Geoffrey Long
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Redesigning MIT. Again.

Today I'm responsible for the design of the MIT homepage again. The MIT homepage changes design every day, so if you want to see it, go now!

The design is an evolution of what I posted earlier this summer, with a couple of changes – or, if you will, Easter eggs. First, note the MIT letterforms in the buildings on the upper right corner of the globe. Second, you'll see that the MIT homepage folks wanted something a little 'gamier' than my original design, so I made the aircraft circling the globe into Player One and Player Two. This led me to replace the airliner in the lower left of the original with a second airship in order to avoid 9/11 imagery. Finally, if you look carefully at the scores of Player One and Player Two, you'll see they're actually dates – the start date and the finish date of this summer's program. This was Philip's idea, so my hat's off to him yet again.

I'll add a version of this to my portfolio here sooner or later – I need to dedicate a good, solid weekend to updating this sucker across the board. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to rework this site's architecture to accommodate a new section for 'Academics', and what all that section should entail. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Stay tuned!


Dresden Design.

Am I weird for watching The Dresden Files and thinking, "Wow, that's some really killer interior design right there"? Seriously. The guy lives in a converted warehouse with tons of books and old knicknacks and magical bric-a-brac everywhere. I'd like to live in a converted barn with tons of books and esoteric junk. It's not that far off, really.


Redesigning TIME.

I have to say, Pentagram's redesign of TIME Magazine is doubleplusgood. And that's coming from a guy who's been largely nonplussed by the design scene in recent months. Kudos!


The wisdom of Bill Moggridge.

More wisdom from IDEO's Bill Moggridge can be found in an interview with Newsweek, Of Mice and Multimedia. Near the end, Moggridge explains his vision of the future of interaction design:

The thing that was surprising about the Internet was that suddenly you move from dragging and dropping a file into a folder to the idea of a locomotion interface, where you go someplace. People started to think of files being located on Web sites in space where you went to visit them. In the early days of the Internet that was very appropriate, to be able to feel you were going somewhere and moving through this virtual geography. What’s happening now I believe, and we will see increasing in the future, is that [Web] 2.0 is coming along. It’s allowing us not just to go to a Web site and look at it, but to go to a Web site and then do something. So we’re getting to the point where you have a locomotion that takes us there and manipulation when we arrive, and also community things like YouTube and MySpace. That will mean that we will have more conversations when we get there. That’s the future of the Internet itself and it seems that’s very close.

I'd agree with that to some extent, but I think there's more there – and it's a rich vein to explore. Hmm.


Hella im-pressed.

I'm seriously impressed by the recent facelift that Dan Cederholm gave his website, SimpleBits (well, I don't know exactly how recent it is, to tell the truth; it's been a while since I checked up on my web design links). It's no secret that Dan and I have similar tastes in aesthetics, complete with little brackets, dark palettes and little flourishes – so when I saw his new business cards I was immediately flush with designerlust. Dependable Letterpress may get a call from me any day now.

It's the little things.

A couple of days ago, MacNN rolled out their newly-redesigned forums, and I have to say I'm impressed. The level of detail involved in skinning what's normally a standard, boring element across many websites is serious points. The rounded edges across the board are really sweet, and the style switcher popup is beatiful, but what really gets me going are the rollovers at the top. Rather than a binary state, the hover states are gradual, resulting in a nice glow-and-fade combination. Check it out. It's such a simple thing, but it's a wonderful effect nevertheless.


Work in progress.

One of my great failings as an artist, if not as a human being, is that I'm almost constantly running behind with my projects. This is due to a number of reasons – I'm still learning to say "no", I occasionally get burnt out and have to unwind for a couple of days to get my brain unkinked, and I'm also often a horrendous perfectionist. Still, when something does come together it makes me really insanely happy.

Tonight I think I finished a project that's been on my back burner for months – a new recruitment poster for CMS. Not a minute too soon, either – we need to start sending these puppies out to universities to get some new blood for the 2007-2008 school year. (Bizarre that I may not be around to see the people my work recruits, but oh well.) I'm still learning how to really use Illustrator, but this project certainly helped. A preview:


I'm really hoping they go for this. I like it quite a bit, and I think the streaks in the back of the art coupled with the more elegant design at the bottom of the page (which I cut off for the excerpt, so you'll have to trust me) capture the dual nature of CMS – dynamic, yet rooted in classicism. Wish me luck!

And now, since it's almost a quarter to 3 in the morning... Bed.


Threadless sale!

Cool – the designer t-shirt site Threadless is having another one of their $10 sales, running now through Wednesday. They've also launched several nifty new tees, including Future Under Construction (which I'd buy if it were a print on paper), the deeply gorgeous Night Birds, and, finally, one that I like not so much for the shirt itself but because it shows that I'm not the only dork with too many montors!


One more step towards the perfect studio.

Very, very cool. Check out Gizmodo's First Look: Belkin Surge Protectors, Good for Cable Management Fiends. I totally want to grab a couple of the Concealed models...



My annoyance du jour: the failed promise of PNGs. They seem like they should be the holy grail for so many designer problems, no? But alas, no – support for them is still iffy on almost all browsers, as evidenced this morning by my continued attempts to get a simple JavaScript rollover working with PNGs. No dice. Arrrrrg.

I started out loving web design, but I grew to hate it because of the ridiculousness of the politics involved, the pettiness of the web browsers and the companies who build them, the constant running-to-stand-still nature of the beast (Ruby on what?), the "but my neighbor's kid will do it for $20" of it, and I hate hate hate that I went to grad school to get away from this crap and yet here I am, still building websites.

What the hell, people.