How the first world war liberated women’s wardrobes

News of an interesting new exhibition, Fashion & Freedom, at the Manchester Art Gallery from 13 May – 27 November 2016. It’s then touring – see this page for details. As well as what Helen Pidd writing for The Guardian calls the obvious ‘upsides’ (you know, peace and all that): the war liberated women from their […]

Lena Groeger: How Typography Can Save Your Life

An argument I’ve made a lot in the past (as have others) is that as important as we think typography might be, no one ever died because of a bit of bad kerning. It’s a deliberately flippant and incendiary comment, designed to focus people’s attention on what really matters in design rather than navel gazing and […]

Biodegradable six-pack rings double as fish food

Florida’s Saltwater Brewery has a pretty clever idea for replacing those environment-destroying plastic rings holding your Tecate cans together: animal food. Technically, the rings are a combination of wheat and barley, leftover from the brewing process. The brewery hopes the biodegradable (and fully digestable!) packaging will help stop marine life and birds from choking on […]

Review of Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products

Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products by Richard Banfield My rating: 3 of 5 stars There’s a lot of evidence to suggest the book wasn’t even proofed before it was published. There are spelling mistakes all over it and even an entire paragraph repeated on pages 158 and 162.  It’s a […]

Why doors don’t work – an introduction to human-centred design

This is a great little video explaining the concept of Norman Doors – doors that don’t work the way you think they should. It’s a wonderful primer on the concept of human-centred design, well worth watching whether you’re interested in design or not. We’ve all had experiences like this…

How the internet is trying to design out toxic behaviour

  A few years ago, Facebook managers noticed a rush of complaints from users about friends posting photographs of them that they didn’t like. The pictures weren’t explicit; they just reminded users of something they would rather forget, or made them look stupid. These complaints were invariably rejected because no rules had been broken, yet […]

How to write the shortest joke in the world

Quite an interesting article here on how to write short jokes, which should also be of use to writers, especially advertising copywriters. It begins by suggesting that one of the funniest and shortest jokes is Jimmy Carr’s ‘venison’s dear, isn’t it?’. Micro-gags like Carr’s also illustrate a central tenet of classical joke craft: for some […]

Punctuation matters: See how novels look without words

  It’s an author’s words, rather than their punctuation, that we think of as defining their style. But as Adam J. Calhoun found out this week, the periods, colons, semicolons, and commas a writer uses can have just as much impact on their output as their choice of language. In a Medium post, Calhoun stripped […]