kottke.org posts about Khoi Vinh
Khoi Vinh tells us how he really feels about coffee.
In the West, and particularly in urban centers of the United States, we've turned coffee into not just a daily habit, but a totem of conspicuous consumption. They are "rituals of self-congratulation" (a choice phrase I believe I read from Sam Sifton, but which I can't seem to source) wherein we continually obsess over certain coffee purveyors or certain methods of brewing coffee - each new one more complex, more Rube Goldbergian and more comically self-involved than the previous brewing fad.
I don't drink coffee either (don't even like the smell), but as someone who regularly indulges in other addictions and "rituals of self-congratulation", I don't take issue with other people's enjoyment of coffee...as long as I'm out of earshot when the "perfect grinder for pulling a great shot" discussion starts.
Coffee, like almost everything else these days, is a sport. Everyone has a favorite team (or coffee making method or political affiliation or design style or TV drama or rapper or comic book), discusses techniques and relives great moments with other likeminded fans, and argues with fans of other teams. The proliferation and diversification of media over the past 35 years created thousands of new sports and billions of new teams. These people turned hard-to-find nail polish into a sport. These people support Apple in their battle against Microsoft and Samsung. This guy scouts fashion phenoms on city streets. Finding the best bowl of ramen in NYC is a sport. Design is a sport. Even hating sports is a sport; people compete for the funniest "what time is the sportsball match today? har har people who like sports are dumb jocks" joke on Twitter. Let people have their sports, I say. Liking coffee can't be any worse than liking the Yankees, can it?
Mixel Nov 10 2011
Mixel, a free iPad app from Khoi Vinh and Scott Ostler, has launched. Khoi explains what it's all about here.
Our app is called Mixel. It's a collage-making tool and a social network rolled into one. With Mixel, anyone can create and share digital collages using images from the Web, Mixel's library, or your own personal photos from Facebook or what's right on your iPad.
Mixel is such a great name...can't wait to play with this when I get home tonight (I left my f'ing iPad at home today).
Khoi Vinh has a new book coming out next month called Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design.
"Ordering Disorder" is an overview of all of my thoughts on using the typographic grid in the practice of Web design. The first part of the book covers the theories behind grid design, the historical underpinnings of the grid, how they're relevant (and occasionally irrelevant) to the work of Web designers -- and a bit of my personal experience coming to grips with grids as a tool.
The second part of the book, which makes up its bulk, walks readers through the design of a full Web site from scratch, over the course of four projects.
Vinh did the art direction for the book himself, so it's bound to be purty (and grid-y). The perfect early holiday gift for the web designer in your life.
Fresh off several years as Design Director of nytimes.com, Khoi Vinh gives his opinion of the current batch of iPad magazine apps. I think he's right on.
My opinion about iPad-based magazines is that they run counter to how people use tablets today and, unless something changes, will remain at odds with the way people will use tablets as the medium matures. They're bloated, user-unfriendly and map to a tired pattern of mass media brands trying vainly to establish beachheads on new platforms without really understanding the platforms at all.
The fact of the matter is that the mode of reading that a magazine represents is a mode that people are decreasingly interested in, that is making less and less sense as we forge further into this century, and that makes almost no sense on a tablet. As usual, these publishers require users to dive into environments that only negligibly acknowledge the world outside of their brand, if at all - a problem that's abetted and exacerbated by the full-screen, single-window posture of all iPad software. In a media world that looks increasingly like the busy downtown heart of a city - with innumerable activities, events and alternative sources of distraction around you - these apps demand that you confine yourself to a remote, suburban cul-de-sac.
Khoi Vinh, design director of NYTimes.com and Subtraction, will be answering questions from readers all this week. Look for Khoi's initial responses later in the day and week.
Khoi has some thoughtful notes (+photos) about his experience with a digital photography class he's taking. "The more I learn about photography, the less interested I am in close-ups that fetishize surface textures, and the less impressed I am by well composed but basically inert subjects that don't communicate a narrative of any particular stripe."
Khoi Vinh on the move...he's the new Design Director for NYTimes.com. From the outside, it's one of the best jobs in web design and it's been filled well. (via waxy)
Paragraph looks like a neat idea. It's a writer's workspace located near Union Square here in NYC. It's like a gym, except for writers. You pay a membership fee and then you can show up and use the facilities (desks, kitchen, your own locker for your stuff, wifi, etc.). More on Paragraph at designer Khoi Vinh's site.