Whoa… you damn well can’t do that anymore!
This is what graphic design looks like
Dyslexie, A Different Kind of Beauty
Well, if it isn't the old typeface bait-and-switch
Seeking a full-time position in hurricane logo design
Today I am a Red Sox fan (did I just say that?!)

Category Archives: science

The Golden Ratio: Design’s Biggest Myth

dali-golden-ratio

From Fast Company

Keith Devlin, professor of mathematics at Stanford University says it’s simple. “We’re creatures who are genetically programmed to see patterns and to seek meaning,” he says. It’s not in our DNA to be comfortable with arbitrary things like aesthetics, so we try to back them up with our often limited grasp of math. But most people don’t really understand math, or how even a simple formula like the golden ratio applies to complex system, so we can’t error-check ourselves. “People think they see the golden ratio around them, in the natural world and the objects they love, but they can’t actually substantiate it,” Devlin tells me. “They are victims to their natural desire to find meaning in the pattern of the universe, without the math skills to tell them that the patterns they think they see are illusory.” If you see the golden ratio in your favorite designs, you’re probably seeing things.

See the full article at fastcodesign.com

Beau Lotto: Optical illusions show how we see

It now appears far more interesting to understand color as an element of human evolution and survival, as opposed to merely an element of design.

“All his work attempts to understand the visual brain as a system defined, not by its essential properties, but by its past ecological interactions with the world. In this view, the brain evolved to see what proved useful to see, to continually redefine normality.”
—British Science Association

Beau Lotto is founder of Lottolab, a hybrid art studio and science lab.

Sadly beautiful New York Magazine cover

It’s often asked where Art Direction ends and Design begins. As the digital world has afforded individuals unprecedented control of their work, the line between art direction and graphic design has further blurred. Here is a perfect example where the art direction is the design. And I would hope that as fellow designers look at this magazine cover, the “art director” in them will be reminded that when a photograph contains this much beauty and information, then your job is to just stay out of the way and allow it to shine. The stormy skies, the familiar bright lights of Manhattan at night, and the near-perfect infographic of the devastated (dark) parts of the city. Read below to see the challenges of getting this shot.

Via: poynter.org

Architecture photographer explains how he got that New York magazine cover shot

Shooting in the dark, with a handheld camera, in a vibrating helicopter, 5,000 feet above land sounds like a photographer’s nightmare. But Iwan Baan made it look easy.

The Dutch photographer’s image of a half-illuminated, half-powerless New York City in the wake of Hurricane Sandy captured the nation’s attention on the cover of New York magazine.

“It was the only way to show that New York was two cities, almost,” Baan said on the phone Sunday evening from Haiti. “One was almost like a third world country where everything was becoming scarce. Everything was complicated. And then another was a completely vibrant, alive New York.”

Baan made the image Wednesday night after the storm, using the new Canon 1D X with the new 24-70mm lens on full open aperture. The camera was set at 25,000 ISO, with a 1/40th of a second shutter speed.

“[It was] the kind of shot which was impossible to take before this camera was there,” Baan said.

It was more difficult to rent a car than a helicopter in New York the day after Sandy, Baan said. And because there was such limited air traffic so soon after the storm, air traffic control allowed Baan and the helicopter to hover very high above the city, a powerful advantage for the photo.

…continue for full text

How an Appropriate Typeface Can Save Your Life (really)

From The MIT AgeLab….

New findings released: Typeface style can affect safety

MIT AgeLab and the New England University Transportation Center partnered with Monotype Imaging Holding Inc. in research that showed certain typeface styles can shorten glance time for in-vehicle displays. Results suggest that changes to font characteristics in in-vehicle interface design may be helpful in moving towards a goal of reducing demand and improving roadway safety.

A white paper released today describes the results of two recent studies, in which drivers ranging in age from 36-75 interacted with a multi-line menu display similar to a vehicle navigation system menu. Across both studies there was a clear and consistent reduction in glance time away from the road among then men. When interacting with menus in a humanist style typeface as compared to a square grotesque typeface, men took their eyes off the road for 10.6% less. A more modest difference was observed in women.

Visit their site for further info and resources

A Different Kind of Beauty

From fastcodesign.com:

Dyslexie, A Typeface Designed To Help Dyslexics Read

Reading printed text is so fluid and transparent for most people that it’s hard to imagine it feeling any other way. Maybe that’s why it took a dyslexic designer to create a typeface that optimizes the reading experience for people who suffer from that condition. Christian Boer’s “Dyslexie” doesn’t exactly make the letterforms look conventionally beautiful, but since when is that a prerequisite for well-designed? If it works, it works. And according to an independent study by the University of Twente in Boer’s native Netherlands, it does work. (more…)

Understanding How We See

From Wired.com

What Caricatures Can Teach Us About Facial Recognition

Our brains are incredibly agile machines, and it’s hard to think of anything they do more efficiently than recognize faces. Just hours after birth, the eyes of newborns are drawn to facelike patterns. An adult brain knows it’s seeing a face within 100 milliseconds, and it takes just over a second to realize that two different pictures of a face, even if they’re lit or rotated in very different ways, belong to the same person. Neuroscientists now believe that there may be a specific region of the brain, on the fusiform gyrus of the temporal lobe, dedicated to facial recognition.

Perhaps the most vivid illustration of our gift for recognition is the magic of caricature—the fact that the sparest cartoon of a familiar face, even a single line dashed off in two seconds, can be identified by our brains in an instant. It’s often said that a good caricature looks more like a person than the person himself. As it happens, this notion, counterintuitive though it may sound, is actually supported by research. In the field of vision science, there’s even a term for this seeming paradox—the caricature effect—a phrase that hints at how our brains misperceive faces as much as perceive them. (more)