Biomimetics, the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems, will be a huge field in the years to come. We’ve seen it in science fiction films and slowly but surely we’re starting to see it in real life. To that end, Festo, a robotics company, has made a bionic kangaroo.
On the artificial kangaroo, Festo intelligently combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology to produce a highly dynamic system. The stable jump kinematics plus the precise control technology ensure stability when jumping and landing. The consistent lightweight construction facilitates the unique jumping behaviour. The system is controlled by gestures.
I never expected to seriously be writing about Comic Sans. The occasional reference for humor is a low hanging fruit to any typography writer but here we go. In all seriousness, let’s talk about the world’s most hated typeface because designer Craig Rozynski challenged himself to redesign it.
First, let’s look at the history of Comic Sans via Just My Type by Simon Garfield, because I believe that the world is too harsh on Vincent Connare. You might say he’s the person you curse under your breath when you see that passive aggressive note about cleaning the microwave at the office — but really he’s only partially to blame.
Stationery Compositions is blog full of carefully curated and composed (duh) photographs of stationery (double duh). It continues Present And Correct’s aesthetics with it’s muted pallet and minimal use of industrial patterns to display their products but rather than coming off as a P&C promo it’s a more crafted affair. Neal has put them together in way that takes each item out of it’s context and abstracts it, creating these photo-flattened collages of utilitarian design.
My favourite is definitely the top image, the colours are particularly well chosen. Even though it’s early days you can view the rest of the project here as Neal hopes to update it daily.
I re-read Maurice Annenberg’s “Type Foundries of America and their Catalogs”, tracked down business directories of the period, and spent too much time in Google Earth. But I was able to plot out the locations for every foundry that had been active in New York between 1828 (the earliest records I could find with addresses) to 1909 (see below). All of the buildings have been demolished, and in some cases the entire street has since been erased. But a startling picture still emerged: New York once had a neighborhood for typography.
When it comes to streaming music I’m a devout Rdio user, specifically because of it’s clean, organized design. But now the originator of streaming music Spotify has released a fresh new design that almost feels like the dark, swarthy twin of Rdio.
The UI has been significantly cleaned up and simplified, though in my opinion it feels like it’s taken a lot of cues from Rdio, although still awkwardly it looks like a mash-up of iTunes and an old Windows application. Still, it’s too early to be hyper-critical of the effort. Clearly the design team there has been empowered to start making changes to the UI, and hopefully we’ll be seeing incremental changes rolling out from here.