The Eye
Slate’s design blog.

April 16 2015 1:04 PM

Dior and I Gives Seamsters a Starring Role in the Behind-the-Scenes Fashion Documentary

Fashion designer Raf Simons is a reluctant leading man in Frédéric Tcheng’s Dior and I, a new documentary that chronicles the Belgian designer’s arrival as artistic director of Christian Dior in 2012, where he was charged with creating a haute couture collection for the legendary Paris fashion house in just eight weeks (a process that routinely takes six months).

But Simons is not the only star of this elegantly crafted documentary about the collaborative creative process of making wildly expensive garments in the high-stakes world of art and commerce that is haute couture. “I consider the film to be an ensemble piece,” Tcheng says in a director’s statement.

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April 15 2015 11:26 AM

The Locksmith Who Picked Two “Unbeatable” Locks and Ended the Era of “Perfect Security”

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

April 14 2015 11:30 AM

Why Do So Many NBA Logos Feature Basketballs but Few NFL Logos Have Footballs?

James I. Bowie is a sociologist at Northern Arizona University whose 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 Emblemetric post about the Milwaukee Bucks' new logo.

On Monday, the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks unveiled a new logo. Like the team’s old emblem, it is a depiction of a fierce stag, but the new mark contains an image of a basketball, cleverly hidden in the negative space of the antlers. By switching from a logo without a basketball to a mark with one, the Bucks have joined 21 other NBA teams with basketballs in their primary logos. Seventy-three percent of NBA teams’ symbols now include basketballs.

April 13 2015 12:15 PM

Reinventing the Modern Library as a Tech-Forward, Eco-Friendly, Community Hub

Libraries have long been community gathering spaces where all members of society can gather around the pursuit of knowledge or the entertainment of a good read. But the outmoded function of the library as a giant warehouse for physical books means that architects are now obliged to focus on designing tech-forward, eco-friendly community hubs to keep them viable in a digital world.

The AIA/ALA Library Building Awards—a collaboration between the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association—began recognizing excellence in library design in 1963. This year’s six winners, announced earlier this month, represent a range of builds and renovations of existing structures that respond to the individual needs of communities but share the same kind of next-generation design that hopefully will keep libraries at the heart of communities for years to come.

April 11 2015 8:38 AM

“Year Day,” 10-Day Weeks, and Other Failed Attempts to Redesign the Calendar

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

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.  

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.

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