Approaching the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is exciting. It appears to be a revolutionary – perhaps even a magical – piece of technology. There’s a lot that we can’t know yet about how it will work and how the marketplace will support it, but it seems fairly obvious that Apple will sell a ton of the $349 model - the lowest price point - to early adopters, gadget lovers, and discerning gift-givers. It’s very possible that this tier could even grow to perform as the original iPod once did for Apple.

But since the big reveal earlier this month, I’ve been struggling to articulate the nagging sense that something about the Apple Watch wasn’t adding up. Apple showed a beautiful product, to be sure, and laid out an impressively-produced narrative. Tim Cook, Jony Ive, et al. made the move into a new category (wearables) and a new genre (high fashion) seem effortless. The material was so easy to enjoy that it’s taken me some time to actually figure out what was giving me pause.  A couple weeks on, I think I have.

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Friday Music

“Touch” by Shura. Out for a few months now, I only just discovered ‘Touch’. No problem; it perfectly captures the feeling of summer slipping away. A little self-consciousness, a little sorrow, a little Marvin Gaye. Beautiful.

Starry Night: An LA Galaxy Poster

The LA Galaxy have a pretty cool tradition: they ask artists and designers to create posters for every home match. I’ve been following this year’s series and it’s had some really good moments.

This week, it’s my turn.

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I was incredibly flattered when the Galaxy reached out to me to create one for this Saturday’s coming home game against the Whitecaps. This poster is my visual tribute to the club and a particular Hall of Famer on the team who wears the #10 shirt.

Note: If you’d like to learn more about the design, or even purchase one (proceeds go to charity), you can do so here.

How did I arrive at this design, exactly? Here’s what I was hoping to get across.

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A Moment on the Radio

Earlier this summer, I traveled to Brazil to see the US play in the World Cup. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip; I’m going to write up a little travelogue soon. One of the cardinal rules of going away for more than a couple days is that “interesting stuff, that you would normally be all over, happens back home and you can’t really take part in it.” It sure happened to me. This is a bit old now, but I want to mention it separate from my travels – if only because the whole thing was such a cool experience in its own right, and something I’ve never really gotten to share with everyone.

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A Boston Dream for the New England Revolution

I’m still waiting to become a New England Revolution die-hard. They won’t get me until they move into the city; the team is on record as wanting such a move, but in almost two decades, nothing beyond some shuffling of papers has happened.

That hasn’t stopped me (and many others) from dreaming about what a beautiful urban soccer stadium could do for our city. Boston would instantly - mark my words, from day one - become one of the most passionate fan bases in North America. The Revolution would be a cultural happening in the city, and matches would be events. Boston is a soccer town waiting to be unleashed.

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Three Limited US Soccer World Cup Prints

The World Cup is a great excuse to design. My apparel shop, Clean Sheet Co., has you covered for shirts; now I’ve worked up something for your wall too. Just in time for the USA’s run in the 2014 World Cup, I’m pleased to announce a very cool collaboration: three USMNT-inspired poster prints - one for each opening round game - designed by me and hand-printed by the artisans at Boston’s renowned AntiDesigns studio.

USA vs Ghana 

click to order USA vs. Ghana at shop.mwillis.com
order USA vs Ghana here

USA vs. Portugal 

click to order USA vs. Portugal at shop.mwillis.com
order USA vs Portugal here

USA vs. Germany 

click to order USA vs. Germany at shop.mwillis.com
order USA vs Germany here

Each hand-pulled, edge-to-edge screen printed poster measures 11” x 17”, and is brought to life with gallery-quality inks on beautiful 100 lb. Speckletone stock by French Paper.

These prints are extremely limited - I’m working with AntiDesigns to make a small initial run, and only 39 prints of each match will be available. You can grab individual matches or order all three as a set; single match prints are just $25, and a set of all three is a pretty good deal at $60. Pre-orders are now open at shop.mwillis.com, and we’ll ship them during the World Cup (end of June / beginning of July).

If you’re a fan of US Soccer, or know someone who is, you might just want one - or even all three.