Jon Hicks, being a graphic designer and a Mac enthusiast, chose to memorialise his father in a very particular way:
Growing up I was subconsciously inspired by the different aspects of design that he introduced to me, from mid-century vinyl record covers to architecture and signage. In particular, his distinctive architect’s handwriting was very evocative to me, and I decided I should try and capture it as a font. It could be something carrying his name that outlives him, and also something else to talk to him about.
Not something that everyone would care about,1 but Jon Hicks had the tools and the inclination, so why not?
- If it was, someone would be offering this sort of thing as an automated service you can access via an app, with the service using Machine Learning to extrapolate letters that weren’t included in the sample and to equalise character sizes and so on. For a premium fee, the supplier would offer to lock the resulting font file down so that only the paying customer could use it (because clearly there’s a risk of rampant forgery, or so we’d be warned.) Fidelity-wise, the results would very likely be considerably less good than what Jon Hicks can do manually, but in fairness that’s not the sort of thing that it’s easy to quantify. ↩
Version Museum concentrates on the look of applications more than it does the story behind that redesign.
Version Museum showcases the visual history of popular websites, operating systems, applications, and games that have shaped our lives. Much like walking through a real-life museum, this site focuses on the design changes of historic versions of technology, rather than just the written history behind it.
It’s a pity the selection of applications is so limited right now, but what is there is covered pretty well.
Looking at the Microsoft Excel entry mostly reinforced how much I loathe the Ribbon interface. I don’t care how many studies Microsoft wave around proving that the average user prefers the way the Ribbon surfaces what Microsoft claim are the application’s most-used features. Taking away the user’s ability to add their most-used features to the Ribbon was (and remains to this day) a lousy idea.
[Via Daring Fireball]
Akin’s Laws of Spacecraft Design. Hard-won words of wisdom, offered freely.
I’ve been involved in spacecraft and space systems design and development for my entire career, including teaching the senior-level capstone spacecraft design course, for ten years at MIT and now at the University of Maryland for more than two decades. These are some bits of wisdom that I have gleaned during that time, some by picking up on the experience of others, but mostly by screwing up myself. I originally wrote these up and handed them out to my senior design class, as a strong hint on how best to survive my design experience. […]
Past experience is excellent for providing a reality check. Too much reality can doom an otherwise worthwhile design, though.
The odds are greatly against you being immensely smarter than everyone else in the field. If your analysis says your terminal velocity is twice the speed of light, you may have invented warp drive, but the chances are a lot better that you’ve screwed up.
Mary Beard is right: the new set of 10p coins do look awfully ‘Theme Park Britain.’ I get the urge to keep the designs simple, but English Breakfast followed by Fish & Chips isn’t a very inspiring combination, and World Wide Web is utterly uninspired. 1
‘T’ clearly ought to stand for TARDIS. Granted, Gallifrey isn’t in the UK, but the Doctor is this generation’s combination of Gandalf and Merlin and he/she is a far more potent and positive symbol of Britain’s contribution to the world’s imagination over the last half-century or so than James bloody Bond! 2
Generally, it’s not a set of images that suggests a confident, forward-looking nation.
[Via Mary Beard]