The book suggestion of this week is by the Paul Rand and it's titled Thoughts on Design. Writing at the height of his career, Rand articulated in his slender volume the pioneering vision that all design should seamlessly integrate form and function. This facsimile edition preserves Rand's original 1947 essay with the adjustments he made to its text and imagery for a revised printing in 1970, and adds only an informative and inspiring new foreword by design luminary Michael Bierut. As relevant today as it was when first published, this classic treatise is an indispensable addition to the library of every designer About Paul Rand Paul Rand was an American art director and graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Morningstar, Inc., Westinghouse, ABC, and Steve Jobs's NeXT. Wikipedia Buy Now on Amazon
When Levi Strauss partnered with tailor Jacob Davis in 1873 on a patent for riveted pockets on work pants for Western pioneers, they couldn’t have dreamed of its impact on modern culture. The Levi’s 501 button fly jean – the original and first ever blue jean – was born on May 20, 1873. From Steve McQueen to Steve Jobs the 501 has been part of our day to day lives for 140 years later and it is more popular to global culture and style than ever before.. Deemed Time Magazine’s ‘Fashion Item of the 20th Century’ – the original Levi’s 501 button fly jean is an American icon that has been woven and stitched deeply into our world’s cultural heritage. From presidents to movie stars, farmers to fashion icons, entrepreneurs to the every man, the cultural significance of Levi’s 501 jeans has been defined by the people who wear them. No other product has been worn, loved or re-imagined quite like Levi’s 501 jeans. A symbol of individuality and universality – the 501 jean is the ultimate expression of personal style – worn by the pioneers who shape our world, generation after generation. - Levi's press release In this post we would like to share a visual evolution of this american icon, and my favorite jeans. The Levi’s 501 story begins in 1890 – the 1st year the 501 lot number was assigned to the iconic 501 jean. Starting from 1890 through today, looking closely at the historical design evolution of the 501 and how the blue jean has subtly evolved through the years. 1890 1890 was the year that the 501 lot number was first assigned to the iconic jean. Why this number was chosen is unknown because the company’s historical records were destroyed in the 1906 SF earthquake. What is known is that Levi’s riveted products whose lot number began with the number “5” were considered to be of the highest quality. A description of the quality of the pants was printed on the inside of the left pocket bag as another way to set the jeans apart from other clothing companies. 1922 1922 marked the first year LS&Co. sourced all of its fabric from Cone Mills in Greensboro, NC. Cone Mills developed the now famous “red selvage” denim made exclusively for the 501®. Belt loops were add to the 501 for the first time in 1922. Belts began appearing on fine clothing soon after WWI and became an important change to men’s fashion – especially for working men. 1933 Hidden under the leather patch of the 1933 501 was a tiny, white cloth label with the letters “NRA” and a blue eagle. This was the National Recovery Act label which LS&CO. was allowed to use because the company abided by President Franklin Roosevelt’s NRA labor rules of the 1930s. 1937 The 1937 501 featured the famous Red Tab with “LEVI’S” stitched in white CAPITAL letters on the right back pocket as an identifying mark to distinguish Levi’s from the competition at rodeos, parades or other events. Red was chosen because it contrasted well with the dark blue denim and was easy to see. In 1937 LS&Co. also began sewing the back pockets of the 501 to cover the rivets as a response to consumer complaints. Everyone loved the strength of the exposed back pocket rivets, but they tended to scratch furniture and saddles. Consumers were used to seeing the rivets, so we created a pocket “flasher” and inserted it into the right back pocket to advertise that the rivets were “still there.” 1944 Everything changed during WWII. The 1944 501 continued to use Cone Mills denim, but many features were adapted due to wartime rationing enforced by the U.S. government since metal, fabric and thread were needed for everything from battleships to uniforms. Rivets were removed from the watch pocket, cinch and the base of the button fly; no one really liked that one anyway because it tended heat up when people were crouched in front of the campfire (unlike the watch rivet, the “crotch” rivet was not replaced when the war was over). The famous Arcuate stitching also had to be removed since the threaded design was decorative and had no function. Rather than lose this important design detail, LS&Co. started painting the Arcuate stitching on every pair of 501®s. The paint eventually washed off but having that stitching visible at the time of purchased was important. 1947 When WWII ended and raw materials were available again, LS&Co. began heavy production again to meet the growing post-war demand. The 1947 501 is considered the first “modern” 501 - it featured a slimmer fit, without extra archaic details like the cinch or suspender buttons. The watch pocket rivets came back and the Arcuate was once again stitched (vs painted on), and new double needle machines were now used to stitch the Arcuate. All of these updates gave the 1947 501 a sleeker, more streamlined look that was perfect for the coming decades. 1954 In the mid 1950s LS&Co. began selling 501®s on the U.S. East Coast for the first time and thanks to American soldiers taking their 501®s with them overseas, a new wave of growth also arose in Europe and Asia. In 1954, a zipper version of the 501 was introduced: the 501Z®. The 501Z® featured a more narrow, tapered leg and a zipper fly for comfort. In the 1950s Hollywood costume designers began dressing movie stars in 501®s including Marlon Brando in “The Wild One” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” and Marilyn Monroe in “The Misfits”. This move gave the 501 a whole new place in fashion & popular culture. 1955 The 1955 501 had a quintessential 50s shape – like the classic cars of the day, the silhouette was boxy but tough with a square top block and a straight leg. The 1955 501 was the first to use a leather-like Two Horse label and a double sided Levi’s capital “E” Red Tab. 1966 In the 60s, the 501 begins to show up at protest rallies in Berkeley, love-ins in San Francisco, and a little music festival in Bethel, NY called Woodstock. The 60s were all about universality and individuality, and the 501®s was – and continues to be – the perfect expression of both. In 1966 rivets were completely removed from the back pockets. Bar tack technology had evolved so that tough stitching worked as well as tough metal – so the back rivets just weren’t needed anymore. 1978 The 1978 501 featured the very first small “e” Red Tab. When “vintage” Levi’s became a hot collectible in the late 80s, the Tab’s design became the dividing line between what was valuable and what was not. “Big E” (vintage) and “Little e” (not vintage) tabs are still the yardsticks by which collectible Levi’s jeans are judged. 2013 True to their spirit, the 501 continues to evolve to meet the needs of a new generation. This season, for the first time ever the 501 is available in new, modern colors including mineral red, chalk blue, ivy green, true chino and white – and a lighter weight shrink-to-fit twill fabric. The 2013 501 also features finer fabric, reinforced stitching, larger pockets to store your latest smart phone, and updated belt loops, inseams and cuffs. For more information about Levi’s® and in case you want to participate in their latest brand campaign tag photos of yourselves in your 501 jeans, in case you have one, visit Levi's 501 page at http://levis501.com/
Pablo Picasso once said "Good Artists Copy Great Artists Steal" then Steve Jobs mention that in one interview long ago. We all know that Apple products are the best out there, there's no doubt about it, and the main reason about that is because they have the best design. Jonhathan Ive, the chief industrial designer at Apple is a fantastic designer but it's always good to know what and who inspired him to come up with the Apple product designs. We might think that they are pretty unique and new but when we look at Dieter Rams the Pablo Picasso's quote makes even more sense. About Dieter Rams (Wikipedia) Dieter Rams (born May 20, 1932 in Wiesbaden, Hesse) is a German industrial designer closely associated with the consumer products company Braun and the Functionalist school of industrial design. Rams studied architecture at the Werkkunstschule Wiesbaden as well as learning carpentry from 1943 to 1957. After working for the architect Otto Apel between 1953 and 1955 he joined the electronic devices manufacturer Braun where he became chief of design in 1961, a position he kept until 1995. Rams once explained his design approach in the phrase "Weniger, aber besser" which freely translates as "Less, but better". Rams and his staff designed many memorable products for Braun including the famous SK-4 record player and the high-quality 'D'-series (D45, D46) of 35 mm film slide projectors. He is also known for designing the 606 Universal Shelving System by Vitsœ in 1960. Rams' ten principles to "good design" is innovative makes a product useful is aesthetic makes a product understandable is unobtrusive is honest is long-lasting is thorough down to the last detail is environmentally friendly is as little design as possible Video About Dieter Rams Works Further reading DIETER RAMS: Less But Better Seperated At Birth? Dieter Rams and Apple’s Ive “The man behind Apple’s design magic” Dieter Rams - Design Museum Dieter Rams: “Less, but better.” Designboom - dieter rams
John Heartfield (1891-1968) was a pioneer in photo manipulation. Born Helmut Herzfeld, he changed his name as a protest against anti-English sentiment in Germany between the World Wars. Heartfield was one of the first artists to use photomontage, skillfully manipulating photographs to vicously satirize the brutality of the Nazi regime. This was decades before Photoshop, so he did them all by hand, making his artwork all the more impressive. His best known work is "Hurrah! The Butter is all gone!", showing a family attempting to eat various metal items, decrying how war takes food away from the people.His artwork stands as an example of Photoshopping before Photoshop, and continues to inspire people to resist oppression and violence. For more information about John Heartfield visit http://www.towson.edu/heartfield/artarchive.html Some Works About the Author David Delony is a freelance writer based in Ashland, Oregon, USA. He blogs at Reading In Public (http://ddelony.posterous.com) and tweets at (http://twitter.com/ddelony).