Graphic design work on Incredibles 2 was brilliant, as expected. But there was one glaring exception, conspicuously missing from this post: the atrocious Edna Mode logo.
During my research process, I noted down the keywords used to describe some of the typefaces. As I read through the list, the same words kept coming up over and over: friendly, modern, clean, simple, human. It’s like everyone wants something that they can use to define their brand, yet they really just want a slightly different version of what everyone has.
Let me start by saying I generally avoid terms like “mobile,” “tablet,” and “desktop” in my work. It’s not that they’re bad; it’s because they’re broad. In my experience, terms like these confuse more than they clarify. Ask a roomful of clients or stakeholders to define “mobile,” and you’ll get a roomful of slightly different responses.
What I think is helpful, though, is breaking down the specific conditions or features that’ll cause our designs to adapt.
Paul Robert Lloyd:
Such notions of craftsmanship can soon lead us down a dangerous path, raising questions around elitism and discrimination. These are accusations you could level towards the IndieWeb. For all its promise of giving people the tools to regain ownership of their online identity and content, to do so fully and effectively requires a proficiency for coding and familiarity with an endless barrage of acronyms. Encouraging participants to selfdogfood only exacerbates the near-impenetrability and narrowness of this movement.
Rob Weychert chimes in and gets a strong +1 from me:
I’ve been making websites for 20 years. I read a bunch about how to set up webmentions and gave up before I started. 🤷🏻♂️ https://t.co/iIv1BgQXlY— Rob Weychert (@robweychert) November 27, 2018
If even web people find it difficult, how can we ever manage to empower non-web people to produce web-like content?
Tom Scocca, for Slate:
There is no other word for it. Onions do not caramelize in five or 10 minutes. They never have, they never will—yet recipe writers have never stopped pretending that they will.
Good to know.
Colin Morris, for The Pudding:
What does this have to do with pop music? The Lempel-Ziv algorithm works by exploiting repeated sequences. How efficiently LZ can compress a text is directly related to the number and length of the repeated sections in that text.
Clever and well-executed dataviz porn.
Justin McElroy resurfaces an old post of his, back from 2013:
Learning to appreciate things you don’t initially enjoy is the power to fill the world with stuff you like.
Those McElroy folks are just so damn good at advice.
David Roth, writing for Deadspin; this paragraph is so good:
Presidents exert a kind of ambient influence on the culture, but as Trump is different than previous presidents his influence necessarily feels different. Barack Obama wanted to be a cosmopolitan leader who brought people together and into a deeper empathy through a mastery of reason and rules; the country he governed doesn’t work like that, though, and the tension between that cool vision and this seething reality grew and grew. By the end, his presidency had the feeling of a prestige television show in its fifth season—handsomely produced and reliably well-performed but ultimately not really as sure what it was about as it first appeared to be. Trump has no such pretense or noble aspiration, and has only made the country more like himself; living in his America feels like being trapped in a garish casino that is filling with seawater, because that is what it is.
Jessica Rosenkrantz of Nervous System design studio:
This puzzle is based on an icosahedral map projection and has the topology of a sphere. This means it has no edges, no North and South, and no fixed shape. Try to get the landmasses together or see how the oceans are connected. Make your own maps of the earth!
Super clever and cool design.
Michiel de Boer:
It is believed that the most seen photo is this Windows XP background. And I’m convinced that the most viewed shape is the mouse cursor.
This is packed with great quotes from filmmakers that I hadn’t heard before.
I never talk about themes. It’s a very big shame when something is finished and then people want you to translate it back into words. It never will work. It never will go back into words and be what the film is. It’s like describing a piece of music; you don’t hear the music, you just see the words. It’s better to let people conjure up their own ideas, having seen and experienced the film.
Kubrick on explaining the ending of 2001:
I tried to avoid doing this ever since the picture came out because when you just say the ideas they sound foolish, whereas if they’re dramatized one feels it.
Great perspective on the current political situation in the United States.
Most people would say that “the ends justify the means” is a crap moral philosophy. Democrats would agree. But liberals often overcorrect to the point where thinking about the ends at all is thought of as - in a vague, reflexive kind of way - innately immoral. There’s a very Enlightenment way of thinking that implies that, with the right means, the ends take care of themselves, and immoral behavior becomes functionally impossible.
We can call this Values-Neutral Governance, and you can see why it would appeal when you’re trying to sum all the demands placed on a politician. Under this thinking, you don’t need to engage with the needs and desires of your constituency, your donors, or even your opposition, because, if democracy is working, everyone deserving will get what they need as a matter of course.
And you can see how utterly paralyzing it can be when half the participants of the system refuse to play by those rules. Values-Neutral Governance is an engine that only runs by mutual consent.
Words of encouragement from Sara Soueidan:
The point in saying all of this is to again encourage everyone to just write. What you write might help someone understand a concept that you may think has been covered enough before. We each have our own unique perspectives and writing styles. One writing style might be more approachable to some, and can therefore help and benefit a large (or even small) number of people in ways you might not expect.
Even if only one person learns something from your article, you’ll feel great, and that you’ve contributed — even if just a little bit — to this amazing community that we’re all constantly learning from. And if no one reads your article, then that’s also okay. That voice telling you that people are just sitting somewhere watching our every step and judging us based on the popularity of our writing is a big fat pathetic attention-needing liar. (Saying this felt so good, haha.)
Great reporting from Reuters:
As waters warm, fish and other sea life are migrating poleward, seeking to maintain the even temperatures they need to thrive and breed. The number of creatures involved in this massive diaspora may well dwarf any climate impacts yet seen on land.
Gabrielle Hick, for Artsy:
“Competing pencil makers colored their pencils yellow and gave them Oriental names to suggest that the graphite they contained was equally good,” Petroski said.
And it worked. An oft-repeated bit of pencil lore tells of an experiment conducted by Faber in the middle of the 20th century. The company distributed 1,000 pencils—half yellow, half green—to a test group. While both sets of pencils were identical apart from their color, the green pencils were returned en masse with complaints about their shoddy quality.
Peter Welch, back in April 2014:
Websites that are glorified shopping carts with maybe three dynamic pages are maintained by teams of people around the clock, because the truth is everything is breaking all the time, everywhere, for everyone.
Every once in a while I feel a need to reread this 2014 gem. Thanks to Jeremy Keith for reminding me.