john dilworth archives

Apparently, there’s a National Design Policy Initiative. They’ve released a few documents this month, one is a compilation of 10 design policy proposal called Redesigning America’s Future, and the other is their 2009 Summit report. At first glance this looks really interesting.

posted by john on Thursday, Jan 22, 2009 · 0 comments

If the Friend magazine isn’t your cup of tea, take some time to browse through this great gallery of vintage sci-fi novel cover designs.

posted by john on Friday, Jan 16, 2009 · 2 comments

Last year, my brother Jason met Massimo Vignelli in his studio in New York and described him as the “nicest modernist you’ll ever meet”.

Mr. Vignelli has now released, in the name of education, a book where he shares a wealth of his knowledge about graphic design and typography. Everyone could benefit from reading this little book.

In the introduction he says:

“Creativity needs the support of knowledge to be able to perform at its best. It is not the intention of this little book to stifle creativity or to reduce it to a bunch of rules. It is not the formula that prevents good design from happening but lack of knowledge of the complexity of the Design profession. It’s up to the brain to use the proper formula to achieve the desired result.”

Oh, yes, the book is available as a PDF for download. (via Core 77)

posted by john on Monday, Jan 12, 2009 · 0 comments

PK at BibliOdyssey (one of my favorite blogs) digs up digital images of the Ripley Scroll which reminds me that the web is more like a “scroll” than it is like “pages”. The integration of text and illustration carry you from one scene to another as the scroll is revealed. The format of the scroll is used to tell the story. The images provide visual excitement, and a rest from reading text between passages.

High resolution images of the scroll are linked from the BibliOdyssey site.

posted by john on Monday, Jan 12, 2009 · 2 comments

Dr. Josh Silver, professor of physics at Oxford University designed a pair of spectacles where the optical power can be tuned individually by the wearer, eliminating the need for the optician and the whole process of lens grinding. He hopes to bring 20/20 vision to 1 million people in India next year, and has a bigger goal to offer perfect vision to 1 billion of the worlds poorest by the year 2020.

His presentation on the topic and results of their initial study can be found at the Affordable Vision Correction conference web site. It appears that there were a variety of potential solutions presented there, Josh Silver’s brilliant solution being one of them.

posted by john on Tuesday, Dec 23, 2008 · 6 comments

The Font Feed comments on recent research by scientists at New York University who are proving that good typography matters. Neuro-scientists Denis G. Pelli & Katharine A. Tillman recently published a thesis in the Journal “Nature Neuroscience” advancing the theory that proper spacing is the defining factor in legibility.

I also dug up an example of previous research on the topic by these scientists. Interesting read if you like to throw a little neuroscience with into your daily design reading.

posted by john on Tuesday, Dec 02, 2008 · 0 comments

On the topic of giving things time… This article from the NY Times talks about the “Slow Blogging Manifesto”, and the idea that “not all things worth reading are written quickly.”

posted by john on Monday, Nov 24, 2008

“In spite of the fact that our rockets have only gone as far as the moon, the world busies itself with worries and preparations for intergalactic travel.”
Kenya Hara in “Designing Design” makes a comment about the technological over-reaction which is applied without question to problems in business and society. He argues that perhaps technology should move a little bit slower. We should allow time for trial and error to help us produce stable systems. Instead we might be damaging society by continuing to produce a flood of information through unstable and untested means.

posted by john on Monday, Nov 24, 2008

Sometimes, when design rhetoric and deep discussions (such as the one presented by Frank this week) start to cramp my brain, I like to unwind by reading science fiction. One of my favorite authors is Dr. Ronald Chevalier. His work is deep. The graphic design of his site is a bit dated, and a bit over-the-top, but I highly recommend it.

A Cluster Award-winning, published author since the age of 13, Dr.Chevalier’s robust body of work includes titles such as Cyborg Harpies, Brain Cream, and the all new, completely original novel Brutus & Balzaak. Currently, Dr. Chevalier lives on a ranch in southern Utah.

posted by john on Friday, Oct 31, 2008 · 2 comments

“Embracing the word “ugly”—so readily identified with everything popular design claims to have been a reaction against—seems a logical choice if we are to create a vision for the practice of design freed from the restrictions and prejudices of its past.”
Tad Toulis makes an argument for Ugly, suggesting that our pre-conceived ideas about beauty and aesthetics may be a dogma that is actually holding us back. Great read from Core 77.

posted by john on Thursday, Oct 30, 2008 · 2 comments

“In the Shaker world, the appearance of a thing or person mattered only to the extent that it revealed its underlying function. Whatever did not interfere with function, served function. This is different from saying that whatever did not serve function interfered with function.”
A few weeks ago, Kaleb posted a bit about the Shaker Design Philosophy. This post inspired me to look back through the book Shaker Built where I found this subtle shift in thinking. Thinking this way about your designs allows you to create something simple without being plain. It also allows the artist or designer an incredible amount of freedom within what may otherwise be considered hefty constraints. As long as a design element doesn’t interfere with the essential function, there can be an argument to keep it, even if it doesn’t serve any purpose itself.

posted by john on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 · 0 comments

Typeface.js is a javascript solution for embedding fonts. The supported browsers include Firefox 1.5+, Safari 2+, and Internet Explorer 6+.

I haven’t tested this out, but it looks like it may be an alternative to Flash based solutions for custom fonts.

posted by john on Monday, Oct 27, 2008 · 1 comment

I’ve been waiting for consumer electronics to start using materials other than plastic and metal in the industrial design. Check out this new Skype phone made out of American walnut from Hulger (via Core 77 ).

posted by john on Saturday, Sep 13, 2008

Thanks to Aaron The NorthTemple Twitterfeed is up and running. Be notified of new posts on NorthTemple through your twitter account.

If you are already suffering from Twitter addiction, we know you can’t resist. If you are not yet addicted, we can only offer a serious warning (more on Twitter’s addictive nature to follow).

posted by john on Thursday, Sep 04, 2008 · 0 comments

northtemple journal of design  ~  September Issue

The Road to Design Expertise

Chinese philosophers and graphic designers in equal tow, John pulls off at a rest stop to lift a signpost on the road to becoming a design expert.

posted by john on Tuesday, Sep 02, 2008 · 11 comments

“In typography neither the old style nor the new style matters; quality does.”
Jan Tschichold, On Typography (1957) — Jason Santa Maria provides a nice little piece about Tschichold’s change of heart, from his youthful days of san-serif only typographic rebellion in Nazi Germany to his latter years of classical inspiration as the head designer for Penguin Press. Tschichold’s writing and design work is something that every designer should be familiar with.

posted by john on Tuesday, Aug 26, 2008 · 0 comments

“1 million design students will graduate this year in China, the United States will graduate 40 thousand.”

On September 9th, Christopher Liechty from the AIGA XCD (Center for Cross Cultural Design) will be presenting findings from a recent field trip to China. The presentation will take place at the Art institute in Draper (121 W. Election Road) at 7:00 pm ($5 for AIGA members, $10 for non-members).

This sounds like a great opportunity to get a look at the state of design in China, especially after seeing all the great design and work from the Beijing Olympics.

Additional request: Can someone please fix the SLC AIGA web site? I’d love to link to some official information, but can’t find anything about this particular event online.

posted by john on Monday, Aug 25, 2008 · 0 comments

On the LDS tech web site, Michelle writes a nice follow-up to a recent in-house design workshop: Solving Design Problems at the Church.

posted by john on Monday, Aug 25, 2008 · 0 comments

case study

Biweekly Design Review Recap

As a team, we hold regular design reviews to improve our work and the quality of our projects. A formal design review with our complete staff is held every other week, where selected presenters showcase their projects and are able to solicit feedback from other designers who are not members of their immediate project team.

posted by john on Thursday, Aug 14, 2008 · 6 comments

Cameron will be presenting for the local Salt Lake City AIGA chapter tonight at the Art Institute of Salt Lake. His topic will include some discussion and thoughts on some of the things we’ve done as a team here to promote design excellence.

posted by john on Thursday, Aug 14, 2008