Posts tagged design

The Designer’s Workstation
We particularly dig the customizable Photoshop shortcut pedals under the desk. Ditto the mind reader to read clients’ thoughts.
Image: The Perfect Designer Workstation, via Design Taxi. Select to embiggen.

The Designer’s Workstation

We particularly dig the customizable Photoshop shortcut pedals under the desk. Ditto the mind reader to read clients’ thoughts.

Image: The Perfect Designer Workstation, via Design Taxi. Select to embiggen.

Swim Through Your Interface

Here’s a riddle: You can watch this video and decide you’re floating within a touch device, or you can watch this video and decide that everything is a touch device. Either way, give this video a minute or two to kick in. I think you’ll be amazed. — Michael

Via Slate:

Close your eyes and imagine how it would feel to go for a swim inside your iPad’s touchscreen. It could be a little like the surreal, interactive “AquaTop display” experience, created by researchers at the University of Tokyo Electro Communications Laboratory. The prototype model is just a tank of water, but the plan is for the AquaTop to turn your everyday bathtub into an immersive touchscreen, allowing the bather to watch movies, look at photos, and play games.

And via Aquatop:

Our system uses a depth camera to detect input on and over the water surface to allow for interactions such as protruding fingers out from under the water surface and scooping up the water with both hands. This type of interaction is not capable with current impenetrable, rigid body, flat surfaces. For example, by floating one’s limbs on the water surface, it is also possible to fuse one’s body with the displayed objects for further augmented interaction by ‘becoming one’ with the screen.

Run Time: ~8:50

What Do Drugs Do to Spiders?

via Mental Floss:

Getting spiders high for science started in 1948, when German zoologist H.M. Peters got fed up with trying to study web-building behavior in spiders who wouldn’t do him the courtesy of working on his schedule. His garden spiders tended to build their webs between two and five a.m., and he asked his pharmacologist friend P.N. Witt if there might be some chemical stimulant that would coax the spiders into building their webs at a more reasonable time. 

Witt tried giving the spiders some amphetamine and, while they kept building at their usual hour (to Peters’ dismay), the two scientists did notice that those webs were more haphazard than normal. Over the next few decades, Witt continued to dose spiders with a smorgasbord of psychoactive substances, including marijuana, LSD, caffeine and mescaline, to see how they reacted. Since spiders can’t use tiny bongs or drink from little mugs, Witt and his team either dissolved the drugs in sugar water or injected them into flies and then fed the spiders with them.

Images: Spider web images by NASA, via Mental Floss. Clockwise, starting with the top-left: a regular web; a web on marijuana; a web on benzedrine; a web on caffeine; a web on chloral hydrate; and a web on LSD

The Cartoon Color Wheel
Slate, Red Skull Is Red, Smurfette Is Blue.

The Cartoon Color Wheel

Slate, Red Skull Is Red, Smurfette Is Blue.

Coincidence?

Coincidence?

Be it Remembered!
Slate digs up this front page from Philadelphia’s Freeman’s Journal announcing the British “furrendered” in Yorktown, Virginia.
While the Treaty of Paris wasn’t signed for another two years, the October 1781 battle was the end of major hostilities in the Revolutionary War.
Design Notes, via Slate:

As Mariam Touba, a reference librarian at the New-York Historical Society, writes, in Colonial papers big news was often relegated to inside pages. A browse through the volume Reporting the Revolutionary War, which collects pages from Colonial and British newspapers’ coverage of the war’s major events, reveals that it was quite uncommon for newspapers to use type that would yield print bigger than a cramped 8-point font. Somebody at the Freeman’s Journal must have correctly judged this news to be worthy of uncommon typographical enthusiasm.

Image: Freeman’s Journal, October 24, 1781, via Slate. Select to embiggen.

Be it Remembered!

Slate digs up this front page from Philadelphia’s Freeman’s Journal announcing the British “furrendered” in Yorktown, Virginia.

While the Treaty of Paris wasn’t signed for another two years, the October 1781 battle was the end of major hostilities in the Revolutionary War.

Design Notes, via Slate:

As Mariam Touba, a reference librarian at the New-York Historical Society, writes, in Colonial papers big news was often relegated to inside pages. A browse through the volume Reporting the Revolutionary War, which collects pages from Colonial and British newspapers’ coverage of the war’s major events, reveals that it was quite uncommon for newspapers to use type that would yield print bigger than a cramped 8-point font. Somebody at the Freeman’s Journal must have correctly judged this news to be worthy of uncommon typographical enthusiasm.

Image: Freeman’s Journal, October 24, 1781, via Slate. Select to embiggen.

Moment of Joy
New Yorker cover. Design by Jack Hunter.

Moment of Joy

New Yorker cover. Design by Jack Hunter.

The Credible Hulk
chicagopubliclibrary:

“Always cites his sources.”
Click here to buy “The Credible Hulk” shirt!
H/T To r/libraries!
Prison Times
Handwritten newspaper created by Confederate soldiers imprisoned at Fort Delaware in 1865.
Extra, Extra? Read all about it, via Slate.

Prison Times

Handwritten newspaper created by Confederate soldiers imprisoned at Fort Delaware in 1865.

Extra, Extra? Read all about it, via Slate.

If You Love to Create, You Should Create

I’ve recently become obsessed with a food+writing blog called Pupcaked, created with a lot of love and patience by my good friend Zoe. She’s a fantastic cook, journalist, photographer and writer. In her own beautiful words about the project:

Currently, I am taking residence in my hometown, New York, and baking from a small kitchen with a city window… As both a writer and maker of food, I am led to understand that eating is made from both loud and quiet, in an utterance of everywhere and anywhere that life can be savoured — the “journalist” in me will do all that she can to avoid interrupting its serene gaze that’s greased gently with a kind of grace known only to those patient enough to taste it.

In short, “Pupcaked” is an experiment in food-making, food-loving and food culture. I hope that you will join me.

I share it here because I think it represents something worth thinking about: if you love creating, you should create. You should work hard at it, block off a little bit of time each day to dive deeply into it, and you should love it. Zoe cooks, photographs and writes. 

We get a lot of questions from our readers about how to break into journalism, about the correct steps to take to secure a great internship, about how to become a writer or blogger. Our answer is always the same: do it. To quote Michael in his response to one such question

So, you say you want to be a writer but there’s nothing available in your area. In that case, make something available to yourself.

There are stories everywhere. There are stories where there are lots of people. There are stories where they are no people. There are great stories about topics other than people.

So start writing them. Choose something that you’re passionate about. If it’s a character who lives down the street, approach him and ask if you can interview and write about him. If he asks why, and what for, say simply, “I like to write.”

Some people will say no but you’ll be surprised by how many people say yes. People are wonderful that way.

And if your passion is for a subject or topic that requires more discrete expertise, say science or medicine or art or local politics, start reading up and then start calling people up (eg, at local colleges, businesses, governmental agencies and what not) and ask questions.

Again, many will ask why and where will this appear and you simply say, “I like to write and its for a personal site I’m creating.”

And then some will say no but others will say yes but give it a couple months and you have yourself body of work. You’ve gotten started.

Summer has just begun and we suspect some free time comes with it. So, we encourage you to take a break from the internship hunt and get cracking on producing and documenting the little hobby you’ve been thinking about. —Jihii

Image: Coffeecake muffins with cinnamon-walnut streusel (via pupcaked)

Snow Fall, Meet Firestorm
If you haven’t checked it out yet—and I hope you have—The Guardian’s Firestorm, a Snow Fall-esque interactive long-form multimedia piece came out last month and it’s completely stunning.
From Poynter’s story on the teamwork required to put it together:

“I think you have to capture people’s hearts,” Francesca Panetta, special projects editor of interactive storytelling projects, said in a phone interview. “As with all kinds of storytelling, you can’t lose sight of that need to connect and touch people, whether it’s writing or radio or a complicated interactive.”
Firestorm is remarkable for a number of reasons, including the stellar video images and the subtle way that looping video is used behind the written story. The integration between words and video is handled with such finesse that the one doesn’t distract from the other.
“We’re very happy with the subtlety,” Panetta said.
The chapter navigation uses clear images and concise icons and labels, ensuring it’s always clear where you are in the story.
A project like Firestorm or The New York Times’ Pulitzer-winning interactive,Snow Fall, demands considerable resources. Twenty-three people are credited for Firestorm, which was three months in the making — actually a speedy turnaround for a project of this scale.
Many newsrooms don’t have that level of resources, of course. But they can still learn from The Guardian’s process and the project’s experiments with layered storytelling — and figure out ways to do something similar on a smaller scale.
Keep reading for key takeaways from the project.

FJP: I’ve been hearing people favor this one to Snow Fall but perhaps that’s because the story itself (which is incredibly moving) lends itself to a slightly more poignant interactive than Snow Fall…but both are fantastic. —Jihii
Bonus: E-book version of the story, which you can buy here, along with other Guardian shorts.

Snow Fall, Meet Firestorm

If you haven’t checked it out yet—and I hope you have—The Guardian’s Firestorm, a Snow Fall-esque interactive long-form multimedia piece came out last month and it’s completely stunning.

From Poynter’s story on the teamwork required to put it together:

“I think you have to capture people’s hearts,” Francesca Panetta, special projects editor of interactive storytelling projects, said in a phone interview. “As with all kinds of storytelling, you can’t lose sight of that need to connect and touch people, whether it’s writing or radio or a complicated interactive.”

Firestorm is remarkable for a number of reasons, including the stellar video images and the subtle way that looping video is used behind the written story. The integration between words and video is handled with such finesse that the one doesn’t distract from the other.

“We’re very happy with the subtlety,” Panetta said.

The chapter navigation uses clear images and concise icons and labels, ensuring it’s always clear where you are in the story.

A project like Firestorm or The New York Times’ Pulitzer-winning interactive,Snow Fall, demands considerable resources. Twenty-three people are credited for Firestorm, which was three months in the making — actually a speedy turnaround for a project of this scale.

Many newsrooms don’t have that level of resources, of course. But they can still learn from The Guardian’s process and the project’s experiments with layered storytelling — and figure out ways to do something similar on a smaller scale.

Keep reading for key takeaways from the project.

FJP: I’ve been hearing people favor this one to Snow Fall but perhaps that’s because the story itself (which is incredibly moving) lends itself to a slightly more poignant interactive than Snow Fall…but both are fantastic. —Jihii

Bonus: E-book version of the story, which you can buy here, along with other Guardian shorts.

Drawing New York City

Via Atlantic Cities:

James Gulliver Hancock wants you to know about a little personal project of his. It’s nothing big, really. Just something he does whenever he has the chance. The project is to draw all 900,000 buildings in New York City. Like we said, nothing major.

Hancock began his epic effort in April of 2010 along with a personal blog where he posted many of the finished works. More than 500 of the buildings in New York that he’s drawn so far were just published in the very appropriately titled book: All the Buildings in New York: That I’ve Drawn So Far (Universe).

Read through for an interview with Hancock. Prints of the drawings are available on Hancock’s web site.

Images: various New York City buildings, by James Gulliver Hancock. 

Pinterest Design Ethos Echoes With Publishers

joshsternberg:

The visual Web continues to push forward, one publisher site at a time.

Publishers across the digital media landscape are redesigning their sites to mimic the photo-friendly grid layout of social sites like Pinterest. Media companies from The New York Times to CNN to Mashable are falling in love with the less-is-more design approach, both as a way to create a better user experience and a route to integrate ads less awkwardly.

“The holy grail is how advertising feels more integrated to the pieces,” said Dan Gardner, co-founder of design shop Code and Theory. “As a page becomes more visual, it allows advertising to feel more integrated. It’s not to confuse what’s advertising and what’s editorial, but advertising can now be more part of the experience.”

That experience is transforming websites. Instead of putting up blocks of text, publishers are understanding that big, bold, beautiful images attract more attention from visitors. The old-fashioned way of presenting information was to offer an inherent hierarchy: news story headlines get bigger treatment, other articles get smaller text. Visual approaches change that.

Click through to read what designers have to say about the Pinterestification of publisher sites.

The Beauty of Letterpress

The Beauty of Letterpress is a new site showcasing the beauty and innovation of letterpress work today in an effort to assist the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in its move from its current Wisconsin location to a new one.

The site contains image galleries of letterpress examples and will have a monthly design issue curated by designers that highlight their favorite project. The premiere issue is called Form and Function and explores moveable type and the influence modern technology is having on it.

About the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum:

With 1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles and sizes of patterns, Hamilton’s collection is one of the premier wood type collections in the world. In addition to wood type, the Museum is home to an amazing array of advertising cuts from the 1930s through the 1970s, and all of the equipment necessary to make wood type and print with it, as well as equipment used in the production of hot metal type, tools of the craft and rare type specimen catalogs.

The Hamilton Museum is a non-profit and is looking to raise $250,000 to help move its 30,000 square feet of printing history.