Data + Design Project

“Back to the Future II” Was Supposed to Happen in 2015. How Close Did It Get Today?

Thursday 01.15.2015 , Posted by
Robonanny

Two major milestones have been reached in 2015. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, and the year Marty McFly traveled to in the sequel, Back to the Future II. This has a lot of people asking one thing: “just how accurate did the second film get our current year?”

As with most future predictions, it’s a mixed bag. We’ve more than surpassed communication technology with smart phones (and thank goodness they’re not awkwardly strapped to our wrists)… but where’s my hoverboard?? [Read more…]

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Glamourous Cadillac Ads from the Height of The Great Depression

Friday 01.09.2015 , Posted by
1931 Cadillac Ads 2

Things couldn’t get much more dismal for auto makers than the year 1931. Unemployment was nearing its all time high during The Great Depression leaving car buyers with empty pockets and manufacturers struggling to make ends meet. Most companies played it safe on expenditures, but Cadillac doubled down with a multitude of sleek models and better advertising than ever. They went to Europe and hired French illustrator Léon Bénigni to create a large collection of ads that were positively dripping with glamour. [Read more…]

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“Merry Christmas Honey! I Got You a Vacuum!” 16 Awkwardly Vintage Christmas Ads

Tuesday 12.09.2014 , Posted by
Bad Xmas Ads 1

They sure don’t make ‘em like they used to… especially when it comes to Christmas advertisements. They were sexist, weird and even downright unhealthy. So grab your matching family pajamas, light up a few smokes, and take a trip down memory lane with these gloriously bad mid-century ads. [Read more…]

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A Radical Wooden Roadster Built from Plans (in 1959)

Thursday 11.20.2014 , Posted by
Ariel wood car 3

If you were “the least bit handy with ordinary tools and not afraid to get your hands dirty” you could build the car in these pictures, read an article in the September 1956 issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine. We’re pretty sure you’d need to be more than “the least bit” skilled to build this from the minimal plans, but we won’t fault the author on his choice of interesting cars. The extremely low-slung roadster was built like a boat, out of materials people would be familiar with: plywood panels covered with mahogany. Now that’s different. [Read more…]

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33 Soviet Propaganda Posters of the Space Age

Monday 10.06.2014 , Posted by
Soviet Space Propaganda 8

The Soviet propaganda machine was running strong in the early to mid 20th century, and when it came to their highly successful space program, the artists creating the omnipresent posters had truly hit gold.

On 4 October 1957, the country launched humanities first earth satellite, Sputnik, and stunned people the world over as they watched it fly overhead in the night sky (this is the October referred to in many of the posters below). Their program launched the first animals into space, and in 1961 sent Yuri Gagarin on his historic single orbit as the very first human (“Восто́к” in Russian can be seen in many of these posters honoring his Vostok spacecraft). They launched the first woman into space in 1963, beating America by almost exactly 20 years. And those are just a few of their ‘firsts.’ [Read more…]

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The Evolution of 4 Iconic Logo Designs

Tuesday 08.26.2014 , Posted by
Human-evolution-man

A strong visual language is the best way to establish brand recognition among your audience, and your logo is the foundation of that visual identity. A well-designed logo complements a brand, oftentimes taking on a life of its own and effectively settling into the cultural consciousness. Not only that, the best logos serve as both a template and a guide as a brand evolves.

Some of the world’s most iconic logos have been refined—though never redesigned—because their design was such an accurate reflection of the brand. Here are 4 classic logos that have been successfully updated for the modern era yet pay homage to their original good design. [Read more…]

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A Look at Apple Prototypes from the 1980s

Wednesday 06.04.2014 , Posted by
Apple Design Prototypes of the 80s header

With Apple, it’s always been about the inspired and iconic design – and that was certainly true even in the early days. Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple is an insider’s look at those formative years as told through the eyes of designer Hartmut Esslinger. Working side-by-side with Steve Jobs in developing Apple into a global brand, their minds created the look and feel of the Apple IIc and Macintosh. These are the thoughtful concepts that surrounded those world changing products. [Read more…]

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A Very Rare Book Opens 6 Different Ways, Reveals 6 Different Books

Friday 01.24.2014 , Posted by
6-way-book

Book binding has seen many variations, from the iconic Penguin paperbacks to highly unusual examples like this from late 16th century Germany. It’s a variation on the dos-à-dos binding format (from the French meaning “back-to-back”). Here however, the book opens six different directions, each way revealing a different book. It seems that everyone has a tablet or a Kindle tucked away in their bag (even my 90 year old grandma), and so it sometimes comes as a surprise to remember the craftsmanship that once went along with reading. [Read more…]

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How Creatives Work: The Visual Playground of Charles and Ray Eames

Friday 12.20.2013 , Posted by
charlesandrayeames (1)

Charles and Ray Eames were more than just designers. One of the visual arts most famous and influential married couples, they redefined much of the world that now surrounds us. They also touched multiple disciplines, leaving their mark on architecture, furniture design, interior design, exhibition design, toy design, fine art, photography, and film. They saw themselves as educators and they were definitely innovators. [Read more…]

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The Word From The Streets Is… Noramoji

Tuesday 12.17.2013 , Posted by
noramoji-4-647x435

The city is a typeface jungle, and three Japanese friends venture far and wide to find and recreate the most unique specimens. Scouring the streets for noramoji – or “stray text” – Rintaro Shimohama, Naoki Nishimura and Shinya Wakaoka locate quirky letterforms on charming corner stores, retro barber shops, and old-school local haunts. Analyzing the shape, scale, and weight of the letters they encounter, they then create a full digital set of characters that capture the distinct personalities of the found text. [Read more…]

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