The Election Disaster That Wasn’tAmerica’s poorly designed ballots could have bungled the 2012 election. How we can fix them before 2016.
A Map Made of DirtThe man who charted all 50 states using soil from each one.
The Crazy Keyboards of YesteryearAnd how they could lead us to a better typing future.
The Woman Who Invented the KitchenShe couldn’t cook.
Pop ArtThe brilliant redesign of the soda can tab.
Why Isn’t My Green Card Green?How this critical immigration document became pink, beige, and blue.
Montana Quilters Have Their Own License PlateThe curious rise of specialty tags.
In Praise of Wooden SpoonsThey’re practical. They have a rich cultural history. And they last forever.
How the Broom Became FlatA history of the sturdy household essential.
The Perfection of the Paper ClipIt was invented in 1899. It hasn’t been improved upon since.
Hello?A visual history of the telephone.
The Evolution of Everyday ObjectsA new Slate series on the history—and future—of design. Weigh in on what we should cover.
Spring Colorganizing ContestSlate wants to see the ways you organize your home and office by color.
A Size 2 Is a Size 2 Is a Size 8Why clothing sizes make no sense.
Recognizably AnonymousHow did a hacker group that rejects definition develop such a strong visual brand?
Can I Carry Your Books?The rise of the backpack.
Gifts for Gadget LoversThe five best tech toys of 2012.
The Secret History of the Aeron ChairIt wasn’t originally designed for office warriors. It was intended for the elderly.
The Beauty of the Airline Baggage TagIt’s a masterpiece of design.
“It Smelled Something Like Pizza”New documents reveal how Apple really invented the iPhone.
Ugly ButtonsHow did the remote control get so awful and confusing?
The Rise of the ForkKnives and spoons are ancient. But we’ve only been eating with forks for a few centuries.
The Simple, Humble, Surprisingly Sexy ButtonA visual history.
The Quest for the Perfect Office ChairWhy we haven’t found it yet.
The Evolution of Everyday ObjectsHow smart design makes good things great.
What Will Become of the Paper Book?How their design will evolve in the age of the Kindle.
Sneaking Into Pantone HQHow color forecasters really decide which hue will be the new black.
The Curious History of “Tribal” PrintsHow the Dutch peddle Indonesian-inspired designs to West Africa.
Paula Scher’s Exquisite Book of Lying "Maps"The legendary designer beautifully distorts borders and names.
Why Are Our Cars Painted Such Boring Colors?They’re all white and silver. Cars used to be poppy red! Tangerine! Pea green!