Forget the mad genius composer myth: music is good for the mind

The truth is that there is no more a link between star sign and intelligence than there is between madness and creativity. That a link has been drawn between the two is, however, under–standable. How else can we explain the outrageous creative power of a Mozart or a Beethoven without resorting to some kind of […]

Masters of the Small Canvas: icon designers

Ever since Susan Kare’s 8-bit designs graced the first Macintosh screens in 1984, icon design, like digital typography, has been an important if unglamorous niche in the software business. The 2008 debut of Apple’s App Store created “a sea change in our industry,” says Gedeon Maheux, co-founder of Iconfactory, a large design studio in Greensboro, […]

Reviews, tweets, Instagram posts: why customers are the new marketers

User-generated content (UGC) – blogs, reviews, comments, essentially any digital interaction your customer has with your brand – is becoming an increasingly important part of many businesses’ marketing plans. It is a low-investment, high-impact way of raising your profile online. A recent study by ratings and reviews company Reevoo (pdf) found that 70% of consumers […]

Man fitted with robotic hand wired directly into his brain can ‘feel’ again

A new advanced robotic hand that is wired directly into the brain has been successfully tested, allowing paralysed man to “feel”. The hand, developed by the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins university, is part of a research project into advanced replacement limbs funded by the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa). Read […]

Etsy will now help designers find manufacturers

Starting Monday, manufacturers will be able to create a profile on Etsy, part of a beta program for the new service during which the company will collate their details. Sellers will eventually be able to search through these manufacturers by criteria such as price, location, and the manufacturing services they offer. Etsy will review the […]

Meet the ‘graffiti grannies’ of Lisbon

At one point 90-year-old Santos Costa turns from the wall in frustration – “I don’t have anything more to paint,” she says, asking Seixo Rodrigues to dig around in a pile of stencils to find her another piece. Aida Alves, 76, keeps one arm against the wall, protecting her space as she takes a break. […]

Battle to save historic rail line that heralded the age of science

The opening day in 1830 was portentous. As the inaugural train neared Manchester, the skies turned grey and the crowds hostile. It began to rain. The Duke of Wellington, an opponent of parliamentary reform, was jeered by the city’s politically radicalised workers, who waved tricoleurs and shouted “Remember Peterloo!” Rotten fruit and stones were thrown […]

Introducing Albus Silente: Harry Potter in translation

The wizarding world changes yet again when you cast an eye over the Italian translation. Albus Dumbledore inexplicably becomes Albus Silente, despite the fact that almost all the other language versions keep his original name. The French, German and the Finnish are all perfectly content with Dumbledore; not surprisingly, considering it takes its etymological roots […]

Metroland, 100 years on: what’s become of England’s original vision of suburbia?

Planners, architects and builders are not the only ones who create cities. The suburban landscape of north-west London owes its existence, largely, to the imagination of the Metropolitan Railway’s marketing department. One hundred years ago, in the summer of 1915, the railway’s publicity people devised the term “Metroland” to describe the catchment area of villages […]

Why live streaming is the future of Fashion Week

Ever since IMG, which owns NYFW, began streaming shows in 2011, viewers have been tuning in in droves. “Streaming has become an important part of how consumers understand brands,” says Matt Edelman, IMG’s head of digital operations and marketing solutions. “It gives designers remarkable reach to audiences and helps build trust. It also generates a […]