Thursday, June 19, 2014

Netflix gives their logo a makeover

I just noticed on my Apple TV menu that Netflix updated its logo. It is more flat and simplified (much like a new google). It is still on a arch but I thin it is now cleaner more arched line.  I didn't notice any other changes in their service. I think that the opening page is simplified to three options Browse, Kids, and DVDs - but I am not sure of how much it changed.
On apple TV

old logo
new logo on apple TV

new logo on their website

Monday, June 2, 2014

Shinzi Katoh & Zakka: Fun, Kitsch or Applied Art design?

I discovered him on ebay while looking for interesting blankets for Lulu. I found one and I instantly fell in love! I ended up buying one for each of my girls.

Lulu and her Shinzi Katoh Little Red Ridding Hood blankie
Shinzi Katoh is Japanese Zakka designer.  Zakka from what I found, is a fashion and the design trend from Japan. In Japanese it means "many things"or "a little bit of everything".  It is basically everything that one can use in everyday life - at home and on the go,  and that one never really need from a practical standpoint :-)  From colorful can openers, cute tea sets, and bento boxes; through whimsical cellphone charms and covers; stationary, masking tapes, purses, pouches, handkerchiefs, and toys,  zakka designers offer cute and beautiful alternative to everyday items.

Zakka is the art of seeing the savvy in the ordinary and mundane . Some may consider it a kitsch, others an applied art at its cutest. I think it is both and I absolutely love it!   Tadao Kushimatsu, one of Japan's largest advertising agency analyst, says: "Cute is not enough. To qualify as a zakka, a product must be attractive, sensitive, laden with subtexts".

Shinzi Katoh Rabbit Tea Set, Tea For Two

Zakka art reminds me of many handmade products that one can find on Like the Teeny-Tiny Dolls in my favorite and way out of my price range etsy store

My Teeny-Tiny Doll (MTTD) Bunny

Shinzi Katoh designs remind me very much of old Russian children books illustrations. Clearly, along with fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood,  the Russian/Soviet art is one of his inspirations:

"Colorful Bears"- Russian book 1967
"Riddles" - Russian book 1956
Shinzi Katoh lunch box

Shinzi Katoh postcard
Little Girl - Doll by Shinzi Katoh

I love the whimsy in Zakka style. Why shouldn't we add a splash of color, texture, fancy and happiness to everyday items?

I would compare it to the design change brought by late Steve Jobs to the world of personal computers.  From the candy-colored iMacs and Clamshell iBooks of the '90, through minimalistic Mac Cube, super sleek skinny Macbook Air, whole spectrum of pretty little iPod nanos, to the wonderful GUI of all iOS devices - Macintosh products are known not just functionality and quality performance, but also beauty, innovation, style and the friendly design. iZakka :-)

 Here is my last Shinzi indulgence: Surprisingly capacious mini pencil box:-)