Best Design Links for June 2016

First, let me say Happy Independence Day! After enjoying the celebrations of this day, take a moment to prepare yourself with some good design reading for tomorrow. Let’s get into it!

I will start the list with Smashing Magazine’s monthly desktop wallpaper giveaway. The post is titled Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: July 2016.

Why do we start with this? Well, because one of those is mine! Every month, Smashing runs a contest of the best desktop wallpaper giveaway. Here is a pic of mine and yes, go and download them!

desktop and device wallpaper
It’s a Smashing Summer!

Disclaimer: Before you think or say that mine got in because I am an editor, let me say that these are selected on the merits of their design, visual aesthetic, and visual impact. Names have nothing to do with it.

Design Ethics

Scotty from Perspective Collective posted a nice article on plagiarism titled Stop Plagiarism: Simply Create or Give Credit. Great read!

Product Design

There is nothing more irritating that buying something that looks awesome and it is innovative but fails to perform. But it gets worse when it threatens the life of its users. Well, IKEA just recalled a bunch of its dressers. Want to know what is scary? We were about to buy one of those dressers for our daughter last May. Yikes! IKEA Recalls Millions Of Dressers Due To A Design Flaw That Kills.

Design Process

You all know I am into the design process, its culture, its influences, and its development. Recently, Emily Temple published this gem titled A Peek Inside the Notebooks of Famous Authors, Artists and Visionaries. If you read this blog often, then you know I wrote about Basquiat’s notebooks here.

Along those lines, Carey Dune from Hypoallergic wrote a very nice article titled See the Smithsonian Archive’s Collection of Artists’ Handwritten Letters. It is like looking into each artist’s mind.

Doodling

Or maybe I should say “The Power of Doodling? John Brownlee published an article titled A Universal Interface That You Control By Doodling. Excellent read.

Education

David Ogilvy published a book titled The Unpublished David Ogilvy in which he shares with his nephew what he considered it to be the true value of education. A short summary and a collection of some of the best quotes can be found on Brain Pickings, titled David Ogilvy on the True Value of Education: A Brilliant Letter of Advice to His 18-Year-Old Nephew.

Career and Productivity

Not sure what do with your life? Or going through a period of insecurity, change, in transition? Crowdsource the answer! Don’t think it would work? Read The 100 Person Project: Crowdsourcing Your Next Career Move.

Along with those lines, if you just graduated from college, read this amazing post by Austin Kleon titled Advice for Recent Graduates.

The Internet has provided us with more access to lots of sources of information but along with that, lots of fake people flaunting their popularity, and sadly, others called bullshitters. Read The Creative World’s Bullshit Industrial Complex by Sean Blanda. Excellent read for those of us who care about doing good work. Below is a quote from the article I found really provoking:
If someone cares more about what their industry peers think of them than the problems they are solving, they’re a bullshitter. If the idea of being “known” is barometer of their success above user (or reader) success stories, they’re a bullshitter. They are the internet’s equivalent of a reality TV star, taking advantage of the attention economy by catering to our worst instincts in lieu of substance.

Design rarely happens in isolation. There are many people invested in the process. But one of the most difficult things to adjust to is working in collaborative teams. This article titled How to Do the Best Work with These 4 Creative Types explains the process and gives excellent advice.

One of my dreams is to speak in a TED event. Well, I could not stop laughing when I saw this TED TALK titled The Most Important TED Talk Ever. It is a must watch!

What happens when you are too hard on yourself? Well, read this excellent post The Dangers of Being Too Hard On Yourself. One of the nuggets of wisdom in the article:

Showing yourself kindness and respect isn’t being self-indulgent.

Is freelancing for you? Check this post published by Freelancers Union titled 8 tough questions to ask yourself before going freelance. Very enlightening.

Software

There is a new guy (software) in town that promises to make creating a font super easy! Visit Fontself. For only $49 you could be the next typeface designer genius!

Typography

Those of who know me, know that I love and promote Hype for Type a lot. No, they don’t pay me for saying this but the site continues to grow with amazing typefaces at very affordable prices. You should take a look at their newly designed website! More on that on a later post!

Design History

It is not every day or decade, maybe, that new cave paintings are found. Well, read Trove of 14,000-Year-Old Animal Paintings Found in Spanish Cave. Be amazed!

Recently, Steven Heller, on his daily posts, published a short post about Futurism and Cubism. He talked about Ardengo Soffici, who was a writer, designer, and painter, as an instrumental avant garde member. Read Soffici, Futurist Who Introduced Cubism.

Did you know that there is a site dedicated to Alvin Lustig? It has all of his work and more. The URL? You guessed it! www.alvinlustig.com.

Design Research

Much has been written about UX Design but I found this post, A Crash Course in UX Design Research, on Medium by Matt Lavoie, to be particularly good.

Design Theory, Criticism, and Intellect

Khoi Vihn recently published a well thought out guide for reading about design titled Questions to Ask Yourself When Reading About Design. In the post, he also pointed out the need for more design criticism and theory. Yes, there is a lot of writing about design these days but most of it is not intellectually profound. He argues that

But there’s a difference between writing about the process of design—even when it’s well done—and good criticism. Very little of what gets posted on Medium or what shows up on Designer News really qualifies as the latter, and even less of it is helping the world at large understand what we do and grow their appreciation for it.

He adds

…one thing we could do, each of us, is to read what gets written about design more carefully, to be a little more skeptical about what we’re sharing so enthusiastically.

Food for thought. I think we can do something about this. What do you think?

Another interesting post titled How to Fight Through Intellectual Discomfort helps us in approaching things that may seem hard but sometimes necessary for growth. The article states:

Just like how athletes must practice to be comfortable in discomfort, you must as well if you hope to improve your skills and advance your career.

Creativity

There are many reasons why the Broadway musical Hamilton is so popular. The music in particular is fantastic. But there is one thing that makes the music in Hamilton unique and it is how they merge different influences. Read this article titled How does ‘Hamilton,’ the non stop, hip-hop Broadway sensation tap rap‘s master rhymes to blur musical lines? It is a very interesting analysis of the structure of each influence.

Ever dream of walking on water? Well, Christo, the artist did for a long time. His project came to life recently. Read Christo’s Newest Project: Walking on Water.

Love cutting paper? Then, take a look at this post titled Hand-Cut Mandalas and Other Intricate Paper Works by Mr. Riu. You are welcome!

Design Techniques

Ever wanted a very thorough article on embossing? Well, read this amazing article titled The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Embossing.

Photography

Architecture and photography are my second loves. But when they are joined, I am in visual heaven. Graphic designer Ramin Nasibov also enjoys both. Read this article Colour in the city: Ramin Nasibov’s vibrant urban photography.

Humorous

Ever seen a dog watching TV? You will have a blast with this one: A Studious Shiba Inu Watches Videos on a Laptop While Sitting Upright in a Chair.

I love GIFS. They can be mesmerizing and funny. This post titled 16 Funny and Inspiring Graphic Design Related GIFs is hilarious!

Life Tips

What do you use your phone camera for? This post titled 49 Brilliant Uses For Your Smartphone’s Camera will certainly give you a lot of ideas!

Security

Ever worry about your privacy on your phone? Read this article then: Top 10 Security Apps for iPhone Plus 5 FREE Bonus Apps.

Photo by EpicFireworks

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