Happy Holidays, ManMakers! Each year, I make this confession: I'm a total obsessive geek about collecting "modern rock" holiday songs: seasonal tunes by alternative, indie, and otherwise not-Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole artists. This year, my collection broke 500, making for thirty-two hours of non-cheesy holiday goodness.
No, they're not all completely amazing, but most are solid, and they serve as the soundtrack to my season, and, coupled with a candy cane, the most immediate way to inject the holiday spirit into my home and...uh, self. So, each year, I pick a few of my favorite tunes to share with ye merry gentlemen and women.
Designer Dan Gneiding has released "Dude," a new "reverse contrast" typeface, inspired by country music legends: "Whiskey drinking, train hopping, fist fighting, hard loving, prison breaking, men and women, who poured their hearts out in song."
While these free downloadable labels certainly aren't the only take on pretend poisoning your Halloween (or, if you've a sense of humor, anytime) potent potables, they're among the most believable and well-designed I've run across.
And with that,
Me? I'm a seasonal desktop and mobile background changer. I update them about four times a year, and then I keep the "used" ones in a folder, and will occassionally look back on them. Like those who obsessively catalog their days on their calendars or datebooks, or who are much better at keeping a journal than me,
Herman Miller, the design and furniture manufacturer behind such classics as the Eames lounge, Noguchi table, marshmallow sofa, and the Aeron chair, is giving away some seriously sweet free desktop backgrounds and wallpapers.
There are tens (hundreds?) of thousands of free fonts available for download, but most aren't worth keeping around to filter through when working on a project.
And then there are these fine typefaces from foundry Font Fabric,
Dutch designer Marjan Verboeket created free plans for this simple, rustic table and stackable bench. Constructed from an inexpensive single 8x4' sheet of plywood, you can have all the pieces cut to size at the hardware store, and assemble it at home with a few nails and glue.
The seats slide under the table for storage, making this a great solution
It's springtime! Which means its a new season, and time to freshen up your spaces. So, show your computer a little love by cleaning out your inbox, putting your desktop back together, and downloading a fresh typographic wallpaper.
The 2012 South By Southwest festival is scheduled to feature more than 2,000 musical acts, plus many more impromptu shows in various parking lots and sidewalks. Meaning, if you listened to only one three-minute song by every band, you'd have invested more than 100 hours, and, unless you're a music journalist who gets their music hand-delivered, a whole bunch more time and money locating and purchasing each song.
Enter The Austin 100, a streaming collection of "100 handpicked festival highlights and thrilling discoveries in a meaty but digestible microcosm of SXSW."
The design team at Fossil is well-known for their warm and worn vintage-inspired design aesthetic...and they're freebies. They recently posted a great collection of thusly inspired desktop backgrounds for your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
Okay... I know. Anytime you start making "best of" lists, you're tredding into dangerous territories. No single list could possibly cover the breadth of music releases, critics are always biased, etc, etc.
Got it. But, if there's anyone who you can actually trust to share, explore, and digest the full spectrum of a year's releases, it's the people that made this list:
Dear friends -
Last holiday season (ManMade's first Christmas!), I created a mix of some of my favorite "alternative" Christmas songs, and it was a decidely huge hit with readers. The emails asking for another this year began in October, so seeing as it's the season for giving, my gift to you: the ManMade 2011 Modern Rock Holiday Mixtape!
Over the past few years, I've sorta developed an obsessive hobby of trying to find non-Andy Williams or Nat King Cole Christmas songs to soundtrack the kind of holiday that I've come to love as an adult.
Heads up, cool kids: Math is way hip. Particularly, geometry, facets, and gem shapes have been everywhere designy for the last two years, and there's no reason the holidays shouldn't be included in the trend.
Case in point: this geometric garland. It looks nice and handmade, is holiday-neutral, and the colors are winter-y enough that you could leave it up through February.
Okay...get this. Not only is paper artist Tommy Perez offering a collection of free, downloadble paper mustaches, but paper artist Tommy Perez is offering a collection of free, downloadble, crafting-inspired paper mustaches.
It gets no more ManMade than this, my friends.
Who wouldn't wanna participate in a movement who dub themselves an "Open Source Laboratory for the Development of Sustainable Furniture?!"
Dosuno Design is a collective that maintains, "We as industrial designers have been privileged to recieve a great education, and we feel it is our personal responsibility to give back to the community. In this case the return comes in the form of our intellectual capital which we push forth to develop low cost furniture solutions that anyone can manufacture for themselves."
And give back they have! They've release a PDF including step-by-step instructions for creating three original pieces of DIY furniture from scratch.
Last week, I shared Keri Smith's "How to Feel Miserable as an Artist," and it was huge hit with ManMade readers. Turns out, that chart is just one page of many from Keri's excellent The Artist's Survival Kit, a free downloadable booklet to keep your creative self motivated, inspired, and sane!
When you've created a quadruple album in which all four records are meant to be played on four stereos simultaenously, created an original musical film entitled Christmas on Mars, and become one of most inventive and interactive touring bands (while creating a crazy, sci-fi'd Art Deco home), what's left?