is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Vice President of User Experience at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. You can reach him through one of the services below.+
I suspect not a lot of readers of this blog are also subscribers to NYTimes.com’s Times Select, a service that allows access to the Times’ opinion and editorial columnists, access to up to one hundred articles per month from the archives, access to special, Times Select-only blogs written by guest journalists, and assorted other goodies. It’s a pretty divisive feature, I know, and I’m not trying to sidestep the arguments against it here — but today, under the heading of “assorted other goodies,” we debuted a new, monthly feature from the legendary illustrator and designer Maira Kalman which I think is pretty great.
On the first Wednesday of each month, Kalman will publish a new set of her quite amazing drawings and paintings in an “illustrated column” called “The Principles of Uncertainty.” There are six of them posted today, and they’ve already garnered over seventy reader comments posted to the page, which, I think, is pretty amazing for pay-only content.
In general, I’m pretty enthusiastic about illustration appearing just about anywhere on the Web, so I’m very happy about this. It’s unique, somewhat unexpected stuff, literate and playful at once, and one of the reasons I came to work at The New York Times. You could make a pretty convincing argument that “The Principles of Uncertainty” is made possible only through the particular economics of Times Select; it’s Web-only content that might otherwise be a tough sell to advertisers (as part of Times Select, it’s advertising free). But I’m not trying to invite a critique of the service. Really.+