Today I am dedicating Friday Likes to a single project.
Inside a locker beneath old gym clothes at the New York office of Pentagram, someone found a copy of a first edition New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual designed by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda of Unimark International in 1970. Design nerds and Pentagram employees Niko Skourtis, Jesse Reed, and Hamish Smyth have put together a minisite with photographs of all 182 pages of the document with extra juicy zoom-in capabilities. Breathe, relax, enjoy.
Established in 2004, Nooka is a product and fashion design company whose fame rose with the introduction of a wrist watch that displayed the time in a rather unconventional way — while the hour of the day was displayed in a big bold number, the minutes were rendered through a horizontal bar that filled in as the hour went by. From there, the watches’ display got more abstract and playful and with more success and recognition, Nooka has grown into a full brand of products, from the original watches to belts, wallets, eyewear, and even fragrance. Nooka has a bit of a funky new-agey philosophy, i.e., “Creates physical manifestations of ideas”, or “Promotes universal communication via the form and visual language of fashion and design” or “Brings a techno-progressivist set of expectations to the world of ordinary objects.” A little too frou-frou for me, but I’ll bite, because sometimes the world can do with less serious things. The in-house design team at Nooka has just completed an identity redesign.
Today I’m stepping a little outside my comfort zone by writing about a subject that I fear I will miss to capture its cultural impact. But worse things have happened in this world. Sitio Picapau Amarelo (Yellow Woodpecker Farm) is a classic of children’s literature in Brazil, originally written as early as 1920 by Monteiro Lobato, later transformed into a TV show in the 1950s, going through various iterations of casts, and most recently has been turned into cartoon characters. The stories take place in a picturesque farm and plots form around its main characters: The farm’s owner and a widow, Mrs. Benta; her grandkids, a girl and a boy; a maid; a talking rag doll; a corncob puppet; and a cadre of animals and other visitors. The series has always had an educational bent, more than just pure entertainment, and many generations of Brazilian kids have grown up on its lessons. Recently, Globo TV, Brazil’s biggest TV network, redesigned the complete Sitio Picapau Amarelo with new character illustrations by Bruno Okada and an identity system by Romulo Castilho.