Clone yourself silly…

An enterprising Japanese firm, Clone Factory, have taken cutting edge 3D mapping and printing technologies in another direction entirely, by making it possible to have your head cloned onto a doll of your choosing, such as the unusually cheery Imperial Stormtrooper shown above!

The subject simply takes a seat in the photo studio, where they’re snapped’n’scanned, then a 3D model of their noggin is rendered…

The 3D model is then printed onto a sheet of clay-like material, which is trimmed and coloured, before being fitted to the body of your choice…

The results are scarily accurate!

C30, C60, C90 go!

Far from disappearing, the humble compact cassette has found fresh favour on the DIY music scene, with the return of tape-only labels being one of the most surprising developments of recent years. However, taking into account the digital ‘loudness wars’ eloquently deliniated in Greg Milner’s Perfecting Sound Forever, which saw the likes of Metallica’s huge fanbase lambasting the ‘everything louder than everything else’ approach, mebbe the humble analogue cassette’s ability to absorb serious overloading and sound simply triffic makes more sense… and then there’s the excellent blank tape insert art, as reflected by this excellent Flickr set.

Back to the future?

Taking an early lead from the reissued Big Trak toy in the retro tech stakes is a ‘reimagining’ of the Commodore 64 as a “modern functional PC as close to the original in design as humanly possible. It houses a modern mini-ITX PC motherboard featuring a Dual Core 525 Atom processor and the latest Nvidia Ion2 graphics chipset. It comes in the original taupe brown/beige color, with other colors to follow… No expense has been spared. This is the ultimate hackers keyboard on which to wield your key-fu.”

Suffice to say, a revamped version of the Sinclair C5 that’ll do a ton up the bypass is now looking more likely!

Universal wrapping paper

Universal wrapping paper
Universal wrapping paper
Universal wrapping paper

Found at The Dieline.

Mister Freedom — history and design in harmony

Following on from the hot 2010 trend for American workwear that we blogged about, transplanted French designer Christophe Loiron has started a new style digression with his California-based brand Mister Freedom‘s Spring 2011 collection, Les Apaches.

Taking inspiration from Parisien hoodlum kultchur of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Loiron’s really gone to town on this homage to his home country’s organic street style. The attention to detail is astonishing, not least this beautiful, specially-commissioned shirt box, painted by Patrick Segui. Expect the influence of the Les Apaches collection to be felt on UK high streets next year — minus the packaging!

Monkee Business — coining it in…

Monkee Business, Eric Lefcowitz’s new tome about the world’s first boyband, is now available in a nifty limited edition run of 300 copies that feature a die-cut cover inset with double-sided coins depicting the respective noggins of Messrs Nesmith, Tork, Jones and Dolenz, as used on the regular paperback shown below. The limited edition is available here.

Field Notes – share the love

We love Field Notes notebooks and we love print and this video shows why.

That’s the way to promote your product: show people you love what you do and that you’re competent at it.

Jon Jackson’s Adios LA

When artist Jon Jackson, a longtime Los Angeles resident, made plans to relocate to Noo Yoik, he didn’t want “to string LA along” and so “decided to firmly break it off through a graphic billboard series posted on the famous streets of his first love”!

Needless to say, the City of the Angels hasn’t seen anything quite like Johnson’s series since Elektra Records broke the mainstream hold on LA’s billboards with their revolutionary paste-ups for The Doors’ debut album and Love’s “Forever Changes” set in 1966-67.

You can check out Jackson’s full series here.

Winter design classics – Mary Maxim sweaters

With snow a cert for the Christmas period and chunky knits a hot high street trend, what better time to celebrate a classic design of the fashion world, the Mary Maxim sweater?

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Herb Lester Associates

Guardian Guide creator Ben Olins’ latest project, in partnership with Jane Smillie, is the self-effacingly great Herb Lester Associates, who have produced a number of gorgeous, fold-up maps designed by Montana’s Michael Newhouse.

You Are Here is a pocket-sized guide to London’s best spots for freelancers to hold meetings and work, May We Help You? details the captial’s best specialist suppliers, and their latest, Wish You Were There, is a look at the city’s hottest shops and entertainments, circa 1960-1966. The maps are available for £3-4 each here.

Creative influencers

Here’s a really well made short documentary on how trends and creativity become contagious, focussing on New York’s creative influencers (advertising, design, fashion and entertainment). Just read that back and I’ve managed to make it sound really wanky. It’s dead good honest.

iPad Light Painting

Dentsu London clearly bored with their iPads already have found a magical way of creating ‘light sculptures’ using stop frame-animation. Click the images to view the video…

 

Ligature, Loop & Stem Poster

Every now and again someone sends me a link that literally makes my jaw drop. Check out this amazing letter press typography poster from Scott Boms, Grant Hutchinson and Luke Dorny, printed by Lunar Caustic Press. Want one? No chance. Limited edition of 100 must have sold out in minutes.

Ligature, Loop & Stem Poster

Ligature, Loop & Stem Poster 2

Ligature, Loop & Stem Poster 3

“Just My Type” of Christmas present

Slightly wayward but undeniably brilliant social chronicler Simon Garfield has got a new tome out, “Just My Type: A Book About Fonts” (Profile Books), which is a surefire Xmess winner for anyone with even a modicum of interest in design and the peeps behind it. If it’s a quarter as good as his masterful history of British grappling in the 1970s, “The Wrestling” (Faber), then “Just My Type” will be a hugely enjoyable read. Here’s the blurb:

“Just My Type is a book of stories. About how Helvetica and Comic Sans took over the world. About why Barack Obama opted for Gotham, while Amy Winehouse found her soul in 30s Art Deco. About the great originators of type, from Baskerville to Zapf, or people like Neville Brody who threw out the rulebook, or Margaret Calvert, who invented the motorway signs that are used from Watford Gap to Abu Dhabi. About the pivotal moment when fonts left the world of Letraset and were loaded onto computers … and typefaces became something we realized we all have an opinion about.”

Print your Facebook friends…

…and put them on your wall. Your real wall. No not your Facebook wall. What? Yes they’re your real friends. Well some of them. You know how it is. Yes, sometimes it IS awkward to say no. Er, what were we talking about? I’m quite confused.

Just watch the video below or buy your own friends poster from printingfacebook.com.

It’s all in the game – The Wire Monopoly


Yes! The Wire Monopoly! The third best TV show of all time (The West Wing and Seinfeld if you’re asking) just works so well as a board game – it’s all about corners. Unless you haven’t watched the show, in which case you’ve got bigger problems than just missing out on fully understanding one blog post.

Unfortunately it’s not real. Yet. Go here for the full made-up story.

Letterpress heaven – Hatch Show Print, Nashville

Opened in Nashville by brothers Herbert and Charles Hatch in 1879, Hatch Show Print is America’s oldest printing business and is still creating beautiful letterpress posters and handbills using its huge library of hand-cut blocks. From Elvis, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, to The White Stripes and REM, Hatch has advertised ’em all. And as Hatch still turns out around 600 print jobs each year, t’ain’t goin’ anyplace soon, bub…

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British design classic – the English Rose kitchen

Having made nose cones for Spitfires and parts for Lancaster bombers throughout WW2, the late 1940s found Constant Speed Airscrews (CSA) Industries Ltd of Warwick in something of a quandary. The company entered peace time with a large workforce, huge amounts of machinery and a stockpile of aircraft grade aluminium at their Avon Works on the town’s Wharf Street, but no demand for their products. Surprisingly, CSA decided to make British design history in 1948, by launching what was quite possibly the first modular ‘fitted’ kitchen range in Europe…

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Great film posters

We first became aware of this guy’s work when Hollywood director Jon Favreau tweeted a hand drawn poster for Iron Man II earlier this year.

The illustrator’s name is Tyler Stout, who hails from Washington in the States. He’s spent years caught up watching films and honing his craft, and it’s through this focus that you can see why he didn’t have a girlfriend until he was in his early 20s.

But it’s that kind of love for the subject matter that’s paid off in his later life, getting commissions to produce brilliantly observed re-imagings of current and classic movie posters.

We’re hugely keen on his ‘Kuato Lives’ Total Recall poster – the ‘two weeeeeeeeeks’ head is great – but all of his posters bring something to the party that hasn’t been seen in film posters for years.

Let’s hope we see a return to these sorts of promo values in the near future – all of our lives would be the better for it.

For more of Tyler’s work, stop by at his website – you may even be able to pick yourself up a print, but you’ll need to be quick!

A little creativity and landscape blots become truly poetic

Architecture firm Choi + Shine has submitted the following entry for an Icelandic pylon design competition. This should just happen. Worldwide. Now.
These beautiful giants come in variable poses and, they claim, only require slight alterations to existing pylon designs too! Just genius.


Panasonic Note Headphones Packaging

The simplest ideas are always the best ones. Panasonic Notes Headphones Packaging by Scholz & Friends, Germany.

When the shit hits the Air Multiplier

It's a fan!

A friend of mine, we’ll call him Daniel Griffiths (because that’s his name), occasionally sends me a mini essay on a random topic he’s been thinking about a bit too much. It’s therapy for him and an amusing distraction for me and the handful of others he includes in the email.

His latest is a rant about Dyson’s new fan (and yes… it IS a fan!) the Air Multiplier. Thought you might enjoy it too.

The Dyson Air Multiplier

Before we get stuck into the Dyson Air Multiplier let me ask you a question: Were hoover bags ever a problem in your life?

Think about it.

Did you ever curse having to install and remove them? Did all that tiresome walking over to the bin and dropping them in ever rankle? And the way your hoover ‘lost suction’ just before the bag needed emptying? Were any of the above ever once a thought that even fleetingly crossed your mind?

No, of course they weren’t. The Dyson vacuum cleaner is a solution to a problem that never existed. I could start on about how Dysons, actually, in truth, loose more suction than bagged cleaners. How they require more frequent emptying. How they’re heavier, more cumbersome, use more energy and, rather than having the dirt neatly wrapped up in a bag, instead bring you face to face with your own skin and hair every time you have to trip to the bin. Every five minutes.

I could do that. But instead I want to talk about the Dyson Air Multiplier. Another device that – like their famous Flash Gordon hoovers – is another solution to a problem that nobody has.

It’s like this:

The DAM (as it shall be known herein) looks amazing. Amazing! It’s a hoop on a stick. This is a fan? No way! There are no blades! How? What? Where? I’m actually stunned! It makes air fly out of the circle?! But how? Jeez, £200! They’re having a laugh there, but it makes air fly out?! This is incredible!

Only it isn’t. Have you ever wondered why Dyson hasn’t been able to claim that the DAM is any quieter or uses less electricity than a conventional fan? Or even why – for something with no moving parts – it’s so bloody noisy?…

Think about it. It magically *propels* air… Right?

Wrong.

The reason it uses as much energy as a fan and sounds like a fan is because it is a fan. It does have blades. And a bloody big electric motor to turn them too.

Now, forgive me if this isn’t a surprise. You may be cleverer than I, but I – for some time – presumed that the DAM somehow used ‘Dyson magic’ to propel it’s air.

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Design by data

Data journalist, David McCandless talks about how complicated data sets can be turned into uncomplicated, easily understood infographics… information really is beautiful.

Made by Fudge

Some bright spark: ‘I know, lets make the website look like a web design programme, cos’ that’s what we do’ Recipe for disaster you might think, Fudge pull it off beautifuly… (grab the guides!)

http://madebyfudge.com/

http://madebyfudge.com/

Made by Fudge

Custom belts: art you can wear — from concho to emo

As you’d expect, yer average High Street emo kid has absolutely no idea of the ancestry of their nattily studded fashion belts, and why should they? Adding studs and jewels to leather belts appears to have crossed over from Mexico to American ‘Western’ wear back in the 1920s. The vaqueros’ penchant for affixing conchos and studs to their garments (all the better to reflect their wealth) had picked up native American influences by the time the style hit such mainstream retailers as Miller of Colorado and Montgomery Ward in the 1930s.

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Elektra hits 60 — art and commerce in perfect harmony

The label’s masterpiece? Love’s third album, 1967’s Forever Changes.

Elektra records is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, and as far as independently-minded, hugely successful labels are concerned, it’s managed to surf atop six decades of musical mayhem with great aplomb, maintaining a textbook mix of art and commerce — from Love and the Doors, through the Stooges, MC5 and New York Dolls, to Charlotte Gainsbourg, Björk and Cee-Lo Green.

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From Russia with stuff

And good stuff at that. Dmitry Raspopov has worked on lots of nice things for Russia’s Secret Firmy and Interni magazines.

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The 45 sleeve — packaging as art

“Sleeves were designed originally to serve as a protective device for records and labels during shipment. In the case of “45” rpm records, however, a device of this nature becomes unnecessary. The raised label area on 45’s fully prevents any harmful contact between the grooved surfaces of records during shipment. Paper separators – such as this sheet – are designed to protect record labels during shipment. They have no other useful function and may be discarded at your convenience…”

Sage record care advice from the folks at RCA Victor, circa 1952.

As you can see from the small selection of 45 sleeves shown above, thankfully, the rest of the music industry — and, indeed, RCA itself — didn’t share this rather quite touching faith in the durability of the company’s new vinyl medium, and quickly turned the humble shipping protector into an art form in its own right.

RCA’s numpty claim is very redolent of those made on behalf of the CD when it was first introduced — most famously on a 1981 episode of the popular TV science show, Tomorrow’s World, wherein the presenters happily smeared a shiny biscuit with jam, then wiped it off and played it, as if proving that it was virtually indestructible! And we know how that ended…

The Times’ iPad Infographics

Great interactive infographics from Applied Works for The Times’ £9.99 iPad app. Video below…