Design Archives

July 1, 2007

NG 3.0 In Development

In the course of the next six months, this website is getting a comprehensive overhaul--more than just a CSS makeover. Design and testing will be behind the scenes. Target launch date for the upgrade is January 1, 2008.

August 6, 2007

All The News That Fits

I got a surprise this morning when I picked up The New York Times on my doorstep. The paper has experienced some shrinkage! Specifically, it's an inch-and-a-half narrower than it was yesterday. Just as USA Today did several years back, the broadsheet moved to a 12-inch-wide standard in order to cut costs, spending less money on newsprint without changing its format. It will look a bit weird to me, though, at least until I get used to it.

August 11, 2007

Stalinist Architecture


The picture above doesn't do justice to the massive edifice I walked past today: the imposing Foreign Ministry building, finished in 1951. This is one of the Seven Sisters--Moscow skyscrapers built in the Soviet style, a amalgam of Gothic and Russian Baroque design principles intended to convey the enormous power of the state.

October 29, 2007

New Sticks

As a tennis coach, I'm a member of the HEAD Advisory Staff and the racquet I play with, the Prestige Mid, is being refreshed again. This sort of upgrade happens about every two years, just to keep consumers coming back for more: the iPrestige yielded place to the LiquidMetal Prestige, which it turn became the FlexPoint Prestige. Now we have the MicroGEL Prestige, available in January 2008. It sure looks pretty!

New Kicks

The Shanghai Limited Edition of my tennis shoe, the adidas Barricade IV. This pic obscures the very cool gold dragon design on the heel and the bottom. I was born in the Year of the Dragon, so this design resonates with me:

June 23, 2008

Federer's Fashion Statement


Nike prepared a custom design to mark Roger Federer's five consecutive Wimbledon titles. He'll be playing in these white-and-gold models pursuing #6 the next two weeks.

June 26, 2008

Mr. Jefferson's Academical Village


I am staying just a stone's throw from the famous rotunda at the heart of the UVa campus. My room is right on The Lawn (room #5 on the west side) between Pavilions I and III. Pretty nifty location! These rooms are prized berths for senior honors students and campus leaders during the school year.

The overhead ceiling fan keeps things pretty cool in spite of the heat. Last night I slept with the shutters in the doorway (rather than the door) to get some effective cross-ventilation with the open window. I was perfectly comfortable. Though electrical outlets in this nearly 200-year-old room are few and inconveniently located, there is an Ethernet connection! Shower and toilet facilities are shared, but there is a sink in the room. It does feel a bit like living in Colonial Williamsburg.

July 13, 2008

Computer Nostalgia


Here in Silicon Valley, I was reminiscing this morning about my very first computer, which I bought in December of 1985. It was then called just "the Macintosh" and just after I purchased it, I was able to upgrade the internal memory from 256K to 512K. Wow! There was hard drive, of course. A few years later a I bought a 20-megabyte external hard drive, which could store virtually everything I had in digital format. (In contrast, the iMac now in my study at home can handle 750 gigabytes of storage; that's 37,500 times the capacity!)

October 21, 2008

A Fascinating Look Behind The Scenes


Dave Gibbons, the artist who paired with Alan Moore to produce Watchmen, released a book detailing the laborious behind-the-scenes preparation of the graphic novel. The book, designed by the brilliant Chip Kidd, arrived from Amazon today.

November 22, 2008

Instructions For Life

I was just looking at the emergency instructions graphic on the Times Square Shuttle here in New York and reminded of the riff on it that I posted here in June of 2007:

This is the source.

December 30, 2008

New Look For


The website for men's pro tennis has a new look to go along with the organization's re-branding as "ATP World Tour."

December 31, 2008

2008: The Year Of A New Hope


As we look back on the exciting political developments of past year, let's remember 2008 as the dawn of A New Hope.

January 3, 2009

A New Look For Rafa


Guess who is wearing sleeves now? And those Capri pants appear to be a thing of the past, too. These photos are from the exhibition being played in Abu Dhabi this week. (Nadal advanced to the final, where he'll face Andy Murray, who knocked off Roger Federer 7-6 in the third in the other semi.)

February 15, 2009

New Kicks On Their Way


I've been working with adidas on a new tennis shoe design, built on the Barricade 5 last. Pictured above is the 2009 Ned Gallagher edition, which I'll have for the spring season. This is sort of the inverse color scheme of the Barricade 3 model I developed in London with the adidas shoe gurus during Wimbledon a few years back:


February 25, 2009

My Obamicon


This is sort of an in joke for those on the 2005 U.K. squash tour, when one of the boys at Marlborough College referred to me as "a f___ing legend" . . . a reference I still don't fully understand, but it was certainly amusing.

March 12, 2009

Typography Porn


This may be the geekiest thing I've done in a while: since I was feeling crappy, I got comfortable on my living room couch and booted up the documentary Helvetica on AppleTV. It's basically an exploration of a font, a typeface, that has become ubiquitous in modern life. As I've long been fascinated by typography and design I kind of enjoyed what a lot of people might find a mind-numbingly boring movie.

March 21, 2009

Matching Luggage


I am realizing now, sitting here in the Tampa Airport Marriott, that all of my bags on this trip match. Nice to get free gear!

March 25, 2009

My Published Masterpiece


I created a photo book to commemorate the Choate Squash 2009 U.K. Tour using iPhoto. It was a breeze to layout the 20-page book using my digital photos, edit an accompanying map of our trip, and add some relevant text. The book, which arrived just over a week after I ordered it (which was almost as simple as pressing a button within iPhoto), came out looking pretty professional. The quality of the pictures in this format is stunning.

April 9, 2009

Sweet Piece Of Luggage


My friends at HEAD hooked me up with this spiffy backpack, which is great for lugging around my MacBook, a couple of books, and various and sundry other things. It's very useful now that the weather is allowing me to zip around town on the scooter more and more.

April 20, 2009

Design Fun


Spent some time using Adobe Fireworks to create a logo with circular text--a task which is pretty complex, it turns out. But I stumbled across a useful tutorial online and it worked out pretty well.

April 26, 2009

The Mystery Logo


Today I am wearing one of my favorite shirts, pictured above. I figured it was an appropriate Scandanavian sort of logo for this part of the world. It's amazing to me that most people are puzzled by the symbol. It's actually the logo associated with Bjorn Borg at the height of his career and adorned his Fila clothing line and Bancroft racquets (which he used only in North America before his Donnay contract was extended worldwide around 1980.


May 12, 2009

The Magic Box


A new combined men's and women's event on the pro tennis circuit is being played in Madrid as the final major tune-up before the French Open. The centerpiece of the new facility is a complex of three courts with a retractable roof called "the Magic Box," which is striking in its sleekly modern looks. Apparently outdoor tennis can become indoor tennis in about fifteen minutes should rain appear.

June 10, 2009

True Colors


Strange to see photos from this year's Queen's Club tournament--the Wimbledon tune-up in West London--wherein the court is adorned in electric blue, as in the shot above. Apparently a change in the title sponsor--the brewers at Artois having dropped out of this role--is responsible for the shift in hues. For decades, aside from the green of the courts themselves, the predominant color at Queen's has been bright red, as in this pic I snapped when I was at the tournament two years ago this week:


June 22, 2009

Is Liberace Working For Nike Now?


I'm not sure I'd agree to wear this particular ensemble were I Roger Federer.

June 27, 2009

Theoretically Useful, I Guess


Having spent Lord knows how many millions of pounds to put a retractable roof over Centre Court, it's ironic that Wimbledon is experiencing one of the driest tournaments on record! No need to close the roof in the first six days of The Championships.

July 23, 2009

Strawberry Swing


The video for Coldplay's "Strawberry Swing" is a wonderfully inventive piece of visual magic and very much worth a look.

July 24, 2009

A New Foofbag


Also in this week's pile of mail was the Foofbag I ordered for my new MacBook Air. It's a custom-made sleeve, produced in Australia, in whatever fabric I choose from among some interesting options. I got a Foofbag in bright blue corduroy for my G4 iBook a few years back, as well as a couple of Foofpods (for iPods and my Palm Treo) in Irish tweeds. This time around I opted for the Nishikigoi fabric, a black Japanese cotton with traditional koi (ornamental 'brocaded' carp) motif. It also has a sherpa fleece inner lining. Check out the Foof goods.

July 25, 2009

A Cover For My Kindle


The leather cover for my Kindle 2 arrived from Amazon today. It will keep the device safer and it looks pretty classy, too. The "binding" part of the cover latches onto little slots on the left side of the Kindle and there are little straps to keep the right corners in place.

September 27, 2009

Architecture Of The Windy City


Walking through Chicago from the Navy Pier to catch a Blue Line CTA train to O'Hare Airport, I was struck once more by the diversity and beauty of the architecture downtown. This is a fascinating city for anyone interested in building design. I took the architecture tour on a boat up and down the Chicago River during my last visit to the city, and that helped me appreciate a lot of what was around me, half-hour trek across town.

November 12, 2009

My Next Indulgent Purchase . . .

. . . may be one of these CanAm Spyders. Saw this one parked near the football field on my way from breakfast to the office this morning and had to snap a shot.


The yellow matches the color of my Zuma!

December 22, 2009

Interesting Brand Mash Up


A curious intersection of sneakers and space opera!

Newly Clad In Three Stripes


adidas is losing Novak Djokovic to Sergio Tacchini and the Bryan Brothers and Sam Querry to K-Swiss, but is pinning its sponsorship hopes on the British hope Andy Murray, who will be decked out in three stripes from head to toe starting in January.

December 24, 2009

Tablet Rumblings Growing Louder


In the last 24 hours, the Internet has been abuzz with speculation that Apple may be close to announcing the release of a much-anticipated tablet device late next month. The Cupertino company has apparently scheduled a media event for January 26 and word has leaked out that leader Steve Jobs is "happy" with the new product. Industry watchers are expecting an announcement/demonstration of a device that is akin to a large iPod Touch. Some app developers reportedly have been asked to prepare full-screen demos of their software. The Apple tablet would be available by the spring. An exciting prospect!

December 28, 2009

New Gear


Got some goodies from adidas in the mail today, a couple of new pairs of kicks and two T-shirts with interesting adidas/Star Wars mash-up designs, including the above graphic.

January 1, 2010

Asterios Polyp


Spent time today reading David Mazzucchelli's Asterios Polyp, a graphic novel released in 2009 that was lauded by the critics. I can see why: this work is brilliant. It "combines a modernist style, a formalist structure, and a story about a bristly academic" as one observer described it. Highly recommended.

February 15, 2010

The Quantified Life

A high school teacher in California tracked various aspects of his life in the calendar year 2009 and came up with this engaging "annual report" in video form:

Dan Meyer's 2009 Annual Report from Dan Meyer on Vimeo.

You can follow him in the blogosphere.

February 18, 2010

A New Look For The Penny


This is the new flip side of Mr. Lincoln's profile on the one-cent coin. Looks kind of retro to my eye.

March 6, 2010

Facebook Fan Pages


While procrastinating the last batch of end-of-term reports for my students, I created some Twitter accounts and Facebook fan pages for the teams I coach. Amazing how productive one can be when there is something else pressing to finish! So you can become a Facebook fan of Choate Cross Country, Choate Squash, and Choate Tennis!

April 21, 2010

Show Me The Money

The new design for the $100 bill was unveiled by the Department of the Treasury earlier this morning. It's a bit more colorful and loaded with features to foil counterfeiters:

April 24, 2010

I Am Picky About My Notebooks


I realized I forgot to pack one of my notebooks for use tomorrow in the One Day University program in New York. So I walked across Center City to the Barnes & Noble on Rittenhouse Square to find the right Moleskine (5"x8.25", ruled--the orange label!). Just as well I had to get a new one, as the last one is almost filled.

May 28, 2010

What's In My Bag?


Last May in Paris, I picked up an olive green bag--sort of a messenger bag, I guess--at the adidas shop on the Champs-Élysées. It's very useful to throw over my shoulder when cruising around town on the scooter. And I can fit my iPad or MacBook Air in it very comfortably, even though it's pretty small.

So what would one find in it this morning?

  • iPad
  • student briefs for McDonald v. Chicago, a current Second Amendment case before the U.S. Supreme Court, to be argued in the final session of my Constitutional Law class this morning
  • set of graded essays on King Lear submitted yesterday, to be returned in EN437 class later today
  • excerpt from West Side Story script with my lines for next weekend's performance
  • two pens
  • a magic marker for the dry erase board (I'm still a chalk guy, but not much use for that anymore)
  • copies of Time, The Economist, and Entertainment Weekly from this morning's mail

May 20, 2010

The Other Side

The conclusion of the two-part season finale of Fringe was pretty satisfying tonight. We got to spend time on the alternate Earth and meet the doppelgangers of the characters we've come to know during the show's first two seasons. One of the coolest visual gags was worked into the background, on the wall of the apartment where Peter was staying: twisted versions of iconic comics covers like this:


June 4, 2010

Intergalactic World Cup


Pretty interesting celebrity-filled mash-up of adidas and Star Wars posted here.

June 3, 2010

Summer Training Shirts 3.0


For the third year, I created summer training shirts for the boys' cross country team. 2008's was gray, last year's was light blue, and this summer's is gold. (In 2011, we'll go with navy before beginning the cycle once more the following year.)

The Latin quote on the back of the shirt is from Ovid. Roughly translated it means, "Be patient and put up with it; one day this pain will pay dividends." (The sources of the quotations seem to swing between high and low culture from year to year: 2008's was from Robert Frost, while 2009's was from a Van Halen song!)

June 4, 2010

My Spring Line


An artist likes to signs his work. And as a teacher, my work is my students. So I designed some T-shirts bearing my signature for me to distribute to the kids in my classes and on my team at the end of the term--what may become an ongoing tradition. I have started to hand these out and have been met with some bemusement, but the shirts generally have been quite well received (people like freebies and like to get things that are limited in quantity). In fact, the economic principle of scarcity was in full evidence: I've fielded literally dozens of requests from other kids for extra shirts if there are any available.

Each group's shirt has its own moniker and color scheme: red on yellow ("Sunburst") is for my Shakespeare elective; pink on blue ("Baby") is for Constitutional Law; white on green ("Rally") is for varsity boys' tennis; and the silver on black ("Genesis") was the test run of a half-dozen or so shirts I had made some weeks back.

July 7, 2010

Magazines Of The Future?


I downloaded this week's issue of Sports Illustrated on the iPad app, just to give it a whirl. Hard to imagine I will do this regularly, since I had to pony up $4.99 for something I am already subscribing to in its traditional format. But it is pretty cool to flip through the electronic edition to see photo galleries (with some pretty stunning photography, which has always been one of this magazine's hallmarks). Not much here in the way of video stuff, though.

They've really got to figure out a better business model. I'd love for subscribers to have access to the digital mag the way The Economist and The New Yorker give print subscribers full access to their Web-based digital content. I could see charging us a nominal fee to read iPad versions of what we get in the mail. But five bucks per issue is not going to generate much traffic.

July 29, 2010



I've been meaning to do this for some time now, but we finally got our act together and had a "Choate Squash" logo with the boar's head silhouette painted on the tins of all ten of our squash courts. Since we host so many national-level events in our facility in addition to a full slate of scholastic matches and tournaments, it seems an appropriate way to promote our program a bit.

July 13, 2010

A Vision In Red


After the school year ended, I ordered T-shirts for my third former advisees, the only group I worked with this past spring that didn't get one of my signature shirts. Each class or team or advisee group gets its own color scheme. These are called "Dragon."

July 24, 2010

The Summer Line


New signature T-shirts unveiled this weekend and distributed to my summer school classes. This one, in blue and orange, is called "Metropolitan."

July 15, 2010

Darth Vader's Shuttle?


Though this looks like something one would find in the hangar on an Imperial Star Destroyer, it's actually a real-life stealth plane the British unveiled for the R.A.F.

September 27, 2010

The Evolution Of The Digital Subscription


I love The New Yorker. And I love my iPad. And I love that The New Yorker is now releasing an iPad-friendly edition. (And I really love this introductory video featuring Jason Schwartzman.) But what I don't like is the expectation that I, a long-term subscriber to the magazine, must fork over $5 each week to read the digital edition on my iPad. Publishers have got to figure out a way to offer paying print subscribers access to the digital editions at no additional cost.

September 28, 2010

For The Geek's Kitchen


Check out this U.S.S. Enterprise pizza cutter. For the Star Trek fan in your life who has everything, available from ThinkGeek.

October 12, 2010

A Massive Doonesbury Tome


Amazon delivered my copy of 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective today. This heavy slipcased book celebrates four decades of Garry Trudeau's landmark strip. Looking forward to digesting its contents over the next few days.

October 9, 2010

Shanahan Field


Tonight I had a hand in the dedication ceremonies for Shanahan Field, named for our school's headmaster, now in the final months of a 20-year tenure at Choate. The complex is a double-sized artificial turf facility with lights for night games. The evening's festivities included games under the lights for four varsity teams--field hockey, football, and boys' and girls' soccer--on the newly christened field and another nearby grass field.


October 6, 2010

I Splurged On The Sound System


I absolutely love the fact that my iPod seamlessly integrates itself into the Audi Music Interface in the new vehicle. The menu in my dashboard console replicates the iPod's hierarchical organization of songs, albums, artists, playlists, etc.

When I bought the Q5, I upgraded to the array of 14 Bang & Olufsen speakers, including some serious subwoofers for bass output. The sound is incredible. For the record, here is where the speakers reside:

  • one central speaker and two mid-range speakers in the dashboard

  • one tweeter in each of the mirror triangles

  • one woofer in each of the front doors

  • two tweeters and two bass/mid-range speakers in the door trims

  • one surround speaker in each of the D-pillars

  • one subwoofer in the spare wheel recess

October 15, 2010

Doubling My Monitor Real Estate


Always dangerous to visit the Apple Store!

I dropped a pile of change on a companion for my new 27" iMac: a 27" LED Cinema Display. This unit is gorgeous and I have it set up as a horizontal extension of my desktop screen space, which makes it a lot easier to work in several different applications at once.

To my surprise, the educator's discount saved me nearly $100, which was a nice development.

Since I Am In The Mood For Doubling


At only $99, I felt I HAD to get one of the new Apple TV devices when I visited the Apple Store. This was clearly an impulse purchase. I own one of the older versions already (actually it was the second iteration of the Apple TV) and I am a fan of the technology.

My intention is to set up a second HD television in my study upstairs. Since I bought the 52" Samsung flat screen last year, I've had a 34" CRT Toshiba high definition set just gathering dust on the floor. So now I will have some motivation to hook up the new streaming-version of Apple TV to the older monitor. I'll probably move the PlayStation 3 upstairs as well and get a dedicated Blu-Ray player for the living room.

October 17, 2010

Palais Garnier


I just booked a ticket for a performance on December 27 in the Palais Garnier--the older of the two opera houses in Paris. This neo-Baroque edifice is an architectural jewel in the City of Lights and one of the most famous opera venues in the world.

January 25, 2011

A Bit Of Nostalgia On the GQ Cover


This photo is one of a bunch to grace this month's issue of GQ. The various covers celebrate a feature entitled "The 25 Coolest Athletes Of All Time." Pretty good choice, as I think back on my childhood.

December 26, 2010

There In Name Only


Kind of cool that one of my signature shirts ascended a mountaintop in Tanzania this month!

June 8, 2011

Digital Delivery Is The Way To Go


I woke up this morning and received a notification that the new Sports Illustrated issue was available for download (I am a print subscriber, so I have free access to the electronic edition via the iPad app). So a few minutes later here I am reading the French Open wrap-up before even getting out of bed!

October 24, 2011

The Guardian On iPad


I love that the difference in time zones means Tuesday morning's edition of The Guardian arrives on my iPad Monday night. So I get a late evening paper from Britain to read before bed. And the new iPad version of this newspaper is beautifully designed: a triumph of journalism in a digital format. The Guardian iPad edition is free for the first couple months after one downloads the app; i wonder if I'll be suckered into paying for it come December?

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to As Far As You Know in the Design category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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