In the web font game services like Typekit and MyFonts reign supreme, but I find as a designer working with an array of smaller clients that sticking to the open source fonts offered by Google Web Fonts is a better fit. All the fonts in the GWF library are 100% free and can be easily integrated into almost any site or web app, and is compatible with an increasingly large number of browsers. All this great stuff has gotten even better with the launch of Google Web Fonts v2. The new release has added increased search-ability, which is more necessary now because the new version currently has 185 families all including multiple variations.
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I think everyone has already said most of the poignant stuff about this piece, but I still wanted to share it. Such a simple idea that become so much more once it had been executed. The orange glow has a beautiful warmth to it. Artist Valentin Ruhry had the idea to compose 5,000 electrical rocker switches into a blank canvas. The possibilities with the result are pretty much endless.
(via swissmiss »)
The state of affairs of ebooks and the integration of reading with the web and the advances in media purchasing has been in a bummer place for a while. In comes Booki.sh. A cloud based ebook library and reading platform, which is accessible on most mobile devices and web browsers. This is a decisive step forward for reading and media related applications, both for it’s thoughtfulness and it’s singular vision. Not attempting to cover too much ground. Booki.sh has restricted their focus to ebooks and the related interaction, and consumption chain.
All the beautiful branding and web design is the work of A Friend of Mine. The project also included a custom typeface applied to the logotype based on a pair of eyeglasses, which adds a playful, yet scholarly identity to the branding.
(via Design Work Life »)
I posted about Josh Owens aka Mind Relic once before, also for his amazing time-lapse shots of New York City. You can view my previous post here. I think the same stuff I said last time is still entirely applicable, but now he has achieved an even higher level of awe. Using a Stage Zero Dolly Josh was able to smoothly and seamlessly shift the angle of the shot giving each one of clips an even greater amount of depth.
(via Cameron Moll »)
Studio Joon Jung have attacked the problem of creating a speaker system from a far different angle and with far different goals from your typical speaker designer or engineer. The Natural Speaker creates a softer more natural sound using a wood, ceramic and porcelain construction for the casing and transmission components. This gives a certain resonance or echo that makes the sound quality softer and more natural feeling. I also really love the more organic qualities of the design, most speakers stick out in a home, and rarely do they match the lived in aesthetic of our other things.
(via The Fox Is Black »)
I am not and have never been a big supporter of RSS Feeds and accessing blog content outside of it’s native environment. Then in comes Feedly 2.0. Feedly’s interface and features are urging me over to the feed side. Their app works beautifully on iOS, Android and most tablet devices. Take a look at their blog to learn more about the app.
(via swissmiss »)
Today seems like the perfect day to post about possibly the most perfect collaborative couple, and one of their side projects. Don’t Fear the Internet is a side project put together by Jessica Hische and Russ Maschmeyer in the hopes of demystifying the internet for us feeble designers and creatives. Also little side note, as of yesterday Jessica and Russ have officially announced their engagement, check out their super cute announcement site/page here. Congrats you two lovely love birds.
Calvetica by Mysterious Trousers is an awesome minimalist calendar app for the iPhone. The application is built on the iOS native calendaring APIs and syncs seamlessly with the iOS Calendar app. At $2.99 this calendar is a definite steal.
(via Minimalissimo »)
I want to start off by saying, the new twitter homepage is a vast improvement. Despite their steps forward mainly simplifying and invigorating the design. Like so many other sites and services in their sphere they still fall victim to flat, lifeless, and infinitely uninspired homepage experiences.
Sites like twitter and facebook, second to second and minute to minute provide users with a platform to generate such a beautifully vast and unique amount of content. Yet are we still battling with designing homepages that balance the tasks of leveraging the sites interior content and not overwhelming the visitor upon arrival.
The NY Times website, and news sites in general are a good place to look for inspiration. Most frequently with periodicals they use the cover in print or the homepage in web to engage the viewer or catch their eye. Services like twitter owe it to themselves to offer up a more profound and enticing homepage. Arriving on their homepage and seeing a few favicons of famous people is not enough of a reason for me to signup and become a user if I were not already using their service. Lets look at Evernote for a moment. They are different because their product functions in a completely different space and purpose, however almost immediately upon arriving at their site I know what the application is, what it does, and I have pretty good understanding of it’s interface.
So one major argument that comes to mind is, how many people still access twitter through the web? Since the release of new twitter the number of users of the browser based application have definitely risen and I know I am not the only person of the opinion that new twitter is the most rich and intuitive way to access your stream. This statement goes for third party apps as well. Sorry guys.
Michael Surtees of the blog Design Notes and the new web shop Gesture Theory has recently launched a Google Chrome extension called Silence of the Celebs. The extension gives you the ability to remove headlines of celebs from CNN, Huffington Post, and TMZ. You can choose from their default list or add your own. Additional features are said to be coming soon, including the ability of the extension to function on any site.
My friend Skylar Challand of oak is the genius behind this revolutionary new bookmarking and sharing tool dropmark. Dropmark combines a lot of the features I love in Gimme Bar with a little be more focus on data ownership, which I really appreciate. They also have a handy little API so you can use your data and dropmarks in anyway you would like.
(via swissmiss »)
By now anyone and everyone has most likely heard about LetterMpress. It has received almost double it’s goal in funding on Kickstarter, which I think is a good barometer for its high potential. I only wish it was going to be available on iPhones as well.
The app. itself will allow you to create custom letterpress compositions and prints in a user interface and process that parallels the real act of letterpress printing. You will also be able to print directly from the app. or export vector files of your designs for use in other applications such as AI.
Over the course of 2010 there were a bunch of concept videos and designs based on the idea of translucent displays, and even display technologies that were so cheap they could be applied to any surface. Now, a mere two months into 2011, to hear that Samsung has unveiled a 46″ LCD television that is solar-powered, zero energy, and transparent. Well this is just a complete mental explosion. I do have to say it starts to feel a little scary when the most absurd future visualizations from the movies of your childhood start to become realities, and we have definitely gotten to that point.
The prototype was unveiled at CeBit in Germany. The television has integrated solar panels that draw energy from ambient light in the room, so dark screening rooms will no longer be friends with the televisions of the future. The translucence of the display is actually attributable to the display being so thin. The next obvious jump is to start integrating this type of display into glass surfaces for any and all applications. The biggest one off the bat is obviously going to be car windshields. Yes another hazard on the road! My cynicism aside the combined super powers in this new TV really are rad and the energy efficiency side of it really impresses me coming from a big corporation like Samsung.
(via Inhabitat »)
I love the way Midget & Giant by Ryuji Nakamura artfully improves a piece technology. This webcam add-on for your Mac is a fabulous example of making something more fun and interesting with a simple paper house structure. The image it makes from the inside is even cooler than the view of it perched at the top of your monitor.
(via The Best Part »)
Disclaimer: This post makes some broad strokes about a few different things, but it’s main intention was to recount a recent data snafu and to send some appreciation to a couple of fellow bloggers for being awesome.
As you read this I am recovering from what initially looked like catastrophic data-loss. My Lacie d2 Quadra 500GB hard-drive(sole file storage for most if not all of my work past and present. Yes I am a lazy dinosaur) refused to mount and was making that brushy clicking sound; said to be characteristic of collapsed brushes. It turned out to be the other common and infinitely more palatable scenario. A corrupted power source. Painless $30 fix from the nice helpful people over at Tekserve.
The comedy in all of this lies in the fact that earlier that day I had signed up for Backblaze and made the mental note to start putting together A Backup System. This initiative had stemmed from reading two insightful posts from some fellow design, web creatives Frank Chimero and Antonio Carusone of Aisleone. I really respect these two guys for their work and for the education and inspiration I get from their blogs on a regular basis. These posts about something that could be written off as trivial or something any body should be able to figure out on their own is a great resource. Inevitably we all need good information on a particular subject at some point. So why not get that info. from someone you have learned to trust?
It is really great that people in our field have the compulsion and platforms available to them, like never before, to share their experiences, ideas and tools for doing what it is we do.
Antonio Carusone of AisleOne has just released his 2011 desktop wallpaper calendar, which breaks the year up into 3 wallpapers. They come in on size of 1920×1200, which should accomodate most displays.
The design fits Antonio’s minimalist design style and he has chosen to have the color get darker as the year progresses. Download the zip file with all three wallpapers.
This morning I came across this post by Giorgio Biscaro on Klat and was very taken with the simple way he talks about the details of color on the Dieter Rams design for the Braun T1000 as they pertain to function. Without using any buzzwords or tech talk Biscaro points out the subtle use of color in this device that really elevates the usability and the users understanding of it’s functions.
“I personally like the use of colours when they help identify a specific function, or when they underline a specific performance, or behaviour.”
I think this does a great job to encapsulate the understanding and practices of design that went into the T1000. This radio and the other sound products released by Braun during this period went on to define standards of design and precedents for the interface designs of technology, which spanned far beyond stereos and household electronics. These days you hear a lot of talk that Jonathan Ive of Apple has taken many design cues from Dieter Rams and his work for Braun, and my response to that is, how can you blame him?
(via klat »)
This is a pretty nifty little creation that could revitalize almost any monitor. Personally I have never been very big on screensavers, but this DROPCLOCK is definitely one I could get into. It illustrates the current time with Helvetica numerals dropping into water in super slow motion . I would love to see some behind the scenes stuff on how they shot the footage and coded it.
(via iso50 »)
I remember a time when Polaroid film was abundant and digital cameras still took blurry distorted photos (not on purpose). The feeling of immediately holding and being able to touch a crisp new print maybe coming back. Polaroid, on December 2nd, released an image teaser of the upcoming product release to Engadget. They have doctored the image in their post to reveal more details of the product, but I somewhat prefer the mystique and surprise of the obscured.
(via iso50 »)
Tiger Stone is a machine that cannot be better described than by saying it is a brick printer. I would love to see this tool in the hands of some artists and designers. This machine could be used to make some insane patterns and murals. Using it to make type or inset lettering into could be super cool as well.