1. Dave Valentine’s £10,000 ($15,671) Crisp (Chip) Packet Collection

    Dave Valentine loves crisps, or more specifically crisp packers from the 1980’s. Accoring to his 1980’s Crisp Packet group on Facebook he started the hobby as family was poor and he could not afford to collect the usual childhood staples. His parents encouraged him to “keep Britain tidy” and the net result is he has a £10,000 collection. Unlike stickers or trading cards, this hobby paid off.

    Does he plan on selling them? No. According to Children’s BBC (always a good source):
    Dave Valentine has more than 500 different packets which he holds on to after he’s eaten the snacks inside.

    Most of them you can’t buy any more, and they’ve been valued at thousands of pounds.
    But although they may be worth a small fortune but Dave says he’s not planning on selling them and wants to keep collecting even more!

    Those interested in crisps, package design, or 1980’s design should check out the photo section of his 1980’s crisp package group. Some real gems there.

  2. Space Shuttle Crew Operation Manual

    The Space Shuttle Crew Operations Manual is available to anyone who wants to read. With the shuttle program retiring it you made need it if you are lucky to beat Space Center Houston, Seattle Museum, or numerous states vying for the Space Shuttle you might need this. Some of the pages are beautiful and you can download the PDF (41.2mb) or look at some samples below. It’s not the most interesting read at hundreds of pages, but some of the diagrams are beautiful.

    Space Shuttle Crew Operation Manual PDF

  3. Mark Coleran: Fantasy and Real UI Designer

    Mark Coleran has designed many of the user interfaces seen in films, from Blade II to Children of Men. His delicate balance between futuristic fantasy and present familiarity is astounding.

    It’s easy to do overdramatic access denied screens, but Coleran’s work is eye catching, understandable and even clever. In an unused interface for Children of Men, a “coverflow” view like iTunes is shown. Before iTunes even introduced coverflow.

    You should really see some of his work.

    Mark Coleran

    He’s also a designer for real life UI. Gridiron Flow looks like the one thing that would make any Creative Director, Designer, or Art Director’s life easier. In a simple overview you see all files related to a project and how they relate to each other.

  4. Raw Materials: HYPE framework for Flash

    I have been shying away from Flash lately as its not supported by many mobile devices and comparable open technologies like jQuery, Raphaël, and Canvas get better each day. And I don’t know Actionscript 3.0.

    HYPE might make me dust off my copy of Flash. In a style similar to Processing, HYPE does the heavy lifting for Flash coding. Making this fun again. From HYPE’s site:

    HYPE is a creative coding framework built on top of ActionScript 3. A major goal of HYPE is to allow newcomers to Flash and ActionScript to creatively play and express themselves while they are learning how to program.

    To get started, the user needs only the most basic knowledge of programming – variables, conditionals, loops, and functions, for example.

    As the user learns more about programming they can extend HYPE and thus grow their skills, while at the same time inspiring the next generation.

    Now, that’s not to say HYPE is just for people who are new to programming. Instead, HYPE is for anyone, regardless of skill, who wants to play with code. Fundamentally, the point of HYPE is to make Flash fun again. We made HYPE to help bring back the playfulness that once defined our community.

    HYPE – come out and play!

  5. Dollar Store Design

    moveablestickNo, this site hasn’t morphed into an Engrish rip-off.  I’ve just been spending a lot of time in dollar stores lately.

    Haunting the aisles of the cheap and easily broken, one begins to pick up on certain design tropes prevalent in goods sold at or near the amount of a dollar.  With the caveat that I am still a young grasshopper when it comes to big-city bargain hunting in the modern five and dime, I will attempt to sketch out some observations on national trends in decoration for products cheaply manufactured.

    Now nothing says cheap like retro styling. In the above label for a ‘Movable Stick’, note the overall 70s vibe.  Warm colors.  Soft focus clip art.  Wavy rainbow lines.  And dig the simplistic logo for Min Long Craft that nearly screams “Owner/Operator/Creative Director”

    I find the sum effect pretty reassuring of a half-assed product at a price low enough that I won’t think twice about splurging on a rolling pin when I don’t even have curtains on my windows yet.  (Dear neighbors: The human body is a beautiful, natural thing.  Especially mine.)

    Even better:


    The subtle clash of elements here is fantastic.  An American flag design with a discreet but readable ‘MADE IN CHINA” and the bold fiery letters of XIAN JIAN on the blue starry field delivers a one-two punch of easy irony.  Drop-shadows, serifs and a lovely gradient matte behind the cryptic product title let you know that when this designer works a pirated copy of Illustrator 4.0, its hard to see the mouse from all the steam coming off the man’s hands.

    A nice tight row of bolts keep things nearly topical (this label comes from a variety pack of nails) and finishing it off with the polite and reassuring ESL slogan gives the whole proceedings that Asian flavor that keeps one coming back to the dollar store.

    A subject for further study is whether there is a national style to cheap product package design.  I’d venture yes, having fed on bottom of the barrel Israeli sesame cookies, cheap Turkish milk crackers and allegedly Durian flavored sandwich cookies from Thailand through various jobs situated next to 99 cent, dollar and 100 yen stores.  More musings on this subject to come.

  6. Rise Above: Commuting by Airship


    While I don’t bitch much about the lack of flying cars–c’mon, driving’s dangerous enough in two dimensions–the near complete disappearance of the dirigible as a transportation option strikes me as a missed opportunity.  Geez, you have one massive fireball over New Jersey and everybody freaks out…

    Alexandros Tsolakis and Irene Shamma are keeping the faith, though.  Their entry for the Reburbia design competition envisions a network of commuter airships making sense of suburban sprawl in a sustainable and beautifully futuristic manner. Their proposed airships can haul 400 people at 150 km/h with their stations stops built up, not out or under, so as to ease the complications that mass transit infrastructure usually brings.

    While I’ve got my doubts that a network of these skywhales is the answer to greening the suburbs (slow speeds, helium shortages, expense, wind) I think these designs at least are pushing the idea of modernized lighter than air travel as a serious option.  And any time I get to link to the Island of Future Airships, I’m happy.

    found this via grinding.be, which I’d recommend browsing around for a few hours anyway

  7. Raw Materials: Venetian Renaissance Scans


    Click here for a gallery of ancient hand-cut fonts, illustrations and borders, all free and clear to alter and reuse.

    I found this book for a dollar at a garage sale and it looked too good to keep to myself.  Great for design projects that require a medieval touch.  Ten scans up currently, more on the way.  Angels, saints, branches, lions and giant fancy letters.

    Link to any projects you use these on in the comments.  Someone want to whip up a font?