Here for your enlightenment: a ridiculous, accurately scaled graph; a typeface that's equal parts Futura and Proxima Nova; a collection of plagiarised and inspired derivative works; a sting operation exposing bad science journalism; and my gushing about my favourite design book. Enjoy.
Data visualisation: The impact of phones on camera production
Via Khoi Vinh, this graph shows how dramatically the camera market has changed in the last decade.
Also, I love how well the realistic scale of the graph communicates that change.
Typography: Geomanist typeface
Geomanist, as the name suggests, combines characteristics of geometric and humanist sans serifs. Its clean letter forms make for an interesting alternative to Proxima Nova, the geometric touches lending it just a little more personality and quirk. Italic styles would be welcome, but its nine weights replete with things like accents, tabular figures and fractions are eminently usable for text-heavy projects, and a bargain on a pay-what-you-want scale starting at €5 for the family.
Design commentary: Imitation, theft, inspiration and plagiarism
Copy Anti-Copy is a Facebook page that catalogues instances of similarity in graphic design, inviting users to decide whether the later work is an intentional rip-off or a coincidence. As Marian Bantjes points out, the featured works range from blatant copy-and-paste plagiarism to homage and synchronicity, which is an inevitable by-product of a creative process driven by references, inspiration and mash-ups on one hand, and reductive simplicity on the other. This demands of creative professionals to expand their exploration of new ideas to less homogenous realms than whatever's getting attention on Pinterest or Behance, but it also reminds us that maybe, everything is just a remix.
A study claiming that chocolate accelerates weight loss did the rounds in the media recently. Turns out, the whole thing was fabricated to expose the lack of rigour in science journalism. John Bohannon's account of his spoof study is an enlightening read, and a warning that science journalists and scientific journals, are no substitute for healthy scepticism and critical thinking on our part.
If you've followed me online for a while, you know I'm a Frank Chimero fanboy. So it'll come as no surprise that I loved his book, The Shape of Design. But seriously, it's one of the smartest, most articulate meditations on design and creativity you'll ever read. I've spent a year reading, savouring, re-reading, highlighting and annotating this book, and I'm sure I'll keep coming back to it. If you work in design or a related field, and you think about what your work means and where it fits in the world, give this book a read. ★★★★★