This colorful homage to classic desktops could occupy you for hours

Mariano Pascual has created a delightful nod to classic desktop layouts for his new site, but it's updated with all kinds of colorful bells, whistles, and Easter eggs. Read the rest

Watch how to make a pixellated avatar using an actual photo

Kensuke Koike demonstrates a cool visual trick involving an evenly-punched hard copy of an image turned into a regognizable avatar. Read the rest

Designer creates stylized illustrations of real-life Flint heroes

Brazilian artist Butcher Billy was commissioned by STATE bags to create #FlintsFantasticFive, a series of images depicting several key voices in addressing the Flint water crisis. Read the rest

Artisan creates beautiful, delicately colored glass sculptures

Slovenian artist Kaja Upelj moved to London for school, where she has been creating interesting experimental glass works with unusual colorations and deliberate occlusions. Read the rest

Fantastic German psychedelic animation from 1970 by Yellow Submarine's art director

Heinz Edelmann (1934-2009) was the German illustrator and designer best known for art directing the Beatles' 1968 animation Yellow Submarine. In 1970, he created this magnificent opening animation for the ZDF broadcast movie series "Der Phantastische Film."

(r/ObscureMedia, thanks UPSO!)

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Web typography resource collection

Web Typography Resources is a list of apps, tools, plugins and other stuff that will help you make words look nice on the world-wide web. Highlights include Bram Stein's typography inspector, Monotype's new SkyFonts webfont management service, and Matej Latin's book Better Web Typography for a Better Web. [Amazon]

Previously: Practical Typography [Matthew Butterick] Read the rest

History of the peace symbol

Jacobo Prisco at CNN returns to 1958, when a new symbol appeared at protests against nuclear weapons in the UK.

"It's a minor masterpiece with major evocative power," said design guru and cultural critic, Stephen Bayley, in an email. "It speaks very clearly of an era and a sensibility.

"It is, simply, a fine period piece: the ordinary thing done extraordinarily well."

The design is meant to represent the letters "N" and "D" -- standing for "nuclear disarmament" -- as they appear in the semaphore alphabet, which is used by sailors to communicate from a distance with flags.

Gerald Holtom designed it, Read the rest

Watch this great intro to the ambigram, a typographical treat

Ambigrams are words or symbols styled so they still have meaning when viewed from another perspective. This video is a great overview of some of the best artists and books on the craft. Read the rest

Photographer shreds her work then weaves it back together again

Lala Abaddon takes her lovely photos and cuts them into long strips, then weaves them with another set of strips to create striking geometric patterns. Read the rest

You can have The Shining carpet for your own home

Bring a bit of Overlook Hotel chic to your family room with an area rug duplicating the iconic carpet design by David Hicks. The 240cm x 170cm rug costs $3275 and it's also available as a runner or by the square meter to ensure you have enough to reach room 237. Also available from Film and Furniture are the likes of Deckard's cocktail glass from Blade Runner, the George Nelson Action Office Desk from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and many other items you'll recognize from the big screen.

"Checkmate! The story behind Kubrick’s carpet in The Shining revealed" (Film and Furniture via Kottke)

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Documentary on Milton Glaser and the legendary I ❤ NY logo

Through a mix of archival and current footage, this lovely documentary puts Milton Glaser's iconic I ❤ NY logo in historical context. Read the rest

Coffee lids: new book on the elegant design of a modern scourge

Coffee Lids: Peel, Pinch, Pucker, Puncture is a beautifully-shot new book showcasing the world's largest collection of plastic coffee lids. Read the rest

Intricate steampunk leathercraft bags

Yeochang Yun makes lots of remarkable handmade leather items, but this colorful steampunk piece with cogs and locks is especially impressive. Below are a few other examples: Read the rest

Today's technology thinks you suck

Our technology-centric society is making people miserable, says Don Norman, cognitive scientist and author of the classic book on human-centric design, The Design of Everyday Things. The technology we use expects us to behave like machines, he says, and when we fail, we get all the blame.

From Fast Company:

As a result, we require people to do tedious, repetitive tasks, to be alert for long periods, ready to respond at a moment’s notice: all things people are bad at doing. When the inevitable errors and accidents occur, people are blamed for “human error.” The view is so prevalent that many times the people involved blame themselves, saying things like “I knew better” or “I should have paid more attention,” not recognizing that the demands of the technology made these errors inevitable.

...

Just think about your life today, obeying the dictates of technology–waking up to alarm clocks (even if disguised as music or news); spending hours every day fixing, patching, rebooting, inventing work-arounds; answering the constant barrage of emails, tweets, text messages, and instant this and that; being fearful of falling for some new scam or phishing attack; constantly upgrading everything; and having to remember an unwieldly number of passwords and personal inane questions for security, such as the name of your least-liked friend in fourth grade. We are serving the wrong masters.

We need to switch from a technology-centric view of the world to a people-centric one. We should start with people’s abilities and create technology that enhances people’s capabilities: Why are we doing it backwards?

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Watch how to 3D print freaky, wobbly sphericons

After seeing a successful Kickstarter project, Angus from Makers Muse has been experimenting with sphericons, unusual shapes that meander when they roll. Read the rest

The magical book art of fore-edge painting

For centuries, many fine books have held a magical secret not within their pages but on the edges. Stunning fore-edge paintings are only visible when the book's pages are slightly fanned. Great Big Story introduces us to Martin Frost, one of the world's last fore-edge painters.

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British Rail's corporate identity

Amazing as it is to be nostalgic for British Rail, here we are. There's a corporate identity manual, a typeface, and a considerable library of further reading. [via]

This is a website about the British Rail Corporate Identity from 1965–1994 which includes a wealth of digitised examples of British Rail design material collected over several years. I hope you find it useful and inspiring, whether you're a practitioner or historian of graphic design, a scale modeller or simply a connoisseur of corporate design at its aesthetically satisfying best.

Photo: National Railway Museum

Update: You can buy the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual from Amazon. Read the rest

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