The Eye
Slate’s design blog.

May 22 2015 9:04 AM

This New Service Wants to Be the iTunes for Fonts  


The cost of buying multiple fonts can be prohibitive for designers and type nerds. Launching on Friday, Netherlands-based Fontstand from independent type designers Peter Biľak (who is also the editor of Works That Work magazine), Andrej Krátky, and Ondrej Jób is a new service that says it wants to be the iTunes for fonts.

Fontstand has created a Mac OS X app that allows users to test drive thousands of fonts from 20 international type foundries and independent designers for an hour at no charge. Fonts can then be rented for 30-day periods at 10 percent of the purchase price.

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May 21 2015 10:40 AM

This Is What Sweden’s Most Statistically Sought-After Home Looks Like

The ideal home is an elusive concept that changes with time and place. But Sweden’s most popular online property site Hemnet decided to employ a new model to determine an up-to-the-minute archetype of Swedish residential architecture. They analyzed user data to see what kinds of properties were attracting the most attention, then commissioned architects Tham & Videgard to design a prototype of what the architects are calling “Sweden’s statistically most sought after home.”

May 19 2015 12:09 PM

This “Bonkers yet Dignified” U.K. Vacation Home Is an Eccentric Shrine to a Fictional Saint

The latest project from U.K.-based Living Architecture, an organization founded by writer Alain de Botton that commissions leading architects to design out-of-the-ordinary holiday rentals in the U.K., is the House for Essex, a collaboration between FAT Architecture and award-winning, cross-dressing English artist Grayson Perry.

May 18 2015 11:31 AM

Groceries Often Reject Ugly Carrots and Grotesque Apples. This Campaign Celebrates Them.

A campaign starring imperfect fruits and vegetables is the winner in the graphics category for Design of the Year 2015 from London’s Design Museum. To help raise awareness about food waste, Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables uses clean graphics and brightly lit photos that celebrate the imperfections of ugly carrots, grotesque apples, disfigured eggplants, ridiculous potatoes, hideous oranges, and unfortunate clementines.  

May 15 2015 11:24 AM

Help Save Endangered Species by Tweeting These Emojis

Today is Endangered Species Day, and the WWF is celebrating with a social media campaign to encourage people to save wild animals by making a microdonation every time they tweet emoji depicting giant pandas and other endangered species.

“The idea for the #EndangeredEmoji campaign was sparked by the discovery that 17 characters in the emoji alphabet represent endangered species,” reads a WWF press release.

May 14 2015 11:46 AM

A Father Designs Minimalist Vocabulary Posters to Teach His Daughter Complex Words

London-based designer Mick Watson of Smart Giant has created an ongoing series of minimalist posters that attempt to translate obscure, underused, or favorite words into graphic depictions to illustrate their meanings and help them stick.

“I was thinking about my 9-year-old daughter’s expanding vocabulary and wondered that if I made some posters with a visual hook and put them up around the house whether she’d pick them up,” Watson told me in an email. “She was being a contrarian at the time so I started there!”

May 13 2015 11:34 AM

How Once-Popular Pool Halls Ushered in the Age of Plastic

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 billiards—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

May 12 2015 3:22 PM

Are These the World’s Most Beautiful Children’s Picture Books?

Martin Salisbury’s new coffee table book, 100 Great Children’s Picture Books, is an eccentric survey of works from around the world that are remarkable for beautiful, innovative, or original art and design.

Salisbury teaches illustration at the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K., where he created and directs the U.K.’s first master’s program in children’s book illustration. The book is a celebration of the resonance that the images in children’s books have on our culture and our lives.

May 11 2015 12:44 PM

This “Unstainable” White Shirt Repels Wine, Coffee, and More

Putting on a clean white shirt is a tiny act of faith. But the pristine beauty of this classic wardrobe staple is no longer as fragile a proposition thanks to a line of “unstainable” white shirts from Elizabeth & Clarke, an online purveyor of affordable white shirts for women. Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, the shirts have already brought in more than $162,000 of the $30,000 goal.

According to a project description, the Unstainable Shirt uses nanotechnology to repel “virtually any water-based or oil-based liquid spill, including perspiration, which evaporates before even touching the fabric.”

May 8 2015 11:25 AM

This High-Tech Pet Adoption Campaign in London Will Tug at Your Heartstrings

Pet stores have long used the puppy-in-the-window trick to tug at the heartstrings of passersby. Now an innovative, high-tech pet adoption campaign for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home uses interactive billboards featuring a lovably scruffy pooch named Barley to try to emotionally engage potential pet adopters in East London.