Swiss design?

All throughout college I've heard so much about how awesome Swiss design is. I've also seen a huge number of examples: books, posters, typefaces... I have to say, though, that generalizations of this kind are harmful. When you call something…

Oddly specific

Signs and labels of all kinds are a source of unending fascination for me. Today, I'd like to talk about two of them that I recently saw. You've probably heard about Helvetica Man (a term coined by Ellen Lupten). Even…

The joys of Fiat 500

You might remember my earlier post on car temperature controls. Back when I wrote it, I thought those controls were the worst thing about cars. Enter my new arch-nemesis: Fiat 500. To cut the long story shot, somebody hit my…

Teavana's new labels

At the end of last year, the local Teavana store got a major facelift. Now the teas are no longer hidden behind the register, but can instead be browsed by buyers. I am assuming that similar changes are happening across…

Material matters

Signs of all sorts surround us. Some are good and clear, such as most of street signs, while others can be hard to read and confusing. However, typography is not the only thing that makes a good sign. It is…

On hard dependencies

This week, there was a major power outage in the area where I live. We had no power in the house for over 20 hours. During this time, I learned a couple interesting things about my appliances. I have a…

Just make them different

When two different designs or products look too similar, they invariably end up confusing users. Sometimes, it could be two different brands. Or two devices that have different purposes. Or walls that look too much like whiteboards. My example today…

On the direction of light

One of the most fundamental principles of creating a three-dimensional scene is to establish the direction of light. In a complex composition, there may be multiple light sources, and some objects may be obscured by one another, but today I…