Thursday, January 29, 2009

Domino Thoughts

Like a lot of other design bloggers, I was saddened to hear the announcement about the demise of Domino magazine yesterday. And, like many (see here and here and here for a few other reactions), it got me thinking about how the decision to cancel the website as well as the printed magazine seems to show a lack of understanding of just what the web is all about these days. Considering that much of the costs of magazine publishing is in creating a physical product (print costs, paper costs, distribution costs), why aren't more major magazines exploring the idea of online magazines? Sites like Issuu show that there's still a tremendous demand for magazines, so it seems short sighted, to say the least. So here's my idea: what about a new hybrid of Domino that's both website and virtual magazine? It would follow the lead of independent magazines that offer a limited online version plus (for a fee) the ability to download it so you can read it in full and create your own print version if you prefer. Considering the loyal (and tech savvy) following that Domino has, it seems to me that Condé Nast has squandered a remarkable opportunity. What do you think? Would you pay for an online magazine subscription to Domino?

(photo by Justin Bernhaut, May 2007 issue of Domino)


Welcome to this week's buffet — enjoy.

Domino to Close
It's likely that you've heard the sad news by now — yesterday it was announced that Domino magazine will be folding, due to the recession. In the press release issued yesterday, Condé Nast CEO Chuck Townsend said, “Although readership and advertising response was encouraging in the early years, we have concluded that this economic market will not support our business expectations.” So disappointing, and hard to know what to say about it, too.

1000 Novels Everyone Must Read
The Guardian's Review team and a panel of expert judges have drawn up a fearsome list of novels from any decade and in any language. Organized by theme – love, crime, comedy, family and self, state of the nation, science fiction and fantasy, war and travel – it's a list that will keep you busily reading for many many years.

For Sale: The Apartment of Christian Lacroix
Christian Lacroix is selling his seventeeth-century Le Marais apartment in Paris — though he's staying in the neighborhood. The listing has lots of photos of his colourful and eclectic apartment — very much like his clothing design, actually. Via fashionologie.

Nate Williams Desktop Wallpaper
I love the fun and cool style of illustrator Nate Williams's work — and now he's offering a whole bunch of great desktop wallpaper designs on his website. Via How About Orange.

Tintin Movie
I'm a bit baffled by the whole idea and casting for this — a 3-D motion-capture film of Hergé's classic comic The Secret of the Unicorn directed by Steven Spielberg. The cast includes Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell as Tintin, James Bond star Daniel Craig as the villainous pirate Red Rackham, and Hot Fuzz stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as Thomson and Thompson. Andy Serkis is on board as Captain Haddock. It's the first of a planned trilogy of Tintin 3-D motion-capture films conceived by Spielberg and Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, with Spielberg directing the first film, Jackson the second and an unnamed director the third. Hmmm ...

A Designer's Portfolio, 16th Century-Style
Fascinating post by the always excellent Creative Review blog about ‘model’ or ‘pattern’ books, used by our design ancestors to show their work to potential clients — and to teach assistants how to reproduce the house styles. These books are extremely rare, but recently the British Library discovered a prime example – the so-called Macclesfield Alphabet Book, dating from c1500. It's filled with wonderful designs for different styles of script, letters, initials and decorative borders. Great post, with lots of great photos, too.

The Bocuse d'Or Competition
The New York Times is blogging right now about the Bocuse d'Or competition, known informally as the Culinary Olympics — if you're a really serious fan you can watch a live feed of it here.

Pulp Gallery
An online collection of classic pulp fiction book covers from the 30s and 40s, featuring detective, sci fi, mystery and ghost genres. Wild stuff! Via things magazine.

The quirky dining room was photographed by the amazing Tria Giovan. Via Desire to Inspire.

Poladroid Experiment

A while ago I downloaded a copy of Poladroid — the fun little app that turns regular photos into ones that look like Polaroids — but it wasn't until this evening that I had a chance to try it out. Here's the result of my first experiment (after several tries — the colours turned out a bit differently with each one, just like the real thing). I used a photo I took one summer afternoon of two perfect little eggplants I'd picked up for supper — they look a little moody here, but I can assure you they were (eventually) delicious!
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