Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Bunch of Crock

Not knowing exactly how to kickoff this whole “blogging” thing, I decided to write about a topic that has been heavy on my soul for a while now, and is featured on Graphic Designer Safwat Saleem’s website called ‘A Bunch of Crock’ ( It’s the topic of racism and other portrayals of hatred due to culture, gender, political associations, race, age, etc. Having a hard time dealing with racism (I am in a very happy 6 year relationship with an African man and we are subject to scrutiny frequently), Tony Vitale was nice enough to send me a link to Saleem’s site whose goal is to use humor to show how ridiculous this type of hatred is. Saleem is a Muslim man who was subject to ridicule because of his religion and race (specifically after 9/11). He started this site in an effort to try and change the way people understand their hateful actions, turning them on their head in an attempt to make a person rethink why they exhibit certain intolerances. Saleem states that he is trying to make the world a better place by bringing attention to inequality through humor, and that even though his labors may be an exercise in futility, but he has to try. His efforts are a perfect response to the question “Design, what is is good for?” showing examples of how design can create social change and awareness. Check out his site, he’s VERY funny and his work is motivating to do good. Below is a link to a video he made which explains why he does what he does.

Have a Nice Life Flash Before Your Eyes

Six months ago I discovered a wealth of videos on Youtube animated by Vince Collins. The video posted above is my favorite of the lot, so original and inventive in its use of color and the variety of objects portrayed. If the style of animation in this video looks familiar, you likely saw Vince's animations as a child on Sesame Street. In considering Collins' relation to "Design is Good for What?" I think that this video specifically highlights the way in which design can make one consider their own life in a way that words on a page alone could not. Seeing the parade of images morphing into one another along with the one central character(the androgynous purple haired figure) you can easily project yourself into the center of this psychedelic representation of a life's journey. I think the approach of placing the viewer within the work is much more effective than the angle of "LOOK AT THIS PROBLEM - ISN'T IT SAD!" that many charities and "change" campaigns tend to use. I've posted a few more of Vince's videos below. I also highly recommend viewing them full screen. Enjoy - and remember "grab your chance, time won't wait, it always flies."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pee & Poo

I was going through the design book Dos Logos by Robert Klanten, a book solely dedicated to showing various logos from all different companies and media types from corporate to design, and I stumbled upon the company Pee & Poo. For a company that provides products for children and adults using the ideas of human waste, which is usually a repulsive subject, they managed to make their branding scheme attractive. Their logo is a picture of a teardrop-shaped ‘pee child’ and a fat teardrop-shaped ‘poo child’ using the respective yellow and brown colors and the title Pee & Poo in between which also uses the same color scheme. In theory this should be bizarre, but I find their characters to be so cute and striking. Instead of being repulsed by them, I am intrigued about what their company makes and I wanted to investigate further. Any company with this kind of subject, but with such an appealing brand must be something worth looking at. Turns out their website goes further and in their home page makes a pee and poo rainbow with their yellow and brown color scheme. Who would have thought that the pretty idea of a rainbow would be reestablished into the unpleasant idea of the waste.  However, yet again they manage to make it look endearing, those Swedes are always making interesting design work.