"If there is an assassination planned for the meal, then it is seemliest that the assassin should be seated next to he who is to become the subject of his craft" - Leonardo da Vinci: head of the kitchen, designer of horse-pulled nut-crushers, inventor of napkins, and assassination etiquette expert.
The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum's collections, now searchable in color. Colors? They got colors. All kinds of colors. My god, it's just full of colors. But wait, there's even more inside... [more inside]
The Memory of the Netherlands is an image library making available the online collections of museums, archives and libraries. The library provides access to images from the collections of more than one hundred institutions and includes photographs, sculptures, paintings, bronzes, pottery, modern art, drawings, stamps, posters and newspaper clippings. In addition there are also video and sound recordings to see and listen to. The Memory of the Netherlands offers an historic overview of images from exceptional collections, organized by subject to provide easy accessSearch 833928 objects from 133 collections from 100 institutions.
Throughout human history and across the globe, whether as intimate artifacts of interpersonal relations or state-level monumental works, textiles have been imbued with political importance. Textiles can communicate and construct status, ethnicity, gender, power, taste, and wealth, and have functioned at the nexus of artistic, economic, and political achievement in human culture. As trade goods, creative medium, and social artifact, textiles have been instrumental in generating, supporting, and challenging political power.The Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium (2012) will explore the crossroads of Textiles & Politics.
" Initially it was thought to be something to house firewood, though it didn’t seem capable of holding much, and the slat that sits perpendicular to the box on the inside wall made little sense. It took observers a while to realize that this contraption was a device for holding children—a “baby tender.”" (via)
The Smithsonian Magazine breaks down the history of the Fisher Space Pen, including the old myth about how the Russians just used pencils instead.
The Royal Air Force Museum London will be launching in Summer 2013 a signature exhibition commemorating and celebrating the national institution that is Airfix. This will chart the history of this Great British Institution by displaying original Box Art as well as Airfix’s most popular models from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s in the Museum’s Art Gallery. In preparation, this post will focus upon the history* of the company, its founding in the late 1940s by a Hungarian immigrant, through its boom years in the 1960s, the later years of decline and under investment, and finally its current resurgence in the market place. Look at the ways in which Airfix products are developed, including the painstaking research and the cutting edge technology used to design and manufacture modern kits. (text inspired by numerous sources) [more inside]
Alan Cooper and the Goal Directed Design Process The heart of the problem, he concludes, is that the people responsible for developing software products don’t know precisely what constitutes a good product. It follows that they also do not know what processes lead to a good product. In short, they are operating by trial and error, with outcomes like customer satisfaction achieved by little more than blind luck. By Hugh Dubberly, first published AIGA GAIN Journal, 2001
The Eephus League presents: a web magazine about baseball.
Creating the Windows 8 user experience — an inside look from the Windows engineering team, with a brief history of the Windows user interface.
The story behind the iconic poster Keep Calm and Carry On rediscovered in 1991 at Barter Books, has been covered here before, but not in this lovely short video. And not with the new iPhone app.
The idea that the form of a product should correspond to its essence does not simply mean that products should be designed with their intended use in mind. That a knife needs to be sharp so as to cut things is a non-controversial point accepted by most designers. The notion of essence as invoked by Jobs and Ive is more interesting and significant—more intellectually ambitious—because it is linked to the ideal of purity. No matter how trivial the object, there is nothing trivial about the pursuit of perfection. On closer analysis, the testimonies of both Jobs and Ive suggest that they did see essences existing independently of the designer—a position that is hard for a modern secular mind to accept, because it is, if not religious, then, as I say, startlingly Platonic.— Form and Fortune is an essay about Steve Jobs and Apple's design philosophy by Evgeny Morozov.
During a recent visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., I was reeducated in the power of branding — especially as applied to poster design — at the special exhibition, State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, which demonstrates how the Nazi party used carefully crafted messages, advertising and design techniques, and then-new technologies (radio, television, film) to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany. (related)
In the 1970s and 1980s, Chicago gangs distributed gang cards to stake their neighbourhood claim. Full gallery available here.
Beautiful Type is a patchwork of photos and illustrations having a relationship with typography. AisleOne is focused on graphic design, typography, grid systems, minimalism and modernism. iABC is a collection of beautiful letters. Inspiration Bit has a nice archive of articles about web typography. Nicetype is about fonts, logos, posters and software. Twenty-Six Types celebrates the beautiful letters. Typenuts is type-themed iPhone and desktop wallpapers. Typoretum is about typography, letterpress and printing history. Enjoy.
Creed Crusher, or Spiritual Mill for Pulverizing Creeds &C. is an 1867 poster by Dr. T. L. Lewis. In it, a pair of cherubs grind the religious and educational institutions of 19th-century against a an allegorical globe of philosophy dominated by the Great Ocean of Spiritualism. Below, Lewis quotes himself no less than four times. Similarly weird is the anthropomorphic map of Europe by Schmidt. (Both via the Big Map Blog previously)
Ana Lee's fashion blog is in Russian but with its insane number of HQ photographs [don't forget to click the "далее"], you won't care. For example, her two posts about Carol Alt almost certainly comprise the greatest documentation of that model's career to be found anywhere in the world.
Tabletop: Analog Game Design - A commons licenced book containing a series of essays about digital and non-digital games from some esteemed boardgame veterans: "Much has been written about the videogame revolution, [...] In a scant thirty some-odd years, we’ve grown from nothing to one of the world’s largest entertainment forms, grossing tens of billions annually [...] Works that discuss the evolution of the game industry from an historical perspective generally talk about the connection between the pre-digital arcade and the earliest digital games; I’ve even heard some claim that “without the arcade, videogames would not exist.” This is, of course, bosh..." [more inside]
This is a short history and background of the Macintosh research project on the eve of its becoming a product.
Stephen Biesty is an award-winning British illustrator famous for his bestselling "Incredible" series of engineering art books: Incredible Cross-Sections, Incredible Explosions, Incredible Body, and many more. A master draftsman, Biesty does not use computers or even rulers in composing his intricate and imaginative drawings, relying on nothing more than pen and ink, watercolor, and a steady hand. Over the years, he's adapted his work to many other mediums, including pop-up books, educational games (video), interactive history sites, and animation. You can view much of his work in the zoomable galleries on his professional page, or click inside for a full listing of direct links to high-resolution, desktop-quality copies from his and other sites, including several with written commentary from collaborator Richard Platt [site, .mp3 chat]. [more inside]
The Martello Tower is the definitive 19th century small coastal fortification, built in large numbers around the coast of the British Isles and elsewhere between 1805 and the 1870s. Many have been lost to the sea or demolished, but some have been converted to private residences (you can even stay in this one). The most recent conversion of a Grade II listed tower, by Billings Jackson Design working with Piercy Connor Architects, has produced this very interesting modern home, set in a wetland.
Apple’s Tablet Computer History - A collection of beautiful prototype designs for some of Apple's early tablet computers from the 1980s and 90s, including the famed Newton [ related | via ]
FREAK OUT AND BREAK THINGS A poster-maker toy for you.
What if our beloved modern devices had been invented in the past? Say around 1977? Introducing the Pocket Hi-Fi, The Laptron 64, MobileVoxx, and the Microcode 3000!
The Malaysia Design Archive: Understanding Malaysian history through Graphic Design. "This project is an attempt to trace, map and document the development of graphic design in Malaysia. It is also a project to highlight the importance of archiving as a way to protect and preserve our own visual history. What is our design history? Do we have one?" Examine Malaysian movie posters; discover the visual detritus of an old jail; peruse political artifacts; explore the country's visual history from Colonialism, through Occupation, Emergency, and finally, Independence. [via DO]
Holidays on Display, currently on view at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, offers an image-rich online exhibit as well, detailing the way businesses learned to capitalize on one of the country's largest celebrations. Peer into the artistry of holiday window design as well. [more inside]
70 years of controversial magazine covers.
The Footnotes of Mad Men explores and discusses the historic events, themes, and cultural mores of the show.
Concept proposals for Seattle's Space Needle. More sketches and images, from the University of Washington's image database. Erecting The Needle, a four-part series about the Space Needle's construction: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, with a picture of the rarely-seen gas-flame beacon in action. And this morning, the Space Needle was briefly for sale!
A well-designed flag The US flag is made up of two distinct elements: Stars and Stripes. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed its Flag Resolution which described the flag only in general terms. "Resolved that the flag of the United States be 13 stripes alternate red and white, that the union be 13 stars white in a blue field representing a new constellation." Nothing in the resolution dictated how the stars and stripes were to be arranged, resulting in some interesting designs. [more inside]
Beautifully designed, quirky, colorful late 19th-century "artistic" and "gaslight" printing at Dick Sheaff's ephemera pages. [via, via] [more inside]
The Art of Penguin Science Fiction is a historical guide to the design of book jackets in the Penguin SF line by James Pardey. But before reading the essay I recommend looking at some of the wonderful cover designs, for example We, Deathworld, Rork!, The Drowned World, Star Maker, The Evolution Man, Fifth Planet and Alternating Currents. They certainly don't make SF book jackets like they used to. All hundred plus covers can also be browsed alphabetically by author. [via The Guardian Books Blog]
'Race' graphically illustrated - "most Europeans" vs. Ashkenazim (previously; see also IQ & Gladwell, viz. ;) [more inside]
VADS is a resource for visual art, a huge range of things from students' work to collections of historical art and design. [more inside]
The origin of the peace sign. Various histories of designs, top 10 tools for artists and designers, hilarious pencil attachments and other cool stuff at designboom (previously).
Where is Kai Krause? If you were a web designer back in the day, you probably used Kai’s Power Tools (my how web design has grown). A user interface visionary, Kai bailed at the dot.com peak (just in time) and retired to Byteburg, a 1000 year old castle in Bonn, where he peacefully lives and works today.
Clip/Stamp/Fold. The current show at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City explores an era when architecture was actually interesting. We go from "an elephant attacking the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan to a skyscraper made of Swiss cheese." On the way, we visit astronauts, bunkers, walking cities, and robots fucking – and it's all waiting for you inside these little magazines.
De Architectura, known also as The Ten Books of Architecture, is an exposition on architecture by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio. Originally in Latin, here it is translated into English.
History of the Button, a weblog devoted to 'tracing the history of interaction design through the history of the button, from flashlights to websites and beyond'. This presentation [4.5MB .pdf] provides a quick-fire pictorial history of the things we push to do stuff.
Design Online - a team from the London College of Communication have scanned and indexed all the issues of Design from 1965 - 1974 (via the Design Weblog, which says: "I believe you really need to see and understand the past in order to blaze a new trail").
The Reverend Bunny's Secret Henna Diary. Sssh! Don't tell anyone, but this is a fascinating site featuring tips and tricks, and a nice gallery of images annotated by background information, image sources, history, and interesting anecdotes.
You can also find free patterns here, both traditional and non-traditional.
You can also find free patterns here, both traditional and non-traditional.
Morbid Outlook is a polished, eclectic Goth magazine with a killer design and content to die for. With hundreds of articles and images in the categories of Art, Music, Fashion, Lifestyle, Fiction and Nonfiction, this is one of the very best online zines I've seen yet. Go to any feature, and you will find a list of related-interest articles accompanying the story, and, usually, a listing of online resources or suggestions for reading as well.
It's in the mail. Dylon Whyte's Art of Chainmail site features beautiful, clear renderings showing, step-by-step, how to join chain links to form different mail patterns, including European, Japanese, and (probably-not-)Persian designs. This is actually fascinating stuff even if you're not a medievalist or a Renaissance-faire type. Also, from the same source, a brief history of armour and the the secret behind the chain bra!
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