I was lately stumbling into NodeBox, Python-based creative code “out-of-the-box” for Mac OS X, and I really love the workflow. Instant code-based drawing in seconds (I think most of you know NodeBox already). While I was inspecting the libraries, I came about RoboFab, some “Python code for manipulation and storage of font and glyph related data“. And they had a very nice introduction on their site, where Erik van Blokland from LettError gives a talk about this tool.

The opening of the presentation is a theory-topic. It is about “Why make new tools?“. This is worth watching. Although, the presentation is also nothing new (it was recorded over a half year ago) I thought: Well, why not share this content? And here it is:

Blog, Research and Theory - Date published: December 8, 2009 | 1 Comment


An upcoming documentary about the Swiss born designer Herbert Matter. He did pioneering work in the last century in the field of graphic design with the use of photos and graphics. Get into retro-design vibes by watching this video: “When Herbert Matter got the job to design a new logo for the New Haven Railroad he literally went through hundreds of sketches before arriving at the final logo.”


Blog, Research and Theory - Date published: November 4, 2009 | 0 Comments

Now we have it! Tim Berners-Lee is to blame for millions of useless keystrokes we’ve done within last more than 10 years! He apolozied for bad design of the “http://” billions of people type into their machines. He said:

Really, if you think about it, it doesn’t need the //. I could have designed it not to have the //

This two backslashes have wasted an unimaginable amount of printer ink and paper. And: “Boy, now people on the radio are calling it ‘backslash backslash'”.

Brave usability-thoughts! The internet need more people like this!

Blog, Research and Theory - Date published: October 14, 2009 | 1 Comment

At the The U.K. games festival Gamecity they came up with some experimental works. The “Alaskan Military School design collective” should translate gaming experienced into a grid with 15 pixels in total (5×3). Here for example we have Street Fighter translated:

The GameCity-committee says about this work:

They each take one of our favourite games at GameCity HQ and translate them into a 15 pixel grid. It’s Hyper pixel minimalism! We realised that you can communicate the essence of great, iconic games with minimal visual information.

To be honest.. What the hell are they talking about? It should at least be possible to work out a game with a small grid – but not the other way around. This approach here doesn’t work for me. Look for example at Gamma 256 (results) or Mignonette.

A bit more interesting is this translation of Noby Noby Boy:


Research and Theory - Date published: October 11, 2009 | 2 Comments

Joi Ito wrote an interesting article about the difference about the “traditional sales model” and the “venture investing models”. His view is mostly from the side of invensting and the production risks overall.



He wrote:

Normal sales oriented companies and organizations have sales that grows month on month if the organization is doing well. While there is a tremendous amount of energy spent on increasing sales, typically sales are capped by some reasonable growth rate over time.

On the other hand, the downside of a company is nearly unlimited. Projects can cost nearly an infinite amount of money if mismanaged and there are a myriad of risks that can cost an operating company tons of money.

The larger and more established the company, the more the organization, as a whole seems to be focused on mitigating risk and minimizing costs as a way to increase earnings and protect itself.

Venture investing, on the other hand, is typically a fund or an individual with relatively limited downside. The most that you’re going to lose is the money you’ve invested and your time.

You can see two things from there: The web confronts us with a complete new way logic of thinking businesses. Although every exponential growth make me very sceptical, you will also see, that there seems to be a “break-even” in the venture investing model. In opposition to this, the traditional sales model gives us constant feedback on good work. The venture model won’t. It could be wise to keep that in mind.

Research and Theory - Date published: September 23, 2009 | 0 Comments

Yes, this is somehow a confusing title. What is Capitasim 2.0? It is the global-reaching money-machines, made by global companies we see today… according to Peter Barnes, author of “Capitalism 3.0“. I haven’t read this book yet, but it seems, that there are some interesting thoughts included, that are maybe interesting for Creative Commons enthusiasts. For example:

Common wealth is like the dark matter of the economic universe-it’s everywhere, but we don’t see it. One reason we don’t see it is that much of it is, literally, invisible. Who can spot the air, an aquifer, or the social trust that underlies financial markets? The more relevant reason is our own blindness: the only economic matter we notice is the kind that glistens with dollar signs. We ignore common wealth because it lacks price tags and property rights.

It’s time to notice our shared gifts. Not only that, it’s time to name them, protect them, and organize them. One way to do this is through common property rights.

He criticized the recent politic, to give the global companies too much institutional and property rights, while at the same time narrowing the commons. It seems, that we need to reinvent the wheel at this place, in order to build a new, updated system. In his words, Capitalism 3.0 is a new operating system for our economy. It preserves what’s best about capitalism while fixing several tragic flaws. Oh, before anyone asks. The book was already published in 2006.

Some thoughts in this book remind me on the discussion upon the “Kulturflatrate”, mostly from the perspective I’ve heard from the Green Party (please correct me, if I’m wrong) like that (the quote is from the book again):

What we need is a parallel economy for non-corporate art. Fortunately, models of such an economy exist. For example, there’s the San Francisco Grants for the Arts program, funded from a tax on hotel rooms. Since 1961, the program has distributed over $145 million to hundreds of nonprofit cultural organizations. It’s a prime reason the city pulses with free concerts, murals, film festivals, and theater in the park.

But the book would not be about capitalism, if the private sector would not be able to establish a system like that, too (well, that’s a guess from me now). Like private funding of the commons or the like.

(via KarmaKonsum)

Blog, Research and Theory - Date published: September 17, 2009 | 0 Comments

Found this nice video about graphic-designer Milton Glaser. Nice and inspiring to see. A little bit of art and graphic-design wisdom, always good to bring it back into mind. In short: be amazed and learn, learn, learn. (via) (via)

Blog, Research and Theory - Date published: September 2, 2009 | 0 Comments

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