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The microbes within us

Bookcover made for AUP publishers. 
Your body is teeming with tens of trillions of microbes. These microscopic companions sculpt our organs, protect us from diseases, guide our behaviour, and bombard us with their genes. They also hold the key to understanding all life on earth.

'Worse than a piece of crap?' Designers react to the Republican logo's

While more and more Republican candidates are anouncing their bids for the presidency, their new logo's are getting some mixed reviews.
Some kinda like the new Jeb! logo for it's simplicity but most reactions are less positive.
“It’s a piece of shit, and you can quote me on that,” says design critic Steven Heller, who has written dozens of books on everything from branding and typography to infographics and posters. He is hardly alone in being so critical, though famed typographer Chester Jenkins was a bit more gentle about it. “The logo isn’t bad as a graphic, but as a piece of typography, there are some problems,” he says.
Even more noticeable than the typeface in the logo is the huge exclamation point at the end. Moving Brands chief creative officer Jim Bull says he's not sure it works.

Stephen Doyle, of graphic-design firm Doyle Partners, had another take. "Jeb's logo demonstrates an alarmingly genuine surprise that he's running for president at all!" he says. "I wonder if the team, while exploring punctuation, had considered 'Jeb?'"

Marco Rubio's logo feels more modern and refreshing but the campaign logo perplexed design experts according to business insider. Most noticeable was that the America dotting the "i" in Rubio was missing Alaska and Hawaii. "The map feels like an afterthought," Karl Gude, a graphics professor at Michigan State University said. "He just lost the Alaska and Hawaii vote."

Debbie Millman, chair of the Masters in Branding program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, found the logo "fairly innocuous and fairly friendly," but she couldn't condone Rubio's use of a map to dot the "i."
"The teeny-tiny little map of America over the 'i' in Rubio makes me wonder what is more of a priority to this candidate: Marco Rubio or the residents of this country?" she said.

The great Hillary campaign logo controversy continues

Ofcourse the internet wasn't done yet with the new Hillary Clinton logo.
People keep on mocking the logo while coming up with different versions.
A guy named Paul Mauldin A.K.A The monkeysniffer made a redesign of the logo.
In fact a whole design competition for a redesign was organised.

Graphic designer Rick Wolff went as far as taking the time to build an entire typeface around the arrowed “H”. The typeface, named “Hillary Bold”, isn’t that amazing in itself, but you got to give him credit for pulling it out so quickly. The Washington Post reacted also very quickly and allowed its readers to write campaign slogans with that font.

Comparing modern campaign logos to resembling brand logos has become an Internet pastime before. Obama's "O" was compared with 'Pepsi', Romney's "R" with 'Aquafresh', Ted Cruz's flame was compared to a number of logos, including those of 'Al Jazeera' and 'the Onion' while Rand Paul's logo reminded people of 'Tinder'. But what separates Clinton's logo from these others is: it hasn't immediately been compared to other famous corporate brands, and never before has a campaign logo created so much controversy.

Everything that’s wrong with Hillary’s new logo, according to the internet

Hillary Clinton's campaign logo is already causing controversy, just minutes after Hillary Clinton's highly anticipated 2016 presidential-bid announcement dropped on Sunday, her campaign was already under public scrutiny. The reason was her campaign logo — which in Clinton's case came in the form of a big, bold letter "H" crossed through with a red arrow.
Internet and twitter freaked out and critics commented on everything, from the direction the arrow is pointing (to the right), to other logos it reminds them of, or that the logo is too Republican.
I must say that the designteam could and probably should have done a better job than what they've come up with now. But regardless of how the critics feel, though, they'll have to get used to seeing more of the logo, which will presumably accompany her into 2016. The former first lady, senator and secretary of state's campaign has only just begun.

9 attempts to explain the crazy complexity of the Middle East

The Middle East is complicated. It is hard to understand all the underlying intricacies involved.
Who hates who. Who fights who. Who supports who. The desire to try to explain the Middle East – in a bid to help solve its daunting problems – has grown.

Here is a list of nine of those attempts to illustrate the crazy complexity of the Middle East.

From advertisements to art. Peeling off the New York subway ads.

Kevin Shea Adams is a freelance photographer based in Brooklyn, NY.
He has have an obsession with advertisement peelings found in the New York City subway system. He's been photographing these anonymous, collective, chance collages since about 2011.


A 5-minute animation mapping 2,600 years of western cultural history

Working with his colleagues, Maximilian Schich, an art historian, took Freebase (Google’s “community-curated database of well-known people, places, and things”) and gathered data on 150,000 important artists and cultural figures who lived during the long arc of Western history (6oo BCE to 2012).
They mapped these figures, births (in blue) and deaths (in red), and traced their movements through time and place. The result is a wonderful 5-minute animation showing how the West’s great cultural centers shifted from Rome to Paris (circa 1789), and more recently to New York and Los Angeles.

Maps that explain the World Cup

The game is on. The World Cup is probably the most watched sporting event on the planet. Here are 22 maps and infographics that explain the history, geography, and politics of the World Cup and the sport as a whole.

40 powerful social issue ads that’ll make you stop and think

These 40 advertisements are excellent examples of effective advertising strategies for social issue campaigns that let their voices be heard.

A well-made advertisement is designed to grab your attention and to remain in your memory long after you’ve left it behind, and that is exactly what many of these social causes need. Getting people to think and worry about various social and environmental issues (or even simply getting them to be aware of them) is important for raising public support and affecting meaningful change.

Why every book about Africa has the same cover

Last week, Africa Is a Country, a blog that documents and skewers Western misconceptions of Africa, ran a interesting story about book design. It posted a collage of 36 covers of books that were either set in Africa or written by African writers. The texts of the books were as diverse as the geography they covered: Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique. They were written in wildly divergent styles, by writers that included several Nobel Prize winners. Yet all of books' covers featured an acacia tree, an orange sunset over the veld, or both.

The covers of most novels about Africa seem to have been designed by someone whose principal idea of the continent comes from The Lion King. They all get the acacia tree sunset treatment.

What makes the persistence of these tired and inaccurate images even worse is that we're living in an era of brilliant book design. So why is it so hard for publishers of African authors to rise beyond cliche? Read more in this Atlantic article.

The legendary manual that dictates every detail of the NYC subway

Amidst the stinky, human chaos of NYC's train system, we take the clarity of the signage for granted. But every minute detail of those signs was carefully laid out in 1970 by two young designers who created a rulebook for how to guide billions of people through the subway for decades to come.

It was called the Graphics Standards Manual, and it was produced for the MTA by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda, two then-unknown designers who worked at Unimark International at the time.
A recent New Yorker article about the golden age of corporate identities discussed their manual as one perfect example of the era; concise, utterly practical, and incredibly prescient.

> Read on in this great Gizmodo article

> View the whole guidebook online at The standards Manual.

The amazing original Star Wars concept art

Ralph McQuarrie (1929-2012) was an American conceptual designer and illustrator. In 1975, George Lucas commissioned McQuarrie to illustrate scenes from the script for Star Wars.
“Ralph was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars. His genial contribution, in the form of unequaled production paintings propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original Star Wars trilogy.”

McQuarrie designed many of the film’s characters, including Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO. He also drew concepts for many of the film’s sets.
It is amazing to see how a lot his sketches resemble the final movie. Though some of McQuarrie’s concepts are different from the finished film, other illustrations are very close to scenes that ended up in the finished film.

Creative packaging designs that practically sell themselves

Good design isn’t just about the product – it’s about good packaging as well. Here are 25 ingenious packaging designs compiled by the Bored Panda website proving that a well-designed package can complement or even enhance the product it was designed to carry.

The most convincing pie chart you've ever seen

From 1991 to 2012, there were 13,950 peer-reviewed articles on human-caused global warming. Only 24 rejected it. That's 0.17%, for those of you keeping score.

Here's some more info about science and Global Warming: why climate deniers have no scientific credibility.

Designing for Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel

What if you get a call from Wes Anderson's producer do the artwork for his new movie The Grand Budapest Hotel.

It happened to graphic designer Annie Atkins who was responsible for every graphic prop in the movie. Creative review spoke to her about her work.

Working closely with Wes Anderson and his production designer Adam Stockhausen, it was the job of Atkins to develop the graphic identity of the many artefacts in the new film, which boasts the meticulous attention to (typo)graphic detail and spectacular design that fans have come to expect from the famous director.

Set in the Empire of Zubrowka, a fictitious European country between the wars, The Grand Budapest Hotel tells the story of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. 

The mysterious uncrackable Voynich manuscript.

Yale University has put high-res scans online of the mysterious Voynich manuscript.
The book is a mysterious document that has fascinated scholars and top cryptographers for more than a century: It consists of 246 pages of handwritten script and illustrations. It has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438) and was discovered in an Italian monastery by a Lithuanian bookseller Wilfrid Voynich in 1912.

The book contains colourful illustrations depicting fantastical plants, astronomical diagrams, and groups of naked women in bathtubs. You could embrace the book as a linguistic brainteaser, an antiquarian book novelty, a guide to a lost theory of the natural world, or a portfolio of outsider art.

But the most important contemporary question about the manuscript is whether its text is “real” or not. The writing is so bizarre, sceptics have stated the book is a hoax or that the writing is nonsense.
Either way, it has withstood an astonishing amount of intellectual firepower from many directions. All kinds of scholars have been debating the document and its meaning, but until now, there has not been one convincing explanation.

Read more in this Boston Globe article, Why scholars can’t resist the uncrackable Voynich manuscript.

A map showing how the internet travels across the world

You may reach the internet via wireless connection most of the time, but all those ones and zeros cross the oceans the same way old-fashioned telephone connections did: by undersea cables.
TeleGeography has charted a map showing how the internet travels across the world's seas in 2014. The result is fascinatingly complex.
Supplying the world with a virtual internet involves a lot of serious infrastructure in some hard-to-reach places. It makes you appreciate the modern miracle that lets you blast an email halfway around the globe with the click of a mouse.

Banksy hits New York

The elusive street artist called Banksy has moved to New York for a month. As part of a series called 'Better out than in' the artist has promised to do a new piece of work every day.
Fans are following the Banksy-trail, poring over his Instagram feeds and website everyday, waiting for him to post a picture of his latest work of art. Although he is not providing exact locations, those who spot the graffiti are spreading the word online to aid other fans in the treasure hunt.

Among the works are; A slaughterhouse delivery truck touring the meatpacking district with animal dolls, random graffiti given a Broadway musical makeover, and my favourite, written on a blue door: "I have a theory that you can make any sentence seem profound by writing the name of a dead philosopher at the end of it. — Plato".

Futuristic graphic ping pong

Beat Match, a graduation project by David Rinman at the Forsbergs School of Design & Advertising in Stockholm, is an interactive surface that transforms table tennis into a collaborative audiovisual extravaganza.
With every bounce of the ball, the table takes on a new pattern. The geometric graphic shapes, supplied by an overhead projector, snap into place perfectly in-step with the action. But it’s not just the visuals that reflect the game play. The ball controls the soundtrack, too, with sensors triggering pre-cut snippets of electronic tracks every time it hits.

How much do music artists earn online?

This beautiful and insightful infographic by data journalist David McCandless shows how much money musicians really get paid in this new digital marketplace.
For a solo artist to earn a minimum wage he either has to sell 143 self pressed cd's or must hope to get more than 4 million Spotify streams each month.

Check David McCandless website and book Information is beautiful for more gorgeous infographics.

A font made with light emitted from an iPhone

Designer Marcus Byrne of Melbourne, Australia created a 3D letter and font suite using the light from an iPhone.

Byrne created the Phone streak font in darkness by painting characters in the air with the light from the iPhone. He photographed the light streaks in 3.5 second exposures with a Canon 5D camera.

According to the artist’s page on Behance, the project started as an experiment on turning hand-waving gestures into a 3D object. Byrne decided to create a working font suite that he would give away for free.

Unfortunate but hilarious advertising placements

Advertising can be creative and even purposely funny. But sometimes, an ad on a bad place or in a unfortunate situation can have unexpected results!
Here are 23 most unfortunate advertising placements.

For those who want to dive deeper, Business Insider posted a round up of the most hilarious online ad placements ever.

A world map adjusted for the population size

If you were to re-draw the map of the world according to each country's population, you would get a warped world that looked like this. The map uses 1 grid square to represent 1 million people.

Some giant countries like Canada and Australia become tiny strips and dots while other giant countries like China and India predictably inflate and take over the map. You can also see how crowded some countries are, Japan is bigger than Mexico! Pakistan is as big as the whole Middle East!
But at least all these countries made it on the map, Iceland and Belize didn't even have enough people to show up.

The entire history of the world in one single chart

Yes, for history buffs and infographics enthusiasts, it's the entire history of the world distilled in one single magnificent infographic chart. Created by John B. Sparks in 1931.
Read more about it in this Slate article.

John B. Sparks also made the equally beautiful Histomap of evolution.

First issues of 19 famous magazines

Mental Floss is showcasing the very first issues of 19 famous magazines. Some of the classic designs remain suprisingly modern while others, like the first Rolling Stone issue, have a clearly outdated design.

22 Maps That Define America

Here's a look at 22 fascinating maps that show us some of the most interesting distinctions among Americans as well as other amazing features of this beautiful (and strange) country.

The Windows of New York

Love this project! The Windows of New York project is a weekly illustrated fix for an obsession designer Jose Guizar had with windows in the streets of N.Y. that caught his restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the city.
An ode to architecture and part a self-challenge for him to never stop looking up.

Introducing a NSA-Proof Font

When governments and corporations are snooping through personal digital messages, it'd sure be nice if there was a font their dragnets couldn't decipher. Designer Sang Mun created ZZX, a disruptive typeface that would be unreadable by text scanning software used by the NSA. The font has six different font styles, each of which is "designed to thwart machine intelligences in a different way."

ZXX is a call to action, both practically and symbolically, to raise questions about privacy. But it represents a broader urgency: How can design be used politically and socially for the codification and de-codification of people’s thoughts?
"This physical, mental and technological growing invasion of privacy and surveillance dehumanizes us," he says. "The militarization of cyberspace must stop. If not, it's only a matter of time before we live in a Tectologic Orwellian Society."

The evolution of soft drink cans

Things change over time. The bloggers at Bold post have catalogued the look of famous soft drink cans throughout the ages.
Though Pepsi got a lot of crap for trying to find a logo that sticked and Coca Cola got a lot of credit for having the same logo after all these years (other than the New Coke fiasco), both their soda can designs have changed dramatically from its humbly sweet beginnings.

How typeface influences the way we read and think. And why everyone hates Comic Sans.

Type design is something we tend not to think about when we're reading. But font choices can have real-world implications that affect our lives in tangible ways. The Week.com highlights some experiments that show the importance of font choice.

Behind the scenes of The Great Gatsby's typography

Fans of 3D movies are currently flocking to the cinema to see Baz Luhrmann's latest film The Great Gatsby. What caught the attention of the people of Creative bloq was the beautiful use of typography to bring the period feel to life.

20 key moments in modern design history?

Creative Bloq selected 20 design milestones that have helped shape the modern world of design from the Sixties to the present decade. An arbitrary round up ofcourse, but still an interesting selection.

Famous logos and their non-latin adaptations

Nice post from designer-daily about how well eight famous brands adapted their design when they had to switch to non-latin characters.

Classic novels visualized according to their color content

Graphic designer Jaz Parkinson's Colour Signatures is an interesting way of visualizing books. She pulls out all of the references to color in a single novel or play, tallies them up, and graphs the color scheme for each book.

100 Diagrams That Changed the World

A visual history of human sensemaking, from cave paintings to the world wide web. 100 Diagrams That Changed the World is a book about the history of our evolving understanding of the world through humanity’s most groundbreaking sketches, illustrations and drawings. Ranging from cave paintings to The Rosetta Stone to Moses Harris’s color wheel (left) to Tim Berners-Lee’s flowchart for a “mesh” information management system, the original blueprint for the world wide web.

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As our world becomes more and more digital and mobile-driven, interface design increasingly defines how we connect with people, brands and services.

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