debbie millman

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poetry Thursday: Todd Boss

A wonderful poem from the May 12 issue of The New Yorker:

One Can Miss Mountains

and pine. One

can dismiss
a whisper’s

and go on as

before as if
everything were

perfectly fine.
One does. One

loses wonder
among stores

of things.
One can even miss

the basso boom
of the ocean’s

rumpus room
and its rhythm.

A man can leave
this earth

and take nothing
—not even

with him.

written by Todd Boss

Via the lovely Mighty Girl

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Get the Kleenex Ready

Yes, I know it is tearing up the Internets, but I can't resist. I had my morning cry, my afternoon cry and my evening cry already. You might want to keep the sound off (unless you love Whitney singing Dolly) until the actual interview begins, but either way it is an inspiring, sappy, crazy, heartbreaking, beautiful story about the bond between humans and animals.

off to blow my nose...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Love Story: My Best Friend Marian

Patrick Burgoyne at Creative Review invited the brilliant Marian Bantjes the opportunity to create a Monograph that is sent out with subscription editions of the magazine.

For Marian, it was an opportunity to create new pieces that she titled Love Stories. Each piece is an illustrated text of the story of someone that she loves, and it includes pieces about her mom, her brother, her dad, her dentist, cake and boys, among others. She spent 3 solid weeks on it, and nearly burned herself out. They are quite amazing.

Love Stories



A Gift

The entire piece is featured here. Thank you, Marian!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dominican Republic Tonight, on the Lower East Side

Field Tested Books

The cool cats at Coudal are continuing their biennial effort of an ambitious undertaking called Field Tested Books. It is a collection of essays from many different authors writing about a time when a place they were in influenced a book they were reading, or vise versa.

One of my essays is included in this uber-fab collection. I wrote about one of my favorite novels ever. I will be reading it tonight at 7pm, at The Delancey on 168 Delancey Street. The list of authors reading tonight include Liz Danzico,
Steven Heller, Randy J. Hunt, Jason Santa Maria, Maud Newton, Michael Surtees, Michael Bierut, Jeffrey Zeldman and many more. Books will also be available for sale. Hope to see you there tonight!

My essay at Coudal is here, but you can also read it below:

Love in the Time of Cholera
by Gabriel García Márquez
Field-Tested in San Felipe de Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

In 1992, both my marriage and the first relationship after my marriage had fallen apart. Certain I was never going to be loved again, I coerced my best friend, Sue, to travel with me to a place as far away as I could afford. A week’s vacation for two proved more expensive than I anticipated, and the best I could provide was an all-inclusive holiday at the Playa Dorado Hotel in San Felipe de Puerto Plata. Located on the north coast of the island of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata is both a port city and a popular tourist destination. Known for its stretch of white, sandy beaches, tropical botanical gardens, and a mountaintop backdrop, I hoped a week away from home would begin to heal my broken heart. Sue was interested in scuba diving and water sports, but I preferred to be lazy and lounged on the hot beach sipping sweet, thick, frozen Margarita’s.

I brought along Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera mostly because it is a story of unrequited love, and I wanted to wallow in the marvelous, mystical, dream-reality that is only possible from García Márquez. But as soon as I began my journey through the novel, I was struck by the similarity of the visual landscape. Love in the Time of Cholera takes place in an unnamed port city in the Caribbean. It remains unnamed throughout the story, and as I lay facing the ocean, I imagined García Márquez speaking directly to me through the book.

Headstrong Fermina Daza is the female lead in the story, and after a brief love affair through letters with Florentino Ariza, she ultimately rejects him and marries Juvenal Urbino. Lovesick and forlorn, Ariza is obsessed and tormented by his love for Fermina Daza. “It’s no use,” he tells his uncle at the beginning of the novel. “Love is the only thing that interests me.”

And love he does! Though Florentino Ariza believes that Fermina Daza is his soul mate and vows to remain faithful to her, he proceeds to engage in 662 affairs over the next 50 years. All the while, Ariza sincerely believes that he is saving his heart and his virginity for Fermina Daza. When her husband finally dies, Ariza immediately returns to Fermina and slowly she understands that she has loved him all along. They embark on a voyage to sail the Magdalena River, and in an effort to keep other passengers from boarding the boat, the captain raises the yellow flag of cholera. He asks Ariza, questioning how long they can possibly keep coming and going in this manner. “Forever” is his one word reply.

As I finished the book, I found myself weeping. I wept for the love Ariza felt for Fermina; I wept for the 53 years, seven months, and 11 days and nights it took for them to fulfill their love; and I wept for the joy that I felt in their mutuality. But mostly, I wept because I had witnessed a magnificent love story, and once again, had to face the heartbreak and the sadness that was defining my life.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Despite The Bad Reviews

Geekdom 101
Me at the X-Files Convention at Jacob Javits Center, 1998

So. The reviews are in, and other than Roger Ebert's, they are pretty rotten. My devastation is mounting, but I still plan on seeing the film this weekend. I have been asked how it is possible that I haven't seen it yet, and it is only because I am now nearly 47 years old and if I went to a midnight show, I would STILL be in bed. And frankly, I had to come to work today.

I have been told by several good sources to stay until after the credits for some juice, and I shall. I also believe that as a "fervent loyalist," I will still enjoy the journey back into the dark and sexy world of S & M. But for all my readers, I offer you a bit of corn on this blustery Friday afternoon: a photo of moi in 1998 at the X-Files Convention at Jacob Javits Center. Yes, that is Mulder's office, but no, I wasn't really in it--I posed on a blue screen and was photo-montaged in. This was roundabout the same time I collected every magazine with S & M on the cover (I later sold the entire collection on eBay for $63) and ordered pre-released videos of the back seasons from a bootlegger in Israel. Go figure.

Happy Weekend, all.

At Long Last, Ten Years In The Making

It is finally here!

TOTAL SAP ALERT! Stop viewing now if you don't like cheese!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Universal Process

My dear friend Renee sent me this link today with the accompanying question: What if there were no stop signs... and a major corporation was charged with inventing one?

The answer: Every single sentence in this video is accurate and true. Every last word.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sweeping Through The Internets: The Greatest Conference Ever

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ten Great Moments In Internet History

This just in from the Utah Web Services site:
Most of us would never know that the 1957 launch of Sputnik would lead us to the Internet. Most of those reading, are probably already thinking. INCORRECT! However, it was the fear of the Soviets that led Dwight D. Eisenhower to develop ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) which would assemble of some of the greatest minds in the United States and eventually create the first internet. This teams first project was to put the first US Satellite into orbit and they accomplished the task in just 18 months. Afterwards, ARPA turned its attention to the need for improved military communications in 1962, with a focus on computer networking. By 1968, ARPA brought a lot of its research contracts to the university level, pulling them from the private sector. Many breakthroughs occured in this time period but none more than:

1. The Creation of the ARPANET

In the beginning...

For the rest of the Top Ten, click here.

Via Coudal, of course.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Actual Definition of Cute

Feist on Sesame Street:

From Pitchfork: When Amanda Petrusich interviewed Feist for, the singer mentioned appearing in an upcoming episode of the children's television perennial "Sesame Street". The episode is due to run in August, but her musical performance of a modified "1234" has hit YouTube, and it's pretty sweet.

Via the always sexy Dorothy Surrenders,who likes it despite the fact the "Steve Jobs played this song to death."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Radiohead Does It Again

Radiohead debuts a laser-shot video, done completely without cameras:

Radiohead's latest video, for the track "House of Cards" from the In Rainbows album, uses real time 3D recording instead of cameras, utilizing highly technical structured light and Lidar laser-enhanced scanners to model lead singer Thom Yorke and provide an otherworldly narrative accompaniment to the song.

Blip Boutique creative director and Zoo director James Frost took Creativity Magazine through the exceedingly complex, innovative process, which used on-set engineers and technology support instead of a film crew and required massive amounts of rendering and the sculpting of mountains of data in post--not to mention 64 lasers (on the Lidar system alone). Read on past our interview with Frost for behind-the-scenes footage and to visit the video's interactive component, hosted by Google in it's developer area, Radiohead is encouraging fans to use the 3D data of Yorke's head and make their own videos using the point cloud data and Processing.

Click here for the entire article and an interview with James Frost.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

My New Book Has Arrived: The Essential Principles of Graphic Design

My New Book!

My new book is out! The title is Essential Principles of Graphic Design and it is published by Rotovision, and distributed in the U.S. by the generous folks at HOW Books. It is a book of 35 case studies by some of the world's greatest designers, and it features a look at how they work and come up with ideas. Essentially, it is both a visual and verbal journey of a project from concept to creation. It also includes basic primers to the principles of Graphic Design, written by experts in each discipline. Some of the designers included are Stephen Doyle, Marian Bantjes, Fabian Monheim, Peter Buchanan-Smith, Vault 49, Yves Behar, Hillman Curtis, Jacob Trollback and many, many more (full list, and examples of some of the images and spreads are below). The magnificent Rodrigo Corral (naturally) designed the interior and he set the entire book in the typeface Chronicle, gorgeously created by Hoefler & Frere-Jones.

Fabian Monheim
Zetter Hotel identity created by Fabian Monheim

Connie Birdsall, Lippincott
Sprint Identity exploratory by Lippincott, Creative Director Connie Birdsall

Peter Buchanan-Smith
Examples of the breadth of the exploratory of the grammy award winning CD cover design for Wilco's "A Ghost Is Born" by Peter Buchanan-Smith

Nicholas Blechman & Brian Rea
Images by Brian Rea & Nicholas Blechman for VM World 2007

Luba Lukova
Sketches for a Shakespeare Poster for Columbia University by Luba Lukova

Marian Bantjes
Sketches for the title for the 2007 Society of Typographic Aficionado's Annual Competition by Marian Bantjes

Andrea Dezso
Sketches for the cover of McSweeney's 23 by Andrea Dezso

Bill Cahan
Front page of the proposal for the design of Herman Miller's magazine SEE from Bill Cahan, Cahan & Associates

Chris Bolton
Sketches by Chris Bolton for a Helsinki Museum Exhibit

Fernando Leal
Final Identity for the MTV Video Music Awards Brasil in 2005

Contributors to the book!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Here It Comes

The Dark Knight poster

The Dark Knight film poster, in all its strange, bittersweet, crazy glory.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Boys and the Subway

the amazing christoph niemann
Illustration by Christoph Niemann

The brilliant editor of Print Magazine, Joyce Kaye, pointed me to this illustrated story by Christoph Niemann in the New York Times. It is about his sons love affair with the New York City Subway system, and it is absolutely wonderful.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Clay Felker 1925-2008

Clay Felker 1925-2008

Legendary journalist and founding editor of New York Magazine died yesterday. From Kurt Anderson's poignant, wonderful column: "Clay Felker’s own rock stardom as a media pioneer endures. It doesn’t matter that he did his great, seminal work way back when. So did Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney. During the seventies and eighties, the Times (and much of the rest of mainstream media) thoroughly Felkerized itself. Practically every species of insidery, smart-ass Web journalism carries bits of his DNA. He permanently transformed his white-hot corner of the world. And on these very pages, fresh chapters of his novel about the city are still being published every week."
things i paint
things i photograph
design matters design matters poster designed by Firebelly
about me things i do those i thank things i like current playlist