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New York City.

Base . Boym . Chopping Block . Dropframe . Duffy . Flat . Hillman Curtis . Honest . Karlsson Wilker . Design MW . Open . 2x4

Some selections for your Friday viewing pleasure. I have no personal connection with any of these firms except for a friend who will start working at Base soon and a friend at Duffy. Just admire their work. Base has been mentioned here.

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
ARCHIVE ID 1346 FILED UNDER Designer/Design Firm Profile
PUBLISHED ON Jan.24.2003 BY Sam
Armin’s comment is:

I had never been to chopping block's site... that jingle is hilarious!

Oranges... Oranges... Oranges and Graphic Design...

Won't be able to get it out of my head now.

On Jan.24.2003 at 11:14 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Wow. That 2x4 is the ultimate in annoying web sites.

On Jan.24.2003 at 12:45 PM
Ben’s comment is:

FYI, I belive that the chopping block theme song is by They Might Be Giants.

On Jan.24.2003 at 01:26 PM
Astrida’s comment is:

it is.

On Jan.24.2003 at 02:13 PM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

The 2x4 website does not work in Safari. :(

On Jan.24.2003 at 02:20 PM
anthony’s comment is:

I like Duffy's work in general I guess, but I just don't think that is very good website, it seems like they just used flash to use it, and through any good web design rules out the window. Some text is terribly hard to read, and that little nav square looks neat but, only 2 of them are actually navs...? But then again maybe I am jsut a huge nerd.

On Jan.24.2003 at 05:53 PM
Michael S’s comment is:

Sam, you mentioned admiration — could you elaborate why you found those sites worth sharing.

On Jan.24.2003 at 10:56 PM
Nick’s comment is:

NYC props but no graffiti/urban designers? Not even Graphic Havoc?

On Jan.24.2003 at 11:34 PM
Sam’s comment is:

Thanks, Nick. Yes, Michael, fair question. Mainly these are just some of the bookmarks I have of design firms and since there've been a few other geographically-themed posts, I was reprezentin' as they kids these days like to say.

There isn't really a criteria, nor are these the only firms in New York I admire. Stefan Sagmeister, for instance, does not have a site, nor does Paul Sahre or Number 17, but these are also very good, very smart NY-based designers.

As for the ones I chose, Base does very smart multi-disciplinary work, as does Duffy, MW, Open, Boym, and 2x4. Dropframe and Hillman I only know through their site, but they're in for variety. Chopping Block, Flat, and Honest are perhaps the leading web design firms (at least, who aren't of the One9ine/Praystation variety).

Duffy is interesting because they manage to do huge, very expensive projects (mostly branding) and yet they really protect their designers' creative freedom (unlike, say, Landor, which I would not say is as creative in their work).

2x4 I kind of describe as the Bruce Mau of NY--smart, theory-oriented, with glamorous clients like Prada, Koolhaas, etc. The Museum of the Ordinary on their site is fucking great. Many people react like Darrel to the site, and I tend to agree. My friend Natasha (who should be making some comments here, ahem!) says this about 2x4:

"I appreciate the clarity in their thinking, which is reflected in the design. And I appreciate the neutrality in their work. I like the minimalist approach to problems. They use very, very few elements in each design. But the result

is effective." A good analysis, I think.

MW does nothing but the most beautiful work. Get the Gmund promos--they're free!

Hjalti Karlsson is of course formerly from Sagmeister Inc. and clearly very clever (maybe too clever?). The spoken portfolio is funny.

Open just does great work every single time--always appealing to the eye and brain. Their graphics for MTV's "So Five Minutes Ago" were great, as is all their print work. And how great is the URL: "notclosed"? Yes, it is totally great.

I'd love to know of any others. thanks, Sam

On Jan.25.2003 at 10:08 PM
chris’s comment is:

Lots of "youngish" firms.

Hillman does lots of good work. Dropframe is more of a collective in their business model than a firm, though, it seems. Also,

Uh.. am I talking, whoops. Sorry. Carry on.

On Jan.28.2003 at 04:30 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Doyle Partners is one of my favorite NY firms. I don't think they have a web site though.

Cubanica is another small, fun firm.

MW does truly awe inspiring work. If there were a definition for "Beautiful Design" they'd be it.

>but no graffiti/urban designers?

Huh? graffiti designers? that's like advertising designers... they shouldn't be messing with design.

On Jan.29.2003 at 01:00 PM
mGee’s comment is:

boring...boring .... hasn't changed in 3 or 4 years...dumb...pop-up flash window/EXTRA boring...yup, flat...self-absorbed(if a firm can be such a thing)at least it's clean...I-FRAME!!!!!....EEK! FLASH BOX centered in the window!! How original :| .... another FLASH box centered(please designers learn a little code and stop depending on flash and dreamweaver)...dreamweaver box in the center of the window!(Resizeable content people!)...then of course the biggest pain in the arse of all, the full-screen takeover of your monitor.

I love design... I just hate what web designers have become.... it's all about showing-off not usability.

Please "web designers", become designers.

:) My 2 Cents



On Jan.31.2003 at 07:04 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

Doyle Partners is one of my favorite NY firms. I don't think they have a web site though.

They do. Good, smart work.

On Nov.25.2004 at 10:56 AM
Randy’s comment is:

Sagmeister has a site.

On Nov.28.2004 at 12:20 AM