A first look at the Sleep cover art

As usual, I am putting the cart before the horse with my new album, Sleep (which may end up with the title Sleepy Sleep, if I can get over the fact that unless you get the Beach Boys reference and understand the history of this project, it sounds kind of stupid).

This past weekend, my 9-year-old son Fletcher drew a phantasmagorical picture that I knew on sight was the perfect cover illustration for an album whose music probes sleep, dreams and the subconscious. I scanned the image, colorized and further manipulated it in Photoshop (while, I believe, staying true to the spirit and design of the original), and added some type set in the Dickens McQueen font designed by Kyle Fletcher and distributed (for free!) by Chank Fonts. (Full disclosure: I built the current version of the Chank website, with design by Robert Pflaum.)

I think this cover art is looking great, and it is going to inspire me to keep working and finish the album!

Zeldman on Outlook 2010

Jeffrey ZeldmanI’ll take Jeffrey Zeldman over Jakob Nielsen any day. (Case in point.) And Zeldman’s criticism today of Microsoft’s inexplicable use of the Word HTML rendering engine in Outlook 2010 despite IE8’s genuine efforts to become standards compliant is true to form. A quote worth repeating in its entirety, re-tweeting (if it weren’t over 140 characters), and having tattooed on your favorite body part:

Big companies love these fictions where one part of the company “pays” another, and accountants love this stuff as well, for reasons that make Jesus cry out anew.

Made in China? Here’s how…

I frequently rail against how seemingly everything that’s for sale these days is made in China, often under harsh conditions and occasionally, as we’ve seen recently with the Thomas the Tank Engine debacle, containing toxic chemicals.

This giant industrial complex China has created is generally a mystery to most Americans. So many things we own are produced there, yet we know almost nothing about it.

Enter Edward Burtynsky, and his photo gallery of an inside look at Chinese industry, published today by Wired.