Festo Builds A Bionic Kangaroo

Festo Bionic Kangaroo

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.

Bobby Solomon

April 15, 2014 / By

Comic Neue – A Designer’s Attempt At “Bettering” Comic Sans

Comic Neue - A Designer’s Attempt At "Bettering" Comic Sans

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.

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Carli Krueger

April 14, 2014 / By

Stationery Compositions by Present and Correct

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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.

You can also hark back to my interview with Neal here!

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Michael Arnold

April 9, 2014 / By

Tobias Frere-Jones Is Back With A New Blog

New York Typography - Tobias Frere-Jones

After the much publicized break-up of Hoefler and Frere-Jones, one of the finest typography duos of recent history, Tobias Frere-Jones is back at it with a brand new blog. His first post blog post is titled My Kind of Neighborhood where he shows the impressive type scene thriving in New York… between the years of 1828 and 1909.

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.

New York Typography - Tobias Frere-Jones

Bobby Solomon

April 8, 2014 / By

Spotify’s Design Update Looks Tall, Dark, And Handsome

Spotify Design Update

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.

Bobby Solomon

April 7, 2014 / By

Zipeng Zhu’s Pulsing, Electric Typeface

You don’t often see animated typefaces often and for good reason, they’re generally meant to be legible and practical. Except there are cases like Zipeng Zhu’s Electrica typeface, inspired by electronic music, which defy the norm and offer up a pulsing, nonstop type that could potentially make you have a little seizure. Still, it’s an interesting concept that pushes the boundaries if what we usually consider to be type design.

Zipeng Zhu's Pulsing, Electric Typeface

Zipeng Zhu's Pulsing, Electric Typeface

Bobby Solomon

April 7, 2014 / By

Pentagram Updates Sotheby’s Worldwide Branding

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Talk about an assignment. Abbott Miller and his team at Pentagram recently updated the branding of Sotheby’s, one the world’s oldest and largest auction houses, with a massive overhaul. The effort included an updated logo, ditching Gill Sans for a much sharper Mercury, a cleaner site design, and a host of rebranded peripheral items like paddles, stationary, and the hundreds of catalogues they distribute.

Overall the branding feels… right. It feels like this is what Sotheby’s should have looked like all along, if that makes sense. It’s also incredible that they were able to bring cohesion to such an immense company that spans the globe. For something of this scale you need something that’s simple and easy to institute, and in my mind, this definitely does the trick.
You can see the full brief by clicking here.

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Bobby Solomon

April 4, 2014 / By

Stunning Air France Ads are Ready for Take Off

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This week, Air France unveils its new campaign, “Air France, France is in the air.” The French agency behind it all, BETC, has slowly but surely been revealing the campaign with a series of posters. Featuring the amazing photography of Sofia & Mauro, bold design, and palettes to make any color-lover swoon, it’s a strong move in the right direction for the brand, and a reminder that advertising’s not so bad when it’s beautiful.

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Nick Partyka

April 3, 2014 / By

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