March 30, 2008
Well Saturday's game was really impressive, despite the fact that we lost. Though overall, the game itself ended up seeming like such a small part of the day. My friend Dave and I got to the Coliseum around 3pm or so - everywhere you turned was a sea of blue. Dave is a USC fan, so he's used to football tailgating at the Coliseum. Neither of us anticipated how much there would be for the Dodgers game. Every parking lot and field in every direction seemed to be filled with blue tents and tarps. We wandered through the crowds, grabbing a beer and some food by the Sports Arena; then wandered over through the baseball festival, which seemed to be mostly a collection of bouncy tents. Eventually we made our way in to the Coliseum. For the size of the crowds, everyone was in good spirits and we never ran into any long lines for anything. As I mentioned in the last post, I had gotten some last minute "crappy" seats out by the Peristyle (the arched colonnade) but when we got to our section, I was glad we had. Our seats were on the stone steps of the Coliseum itself. Maybe I'm crazy, but I just thought that was cool. I kept thinking of all the Grand Pianos for the Opening Ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics that were right where I was sitting now. And the scale of the crowd in the Coliseum for the game was just massive. At 115,300, it was the largest crowd to ever see a baseball game. Ever. Anywere. So even in that regard, we were part of history. And it felt like it. Especially if you stopped and thought that Dodger Stadium is one of the larger baseball stadiums still around, and this was twice the capacity of Dodger Stadium. It was a smart marketing move by the Dodgers as a way to kick off their 50th year in Los Angeles, and I'm sure they made a ton of money with that kind of crowd; but to their credit, they really pulled it off well. It was a day to be remembered.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:58 PM
March 28, 2008
From 1925 until the 1960's, the main ballpark in Los Angeles was Wrigley Field. Yup, just like the one in Chicago. It was even built to resemble it, but with a California flair. It was mainly the home of the Pacific Coast League Los Angeles Angels (along with the Hollywood Stars for a short time). In 1957, Wrigley sold the Angels and the stadium to Walter O'Malley, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Despite promises to keep the Angels and the field, O'Malley moved the Dodgers to Los Angeles, and the Angels moved to Spokane. Originally, the Dodgers were to play weekends in LA Coliseum and weekdays at nearby Wrigley Field and plans were drawn up to expand Wrigley Field, as seen in the drawing above. It never came to be, and for unknown reasons (probably the money to be gained from filling a 90,000 seat coliseum), LA Coliseum became the permanent home of the Dodgers for four years until they moved into the newly-built Dodger Stadium. Saturday, the Dodgers play the Red Sox in an exhibition game before the official Opening Day game on Monday. More than 100,000 tickets sold out as soon as they went on sale. I managed to get a couple crappy seats (out by the arches) last week when they released a few remaining seats that had been held. The Coliseum is said to be a terrible place for baseball - it was never meant to played there. One of the outfield walls is something like 180 feet from home - thats bordering on dangerous for the players. Regardless, although I've lived here for 10 years now, I've never been to the Coliseum - even the outside. So not only do I get baseball, but I get history. I can't wait.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:02 PM
March 25, 2008
March 24, 2008
Speaking of Peeps... The Washington Post held their second annual Peeps diorama contest. They received more than 800 entries. They've posted 37 of their top picks in a gallery, and some are hilarious. Among my favorites are "Thrilla in Manila" - inspired by the Philippine jail dancers; Peepator Craig's Wide Stance - that one's self explanatory (I hope); "Suddenly, there was a Peep" - a nighttime campfire scene; The Birds - inspired by the Hitchcock movie; and "the Lion Peeps Tonight" based on the song of the almost-same title. Check out all of the top 37 in the gallery here:
March 23, 2008
Its Easter. And for me, that means another Easter Dog Parade in Long Beach. I actually missed the actual parade this year, which isn't a big miss because they parade on the sidewalks, so its sort of a mess of paraders trying to fight pedestrians and streetlights, etc (unless they changed it this year and actually closed down a lane of the road). Regardless, the real fun is the gathering in the park before and after the parade, so I was able to catch that. As miserable as some of the pups may look in these pics of them in their costumes, they sure weren't acting like they minded a bit.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:40 PM
March 21, 2008
Back to the architecture house tour from the CA Boom V show... The rest of the tour included Delta H Design's Creative Living Space in Culver City - a live/work space that gave you the feeling of a loft without sacrificing the amenties of a home. It was one of my favorites. From there we moved on to the Alan Family house, a turquoise and white jetsons-esque rear addition that is completely hidden from the street. the Anderson Residence in Santa Monica was the best house on the day's tour. Unfortunately, they asked that no interior photos be taken for the sake of privacy, so I cant show you the inside. It was impressive how the architect created this flow of light and shapes that traveled throughout the house. This house also featured accents of "bonderized" steel throughout - that was a new one to me. We actually ended up getting a bonus tour of one other home that wasn't on the tour. Pics from that one coming soon...
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:31 PM
March 20, 2008
[Skipping the house tour one more day, because this post is time-based] Scott Kleeb is a Nebraska Democrat who ran for Senate in 2006 and came close to winning in a district that has long been considered a Republican stronghold. Kleeb is running again and similar to Obama, represents to me a new generation and a new brand of Democrats, and also like Obama, he seems to be showing some recognition of the importance of branding. Kleeb is holding a logo competition that I read about a few weeks ago. I'm not usually a fan of contests for graphic design - they usually bring about some scary results - although that could also be a result of whoever does the judging for those contests. (Again, the old design by committee complaint I and many designers bitch about - resulting in compromises that usually kill the strength of any design. "What if we take this piece and add that part...") I wanted to enter, but ended up never having any time to come up with anything before the dealine. Today I ran across a link to the top four choices, which he is asking everyone to vote on. I have to admit, I am pretty surprised and pleased with the four finalists. I hope he also takes a cue from Obama's campaign to recognize the importance of a full visual identity system, of which the logo is just a small, albeit important, part. All the logos are good choices. If you don't want to be influenced my opinion, stop reading here and skip to the link at the bottom to vote for yourself.
As for my personal opinion, while I like the first choice, it is strikingly similar to the new identity for Ruby Tuesday restaurants (which I also like). The second is nice as well, but is a little reliant on color and doesn't seem like it would work as well in a single color (which is an important factor in logo design). The tractor and star elements could also be troublesome when reduced to a very small version. The third is my favorite. I love the reference to a cattle brand and the reference to the shape of the state, without being completely obvious about both. It also would work equally as well as a single color without the leather texture, and it holds together when reduced to a very small size. It's both confident and localized to Nebraska, without relying on traditional political logo gimmicks (like stars and stripes, etc). And of course, the fourth choice is nice as well, but suffers from being a less-strong version of the third choice. While nice, it lacks the strength and energy of choice three. But, thats just my opinion. Make your own known and go vote for yourself. (also a note, I extended the background myself on choice two and three above - original versions are on the link below).
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:28 PM
March 19, 2008
Taking a break from the house tour for a day so it doesn't get too boring for some of you... The Apple logo was included in an earlier post on logo evolutions, but I ran across a link today on Design Observer that led me to a detailed page on Apple's early design by Gene Gable. Aside from the first logo, this is the first I've seen of materials from the first year of Apple (the Apple I era) including a users guide, advertisement, and warranty page; whose display type looks like it may be set in dry-transfer type. Ronald Wayne, one of the three original partners (along with Steve Jobs and Wozniak), designed the materials. Wayne left the company after two weeks, selling his share of the stock for $800. (Think there's a story there?!) In 1977, as they were preparing to debut the Apple II, they went to ad agency Regis McKenna, who designed the apple logo. The logo's rainbow stripes were meant to highlight the fact that Apple was one of the first computers to support color graphics. The logo remains today, though without the stripes, a testament to the longevity of good simple design.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:13 PM