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

Guidelines for brutalist web design

"Raw content true to its construction" — no hinky web frameworks, no broken javascript soiling itself at the first whiff of interaction the developer didn't design for, no dark patterns, no performance-crushing superficial cleverness, no contempt for the user: guidelines for brutalist web design.

Brutalist Web Design is honest about what a website is and what it isn't. A website is not a magazine, though it might have magazine-like articles. A website is not an application, although you might use it to purchase products or interact with other people. A website is not a database, although it might be driven by one.

A website is about giving visitors content to enjoy and ways to interact with you.

The design guidelines outlined above—and detailed below—all are in the service of making websites more of what they are and less of what they aren't. These aren't restrictive rules to produce boring, minimalist websites. Rather these are a set of priorities that put the visitor to your site—the entire reason your website exists—front and center in all things.

Yes, you are allowed to use link colors other than blue. But don't get too fancy, buddy.

Photo: Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com Read the rest

Watch an artist create designs with enormous spirograph style cogs she made

As artist Mary Wagner makes her piece Joost Up Color, it's very satisfying to see the geometric patterns and layers form. Read the rest

Weaponized candy

While these guns, knives, and bombs look deliciously real, they are in fact masterful digital art confections by artist Cristian Girotto. Let's hope a candymaker gets inspired! Read the rest

Transparent timelapse photos printed and layered

For his Layer Drawings series, artist Nobuhiro Nakanishi photographs the same shot at regular intervals, then prints them on glass and layers them into mesmerizing sculptures. Read the rest

Magnificent new show of Scott Albrecht's deconstructed, typographical art opening in San Francisco on Saturday

This Saturday (6/30) in San Francisco, Brooklyn-based artist/designer Scott Albrecht opens "A Forgiving Sunset," a large solo exhibition of new woodworks, works-on-paper, and steel sculptures. Scott continues to amplify his blend of artistic vision and exquisite craftsmanship in captivating works that are based in simple typographical forms but manifested from his puzzle-like assembly of numerous individual pieces of paper, wood, or, now, steel.

“The work for this show pulls from a range of experiences and inspirations over the last two years," Albrecht says. "A recurring point of reference in the work was the social climate and the growing gaps I was seeing among relationships — both on a cultural level as well as a personal level — and my own desire to return to something more connected. When I began this collection I developed a somewhat daily habit of listening to the poem, Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Although it was originally written in 1927, it is, among many things, a fairly timeless call for empathy, compassion and understanding, which seems just as relevant and needed today as I’m sure it did when it was written.”

A Forgiving Sunset hangs at the First Amendment Gallery until July 28. The opening reception is Saturday, June 30, from 7-10pm.

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Vintage British travel posters improved with added fantasy monsters

Chet Phillips (creator of the Monster Zen book, the Steampunk Monkey Coloring Book and the Steampunk Monkey Cigarette Cards) sends us his Fantasy Travel Poster Series, "Paying tribute to vintage railway posters, this series re-imagines landscapes with fantasy elements such as giants, dragons, trolls and more." Read the rest

Japanese woodcut artisan makes iconic David Bowie mashups

Artist Masumi Ishikawa has announced a new project to immortalize iconic David Bowie imagery in the style of ukiyo-e, or Japanese woodcuts. Read the rest

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