Are you a designer? Maybe your just making a CD label, or creating an invitation. Forgot the standard ad banner size? Don't worry, all this and more is right at your fingertips at the Designer's Tool Box.
Resources for lighting designers and enthusiasts: The Lighting Wiki; [extensive] Glossary of Lighting Terminology (and another); Lighting Design Resources (inc. "Fun with Light"; and Professional Lighting Resources.
MIT Media Labs' concept car project - redefining automotive design and thought, overseen by William J. Mitchell and Frank Gehry [PDF]...via Don Norman's Concept Cars essay...
Thinking with Type The online companion to the book of the same name offers a nice little online primer on the finer points of typography, including my favourite new online game: Dumb Quotes. Remember kids: only you can prevent poor kerning.
The table that cooks ~ A train that can calculate ~ The alarm clock that physically drags you out of bed
We Make Money Not Art :: art meets science and technology in the near near future and begets some cool and scary toys.
A chapter from Edward Tufte's upcoming book is online. [link contains roughly 2.2 MB of scanned images] Tufte, discussed here previously and author of what could be called the Strunk and White for scientists, statisticians, producers and consumers of visual information, takes a stab at a few issues right up the average MeFite's alley: the 9/11 commission report, fraudulent medical studies, and the rather dubious quantitative work of this unfortunate economist/art historian. For the ShillFilter suspicious, check out some of the great threads that haunt his site.
Fabulous images of the Moscow Metro underground, also known as "the people's palaces". Click "M"s on the entry map to view gorgeous (often architecturally surreal) panoramic images, and visit the picture gallery for sweet details. Via Jorgen at Viewropa.
Charles Eames (1907-78) and Ray Eames (1912-88) gave shape to America's twentieth century. Their lives and work represented the nation's defining social movements: the West Coast's coming-of-age, the economy's shift from making goods to the producing information, and the global expansion of American culture. This Library of Congress exhibit outlines major themes of the Eames' life and voluminous works, including architecture, furniture, and the film Powers of Ten. It is wonderfully illustrated with artifacts, photos of their life and work, and examples from the Eames' collection of 350,000 slides.
Hack a fibre optic display. Blow up smarties. Make a lava lamp (that actually works). Things to make and do from Big Clive.
Czech book covers of the 1920s and '30s. Czechoslovakia was an amazingly creative place between the wars, and this Cooper-Hewitt exhibit showcases some of the book covers it produced. Here's an overview and descrption of styles; you can explore them here. I particularly like Sborník Literární skupiny, Jaroslavu Královi k padesátinám, Nejmenší dum, and the work of Karel Teige. (Via wood s lot.)
The Warner Bros. Cartoons Filmography And Title Card Gallery has more title cards and coloured rings than you can shake a carrot at. A great resource that goes hand-in-hand with this and this for all your Looney Tunes-related research.
Too many books? Not enough furniture? Problem solved.
Spiritual Woodworker. Furniture designer George Nakashima's (1904-1990) exquisite creations merged traditional woodworking techniques with innovative design, resulting in (very expensive) work that demonstrates a high level of craftsmanship coupled with a reinterpretation of modernist design. Nakashima also prided himself on being the "world's first hippie", Hindu Catholic and Japanese druid (.pdf file). The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles pays tribute to this great artist with a unique exhibit. More inside.
The Japanese Product Design Database features old product designs from the 60's on. Stuff like Sony's Portable Record Player (1982) and Suzuki's 360cc Micro Sportscar (1971). (via)
Great Political Yard Signs on the Ohio Lawn of Dischord co-founder/Minor Threat drummer Jeff Nelson. I've always enjoyed his design work, and these are just really cool and worthy of sharing, methinks.
Philippe Starck's been making lots of stuff lately, but I didn't know he was producing shoes for Puma until today (flash site features an odd naked guy you can make jump and walk). Clean and sleek, but they're fetching $200+ a pair which is kind of outrageous. Another bunch of freaky expensive wacky shoe designs I found are from Fessura. Click through their gallery to get an idea of what they offer. Medium continue to be my personal favorite shoes, but I'm always on the lookout for more interesting things to wear. If you've seen any interesting shoes lately, do share.
Utopian Christians, despisers of all ornament, in some rough sense protomodernists, the eighteenth- and nineteeth-century millenarian cult known disparagingly as the Shakers has had an impact on the history of design far in excess of its size. (At most, there were only ever a few thousand, and it's easy to understand why, given their emphasis on "perfection" to the point of celibacy.) Key to the Shaker world view was the perfectability of the material world - its purgation of all decoration, artifice and frippery - as an act of worship. This ethos of design, summarized in these theses toward the improvement of the domestic environment, has gifted us with a legacy of highly esteemed craft objects. None has been more celebrated than that canny apotheosis of domestic utility, the Shaker rail, which survives here in a particularly nice contemporary interpretation. If only half the artifacts we're currently offered were as thoughtfully designed...
Some of the results from the city of Vancouver's Art Underfoot contest. "The competition invited anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Vancouver to submit design ideas for new manhole covers..."
Following a long history of innovative designs Apple has created a loyal following. Today they released their newest iMac into the wild.
Follow the Rhinos Weblog tracking two white Rhinos as they travel next month to the Phoenix Zoo. Nice looking site (via CSS Vault). In related news, poachers have killed about half of the world's population of wild white rhinos in the last year (more here).
Human Beans Fictional Products. The Karmaphone, the Live Cigarettes and more
An overview of Athens' branded olympic experience. Considering how many brand geeks we've got, I thought this link to a style overview from the Athens Olympic Committee would be of some interest.
Flash guru Yugo Nakamura relaunches his site.
(pod) Art, Music, Photography. Visit the gallery, listen to the radio, enjoy.
The title screens of hundreds of your favourite movies
Allmusic for Windows Clicking on some deep links into allmusic.com tonight turned up this- Notice: You are accessing allmusic.com with a browser that is not currently supported. The appearance and functionality of the site could be impacted. allmusic.com is optimized for Internet Explorer 5.5 and above for Windows.
347 square feet? Hyper-efficient living space.
Un-Fold. (quicktime clip) City Magazine asked 9 designers, from 9 cities across the world to design a chair in 90 days. Oh, and it had to fit in a FedEx box. Pics and more about the designers and the project.
"Don't just do good design; do some good." An initiative to promote socially-responsible projects as initiated within the design community, in small and large scales. And on a tangent, activism has certainly come a long way since Lennon.
The wisdom of crowds and the miracle of aggregation, arguably, are the reasons why markets and democracy work as well as they do. As New Yorker James Surowiecki explains in his new book, "consider the show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. When a contestant on the show is stumped by a question, he has a couple of choices in asking for help: the audience or someone he's designated as an expert. The experts do a reasonable job: They get the answer right 65% of the time. But the audience is close to perfect: It gets the answer right 91% of the time, even though it's made up of people who have nothing better to do than sit in a TV studio and watch Regis Philbin." The new, new tipping point?
Virtual tour of the new Seattle Central Library. Built from a critically acclaimed design by Rem Koolhaas, this library opens Sunday. The design makes me want to paint my staircase bright yellow, or maybe move to Seattle.
It's New Blogger, launched today at 3pm, with a retooled interface, more rounded corners, single entry archives, comments, user profiles, more template tags, mail-to-blog, knowledge, and more. (Farewell, good ol' black. We'll miss you.)
GUI Olympics! several corporate sponsors (ATI, nVidia, and others) are offering up $15,000 in prize money for the best GUI skin any designer can come up with for a few applications. while i think it's great to push for newer and better user interfaces, who do so many of the designs seem to be pushing complexity over useability? wouldn't a better use of a GUI design prize be to encourage people to improve on a design rather than make it unintelligible? maybe the people pushing the designs need to take this quiz.
Designs on the White House -- an online design contest, judged by designers, celebrities, and activists. Winning designs will be available for resale on T-shirts and other products, and all proceeds after expenses will benefit the John Kerry Presidential campaign. Impressive list of judges, including (so far) Milton Glaser, Chip Kidd, Ed Schlossberg, Atrios, and Tom Tomorrow. Designs will be online throughout May, with your votes determining the finalists. (Kerry's official shirts are lacking, imho) Maybe campaign memorabilia always has been?
If I Ruled Design. Haven't you always wanted to knock out Milton Glasier? Now you can. Via Little Fluffy Industries.
Hypulp is a new effort by Paul Baron (recently profiled in Wired.com and TheFeature) and Paulus Dreibholz which "documents the influence of the internet on print design." Although only a few weeks old, discussions on the site include the use of web fonts in print, barcodes linking to online content, and other topics in that milieu.
Bin Ladin Determined to Strike In US - The Memo From A Design Perspective A desginer looks at the original memo and re-designs it for usability.
"Whether it is an impressionist masterpiece, or just wallpaper, if you take the colour juxtapositions and their proportions from nature, you won't go far wrong." Choosing colours for web pages.