to include some animated GIFs.
A Medium post about a bold and creative logo redesign for startup company localweb.is — Forward slash: The story of how Massimo Guzmán turned our simple logo into a brand of possibility.
On the surface, this is a story of how the letter ‘e’ got rotated counter-clockwise 15 degrees. But below the surface, it’s a tale about a logo of humble beginnings who defied all odds and transcended time and/or space to become the cornerstone of our brand identity.
Massimo believes in a philosophy called Radical Brandsparency™. He immediately began absorbing our brand and everything ‘local web’. He talked to users on our beta list, played Settlers of Catan with all the founders, resharded our Redis cluster and added Guzmán.js in our frontend. He even “temporarily” moved into my apartment.
The genius of his process was becoming obvious to me now. By putting the designs on the wall, we could point to them, and stand in front of them with our arms folded. We could blankly gaze into this mosaic of inspiration and listen as if a tiny paper symphony was playing a discordant masterwork.
Just as Massimo had predicted, once the slash had a name… it came alive. While I had simply created a design, Massimo had created a symbol that we could give to the world. A symbol for hope, for peace, and for possibilities. For weeks afterwards it was all I could think about. The Pósi. I would see the Pósi everywhere and in everything. I was surrounded by possibilities. The universe was speaking to me, through Massimo.
To my surprise Massimo was quite enamored with our simple slash logo, and after he “ran the geometry” there was mathematically no improvements that could be made so we decided to leave it alone
Kangaroo is a $99 ‘mobile desktop’ that runs the full Home edition of Windows 10.
VentureBeat: The pitch is simple: Kangaroo offers the power of a cheap full-sized computer with the convenience and mobility of a cell phone. The black satin aluminum device is powered by an Intel Cherrytrail (Z8500) SOC, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (only about 18GB is free when you first start it, but storage is expandable via a microSD card), and an on-board battery (up to four hours of “casual use”). The standalone Kangaroo Dock, which you can swap out for other future docks, includes an HDMI port and two USB ports.
Windows Hello integration means the fingerprint reader on the side of the Kangaroo lets you log in without a password or PIN.
The included Dock is supposed to let you connect the Kangaroo to PC monitors, big screen TVs, projectors, or even Apple’s iPad.
Aside from slow Wi-Fi in some cases and some cropping issues depending on the type of screen you’re plugging the Kangaroo into, this is definitely worth the $99. InFocus plans to unveil more products and accessories at CES 2016 in an attempt to build a Kangaroo ecosystem: A Kangaroo monitor, dedicated storage expansion, and various port expansion docks are all in the works.
VentureBeat: Kangaroo is an amazing $99 Windows 10 portable PC
Darious J. Britt (aka D4Darious) is a highly entertaining YouTuber and indie filmmaker with a ton of fun and informative videos for aspiring filmmakers. In this video he covers the top fifteen most common filmmaking mistakes beginners make from story, to lighting, editing, composition and more.
Co.Design: Microsoft Research, working with the University of Hong Kong and the University of Tokyo, has a remarkable new technology that it calls “Autocomplete hand drawn animations.”
The Guardian: A recently discovered map of Middle-earth annotated by JRR Tolkien reveals The Lord of the Rings author’s observation that Hobbiton is on the same latitude as Oxford, and implies that the Italian city of Ravenna could be the inspiration behind the fictional city of Minas Tirith.
CityLab: The map could have easily been lost forever, having slipped out of an old edition of The Lord of the Rings belonging to the late famed illustrator Pauline Baynes. Baynes had been using the map to work on her own full-color poster edition of Middle-earth for Tolkien, who in turn, gave her precise and copious notes on the same document.
Also: See the Sketches J.R.R. Tolkien Used to Build Middle-Earth in the new The Art of The Lord of the Rings book.
The novelist also uses Belgrade, Cyprus, and Jerusalem as other reference points, and according to Blackwell’s suggests that “the city of Ravenna is the inspiration behind Minas Tirith – a key location in the third book of the Lord of The Rings trilogy”. — The Guardian
Nick Keppol has written two fabulously detailed posts for The Syndicate with a focus on Apple’s new typeface.
So is San Francisco really the perfect system font for Apple’s products? It’s complicated.
Many critics have compared it to Helvetica and DIN. When viewed under this simplified stylistic lens, they aren’t exactly wrong. There are a lot of similarities. If we put San Francisco under the microscope, we’ll see that the visual similarities are just a small piece of this type system. It’s a typeface designed for the digital age and it excels in this medium in ways that Helvetica, DIN, or Lucida Grande ever could.
Letters and numbers with similar forms get misread. For example, it’s easy to confuse a capital B and an 8. A capital A and a 4; or a capital G and a 6. This is partly why non-lining old-style numerals exist. To solve for this legibility challenge, and add a bit more style to the typeface, San Francisco has alternates for the 4, 6, and 9 for both proportional and tabular figures.
These things take time though and I doubt the type design team at Apple is very large. I’m not proposing a font designed for ultra low resolution like Verdana or Input — rather something more subtle and on brand. If Apple were to exaggerate the changes they made to the text sized glyphs vs the display cuts—opening the apertures and counters a bit more; and adjusted the spacing metrics…and maybe the weights, I think we could have a really nice looking, legible version of SF UI for low-resolution displays without any real impact to style. Would it be obsolete in 5-7 years? Yes, probably—but if everyone using a 1x display could have a better experience until everything is retina, isn’t it worth it?
Several early takes of the Star Wars opening theme recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in 1977.
The soundtrack from the latest official trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (aka trailer #3), composed by John Williams with contributions from Ursine Vulpine and at least one other artist. I found a music-only clip, there were dips to make room for dialogue, like a 5.1 mix, so I did my best to normalize the volume fluctuations.
Extra Credits: Bartle’s Taxonomy was the earliest attempt to break down player psychology in a multiplayer environment. Richard Bartle, who created the first MUD in 1978, interviewed the players of his games about why they played. Their responses fit into four categories, which we now call Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, and Killers. Achievers focus on in-game goals like getting high scores or collecting gold. Explorers seek to discover new locations on the map or new ways to use the mechanics. Socializers come to meet people, often organizing guilds or collecting on social forums. Killers seek to dominate other players, usually by killing them in PvP. Bartle went further than creating these four categories, however: he also mapped them to a graph with Action-Interaction on one axis and Player-World on the other. This simple graph helps developers evaluate new content: what category does it fall into, and therefore what type of gameplay does it encourage?
How would these great book covers from the past look like when set in motion?
Perhaps a glimpse at our eBook future?
What changes when you stop designing phones for companies and start designing them for people?
This video is one of a series of videos in collaboration between m ss ng p eces and MIT Media Lab for the Knotty Objects Summit, the first MIT Media Lab Summit devoted to design.
“The phone lies at the foundation of 21st century human (and non-human) communication, and shapes these exchanges for the hand, for the eye, and in the mind.”
Wired: The key lesson of The Art of The Lord of the Rings is this:
We forget that it’s not only filmmakers who need to translate words into pictures.
Tolkien was an endless reviser. “Earliest map of the Shire” reveals his creative recycling. Pencil lines have been overlaid with blue and red ink. Dashed and dotted lines represent Frodo, Sam, and Pippin’s route, or the boundaries of features like The Old Forest. In light pencil, upper right, “Elves” are added with a circle. Nomenclature changes; Tolkien gives “Puddifoot” a new name: “Maggot.” The detailed maps printed in their finished form in Lord of the Rings help readers get their bearings. But as drafts, they must have helped Tolkien, too. “The ‘First Map’ of Middle-earth” was Tolkien’s master reference map; over the years, he glued new sheets on top of old ones as his story grew and changed in the telling.
“For Tolkien, the art of writing and the art of drawing were inextricably intertwined. In the book ‘The Art of The Lord of the Rings’, we see how, and why.” — Wired
Since the beginning of time people are fascinated by stories of hero’s. But did you know there is a fundamental structure that’s lies beneath all these tales of fantasy. Joseph Campbell, a famous mythologist, was the first to discover similarities within all ancient myths. He called it the Monomyth. According to him there are 17 stages in which every hero has to walk through one way or the other. In the hero’s journey 12 of these stages are visualized by using iconic blockbuster movies that follow the same structure of storytelling.
Portal Stories: Mel is a community made, free modification for Portal 2 based in the Portal universe. It tells the story of Mel, who meets a new personality core and faces an undiscovered threat to the Aperture facility.
I downloaded this when it came out but have only just gotten around to playing it. It obviously lacks the polish of a multi-million dollar Valve game, but it is still exceptionally good. I particularly liked the Half-Life homage tram ride at the start.
Portal Stories: Mel is a standalone mod that does not require Portal 2 to be installed to play, though you do need to own Portal 2. The game has 22 levels, with an estimated gameplay time of ~6-10 hours.
See also: The Cabal: Valve’s design process for creating Half-Life and other posts on this blog tagged ‘games’.
Here (in no particular order) are about sixty of my favourites picked from a quick trip through the 9,200 on offer!
The Project Apollo Archive serves as an online reference source and repository of digital images pertaining to the historic manned lunar landing program.
With the thermos carafe, showerhead dripper and a variable temperature kettle that can be used separately, this machine has the potential to be a great coffee maker. I’ve been using a Clever Dripper for a few years now, but I do miss some of the convenience of using a drip machine. This could be the one to take me back.
If the clever pump that goes through the handle, over the top and out the spout of the kettle works as well as it seems (without leaking or making a huge amount of noise or anything) then this could well be one of the best coffee makers.
Tested: We recently visited the workshop of Mike Senna, a droid builder who has made his own R2-D2 and Wall-E robots. Mike’s next project is recreating the BB-8 droid featured in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens! We discuss what’s known so far about how BB-8 was built for the film, how a remote-controlled model could be built, and take apart a BB-8 Sphero to see if we can learn anything from the small-scale toy!