Tuesday, 4 October 2022

7x7 (10. 195)

also sprach zarathustra: Raquel Welch dances to a disco-funk version of the Strauss classic 

information overload: a survey of pictorial statistics’ evolution to the infographic  

great chain of being: Evard d’Espinque illustrates the fifteenth century De Proprietatibus Rerum 

this lady is for turning: after precipitating markets instability and provoking decent from within the party, the Prime Minister and Chancellor walk back unfunded tax cuts for the rich  

fancy dress party: Jane Asher’s book of costumes search engine: glean answers to queries from passages in literature, conversation rather than Google Search—via Swiss Miss  

phone a friend: 1-900 hotlines in the United States 

daisy, daisy—give me your answer, do: witnessing a demonstration of the IBM 704 in 1961 inspired Arthur C Clarke

Friday, 30 September 2022

7x7 (10. 180)

ron’s house: a bid to save an immersive, eccentrically decorated apartment—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump  

hermetic students of the golden dawn: an honest-to-goodness magic duel between William Butler Yeats and Aleister Crowley—via Boing Boing  

there’s a hole in my head where the rain gets in: medieval wound man, a medical diagram meant to assist surgeons of yore—see also  

it’s been zero days since the last catastrophic hurricane: more stats from Neal Agarwal (previously)  

self-paced: an AI powered language learning tool—via Web Curios  

photosculpture: a century before 3D printers, there was the rotoscoping technique M Franรงois Willรจme  

mid-management mezzanine: a tour of the S.C. Johnson Wax Headquarters building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

maripedia (10. 173)

Our gratitude to the Everlasting Blรถrt and Present /&/ Correct for acquainting us to the venerable Helsinki textile company, Marimekko Oyj and being able to associate the distinctive patterns, like the unikko (Finnish for poppy), with an artist—namely Maija Isola—and a brand through this delightful library and look-book featuring designs from the early 1950s through today. Their fashion line climbed to international fame when Jacqueline Kennedy wore eight Marimekko dresses during her husband’s presidential campaign and again saw a resurgence in the 90s when clothing and accessories were featured on the series Sex and the City. Much more to explore at the links above.

Saturday, 17 September 2022

7x7 (10. 141)

jezero: Perseverance explores a Martian crater  

lingthusiasm: an interview with xkcd author Randall Munroe on hypothetical questions about language and orthography—via Language Log  

achievement unlocked: a radical redesign for Girl Scout badges—see also  

3½, 5¼: an interview with the last purveyor of floppy disks—via JWZ  

emoticons: more on the IPA, EPA (English Phonotypic Alphabet), Issac Pitman and other champions of spelling reform from Shady Characters  

jazz and cats: the life and surrealistic art of Gertrude Abercrombie  

earth below us: outstanding images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest

Thursday, 15 September 2022

7x7 (10. 136)

ernie-vilg: Baidu enters text-to-image generating AI—reinforces government censorship  

kusugibashi: a rebuilt bridge washed away in 2018 combines traditional carpentry (see also) with computational design technology  

naysayer: exocentric verb-noun compound agents 

if you give a bot a cookie: pop ups are ruining the internet experience—see also—outside of walled gardens, via Digg  

we’re making earth our only shareholder: founder of Patagonia gives his billion-dollar company away to combat the climate emergency 

bademaschinen: floating saunas for Oslo harbor—see also   

nervous laughter: researchers hope to deliver more natural human-robot conversations

Thursday, 1 September 2022

a, e, i, o, u—and sometimes y (10. 103)

As part of an engrossing, thoroughgoing examination of the alphabet’s terminal letters and the semi-vowels, our modern w’s and y’s and their received orthography and form, The History of English Podcast, in the latest episode, informs that the in the prevailing Blackletter or Gothic scribal style, the risers (see also) are referred to as minims—the simplest stroke, the “i” and the source of our modern minimal and derived terms (hence, “I do not care one iota”) and these vertical elements, making for the quickest recording and transcription with a quill, sacrificed legibility for the sake of speed and economy of space—the word itself and others with m’s, n’s, u’s and i’s looking like a picket fence. Scribes found idiosyncratic ways of making texts clearer and reducing transmission errors by adding a tittle or a jot, and using a “y” for an ending “i.” Much more at the links above.

Saturday, 27 August 2022

8x8 (10. 091)

catenary curve: the relationship between arches and chains  

astrochickens: another one of Freeman Dyson’s theoretical constructs—albeit less famous than his spheres   

numeracy: a selection of books bringing maths to the masses 

click-wheel: design your next custom iPhone—add a headphone jack, handle, home button, etc. from Neal Agarwal (previously)  

safe neighbourhood: Madonna’s punk phase 

late-stage thatcherism: the UK under Tory leadership is in omnishambles 

chakumelo: a celebration of nostalgic words culled from Japanese dictionaries due to declining usage  

hรฌtรซkw: an AI redesigns the tennis racket, named after Lenape word for tree due to its root-like design

Friday, 12 August 2022

tin lizzy (10. 054)

Designed by the engineering team of Joseph Galamb, Eugene Farkas and Childe Harold Wills and hailed as the United States entrรฉe into the modern machine era, the first Ford Model T was built on this day in 1908 at the Piquette Avenue Plant in Detriot—leaving the factory at the end of the following month. Proceeding through the alphabet sequentially starting with Model A in 1903, though not all vehicles went into production, Henry Ford ended the series here with the first mass-produced automobile, using an assembly line (though credit for the concept is owed to Ransom E Olds) and interchangeable, standardised parts—marketed to a growing middle class that was in the reach of most. Just under fifteen-million were produced (a record not surpassed until the Volkswagen Beetle in and within a decade over half the cars on American roads were Model T, and while Ford’s pronouncement to his managers, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black,” was not apocryphal during the first four years of production only green, grey, blue and red was available

Sunday, 31 July 2022

so we spin (10. 029)

Published in part at the link, we enjoyed this introduction to the graphic design portfolio of Elinor and Joe Selame in their 1971 data-visualisation (see also here and here) volume that poses the question whether one is a wheel or a cog and demonstrates the discipline’s commitment to limning socio-economic realities and communicating an class and ethnographic truth. Widening inequalities create a thesis and antithesis that can be convey clearly in a family of symbols, which not only project and reflect society, the technique can also help one to understand one’s role within the context of community. More at Print Magazine at the link above.

Saturday, 9 July 2022

photocopy cha-cha-cha

Titled “Choreography for Copy Machine” this 1991 short is a montage of sublimely sequenced animated, dreamlike encounters made exclusively by layering and resampling on a xerox machine. Created by independent filmmaker Chel White, the award-winning the four minute exploration examines anatomy, physiognomy in an age where any asset is limitlessly reproducible and pre-figures our digital and automated over abundance. NSFW exactly as there are a few frames of nudity in line with what copiers sometimes used to get exposed to at office holiday parties.

there and back again

In the early 1960s, animator and producer William Snyder of Rembrandt Films had optioned the rights to a little-known children’s book called The Hobbit. In order to keep that IP, Snyder and the studio were obliged to produce a colour cinematic adaptation by 1967 and bumping up against this looming deadline commissioned Gene Deitch, in the interest of a bigger project with the story and characters later on, to create this hastily made but artful (see also) and hardly slapdash piece to hold on the rights Snyder had invested in. Made in thirty days and fulfilling the conditions in the contract (rights to the story were leased rather than sold outright) and shown in a screening room in New York, Snyder ended up breaking even by selling his stake back to Tolkien.

codified likeness utility

Having premiered in US theatres on this day in 1982, we enjoyed this appreciation of the energy and insight surrounding the making of TRON (see previously here and here) in this interview with creator Steven Lisberger conducted just ahead of the fortieth anniversary on the 80 nightclub cyber aesthetic that the much vaunted Metaverse ought to aspire to, a mainframe saving democracy rather than destroying it. Praised for its pioneering visual effects but criticised for its incoherent plotline. Before our hero Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is able to gather evidence that the company vice-president’s success owes to him plagiarising Flynn’s own video games, the Master Control Programme digitises him and hopes to “derez” the nuisance in a gladiatorial match along with other ill-appropriated coding.

Friday, 8 July 2022

jellygummies

Another peripatetic, internet caretaker friend, Swiss Miss, directs us to the uncanny portfolio of 3D animation artist Sam Lyon based in Blairgowrie, Scotland whose clients include MTV and Adult Swim in the form of idents and bumpers.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

home office

Prototyped in a studio space in the Harkotten Palace near Mรผnster in Westphalia by industrial designer Lutz “Luigi” Colani who began his career in the early 1950s fashioning automotive concepts for Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Volkswagen and BWM pivoted to homewares with items ranging from modular kitchens, television sets, cameras, work uniforms, ballpoint pens, grand pianos and this typing chair that embodied his “biodynamic” signature. Find more of Colani’s designs curated at Vintage Everyday above and this online gallery, arranged by product type.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

branding identity

Having previously showcased lettering artist Rafael Serra, PRINT magazine was quick to recognise his 1980s-informed logo inspiring another new management’s corporate image. Be sure to check out Serra’s whole nostalgic, bold portfolio recasting iconic labels at the link above or at the graphic designer’s website, particularly the iterations of fast food franchises in corresponding styles.

Friday, 10 June 2022

9x9

web revival: rediscovering the serendipity of hyperlink daisy chains—via Joe Jenett  

free-range children: relocating from London, Ontario to Amsterdam  

sure-footed: a goat-like heavy-lifting robot called BEX under development—via Super Punch 

lavender fields of surrey: a seasonal stroll through an aromatic patch of land  

mono men: the Punk, Grunge aesthetic of Art Chantry 

hyakutsuki-in: a beautiful locker-style cemetery in Toyko  

hounds of love: a 1992 interview with Kate Bush (previously), breaking down her 1985 album track by track  

sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment: an enigmatic sign spotted on a nike trail 

jacob hive maker: first streaming film Wax; Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees (1991)

Friday, 3 June 2022

doni๐Ÿฉ donnts

Somewhat reminiscent of these knock-off branding jobs, we are indebted to Boing Boing for referring us to a thread on one of Janelle Shane’s (see previously) latest visual experiments with neural networks—namely with Dall·e—prompting it to recreate corporate logos and failing in spectacular and interesting ways. I am not sure what is happening from iteration to iteration but the undertaking also recalls a challenge to humans to draw such ubiquitous things from memory. Much more at the links above.


 

Saturday, 28 May 2022

8x8

scotch tapes: commercials, idents and continuity from British television from 1984 salavaged from VHS casettes  

boldly go!: a medley of songs from and about the Star Trek franchise—see also  

apiculture: a survey of bee hives throughout the ages  

latex: Goodyear and the US Department of Defence are partnering to manufacture tyres from dandelions—see previously  

kleksographien: revisiting the blotograms (previously) of Justinus Kerner plus other inspired symmetries  

red wine and ginger ale: Vulture correspondent Rebecca Alter samples all the food combinations referenced in Harry’s House  

diagrammatic map: another look at how Massimo Vignelli presented mass transit to the masses—see previously here and here—via Things magazine  

the fantastic journey: an obscure 1977 time-travel series starring Joan Collins and John Saxon

Friday, 27 May 2022

8x8

city in a bottle: a bit of micro-coding from Frank Force (previously) decoded—via Waxy    

kr: the Icelandic Graphic Design Association (FรT, Fรฉlag รญslenskra teiknara) issues a challenge to come up with a glyph for their krรณna  

nรฉcessaire: a French borrowing—see also—for kit and carry  

enough: TIME magazine’s cover lists the two-hundred thirteen US cities that have had mass-shootings this year, so far  

social sentinel: a look at the dubious pre-crime predictive software that ill-serves society and the reliance on tech to come to the rescue in general  

party line: last bank of public phones removed from New York City—see also here, here, here and here  

swiss miss: Tina Roth Eisenberg celebrates her seventeenth blogoversary tesserae: MIT Lab develops autonomous modular tiles to create structures and habitats in space

Sunday, 22 May 2022

oom papa

The always exquisite Fancy Notions directs our attention to a delightful classic cartoon from UPI and storyboard artist and writer T. Hee about generational clashes and the fear of being made obsolete with Pops Tuba discouraging son from experimentation and stern warnings against falling in with the wrong crowd. “And Orville and his friends thought they had the hippest sound—until Steel Johnny Six-String and his pals Fuzzpdal and Fenderstack came to town.”