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Changing Perceptions, One Icon At A Time

The Accessible Icon Project seeks to change public perception of the disabled by subtly redesigning the traditional blue-and-white accessibility icon. New York City is one of the first to embrace the new design.
Also: OpenDyslexic, a free font designed to lessen confusion between visually similar letterforms.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jun 14, 2013 - 31 comments

The Memphis Group

Ettore Sottsass was an industrial designer who was born in Innsbruck, Austria. Famous for his My Valentine typewriter design and his geometric enamel designs. [more inside]
posted by panaceanot on Jun 14, 2013 - 15 comments

"Can't innovate anymore, my ass!"

At Apple's keynote presentation at the WWDC yesterday, scorn for Scott Forstall – their recently-fired VP of iOS software – ran rampant. His preference for skeuomorphic design (calendars that look like leather and so-on) was mocked repeatedly by Craig Federighi: “Look! Even without all that stitching, everything just stays in place.” But the real shocker was the completely redesigned iOS 7, created under the supervision of Jonathan Ive, who prior handled all of Apple's hardware design and none of its software. Previously Ive and Forstall were much at odds, reportedly refusing to even meet with each other—and it should be noted that Ives' famous idol, the legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams, famously rejected artificial wooden furnishings with his breakout design, the record player that was nicknamed "Snow White's Coffin" for its transparent lid. Forstall's ousting placed Ive in charge of interface as well as industrial design, and it was expected that the shift would lead to a change in iOS design philosophy. But the change was perhaps more radical than expected—a complete overhaul that looks simple to the point of cartoonishness, with abstracted icons and stark layouts. Some critics are already complaining that iOS 7 goes too far in the other direction; others note the deep rigor of its new rules-based design. You can hear Ive talk about his design here [warning: obnoxious Apple promo video]. And Apple threw its support behind Ive with an unexpectedly lovely short video about the design process [warning: possibly also obnoxious]: "We start to confuse convenience for joy, abundance with choice. There are a thousand no's for every yes."
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 11, 2013 - 302 comments

The Simulation Dream

There’s an old dream in game design. It drives the design of games like SimCity, Dwarf Fortress, Tropico, The Sims, and Prison Architect. I like to call it the Simulation Dream. - Bioshock Infinite designer Tynan Sylvester on games, complexity, stories and simulation.
posted by Artw on Jun 10, 2013 - 29 comments

Textiles and Politics

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.
posted by infini on Jun 9, 2013 - 12 comments

I don't like Wired's original title: weird framing

I’ve given a great deal of thought to the topic of different ways of thinking. In fact, my pursuit of this topic has led me to propose a new category of thinker in addition to the traditional visual and verbal: pattern thinkers. ~ Temple Grandin
posted by infini on May 27, 2013 - 51 comments

I'm kind of a big dill.

The very funny design/performance art work of Phil Jones.
posted by Toekneesan on May 27, 2013 - 6 comments

Index cards inspire Google designs

A couple of discussions of recent Google design trends, one in The New Yorker (via Bruce Sterling), and one from Fast Company (via waxy).
posted by cgc373 on May 17, 2013 - 33 comments

The many ways of showing how we get from A to B

Transit Maps. Designer Cameron Booth's blog and review of transit maps, diagrams, design and artwork from all over the world. [more inside]
posted by andrewesque on May 13, 2013 - 8 comments

CSS Zen Garden is 10 years old, open for business

Today is the 10-year anniversary of the CSS Zen Garden Originally created to showcase and inspire the kind of design possible with CSS2 and standards-based design, the CSS Zen Garden is 10 years old today. [more inside]
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit on May 7, 2013 - 23 comments

What determines which New York Times headlines are italicized?

"There isn’t a style book for this stuff," Tom Bodkin, design director of the Times explains. "There’s no consistency."
posted by larrybob on May 3, 2013 - 9 comments

Remembered, NeXT

As the roots of Apple's OS X, NeXT is fairly well known. Have you actually seen one, though?
posted by gilrain on May 3, 2013 - 116 comments

The Story of Jess and Russ

An invitation to a wedding you already missed with illustrations you don't want to.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? on May 1, 2013 - 94 comments

Celebrating The Very Best That Tony Danza Never Did.

DANZA DID IT! Free Propadanza for Tony Danza. Call the hotline! "Fanza" fan art galleries. Spread Danza. Tony Danza.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 29, 2013 - 43 comments

Here is Today

Here Is Today - a simple interactive animation that helps keep things in perspective.
posted by AceRock on Apr 28, 2013 - 24 comments

Endbahnhof, bitte aussteigen Sie!

Endbahnhof, a collection of photographs of every U-Bahn station in Berlin, organised by line and showing the variety of architectural styles in the system. There is an interview with the photographer, Kate Seabrook, here.
posted by acb on Apr 28, 2013 - 10 comments

FPP below this line _____

Following a 1976 pipeline explosion that left nine people dead, cities adopted the color-coded spray paint DigAlert system to mark the presence of various kinds of buried municipal infrastructure. If you've ever wondered what those marks on the ground mean, the Design Decoded blog breaks it down for you. (The previous entry in their Decoding the City series explained the Fire Diamond.)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 28, 2013 - 25 comments

There's Amazonian and Then There's...

Video game character design is frequently questionable, but some designers don't like being questioned. Penny Arcade imagines equal opportunity questionability, while their reporter Ben Kuchera examines the broader issue.
posted by gilrain on Apr 24, 2013 - 177 comments

Imagined Interfaces

The difference between (Graphical) User Interfaces in movies and in real life is that the former have to convey information to the viewer, not the user. [more inside]
posted by dst on Apr 23, 2013 - 15 comments

belters expanse trajectory: working up the Epstein Drive

How NASA brought the monstrous F-1 "moon rocket" engine back to life - "The story of young engineers who resurrected an engine nearly twice their age." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 14, 2013 - 34 comments

City Flags Ranked

150 U.S. city flags, ranked from best to worst. Top-rated flags are typically tasteful and abstract, like that of Washington D.C. (#1) or subtly representational, like Madison, Wisconsin's flag(#11), which is more or less a glyph of Madison seen from above. The bottom of the list has some that seem stuck in a briefly popular graphic style, like Provo (#143), but most are timelessly ongepotch like the flag of Milwaukee (#147), which features a boat, a skyline, some smokestacks, some grain, County Stadium, a Native American,and a church. And then there is Pocatello (#150), whose flag was memorably profiled on badflags. (Vexillology previously on MetaFilter.)
posted by escabeche on Apr 14, 2013 - 126 comments

“Shopping is so ritualised that we walk around like zombies,”

Sian Jarvis, the supermarket’s head of corporate affairs, had undermined her claims to care about the health of her customers and let slip one of the secrets of a multi-billion-pound industry ... she revealed that one in three Asda checkouts “are what we call guilt-free checkouts”. Jarvis insisted “guilt-free” was merely “a term that’s commonly used in retail”. But it was too late, and her “guilt” gaffe quickly invited scorn in the industry and among public health professionals. Whatever the damage, she had already opened a door to the arcane science of supermarket psychology. To the designers of the modern store, shoppers are lab rats with trolleys, guided through a maze of aisles by the promise of rewards they never knew they sought The Secrets Of Our Supermarkets
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 10, 2013 - 238 comments

The unsaid subtext was "millions of Gamers JUST LIKE US."

"Today I donated my Xbox 360 Elite to Goodwill. It represented a time in my life as a developer that I'm not overly proud about living." A former Microsoft game designer reflects on how his ex-company turned gaming into a bro thing and perfected a formula for the modern console title.
posted by Rory Marinich on Apr 7, 2013 - 128 comments

Abort Guidance System? There's a manual for that!

20 cool covers from NASA manuals and press books [more inside]
posted by Thorzdad on Apr 3, 2013 - 26 comments

To Boldly Design....

Artist/designer Shepard Fairey was commissioned the Center For The Advancement Of Science In Space to design a brand new patch for the International Space Station's ARK 1 (Advancing Researching Knowledge) mission. CASIS's Pat O'Neill unveiling the patch and the ARK 1 proposal.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 3, 2013 - 16 comments

Louis Kahn: the brick whisperer

"Inspired by ruins, DNA and primary geometry, Louis Kahn was one of the 20th century's most influential architects. Why isn't he more famous? Oliver Wainwright on the life and legacy of a man who died bankrupt" ~ The Guardian
posted by infini on Apr 1, 2013 - 17 comments

Swiper no swiping?

The Story of Christoph Niemann's Petting Zoo App, an illustrated article from The New Yorker. "I had this idea of making a simple line drawing that one could naturally manipulate by touching and swiping. How hard could that be?"
posted by oulipian on Mar 29, 2013 - 13 comments

Menus as art

A digitized collection of 9000+ menus from the Dijon library, dating back to the 1800s. (Linked material is in French, but fairly easy to navigate). Menus scanned include weddings, baptisms, and wedding anniversaries among other events. Found via Chocolate and Zucchini.
posted by brilliantine on Mar 25, 2013 - 8 comments

Mechanical Wankelry

Animated Engines has been mentioned a couple times before, but I wanted to highlight the site entire, along with its sister site, 507 Mechanical Movements. Both sites have animated diagrams of a huge variety of engines and (relatively) simple machines, the latter based on an 1868 book by Henry T. Brown of the same name. While all of the engines are animated, the animated machines start on page 3, and go on from there. And every diagram leads to a page that explains the machine's function — step-by-step in the case of the engines.
posted by cthuljew on Mar 23, 2013 - 14 comments

Raiders of a Lost Art?

25 (of the) Top Movie Posters of All Time with commentaries from non-movie-poster designers. Ignore or critique the ranking, note any obvious omissions, or just chuckle at the unstated similarity between #13 and #14. Still, a fine showcase of movie - and movie marketing - history.
posted by oneswellfoop on Mar 22, 2013 - 48 comments

"BioShock Infinite is not a formula game"

"Propaganda shields ideas from danger, and I think I'd rather expose ideas to danger. I think that's what I like to make in these games, is to take ideas and say, well, let's see what happens when these aren't protected." With the much anticipated release of BioShock Infinite just two weeks away, EuroGamer sits down for a lengthy chat with creative Director Ken Levine about philosophy, politics and God. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Mar 12, 2013 - 92 comments

"Please don't use any less than a 16px base font-size for body content"

Stop Using Small Font Sizes "I'm calling you out. All of you. The hackers, the designers, the code monkeys, the word-smiths, the editors, the CSS gurus, and everyone else who works on content management systems and style sheets for news sites. Stop using small font sizes." [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Mar 12, 2013 - 120 comments

Aspiring Animators & Game Designers, Study Your Calculus & Combinatorics

Every film Pixar has produced has landed in the top fifty highest-grossing animated films of all time. What's their secret? Mathematics. Oh, and 22 Rules of Storytelling. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 8, 2013 - 40 comments

Everybody Puts Baby In The Corner

" 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)
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2013 - 56 comments

An urban vertical garden built from hundreds of recycled soda bottles

This beautiful vertical garden made out of hundreds of recycled soda bottles was built for the Rodriguez family by the Brazilian design firm Rosenbaum. The bottles are suspended on the wall of a walkway outside the home and contain edible plants like lettuce and herbs so the family can grow their own organic vegetables. The garden was created as part of the TV show Lar Doce Lar (Home Sweet Home), in which producer Luciano Huck and the designers at Rosenbaum collaborated to transform the homes of several dozen poor Brazilian families. The response to the Rodriguez family's wall garden was so overwhelming that Rosenbaum eventually released the garden design plans (in Portuguese) so people could build their own. [Rosenbaum's page on the complete Rodriguez family home makeover (in Portuguese).]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl on Mar 4, 2013 - 36 comments

Dalek designer sadly exterminated at 84

In 1963, BBC production designer Raymond Cusick was asked to design the first monster for a new show, Doctor Who. Terry Nation's script required aliens called "Daleks" whose hobbies included world-domination and shouting "exterminate". In response, Cusick came up with the amazing and even iconic Dalek design which spawned Dalek-Mania across the world. [more inside]
posted by w0mbat on Feb 25, 2013 - 60 comments

"I'll steal it from this very earth."

A timeline of Blue Note jazz album covers.
posted by dobbs on Feb 25, 2013 - 36 comments

This Sunday, see the Dandy Fish take on the Prancy Horsies!

David Rappoccio has redesigned all the NFL logos to be British.
posted by JDHarper on Feb 21, 2013 - 73 comments

The Secret Law of Page Harmony

A method to produce the perfect book (single-link graphic design essay).
posted by Doleful Creature on Feb 19, 2013 - 32 comments

Cairobserver

Cairobserver is the start of a conversation about Cairo’s architecture and building, urban fabric and city life. A well curated blog about Cairo featuring both Arabic and English essays. [more inside]
posted by Corduroy on Feb 17, 2013 - 2 comments

Architectural Piracy?

How good is Zaha Hadid's new building? So good it's already being copied. And the copy may be finished before the original. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 15, 2013 - 33 comments

Touching Yarns

Loes Veenstra knitted more than 500 sweaters since 1955 & kept them in her house in the 2nd Carnissestraat. The sweaters were never worn. Until today. [more inside]
posted by ouke on Feb 12, 2013 - 28 comments

And the winner was...

Check out the official 85 Years of Oscar poster, commemorating every Best Picture winner for the last 85 years.
posted by crossoverman on Feb 11, 2013 - 40 comments

Urquhart and Muzyka RPG design talk at DICE 2013

Obsidian’s Feargus Urquhart and Bioware co-founder Ray Muzyka gave a joint talk during DICE 2013 on the future of RPGs . Topics included player engagement, modding, (a)synchronous multiplayer and ways of interacting with players. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Feb 10, 2013 - 11 comments

Detailed design notes on Zelda, Castlevania and Mega Man

The blog of video game journalist Jeremy Parish, ToastyFrog GameSpite TeleBunny.net, has four in-depth, stage-by-stage, exhaustive examinations of classic 8-bit game design: Castlevania, Castlevania II, The Legend of Zelda, and Castlevania III. They are required reading for prospective game designers. (Complete links inside. Mega Man fans, look here.) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 29, 2013 - 27 comments

Hell in Living Color

Jim Rugg reflects on the coloring in printed and digital comics. [more inside]
posted by gilrain on Jan 24, 2013 - 15 comments

Redesigning Google: How Larry Page Engineered a Beautiful Revolution

The new Google way is weird, but it's working
Something strange and remarkable started happening at Google immediately after Larry Page took full control as CEO in 2011: it started designing good-looking apps.
posted by andoatnp on Jan 24, 2013 - 79 comments

A Number of Notable Business Cards

"This week, we discovered an utterly charming card used by Isaac Asimov ('natural resource' is right) and, inspired, began hunting for more famous peoples' business cards, whether boilerplate or highly designed, staid or comical."
posted by gilrain on Jan 22, 2013 - 92 comments

Advance to blue triple circle!

Take a copy of Monopoly, cover it in lye for a few days, boil from off the bones whatever flesh remains, and give the clean white skeleton a tasteful, minimalist paintjob, and you end up with ONOPO, an extreme reduction of the original boardgame by Metafilter's own Matthew Hollett, aka oulipian. Via mefi projects, hat tip to fastcodesign c/o Rock Paper Shotgun's always-lovely Sunday Papers feature.
posted by cortex on Jan 20, 2013 - 56 comments

Henceforward Shall Be Free

For a stamp celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, designer Gail Anderson turned to a printing technique of the period, the classic wood types of Hatch Show Print (previously).
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 20, 2013 - 7 comments

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