Kenya Hara on MUJI

I love this quote from Kenya Hara of MUJI, via my Automattic colleague and design cylon Michael Pick.

We don’t want to be the thing that kindles or incites intense appetite, causing outbursts like “This is what I really want,” or “I simply must have this.” If most brands are about that, MUJI should be after its opposite. We want to give customers the kind of satisfaction that comes out as “this will do,” not “this is what I want.” It’s not appetite, but acceptance. Even within acceptance, however, there is an appropriate level. Our goal is to elevate it as high as possible…

…I would like to recognize the fact that desire sometimes involves obsession, causes egoism, or strikes a sour note. I wonder if humankind, having rushed after desire, has finally reached an impasse. Both the consumer society and individual cultures, chasing after desire and driven by appetite, are hitting a wall. In this sense, today we should value the qualities at work in acceptance: moderation, concession, and detached reason. Might acceptance be a form with one more level of freedom? Acceptance might involve resignation and slight dissatisfaction, but raising the level of acceptance thoroughly eliminates both. To generate “this will do,” by creating this very dimension of acceptance, one that is clearly self-confident and also truly competitive in a free economic society: this is MUJI’s vision.

New VaultPress Logo and Ads

Matt covered the new logo and ads we just created for VaultPress. I’m happy with how both came out.

Delicious Design League created the logo and Automattic’s VaultPress creative team (MT + Meghan) came up with the ads, which are running now on the Deck network.

Read more on the VaultPress blog.

Game Mechanics and the Real World

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more about “DICE 2010: Design Outside the Box“, posted with vodpod

This talk by game designer Jesse Schell is fascinating and well worth watching.

Jesse generalizes some of the principles behind the success of Facebook games like Farmville, many of which are ultimately rooted in basic human psychology. He then extrapolates how these principles may play out in real world settings as Moore’s Law enables the embedding of sensors and cameras in things as mundane as toothbrushes – with the potential for effecting massive changes in human behavior.

Continue reading Game Mechanics and the Real World

Jordan University Mozilla Club Site

jordan mozilla club

I learned about the Mozilla student club at Jordan University through Issa Mahasneh’s group on Spread Firefox, the online home of our Firefox marketing community.

Hey Issa: this is a really well-done design. Great combination of an overall visual metaphor (a student’s desk), professionally-executed graphic design, and balance overall between your copy and imagery. Thank you for sharing this!

* For those of you who are students or interested in general in helping out with grassroots marketing projects, check out Spread Firefox and The Mozilla Blog to participate or just keep up with our adventures bringing Firefox to the world.

Friend in a Box

sonyon Sonyon: weird, melancholy, awesome Korean toys.

“We were trying to imagine a boy in the future,” says founder Kim Bo-min, “and all the things that boy would hold in his imagination.”

“People who dream would most enjoy the brand,” adds Lee Joo-eun, Kim’s business partner.

“You could say Sonyon is analogous to Peter Pan.” But without the Disney-fied sheen of eternal happiness; Sonyon is still, after all, Korean. “When you walk around Seoul, you experience both happiness and sadness in the things you come across. Likewise, Sonyon lives somewhere between a happy place and a sad one.”

Via Theme Magazine.

high contrast ideas

chuehpaintings.png

I found Luke Chueh’s portfolio site over the weekend while I was switching my blog theme over to fSpring. Along the way I briefly dabbled with the GlossyBlue theme by n.Design but there were too many colors to sort out, and I suck at making gradients. (I do have to say that Kuler was really useful last night for testing color combos.)

I was trying to find an icon I could use as a sort of spirit animal for this blog. (“Spirit animal” being a high-falutin’ way of saying “cute mascot with portentous undertones.”) Anyway, a few searches later I found Luke’s site.

I really like this style. There’s a bunch of other people in L.A. and Tokyo working this vein. I don’t really know what it’s called, but “ugly cute” works for me. Check out Kozyndan, Mori Chack and Yoshitomo Nara for more.

header-icon.png Here’s the icon I was going to use, built off Luke’s Monkey King painting. I’ll find a home for him yet.

thank you jon hicks

I’m a case study for vendor lock-in and switching costs.

I still use Yahoo! Mail – six years and counting – even though I’ve got at least three Gmail accounts. (I use Gmail just for newsgroup posting. There’s also this nagging feeling I get about being logged into the mother ship while searching, but that’s another story.) I tried the Yahoo! Mail beta a bunch of times, but always came back to the old school version because it felt way faster on my G4.

I also still use Bloglines, even though all the cool kids moved over to Google Reader an eternity ago. I’m just used to it, and it gets the job of plowing through feeds done.

But I have to admit loving the shiny.

Thanks to some fine design hacking by Jon Hicks, part of the original Firefox visual identity team, I am enjoying a much prettier Bloglines tonight. (Ironically I found the Bloglines skin at a post Jon wrote about skinning Google Reader.)

To wit:

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Before

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After. Yeah baby.

So thanks Jon. You made a design geek very happy.