Slate’s design blog.

Jan. 15 2015 11:55 AM

Gorgeous Limited-Edition NYC Subway Posters From the Transit Map’s Late Designer

The design world lost a beloved giant with the death of Massimo Vignelli in May of 2014. Last fall, the NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual that he co-designed in the 1960s was reissued as a limited-edition book. And now SuperWarmRed Designs’ Beatriz Cifuentes and Yoshiki Waterhouse, Vignelli’s associates for the last 15 years of his life, are offering both signed and unsigned limited-edition posters of the MTA New York City Subway Diagram that the trio designed together in 2012 for use in the MTA’s Weekender website and app.

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Jan. 14 2015 11:27 AM

How Chili’s and Ford Use Sound to Sell Their Brands

Roman Mars’ podcast 99% Invisible covers design questions large and small, from his fascination with rebar to the history of slot machines to the great Los Angeles Red Car conspiracy. Here at The Eye, we cross-post new episodes and host excerpts from the 99% Invisible blog, which offers complementary visuals for each episode.

This week's edition—about the role of sound in product branding—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

Jan. 13 2015 11:46 AM

The University of North Dakota Dropped Its Offensive Nickname. How Does the School Replace It?

Sociologist James I. Bowie’s Emblemetric blog examines patterns and trends in logo design using quantitative analysis of data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Here at The Eye, Bowie shares a recent post about the University of North Dakota’s search for a new nickname and logo for its athletic teams.

American colleges and universities have now largely abandoned Native American nicknames and logos that many find offensive. In 2012, following a battle that had lasted years, the University of North Dakota dropped its Fighting Sioux nickname, which had been used by its athletic teams since 1930. Since then, the North Dakota teams have played without a nickname, something virtually unheard of in American sports. This year, having completed a two-year “cooling-off period,” the university will begin the process of selecting a new nickname. The old name, however, does not look like it will be forgotten quickly.

Jan. 12 2015 11:30 AM

London Department Store Celebrates Creatives of a Certain Age in “Bright Old Things” Campaign

Since 2011, the British department store Selfridges has kicked off the new year with its annual Bright Young Things campaign, showcasing emerging young design talent. But this year the venerable century-old department store decided to turn the bright young thing trope on its head. Reinventing its annual talent showcase as a celebration of second acts, Bright Old Things features creatives ranging in age from late-40s to mid-80s.

Jan. 9 2015 11:50 AM

The Hotel That Inspired The Shining Wants Fans to Design Its New Hedge Maze

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, is holding an international competition to design a 10,100-square-foot hedge maze inspired by the memorable piece of set decoration in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining, based on the novel by Stephen King. While the film wasn’t actually shot at the Stanley, the hotel did serve as King’s muse; he got the idea for the book while staying at the allegedly haunted hotel, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America, in 1973.

Jan. 8 2015 12:39 PM

Beautiful Cabins Around the World Built for Less Than $60,000

Before the tiny house or the microapartment, there was the cabin in the woods, planted in the collective imagination by Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and later by Le Corbusier’s little wood Cabanon de Vacances, completed in 1952 at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in France. The small dwellings featured in Cabins, a new coffee table book by Philip Jodidio from Taschen, offer escapist eye candy in the form of small dwellings located in tranquil natural settings around the world. The book includes building costs for many of the projects, a handful of which happen to have been built for less than $60,000.

Jan. 7 2015 1:14 PM

Penn Station Wasn’t Always the Laughingstock of New York City

Roman Mars’ podcast 99% Invisible covers design questions large and small, from his fascination with rebar to the history of slot machines to the great Los Angeles Red Car conspiracy. Here at The Eye, we cross-post new episodes and host excerpts from the 99% Invisible blog, which offers complementary visuals for each episode.

This week's edition—about NYC's Penn Station—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

 

Jan. 6 2015 12:36 PM

These Illustrated Life Insurance Policies Are Too Fun to Stash in a Drawer

A life insurance policy document easily gets lost in the shuffle and is unearthed only once the policyholder is no longer around. To encourage customers to give the paper copies of their policies pride of place, British life insurance company Beagle Street worked with Intercity Studio to commission professional illustrators to design a set of limited-edition covers to hang on walls. The colorful policy covers were given out to 600 new customers until the end of last month.

Jan. 5 2015 1:04 PM

This Digital-Era Performance Choreographs Live Dancers With Projected Imagery

Filming the ephemeral art of dance is notoriously difficult. But video of a new dance piece created by French choreographer Mourad Merzouki and digital designers Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne of Adrien M / Claire B is a thrill in itself to watch. “Pixel” premiered in November in France and is currently on tour, with a string of U.S. performances starting next month.

Dec. 31 2014 9:04 AM

Norway’s Stunning Juvet Landscape Hotel Is a Dream Getaway

Joining Sweden’s Treehotel in my pantheon of Nordic escape fantasy destinations is the Juvet Landscape Hotel at Valldal, near the town of Andalsnes in western Norway.

Set on a nature reserve on what was once farmland dating back to the 1500s, the hotel was designed to nestle itself as unobtrusively as possible into the jaw-dropping natural landscape with minimal intervention to the surrounding land.

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