The August heat is met with some refreshingly cool items for you this time: beloved movies reimagined as vintage paperbacks, graphic design on the Internet Archive, and winners of the 2023 iPhone photography awards. Plus, a bit on social media that hopefully won’t leave an aftertaste. Let’s dig in.
“Good Movies as Old Books”
From the aged look, illustration choices, and director-as-author to the logo and occasional price, these are all … perfect.
Volume One is 100 titles, and while that book is sold out, prints are available at his website. The items in Volume Two, due this month, are guaranteed to be awesome.
Graphic Design on the Internet Archive
Another treasure via Jason Kottke:
archives.design is a labor of love site run by Valery Marier where she collects graphic design related materials that are available to freely borrow, stream, or download from the Internet Archive. I’ve only scratched the surface in poking around, but so far I’ve found Olivetti brochures, a collection of theater programs from the 19th and early 20th centuries, several Apple things, The Vignelli Canon, a specimen book of wood type from the 1880s, and many issues of Emigre. What a resource!Jason Kottke, kottke.org
Some of these are fantastic — set aside some time to explore and enjoy.
2023 iPhone Photography Winners
I don’t always link to these contests — it often seems like the publicity (and rights!) are all about the folks holding the contest rather than the people entering them — but I often look, and am always impressed with the quality coming out of a “simple” iPhone.
And while both of the above are (relatively) recent phones, in the latter case showing the macro capabilities of an iPhone 12 Pro Max, even older phones can highlight the talent of the person using it:
Shot on a 2017 iPhone X. Nice.
A Moment Regarding Social Media
I’m not going to spend much time on this; I eschewed pretty much all forms of social media years ago now, and don’t regret it. That said, I do keep up with social media in the meta sense (a word that’s been stolen, as far as I’m concerned, by — wait for it — a social media company), and have noted the pain and concern associated with the implosion of Twitter.
While this conversation started with Nick Heer and the always-excellent Pixel Envy, it’s obviously evolved as the year has seen one extraordinary
cage fight event after another.
For the past decade, It’s been all but required for serious brands to maintain a social media presence […] yet instead of scrambling to claim digital real estate across all these newly emerging platforms, some companies are choosing to be more judicious about which platforms they choose to join. In some cases, they’re learning from brands who jumped the social media ship years ago.Chris Stokel-Walker, BBC
The quote above, from the BBC, attempts to answer the question, “Why your favourite brand may be taking a social media break.” Short answer: it’s complicated. I’d argue there’s an even shorter answer — it’s smart! — but for people and brands that aren’t yet established, social media is often key to discoverability.
This may be especially true for artists, designers, photographers, and others in the self- and small-business-employed creative field. Indeed, let’s go to a great source for those in the arena, Creative Boom, who recently spent a minute asking, “Creatives are saying social media is over… so what next?”
Like any new craze, it was fun for a while. But there’s certainly nothing new about it any more. Facebook’s now been around for almost two decades. Twitter’s 17 years old. Even Instagram has reached its teens. And while many of us joined these platforms during their fun, “anything goes” eras, when everything was about the users, now it’s all about the algorithms and their use to make venture capitalists vast amounts of money.Tom May, Creative Boom
While I agree that social media is a mess and has been for a while, I’m absolutely not going to tell you to give it up — only to remind you that I have given it up and continue to be completely okay with the decision.
I do want to ask you, though, to choose wisely:
Enough said. Turn off the computer, go forth, and enjoy a beautiful summer’s day.