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Design Online/Web

iOS 11 vs. Design Nerds

iOS 11 will annoy the hell out of design nerds

Apple is usually lauded for raising the bar for product and interface design, since way before it launched the first iPhone. But designer Ryan Lau has noticed a number of design issues in iOS 11 which lead him to believe that the company’s software development division is no longer paying as much attention to detail as it once used to.

And he’s right.

i went ahead and downloaded / updated my iphone to iOS 11 last night when i got home, and have to say that i’m not really noticing all these big design issues or mismatches… maybe i just haven’t dug into it and spent enough time with it yet, i dunno.

first thing i noticed was some of the icons being updated, and some of the fonts were more bold than before… digging some of the app updates… not really digging this little “app bar” at the bottom of the messaging app though — i guess it’s cool, but seriously… wtf?

i dunno mang.

Design Web Design

Bennies of Design System

The Benefits of Creating a Design System

In recent years, the styleguide has been given a refresh, and with the introduction of the concept of a Design System, or a Design Language. With this, comes a whole new approach that can epically effect how a product team approaches design as a whole.

With a solid, consistent, well explained and thought out system, the visual aspect of creating a design becomes totally modular. Products such as Craft by Invision or Brand.ai have made the visual design phase almost drag and drop to a certain extent.

Creating safety in the knowledge that the elements you’re using are consistent with every other designer on the team. They remove any animosity from the visual design phase, almost to a level where creating low-fidelity prototypes are a thing of the past.

“Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.” – Massimo Vignelli

i’ve been messing around with redoing an old styleguide and updating it since it’s been a couple years since anybody took a stab at it, and i gotta say… this article is right on point, mang.

it’s harder that it looks, and will usually have you putting on that thinking cap and thinking things through.

PS. it’s just a pixel, baby!

Design Online/Web Web Design

YouTube Has A New Look

YouTube has a new look and, for the first time, a new logo

For the last 12 years, YouTube’s logo has been a pair of anachronisms wrapped inside each other. “We have the word tube in a tube,” says Christopher Bettig, the head of YouTube’s art department. “This is weird. No one know what this is.” Tube is slang for a television set, which used to be powered by vacuum tubes. But neither tubes nor TVs are central to the world’s biggest video service, which now reaches over 1.5 billion people each month, streaming to almost any screen with an internet connection.

And so today the brand is getting its biggest aesthetic makeover ever. The YouTube logo is being refreshed, shifting the emphasis away from the word “Tube” and onto the familiar play button which has already become an iconic shorthand for the company. The service is also getting a new typeface, color scheme, and a bunch of major changes to the look, feel, and functionality of its desktop and mobile app.

nice write-up of the design updates youtube has been working on and testing/pushing out for the last few months now… i’m liking it, and love seeing designers printing stuff up and putting it all up on the wall.

Skype’s new ‘Interviews’ feature lets you test candidates using a real-time code editor

#ThumbsUp  #DesignWall

Design Online/Web Work

My Co-Worker Behnaz Featured on CNN

Behnaz Babazadeh’s candy burqas challenge cultural stereotypes

(CNN)The image of a veiled woman has become one of the most politically charged images of our time. The head-to-toe burqa, with a slit only for the eyes, is the most controversial of all the modes of veiling from a non-Muslim point of view.

“The Edible Burka” by Afghan-American photographer Behnaz Babazadeh plays on people’s fears — of otherness, of political correctness — to create an unforgettable work that led to a TED talk on her unique cross-cultural practice.

Arriving in the US from Afghanistan (via Iran) as a very young child, Babazadeh remembers the reaction to her desire to wear pretty fabric around her face, as was her custom. It wasn’t considered necessary in her new life.
Then, as a teenager in the aftermath of 9/11, her desire to understand the mores of a country many Americans had scarcely heard of, propelled her towards a creative practice.

An academically trained designer, Babazadeh turned to photography to document her elaborate experimentation. It has become the evidence of her inquiry.

While she was still studying, she heard about a woman in the UK known as Latex Lady, a BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism) submissive who had burqas custom-made in latex as her preferred form of restrictive clothing. Her view of the burqa was as a utilitarian garment that could help her live her daily life; a view diametrically opposed to the usual Western perception of the Taliban’s sartorial preference.

Babazadeh made a film inspired by this attitude — “Burkaphilia” — and also began a series of conversations with her grandmother, through which she came to understand how her culture’s outlawing of intimacy of any kind before marriage left women and men with no idea how to behave on their wedding night.

Babazadeh’s creative response was to further explore the idea of the burqa as a fetish object. The desire to create an edible burqa grew from a personal need to create an East-West dialogue, akin to the one taking place in her own mind.

somebody posted this link in slack this morning at work, and i was pretty amazed… how crazy awesome, right? i mean, i’ve been working with behnaz for the past few years… knew about her continuing thing with the burqa’s, and remember how nervous she was about the TED talk — but damn, still pretty awesome.

congrats behnaz! you go gurl :)

#ThumbsUp  #GoBehnaz

Design Music Online/Web

Pantone For Prince

Prince Gets His Own Purple

Prince was multi-chromatic; a comedian who said as few words as possible, an androgynous sex symbol, a devout mischief-maker, an artist who fused disparate styles — soul and rhythm and blues and rock solos and reedy electronics — into one squarely his own, painted with a palette no one had even noticed.

Regardless, we call him The Purple One for good reason. And now, thanks to a deal between his increasingly license-happy estate and the Pantone Color Institute, he has his own, specific, kingly shade.

“While the spectrum of the color purple will still be used in respect to the ‘Purple One,’ Love Symbol #2 will be the official color across the brand he left behind,” a statement reads. The color was inspired by the hue of a piano he’d planned to take on tour, before passing away on April 21, 2016.

think that’s great… man, can’t believe it’s been over a year since he passed.


Design Online/Web

Trillion Dollar Market For Fake “Design” Chairs

There’s a trillion-dollar global black market for fake “designer” chairs

The iconic Eames lounge chair is among the most copied pieces of furniture. Its history provides an illuminating illustration about how and why the global counterfeit furniture industry thrives to the tune of $1.7 trillion, according to BeOriginal America’s estimate.

Designed by husband-and-wife team Charles and Ray Eames for the luxury furniture market, the leather and bent plywood recliner has become symbolic of good design taste and affluence. The recliner was originally conceived as a napping-and-reading perch for Hollywood director Billy Wilder, who wanted a handsome English club chair with the feel of “warm, receptive look of a well-worn first baseman’s mitt.”

Today, the Eames lounge is still assembled by hand in a Zeeland, Michigan factory following the same meticulous process that the Eameses took four years to perfect. The mid-century modern classic often appears on celebrity photographs, TV shows, magazine covers, and enshrined in MoMA’s permanent collection.

It was a sensation from the moment it was unveiled it on live television in 1956. But not everyone watching the Arlene Francis Home show could afford to shell out $310 (around $2,800 today). Inevitably, knockoffs surfaced in the market.

can count me in on this one, guilty as charged, since i bought an eames lounge chair (same as picture above) a few years back and love it… of course, i spent like $800 on the thing, versus $4,500 which is what an original was going for at the time i believe.

yeah, with those prices, no wonder it’s a huge fucking business.

PS. gotta love eames, mang.

Design Movies

Badass Poster Designs

Badass Poster Design by Grzegorz Domaradzki

man, these are awesome… i would totally order a few 24×36 posters if they were available — and not horribly expensive. heh.


Design Personal Work

The Artechouse

speaking of our little fieldtrip yesterday, here’s a few quick snaps…

we usually bounce outta the office and head into DC to checkout some art exhibit or whatever, every couple months or so, which i think is pretty cool.


Design Online/Web Video Game

Microsoft’s Mysterious “S” Logo

Microsoft trademarks mysterious S logo ahead of Xbox Project Scorpio unveiling

Microsoft has filed a trademark for a mysterious S logo today. The logo, discovered by a NeoGAF user, is related to “Video game consoles for use with an external display screen or monitor; video game interactive remote control units” and “Computer game software for use with personal computers and video game consoles,” according to the trademark filing. It’s not clear whether the trademark is related to a new game for Microsoft’s Xbox One consoles, or even Project Scorpio itself.

The timing of the trademark filing is significant. Microsoft just teased its Project Scorpio dev kit, and the company is planning to unveil its Xbox Project Scorpio console on Sunday at E3. Microsoft is expected to reveal the final naming, price, and design of the new Xbox console at E3. Microsoft’s Surface Studio naming was revealed in a trademark filing ahead of the company’s PC hardware last fall, and it’s possible we might be witnessing the logo for the new Xbox here.

Whether Microsoft chooses just Xbox Scorpio, Xbox S, or another name entirely will all be revealed on Sunday at 2PM PT / 5PM ET.

the first thing i thought of when i saw this “S” logo from microsoft was that it was for the new xbox “scorpio”… also, that it would be really effin cool if they actually stuck with the name and officially called it Scorpio — because that’s just cool.

my second thought? why the fuck is it slightly tilted?!?

did a double-take and stared at the damn thing for a good long minute… if legit, and they stick with that damn tilt, i just know it’ll drive me a little nuts.

PS. looking forward to E3 this next week! :)



The World’s Laziest Graphic Designer

World’s Laziest Graphic Designer Creates Perfect Poster

This is hilarious: In the UK, a fellow named Tom runs the Friars Inn, a pub in Bridgnorth. He asked his buddy Dave to help him with some design work. Here’s what happened:

This perfectly sums up why graphic design will always be easier than industrial design. (Yes it does. Yes it DOES. No you shut up.)

oh man, that’s just brilliant.

#thumbsup  #chuckle

Design Music

Swiss Typography Style Band Posters

Swiss Typography Style Punk Band Posters

these are pretty badass… and yeah, i would totally hang a few of these up on my walls.


Design Online/Web

Slick iPhone 8 Concept

iPhone 8 concept combines camera with Apple logo

The iPhone 7 may be just a few months old, but the excitement over the 10th anniversary iPhone 8 is already resulting in a few very well-conceived concept designs for Apple’s next smartphone.

The latest comes from designer Iskander Utebayev, who not only gives us a look at what the rumored wraparound screen on the iPhone 8 might look like, but also puts the device’s camera in the middle of the Apple logo. Traditionally, Apple tends to let its Apple logo stand alone, but considering that the anniversary version of the iPhone will likely deliver a few design surprises, Utebayev’s idea of incorporating the Apple logo into the device’s most important component is an inspired,albeit unlikely, design choice.

We have a long way to go before we find out what the historic iPhone 8 looks like, but if it’s as slick as this concept design, it will likely deliver yet another sales hit for Apple.

pretty damn nice job on that iPhone 8 concept… never really ceases to amaze me just how much time and work some really talented peeps put into these concepts.

of course it’s a bit too early for this shit, but here’s to hoping that Apple really knocks it out of the park… hell, i already know i’ll be wanting one.


Design Online/Web

Sweet Polish Crown House

“Crown House” Is the Perfect Modernized Lakeside Escape

Polish architectural firm 81.WAW.PL. have designed an absolutely beautiful modernized lakeside home, modeled and rendered by 3D visualization artist Michal Nowak. Dubbed Crown House, the design concept was to create a home featuring stark minimalistic lines and clean modern looks.

i just thought this looked pretty damn awesome… man, there’s a lot of really good polish architecture firms out there doing some really slick design work.



Nik Collection Now Free!

Google makes Nik photo-editing tools free to download

When Google snapped up Nik Software, it acquired not just Snapseed, but also the company’s photo-editing plug-ins for Photoshop and Apple Aperture. Now, the company is making those plug-ins completely free to download. The Nik Collection, a suite of seven editing tools that used to cost $150, can mimic the look of classic photography, turn images into dramatic black-and-white photos, adjust colors with filters, tweak HDR images and more.

go google! that really is pretty damn awesome, and definitely worth checking out and downloading if you’re into touching up your photos and whatnot… hell man, it’s free ;)


Sexy App Intro Animation

i was just browsing around dribbble a bit and stumbled across this opening screen for a banking app — and thought it was pretty damn slick.

Touch id gif

that would be the best app intro of any banking app i’ve ever seen, that’s for damn sure.

nice job dude!

#stares  #envy


The New Guinness Logo

Designers react to the new Guinness logo

Beer brands don’t come more recognisable than the Guinness harp. So when it came to updating the black stuff’s logo design, London firm Design Bridge had to tread a fine line between creating something new and staying true to the established look. But by moving away from the trend of flat designs they’ve created a contemporary logo that reflects the brand’s history.

Revealed last week, the new logo is the first redesign for the golden harp in 10 years. Faced with the challenge to “breathe life back into the harp and let it sing once again,” Design Bridge used the heritage of Guinness to tell the brand’s story.

After spending time with harp makers to ensure the design remained authentic, illustrator Gerry Barney was enlisted to bring the logo to life. Hand-drawn typography taking its cues from the first Guinness print adverts in the 1920s completes the redesign.

Craftsmanship is at the heart of this redesign and it shows in the subtle details that can be found in the harp. While the 2005 design wouldn’t look out of place as an app icon, the Design Bridge creation channels the stamped lettering found in the ironwork at the Guinness Storehouse, giving it a “depth, tactility and drama.”

All of this hard work and research appears to have paid off as designers seem to love the redesign. No easy feat, considering that the recently unveiled Tokyo Olympics logo came in for a rough reception.

huge fan of guinness here, as you probably know… and i have to say, i was actually happily surprised when i saw the new logo.

nicely done, guinness!

p.s. think i’ll go grab one over lunch today.

Design Web Design

UI Inspiration

UI Inspiration: Site Interactions

Designed by Ben Clide

Designed by Jim DeBrock

Designed by Vladyslav Taran

Designed by Leo Leung

Designed by Barthelemy Chalvet

some of these UI interactions are pretty slick, mang.

Hilarious “Enter Your Phone Number” UI/UX Fails


Design Online/Web

Cool Design Proposal for Central Park

Rain makers and sunken Central Park, are these the skylines of the future?

(CNN)Rain-making buildings and a bee hive-like tower covered in buzzing drones — these are the structures that could shape the skylines of the future.

Digging deep

The winning submission was “New York Horizon” by American designers Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu.

Their concept involves digging up Manhattan’s Central Park and surrounding it with a 1,000-foot reflective wall, creating a mirrored “horizontal skyscraper” to reflect the park’s greenery.

By digging down, rather than building upwards, the designers hope to “reverse the traditional relationship between landscape and architecture”.

i just thought this was such a cool concept.

never would’ve thought of it… wow… wonder if they’ll actually do it though?

if so, should be very interesting to watch unfold.


Meet The Architect Who Is Radically Rethinking How We Age

Design Science

Vintage NASA Posters

NASA Just Released a Bunch of Sweet Vintage Space Posters

love it..! nice one, NASA ;)

Design Science

Neural Network Designed Font

This Is What Happens When You Let a Neural Network Design Fonts

Neural networks are increasingly taking on jobs that used to be the preserve of the human brain. So Erik Bernhardsson decided to see what would happen if he threw 50,000 fonts at a neural network and left it to chew at them. The results, it turns out, are pretty interesting.

To feed the fonts to the AI, he created grids of characters—each character fitting in a 64×64 pixel box—so they could then be directly compared with one another. In the process he got the neural net to create what he calls a “font vector”—a kind of abstract mathematical construct that singularly defines the font. You can read about the details of how he did that in a blog post here.

More interesting is what can be done with the resulting vector, as Bernhardsson explains:

Since every font is a vector, we can create arbitrary font vectors and generate output from it. We can… pick a font vector and generate new fonts from random perturbations… We can also generate completely new fonts. If we model the distribution of font vectors as a multivariate normal, we can sample random vectors from it and look at the fonts they generate.

In fact, that’s what you can see in the gif above. It’s pretty smart, too: It’s learned, for instance, that many fonts use upper case characters for the lower case set, and it intelligently switches between the two depending on the type of font it’s creating.

Neural nets might not take over the job of designers just yet, sure, but it’s a pretty cool project that demonstrates just how versatile they can be. You can go and read all about it here.

after reading this, kinda have an itch to watch ‘Ex Machina’ again.