Eleven Times Square

Eleven times Square

Fourth in a series of major Times Square Office signage and wayfinding programs we have completed, a fifty-foot illuminated beacon identifies FXFowle’s Eleven Times Square. A comprehensive signage program including this beacon and the Subway station on 42nd Street are all part of this new development. Despite its Times Square address, it actually sits on Eighth Avenue immediately north of the New York Times building. See more details in our Projects section.

Helvetica Hotel

Helvetica Hotel

Today, it is almost a shock to see the sort of striking minimalist design that was probably most associated with Massimo Vignelli in the Sixties. It is a reminder that a simple typographic system and color palette, expertly used, can hit you right between the eyes a lot more effectively than many of the graphic gymnastics we are now more familiar with. This Helvetica Hypothesis, by designer Jung Hwan shows how it works.

Harry Beck Redux

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For years now, Harry Beck’s 1931 angular London Transport tube map has been the seminal example of how to diagram transport systems. However, the system is much more complex now than when it began and designer Jonathan Fisher has responded to the resultant cartographic complication by suggesting a map based on the more conceptual idea of radial and circular lines, which is more how you tend to think of your travel in London. Interestingly, Harry beck also did some initial sketches which showed that a similar concept had also crossed his mind. Above, we compare the new suggestion with the familiar existing layout.

Union Station Washington

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Working in association with Lance Wyman, we have recently completed the design phase of a wayfinding and branding system for Union Station Washington. After considerable research, and the creation of a detailed masterplan document, the key proposal of this difficult and complex project is an overhead light track and fingerboard system, clearly defining the major circulation routes, and providing directional information to a carefully chosen hierarchy of destinations.

Concentricity

ConcentricTypeforms

In 1968, our colleague and Wyman/Whitehouse partner Lance Wyman, created the now famous Mexico Olympics logotype. So memorable, it has become the de facto logotype for the country in many instances. This typeform was informed by the concentric structure seen in Huichol wool thread panels and spiral Pre-Columbian stone carvings. At the TEDx conference in San Miguel de Allende this year the theme of the conference Future Now was titled by designer Lynn Rawden in Ideoma Liner, a typeface designed by the Ideoma Communications Agency, a new typographic interpretation of this cultural reference and an interesting continuation of the theme.

TEDx San Miguel de Allende

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This year’s TEDx in San Miguel was packed to the gills, and predominantly with young people, many of them local students. Here, Xavier Fux speaks of Urban Agriculture as a promising strategy for the new Millennium. Other contributors included Sara Hoch, who has successfully dedicated herself to the revival of the Mexican film industry, and, as Director of the Guanajuato International Film Festival, is responsible for an extensive new headquarters for GIFF here in San Miguel, construction of which will begin in January, and which will include two auditoriums and extensive film, video, and sound production and post-produchtion facilities.

A gorgeously shot short film about Baltazar Ushca who has harvested ice traditionally from Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo for over 50 years.

TheLastIceMerchant.com

Off to SEGD 2013 in San Francisco

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While I head off into the sunset to the 2013 SEGD conference in San Francisco, the New York studio will be manned by Roger and staff to answer all pressing client issues. I’m excited to be back in San Francisco – one of my favorite best coast cities. Unlike Los Angeles, San Francisco understands what it is to live in a city with occasional crappy weather. Call it what you will, it makes the citizens a much more relatable bunch than those farther south, who can’t truly appreciate the urgency to enjoy good weather.

Design & the Senses

Today Roger Whitehouse spoke to current students and faculty at Parsons School of Design in New York City. He discussed how lessons learned at The Lighthouse project, in New York, were invaluable to understanding that perceptions on how people encounter spatial environments are not universal.

Roger Whitehouse Speaking at Parsons

Ghost – A Blogging Platform

Ghost Screeenshot

At Whitehouse & Company we believe in Open Source technology. We use WordPress for almost every website we design as it is a rock solid CMS which allows our clients to actually use their websites to interact with audiences, rather than create static experiences.

WordPress started, back in 2003 when we were still using the free blogging system Movable Type. Unfortunately in 2004 Movable type decided to tighten their licensing and start charging for use of their software and stop distributing a free version. This fundamental change made us jump ship and swim over to WordPress, which at that point was a huge switch in our process. We had never fooled around with PHP and having to learn, albeit superficially, a programming language was a huge undertaking for busy graphic designers. Movable Type later realized the error of their ways and created a free version for personal use, but by that point it was too late, we were addicted to the open source WordPress. Almost 10 years later we are still happy WordPress users and have donated, on behalf of ourselves and clients, hundreds of dollars to the application’s development.

However, WordPress is now arguably more CMS than blog software. For our client’s professional sites, this is a good thing, but when you compare WordPress to the ease of use of Tumblr for blogging, it falls short. It lacks the “get out of your way” mentality that Tumblr uses to spotlight content and spur conversation. WordPress is a wonderful website creation tool, but as a blogging system — it is a little overwhelming for a quick post. Tumblr, however, is not open source, nor can it be hosted on your own server and the content owned exclusively by you.

Ghost Kickstarter screenshot

In light of this, and in the interest of supporting options in the Open Source community, today we have backed the Kickstarter campaign for Ghost, a new platform for blogging. It looks both beautifully designed and elegant. Best of all, Ghost will be free (if fully funded) for anyone to try, use, experiment and most importantly — express themselves.

Give it a look, and if you agree with their mission, donate a few pounds… they’re English.

Update

Even in the short space of time from yesterday to today, the Kickstarter has rocketed from £7,000 when we funded it, to an impressive £45,000. So it looks like Ghost will be a successful reality for everyone. They are still raising money and if they raise enough they will add benefits to supporters. Go help them out if you haven’t already.