Slate’s design blog.

Oct. 22 2014 1:01 PM

The Surprisingly Xenophobic Origins of Wonder Bread

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 origins of white bread—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

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Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM

How Designers Use Creative Briefs to Better Their Work

The design brief is an integral part of any serious design project, a typically written mission statement that crystallizes the rules to live by dictated by the creative or the client, or a consensus of the two.

Briefly, a short film from Tom Bassett of Bassett & Partners, asked a handful of leading designers and architects to offer their insights on how a well-thought-out design brief facilitates the process of doing creative work.

 

Oct. 20 2014 1:20 PM

The Berlin Wall Resurrected, 25 Years After Its Fall

The Berlin Wall fell nearly 25 years ago, and to commemorate that momentous event, Germany has commissioned a poetic art installation to mark the Nov. 9, 1989, anniversary.

Oct. 17 2014 10:29 AM

This Gorgeous Sculpture Creates Instant Architecture in an Empty Room

Held annually since 2009 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, ArtPrize is a democratic art competition open to anyone in the world over age 18, with generous cash prizes awarded by both a jury of experts and popular vote. For the first time, a single work—Intersections by Pakistan-born Anila Quayyum Agha—took this year’s public and juried grand prizes for a total of $300,000.

Agha’s stunning piece is an obvious crowd-pleaser, a 6½-foot square laser-cut, black lacquer wood cube suspended from the ceiling and lit with a single light bulb that casts breathtaking 32-feet-by-34-feet shadows to create instant architecture in an otherwise empty room.

Oct. 16 2014 9:08 AM

Was the 1977 New York City Blackout a Catalyst for Hip-Hop’s Growth?

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 New York City blackout that may have catalyzed the hip-hop movement—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

Oct. 15 2014 9:07 AM

John Malkovich Pays Homage to Iconic 20th-Century Images in a Wild Series of Portraits

John Malkovich is one of a handful of actors who brings his inimitable persona to every role, giving off the impression that he is playing some (often twisted) version of himself. A cultural icon in his own right, he’s also shown he is game to offer himself up as cultural fodder, à la Being John Malkovich. In a new series called “Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters” by Sandro Miller, Malkovich plays the parts of man, woman, and child with an eerily unsettling plausibility in 32 wild portraits that celebrate great 20th-century photography.

Oct. 14 2014 11:59 AM

How Font Names Became One-Word Sales Pitches for Typography

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 & 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 history of typography names.

Oct. 13 2014 11:06 AM

Norway’s Redesigned Banknotes Will Be the World’s Coolest Currency

Norway’s Norges Bank invited eight design teams to submit proposals for a series of sea-themed banknote redesigns. The standout concept above by Snøhetta Design, which will appear on the backs of Norway’s krone bills, uses the abstracted language of pixels to depict coastal settings.

Oct. 10 2014 9:11 AM

The Spellbinding Beauty of Chemical Reactions Captured in Ultra HD Video  

Beautiful Chemistry is a new digital media and technology project aimed at getting the world excited about science by magnifying the sheer magnificence and visual poetry of a chemistry experiment in full bloom. Shot using special lenses in 4K Ultra HD, the videos capture the transformations caused by chemical reactions like bubbling, smoke, precipitation and crystallization in exquisite, spellbinding detail.

Oct. 9 2014 9:04 AM

A Graphic Designer’s Playful, Philosophical Depiction of Time in an Overscheduled World

Graphic designer Vahram Muratyan’s popular 2012 book, Paris Versus New York: A Tally of Two Cities, was a charming visual accounting of the subtle differences between life in those storied locales, both of which he calls home.

Now, his travel across four continents has inspired a broader theme for his new book,About Time: A Visual Memoir Around the Clock, which will be published next month. It’s a series of riffs on our perceptions of time and memory told in Muratyan’s signature style.

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