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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: hipsters, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 6 of 6
1. Ypulse Essentials: Macy’s Courts Millennials, ‘Hunger Games’ Fans Are Hungry For Merch, Myths Of The Millennial Workforce

Macy’s wants to be the department store for Millennials (and it’s hoping to make that happen through a series of initiatives it’s launching over the next three years to bring its Impulse and mstylelab departments in line with... Read the rest of this post

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2. Ypulse Essentials: Microsoft Goes After Millennials With msnNow, The Benefits Of Social Networks, The Muppets To Present At The Oscars

Despite having grown up with the Internet at their fingertips (college students aren’t very good at using Google to find information they need. Ethnographic research shows they have trouble refining their results and they aren’t making the best... Read the rest of this post

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3. That Ain’t Irony, Son: The Hipster T-Shirt Dilemma

Hipsters have taken irony from us. They’ve co-opted it and mutated it into a sad little shell of what it once was. Just as they’ve done with The Golden Girls. Irony to the hipster is nothing more than creating a clash of symbols. Which is really just sarcasm, not irony. One only need examine these snippets of conversation I overheard at a recent Dirty Projectors concert:

“Check it out, I’m wearing a trucker hat. No, I don’t truck. Too many carbon emissions. I ride a bike. It’s ironic.”

“How about this knarly beard? Am I lumberjack? No. Clear-cutting is appalling to me. I work in IT, but I do own a Bonnie Prince Billy CD. Ironic, huh?”

“My T-shirt? Why yes that’s a BP logo. Why? Because I despise them. Irony at its best.”

It’s the T-shirts that get me the most. It’s rare to find a T-shirt that’s ironic by itself. This one succeeds. These do not. Yet if you search “ironic t-shirts” on Google, you’ll think that every t-shirt with a pun or a flippant quote is ironic. Alas, situations provide irony. Catchphrases do not.

Now, I’ll give hipsters some credit. They’re not necessarily buying the corporate produced T-shirts that are clearly aimed at them. They’re scouring garage sales and thrift shops and boxes in their parents’ attics looking for something unique. But there’s nothing ironic in a skinny, pasty hipster girl wearing a T-shirt that says 1993 First Team Bucks County Nose Tackle. It might get a few thumbs up at a Jonathan Lethem reading, but that’s the opposite of irony, because that was the intended effect. She wanted to impress like-minded people. The T-shirt would only be ironic if it produced the opposite of the desired effect, in some synchronistic way.

For instance, imagine the girl wore that T-shirt to a town hall meeting where the debate of the night involved tearing down an art gallery  to put in a football stadium. She may be trying to voice her indignation in the form of an absurd, illogical T-shirt. But what if the town board saw the shirt and said, “Well, we were going to turn down the stadium proposal, but obviously the town is full of football fans, most notably the skinny, pixie-haired girl, who once challenged the status-quo by succeeding in an arena traditionally ruled by obese black men. Football stadium approved!” Now that’s ironic.

The picture above shows a mugshot of a man wearing a “World’s Greatest Dad ” T-shirt. Skirts the edge of irony, but it ain’t quite it. Turns out the man was arrested for soliciting a 14-year-old online, certainly not the actions of the planet’s finest father. Ironic? I’m still not convinced. It’s disturbingly contrary, like a terrorist donning a peace sign, but it isn’t ironic. For his sake, part of me wants to imagine he is a dedicated hipster, and he wore this shirt, and committed this crime, so that I would blog about him and say he is the greatest ironic prankster of his generation. But I won’t do that. Because I believe in the integrity of irony. And I believe this guy is really just a pervert.

1 Comments on That Ain’t Irony, Son: The Hipster T-Shirt Dilemma, last added: 5/27/2010
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4. Ypulse Essentials: Listen To ‘Glee’ Original Songs, Hipster Muppets, ‘Cyberbullying’ And ‘Sexting’ Enter The Dictionary

Check out the original songs (by the cast of “Glee.” Ryan Seacrest got the exclusive debut today on his radio show, and from the sound of it, he’s a fan. New York Magazine, however, not so much) (Billboard) - Surprise! Online... Read the rest of this post

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5. AIGA’s 50 Books/50 Covers Exhibit

On Monday, the Art Department took a field trip to see the AIGA’s 50 Books/50 Covers of 2009 exhibit.  It was a worthwhile show to attend, but I had mixed feelings about it.  For one, the non-traditional gallery presentation (above) brought both advantages and challenges.  I loved the low bleacher set-up for books, because I could sit and relax while browsing heavier volumes.  But the bleachers did the covers a huge disservice; not only did you have to bend down repeatedly to pick up each individual cover, you had to flip the card over to even see the image.

But the main reason that I left ambivalent over the 50/50 exhibit encompassed more of my greater feelings about design in general.  Without a doubt, the books on display were creatively inspiring.  I loved thumbing through the photos and art, the lavish paper stocks, and the 3-dimensionality of a beautifully-presented package.  Books like these make me want to go home, stay up all night and make ART.  It makes me feel a little inferior that I’m not doing that kind of work already.

At the same time, though, many of these books get right to the heart of one of my greatest pet peeves: design for design’s sake. Design should always serve a purpose, complement its material, and make content accessible to its consumer. I love design because it places equal importance on being functional AND visually pleasing.  But many of the 50/50 books suggest the opposite. Type running into more type, or scattered across the page, or written in tiny Helvetica Bold . . . these things appeal to the hipster art-design community, but aren’t the best solution for the general reader.  Go ahead and be as artsy as you want, but please, let it make sense.

That being said, I’ve composed some highlights of the exhibit to present my case.  I’ll showcase my favorites, as well as some titles that really made my blood boil.

A perfect example to explain my point?  Two books, no type on the cover:


Afrodesiac (AdHouse Books) – Perfectly captures the 1970s exploitation and comic book crazes. The interior contains pictures, not words. Generally all-around badass.

vs.

Manuale Zaphicum (Jerry Kelly LLC) – Yes, the letterpressed interior is absolutely gorgeous, but I found a blank cover for a book about a type designer to be annoying-ironic, not funny-ironic.

See what I mean?  Okay, now on to some favorites:

Pictorial Webster’s (Chronicle Books) – Gimme gimme gi

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6. ‘Nerd’ is the word

By Adam Rosen A little over three weeks ago, Hurricane Irene passed through New York City. Although residents greeted warnings from authorities with wildly varying degrees of seriousness, their response was nearly uniform: hunker down. Even for those types relishing the chance to buck official admonishment, there wasn’t much point. Concerts were canceled, beaches were closed, and untold numbers of brunches went unserved. I wasn’t, in truth, all that bothered by the state of affairs.

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