It's a 2d projection of a rhombic hexecontahedron, first generated by Mathematica's namesake programming language back in the 1980s, when it was as damned close to magic as anything in computer science.
Spikey is one of my favorite logos. They went through many variations with many products, inspired by renaissance drawings and a vast selection of other influences, on their way to the one you see here, which was originally devised for Wolfram Alpha.
Founder Stephen Wolfram:
And that’s when I noticed an email from June 2009, from an artist in Brazil named Yolanda Cipriano. She said she’d seen an article about Wolfram|Alpha in a Brazilian news magazine—and had noticed the Spikey—and wanted to point me to her website. It was now more than nine years later, but I followed the link anyway, and was amazed to find this:
Yolanda Cipriano's website—with rhombic hexecontahedra, there called "giramundos"
I read more of her email: “Here in Brazil this object is called ‘Giramundo’ or ‘Flor Mandacarú’ (Mandacaru Flower) and it is an artistic ornament made with [tissue paper]”.
What?! There was a Spikey tradition in Brazil, and all these years we’d never heard about it? I soon found other pictures on the web. Only a few of the Spikeys were made with paper; most were fabric—but there were lots of them
The Story of Spikey [blog.stephenwolfram.com]
A few years back, my brother Rick Pescovitz came up with Under The Weather Pods, single-person pop-up shelters. (You may have caught Rick on Shark Tank.) Rick was sick of getting soaked at his kids’ soccer games and was inspired by a portable toilet he saw by the field. Under The Weather Pods are designed […]
Milton Glaser, the graphic designer who defined the visual style of the 1960s and 1970s, has died at age 91 of a stroke. Thanks for all the color, Mr. Glaser. You’ve seen his work everywhere, from the iconic “I ♥ NY” graphic for a 1977 tourism campaign to the incredible poster included in Bob Dylan’s […]
Vox made a good video about the history of the Cooper Black typeface, created in 1919 and still in common use today. There’s a typeface that has made a resurgence in the last couple of years. It’s appeared on hip hop album covers, food packaging, and advertising. Perhaps you know it from the Garfield comics, […]
A guy on the Apple discussion forum started a thread titled, “Why do your Charger Cables have the lifespan of a housefly?” That question is probably enough to elicit a whole bunch of head nods from virtually everyone reading this, whether you’re an iPhone user, an Android owner or have virtually any device that needs […]
For all their power and capabilities, image editing software isn’t like sitting down to play a video game. You aren’t there to have fun. You’re likely looking to make a few minor tweaks to an image to make it ready to be shared, then you move on with satisfaction in a job well done. If […]
This is truly a golden age for fans of a big ginormous TV screen. Not too long ago, to buy a television over 40 inches usually meant wheeling one of those massive Mitsubishi or Toshiba projection monoliths into your home, consuming a vast portion of any room at a cost of potentially $7,000 to $8,000. […]