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"[T]he most important decisions you make are not the things you do – but the things that you decide not to do."

"He’s a minimalist and constantly reducing things to their simplest level. It’s not simplistic. It’s simplified. Steve is a systems designer. He simplifies complexity." John Sculley On Steve Jobs, The Full Interview [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 15, 2010 - 82 comments

For font nerds AND map nerds.

Typographic Maps. "These unique maps accurately depict the streets and highways, parks, neighborhoods, coastlines, and physical features of the city using nothing but type."
posted by jacquilynne on Oct 14, 2010 - 32 comments

One map's journey

The KICKMap has come up previously on MeFi (1, 2, 3). In this article, designer Eddie Jabbour elaborates his approach and offers a detailed comparison with current and past NYC Subway map designs.
posted by Casimir on Oct 14, 2010 - 8 comments

swissair

Evolution of the Swissair logo and Swissair posters. Many more logos and posters at the Swissair fan site. (logos/posters are direct links to frames at the fan site)
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse on Oct 12, 2010 - 6 comments

Web Design Tutorials and Inspiration

Web Design Ledger is a publication written by web designers for web designers. The primary purpose of the site is to act as a platform for sharing web design related knowledge and resources. Topics range from design inspiration to tips and tutorials and everything in between. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Oct 11, 2010 - 15 comments

If you build it, they will warp

"Star Trek: First Contact gave John Eaves the opportunity of a lifetime when his boss Herman Zimmerman asked him to design a new starship Enterprise. As he recalls, he was determined that the new ship would be sleek, fast, and muscular. " Designing the Enterprise NCC-1701-E from FSD: Starship Concept Art
posted by wayofthedodo on Oct 8, 2010 - 31 comments

The Design of Dungeons & Dragons

The Design of Dungeons & Dragons: "When D&D 4th Edition came out in 2008, I was so pleased with the new rulebooks that I decided to write up the design of the various editions. Well, I ended up being too busy to do that. But upon seeing one of the even more impressive D&D Essentials books, I had to revive that project. Get ready for some intense nerdery."
posted by jragon on Oct 8, 2010 - 63 comments

Man, I thought they were just cribbing from D&D...

"We put in a level system because that led you out of the class system," he says. "There was nothing stopping you from going up a level because you were a girl, or because you were slightly socially inept, or because you are from the North of England. It was a kind of meritocracy where everybody could succeed." Richard Bartle talks about the design of the original MUD. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal on Oct 8, 2010 - 14 comments

Client/designer relationships explained. Finally.

Why you don't like changes to your design.
posted by nomadicink on Oct 7, 2010 - 88 comments

BBCX365

Johnny Selman: "I will design a poster a day for 365 days in reaction to a headline on the BBC news website and update this website everyday with the poster and the accompanying news story."
posted by OmieWise on Oct 5, 2010 - 37 comments

All Things Delicious

"delicious:days was launched in early 2005 and is my way of combining my passions for design and food, as well as craft tidbits about Munich, the wonderful Bavarian town we live in, our occasional travel experiences, cookbook reviews and, to cut to the chase, all things delicious."
posted by nomadicink on Oct 5, 2010 - 2 comments

visualizing.org

visualizing.org, Making sense of complex issues through data and design. About. Visualizing is a place to showcase your work, get feedback, ensure that your work is seen by lots of people and gets used by teachers, journalists, and conference organizers to help educate the public about various world issues.
posted by nickyskye on Oct 4, 2010 - 6 comments

A collection of band flyers

"...it's probably extra easy to trace my life & interests through these galleries. They start out in Kansas (most of the early non-Lawrence/ KC ones were sent to me either by people ordering copies of my zine or by a few pals of mine who had run away to CA), and as I move around in life the bands & venues change accordingly: Kansas, Ohio, Washington DC, Kansas again, Arizona."
The Jason Willis Flyer Collection, 1981-2006
posted by nomadicink on Oct 3, 2010 - 4 comments

Hembakat är Bäst

Going to Ikea anytime soon? Stop by the kitchen section pick up their new baking cookbook, Homemade is Best, for free! (Limited time offer, only available in Sweden.) Try a game of guess-the-recipe and look at all the pretty pictures. [via]
posted by phunniemee on Sep 28, 2010 - 20 comments

Paging The Crime Doctor

The 14 Best Title Cards From 'Batman: The Animated Series' (previously)
posted by Artw on Sep 24, 2010 - 61 comments

Infestation is Beautiful

BDBGS! Last time Christian Swinehart was on metafilter, it was for his gorgeous visualizations of the narrative pathways contained in the Choose Your Own Adventure books. His new interactive visualizations plot bedbug reports in New York City between 2004 and the present. [more inside]
posted by scarylarry on Sep 22, 2010 - 19 comments

Movie Unsheets

When a movie one sheet not an ad for an upcoming film? Some talented graphic designers have taken to creating one sheets for already released films. These 'unsheets' as screenwriter John August calls them are often clever and subtle pieces that reference iconic scenes of the film such as Die Hard's infamous walk on broken glass scene for example. Previous discussion of re-imagined movie posters. and here.
posted by clockworkjoe on Sep 20, 2010 - 27 comments

Creative Action for Collective Good

Every day, our world gets a little bit smaller and a lot more complex. So much so that even minor decisions can have major consequences. Not just for trees or frogs or polar bears, but for human lives, and livelihoods. At its core, sustainability is about people. The Living Principles for Design aim to guide purposeful action. It is a place to co-create, share and showcase best practices, tools, stories and ideas for enabling sustainable action across all design disciplines. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Sep 20, 2010 - 9 comments

And this little piggie was incorporated into over 185 different products...

Over the course of three years, designer Christien Meindertsma tracked the products that had been made from the remains of a single pig. In doing so, she discovered that the skin, bones, meat, organs, blood, fat, brains, hoofs, hair and tail of a single pig might be used in more than 180 very diverse products, from shampoo, medicine, tattoo ink, munitions, cardiac valves, matches, desserts and bubblegum, beer and lemonade, car paint and brake discs to pills and bread. TED Talk. TED Bio. Vimeo video: Reading through the pages of Pig 05049. Exhibition (in Dutch). Design Observer: Pig 05049. Amazon: Pig 05049 [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 20, 2010 - 24 comments

40 years of Xerox Parc

"The Office of the Future" 40 Years Later - 40 years of Xerox Parc, the Palo Alto research group responsible for the desktop computer interface as we know it today.
posted by Artw on Sep 20, 2010 - 24 comments

Pen and Pixel: A Retrospective

Pen and Pixel are well known for the outlandish covers they created for Southern rap labels Rap-A-Lot and No Limit. It's been about 12 years since their heyday, so people are now looking back at the artistry present under the surface of these covers. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 17, 2010 - 39 comments

Dark Patterns

Dark Patterns is a list of deliberately user-hostile web site design patterns typically intended to deceive or exploit unwary users. These range from the trivial and clumsy (interfaces designed to impair price comparisons) to slyer tricks such as sneaking add-ons into shopping baskets, making specific options deliberately hard to find and spamming all your friends, typically after getting permission on a false pretext. Among the offenders listed are the likes of Ryanair, CreditExpert, various travel and electronics shopping sites, and, of course, Facebook, which has its very own pattern.
posted by acb on Sep 17, 2010 - 69 comments

I think the primary reason was Steve Jobs' hatred of screws

Kyle Wiens of iFixit talks to ArsTechnica about iFixit's history ("my iBook G3...It seemed crazy that I couldn't find any information online on how to get the thing back together"), his goals ("we realized that the world needed free, open source service manuals, and the manufacturers weren't stepping up"), planned obsolescence, the dirty tricks manufacturers pull to make it harder to repair your own stuff ("Torx has a patent...They're using lawyers to prevent people from making their computers last longer than 3-400 battery cycles"), who are the design kings of repair and servicing, who the villains are, and why recycling electronics isn't all you'd probably like it to be.
posted by rodgerd on Sep 11, 2010 - 43 comments

I Got It One Piece at a Time

Canadian Jiffy Jeep Crews can completely disassemble and reassemble a Willys Jeep in less than four minutes.
posted by mattdidthat on Sep 11, 2010 - 37 comments

OH MY GOD I AM SO EXCITED

Home Computing in the Future, according to Freescale Semiconductor (Vimeo) [more inside]
posted by azarbayejani on Sep 7, 2010 - 65 comments

Generating Buzz

Beelboard for a public-awareness campaign. La traduction anglaise.
posted by mattdidthat on Sep 1, 2010 - 16 comments

Kelly Meador and Daniel Elwing

Spheremetrical (Here With You) — from the Last Heist EP by Impactist, a directing duo with a diverse background in film production, design, animation, music, and the fine arts.
posted by netbros on Sep 1, 2010 - 1 comment

Designing Obama

The Obama presidential campaign was an innovation in American politics and American design. For the first time, a candidate used art and design to bring together the American people—capturing their voices in a visual way. The Design Director of the Obama campaign, Scott Thomas, has collaborated with artists and designers to create Designing Obama, a chronicle of the art from the historic campaign. Funded via Kickstarter, they have created a book and an iPad app. You can download the book in PDF format for free.
posted by sveskemus on Sep 1, 2010 - 57 comments

Designers'Couch Community

Designers'Couch is a new community of creatives whose goal is to create a vibrant community of passionate writers, artists and designers by providing them a space to showcase their work - encouraging them to network and share critiques. They also feature helpful articles to inspire, teach, and inform artists.
posted by fantodstic on Aug 28, 2010 - 5 comments

It is the map that engenders the territory

Radical Cartography has made a lot more maps since greasy_skillet posted it in 2005, including maps showing housing prices and segregation of all kinds in New York, Chicago, DC and elsewhere, counties named for Presidents, the night sky, the US in agriculture, the US as projected to other spots on the globe, and a physical atlas of the world.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Aug 26, 2010 - 4 comments

Dowling Duncan redesign the US bank notes

Dowling Duncan redesign the US bank notes. [more inside]
posted by domnit on Aug 26, 2010 - 179 comments

You have a drinking problem. We have data.

John Billes—whose extracurricular exploits as an undergraduate at UT Austin brought us iPhone-controlled dance floor lights, R/C cars, and yes, even full-size automobiles—has created the KegMatea keg-mounted, Arduino-controlled data-logging suite with an iPad-based user interface—in his spare time, while working at Yelp.
posted by defenestration on Aug 17, 2010 - 9 comments

Hell is other people. Who are clients.

I want something like Facebook. And don’t try to rip me off, I know that Facebook is free.
A collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers. [more inside]
posted by i_cola on Aug 16, 2010 - 141 comments

Beans and ?

Ampersand Food Groups by Dan Beckemeyer.
posted by sveskemus on Aug 14, 2010 - 11 comments

Let Me Tell You The Tale Of A Hot Rod Race

Colin Berry's Spinout is a a touching, tragic story about his older brother, Kevin. Kevin competed in--and very nearly won--the All-American Soap Box Derby, but lost to Bobby Lange, the son of ski-boot magnate and engineer Robert Lange Sr.. [more inside]
posted by mattdidthat on Aug 8, 2010 - 19 comments

Designed to Annoy

How to design cigarette cartons to be less convenient in order to discourage smoking? Designed to Annoy: a theoretical look at designing inefficient packaging.
posted by AceRock on Aug 5, 2010 - 138 comments

Inspire the web with just 10K

10k Apart — Fond memories of the 5K Awards resurface with this modern spin on the idea. It’s time to get back to basics — back to optimizing every little byte like your life depends on it. Your challenge? Build a web app in less than 10 kilobytes.
posted by netbros on Aug 2, 2010 - 29 comments

Now You See Me, Now You Don't

Camouflage Everything
posted by Xurando on Jul 30, 2010 - 32 comments

Any sufficiently advanced brush pre-set

Arron Diaz of Dresden Codak (previously previously previously) shows us how he makes his colorful comic pages at Indistinguishable From Magic, an art/instruction blog about Character Design, Hands In Storytelling, and Batman.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 30, 2010 - 51 comments

Because who doesn't like a visual?

Twaggies, turn your tweets into pics. Take random weird tweets and turn them into even weirder visuals. Twaggies, a website by Kiersten Essenpreis, features illustrations by the extraordinary @K_Essenpreis. (Essen is the German verb for “to eat” and preis means “praise.” So you better leave some nice comments for her or she’ll twag you most unfavorably.) The other half of the team is David Isreal, @resila, who can’t draw a stick figure much less a twaggie, but does all the other stuff for the blog and hit on the idea for it in the first place. Three additional twaggers have contributed in the past – @yaelbt, @mmbemer and @hsugene.
posted by Fizz on Jul 30, 2010 - 13 comments

The Ultimate Bugalow

The Pasadena architectural firm of Greene & Greene was one of the foremost exponents of the Arts & Crafts movement. Their "ultimate bungalows," including the Gamble, Thorsen, and Blacker Houses (and a host of modern-day disciples) stand testament to the enduring elegance of their work, but for a fuller examination of the brothers' design process, delve into the thousands of blueprints, drawings, and photos at the Greene & Greene Virtual Archives.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 26, 2010 - 25 comments

Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie!

These are all the Twinkie Denial Conditions described in my “Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie!” Designer’s Notebook columns. Each one is an egregious design error, although many of them have appeared in otherwise great games.
posted by Joe Beese on Jul 24, 2010 - 110 comments

Brandon Shaeffer's Movie Posters

Graphic designer Brandon Shaeffer blends conceptualism, block graphic, op-art and deco/streamline sensibilities. His movie poster re-designs are particularly fabulous. Much more can be found in his Flickr stream and tumblr blog.
posted by seanmpuckett on Jul 23, 2010 - 8 comments

The Art of the Flourish

Platt Rogers Spencer was born in 1800 near the Hudson River. His family was too poor to afford paper so Spencer practiced on whatever was handy – leaves, bark, snow and sand – everything was a canvas for handwriting. [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jul 20, 2010 - 7 comments

The storm in a designer teacup

Bruce Nussbaum kicked off a minor hubbub in designa circles this week with his provocative article "Is Humanitarian Design the new Imperialism?" which led to this response by Frogdesign's Robert Fabricant "In Defense of Design Imperialism" and WorldChanging's Alex Steffen's "The Problem with Design: Imperialism or thinking too small?" and finally a whole slew of blog posts, opinions and commentary artfully collated here by the editors of Design Observer. But the question still remains unanswered...
posted by infini on Jul 17, 2010 - 85 comments

WordPress, Thesis and the GPL

Who gets to make money off WordPress? Dust-up brewing in the world of WordPress as theme author Chris Pearson and WordPress head honcho Matt Mullenweg battle out the question: Is a theme a 'derivative work'? [more inside]
posted by ao4047 on Jul 16, 2010 - 147 comments

Chuck Schumer, raising the bar. Nevermind that $42,000,000,000 trade deficit thing.

iPhone 4's reception woes, wherein bridging the area where the metal bands meet (affectionately dubbed "the spot") results in a dramatic loss in signal strength, have been widely covered in the media over the past few weeks. Apple acknowledged the concerns publicly with a letter to customers where they concluded that the issue was not with the phone, but rather that they were being too generous in the way the software communicated signal quality as bars. After an update to iOS, the bars are in fact different but the problems persist. Most recently, Consumer Reports stated it was unable to recommend iPhone 4 because of the significant design flaw, despite listing it as the highest rated overall smartphone they've tested to date. The latest wrinkle in the story has been an open letter to Steve Jobs from Chuck Schumer, yes -- United States Senator from New York Chuck Schumer, in which he questions the adequacy and transparency of Apple's response to customer concerns. Apple will be holding a press conference at 10AM tomorrow in San Francisco to address the matter. [more inside]
posted by cgomez on Jul 15, 2010 - 465 comments

Cosmology

The ancient Hebrew Conception of the Universe. Mayan Interdimensional Star Map. A scale model of the orbits of the planets in our solar system. More by Michael Paukner (via).
posted by Artw on Jul 14, 2010 - 28 comments

Papyrus, the New Comic Sans

Papyrus Watch exposes the most egregious uses of the played-out Papyrus font by graphic designers, businesses, and blockbuster Hollywood directors, among others. Does its widespread misuse mean that Papyrus is the new Comic Sans?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jul 12, 2010 - 83 comments

The Sketchbook Project

It's like a concert tour but with sketchbooks. Get a sketchbook, fill it based on a theme (you can pick one or have one assigned randomly) by a certain date, then let it go on tour and eventually be a barcoded, checkout-able book in the Brooklyn Art Library that you can track. I love this idea.
posted by jragon on Jul 10, 2010 - 17 comments

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