Beautiful examples of hand-drawn packaging from around the world


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Hand lettering stands out because everyone has access to computer layout applications now. The warmth and quirky character of hand lettering has great appeal, and for certain kinds of applications (beer labels, artisanal food packages, personal services, some book covers) it’s the top design choice. Outside the Box, by Gail Anderson, a former senior art director at Rolling Stone, is loaded with sketches and finished work from the portfolios of the best hand letterers working today. It inspired me to pull out my sketchbook and do some hand-lettering like I used to do in the late ‘80s when bOING bOING was a print zine.

Outside the Box: Hand-Drawn Packaging from Around the World by Gail Anderson Princeton Architectural Press 2015, 256 pages, 8 x 1 x 10 inches (paperback) $14 Buy one on Amazon

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North Korean interiors look like a Wes Anderson film set


Architecture critic Oliver Wainwright recently went to North Korea and took photos of colorful, symmetrical building interiors that look a lot like a Wes Anderson film set.

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Randall "XCKD" Munroe's Thing Explainer: delightful exploded diagrams labelled with simple words

Randall "XKCD" Munroe's Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words arrives in stores today: it combines technical diagrams and wordplay in pure display of everything that makes XKCD brilliant and wonderful in every way.

Kickstarting pizza wrapping paper


Two design students are hoping to raise $4900 to fund production on archival/acid-free/recycled post-consumer wrapping paper emblazoned with delicious pizza toppings. They bundle the paper with matching pizza boxes to hold your gifts. Read the rest

Future Forms: beautifully curated collection of space-age electronics


Mark of Future Forms takes gorgeous photos of his collection of "space-age" electronics from the 1960s to the 1980s, many of which are for sale or rental. You can search by color, brand, or category. I got lost and then found again in "novelty" and then disappeared altogether into "orange." Read the rest

Book and Bed: Tokyo's coffin hotel/bookstore


If you're in Ikebukuro and need a cozy, bookish bed for the night, try Book and Bed, a "designed hostel" that hides coffin-hotel-style bunks among bookshelves lined with handsome volumes and rolling ladders. The books aren't for sale, but you're welcome to read them in your bunk. Read the rest

Bizarre brutalist and experimental Soviet bus stops


Over the course of 12 years, photographer Christopher Herwig traveled more than 18,000 miles around Eastern Europe to photograph the incredible, brutalist, experimental, and downright bizarre bus stops built during the Communist era. He compiled the results into a new book titled Soviet Bus Stops.

“I’d never seen such a variety of creative expression applied to a public structures before,” Herwig told Vantage. “The designers pushed the limits of their imaginations. They did not hold back and sometimes, maybe, even they went too far...These bus stops are less about the Soviet Union as a whole and more about the local regions and individual artists … people who were often creatively oppressed.”

Soviet Bus Stops (Amazon)

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Beautiful, free/open 3D printed book of lost Louis H. Sullivan architectural ornaments


Tom Burtonwood creates 3D printed books of dimensional, public domain architectural elements: in 2013, he made Orihon and in 2014 he made Folium, which featured work from Ancient Egypt to Louis Sullivan department store decorations. Now he's released a new work: "Twenty Something Sullivan." Read the rest

Chemistry flask lamps


Available in Conical and Round, these designs won my heart with their clever use of retort stands and sandblasted lab glass; love the fabric-sleeved power-cable too (available in four colors!). The £165; price-tag is admittedly steep, though. Read the rest

Kickstarting tick-the-box greeting cards for unusual occasions and nuanced sentiments


The always-brilliant David Malki ! of Wondermark writes "I love greeting cards, but what if you need one for a super unusual occasion, or have a very nuanced sentiment you want to convey? The answer: Tick-the-option greeting cards, made in the Wondermark style! They're so utilitarian, I like to think if you keep a few on hand, you'll be prepared for ANYTHING that comes up." Read the rest

Modular spiral staircase system for trees

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If you love tree-climbing and lack upper-body strength, look no further: here's Canopystair, an ingenious system from Robert McIntyre and Thor ter Kulve, two RCA design postgrads. It uses ratchet straps and aluminum tripods to anchor the steps, and combines them with a flexible handrail. Read the rest

Near-future Ikea catalog: the Internet of Things' flat-pack as a service


Julian Bleecker and his Near Future Laboratory have followed up on their amazing Skymall-of-the-future catalog with an imaginary near-future Ikea catalog that jam an insane amount of witty futuristic speculation into elegantly presented, arresting images.

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A beautiful data-driven Tube ad from 1928


This 1928 London Underground ad is a beautiful and witty example of using data to help people get the best use out of public services. By listing the tube's load at different times of the day, LU helped riders figure out how to avoid crushes, and by making the descriptions funny and insightful, the poster's creators created memorable hooks for putting the info in context. Read the rest

The story behind the Coke bottle's curves


In 1915, Swedish glass blower Alexander Samuelson designed the iconic Coca-Cola bottle. The form was inspired by the cocoa bean, while integrating the grooves in the glass apparently made it possible to patent the bottle design. Back then, it was referred to as the “hobbleskirt” bottle due to its similarity to a style of skirt worn at the time. Then in the 1920s, a magazine referred to it as the "Mae West" after the actress's figure.

"The Coca-Cola Bottle: Lasting Design" (Juxtapoz)

"The Story of the Coca-Cola Bottle" (Coca-Cola)

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Animations of trippy vintage paperback book covers


Fantastic vintage graphic, minimalist, and op art paperback covers animated by Henning M. Lederer. See the full video below. More GIFs over at Dangerous Minds! For the source material, check out the Julian Montague Project and Book Worship.

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Killer art print collaboration between Scott Albrecht and Billykirk


Brooklyn-based artist/designer Scott Albrecht created this fantastic typographical piece with Billykirk, makers of killer bags, wallets, and other leather goods. The release party is tomorrow (10/21) at the Billykirk shop in New York City's Lower East Side. The print, limited to an edition of 25, is just $40. My family has several of Scott's original artworks hanging in our home and I carry multiple Billykirk products with me every single day. I love it when my favorite talents team up.

"'Don't Trouble Trouble Until Trouble Troubles You' was a phrase passed on to Kirk and Chris of Billykirk by their father and I'm super honored to be able to work with them on this," Scott says.

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Power-pylons that look like looming giants


Choi + Shine, an architecture firm, has proposed modifying Iceland's existing power-transmission pylons to turn them into looming giants whose arms are poised to reflect their positions -- pylons ascending a hill will be posed as though they were scaling its slopes. Read the rest

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