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Design news, culture, events and resources. A daily must-read for designers world wide.

Ford Reveals the New, Bizarre, Tiny Truck They've Secretly Been Working On

18 September 2020 @ 2:49 pm

Proof that Ford's designers--who bear the heavy responsibility of not screwing up the styling of America's #1 bestselling vehicle, the F-150--still get to have some fun sometimes:Yes, Ford has won the approval of the Unicode emoji subcommittee, so this official emoji for "pickup truck" will soon be coming to hundreds of millions of iPhones and Androids, starting with Apple's upcoming iOS14. The story of how Ford made this happen--a multi-year process filled with setbacks and subterfuge--is actually pretty interesting. You can read it in

Swiss Miss Ditches Cylinder for New, Eco-Friendly Package Design

18 September 2020 @ 2:26 pm

When we say "Swiss Miss" it probably makes you think of Tina Roth Eisenberg's blog, but in this case we mean the hot cocoa brand. For years the company has been packaging their product in these round canisters:The problem is, mixed-material canisters like this--which are typically made from a paper tube with a foil lining and a metal bottom--cannot easily be separated, and are thus considered unrecyclable.Thus Swiss Miss parent company Conagra Brands, which seeks "to make 100% of its p

Apple Finally Lets You Control Your iPhone by Tapping the Back of It

18 September 2020 @ 2:10 pm

After learning that Apple patented touchscreens with interactive backs way back in '07, I've been incorrectly predicting that they'd eventually add "back touch" functionality to iPhones. The idea being that your finger blocks the screen when you touch it, so why not manipulate the cursor from the back?I was wrong (and off by years)--but close! With their rollout of the new iOS14, Apple has added "Back Tap" functionality:

Credit Where Credit is Due: The Design Firm Behind LEGO's New Paper Packaging

18 September 2020 @ 1:49 pm

Earlier we brought you the story of how LEGO, responding to letters sent in by children, has decided to ditch the single-use plastic bags used to wrap their products. Today we get to tell you who the design firm tasked with prototyping the paper bag replacements is: RKS, the L.A.-based design consultancy founded by Xerox PARC veteran Ravi K. Sawhney.RKS Design Researcher Meghan Preiss reached out to us with the skinny:LEGO came to RKS, a design consultancy in the Los Angeles area, to design a sustainable packaging solution that would

Save Thousands of $: Autodesk University Will be Free This Year

17 September 2020 @ 2:12 pm

Add up the admission ticket, flight, hotel and meals, and traveling to the annual Autodesk University conference will set you back several grand. More than that if you gamble, as it's always held in Las Vegas. But this year the pandemic's scuttled the in-person gathering, and Autodesk is holding AU virtually--for

Konstantin Grcic's Suspension-Based Citizen Chair for Vitra

17 September 2020 @ 1:35 pm

A breath of fresh air: Konstantin Grcic has not only designed a new type of chair, but has cited his inspirations and departure points for it. The gulf between the inspiration source and Grcic's final design reveals his talent.First off, his dual inspirations: Grupo Austral's B.K.F Chair, a/k/a the Butterfly Chair, from 1938……and Finnish designer Yrjö Kukkapuro's swiveling Karuselli chair from 1965.

What's the Most Popular Face Mask in the U.S., and Other Mask Statistics

17 September 2020 @ 1:12 pm

We all want off of the pandemic ride, but there's still a ways to go. Even if a COVID vaccine were to emerge before the election--which seems highly unlikely--experts say it won't be widely distributed until mid-2021 at the earliest; worse, 35% of Americans would refuse to take it, which will negatively impact her

Great Use of AR: Heat Signature "Iron Man" Vision for Firefighters

16 September 2020 @ 4:24 pm

Operating under the motto "Superpowers that save lives," a company called Qwake Technologies has harnessed AR to give firefighters clear vision in the smokiest of environments. By combining thermal imaging cameras with over-the-eye displays, and getting everything to integrate with a firefighter's full face mask, they allow the wearer to see crucial details--the contours of a room, the outlines of people--that simply cannot

Technical Illustrator Giorgio Piola on "The Most Important Drawing That I've Done in My Life"

16 September 2020 @ 3:37 pm

Working designers among you: Somewhere in your archives, you probably have one drawing that's the most important one you've ever done in your life. Maybe it landed you a coveted job, provided evidence of a leap in skills or resulted in the best product you've ever worked on. Would you have trouble picking it out?For technical illustrator Giorgio Piola, whose career spans more than five decades, his answer is definitive.