As a certain musical once taught us, 525,600 minutes is but one of many ways to measure a year. Another is with newsworthy events, and according to one just-released massive illustration, 2015 was 143 happenings long. advertisement It’s the time of year for looking back, and the team at digital agency Beutler Ink have a specific way of doing so. Each year, they commission an illustration from a different artist that captures the most memorable things that occurred over the previous 12 months. It’s like a Where’s Waldo? poster except you’re trying to locate #TheDress and that a-hole dentist who shot Cecil The Lion. For this year’s rendition, artist Luke McGarry cartoonized 143 moments from of sobering news, frivolous pop culture, internet memes and everything in between. According to Beutler Ink’s blog post, the team began gathering ideas for this year’s poster in a shared Google Doc almost immediately after last year’s went up. (One … [Read more...] about How Many of the 143 Events From 2015 Captured In This Illustration Can You Spot?
Lets go where is red
This is the first installment in The Design of Y2K , a series telling the stories behind the most influential products of the late 1990s and early 2000s. advertisement advertisement “I’ll be honest, and this is a funny story to tell. Initially in design, we didn’t want the chin.” Today, Paul Pierce is a distinguished designer at Motorola. But 15 years ago, he was on the original design team of the Razr—the impossibly thin phone that would go on to change everything—and he wasn’t so sure about how it was shaping up. Specifically, he wasn’t sure about that big chin. Before the Razr was released in 2004, phones had evolved into chunks of expensive plastic. Whether it was the Nokia 3310 candy bar, or some silver-sprayed clamshell phone from Sanyo or Samsung, the devices were positioned as functional technologies. And as technology evolved—with the introduction of bigger, color screens and cameras—they kept … [Read more...] about The secret history of the Motorola Razr, the first great phone of the millennium
It’s just before 9 a.m. on an overcast February morning. About 60 fifth graders at a Harlem charter school have just filed into a multipurpose room to hear architect Phil Freelon talk about his career-defining work on the National Museum of African American History and Culture, or NMAAHC, in Washington, D.C., the universally celebrated newest addition to the Smithsonian Institution. But before he gets to his lesson about the design—a brilliant, bronze-hued building that alights the Mall like a shining crown—he warms up the crowd by letting them in on a secret: He once played drums in a band with his brother, Gregory Freelon, a teacher at the school. The room’s energy perks up as students whisper; Phil has instantly connected to each of them. Now it’s time for the meatier part of his talk. advertisement advertisement Eager hands shoot into the air. “Art is a subject of creativity,” a boy says. “It’s expressing … [Read more...] about America’s Humanitarian Architect
My Amazon search was specific: I wanted an inexpensive, waterproof, Bluetooth-enabled, rechargeable speaker, so that I could listen to podcasts in the shower. I expected many options. Instead, I got one: some black-and-green gadget called Hipe. Was that the brand name, or the model? The customer reviewers didn’t seem to know, but they all agreed: Whatever Hipe is–and all it had to its name was this speaker and a crappy website with a customer-service email address–the product does work. And if you have any questions, some guy named Sam responds by email. I’ve spent $69.99 on shakier propositions. I bought it right away. advertisement advertisement The speaker worked as advertised, but I had a question about connectivity. So I emailed Hipe, and, sure enough, Sam replied: “This is the answer I got from China, does this help at all?” What followed was a broken-English response that, after some parsing, was, in fact, helpful. But now Hipe made … [Read more...] about The Amazon Whisperer
What do you think about when you see a glass bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup on a table? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t pay very close attention to it. It is a means to a hot dog’s end, unremarkable except for its ability to spread a thick, sweet-and-sour tomato puree on some item of food. Otherwise, what is there to say? But even commonplace objects have been designed, and seemingly simple questions about the design of something as unremarkable as a bottle of ketchup can have remarkably deep answers. advertisement advertisement How deep, then, is a bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, really? What is the meaning behind the “57 Varieties” label wrapped around the bottle’s mouth, and why is it there? Why is a bottle of Heinz Ketchup transparent, instead of opaque? And why does the bottle make such a point of emphasizing that it is specifically full of tomato ketchup, when ketchup is synonymous with tomatoes? Why Tomato Ketchup? … [Read more...] about How 500 Years Of Weird Condiment History Designed The Heinz Ketchup Bottle