Scarfolk: creepy blog is now an amazing book

Back in August, I blogged the announcement of the forthcoming Discovering Scarfolk, a book-length adaptation of the brilliantly creepy Scarfolk Council blog, which chronicles the government publications of a English town that is forever trapped in a loop from 1969-1979, a town that's like Nightvale crossed with Liartown USA, written by John Wyndham. Today, it's out!

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Streetwear for superheroes


I found Volante Designs at New York Comic-Con today and was instantly taken with their dramatic coats and hoodies, styled to look like something a superhero would wear, all made in the USA.

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The In Vitro Meat Cookbook

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Unreal lab-grown oysters from "The In Vitro Meat Cookbook," a glorious exercise in recipes as design fiction from Next Nature. More over at re:form.

Second skin spacesuit

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MIT researchers are developing a "second skin" space suit lined with tiny coils that contract when switched on, tightening the garment around the body.

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Chair that casts a monstrous shadow


At first glance, Yaara Derkel's 'Coppelius' chair appears to be a friendly "thonet" style wooden chair.

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Scott Albrecht: new show of hand-drawn typographical art and woodworks

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My hypertalented pal Scott Albrecht, a Brooklyn-based artist and designer, has a solo show of his hand-drawn typographical illustrations and wood sculptures opening tomorrow at Philadelphia's Art In The Age boutique and gallery.

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Visual Explanations - Tufte's best book

Edward Tufte has made his career teaching us how to create compelling factual illustrations. He follows his own advice in his four exquisitely designed books which he has self-published over the past decade. Each book develops his ideas of minimal decoration and maximum understanding for charts and diagrams. All his books are good, but I think his second, Visual Explanations, is his best. It is a short course in conveying critical information in a visual form. Whether you start with text, data, or ideas, he lays out some sound principles in how to convey these facts in pictures. His own pages are great examples of how readers benefit by these principles. Printed with love, including pages with pasted in cutouts, this timeless book will never go out of date, and is likely to be passed on to future generations.

Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative, by Edward R. Tufte

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Thoughts on Design – Paul Rand’s iconic design manifesto back in print

Decades ago, when I was a budding graphic designer, I found a copy of iconic designer Paul Rand’s then out-of-print Thoughts on Design at the annual State Department book sale in DC (a mecca for bookworms). The modest little tome made a big impression on me. Rand’s insistence on the integrity of form and function, his immaculately modern designs, and his brilliant sense of humor (often with cleverly hidden visual puns in his designs) really helped wire my nervous system as a designer.

Sadly, this seminal book has been out of print since the 1970s. But no longer. For the centenary of Rand’s birth (Aug 15, 1914), Chronicle has re-released Thoughts on Design. The new edition remains faithful to the 1970s edition (the one I had), with the addition of a new foreword by designer Michael Bierut.

One impressive thing about Rand’s book to me was always how much he was able to say about the nature of good design in 96 short pages (with the majority of those pages reproductions of his work). He was a master at arriving at designs that boiled down the essence of the intended messages, be it an advertisement or a corporate identity, and he similarly renders out the heart of basic design philosophy in this book. Take passages like:

There are, however, instances when recognizable images are of sufficient plastic expressiveness to make the addition of geometric or “abstract” shapes superfluous.

So, with that principle in mind, he inverts wooden coat hangers to make a flock of birds for a spring apparel poster.

Looking through this book, you realize how many monumental logos he was responsible for: ABC, UPS, Westinghouse, IBM, Ikea, Adobe, the list goes on. As a designer, I always marveled at the Westinghouse logo. Something so absurdly simple, so potently suggestive of electronics and light bulbs, and something that was just so pleasing to look at (and easy to apply in branding/packaging). To me, that logo boiled down the essence of Paul Rand’s genius, and the wisdom and the portfolio of work found in this book.

Thoughts On Design, by Paul Rand ($12)

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Watch with microscopic sculpture inside

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Tucked inside this $1.5 million watch by Greubel Forsey is a tiny ship sculpture by Willard Wigan who is the master at artworks you can't appreciate without high-powered optics.

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Video: Ferdinando Buscema on "The Magic of Breaking Ideas"

At the recent TEDxCaFoscariU in Venice, our co-conspirator Ferdinando Buscema, magician/author/engineer, explores "The Magic of Breaking Ideas." And don't miss Ferdinando's Boing Boing feature, "The Magic of Hacking Reality!"

Donate a sock - free house elves!


The vintage-y war-propaganda poster imploring you to DONATE A SOCK - FREE HOUSE ELVES! comes in sizes from 8"x10" to 24"x36" ($15-$38) from Entropy Trading Company, who have an extensive line of similar lithos. (via Geeky Merch)

Yin-yang Star Wars tee on Threadless


Ciro Trezzi's Death of a star/Birth of an hero shirt design is up for your votes on Threadless -- it's quite a lovely take on the eternal struggle for the Force.

Temporary tattoos by accomplished tattoo artists


Carl sends us, "beautiful, authentic-looking temporary tattoos designed by famous tattooers, including Dan Smith, Dean Sacred, BJ Betts, Dusty Neal, Myra Oh, and many more."

Temporary Tattoos | Tattoo You (Thanks, Carl!)

Photography: Summer (on toast), Alvaro Dominguez

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"Summer," by Barcelona-based illustrator and graphic designer Alvaro Dominguez. This series is a collaboration with photographer Javier Almar.

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Renovation of power station on Pink Floyd "Animals" cover

The decaying chimneys atop London's iconic Battersea Power Station, recognizable from the cover of Pink Floyd's Animals (1977) will be "painstakingly" reconstructed to precisely match the originals as the building is turned into shops, offices, and, yep, luxury condos.

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