“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.”

The Nine Eyes of Google Street View

By Jon Rafman. More info here, and lots more examples on his Tumblr.

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.

The most creative annual report ever?

Wondering how Sainsbury’s have been performing in 2010? You betcha!!
Excited about downloading the latest 200 page annual report pdf? Then you’re going to explode when you see their 3D interactive Sims-style store, complete with shopping list of the year’s performance.
Brilliant solution to a largely dull subject. Click the image to visit the report.

The Desks of Creatives – a short documentary

Being a messy desk person I particularly enjoyed “if a messy desk is the sign of a messy mind, what is an empty desk the sign of?”

Where good ideas come from

If you’re wondering when your eureka moment is going to come or what the internet is doing to our brains this short film from Steven Johnson is enlightening, entertaining and comforting.

It’s also a great viral ad for a book.

This is what great design does

At first look this is simply a great-looking poster illustrating the phrase ‘The Birds’ with a beautiful visual pun. When you look again you see that each bird silhouette is numbered and the name of the bird is given underneath. Then you realise that this is a list of the 52 UK birds on the endangered red list. Then it hits you what the depiction of the bird flight really means…. this is what great design does.

Buy it. And thanks to Binary and the Brain for making this.

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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How to take a wedding photo

Along with pictures of cats and babies wedding photography can often seem tired and predictable. Nevertheless Katie Day manages to capture the event without the usual mawkish clichés.

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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The Little Apple – New York as Toytown in The Sandpit

We first showed a tilt shift movie with the video Little Big Berlin and this film, which makes shots of New York seem like a toy town is also a must-see. Surely it’s only a matter of time before this technique is brought to wider public attention in a music video, advertisement or film – it’s an innovative, charming and quirky way to show a city at work.

Now THAT’S how you demo a magazine app!

Most magazine app demos are pretty dry and serious affairs, usually involving an earnest man at his desk systematically taking the viewer through every page of his ‘important’ publication. The New Yorker has taken a different approach…

Google Instant Search vs Billy Joel – Can it keep up?

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.


Hollywood greats – underfoot and on screen

On September 18th, the Cinespia crew are set to end their tenth season of post-sundown, open-air classic movie screenings in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on LA’s Santa Monica Boulevard with a showing of Night of the Living Dead.

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An important message about the arts

David Shrigley’s video: funny, unique and also with a strong message. Now that’s art.

Sign the petition.

Little Big Berlin

This is a wonderful little film about a big city. Filmed in tilt shift so everything is modelesque. Well worth a watch – the music’s lovely too.

Experience a normal day in 2014


Nice conceptual work on the future of screen technology – particularly like the desk, stretchy phone screen and the phone picture sharing. All that info on the bathroom mirror would be annoying though. And if I was a user interface specialist, I’m not sure I’d name my company ‘TAT’.

Panasonic Note Headphones Packaging

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

Introducing… your future DJ

Now THIS is a multi-touch screen!
The ‘performance’ display was developed by Vimeo user yöyen munchausen and is called Token. The software is called Emulator and is a $75 Windows 7 program by Pablo Martin. Together, they may just have reinvented DJ’ing, Minority Report style.

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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Very clever Tipp-Ex campaign

Little needs to be said about this, other than: watch it. Oh and then type something into the bar at the top.

The FuturePlus heavenly jukebox…

Inspired by a unique new service, And Vinyly, which will preserve your ashes as a limited edition run of vinyl records (no, really), the great and good at FuturePlus have put their heads together and come up with suitably pithy A- and B-side choices for their be-grooved epitaphs…

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Arcade Fire – The Wilderness Downtown

This interactive music video for Arcade Fire by those Google chaps shows some of the more amazing stuff possible with HTML5. And it all takes place in your hometown.

Really worth a look.

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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