Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow Light Heat

This video can also be seen at YouTube, but I like Vimeo better.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Levi's tag, now on Roku

Levi's jeans have a little cloth tag on the back right pocket. They've had this tag for . . . well, forever, as far as I know.

It's a cool visual thing. Distinctive.

That little tag has now been adopted by Roku -- the Netflix-streaming, media box thingy! There's a Levi's-style tag on the Roku's remote control and on the unit itself! I find that to be mind-boggling. Sure, it's accepted that a piece of electronic equipment would have its name embossed into the surface or raised out of the surface or printed on the surface or stamped out of something that looks like chrome and stuck on the surface. But to have the name on a cloth-like tag sticking out of the surface? Boggling.

The little tag -- which is some kind of plastic-cloth with the name on it (unfortunately, I think, printed on rather than woven into the cloth) -- makes the remote stick out on the coffee table. Also, the little tag hits the hand holding the remote and reminds the user that, indeed, this is the Roku remote.

Unrelated, but also cool -- the remote opens to access the batteries through a solid-feeling end cap, not a flimsy little door. The remote opens and closes with a satisfying snap. Good job, Roku!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Grand Theft Garage Logic

Joe Soucheray, the Twin Cities newspaper columnist and radio personality, has written a book based on his radio musings. I'm certain his book has nothing to do with the video game Grand Theft Auto, but the choice of typeface suggests it is so.

Update: Type aficionado and type designer Mark Simonson mentions in the comments that the font in question is "Pricedown" and it's designed by Ray Larabie. The font is based on a font named "Pinto Flair" that was probably used in the design of the logo for "The Price Is Right" game show. If you want your product or event visually associated with "The Price is Right" or "Grand Theft Auto" or both -- you're in luck. "Pricedown" is available for purchase at

Friday, December 17, 2010

And your point is . . . ?

I'm familiar with people writing phone numbers on bills and putting mustaches or lipstick on George, and there's the bill tracking website that follows bills around the country.

But what is the reason for this stamp on the dollar bill?

There's a gun owner out there with a rubber stamp? Okay, not really a surprise.

"Let them take arms." My response would be, "Hey, knock yourself out."

Monday, November 01, 2010

Hand-lettered yard signs

Happy to see a local sign painter is getting some business. Usually this kinda stuff is just scrawled in marker on posterboard or laserprinted and stuck to posterboard. This way an actual artisan is getting some money. Good for the economy -- good for small businesses.

(Notes: The signs are referencing the following people, all, coincidentally, are Democrats. Betty McCollum -- the current U.S. Rep in this neighborhood -- is up for reelection. Her lawn signs read "Vote Betty!" The exclamation point seems to lather people up. Mark Dayton is running for governor of Minnesota. He's wealthy -- and he wants to raise taxes on the wealthy (and apparently kill jobs, too). The last sign is about Mark Richie, who is running for reelection as Minnesota's Secretary of State. Richie presided over the Coleman/Franken recount from the 2008 election. And because Coleman lost, the Coleman backers believe the recount was rigged by Richie.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Charty charts

Charts -- like photos -- can lie. Not that this chart is lying -- but I think the secondary point it's making is a little misleading.

To me, this chart is saying the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is spending a lot of money for Republicans in this year's election. But the secondary point is: But look how much money the Democrats are spending on their side -- more than the Chamber by far!

I think the secondary point of the chart is Republican party supporters are spending more than Democratic party supporters. And that is obscured by the NY Times' chart.

So, I spent some time with Adobe Illustrator to remake the charts.

First, remaking the original chart, but using a straight bar chart. I occured to me that the Times was doing some kind of area chart/ bar chart combo where the bars are different widths. So the height of the bar is not representative of the amount. Odd.

Next, I grouped the bars by party, giving you something of a sense of the different amounts being spent by each side.

Next, the classic pie chart.

And finally, a stacked bar chart which puts an emphasis on the amount spent by both. Just under 110 million for the Republicans and just under 60 million for the Democrats.

The same data. A fairer chart? Maybe. A different secondary point? Absolutely.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lawn signs -- stars

It's lawn sign season. Stars are a theme. Here the signs I've found in my neighborhood -- in the order of star count.

One star.

(I haven't found any two star signs.) Three stars.

Four stars. (Kinda like two thumbs up.)

Five stars.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Machete Machete

In the late 1970s, type wizard Mark Simonson designed a monthly broadside newspaper named Machete. Machete's slogan was "Never dull." It was black and white and fantastic all over. And the logo was unlike anything I had seen. Sharp, dangerous and very cool. After all these years it still looks great.

Anyway, I saw the movie "Machete" on Thursday and I just had to do this. As always, click for bigger.

Bike safety tips

Some instructional pictures from a bicycle safety brochure posted online at

I wish bike riding wasn't like this. I wish there were separate bike paths -- away from cars.

Anyway, these instructional drawings are taken completely out of context and are posted here strictly for amusement value. To see what they are really about, please refer to the original brochure.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nice bumper sticker

Saw a great sticker on the back of a truck. I like the sentiment (Bikes have responsibilities). And I like the graphic.

But the average bike is a lot smaller than the average car. As I was thinking about that, I happened by this parked car. I parked my bike and took a picture.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Like watching paint dry. But it's glue.

Working on my crop art. The deadline is next Monday, Aug. 23. Coming up quick! Anyway, if you wonder what making crop art is really like, I'm blogging my very slow progress at another Blogspot site.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lance Ward video

South St. Paul painter and cartoonist Lance Ward talks about his near-death experience and the effect it has had on his artwork. The video is illustrated with Lance's drawings and paintings.

[Please note: Lance uses strong language near the end of this video.]

My pal Ken Avidor had the idea to videotape Lance telling this story. I tagged along to run the camera -- and I then edited the final piece. Incidentally, the Wrapped Watertower video was recorded on the way home from Lance's house, so it was a very productive trip. Thanks for inviting me along, Ken!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

All I wanted

Nice to know that you will get "all you wanted" when you sign up at a particular hospital group or insurance company. Bring on the higher expectations.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Video: Watertower vertical waves

Driving around on Saturday, this wrapped watertower caught my eye. To me it looked like waves in a vertical pool. Big, scary, weird. The wrap is on the tower for sandblasting -- to keep the sand from flying all over the place.

(And I guess the covering can be raised and lowered like a theater curtain. That may be the subject for some other another video.)

Wrapped Watertower from David Steinlicht on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nice sign

I like this sign. The typeface used (mostly Franklin Gothic, I think), the colors, the slightly worn look, the three-over-three name, the design of the sign. It's just nice.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The corner of my eye

Out of the corner of my eye I read this sign "2 Dogs & Snake."

Using the magic of Photoshop, I move a few pixels around and here it is.

Guess I'd better go re-watch "Escape From New York."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Big plans

Something is going to happen on this corner.