Some design podcast suggestions!Read More
In the latest installation of The Palace of Typographic Masonry, designer Richard Niessen takes on the rich variety of spoken and written languages.Read More
“As system designers, we have a responsibility (and opportunity) to design systems with stronger values. They may not change us (we are old), but our children will see the values in these systems as normal. That is both scary and exciting.”Read More
myfonts.com has a newsletter–and they send out free fonts on Friday!! Sometimes it's a range of weights and sometimes just one–but it's worth your money ;)
Here are some examples:
Perfectly pairing a penchant for cool stationery with a love for classic Japanese architecture, the Omoshiro Block by Triad is an office supply with a twist. Aptly (and loosely) translated to “fun block,” each one-of-a-kind memo pad reveals a beautiful architectural model as it's used, turning traditional note-taking into an exciting excavation.
Together, the laser-cut pages that compose each Omoshiro Block produce an iconic building in Japan, ranging from centuries-old sites, like the Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto, to more modern marvels, like the iconic, Tour Eiffel-inspired Tokyo Tower. The surprise site begins to reveal itself as one tears off the strategically-shaped notecards. Once the entire cube is used, the intricately crafted architectural model is fully unearthed, leaving you with your very own miniature work of art.
It is not just what's left that makes this memo pad special, however. In addition to its building-shaped remains, the sheets extracted from each Omoshiro Block feature fascinating cut-outs, from human figures to leaves and flowers.
Currently, this ingenious item is only available at “creative life store” Tokyu Hands in Osaka. Hopefully, however, it makes its international debut soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out similar products in our selection of surprise gifts.
Two scripts, one typeface. Check out Adelle Sans (Latin or Arabic).Read More
“Guard against that vanity which courts a compliment, or is fed by it.”
"Surfing some design-inspiration sites with my hype-busting, critical “U-X-ray eyes” :) I often come away with smoke rising out of my ears. Like the title says this is a rant, but don’t take it too seriously. I’m trying to make a point.
Yes, I know that some of these design showcasing sites are not meant to be necessarily for real-world products, but then I still say they need to reflect a thoughtful approach to design, primarily by asking the main question “Who is this for?”, “How will people use my product” and “Is it actually usable?”.
Superficial app designs that follow the latest fads and blatantly ignore basic usability conventions, UX best practices, and fundamental principles of interaction design would most likely fail in the real world! Luckily, they usually don’t go beyond the generally ridiculous, self-parading fantasyland on Dribbble and Behance.
Unfortunately, these “concept designs,” a single screen in an imaginary app, only serve to perpetuate designers being labeled as “artists” — as pretenders who only care about the veneer, pretty colors, and typefaces. Nowadays, any app design has to go way beyond that.
I’m talking about UX."
The history of Herman Miller design has always had a somewhat utopic and storybook allure for design lovers. For starters, the setting is an unusual one: the company known for shepherding modern furniture into American homes and offices is and has always been headquartered in Zeeland, Michigan, population 5,500. Despite this, the major players read like a rolodex of famed and irreverent mid-century architects and furniture makers—Gilbert Rohde, George Nelson, Isamu Noguchi, the Eames’, Alexander Girard, Robert Propst. Working for Herman Miller under Nelson, designer Irving Harper dreamt up both Marshmallow sofa and the Herman Miller logo. Internal posters designed by Steve Frykholm, who was the company’s design director until last year, are now a part of MoMA’s permanent collection. He made them for the annual company picnic.
Read about how women shaped Herman-Miller by clicking this sentence.
Back in the late 1970s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him: “An impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.”
Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design?
His answer is expressed in his ten principles for good design.Read More
Party Next Door challenges what defines a “magazine” and reaffirms what “party” means
Refreshingly, in the wake of the tiresome “Print is dead! No it isn’t” chatter that’s been waffling on for a while now, the notion of what a “magazine” is, and could be, has been broadened into wild, exciting new possibilities. Content is expanding beyond the tried-and-tested art/lifestyle/fashion worlds—as in this magazine celebrating work by immigrant artists, and highlighting the complexities of the O-1 Visa application. The idea of ink on paper has long been challenged with the proliferation of online publications, and with the likes of Pop Up Magazine, a publication that exists only as a live iteration, for just one day.
Cats are often viewed as loners who relish their alone time, so you’d hardly expect them to be in cahoots with other felines. But when you pick up a set of the wooden Cat Pile game, you’ll see that it turns the notion on its head—or back, or tail. Created by the Taiwan brand Comma, the felines—posed in a variety of ways—are meant to be stacked in seemingly endless combinations, with the ultimate goal that they form a pyramid-like shape.
Cat Pile is often associated with the classic game Jenga, although Comma’s creation is played in reverse. Jenga is started with the tower fully assembled and challenges you to disassemble (and reassemble) it brick-by-brick without toppling over. Cat Pile, in contrast, instructs you to start at the base and juggle the wooden teak pieces atop one another. No matter how precarious they may seem, the last person to successfully stack a kitty without it falling will be crowned the winner. When you’re done with the game, the cats double as modern home decor and make a fun accessory for your desk.
One set of Cat Pile includes six kittens that measure approximately two inches tall by three inches wide by a half-inch thick. Each set has its own colorful sticker on the packaging. There are two colors—pink and blue—now available in My Modern Met Store. We also have a verision of Cat Pile which has smaller pieces for sale as well.
What is art? What is design? What is a poster? Big questions, and pertinent ones too—with one designer boldly attempting to solve them (or at least, open up a big old discussion about them.) That brave person is Rita Matos, who’s based in Lisbon, Portugal, and recently held an exhibition of her personal work in order to root around in such tricky conundrums.
The show, held at the tail end of 2017 at the gallery FOCO, was curated by fellow Lisbonian Joana Portela, who describes it as “part of the desire to bond the universe of design with contemporary art, and to test the boundaries of typography into a more artistic purpose.” It marked Matos’ first solo show in a contemporary art gallery, and features more than 20 unique posters, in which she “has been searching and developing in an experimental way, as a freelancer and in collaboration with musicians and other designers close to her personal and professional circuit,” Portela says.
But why do we need to be examining such questions? From what Matos tells me, the exploration seems particularly pertinent in her home city, where she feels there’s a more pronounced divide between the worlds of art and design than there perhaps is elsewhere. “I’m not starting a movement or anything, but it does feel unusual to see a graphic design exhibition in this kind of contemporary art space in Lisbon,” says Matos. “Maybe in other places it wouldn’t be so unusual, but here it seems a little more odd, so I thought it would be fun.
“I also wanted to use the exhibition to make a statement, that it doesn’t always have to be about the same sort of artists, work, and moods. It was interesting to see a lot of people coming to the show, because suddenly you have a room with all the design people I work with, and my design friends; and also the people who are used to going to that gallery to see paintings and sculptures or something more ‘traditional.’ It was interesting to see these people in the same space, talking about whether it’s art or not. It was our intention to create that discourse.”
Managing to both blend in and stand out at once, the Transparent Speaker from industrial design studio People People takes an unconventional approach to home sound systems—and we love it. Based in the undeniable design capital of Stockholm, Sweden, the creative crew of designers and strategists have dissected the traditional speaker and replaced all non-essential surfaces with tempered glass, giving a space age aesthetic to what once would've been considered a ghetto blaster. We saw their first prototype in January at CES and are psyched that 11 months later they're geared up for manufacturing."
Images courtesy of People People
"Google engineer Max Braun wanted his ordinary bathroom mirror to look more like the futuristic fixtures you'd see in the movies–the kind that transmit information directly onto the mirror. Though these smart products are not yet on the market, the parts for them are fairly easy to obtain. With this in mind, Braun decided to build his own mirror of the future."
"This clock is made of more than 400 parts, is powered by weights, and was designed and built by one person."
"Tesla’s goal has always been focused on going green, rather than creating the driverless future. (Its mission is emblazoned on its factory walls: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”) Yet as the automobile industry settles on the consensus that self-driving cars are coming — their promise to improve safety and to help ride-sharing replace car ownership for many Americans propels their inevitability — Tesla finds itself in the midst of a contest to do both. This set of challenges should be enough for any company, especially one led by a chief executive whose time is compromised by other business commitments as a founder of a rocket company (SpaceX), a new tunneling operation (the Boring Company), a company planning a human-computer interface (Neuralink) and a nonprofit focused on the dangers of artificial intelligence (OpenAI). But Tesla has given itself a few others too. One is to essentially reinvent modern manufacturing processes at the Gigafactory. Yet another is to create the first mass-market electric car ever. In the meantime, a company that has never made much profit needs to somehow figure out how to do so — that is, to put itself in the black before financial losses and missed deadlines curdle any hope that Tesla inspires, among customers or stockholders, into skepticism."
"If I didn’t know better, I’d lazily describe Studio Parasto Backman’s work as “playful,” or “bold,” thanks to the gloriously bright colors and apparently whimsical hand-drawn typographic elements that abound. But having spoken to the studio’s eponymous founder, there’s so much more to these elements than neons and fun: her color palettes and letterforms are inherently political.
"All designers understand that client feedback is an essential part of the design process. It can be challenging, however, not to take offense when your creations are criticized. Client feedback is often constructive, but sometimes you receive feedback so bad you can’t help but laugh, let alone take it personally.
We recently asked the InVision community to anonymously share the worst piece of client feedback they’ve ever received, and, oh boy, you’re in for a good chuckle. Here are our 10 favorite submissions, illustrated."
"Back Story: Antique Gothic is your typical condensed sans serif—except for its ability to morph into nearly infinite versions of itself. How’s that? It’s a parametric typeface—the latest from Prototypo, the Kickstarter-funded initiative launched in 2013 by art director Yannick Mathey and developer Louis-Rémi Babé.
To understand what a parametric typeface is, we should take a step back. The term parametric originates in mathematics, where it describes equations that use one or more independent parameters to express coordinates defining a curved geometric object or surface. Parametric type first appeared on the design horizon in 1977 when mathematician Donald Knuth introduced Metafont, a programming language reliant upon geometric equations to construct its letterforms."