Archive for August, 2007|Monthly archive page

Gmail Video (Final Cut)

A while back I posted about Google’s effort to get people to submit videos of Gmail in action – they’ve done the stringing and editing – that’s the final video (the official one anyway). If that still doesn’t satisfy your appetite, head on to the entire collection here!

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Origami Paper

Origami Paper

I came across these origami papers over at Pingmag (along with many other souvenir ideas from Tokyo), and thought they were pretty clever: having the final form pre-printed on the origami paper so that the end product has an additional dimension of appeal. Of course, this would mean that the paper is restricted to only that particular fold/object, but it’d still make a good gift especially for beginners!

Graphic design on the paper done by cochae.

Packaging Design Blog

 Packaging Design

Here’s to yet another niche design blog – this time focusing on the art of packaging. According to the blog owner Torben,

A quick count shows that an average person is in contact with a packaging approximately 52 times per day! If you didn´t notice this fact before it is maybe because you´re surrounded by good and well worked out packaging designs.

But for those who are disabled to some extend, bad packaging design can turn out to be an everyday nightmare. That is what I deal with and want to improve!

It’s a budding blog but it certainly shows promise. Head over to Design Better Packaging to shower some love!

Luxury Design Blog

Luxury Design Blog

Poverty wants some things, Luxury many things, Avarice all things – Benjamin Franklin

While some may see luxury as almost a crime – who are we to deserve such opulence and indulgence – others see it as a benchmark of the ultimate in performance, refinement and design. If you need a dose of how the rich (or, perhaps more commonly nowadays, simply those who are willing to splurge) live their lives, their toys and their fancies, here’s a well-presented blog that focuses solely on designs and developments in the luxury segment – be it high-tech goods, automobile or fashion. It’s in both English and French even!

Apple iPhone unlocked

 iphone unlocked

Prayers of fans worldwide has been answered – the Apple iPhone has finally been fully unlocked (with just software, no hardware modifications at all) from the AT&T Carrier, and can now be used with any carriers worldwide. Of course this isn’t a turnabout on Apple or AT&T’s management decision – rather it’s the result of weeks of sleep deprivation, code cracking, head scratching and clever programming from hackers.

Engadget here has the full documentation  right here – the people who did it are here. They have not released the software publicly yet – judging from their website they seemed intent on making a quick buck via licensing or selling the unlocking software – but I’m as certain that it will eventually be free (if you can unlock the iPhone, others can unlock your software).

So Apple and AT&T executives would lose some sleep – and are perhaps already furiously working on patches to cover this loophole. But as we can see from hardware-software-locked examples like the PSP, you’re (almost) certainly never going to win. Sony tried to patch up their firmware from custom-firmwares and even throwing in incentives for users to upgrade, but they still failed every time to get it secured. In my opinion, iPhone will be no different.

Perhaps it’s also time to think – now that the cat is out of the bag, how could each stakeholder make the best out of the situation?

Eva Solo Smiley

Eva Solo Smiley

That’s the Eva Solo Smiley, designed by the Danish duo Claus Jensen and Henrik Holbæk. At first look it reminded me of the humidifier designed by Naoto Fukasawa – another organic, glossy and rounded addition to the home lifestyle product. After taking a closer look at it, however, I got more impressed – it is certainly well-conceived and designed.

Instead of plastic, it is made of several layers of mouth-blown glass layers – that would add a touch of class and elegance in the midst of deeply IKEA-fied lifestyle products. The edge has a cut to on the side that adds much to its functionality: the perfect receptacle for snack wastes like pistachio shells or food wrappings. But it doesn’t stop there – it also leaves a positive feel-good ‘smiley’ on the product – what a way to do all these in literally one stroke!

Great stuff!

The Hole-y Portrait

Hole Portrait

Give a man punched holes, and he’d file it in a folder. But give him a hole puncher (that can punch different sizes, please), and – voila – he can churn out magnificent art piece! Discovered over at NOTCOT:

Steven Nicholson is a 2yr student at Plymouth university in the United Kingdom studying Graphic communications with typography. And apparently he is a genius with a hole punch? Check out this self portrait using 10 different sized single hole punches on a a1 piece of paper that he just sent over. Can you imagine the patience?

All I can say is WOW. This work just makes anyone else with a hole-puncher (What? You only use it for document archiving?!) look really boring and uncreative.

Image Resizing

Those of you who’re into graphic UI and navigation design might find this a heaven-sent: context-aware resizing for photos. Unlike typical scaling, the algorithm behind this is intelligent – it recognizes what are the likely ‘low-priority’ areas in a photo and squeeze out those pixels, rather than applying a generic, overall scaling.

In layman’s terms, it makes your pictures scale to fit your space without losing information (through cropping) or become recognizably distorted (through uni-axis scaling).

A Romantic Proposal

The video is starting to blaze through the blogosphere right now – a wonderfully romantic video of an elaborate proposal to his girlfriend. I’d not spoil the story for you – but suffice to say, sometimes skills you learn in industrial design could just be useful in your real (romantic) life!

Great Murals

Philadelphia Murals

Time has an archive of some wall murals in Philadelphia – I must say I’m very much impressed by the quality and maturity in some of them. Like the two examples above: ‘Malcolm X’ by the artist Ernel Martinez, who grew up in gang-plagued L.A. and Detroit but grew up an artist and muralist; and ‘Careers: Head to the Sky’, created by artist Cavin Jones who broke up the childrens’ faces into simple zones and invited local students to help paint it.

I thought it’s really great that quality art are spread (and in a big scale) in the city, where they can be seen in an everyday context (as opposed to a museum, which might serve a more niched audience in an curated, artificial setting). These murals are not only artistically well-painted, but they also carry a sense of hope and maturity in their message. Beautifying the landscape and lifting the mind – great works indeed!