The Eye
Slate’s design blog.

April 10 2015 9:03 AM

Color Palettes Inspired by New York City Street Art and Architecture

When advertising art director Andrew C. Bly arrived in New York City two years ago, he felt compelled to take snapshots while out and about walking the streets of his new home base. The city's vibrant storefronts, street art, and architecture caught his eye. After taking a photo at 28th and Lexington (top), he decided to translate his Instagram images into a series of color palettes that provided abstract color capsules of various corners of the city, which he documents on Color Me NYC.  

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April 9 2015 9:14 AM

This Optical Illusion Tricks You Into Thinking That Typeface Letters Are the Same Height

Over the past 25 years, Tobias Frere-Jones has created some of the world’s most widely used typefaces. He has taught at the Yale University School of Art since 1996, gives lectures around the world, and has work in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Here at The Eye, Frere-Jones shares a post from his blog about the behind-the-scenes mechanics of designing a typeface.

April 8 2015 9:04 AM

A Two-Sided Word Puzzle on London Streets Takes on Homeless Stereotypes

To promote its Nightstop program, in which volunteers offer homeless people ages 16 to 25 spare beds, homelessness charity Depaul UK launched a poster campaign Thursday that uses the architecture of buildings to help win the hearts and minds of passersby.

The Street Corners campaign was created by Publicis London, whose previous collaborations with the charity include the Depaul Box Company, which began selling cardboard moving boxes to fund anti-homeless efforts in 2013. Depaul Nightstop has been around for 20 years, and more than 700 volunteers have hosted young people across the U.K., with 13,400 overnights in 2014.

April 7 2015 11:02 AM

These Coloring Books for Adults Are More Addictive Than Smartphones

Adulthood seems to be having a regressive moment. There’s preschool for adults in Brooklyn. And the Guardian reported on Sunday that half of the top sellers on Amazon’s U.K. site are coloring books for grown-ups.

Topping that list is Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford, whose 2013 book Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book sold nearly 1.5 million copies worldwide. Published in February byLaurence King and already out of stock, her latest effort is Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book, another intricately hand-drawn, pen-and-ink escape fantasy in which adults can lose themselves for hours in an analog pastime reminiscent of childhood, then post the results on social media for all the world to see. (Basford hosts examples from fans in a gallery on her website.)

April 2 2015 9:02 AM

Of Course the Candy Crush Office Has a “Magic Forest Room” and a “Treasure Island”

The look of real-life office spaces of popular tech companies is as much about branding in the image-driven online world as it is about making employees happy. Tech company office design seems to fall into two camps. First there are the neo-industrial, neutral-toned, faux-spontaneous setups that are all about raw materials and open, flexible, blank spaces to foster creativity and collaboration, like Airbnb’s San Francisco office. And on the opposite side of the spectrum are the over-the-top theme offices that read like real-life technicolor fantasies of preschools inhabited by kids of all ages, such as the whimsical London office of mobile kids game developer Mind Candy.

April 1 2015 9:08 AM

The Outings Project Brings Museum Artworks to Urban Streets

French artist Julien de Casabianca was visiting the Louvre when an otherwise unremarkable portrait caught his eye.

“I saw a young woman in an abandoned painting in the corner, she was bored,” Casabianca told me in an email written in French. “I had a ‘Prince Charming’ impulse: I wanted to free her from the castle to give her a second life.”

March 31 2015 1:29 PM

Volvo’s Brilliant “Life Paint” Makes Bikes Reflective for Nighttime Rides

Swedish car company Volvo is helping nighttime cyclists defend themselves against cars with Life Paint, a spray-on reflective paint developed by Grey London in collaboration with reflective paint makers Albedo100 that uses special adhesives that are invisible in daylight but light up after dark in the glare of automobile headlights.

March 31 2015 11:01 AM

The Ted Kennedy Institute Combines Cutting-Edge Tech With a Full-Scale Senate Chamber Replica

Ted Kennedy famously loved his job. He spent nearly half a century in the Senate before his death in 2009. Today the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate opens to the public after a dedication on Monday attended by President Obama. Its mission is to excite and illuminate students and the general public about the history and inner workings of the U.S. Senate.

March 27 2015 12:47 PM

What If Neighboring Skyscrapers Could Cancel Out Each Other’s Shadows?

Skyscrapers telegraph man’s lofty ambitions but often cast a pall on the street life below. To combat that obscure downside of urban living, designers from NBBJ have devised an ingenious proposal for a pair of “no shadow” towers on London’s Greenwich Peninsula (site of the prime meridian). The proposed mixed-use residential and business towers would use algorithms to redirect sunlight—canceling out shadows to create more light on the ground instead.

In an article by NBBJ design director Christian Coop, architect David Kosdruy, and architectural assistant James Pinkerton for New London Quarterly, the designers explain that the proposal is “aimed at easing a significant problem that London will encounter with the increase in tall building development, namely the impact of over-shadowing and an increase of dark and gloomy public spaces.”

March 26 2015 9:05 AM

The Post-Apocalyptic Meal Plans of Doomsday Preppers

Photographer Henry Hargreaves, whose food-related passion projects have included fashioning stunning food-themed country maps and visualizations of rock star concert rider demands, has turned his attention to the subculture of “doomsday preppers.”