Dinosauroids - Color test

The Dinosauroids is a fascinating concept being explored by artist Simon Roy (deviantART, Blogger, tumblr) based on the premise that the dinosaur-killing Chicxulub asteroid misses Earth:

However, the resulting world is not simply a long-lived cretaceous paradise – the Deccan Traps still flooded the sky with ash and changed the climate and atmosphere, killing off most, if not all, of the great dinosaurs. The survivors of such an event, however, are a handful of small therapods, mammals, birds, and even a few pterosaurs.

While our ancestors developed the hand-axe and honed their stone-throwing skills to scavenge kills, the saurian’s ancestors were developing more and more advanced pointy sticks.

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Humans and other animals

The Dinosauroids

The Dinosauroids is a fascinating concept being explored by artist Simon Roy based on the premise that the dinosaur-killing Chicxulub asteroid misses Earth, but the changing climate still wipes out most of the great dinosaurs leaving the world to a handful of small therapods, mammals, birds, and even a few pterosaurs.


In the summer of 2004, IKEA decided to change the way they produced their product images. They made the first tentative moves toward CG rendered, rather than photographic, images. Ten years later they have a bank of 25,000 models which they use to create around 75% of their product images.

Computer generated Bertil chair

IKEAs first CG piece of furniture: the “Bertil” chair

The IKEA team didn’t feel there was anything wrong with traditional photography, quality-wise. Like any company, they just wanted to make things easier for the team to work on.

About 35% of all of IKEAs room images are also fully CG.

Martin Enthed, IT Manager IKEAs in-house communication agency: “The most expensive and complicated things we have to create and shoot are kitchens. From both an environmental and time point of view, we don’t want to have to ship in all those white-goods from everywhere, shoot them and then ship them all back again. And unfortunately, kitchens are one of those rooms that differ very much depending on where you are in the world. A kitchen in the US will look very different to a kitchen in Japan, for example, or in Germany. So you need lots of different layouts in order to localise the kitchen area in brochures. Very early on we created around 200 CG exchanges versions for 50 photographed kitchens in 2008, with the products we had – and I think everyone began to understand the real possibilities.”

CG Society: Building 3D with Ikea

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Around 75% of all IKEA’s product images are computer generated

‘When IKEA started to look at creating more than product images in 3D a few years ago, they already had a set look and feel for IKEA pictures. They wanted to keep the sense of reality and the feel of a “lived in” environment when moving over to digital workflow. They didn’t want their customers to see or even more importantly feel any difference.’ — Kirsty Parkin, CG Society


Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games

This is the second episode exploring the Women as Background Decoration trope in video games. In this installment we expand our discussion to examine how sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence.

A trip down the anti-feminist rabbit hole →

Solarpunk is a wonderful new genre conceived by Olivia Louise.

Art by Owen Carson

Okay, so I’m pretty sure that by now everyone at least is aware of Steampunk, with it’s completely awesome Victorian sci-fi aesthetic. But what I want to see is Solarpunk – a plausible near-future sci-fi genre, which I like to imagine as based on updated Art Nouveau, Victorian, and Edwardian aesthetics, combined with a green and renewable energy movement to create a world in which children grow up being taught about building electronic tech as well as food gardening and other skills, and people have come back around to appreciating artisans and craftspeople, from stonemasons and smithies, to dress makers and jewelers, and everyone in between. A balance of sustainable energy-powered tech, environmental cities, and wicked cool aesthetics.

Character art by Olivia:

Here are some buzz words~

Natural colors! Art Nouveau! Handcrafted wares! Tailors and dressmakers! Streetcars! Airships! Stained glass window solar panels!!! Education in tech and food growing! Less corporate capitalism, and more small businesses! Solar rooftops and roadways! Communal greenhouses on top of apartments! Electric cars with old-fashioned looks! No-cars-allowed walkways lined with independent shops! Renewable energy-powered Art Nouveau-styled tech life!

Can you imagine how pretty it would be to have stained glass windows everywhere that are actually solar panels? The tech is already headed in that direction! Or how about wide-brim hats, or parasols that are topped with discreet solar panel tech incorporated into the design, with ports you can stick your phone charger in to?

Read more on Olivia’s blog, under the Solarpunk tag.

(via Thiefree)

Shape of things to come


Uninspired by the bland, white, sterile aesthetic of most futuristic science-fiction technology and architecture, Olivia Louise conceived of a new genre similar to steampunk, but with electronic technology, and an Art Nouveau veneer: Solarpunk.

Letter Fountain - Adobe Trajan

The Adobe Trajan shown above, which was designed by Carol Twombly and is based on the inscriptions on Trajan’s Column, shows the geometrical construction method used to draw on the stone before the cutting began.

As you may be able to tell from recent posts on this blog, I’ve been interested in typography recently. Of all the books I’ve bought recently on the subject, I possibly only needed to have bought this one: Letter Fountain from Taschen.

(My Amazon affiliate link if you want to help me out: Letter Fountain: The Anatomy of Type)

The Atlantic: Finally in English: The World’s Best Type Reference Guide

Letter Fountain (or Letterfontein, as the non-English versions are called) was initially self-published in 1994 in French, German, and Dutch. 15,000 copies were sold by 2000, over half of them in the Netherlands, at which time the book went out of print. Apparently, Pohlen says, teachers in the Netherlands were so dependent on the book for their type classes they told students to buy second-hand copies. With that impetus, [Joep] Pohlen decided to revise and enlarge the book from 15,000 to 150,000 words. In 2009, after seven weeks of brisk sales, the first printing sold out. In 2010 the next edition was published internationally by Taschen Books and is currently available.

Wink Books: Letter Fountain – A stunningly well-crafted bible of typography

The front of the book is the best orientation to the logic of fonts that I’ve seen. There may be better books about using the art of typography on a page, but this is the master on the subtleties and dynamics of different fonts. Watch how adding or subtracting serifs changes the emotion of the page. Why are some letters thinner or longer? This book’s knowledge goes deep without getting academic; almost every page can be appreciated by an enthusiastic novice.

Use your words

Letter Fountain

This title offers everything you could ever want to know about printing letters and numbers, looking back as far as man’s first efforts to communicate with visual signs and drawings. “Letterfountain” is a completely unique typeface handbook: in addition to examining the form and anatomy of every letter in the alphabet (as well as punctuation marks and special characters), the book cross-references type designs with important works of art and art movements from Gutenberg’s times until today.

Use your words

The process of type-founding

A fascinating short series of videos detailing the process of type-founding:

1. Punchcutting

This is the first in a short series of videos detailing the process of type-founding. Stan Nelson, historian of printing history, hosts these segments. First developed in the 15th century, this process was critical to the world’s ability to communicate until the rise of modern offset printing technologies in the 1950s.

Parts 2, 3 & 4 →

Shape of things to come

Apple’s “1997” concept video from 1987

Wired: Watch Apple’s Awkwardly Wrong Prediction of the Future From 1987

In 1987, two years after founder Steve Jobs was run out of the company, Apple produced a video that predicted a phantasmagorically glorious future for the maker of the Macintosh. It may be the oddest, most brilliant, and horribly wrong prediction anyone has ever made.

John McIntrye by David Hobby
Use your words

Everyone their own editor

John E. McIntyre writing for The Baltimore Sun about staff cuts to his organisation:

One goal appears to be the elimination of Gannett’s remaining copy editors, in the interest of more immediacy between writer and reader, with fewer “layers” or “tiers,” or “silos,” or whatever the current corporate speak is for settling for quick, cheap, sloppy work because readers are assumed to be ignorant or indifferent.

He leaves reporters with the following advice, which I wanted to copy here in full for future reference:

Item: You are your own fact-checker. It’s up to you to get the names and dates right.

Item: Get a grip on grammar. Mignon Fogarty has assembled the excellent “Grammar Girl’s Editing Checklist.” I suggest that you give it a place on your desk or desktop and consult it until you have internalized its categories.

(The one advantage you have in working without a copy editor is that your prose will not be distorted by some mossback Associated Press Stylebook literalist, such as objecting to the singular they in the headline for this post.)

Item: Pay attention to structure and organization. Get to the point fast, without throat-clearing. Make sure that your article is clearly about one main thing, with associated subtopics linked by transitions. I’ve published my own macro-editing checklist, if you want to have a look.

Item: Try to sound like a human being. Don’t mimic your sources. Shun copspeak, educationese, and bureaucratic jargon. Your writing should sound as if you are speaking directly to the reader across your desk. Try reading your stuff aloud; if it doesn’t sound right in your ears, it probably should be rewritten.

Item: Using the spell-check function is not beneath you. It should be the last thing you do before hitting “publish.” It won’t protect you from homonyms, but it will identify your typos and flag inconsistent spellings of proper names.

Item: Be prepared to write corrections. We are all mortal and prone to error. You cannot escape it, so fess up promptly, thoroughly, and clearly.

Item: Good luck. It is still possible to do good, responsible journalism. It’s just that the obstacles before you have gotten bigger.

Also for later reference, I wanted to note down… The Old Editor’s macro-editing checklist →

Use your words

Kern Your Enthusiasm

Kern Your Enthusiasm is a series of posts on HiLobrow about notable typefaces:

We’ve invited 25 of our favorite writers and thinkers to take a close look at their favorite (or least favorite) typefaces.

Typefaces like:

Data 70

Data 70

The font’s embellishments proceeded directly from the flourishes of 1960s psychedelic lettering, that progression a contract with the idea of an unbroken succession of period-defining aesthetics, Data 70 being a graffiti-tag of the utopian outer-spaciness that complemented drug-culture’s arcadian inward psychological journeys.

Gill Sans

Gill Sans

It is possible that Gill Sans is not the most beautiful typeface to sprout from the fertile mind of Eric Gill (1882–1940), towering genius of letterform, also unrepentant adulterer and devotee of both incest and bestiality.



Most of us couldn’t quite put our finger on what made these letters so different. But the secret was in the spaces between the letters. Chicago was one of the first proportional fonts, which meant that instead of each character straining to fill up pixels in a specified rectangle, the letters were allowed to take up as much or little space as they needed. It was more like a book than a screen.



Shatter came neither from the hand nor from transcendental sensuality but from cold, machine-induced paranoia. It attacked the Establishment’s preferred information typography style with a sharp edge and recomposed it in a jarring manner that still makes your eyes skitter and your brain tick trying to recompose it. Shatter literally sliced up Swiss modernist authority, and created an anti-Establishment statement from the shards.


Dan Harris: Hack Your Brain’s Default Mode with Meditation

Dan Harris explains the neuroscience behind meditation, but reminds us that the ancient practice isn’t magic and likely won’t send one floating into the cosmic ooze.

He predicts that the exercise will soon become regularly scheduled maintenance, as commonplace as brushing your teeth or eating your veggies.

Jeremiah Shoaf:

I first encountered TEFF Lexicon when type designer Kris Sowersby chose it as one of his top three favorites typefaces. Having never heard of Lexicon or TEFF (the foundry that released Lexicon), I decided to do a bit of Googling around. I discovered a very beautiful typeface, but was a bit taken aback by the price — $391 for a single cut or $4,996 for the complete family.

In the days of Ten Dollar Fonts (apparently designed by “typographers” rather than type designers), selling a typeface for $4,996 seems a little crazy…

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Use your words

TEFF Lexicon: How much should a typeface cost?

Lexicon is a serif typeface designed by Dutch type designer Bram de Does between the years 1989 and 1992. The typeface was specially designed for use at very small point sizes in Van Dale’s Dictionary of the Dutch Language. — Wikipedia

Shape of things to come

How the design firm behind the Xbox built the bike of the future

Denny concept bike

From The Verge: Teague was enlisted to design a new kind of bike by Oregon Manifest, a non-profit dedicated to making the world think differently about bikes.

Oregon Manifest’s three pillars for the competition were safety, security, and convenience. Teague decided convenience mattered most:

“You don’t have to think about gears. They’re like go-karts, you just go. It wasn’t even really a choice for us.”
Roger Jackson, creative director at Teague


io9 spoke to Nick Bonner, founder of Koryo Tours who have been bringing travellers to North Korea since 1993. Bonner commissioned an architect to create a series of designs imagining how a future North Korea might accommodate a huge influx of tourists:

Many buildings in North Korea have what we in the West would call a retro-futuristic feel, so something that we have seen before, except this time we were pushing the eco side of it all.

The project was commissioned in-house – an experiment between Koryo Tours and the North Korean architects, and looking at the future of sustainable tourism. When we started taking the first tours to North Korea in 1993, only a small handful of people were visiting, but now we take over 2,000 a year (more than half of all the foreigners who visit). It still remains the least-visited country in the world, but also one of the most interesting experiences possible.

Shape of things to come

How an architect who has never left North Korea imagines the future

“You only need to walk around Pyongyang to see buildings that express originality within the limitations of what is allowed there, and what is actually achievable in terms of the available technology (for example, no glass-curtain walls, and most buildings still built with concrete and reinforcement bars).” — Nick Bonner, Koryo Tours

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Some of the best movie trailers in recent memory

I love trailers. Sometimes I’ll go back and watch them again, just for the excitement they capture so well. These are just a few of my favourites from recent years. Some give away too much of the story or too many moments from the final act. Some of the movies ended up not being very good. I don’t care about all that: these are still great trailers.

Watchmen (2009)

A more conventional second trailer followed.

Inception (2010)

I think I may have been one of the few people to be relatively disappointed with Inception, but the later trailers had me really curious to see it. Of course, it’s become famous for the ‘Inception horn’ sound, some variant of which has been used in almost every action trailer since.

Cloud Atlas (2012) extended trailer

An emotional, rich and exciting five minute epic of a trailer that almost feels like a movie in its own right.

Next up: Prometheus and Man of Steel →