I drove a 1986 Chevy Astro Minivan in high school. I was not in high school in 1986. Needless to say, it was not the hippest ride in the class of '99 lot—my brother described maneuvering it as "like driving a planet"—but I had a lot of love for that big box on wheels. Even though I didn't see my model in this photo essay by filmmaker and photographer Joe Stevens, I quite enjoyed scrolling through and checking out the beat-up beasts in their natural habitats. Apparently they're a dying breed, and "the goal of the project is to one day shoot the last remaining van on the final frame of photographic film in existence." Not sure if/how/when that will happen, but in the meantime, viva la van! via Kottke
Miyoko: Cardon Copy
While reviewing I Swear to Good You are God at This earlier this week, I was pointed to Cardon Copy, a site featuring the work of New York City-based graphic artist Cardon Webb. Webb takes handwritten fliers posted on the streets of New York (mostly by owners looking for their lost pets), creates an illustrated poster with the same information, then reposts his work where the original flier was taped up. He has a great collection of before and after photos on his site and it's a fun mid-day treat.
Kathryn: ToyBox "Superstar" video
Much to my colleagues' chagrin, I have an affinity for bubble-gum pop and Hindi-film, which, paired with my Scandinavian background, couldn't be more completely packaged / perfectly synthesized than in this tasty morsel of narcissism from the short-lived Danish wonder-duo ToyBox. In light of the past couple of weeks' onslaught of unhappyhipsters emails, seems like the perfect track for that site to auto-play.
Michele: Mardi Gras Indian Portraits
Bywater photographer Christopher Porché West's portraits of Mardi Gras Indians captures the sui-generis costume designs associated with "masking Indian," a celebrated African American Mardi Gras ritual in New Orleans. Since this week gave us Fat Tuesday, I thought now would be a great time to check out these beautiful studio shots of these intricate, colorful, lovingly designed costumes and their amazing wearers.
I was leafing through my alumni mag this morning over breakfast and learned that Amherst College has redesigned the college seal. Hardly groundbreaking news, but then I spied a link on the mag's website that showed the evolution and variants on the seal since the college was founded in 1821. It's not a bit of identity design that I usually think of as all that malleable or really all that relevant--I see it these days on college letterhead when they're shaking me down for money--but I was pretty surprised to see the different forms it has taken. Granted, each is still well ensconced in the academic crest mode, but even within that structure there has been some true variance. My favorite, by some measure, has to be the sesquicentennial symbol from 1971 with it's rather childlike rendering of tony old Johnson Chapel between two trees. Better still, it was designed by an alum named Tom Funk from the class of '33. You wouldn't exactly call Amherst College very groovy, but for a brief second our seal was.
I read an interesting interview on Design:Related with DJ Neff, the creative director behind the rebranding of Chiquita banana. Their latest ad campaign focuses on redesigning the famous blue stickers, which is the biggest icon for the brand. There is a fun, interactive site where you can design your own banana in Chiquitaville.
Amanda: The work of Sabine Finkenauer
One of my never-fail fonts of internet inspiration is An Ambitious Project Collapsing. There I always find new offerings of artful assemblages and pleasing images, and this post on Barcelona–based artist Sabine Finkenauer is no exception. The post led me to her lovely site, which features an impressive array of collages, paintings on canvas, drawings and more.