This Is Locomotion - Design, Code, and News

Archive for 2009

Google and another terrible redesign

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Google recently redesigned the Google Apps homepage. While it certainly was (sort-of) a good step in the right direction, I must say that whenever I look at their design work it just looks like it was slapped together last minute.


They started off well with the nice drop shadows on the headings, but then completely lost it in the details. Their icon work in general lacks polish and the button stating “Begin Free Trial” lacks both a hover state and corners that are anti-aliased properly. The page layout is simple enough, but I just wish they could hire someone who actually has the capability of making buttons that just state “I’m a gorgeous, sophisticated, well developed button, click me.” I guess this is yet a continuation of what you get when you have engineering decisions driving design decisions.

In this day and age with the plethora of incredible Photoshop tutorials on creating polished button interactions this type of mistake demonstrates a sheer lack of attention to detail.

Ikea says goodbye to Futura

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

This week Ikea made the decision to switch it’s dominant typeface used in all it’s catalogs from gorgeous Futura to Verdana. I simply cannot understand why any designer in their right mind would make such a switch knowing that Verdana really pales in comparison as a typeface for headings. Moreover it is a Microsoft typeface. Sigh.


Take a closer look at this typography sample below and you’ll notice just how wrong Verdana is compared to Futura for their usage. The uppercase “i” in particular just irks me. I get that they wanted to keep their branding consistent between their online presence and their catalogs but with inventions like TypeKit on their way there really is no excuse for such a poor type choice. More to the point, Verdana isn’t even a Scandinavian typeface, at least Futura was created by German born Paul Renner so it is sort of in keeping with their Scandinavian stylings. Oh Ikea, what are you thinking!


A typeface for drivers

Monday, July 27th, 2009

iQ font – When driving becomes writing.

When two type designers, an interactive artist, and a professional race car driver got together… a font was born.

The creativity behind the creation of this typeface is really inspiring. It’s rare to get a glimpse at what goes into designing a typeface and I really enjoyed the documentary.



Posters for Men

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Posters for Men

I love the classic style of these humorous and playful vertically designed posters by Omar Tehawkho outlining the keys to being a man. His works include Skills A Man Should Possess, 5 Step Plan For Making Your First Billion, 3+2 Things A Man Oughta Do in His Lifetime, Top 5 Male Occupations, and The 5 Key Steps of a Proper Shave.

Advanced Beauty

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Advanced Beauty 7 of 18 / Directed by Jelle Feringa from Universal Everything.

Advanced Beauty is “an ongoing exploration of digital artworks born and influenced by sound, an ever-growing collaboration between programmers, artists, musicians, animators and architects” that was developed by the bright minds of Universal Everything.

Yvon Chouinard on sustainability

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Fast Company recently interviewed Yvon Chouinard (one of my business heroes) on his thoughts on sustainability. His drive and determination is unstoppable. A true inspiration to the environmentally minded business man.

Yvon Chouinard fishing in Terra del Fugo
A passion for outdoor activities, fishing in Tierra del Fuego | Photograph by Doug Tompkins

“I’m kind of like a samurai,” says Yvon Chouinard, founder of outdoor-apparel maker Patagonia. “They say if you want to be a samurai, you can’t be afraid of dying, and as soon as you flinch, you get your head cut off. I’m not afraid of losing this business.”

He may actually mean that. Ever since Chouinard began forging mountain-climbing pitons in 1957 and selling them out of his car, he has defined his business’s bottom line as something other than pure profit.

Photographs of Mass Consumption

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Beautiful, industrial, unsustainable, dramatic. Photographer Chris Jordan describes the photos in his series “Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption” as his “first foray into being an engaged artist.”

Photographs of Mass Consumption
The idea [behind this series] was to capture the scale of [our] mass consumption. It was the first time I stood in front of piles of the detritus of our mass consumption.
~ Cell phones #2, Atlanta, 2005

Cell phone chargers
Initially, I thought I was seeing the scale [but] in the end, I realized this was the tiny tip of the iceberg.
~ Cell phone chargers, Atlanta, 2004

Typeface of the month

Thursday, July 16th, 2009


If today were your last day…

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

An excellent article from Good Experience poses a series of thought provoking questions on the nature of work during a recession.

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” ~ Steve Jobs

It’s easy for Steve Jobs to make this point, but is it the same decision for a worker at GM who has 4 kids and a mortgage? Tough times mean tougher decisions. The real issue for most people I believe is overcoming the fear of starting something new or pushing beyond what is comfortable. When you start expanding your horizons you begin to discover the things that you love. It is then only a matter of pursuing those things to the utmost, even if it simply starts in your spare time.

Havaianas, Gold

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Havaianas, Gold sandals
Nothing reminds me more of the Caribbean or of South America than this ad for Havaianas sandals. The photo contains in my opinion the perfect colour combination for creating a kitchen that makes you smile every morning at breakfast. Of course it might not make you smile if you are not a morning person.

“By reflecting Brazil’s easygoing personality, its soul and culture, we’re building a unique identity. Transforming a simple rubber sandal into the first truly Brazilian global brand.” ~ AlmapBBDO