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.
Howard Schneider was a doctor treating psychiatric patients in the ER when he decided to transform the grocery store experience. He set out to invent the self checkout machine (partial transcript here). Schneider's self-checkout kiosk was first deployed at a Price Chopper supermarket in Clifton Park, New York in 1992. [more inside]
Pantsuit 2.1.0 : Mina Markham, Senior Software Engineer with the Hillary Clinton campaign, writes about her experience building the design library that drives the campaign.
"I’m always shocked when critics of the mid-20th Century architectural style known as Michigan Modern decry that period as a silly time of tail fins on cars, uncomfortable furniture, and shiny, kitschy buildings. Shocked, because I think Michigan Modern, properly understood, remains our greatest architectural expression." [more inside]
Brutalism Is Back [The New York Times] “But now, like the chevron mustache, Brutalism [wiki] is undergoing something of a revival. Despite two generations of abuse (and perhaps a little because of it), an enthusiasm for Brutalist buildings beyond the febrile, narrow precincts of architecture criticism has begun to take hold. Preservationists clamor for their survival, historians laud their ethical origins and an independent public has found beauty in their rawness. For an aesthetic once praised for its “ruthless logic” and “bloody-mindedness” — in the much-quoted phrasing of critic Reyner Banham — it is a surprising turn of events.” [more inside]
The prevailing attitude [in China] is chabuduo, or ‘close enough’. It’s a phrase you’ll hear with grating regularity, one that speaks to a job 70 per cent done, a plan sketched out but never completed, a gauge unchecked or a socket put in the wrong size. Chabuduo is the corrosive opposite of the impulse towards craftmanship...it implies that to put any more time or effort into a piece of work would be the act of a fool. China is the land of the cut corner, of ‘good enough for government work’.
Christopher Runge designs and builds cars, by hand, one at a time. Here's his "Frankfurt Flyer" Sport Racer.
In the U.S., bacon comes in packages that make the slices look lean from the front, but fatty from the back. But why?
From Paul Lukas of Uni Watch
From Paul Lukas of Uni Watch
Discrimination by Design: The Many Ways Design Decisions Treat People Unequally. by Lena Groeger [Pro Publica] “Discriminatory design and decision-making affects all aspects of our lives: from the quality of our health care and education to where we live to what scientific questions we choose to ask. It would be impossible to cover them all, so we’ll focus on the more tangible and visual design that humans interact with every day.” [Previously.] [Previously.] [more inside]
[more inside]"Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be. This unique existence of the work of art determined the history to which it was subject throughout the time of its existence." Walter Benjamin, Art in the Age of Mechanical ReproductionThis is our point of entry today: to take old chestnuts and try to crack them to see what pops out. Our subject is Disneyland. Our topic: charm.
As TGI Friday's goes minimalist, signalling the demise of restaurant Americana kitsch, what happens to all the antiques? Containing a pretty fascinating and comprehensive history of the development of the "good-time" chain restaurant/bar and the antique-picking and design work that created its signature feel. Previously.
“An African City” features music from Ghanaian hip-hop artists like Jayso, chic home décor from Ghanaian interior designers highlighted in detail on the show’s Instagram page, and clothing from fashion designers like Christie Brown, Archel Bernard, Kiki Clothing, Osei-Duro and Afrodesiac. The vibrant colors and pop patterns have been the toast of the series, especially as members of the African diaspora have begun to incorporate kente cloth crop tops into their wardrobes and wear traditional patterns to big events like prom. Vogue cannot get enough of them. Previously
Worst of the McMansions If you love to hate the ugly houses that became ubiquitous before the bubble burst (1980s-2009) you've come to the right place. Highlights include: McMansions 101: What Makes a McMansion Bad?, and this brief opinionated history of the garage.
67 Years of Lego Sets
I started to wonder how Legos evolved from the sets I remember from my childhood to what they are today. As an analyst, I turned to data for answers. I used Plotly and Mode Python Notebooks to explore the data.
"I am my own muse, I design for myself," says Suket Dhir, this year's winner of the International Woolmark Prize. And, according to one style editor, "he could be the first Indian designer to conquer the world of Western menswear." [more inside]
Users come in all shapes and sizes; some tall, some short, some seated. Since the user interacts in a room-scale VR space with a realistic approximation of their body, the physical dimensions of both the space and the user matter. Depending on the design of the space and the dimensions/limitations of that user, they may not be able to interact with the space in an ideal fashion, if at all.
Accessibility in VR: Head Height, first in a continuing series of articles.
Accessibility in VR: Head Height, first in a continuing series of articles.
The Subtle Genius of Elena Ferrante’s Bad Book Covers by Emily Harnett [The Atlantic] With their sandy beaches and windswept women, the U.S. editions of Elena Ferrante’s novels look familiar even if you’ve never seen them. That’s because they look like virtually every other book authored by a woman these days—not to mention like bridal magazines, beach-resort brochures, and even “Viagra ads.” On Twitter and beyond, readers have described Ferrante’s covers as “horrible,” “atrocious,” “utterly hideous,” and as a “disservice” to her novels. At Slate, one commenter approvingly mentions a local bookstore’s decision to display one of Ferrante’s books in plain brown paper, reviving a practice used for Playboy and the infamous issue of Vanity Fair with a pregnant Demi Moore on the cover. The implication, of course, isn’t that Ferrante’s covers are obscene in the traditional sense—just obscenely bad. Previously.
Maybe people have changed, and today we want different things from games than the ancient Egyptians wanted from Senet. Maybe they found the shuffling rhythms of the game of passing to be thrilling, or at least true: the smallness of human life captured against the unchanging vastness of the landscape of the gods.
Video tour of legendary designer George Lois's Greenwich Village apartment. Also in the series so far: Florence Welch, Glenn O'Brien, others.
Here's The Problem With Jeep's Recalled Gear Shifter (David Tracy, Jalopnik). See also Consumer Reports' YT video (published May 19, 2016), Fiat Chrysler Recalls Confusing Shifters.
City Objects catalogues tiny thoughtful features of various cities around the world, from clocks to ticket machines. In the same spirit as the also great littlebig details, which covers the digital world.
De-dimension, the graduation project of Design Academy Eindhoven student Jongha Choi, is a different take on flat-pack furniture. It's a bit more practical than his Cigarette Chair.
How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist (Medium, 12min) I learned to think this way when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano. [more inside]
The history of the wafuton goes back to ancient times more than three centuries before the Common Era. Considered to be good for the health, yet convenient to roll, store, and air, the Japanese futon is rather a different beast from that more familiar convertible futon common in the West. William Brouwer is credited with the original concept and industrial design of the wooden structure, while in Japan, it is master craftsmen like Hisayoshi Nohara, Grand Champion of Futon Making, who are revered for their work. You can try one out in a ryokan.
People living with dementia do not expect web designers to cure the symptoms, and many people recognize that it isn’t always possible to apply each dementia-friendly web design lesson when building a site. But the combined use of some of these lessons can help many people live well with their conditions. It is important to remember that dementia presents in many different forms, its symptoms are varied, and many of these symptoms are also common to other degenerative illnesses, in particular, conditions which hinder the social inclusion of the elderly.[more inside]
Akvariums! Robot-Hund! Star Wars merchandise! A sort of mail-order Sharper Image kind of store, www.ARNGREN.net offers many, many products and rejects modern design sensibilities by putting quite a few of them on their front page in a vast, scroll-requiring field of boxes.
"Although it will seem remedial to mention this, all Breakout-style games have at least three things in common – each contains paddles, balls, and target objects for the balls to hit." -- Lego Bricktopia level designer, Mark Nelson, shares his vast of knowledge of Breakout-style games (previously 1, 2) in Breaking Down Breakout: System And Level Design For Breakout-style Games. [more inside]
Happy Vintage Pyrex Addiction / Rare Vintage Pyrex (Pinterest) | Vintage Pyrex Kitchenware (article, Collector's Weekly) | Pattern Reference and This Is NOT Pyrex (blog posts from Pyrex Love) | How to Tell Old Pyrex from Really Old Pyrex (blog post, Cara Corey) | 3 Reasons I Love (and Collect) Vintage Pyrex (The Kitchn) | Previously: now we're cooking with glass, American Pyrex Less Resistant to Thermal Shock
The Evolution of the Petrol/Gas/Filling/Service Station Gas stations might be boring or even ugly places, but for the most part, you can’t avoid stopping by one on a long trip. However, they have been so many more beyond the basic design of columns, roof and shop over their history. The following 60+1 filling stations encompass almost a century of architectural progression, showcasing some of the best Art Deco, Bauhaus, futurist, brutalist, minimalist, modernist, Googie building designs of the motorist history. Enjoy the ride!
A friend of mine pointed out how all anthropology textbooks have these "exotic" images of others on the covers and never an image of "white women eating salad". Me, being Dr. Smarty Pants, said, "Wouldn't it be great to replace those exotica images with those of middle class American/Australian Caucasians doing stuff, maybe even using stock photos?" Anthropologist Dori Tunstall and her students de-exoticize Anthropology.
Misplaced.Design Eleven New York City landmarks have been misplaced, their current location unknown. Photographs of unclear origin appear to show them scattered across the globe – on sand dunes, mud flats, “lunar” plains, and rocky beaches. Nobody knows exactly what happened or why
Uncube has ended. A Berlin-based digital architecture magazine that began in 2012 has concluded with issue #43, Athens. Known for its unconventional reportage and groundbreaking design, monthly themes ran the gamut from the desert to Iceland to outer space to, well, death. [more inside]
Classic Swiss design rendered as animated CSS. That is all.
Groundbreaking visionary of contemporary spatial design, Dame Zaha Hadid has passed away. The British designer had a heart attack while in hospital in Miami, where she was being treated for bronchitis. One of the most sought-after architects in the world, Iraqi-born London-based Hadid was first woman to be awarded the prestigious RIBA gold medal in her own right, and the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize.
Today, Nebraska unveiled a new license plate design to commemorate the state's 150th anniversary. It's a simple design, particularly when contrasted with past plates. The sole design feature is that of The Sower, the statue that's mounted on top of the State Capitol in Lincoln. Being the Internet, there's already reaction to the new design, particularly as to what The Sower appears to be doing with his hand.
January 2012 I received a call from Disney: The director Byron Howard, writer Jared Bush and production designer Dave Goetz pitched the premise for a movie called "Savage" (which should become "Zootopia" later) to me and I thought it was a genius idea: An animal movie with a twist: Humans have never existed and instead animals have evolved to human capacity and they had created a city built by animals for animals. Matthias Lechner, Art Director Of Environments for Zootopia, shares an extensive collection of concept art for ideas developed and discarded. A fascinating look at the creative process, showing the evolution of surviving concepts and glimpses at worlds that might have been. [more inside]
"The search for scientific bases for confronting problems of social policy is bound to fail, because of the nature of these problems. They are 'wicked' problems..."[pdf] [more inside]
Recovering the Classics is a crowdsourced collection of original covers for 100 great works in the public domain, designed to increase interest and access to classics in e-book format. [more inside]