A Walking Tour Times Two: New York Magazine Hits the Streets with Michael Surtees


Rare is the day that you get a two-fer on the same story. Such is the case with our pal Michael Surtees and his being followed around by New York Magazine. First, the piece itself, “Street Walker: A Design Expert Discerns the Good, the Bad, and the Odd in Curbside Culture” by Emma Pearse, who tagged along with Surtees as he picked out interesting bits of advertising, design and art in Soho and made miscellaneous comments about said things. The second bit comes from Surtees’ terrific blog, wherein he talks about the process of working on the piece with Pearse and how challenging it was to be asked to be a designer but not to talk like one, so as to be understood by normal people. If you want the full experience from the inside-out of a design essay, here’s your pick of the week. Here’s a little from New York’s intro:

What is happening out there on the streets? Or, rather, on the walls and subways and sidewalks where street artists and advertisers show off their new ideas. In this new, occasional department, we ask design professionals to tell us what they see when they traverse the city. What tricks are advertisers using? Is pink the new orange? Michael Surtees, an art director at Renegade, a Chelsea-based design agency, and founder of the blog DesignNotes, took us on a tour of Soho (with a few other downtown stops), where bold colors, eighties video games, and surly little childhood characters are dominating street art and creeping into advertising.