Universal Typeface Imminent

The pen manufacturer BIC has constructed a website that invites people to submit samples of their own handwriting. An algorithm adds then adds their sample to a massive collective dataset and identifies the 'average' of all those handwritten marks for each letter of the alphabet. Users of the site can drill down to datasets organised by gender, or country or handedness, or profession. The 'average' typeface, as might be expected, is fairly anodyne. It is a clever marketing exercise, but whether it has anything signicant to say about the way we write around the world is rather less certain. The eventual uber-average typeface will no doubt eventually find its way into designer toolkits.

Global Morning Radio

Somewhere, people are reaching blindly for their alarm clock or phone. Somewhere, people are wishing for another hour's sleep. Somewhere, it is always morning. Global Breakfast Radio allows listeners to experience this eternal morning as dawn sweeps tirelessly across the world. Listen to disc jockeys in Moscow, or London or Rio, on Global Breakfast Radio. A strange, yet compelling offering...

Lytro Illum

The Lytro is not like other cameras -- it is able to capture virtually all of the visual data in a given scene, giving a photographer the godlike ability to post-adjust the image. Focus extends from touching the lens to infinity. Digital light field technology is difficult to grasp, but undeniably interesting. Perhaps it could be adapted for cinematic use, with mind altering results...


Free Art for Everyone

Once a bit of a fringe cause, labelling online images for re-use and sharing (see Creative Commons) has gained some high-level impetus in recent years. Major art galleries and museums around the world have been releasing millions of images and encouraging audience engagement. Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum actually encourages users to re-mix and alter their high resolution artworks. Google's "Art Project" aggregates high resolution images of great art from many of the world's leading institutions. The common creative heritage of humanity, made accessible for anyone with an internet connection...

Chameleon Print Design goes to Dakar

If one really squints, this motorbike (ridden by the intrepid Allan Roberts) sports the title type for his book The Hard Way Home (Jo Jo Publishing), courtesy of Chameleon Print Design. So the design at least has braved Andean precipes, forded terrifying rapids and generally defied death for several adrenalin soaked weeks.

Alan's entertaining book, already featured in an earlier Chameleon Print Design post.

Alan's entertaining book, already featured in an earlier Chameleon Print Design post.

Google Music Timeline

Watch your favourite types of music duke it out in the ring of public taste. Google has made a brave attempt to quantify the relative popularity of various strands of music since 1950 using objective criteria/data. Witness the massive displacement of previously dominant jazz by pop, rock and others. Watch the slow relative decline of rock as music contines to diversify and fragment. This article has some doubts about the methodology, but even if the results are not 100 percent reliable, imagine how many other axes/areas of human endeavour might fruitfully be subjected to this kind of approach.