A Drone Just Made the First Legal U.S. Delivery

Commercial drone deliveries took 24 short hops closer to reality last Friday with special clearance from U.S. regulators.

Australian drone startup Flirtey worked with NASA, Virginia Tech, and others, to make a series of flights in a project called “Let’s Fly Wisely”.

Groove Glider: Column Five Spent Hack Day Making a Video Game

Every few months Column Five shuts down for an office-wide Hack Day. It’s a great time to brainstorm new ideas, mix up the daily grind and experiment with new creative work. Now, they’re proud to share one of the projects hatched up at their last Hack Day. Introducing C5’s very first video game, Groove Glider. It’s a side-scrolling space-shooter that’s part game, part mixtape (so you’ll definitely want your speakers on for this).

5 Books to Help You Break Out of Your Creative Envelope

Universal Principles of Design
125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design

by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden and Jill Butler

Universal Principals of Design

If one book exists that can help you step out of a design rut, this is it. Now, when I refer to design, I mean real design from start to finish, not just producing a piece of work based on a spec. The book is essentially a textbook, but it does a great job of getting you back to the fundamentals. So, instead of obsessing over why your color swatch is not working, you think bigger picture about why your overall approach is not working. Anyone who has gone to school for anything from graphic design to interface design has probably already learned most of the concepts in this book, but it is a great way to get yourself back to basics if you haven’t been in class for a while.

What if Facebook, Apple or AirBnb Made Beer? They Might Look Like This.

While getting (admittedly) sloppy on a team building night out, someone at UK t-shirt printing service Printsome asked an intriguing question: what would a beer made by Facebook taste like? While nobody can seem to remember who came up with the idea, the team took that alcohol inspired concept in a design direction, exploring how the image of Facebook and other major non-food brands would translate if they made beer. So far they’ve created 17 ‘Beertualising’ labels, complete with slogans, and a little outline of the ingredients that make each beer.

Check Out This Hellish New Airline Seating Layout

Flying economy can be miserable. Luggage searches, bad food, the odd crying baby and absolutely no leg or shoulder room. Now Wired just found that a French company has patented a seating configuration which promises to make it even worse. Their concept places the middle passenger–already the worst seat–facing backwards. Their “Economy Class Cabin Hexagon” would pack in more neighbors than ever before, and put them right in our face too.

Creative Tip: 3 Tools For Generating Ideas When You’re Seriously Stuck

It’s 4 hours until the deadline, you haven’t started, and you’re fresh out of ideas. We’ve all experienced times when creativity seems far out of reach, but how do we break free from the creative quagmire and quickly generate ideas that will work? The answer is often easier than we think–it’s just a matter of having the right tool at the right time.

In this week’s Creative Tip we’ve outlined 3 highly useful brainstorming techniques to help you get the ideas flowing when your mind feels like mud.

Make a Map Poster of Anywhere with Mapiful

Maps are one of our addictions here at VN, so when we found Mapiful we were completely floored. This company helps you print minimalist black and white street map posters using any location in the world. That’s great news for those of us who live outside major cities like London or San Francisco, who tend to miss most of the love from poster designers.

Workers Find School Chalkboard Drawings, Hidden for 100 Years

When contractors removed old chalkboards at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City earlier this week, they had a surprise waiting for them: behind those chalkboards was another set which hadn’t been touched since 1917.

Like a time-capsule, the old boards reveal a slice of history from nearly 100 years ago, including artwork for Thanksgiving and history on the Pilgrims, an unusual circular multiplication table, a calendar, and a list titled “My Rules to Keep Clean”. The reason we share this story here: just look at that handwriting.

A Growing Collection of Director Wes Anderson’s Bold Color Palettes

When it comes to making films, there are few who include more design elements than Wes Anderson. One of the most striking tools he uses is color. His craftily arranged scenes (which are mostly symmetrical) are infused with imaginative palettes we don’t see in most of today’s films. Like the Beyoncé palette inspiration we covered not long ago, this is a fantastic source of inspiration for any project.

If Famous Directors Designed Houses, Would They Look Like This?

Italian architect and illustrator Federico Babina has an obsession with imagining new buildings designed around unusual constraints. He’s dreamed up houses based on artists, movie sets, and the names of architects. Now he’s turned his design skills to dreaming up buildings as if they were designed by famous directors. His series, “Archidirector” features 27 directors – famous and obscure – each with a unique structure modeled after their signature aesthetic and personality.