Office chairs made out of old Vespa scooters

C_1560-755x1024

Barcelona design firm Bel & Bel makes chairs out of the front farings of old Vespa scooters, with the option of working turn-signals (no side-mirrors in sight, alas). Read the rest

Before emoji, there were Wingdings

Wingdings

From Vox:

Two people made Wingdings happen: Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes (proprietors of the firm and husband-and-wife team). As designers of the font Lucida, they crafted pioneering type uniquely suited to the digital era... They were protégés of legendary designer Hermann Zapf, whose own Zapf Dingbats font, another collection of odd symbols, broke ground when it was distributed with Apple Printers in the mid-1980s.

With Lucida, Bigelow and Holmes were at the vanguard of digital type designers. But to be complete, their font needed complementary characters that worked well with letters, so they designed them in 1990.

Originally three separate fonts called Lucida Icons, Lucida Arrows, and Lucida Stars, the fonts that became Wingdings were crafted to harmonize with text and made with similar proportions to Lucida. Users could then pluck the appropriate icon, by typing the letter assigned to it, to ornament, animate, or otherwise adorn their documents without worrying about file size or poor quality.

Read the rest

UK's Supreme Court says these luggage designs are not illegally similar

In an IP infringement case involving the manufacturers of competing children's suitcases the UK's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the makers of the quasi-knockoff. From BBC:

Supreme Court Justice Lord Neuberger said Trunki was "both original and clever" and he said it "appears clear" the Kiddee Case had been conceived "as a result of seeing a Trunki and discovering that a discount model was not available".

But he said: "Unfortunately for Magmatic, however, this appeal is not concerned with an idea or an invention, but with a design."

Over at the design website Core77, the commenters agree with the court's decision. "Similar, but not the same.... same complaint could be made between automakers... Ford truck looks like Chevy, vise versa....," says Noodle Time. "I think the scary part to designers is the fact that if you conceive anything even remotely related to some other product, you run the risk of being sued, and even if you win, may still be left with a monetary loss." Read the rest

Product design for High Rise, 1970s dystopian movie

Supermarket-1024x428

I haven't seen High-Rise yet, but I'm looking forward to it. In this article from Creative Review, Mark Sinclair interviews graphic artists Michael Eaton and Felicity Hickson, who designed the stunning props for the movie.

Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, looks at mid-70s Britain through the prism of an ultra-modern tower block. Adapted from JG Ballard’s 1975 novel by Amy Jump, the film follows Dr Robert Laing (played by Tom Hiddleston) as he adjusts to his new life as a tenant on the 25th floor and explores the relationships between the building’s various social groups and the tribal mentalities that emerge as the tower gradually descends into chaos. While working families live on its lower levels and aspirant professionals reside halfway up, a wealthy elite is confined to the uppermost floors – a structure that does not last long.

To help realise this unique world, envisioned by production designer Mark Tildesley, graphic artists Michael Eaton and Felicity Hickson created a legion of objects and products and several type treatments for the film’s locations: one for the high-rise itself, with its supermarket, gym, spa and swimming pool; a house font for the building’s architect, Anthony Royal; and signage for Laing’s place of work, the School of Physiology.

Read the rest

A Life at sea, on land

IMG_3098

How far would you go to rescue the remains of a bygone world you've loved since you were a kid? Peter Knego went to Alang, India, and then did it again and again, to save what he could of the great ocean liners being scrapped there. But he didn't just want to save the ships. He wanted to live in one. And to a remarkable degree he's succeeded, filling his home in Oceanside, CA with a breathtaking array of maritime memorabilia. 

This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., one man's mission to recreate, in landlocked miniature, the great days of the oceangoing ships. 

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | RSS

Check out all the great podcasts that Boing Boing has to offer! Read the rest

The Art of Zootopia – A fantastic companion book to a fantastic movie

tumblr_o3ojavJ1D61t3i99fo1_1280

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

I got my hands on a copy of The Art of Zootopia last week, days before the movie opened, and was so enamored with the fresh yet classic Disney-inspired art that I was already set on reviewing the book. Then over the weekend I watched the movie with my 12-year-old daughter and friends, and wow! What a brilliantly humorous and moving winner of a movie it was. Bravo to directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore! But this is Wink, so back to the book…

The Art of Zootopia is such a treat in the way that it not only revisits the movie’s delightfully heartwarming characters and fantastic art, but gives us an engaging look at what went into the making of Zootopia. The book starts with author Jessica Julius describing the movie’s original story pitch – a 1960s spy story – and how it evolved over four years into the modern day tale of underdogs, prejudice, and fighting for justice for all. She gives us the scoop on how the characters were developed (balancing a feminine yet tough, naïve yet sharp, optimistic yet challenged bunny cop isn’t so easy!), shows us amazing “sets” I don’t even remember in the fast-moving film, and she lets us in on all kinds of fun details, like the fact that it took eight months to get the various animals’ fur just right (color, texture, and direction of fur growth takes more contemplation than I realized). We are also privy to many sketches and scenes that were eventually cut from the film. Read the rest

Gorgeous new covers for 100 great public domain books

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x980

The New York Public Library's spectacular Digital Public Library challenged designers to create new covers for some of the public domain's greatest books, which had been previously doomed to an undeserved dullness thanks to the auto-generated covers that book-scanning projects stuck them with. Read the rest

David Byrne's curious and delightful tree diagrams

4b

Inspired by the "evolutionary tree diagram" format, Talking Heads vocalist, artist, and writer David Byrne drew numerous tree diagrams meant to "explain" everyday phenomena, terminology, and the irrationality of life. For example, above is the diagram of "Romantic Destiny" (2003). Ten years ago, Byrne collected his diagrams in a wonderful book titled Arboretum.

Möbius Structure of Relationships:

Legacy of Good Habits:

History of Mark-Making:

See more on Byrne's site: "Tree Drawings/Arboretum"

Read the rest

Scans of complete run of OZ, psychedelic underground newspaper from UK (1967-1973)

oz

The University of Wollongong has kindly scanned every gorgeous issue of OZ, a psychedelic magazine from the UK, which ran from 1967 to 1973.

OZ was founded by Martin Ritchie Sharp (1942 – 2013).

[Sharp] was an Australian artist, underground cartoonist, songwriter and film-maker.

Sharp made contributions to Australian and international culture from the early 1960s, and was called Australia's foremost pop artist. His psychedelic posters of Bob Dylan, Donovan and others, rank as classics of the genre, and his covers, cartoons and illustrations were a central feature of OZ magazine, both in Australia and in London. Martin co-wrote one of Cream's best known songs, "Tales of Brave Ulysses," created the cover art for Cream's Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire albums, and in the 1970s became a champion of singer Tiny Tim, and of Sydney's embattled Luna Park. [Wikipedia]

OZ magazine was published in London between 1967 and 1973 under the general editorship of Richard Neville and later also Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis. Martin Sharp was initially responsible for art and graphic design. Copies of OZ can be viewed and downloaded for research purposes from this site. OZ magazine is reproduced by permission of Richard Neville.

Please be advised: This collection has been made available due to its historical and research importance. It contains explicit language and images that reflect attitudes of the era in which the material was originally published, and that some viewers may find confronting. [University of Wollongong]

[via] Read the rest

Coffee table book about the design of sex toys

3D+All+Aligned

Objects of Desire: A Showcase of Modern Erotic Products and the Creative Minds Behind Them by Rita Catinella Orrell is a coffee table book that has photos of 100 design-centric sex toys and interviews with their designers. The cover features Crave's hit Vesper vibrator.

Design website Core77 interviewed the author, Rita Catinella Orrell about Objects of Desire, which out March 28 from Schiffer Publishing. Read the rest

Former Starbucks designer on what makes a "third place" feel like home

IMG_2214

Suppose you wanted to design a home away from home. What would you put in? What would you leave out? What kind of seating would you have? (Soft? Hard? Low? High?) What kind of tables — big working slabs or intimate little two-tops?

A good “third place” may seem casually homey, but its design is the end result of a million tiny decisions. This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., it’s a conversation with Kambiz Hemati, who oversaw store design at Starbucks for two years and now owns Love Coffee Bar in Santa Monica, where he gets to think hard — and think small — about what makes a place feel like home.

Thanks for listening. And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and leave us a rating and/or review on the iTunes Store. 

Check out all the great podcasts that Boing Boing has to offer! Read the rest

Voice and gesture interface from 1979!

In 1979, MIT professor Christopher Schmandt and colleagues developed "Put That There," a voice and gesture interactive system, in the Architecture Machine Group (that later evolved into the famed MIT Media Lab). In this video, a researcher demonstrates the system while sitting comfortably in a stylish Eames Lounge Chair. From a 1982 paper about the project (PDF):

(Put That There) allows a user to build and modify a graphical database on a large format video dis- play. The goal of the research is a simple, conversational interface to sophisticated computer interaction. Natural language and gestures are used, while speech output allows the system to query the user on ambiguous input.

This project starts from the assumption that speech recognition hardware will never be 100% accurate, and explores other techniques to increase the use- fulness (i.e., the "effective accuracy") of such a system. These include: redundant input channels, syntactic and semantic analysis, and context- sensitive interpretation. In addition, we argue that recognition errors will be more tolerable if they are evident sooner through feedback and easily corrected by voice.

(Thanks, Dustin Hostetler!)

Read the rest

Rugs woven/squirted from extruded urethane foam

409905_241_47187_LeKpc_KSG

Dutch design house Nightshop sourced soft urethane nonskid foam, which starts off as a liquid that you squirt out of a syringe, and they proceeded to weave a series of handmade rugs out of it. Read the rest

Gorgeous retrofuturistic space travel posters from NASA JPL

grand_tour.pdf

The Exoplanet Exploration Progam at NASA/JPL has commissioned a set of absolutely gorgeous posters for significant planets, moons, exoplanets, and nearby stars, each accompanied by text explaining their significance and what humans might do if we reach them. Read the rest

Ikea for 2x4s: Building gorgeous furniture out of unfinished lumber

tumblr_inline_o1zde5oWt41qa6qsd_500

The design idea of "counter-constraint" is to create things in such a way as to get around some constraint -- for example, open source hardware works without patents or copyrights. Read the rest

A close look at the new Uber logo reveals infuriatingly untidy details

LpmZHdb

This person has three problems with the new Uber logo. The first problem ("It can be recreated in under one minute using three of the standard shape tools) does not bother me. I actually think that's cool. But the uncentered square and the overhanging line really do suck! Read the rest

Picnic/beach blanket that looks like a knotted rug

91PvOkL1rIL._SL1500_

Fatboy's $250 "picnic lounge" is a 9'x 7', weather-resistant, picnic/beach blanket with a built-in pocket (inside the Fatboy logo-tag). (via Geekologie) Read the rest

More posts