Category Archives: Experiments

April 8, 2018

POSTED BY

Celeste Hylton-James

CATEGORY

Braille for All in Tokyo 2020

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Type Designer Kosuke Takahashi had experimented with the limits of language and type design to create the unique typeface Braille Neue. But what makes Braille Neue so unique? Well, this typeface ambitiously combines Braille with English and Japanese alphabets. It’s what Takahashi calls “braille for everyone.” By altering English and …

new york branding sports graphic design agency

Type Designer Kosuke Takahashi had experimented with the limits of language and type design to create the unique typeface Braille Neue. But what makes Braille Neue so unique? Well, this typeface ambitiously combines Braille with English and Japanese alphabets. It’s what Takahashi calls “braille for everyone.”

By altering English and Japanese characters around the Braille grid, a stylistic and friendly typeface emerged. The typeface makes it look effortless, but as we designers all know that is usually not the case. In the English alphabet, there are 26 characters, far less than the 250 characters in Braille that could indicate various letters, numbers, and articles. You could probably imagine how many attempts it took for him to get to the perfect character. Takahashi also found in his research the experimental typeface was legible to all sighted people as long as it remained confined within the six dotted pattern.

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Standard Braille Neue

The intention of Braille Neue is not an idea that hasn’t been explored by others. However, this is the most recent project that attempts to do it at such a large scale. This typeface is aimed to meet everyone’s needs at the Olympics and Paralympics for Tokyo 2020:

“Our aim is to use this universal typeset for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020 to create a truly universal space where anyone can access information…We aim for an inclusive society where using braille becomes commonplace.”

-Kosuke Takahashi

Braille Neue has two versions. The first is the Standard, which is exclusively in English and Braille. The outlined variant of Braille Neue is both Japanese and English with Braille. It’s unfortunate that this extremely useful typeface is not more available to the public yet. But it might be in the works soon as Takahashi hopes this will encourage more type universality in public spaces.

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency
Outlined Japanese and English Braille Neue

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All images © Kosuke Takahashi

April 7, 2018

POSTED BY

Rafael Esquer

CATEGORY

Piss vs Hair vs Typography

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Today, I selected two experimental typefaces made of opposite materials: solid vs liquid; hair vs piss. Both projects have a kind of visceral quality to them. Dutch designer Monique Goossens used strands of human hair to create her letters. ‘Hair Typography’ was designed by meticulously arranging bunches of hair into …

new york branding sports graphic design agency

Today, I selected two experimental typefaces made of opposite materials: solid vs liquid; hair vs piss. Both projects have a kind of visceral quality to them.

Dutch designer Monique Goossens used strands of human hair to create her letters. ‘Hair Typography’ was designed by meticulously arranging bunches of hair into the shapes of single letters. The letters’ thicks and thins bring to mind other-worldly creatures, menacing and beautiful at once.

“The hair letters consist of hundreds of hairs and give the impression of being fine pen drawings. The basic shape of the letters is created by forming the hairs into a legible character, during which process I follow the natural characteristics of the hairs: curly, rounded corners, springiness.” Says the designer, “The ends of the hairs create an organized chaos, an energetic play of lines which forms a haze around the letter’s basic shape.”

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

On the other hand, designer and musician Anton Bodin wanted to do something appropriate to the sound he and his band play, dirty hardcore punk. For their debut album “Apathy & Cheap Thrills,” he decided to create the logo with pee, then when completed, he realized it would make an interesting typeface.

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Six months and 300 peeing times later the alphabet was completed. But it was not as simple as it sounds. First, it required a team so all the band members took turns urinating. Also, they needed the right canvas, so they experimented with a number of fabrics ranging from new materials to old bed shits. Once they found the right materials, they created a special frame to capture the letterforms. As you can imagine, they have to photograph them within five seconds otherwise the forms evaporate.

In the end, they digitize each letter and Pissjar Sans was born. If you like the font, you can download it for free here.

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December 5, 2017

POSTED BY

Nao Suzuki

CATEGORY

Over 100 Postcards for Post-Brexit Britain

London-based Designers Nathan Smith and Sam T. Smith’s postcard project ME & EU was prompted by last year’s Brexit vote. In reaction to the result in the UK/EU referendum, they worked together with artists, graphic designers, illustrators, and photographers to create a postcard-sized image that represented their view on the …

Post Card_UK_Brexit_Graphic_1

London-based Designers Nathan Smith and Sam T. Smith’s postcard project ME & EU was prompted by last year’s Brexit vote. In reaction to the result in the UK/EU referendum, they worked together with artists, graphic designers, illustrators, and photographers to create a postcard-sized image that represented their view on the result.

Nathan Smith says:

“We went through other initial ideas such as flags, pin badges, or protest posters – the latter being pretty well covered in all the demonstrations that happened – but we wanted an intimate connection. The postcard was the right vehicle: it’s personal and one-to one. Postcards talk of travel, of crossing borders, and strike up a conversation in a really personal way.”

The 116 designs span from a parody of the horror film The Shining to the United Kingdom torn away from a map of Europe. Each of them achieved their goal to represent the current mood of United Kingdon in good humor.

This could be a new to-go souvenir in the UK,  just kidding.

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November 20, 2017

POSTED BY

Chengyu Liu

CATEGORY

220 Metro Maps Simplified

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Think back to the last time you viewed a map of the metro system. Are you ever confused by all of the different lines and text? A designer, Peter Dovak, feels the same as you and has created a project called Mini Metros. He simplified 220 international cities’ maps of …

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Think back to the last time you viewed a map of the metro system. Are you ever confused by all of the different lines and text? A designer, Peter Dovak, feels the same as you and has created a project called Mini Metros. He simplified 220 international cities’ maps of their transit system.

His very simple icons were inspired by the navigating menus meant for apps for an iPhone. They look easy and simple, but they are actually really hard to do, mainly because he wanted all of his little maps to follow his rules. What are his rules? They had to fit in a 120px circle or at a 45-degree angle.

They are like abstract line art. All of the lines are in very interesting shapes. Regardless of whether there is just one line or ten, they all create interesting movement throughout his composition.

After all, they aren’t just maps of the transit system.

Below, I picked some maps from this project that I thought were amazing. If you are interested, you can check out his website.

Seoul:

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Tokyo:

new york branding sports graphic design agencynew york branding sports graphic design agency

Paris:

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Shanghai:

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New York City:

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London:

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All iamges ©2017 Peter Dovak

October 4, 2017

POSTED BY

Nao Suzuki

CATEGORY

Japanese Flower Artist Composes and Decomposes Flowers at Rio de Janeiro

Japanese Floral Artist Azuma Makoto presented his contemplation of life and death with two colorful masterpieces. The two experiments on decomposition are found at the Oi Futuro museum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The first of the two installations, entitled “Gaibu-outside,” is formed from a cut flower garden on the …

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Japanese Floral Artist Azuma Makoto presented his contemplation of life and death with two colorful masterpieces. The two experiments on decomposition are found at the Oi Futuro museum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The first of the two installations, entitled “Gaibu-outside,” is formed from a cut flower garden on the exterior of the museum. The beautiful composition slowly decays and allowing passersby to observe the lifecycle of flowers. Makoto saw his pieces as a piece of reverse agriculture, as the flowers are planted to die. The work is an examination of Buddhist values of impermanence and material temporality. The large installation of flowers in the interior gallery space, named “Naibu-inside,” is to enable the viewer to follow the process of the flower’s decomposition in detail, as if they are housed in a glass box.

Through both installations, the viewer can see the death and decomposition of the flower. Usually, this process is avoided, and be given the rare opportunity to experience it is something one cannot miss.

New york sports branding graphic design agency

New york sports branding graphic design agency

New york sports branding graphic design agency
All images © Design Boom

October 1, 2017

POSTED BY

Celeste Hylton-James

CATEGORY

Get Your Design Critiqued by Stefan Sagmeister

Photo @ 2017 Victor G. Jeffreys / Vienna Würstelstand If you had the opportunity to receive advice from one of the most well-known graphic designers alive, would you send your work to them? If you’re a graphic designer looking to improve, the answer is probably yes. Earlier this year, Graphic Designer …

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Photo @ 2017 Victor G. Jeffreys / Vienna Würstelstand

If you had the opportunity to receive advice from one of the most well-known graphic designers alive, would you send your work to them? If you’re a graphic designer looking to improve, the answer is probably yes. Earlier this year, Graphic Designer Stefan Sagmeister started using his Instagram account as a hub to critique and showcase other designers work, killing two birds with one stone. Design blog Dezeen calls is a sort of “design clinic.”

Each critique Sagmeister gives is short, frank, and somewhat personal. At first, as a follower, I thought it would a short lived experiment. Months later, it has become an internet sensation for the online creative community. His 234k followers often chime in their own opinions in his post’s comments section, agreeing or disagreeing with his critiques. The backstory to what Dezeen calls a sort of “design clinic,” is quite unexpected. In an interview with Dezeen, Sagmeister said:

“We had started a monthly salon in NYC where designers could come into our studio and I would critique their work. As this was not possible while I’m on sabbatical (I’m taking a year with equal time in Mexico City, Tokyo and the Austrian Alps), I thought to do it on Instagram.”

This “design clinic” has received all kinds of work that may, or may not need improvement. At times, he goes beyond just visuals, navigating the context of an image and how it could better relate to its core message. His critiques are constructive and a unique use of the image sharing platform Instagram. It will be interesting to see what other ideas Stefan Sagmeister may come up with next.

September 7, 2017

POSTED BY

Nao Suzuki

CATEGORY

Burning Man 2017

Have you ever heard of Burning Man? Burning Man is an annual event, described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by ten main principles: “radical” inclusion, self-reliance, and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy, and leaving no trace.  Artists, musicians, performers, dancers, and …

Burning man 2017_Festival_Art_Experiment_Creativity_1

Have you ever heard of Burning Man? Burning Man is an annual event, described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by ten main principles: “radical” inclusion, self-reliance, and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy, and leaving no trace. 

Artists, musicians, performers, dancers, and whoever have something to express themselves gather around Black Rock City, a temporary city erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, to share their creativities. Burning Man is not just an event for fun, but a kind of survival event at such a severe dessert location without any supermarket, food or both. Everything is up to the participants, but I would say it’s worthwhile to join to see what creativity looks like. Take a look below to see the various works that were made at this wild event. 

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September 6, 2017

POSTED BY

Celeste Hylton-James

CATEGORY

Watch Your Favorite Creatives in Action on Twitch

Bored to death, I turned on my boyfriend’s old Xbox 360 to watch YouTube while I cooked. While scrolling through his feed, something caught my eye, “Illustrator Shawna X Live Stream.” Um, yes, please! But of course, it wasn’t live streamed. This video is a little over a year old. …

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Bored to death, I turned on my boyfriend’s old Xbox 360 to watch YouTube while I cooked. While scrolling through his feed, something caught my eye, “Illustrator Shawna X Live Stream.” Um, yes, please! But of course, it wasn’t live streamed. This video is a little over a year old. I found this treasure out of boredom, as all good things are found, and figured it was a little unknown secret that you should know about. Twitch, the live streaming platform that has allows gamers to share their work, is no longer for just gamers. It hosts many other types of live broadcasts, one of them includes design! Yes, I said it. Design! In the comfort of my own home, I was able to virtually hang out with one of my favorite illustrators right now, and some other talented individuals that I knew nothing about.

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Who doesn’t want another Bob Ross?

These Twitch live streams are exactly what I wished for and more. Between the guests and hosts, the reality of their work comes to life in their interactions. Not to mention the awkwardness of “show me what you can do,” that is somehow satisfyingly real. Being accustomed to podcasts, I’m used to hearing question after question and losing the benefits of actually witnessing their creative flow in real time. They restrain themselves from asking too many questions and allow the creative to work in their somewhat natural habitat. Another benefit of watching Adobe on Twitch is that witnessing your favorites in action allows budding creatives to get a closer look at what they are actually doing. Although this video was sponsored and distributed through Adobe Creative Cloud, it only has 1k views, and deserves more watchers! So take a look at this gem that podcasts and staged interviews can’t compete with. Just yesterday, Sandra, also known as @misscookiez, live streamed her process. It never stops!

August 29, 2017

POSTED BY

Bianca Ng

CATEGORY

Top 5 MFA Theses from MICA’s 2017 Graduating Class

Every year a new batch of students graduate with a thesis, created through sheer blood, sweat, and tears. These were some of my favorite projects from MICA’s 2017 graduating class: 1. City Flora By Miles Holenstein I loved City Flora because visually, it was cohesive, clean, and beautiful. Conceptually, it …

Every year a new batch of students graduate with a thesis, created through sheer blood, sweat, and tears. These were some of my favorite projects from MICA’s 2017 graduating class:

1. City Flora By Miles Holenstein
I loved City Flora because visually, it was cohesive, clean, and beautiful. Conceptually, it was surprising and interesting. ‘Weeds’ is a topic I never even thought about until this project. For example, I had no idea weeds help clean the air and soil in urban spaces. This thesis was educational, thoughtful, and well crafted! I loved the publication that went along with the display.

1_01 City Flora By Miles Holenstein

1_02 City Flora By Miles Holenstein

1_05 City Flora By Miles Holenstein

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1_03 City Flora By Miles Holenstein

2. Typescapes By Daniel Frumhoff
As a designer, I am definitely biased towards what I naturally gravitate to. Typescapes grabbed my attention because of the flawless execution. I could imagine this project at the Cooper Hewitt. The idea of creating type inspired by the formal qualities of a specific building doesn’t pull at my heartstrings, but the craft is impressive. Creating a typeface takes years so I’m shocked by how many Frumhoff designed!

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3. Willflower By Louisa Liu
Willflower is “an app that trains and strengthens users’ willpower through facilitated pauses.” I am always interested in how designers use technology to integrate wellness for humans. Technology has a bad rep for causing more harm than good in terms of wellness. This app definitely steers the audience towards mindfulness and self-awareness. Awesome concept and brilliant execution. I would try this app!


4. Baltimore’s Unspoken Past, Uncovering the history of the slave trade in the city. By Paula Baver
This thesis by Baver is both emotional and educational. In a time where it feels like we’ve gone back a couple of decades, I believe it’s important to be reminded of the past. I appreciate the integrative execution of this thesis, from the impeccable display to the modern app prototype. I could imagine this thesis being applied to the entire United States.

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5. Type Terms By Linka Lin
Linka Lin created “a visual explanation of basic typographic principles.” Initially, this thesis didn’t sound particularly inticing. But then I watched the entire video and I loved it! The visual comparisons she made were witty. Often people get bored with type history because it feels abstract, but her visual explanations were extremely helpful (even more non-designers!). She nailed it!

August 15, 2017

POSTED BY

Nao Suzuki

CATEGORY

Wearable Tattoo?

Japanese research groups from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering have created a wearable sensor, which looks like tattoo and stays on the skin for up to one week. This is basically for the medical field, also in sports to monitor a patient’s vital signs without discomfort, and athlete’s …

New York Studio Alfalfa Studio New York City Graphic Design

Japanese research groups from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering have created a wearable sensor, which looks like tattoo and stays on the skin for up to one week. This is basically for the medical field, also in sports to monitor a patient’s vital signs without discomfort, and athlete’s physiological signals without impeding performance.

Wearables devices are a booming but the key is comfortableness is to wear it directly on the skin. “We succeeded in completely removing the discomfort of wear,” said Takao Someya, a professor from University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering. “People cannot even feel the existence of our devices on their skin.” The researchers also described a new ultrathin, lightweight, breathable sensor constructed from nanoscale mesh, a spaghetti-like entanglement of fibers a thousand times thinner than a human hair.

Some people hesitate to get a tattoo because of pain or job application, etc. But this Tattoo-style sensor might become the answer! You can gain one, which not only looks and feels like a henna tattoo but can monitor electrical muscle activity and body temperature.

If you liked this article, you may also like this.

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