Sinclair Smith & Company is a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Brooklyn, NY. Our services include strategic consulting, industrial design and interior design.



Letterform construction

Posted on Sep 20, 2012 in Books, Typography

“Roman Alphabet (first half) with a Method of Geometric Construction for Large Letters” from The Essentials of Lettering: A Manual for Students and Designers by Thomas Ewing French (1912). Click image to view larger.

$9 Cardboard Bicycle

Posted on Sep 19, 2012 in Craft, Cycling, Process, Product, sustaina-bling, Transportation

This is an impressive concept and execution. It’s funny lookin’, but hey, aren’t we all. Izhar Gafni has my attention. (Via FastCoDesign.) Watch the video

Montana Brewery

Posted on Sep 19, 2012 in Antiques, Architecture, History, I want it

What I really love about this one is that you can tell by the telephone pole on frame left and the roofing on frame right that this structure lived well into the 20th century. I want it.

Montana Post Office

Posted on Sep 19, 2012 in Antiques, Architecture, History

Amazing paneled gothic frieze and crenellations on this victorian building.

Impossible Instant Lab

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 in Endless stuff, Photography

Polaroid prints from iPhone pix. Fun. But I question whether consumers will actually use it after they buy it. The urge to return to tangible prints from digital screen viewing is strong, as seen in instant photo printers from every printer brand, late Polaroid products and from the instagram camera. But I am not convinced that the prints get made and cherished the way they did and were in pre-digi-photo days. Furthermore from a pure design-crit perspective, the formal treatment of this product is not very distinguished or appealing, even in its simplicity. Frankly it looks like the Vitamix. (I still want one REALLY badly.)

Bill Moggridge, RIP

Posted on Sep 13, 2012 in People

There’s a good remembrance of the design leader Bill Moggridge on the Smithsonian blog. I am sorry I did not have the opportunity to get to know Mr. Moggridge. He was on the faculty of the new SVA Products of Design department. We met a few times at early faculty gatherings and meetings but that was it. I often wanted to confess to him that it was I that had taken a jovial dig at him in a blog post on Core77 years ago (misspelling his name!) when I was a smart-assed upstart– as if anything I could have said then would have been a speck of dust floating through his expansive contribution to the field of industrial design and to the way all humans live in the new digital age. Thank you and rest in peace, sir.

The perfectly fried egg

Posted on Sep 13, 2012 in Craft, Food, Process

Ultimately what I do in life is work to make processes of all kinds more efficient and enjoyable. It’s like a tick and it gets into everything from putting on my clothes to arranging work spaces. And so I’ve tried to make a career out of it. But anyway, I also love to cook– one of the richest processes in the human experience. And I love fried eggs. Runny yolk, cooked whites. So it should come as no surprise that the methods of Chef José Andrés get me totally psyched for breakfast tomorrow! Watch the nytimes slideshow. It’s a beautiful technique.

Vigilantes of the Montana Territory

Posted on Sep 12, 2012 in Advertising, Antiques, graphic design, History, Typography

Umm… AWESOME!!!! (via nytimes via the Grolier Club)

So you need a typeface…

Posted on Sep 11, 2012 in graphic design, Typography

Graphic designer Julia Hansen has a clever infographic poster for selecting a typeface. Apparently she has the poster for sale. Here’s the big version. (via JZ)

The limits of Gingham

Posted on Sep 10, 2012 in Fashion

I came across the above photo some time ago while reading a post on Rookie.com. (That’s Tavi Gevinson on the right I think.) Anyway, this photo conveniently illustrates something I’ve been wondering for a while now, and that is what are the reasonable parameters of scale within which the pattern we know as gingham can indeed be referred to as such and when does it become too big or small to continue to be known as gingham? At its essence, gingham is the graphic representation of unbending, transparent ribbons in a basic criss-crossing weave pattern wherein each ribbon is distanced from the next parallel ribbon by a distance equal to its own width. This weave pattern is totally ubiquitous, appearing way more frequently in 3D basket, furniture and textile production way more than it does in 2D graphic abstraction. The weave pattern is shown below and then with a color overlay, rendering it gingham.

Do we call a simple basket woven from flat material gingham so long as the negative space equals the width of the ribbon? No. Do we call a simple weave of threads in textiles gingham? No. That pattern is too small to perceive. Ok, so then when does gingham kick in? Well first of all it has to be a printed pattern I think. But how big does the pattern need to be to become gingham? Maybe at around 0.0625″ or one-sixteenth of an inch in the case of J.Crew’s “micro-gingham.” From there, J. Crew, the most heinous abuser of poor gingham’s gentle reputation for the past few years, moves through their gingham scale:

medium gingham
and peri gingham

Peri gingham. Ha! Peri being latin for “too big to wear out of the house.” Which brings us to the other end of the spectrum. When does peri-gingham become what is better known as “table cloth?” And when does “table cloth” give over to “lumberjack” and then finally to “buffalo plaid?” And then what after that? Where does it all end?!?!?!

These are the things that keep me awake at night. Thank you Tavi and everyone else at Rookie for posting that photo so I could finally write this critical contribution to the web and fashion at large.