Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Funk We're In

Baltimore is taking detrimental cultural blows.

Thankfully, for the moment this image is a quite dramatic Photoshop rendition of the currently still alive-and-kicking Senator Theatre, no doubt designed to tug at the heartstrings of all who treasure this theatre. Heartstring-tugging is old hat for the owner of The Senator, who has been able to keep the doors open after being on the verge of closing countless times, thanks to contributions from many sources. Baltimore has a sky-is-the-limit love for The Senator, but this time (thanks to the economy of course) the money we have to save it is limited to virtually nothing. In the case of The Senator, money actually can buy you happiness.
As we speak, The Senator Theatre is holding a press conference so that the public can show their support in it's transition to a non-profit 'Arts & Entertainment' venue. This appears to be the only way to save it. What this means is that The Senator won't end up looking like the above photo. But the classic movie theatre tradition of The Senator as we know it will probably cease to exist over the course of the next two years. For an idea of what to expect, think The Patterson... Not that there is anything wrong with that, but, there kind of is. So continue to support The Senator. Bookmark it and remember to place priority on The Senator over Muvico Egyptico. They will still be showing movies for some time to come.
This means that if you really want to see the Wrestler, don't go see it at the Landmark. Hold your horses and wait until it comes to The Senator. It should be there in a couple weeks.

Friday, January 09, 2009

F|O|R/M : New Identities

Originally I was going to post something b-flat about the new PEPSI packaging and logo redesign. Something along the lines of...
'new packaging AGAIN?', or
'was that intended to boost the American morale?', or
'in this economy do we really need PEPSI spending millions of dollars on new super graphics for the sides of their truck?' and so on....
But instead, I thought it was about time (though I am 9 months late), to give some props to MICA for redesigning their identity.
They went from old-timey and BLAND:

To -sorry I have to say it- GRAND almost over night:

Though it was a bit of a slow process, I'm proud to see that the school is evolving with the rest of the art world. Most artists are all too familiar with the fact that art school does a sub-par job of preparing them for the real world. Maybe MICA will be different.
This new identity spans across the entirety of the school's reach, from the website to the admissions package, even to their strange, white, windowless vans, with the new logo emblazoned on the side, though I haven't quite figured out what the purpose could be for all of those strange, white, windowless vans... Unless it's a mobile method for showing off the new logo.
The new identity is solid, classy, and unlike PEPSI, there will be no need for a redesign in ten years. It is timeless. If I come back to Earth in 200 years, I hope to still be seeing it on the sides of their strange, white, windowless spaceships.
Though the design of the new identity was OUTSOURCED(!)(Would it would have made too much sense if all of this had been designed by MICA students, and thus providing testimony to the school's ability to prepare their students for the real world?) But who am I kidding... art school will never do that. Anyway, it was designed by Pentagram, a nice, very well rounded design firm.