussed, it’s an affect Booth picked up from another photographer. But, while it’s not original to him, I’ve never seen anything like it before.

I can’t wait for Ryan to post some photos from this series.

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Space Shuttle’s Final Liftoff

The space shuttle is no more. I hope that my country will again send man into space within my lifetime, but I’m a bit doubtful.

Aaron Draplin made the amazing logo you see above. I want it as a big print. It’s gorgeous, and it encapsulates everything I love about the last 30 years of NASA design. I also just realized that the shuttle and I share the same birth year. Fun coincidence. Good stuff.

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The triumph of coal marketing

On the heels of the last post, Seth Godin has a slightly different take on the same issue of our perception of a problem not matching reality:

“Vivid is not the same as true. It’s far easier to amplify sudden and horrible outcomes than it is to talk about the slow, grinding reality of day to day strife. That’s just human nature.”

Normally, I would just quote him, but I wanted you to see the chart as well. If you have a moment, read the whole post.

He’s a marketing guy, so his angle is that marketing is to blame. I don’t want to split hairs, but I think it’s much more complex than that, and also more engrained in human nature. We’re storytellers. If you want a large group of people to either love or hate something or someone, build a good story around it. Now, repeat that story far and wide until it’s accepted as a sort of truth. Most of us don’t have time in our day to pause and try to discern between “truths” and “sort-of-truths”.

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Radiation Dose Chart

As human beings, we’re not good at perspective. Add in doses of emotion and fear and our capacity to logically process and compare things largely goes right out the window.

Randall Munroe, of the excellent and brainy xkcd Web Comic put together a chart comparing different sources of radiation exposure and their doses. I cherry-picked a couple (above), but you really need to see the whole thing.

For the same reason that most of us can’t fully grasp the vast difference between a billion and a trillion dollars (hint: it’s bigger than whatever you’re thinking it is right now) we hear words like “nuclear reactor” and “radiation leak” and completely freak out. Our brains just haven’t evolved to deal with this kind of stuff.

(via Daring Fireball)

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on Lovely Package

Regardless of how you feel about Starbucks, you have to admit that they made a big step forward in their new, simplified branding approach. In fact, it’s really refreshing, especially in comparison with so many other established brands doing themselves huge disservices in their rebranding missteps lately. [cough] The Gap [cough]

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by w+k

I just ran across this excellent fundraising poster by the fine folks—specifically Max Erdenberger—at Weiden+Kennedy. Absolutely beautiful execution. All proceeds go toward the cause (though, they don’t mention which charity specifically). They’re asking for a $25 donation, minimum.

(via Matthew Allard)

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Japan and Pacific Relief T-shirt Challenge

Create an inspirational tee around the theme of "Sunrise."

Threadless Causes has been one of my main client projects for the last few months. One reason it was built was to make it easier for Threadless to respond quickly to current events and initiate the relevant design challenges that their community wants to participate in. True to form, we had this new challenge—with proceeds going to the Red Cross in support of the Japan relief effort—up in a matter of hours yesterday.

If you are a designer—or, at all creative—and are wishing there was something—anything—you could do to help the people of Japan as they respond to the devastation caused by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the corresponding tsunami, check this challenge out. The design challenge is appropriately based off of the theme: Sunrise, and I love the gorgeous graphic my cohorts at Good Apples came up with for the main banner.

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Music. Design. Inspiration.

Last week, designer-extraordinaire Blake Allen contacted me about his new project with Josh Sullivan called Designers.MX and asked me if I’d be willing to contribute. Ask me to make a mix and design an album cover for it? Yeah, it was an easy yes.

The site launched today, you can listen to the mix I contributed and mixes from some other designers. I’ve been listening all morning. Really good stuff. It’ll be fun to see this collection evolve.

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