Category: Web Design

$20 ‘Friends’ Apartment Overnight Stay Lets You Finally Go On A Break


Image via Booking.com

It’s a great time to be alive for a Friends fan. Not only is a Friends reunion show finally arriving and that a 2,098-piece LEGO set filled with in-jokes was recently unveiled, but audiences can also vy to spend the night inside a recreation of Monica and Rachel’s apartment for only US$19.94—a nod to the year Friends premiered on NBC.

The Friends Experience’, presented by Booking.com and shared experiences creator Superfly X, is usually only open for day tours, but whoever gets to reserve it will have the entire two-story venue to themselves overnight.

There are props and costumes galore here, and guests are invited to kick back and relax at a replica of the Central Perk café, re-enact the “pivot” scene with the sofa that was too large to carry up the stairs, play foosball in Chandler and Joey’s pad, and more.

Just like the building in the hit sitcom, the Friends Experience is located in New York City. Guests can also bring along a friend for the one-night getaway. Bookings open on Friday, May 21 at 10am ET, and stays will only be limited to Sunday, May 23, or Monday, May 24.

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A post shared by Booking.com (@bookingcom)


Image via Booking.com


Image via Booking.com


Image via Booking.com

[via Apartment Therapy, images via Booking.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414037/20-Friends-Apartment-Overnight-Stay-Lets-You-Finally-Go-On-A-Break/

Here’s What Ethereum Creator Has Been Spending On With His Cryptocurrency


Image via Shutterstock

Views on cryptocurrency have been conflicted. Tesla, for one, has put the brakes on accepting Bitcoin due to climate change issues, even though it believes digital tokens have “a promising future.”

As for Vitalik Buterin, the 27-year-old founder of major cryptocurrency platform Ethereum, part of his wealth—over US$1 billion in cryptocurrencies—will be dedicated to bringing COVID-19 relief in India. Input reports that he’s allocated a fraction of his donation in Ether (ETH), the main currency used in Ethereum and a comparably stable option, to India’s Crypto COVID Relief Fund.

The second part of this donation is a little bizarre; Buterin offered about US$1 billion in Shiba Inu (SHIB) coin, a meme currency that began as a joke. It’s much more volatile than Ether, and after it became known that Buterin was making this donation, Shiba Inu coin plunged from US$0.0038 on Monday to US$0.00002043 as of the time of publication. According to Input, this has pulled the amount in Shiba Inu coin down from about US$1 billion to “closer to US$500 million.”

Nevertheless, the Crypto COVID Relief Fund expressed its thanks for the grand donation in a transparency update.

As Shiba Inu coin is highly volatile, the fund says it will liquidate the amount “slowly over a period of time” out of concern that the SHIB market might dip.

https://t.co/PO3K280pmq

(2/x)

— India's Crypto Covid Relief Fund 🇮🇳 (@CryptoRelief_) May 12, 2021

[via Input, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414036/Here-s-What-Ethereum-Creator-Has-Been-Spending-On-With-His-Cryptocurrency/

Discord’s New Logo Sows Discord Over Its Font Choice


Image via Discord

Discord turned five on Wednesday, and to celebrate its birthday, the instant messaging platform unveiled a new logo complete with an updated typeface, mascot, and shade. Unfortunately, its typographical choice has left users feeling a little blue—or like how Discord now prefers to call it, Blurple.

The antennas of ‘Clyde’, which is supposedly the mascot’s name, have been tweaked to “look a bit more like shoulders,” and he can now express himself through a gamut of facial expressions. The Discord team also replaced its primary faded blue with a deeper ‘Blurple’.


Old logo (above) VS new logo (below). Images via Discord

Despite there being a character icon in the wordmark, fans think much of the character comes from the text in the logo. So when Discord swapped out its all-caps futuristic logomark with a version that includes lowercase letters, it sparked an uproar, as per Video Games Chronicle.

In fact, when one Twitter user challenged the community to help “pick a better font,” his tweet prompted over 1,100 comments.

Contrary to what some might believe, Discord explained that it had “agonized over” the wordmark, which it said was the result of experimentation with “hundreds of different fonts” to perfectly capture the platform’s playfulness. It eventually settled on a custom typeface based on Ginto, a geometric-humanist typeface.

The company elaborated, “The biggest thing that we debated, changed, changed back, changed back again, agonized over… was whether we should keep the wordmark in all caps or in title case… In the end, we decided that Title case — making sure it’s always capitalized like someone’s name — made our new wordmark more legible.”


Image via Discord


Image via Discord


Image via Discord

When the fonts fail to load on your PC. pic.twitter.com/5dvOHj87QY

— Mutahar (@OrdinaryGamers) May 13, 2021

this really the look you going for? pic.twitter.com/bJVnQ7YduJ

— toronto 🏳️‍⚧️🏳️‍🌈 #saveprodigalson (@AGAINSTPROTOCOL) May 13, 2021

@discord Change the letters to all caps, works better pic.twitter.com/39XwY0S4lX

— Pelo (@_SrPelo_) May 13, 2021

new discord logo is really gonna bring in the dollars now pic.twitter.com/vvUgzbZDhB

— icy | SPLATOON 3!!! (@icycrys70771) May 13, 2021

monsterrat bold fixes everything, and that’s a life lesson you can take to the bank

— Ohxists (@ohxists) May 13, 2021

new discord logo looks like it would suspend my account for saying boob pic.twitter.com/2t9CVUSqzH

— The Plasnya Membrane (@howdy_nyall) May 14, 2021

[via Video Games Chronicle, images via Discord] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414035/Discord-s-New-Logo-Sows-Discord-Over-Its-Font-Choice/

Guinness Pint Doppelgängers Are Everywhere In Ad Celebrating Bars Reopening

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Video screenshot via Guinness Europe

Guinness is a master of illusion, having been known to conjure up its beer using color, negative space and the such in past campaigns. So you can imagine the brand’s torment when drinking establishments in the UK shut down and—just like seeing semblances of an ex after a breakup—lookalikes of its stout started appearing everywhere.

With pubs, restaurants, and bars in London finally reopening on May 17, Guinness is looking back at the doppelgängers that surrounded fans during the lockdown and is saying goodbye to the taunting. Its latest UK #LooksLikeGuinness advertisement, which features the classic song Always On My Mind, toasts to the reopening of food and beverage establishments in the city.

From a white cat on a black compost bin to a newspaper stand and a chimney with white birds perched on it, Guinness seems to be everywhere even when it’s out of reach. Fans are also invited to share their sightings of Guinness stout doppelgängers by uploading photos on social media with ‘#LooksLikeGuinness’.

According to a report by Marketing Communication News, Guinness previously donated £30 million (US$42 million) to support UK pub and hospitality establishments over the past year, in addition to distributing over 30,000 PPE kits in the country and providing aid to over 25,000 pubs. It also pledged £1 million (US$1.4 million) for bartenders trying to make ends meet during the first wave of the pandemic.


Video screenshot via Guinness Europe


Video screenshot via Guinness Europe


Video screenshot via Guinness Europe


Video screenshot via Guinness Europe


Video screenshot via Guinness Europe


Video screenshot via Guinness Europe


Video screenshot via Guinness Europe


Video screenshot via Guinness Europe


Video screenshot via Guinness Europe

[via Marketing Communication News and BBC, video and images via Guinness Europe] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414034/Guinness-Pint-Doppelg-ngers-Are-Everywhere-In-Ad-Celebrating-Bars-Reopening/

Tesla Is Hitting Brakes On Accepting Bitcoin To Protect The Climate, Says Musk


Image via betto rodrigues / Shutterstock.com

After self-driving the Dogecoin market, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced that the electric vehicle company will put Bitcoin payments on pause over climate change concerns.

“We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk and Tesla explained in a statement Wednesday.

“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment,” they continued in the tweet.

The decision comes just a few months after Tesla announced it had purchased about US$1.5 billion in Bitcoin and that it intended to take in the cryptocurrency as payment.

Tesla now says that it will not use its own wealth of Bitcoin until “mining transitions to more sustainable energy.” It is currently holding the tokens as it intends to use them in future transactions.

After the tweet on Wednesday, Bitcoin plunged by 13% at the end of Wednesday and dipped “as much as 7.5%” on Thursday, noted The Street.

Bitcoin is generated using high-powered computers, which evidently consume a significant amount of electricity—often generated with coal-based fossil fuels. It is mined by solving complex mathematical puzzles, and as its value rises, the puzzles increase in difficulty, requiring even more energy.

On Thursday, Musk tweeted that he is now “working with Doge [developers] to improve system transaction efficiency,” seemingly to make it a viable payment option for Tesla cars. Dogecoin spiked around 22% afterwards.

While the excitement over cryptocurrencies suggests that they are here to stay, their revolving rise and fall by the word of one man proves just how unpredictable the market can also be.

Tesla & Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/YSswJmVZhP

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2021

To be clear, I strongly believe in crypto, but it can’t drive a massive increase in fossil fuel use, especially coal

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2021

Working with Doge devs to improve system transaction efficiency. Potentially promising.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2021

Do you want Tesla to accept Doge?

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2021

[via BBC, The Street, Coindesk, ABC News, cover image via betto rodrigues / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414033/Tesla-Is-Hitting-Brakes-On-Accepting-Bitcoin-To-Protect-The-Climate-Says-Musk/

Pinterest’s Bright Brand Redesign Embraces Cutting Out & Pasting Ideas


Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

Many moodboards, endless inspiration—that’s the sort of culture Pinterest has built over the years, and it’s exactly what the social network hopes to keep alive with a fun new brand identity.

No longer restricted to a color scheme, Pinterest’s official makeover by design studio Made Thought switches up its hues based on the inspiration source. That’s because its identity is defined by ‘Pinners’—what Pinterest calls its users—and their diverse interests and choices.

Resonative with the act of “pinning” to digital moodboards, the new Pinterest look embodies a cut-and-paste collage art style, according to Creative Review. The overhaul reminds users that elements of an idea can always be remixed into something they can call their own.

The colorful revamp includes a specially-drawn sans-serif typeface by Grilli Type, representing “playful touches of humanity with a literal lean into the future,” Made Thought explains.


Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

“We set out to give Pinterest a brand identity as fluid, personal and creative as its own platform — driven by the meandering choices of the user and their ever-evolving dreams of what might be,” the studio describes.

“If someone’s takeaway is inspiration, then we’ve succeeded,” expresses Andreas Helin, Design Director at Pinterest. “We want people to walk away thinking, ‘I just got really inspired’ or ‘it got me to think in new ways.’”


Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

Video via Made Thought


Image by Made Thought for Pinterest


Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

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A post shared by Made Thought (@made_thought)

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A post shared by Made Thought (@made_thought)

[via Creative Review, images by Made Thought for Pinterest] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414032/Pinterest-s-Bright-Brand-Redesign-Embraces-Cutting-Out-Pasting-Ideas/

Pinterest’s Bright Brand Makeover Embraces Cutting Out & Pasting Ideas


Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

Many moodboards, endless inspiration—that’s the sort of culture Pinterest has built over the years, and it’s exactly what the social network hopes to keep alive with a fun new brand identity.

No longer restricted to a color scheme, Pinterest’s official makeover by design studio Made Thought switches up its hues based on the inspiration source. That’s because its identity is defined by ‘Pinners’—what Pinterest calls its users—and their diverse interests and choices.

Resonative with the act of “pinning” to digital moodboards, the new Pinterest look embodies a cut-and-paste collage art style, according to Creative Review. The overhaul reminds users that elements of an idea can always be remixed into something they can call their own.

The colorful revamp includes a specially-drawn sans-serif typeface by Grilli Type, representing “playful touches of humanity with a literal lean into the future,” Made Thought explains.


Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

“We set out to give Pinterest a brand identity as fluid, personal and creative as its own platform — driven by the meandering choices of the user and their ever-evolving dreams of what might be,” the studio describes.

“If someone’s takeaway is inspiration, then we’ve succeeded,” expresses Andreas Helin, Design Director at Pinterest. “We want people to walk away thinking, ‘I just got really inspired’ or ‘it got me to think in new ways.’”


Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

Video via Made Thought


Image by Made Thought for Pinterest


Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

Image by Made Thought for Pinterest

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Made Thought (@made_thought)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Made Thought (@made_thought)

[via Creative Review, images by Made Thought for Pinterest] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414032/Pinterest-s-Bright-Brand-Makeover-Embraces-Cutting-Out-Pasting-Ideas/

Banksy Painting Is Now First Physical Art Sold In Crypto By Major Auction House


Image via VanderWolf Images / Shutterstock.com

A renowned painting by the faceless street artist Banksy went off the market on Wednesday. This time, it was paid for in cryptocurrency—US$12.9 million worth of it.

The sale of the Love is in the Air canvas piece at Sotheby’s crystallized it as the first-ever physical artwork to be sold for cryptocurrency through a major auction house, The Hill reports. By association, the sale marked the debut of crypto payments for physical artwork at prominent auction houses.

The famous oil and spray paint work—which features a protester in a balaclava preparing to throw a bouquet of flowers—was projected to be sold for US$3 million to US$5 million, about 35 to 53 bitcoins, but the highest bid far surpassed the estimate and closed at US$12.9 million.

Per the terms of the sale, bidders could only offer USD, but the buyer would be given the choice to purchase the painting in either Bitcoin or Ether. It is unclear which cryptocurrency was eventually used to pay for the Banksy piece.

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A post shared by Sotheby's (@sothebys)

[via The Hill, cover image via VanderWolf Images / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414031/Banksy-Painting-Is-Now-First-Physical-Art-Sold-In-Crypto-By-Major-Auction-House/

Intel Makes ‘GTA V’ Appear Even More Realistic With AI

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Image via Intel ISL

While gaming graphics have become far more refined over the years, the Grand Theft Auto franchise has always been a trailblazer in this realm. Somehow, a team at Intel Labs has managed to make GTA V look even more realistic, potentially broadening the possibilities for gaming design.

In their paper titled Enhancing Photorealism Enhancement, Intel Labs’ Stephan R. Richter, Hassan Abu Alhaija and Vladlen Kolten described successfully making GTA V scenes appear more polished by feeding a neural network with resources from Cityscapes Dataset, a collection of images captured from car-mounted cameras.

Since the AI was trained with real-world imagery as seen from cars, it was able to add photorealistic details to GTA V scenes, refreshing parched grass and giving it volume, creating reflections on windows, adding shine to the roofs of cars, and more.

As Gizmodo notes, introducing a new artistic style to existing footage could result in some glitching. Thankfully, the team was able to draw from data in GTA V’s own game engine, such as its perception of depth and lighting, allowing for the results to be “geometrically and semantically consistent with the original images.”

The researchers also shared that, at a later stage, if the right hardware is used, the AI could even optimize gaming visuals in real-time.

The end product is captivating and serves as a prelude for all the things the video game industry might accomplish in the future.

To read about the study, as well as check out comparisons between the original GTA V scenes and the AI’s edits, head here.

Can AI make graphics look realistic ? 🚗
👇Proud to announce a new work with Stephan Richter and Vladlen Koltun.
I worked on this in my internship at Intel but majority of credit is to Stephan who persisted to make it work and work robustly.
full video: https://t.co/q7kPtSTaQK pic.twitter.com/u9IyN1FDR5

— Hassan Abu Alhaija (@Hassanhaija) May 11, 2021

[via Pocket-lint and Gizmodo, video and cover image via Intel ISL] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414030/Intel-Makes-GTA-V-Appear-Even-More-Realistic-With-AI/

Intel Makes ‘GTA V’ Appear Even More Realistic With New AI

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Image via Intel ISL

While gaming graphics have become far more refined over the years, the Grand Theft Auto franchise has always been a trailblazer in this realm. Somehow, a team at Intel Labs has managed to make GTA V look even more realistic, potentially broadening the possibilities for gaming design.

In their paper titled Enhancing Photorealism Enhancement, Intel Labs’ Stephan R. Richter, Hassan Abu Alhaija and Vladlen Kolten described successfully making GTA V scenes appear more polished by feeding a neural network with resources from Cityscapes Dataset, a collection of images captured from car-mounted cameras.

Since the AI was trained with real-world imagery as seen from cars, it was able to add photorealistic details to GTA V scenes, refreshing parched grass and giving it volume, creating reflections on windows, adding shine to the roofs of cars, and more.

As Gizmodo notes, introducing a new artistic style to existing footage could result in some glitching. Thankfully, the team was able to draw from data in GTA V’s own game engine, such as its perception of depth and lighting, allowing for the results to be “geometrically and semantically consistent with the original images.”

The researchers also shared that, at a later stage, if the right hardware is used, the AI could even optimize gaming visuals in real-time.

The end product is captivating and serves as a prelude for all the things the video game industry might accomplish in the future.

To read about the study, as well as check out comparisons between the original GTA V scenes and the AI’s edits, head here.

Can AI make graphics look realistic ? 🚗
👇Proud to announce a new work with Stephan Richter and Vladlen Koltun.
I worked on this in my internship at Intel but majority of credit is to Stephan who persisted to make it work and work robustly.
full video: https://t.co/q7kPtSTaQK pic.twitter.com/u9IyN1FDR5

— Hassan Abu Alhaija (@Hassanhaija) May 11, 2021

[via Pocket-lint and Gizmodo, video and cover image via Intel ISL] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414030/Intel-Makes-GTA-V-Appear-Even-More-Realistic-With-New-AI/

Bose Unveils FDA-Cleared Hearing Aids That Don’t Require A Prescription


Image via Bose

Bose’s latest launch is a little different from its usual offerings. The audio company has now unveiled the Bose SoundControl Hearing Aids (US$849.95), which have been FDA-cleared to be sold directly to consumers without a prescription.

The hearing aids are self-fitting, with options to personalize them according to individual needs using the ‘Hear’ app, specially designed by Bose to be used with the device.

‘Hear’ is the first self-tuning mobile app that’s been clinically proven to provide audiologist-quality customization for users with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Users can choose specific sounds to amplify. For example, when the ‘World Volume’ is turned up, quieter sounds will be amplified more, making for a more comfortable listen. The treble/bass settings can also be adjusted so that voices sound more natural or crisp depending on your preference.

Even the direction you hear sound coming from is customizable. Using the app’s ‘Focus’ setting, the microphones in each hearing aid will adjust to fit the direction you choose.

The ‘Front’ feature helps to focus sounds in front of the user, making it ideal for conversations. The ‘Everywhere’ feature allows for 360-directional listening, which is great for general listening when out and about.

For more information on the Bose SoundControl Hearing Aids, head over to the site here, where you can also take a free hearing screening test.


Image via Bose


Image via Bose


Image via Bose

[via SlashGear and Bose, cover image via Bose] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414016/Bose-Unveils-FDA-Cleared-Hearing-Aids-That-Don-t-Require-A-Prescription/

Experience What It’s Like Inside An Auction With This Surreal 360° Video

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Video screenshot via Christie’s

Considering the number of high-banking sales that have taken place of late, it’s clear that art auctions are still very much alive during the pandemic.

Likely inspired by the era of virtual communication, auction house Christie’s has started hosting 360-degree live auctions on YouTube, allowing anyone with a computer or smartphone to experience them as if they were attending them.

You can take a look at the artwork by turning your device around or by swiping your touchpad or phone screen.

Christie’s most recent auction, the 21st Century Evening Sale in New York, saw a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting become the second-most expensive Basquiat piece to ever be auctioned off.

The view is admittedly surreal, and as one viewer succinctly puts it, “I feel like [I’m] in the center of the room, being sold.”

[via Christie’s] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414029/Experience-What-It-s-Like-Inside-An-Auction-With-This-Surreal-360-Video/

ISS Amusingly Confirms That Astronauts Have Been Pooping A Lot In Space Toilet

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Image via NASA

The counter on one of the International Space Station’s three toilets has hit the 40,000 mark – and it took 20 years to get there.

Thomas Pesquet, a crew member currently aboard the ISS, tweeted about the milestone flush earlier this week. “40,000 times this space toilet has been used, a milestone!” he said.

Due to the lack of gravity aboard the ISS, going to the bathroom is an inherently different experience from what we experience here on Earth. And to be fair, the toilets in space are a lot smaller than what we’re used to.

According to Digital Trends, instead of the usual flush system, the ISS toilets use a suction mechanism to capture liquid waste before it can float away. Urine is later filtered and processed into drinking water for the crew, too.

In the case of solid waste, it is deposited into a plastic bag that’s sealed and placed into a container at the base of the toilet. The container is emptied after approximately 30 deposits, and will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere when dispelled as part of the ISS’ trash.

To see exactly how astronauts go to the bathroom aboard the ISS, watch the video demonstration below.

40 000 times this space toilet has been used, a milestone! We need to maintain it as clean sanitation and sewage treatment is a human right and a @UN Sustainable Development Goal. #MissionAlpha #SDG6 pic.twitter.com/ekQYXB3CTc

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 12, 2021

[via Digital Trends, cover image via NASA] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414028/ISS-Amusingly-Confirms-That-Astronauts-Have-Been-Pooping-A-Lot-In-Space-Toilet/

‘Tintin’ Heirs Lose Lawsuit Against Artist Over Mashups In ‘Erotic’ Scenarios


Image via Jose_Matheus / Shutterstock.com

The heirs of Tintin creator Hergé have lost a lawsuit against French artist Xavier Marabout.

Earlier this year, they sued Marabout for his Edward Hopper and Hergé mash-up paintings that placed the famed cartoon character in romantic situations.

According to The Guardian, Moulinsart, which oversees the Tintin business, said that Marabout was “taking advantage of the reputation of a character to immerse him in an erotic universe [that] has nothing to do with humor.” However, Marabout and his lawyer argued his electic artwork were merely parodies.

It seems the court has agreed with Marabout, seeing the artist’s representation of Tintin in Edward Hopper’s famous landscape paintings as light-hearted humor.

“The court recognized the parody exception and the humorous intention expressed by my client,” Marabout’s lawyer, Bertrand Ermeneux, said.

Apart from winning the lawsuit, the court also awarded Marabout with €10,000 (US$12,000) in damages and €20,000 (US$24,000) in legal fees.

It felt the artist had suffered losses, as Moulinsart had contacted galleries displaying the work to allege it was infringing.

The artist told The Guardian he was “satisfied” with the ruling.

“I am fully validated in my artistic approach, which is, with the intention of humor, to merge universes of my own culture,” Marabout explained. “In French law, it is fully linked to freedom of expression and the limits of copyright.”

Nuit américaine

Huile et crayon sur toile – 81×100

Belle Saint-Valentin à tous les amoureux d'Amérique et d'ailleurs

#valentinesday #hopper #tintin #americansnight #cadillac

Posted by Marabout on Sunday, February 14, 2021

"Voltige Rouge"

Dimension : 60 x 80 cm

Technique : Acrylique sur toile

Posted by Marabout on Sunday, January 13, 2019

Il faut sauver Tintin!

"Vague à l'âme"

Huile sur toile 100X140 cm

Posted by Marabout on Friday, June 14, 2019

[via The Guardian, cover image via Jose_Matheus / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414025/Tintin-Heirs-Lose-Lawsuit-Against-Artist-Over-Mashups-In-Erotic-Scenarios/

Twitter Bids Adieu To Using ‘Someone Else’s’ Fonts With Its Own ‘Chirp’ Typeface


Image via Derrit DeRouen, Twitter’s Creative Director of Global Brand at Twitter

Twitter has publicly debuted a new, in-house typeface, aptly named ‘Chirp’.

The social media site is rolling it out to accounts, starting with those that were selected to be part of its beta testing programs. While the change is big news for the brand’s identity, it may be rather subtle to users, so keep your eyes peeled.

According to the tech firm, the new typeface is supposed to look like blocks hand-cut from wood, and is custom to Twitter, further cementing the brand’s quirky personality. Derrit DeRouen, Creative Director of Global Brand at Twitte, describes the typeface as a combination of American Gothic and European Grotesque styles.

In the past, the app had relied on minimalist typefaces such as SF Pro, Helvetica Neue or Roboto, but now with Chirp, it’s planning on coming across as more personable to users. “In the history of the company we’ve either relied on someone else’s typeface,” wrote DeRouen. He added, “So, that brings us to ‘Chirp’, our first-ever proprietary typeface.”

Earlier this year, he said the company’s key objective was “to improve how we convey emotion and imperfection.”

It seems Twitter wants to move away from a soul-less, corporate image that plagues tech firms and reinstate warmth and human-ness with Chirp.

I want to give a bit more depth to Chirp, our new typeface.

Type, in 280 character doses, is the foundation of Twitter. In the history of the company we’ve either relied on someone else’s typeface, from SF Pro and Roboto, to Helvetica Neue in our brand. pic.twitter.com/OrvlYsxF9g

— Derrit DeRouen (@DerritDeRouen) January 27, 2021

So, that brings us to “Chirp”, our first ever proprietary typeface. pic.twitter.com/cHPXtGHNCc

— Derrit DeRouen (@DerritDeRouen) January 27, 2021

[via GQ, cover image via Derrit DeRouen] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414026/Twitter-Bids-Adieu-To-Using-Someone-Else-s-Fonts-With-Its-Own-Chirp-Typeface/

Chadwick Boseman NFT Gets Wholly Redesigned Due To Backlash


Image via Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

Nominees from this year’s Academy Awards were handed copies of a digital artwork featuring Chadwick Boseman’s head, in honor of the late actor. This sparked an outcry, and audiences argued that it was an attempt to “capitalize on a tragedy” amid the NFT craze. Boseman also ended up losing out to Anthony Hopkins in the Best Actor category, which made the homage even more unfavorable.

Now, Andre Oshea, the Black 3D artist behind the NFT, has given the tribute a complete makeover, as reported by HYPEBEAST. The new work, A Young Boy’s Dream, envisions the back view of a Black child exploring a dreamlike world filled with Black Panther references.

As the boy keeps walking, he passes by altars revering some of Boseman’s accomplishments, like his graduation and wedding, as well as on-screen roles.

The revamp additionally quells gripes that Oshea had used a 3D model of Boseman’s head as the centerpiece of the original NFT, even though it was a royalty-free asset and that buyers were allowed to incorporate it in their artwork.

Similar to the goal set for the previous version, 50 percent of the amount generated from this NFT will go to the Colon Cancer Foundation to advance research for colon cancer as well as finance 10,000 colorectal cancer screenings for underserved communities.

The introduction of a faceless child is a wise decision, as Oshea had realized after the backlash that putting Boseman’s face front and center could be deemed a “triggering reminder of his death rather than his life.”

This time around, he has shifted the focus to the fantasy world seen in the animation. “I wanted to create a world that is filled with wonder, legacy and soul—just like Chadwick was,” Oshea explained. “It was massively important to me that the piece empower and educate on what we can do when we believe in our creative abilities. Chadwick has set an example for Black creatives of all generations and we should carry his torch with us.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Black 3D Artist (@andreoshea__)

Learn more about “A Young Boy’s Dream” 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾

This piece will be auctioned from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th on @makersplaceco & proceeds will be donated in support of The Colon Cancer Foundation. Our goal is to help 10,000 people in underserved communities. pic.twitter.com/lARLIH5SRk

— ●●● (@andreoshea) May 10, 2021

[via HYPEBEAST, cover image via Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414027/Chadwick-Boseman-NFT-Gets-Wholly-Redesigned-Due-To-Backlash/

Ford’s New Patent For In-Car Billboards Brings Us Closer To A Dystopian World


Image via D K Grove / Shutterstock.com

Car maker Ford is dancing with the idea of a new “billboard interfaces for vehicle displays” system, a trademark document in the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) suggests.

According to the patent’s abstract, the new system could generate a “billboard interface” in vehicles by using a camera to capture an image of a billboard followed by a processor producing a segment of the image.

What does this all mean? To put it simply, Ford is exploring creating an in-car advertising system that scans billboards as you drive past, which will then reflect the brands, products, and latest deals onto your car’s infotainment screen. Instead of the radio channel or your favorite playlist, you could be seeing advertisements in your own car.

Apart from ruining the sanctity of the car as an escape from the hustle and bustle of life, it could potentially be a safety hazard. If you aren’t allowed to text and drive, maybe you shouldn’t have advertisements flashing at you either.

However, you should rest easy, as in-car advertisements might not arrive at least in the foreseeable future. When Motor1 reached out to Ford to enquire about the patent, the automaker responded that “patents on new inventions [are submitted] as a normal course of business, but they aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans.”

Fingers crossed Ford doesn’t actually set this dystopian plan into motion.


Image via United States Patent and Trademark Office

[via TNW, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414023/Ford-s-New-Patent-For-In-Car-Billboards-Brings-Us-Closer-To-A-Dystopian-World/

MIT Invents AI That Can Create 3D Holograms In Real-Time

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Image via Shutterstock

While virtual reality has been the way to realistically bring objects into the real world, prolonged use of VR headsets can result in nausea and eyestrain. The use of holograms, a concept that has been the fantasy of tech lovers for decades, would alleviate these problems, but they typically require an elaborate process and specialized equipment to generate.

The good news is that researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), along with Sony, have found a way to create 3D holograms in real-time—using a regular computer. The trick to it is to teach a neural network physics so that it can understand visual and depth information.

In a paper published in the Nature scientific journal, the team explained that the new deep-learning method, called tensor holography, is able to “run on a simple computer in the blink of an eye.” They developed an AI using trainable tensors that were taught to process visual and depth information in a similar way to humans.

As Entrepreneur reports, this sort of technology requires a large and comprehensive dataset, with every pixel’s color and depth data accounted for. This is necessary, as all points of an image vary in depth, and applying one operation across the board would not work.

The researchers found that tensor holography was able to generate 3D holograms from typical computer-generated images with depth data, calculated from a multi-camera configuration, in mere milliseconds.

This technology could be a game-changer for virtual reality, medical imaging, and even 3D printing, as printing with 3D holography would be quicker and more precise than layer-by-layer printing.

See how the AI works in the video below.

[via Big Think and Entrepreneur, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414024/MIT-Invents-AI-That-Can-Create-3D-Holograms-In-Real-Time/

Prada Is Protecting Pups From When It’s Raining Cats & Dogs With A Raincoat


Image via Prada

Following Fendi’s foray into the luxury pet market, Prada has now come up with a raincoat for your precious pooch, too.

Inspired by the designs from the fashion house’s men’s and women’s collections, your furry friend can now match with its very own Prada raincoat.

Made from nylon and decorated with the iconic metal triangle logo, the Nylon Dog Raincoat With Hood (US$525) comes with an elasticized trim and snap closure to keep your dog snug on rainy days.

However, it only comes in two sizes, meaning dogs larger than 45cm (18 inches) across the chest won’t be able to fit into one.

The raincoat is available in black or a semi-translucent white. As per Input, only the white version of the raincoat is currently available to purchase in the US.

Other offerings from Prada’s pet section include a Re-Nylon and Saffiano Leather Pet Bag, Nylon Puffer Dog Coat With Hood, and Nylon Pet Leash. Check out the full collection, which seems to only be available on Prada’s Hong Kong site for now.


Image via Prada


Image via Prada


Image via Prada

[via Input, images via Prada] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414019/Prada-Is-Protecting-Pups-From-When-It-s-Raining-Cats-Dogs-With-A-Raincoat/

Adidas & Allbirds Team Up To Create World’s Lowest Carbon Footprint Sneakers


Image via Adidas/Allbirds

Adidas has paired up with fellow footwear brand Allbirds to unveil their first product from a collaboration: FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT.

Initially launching this month with a raffle of 100 pairs for Adidas Creators Club members, both brands have come together to create the lowest carbon footprint performance sneaker yet.

The sneakers boast only 2.94kg (6.5lbs) CO2e, which is a personal best for both brands, and is on the way to their shared vision of creating a carbon-neutral shoe in the future.

“Our partnership with Allbirds is a beacon of what can happen when competing brands from the same industry see the possibilities in coming together to design,” said Brian Grevy, Executive Board Member Global Brands at Adidas.

Teams from Adidas and Allbirds collaborated on everything from development to delivery, working across multiple time zones with the teams on opposite sides of the world.

In under a year, the partnership managed to reimagine materials, manufacturing techniques, and even packaging methods to arrive at the lowest possible carbon footprint shoe.

For example, inspired by Adidas’ Lightstrike midsole’s performance, the FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT midsole was reimagined using Allbirds’ sugarcane-based SweetFoam, which offered a low-carbon natural component to the sneakers.

The shoe’s upper is also made of a new material – a combination of 70% recycled polyester and 30% natural Tencel – resulting in a lightweight upper that performs just as well, but with reduced carbon impact.

“We believe that the challenge of solving climate change is the problem of our generation and solving it will not be done alone,” said Tim Brown, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Allbirds.

An interesting tidbit, according to Forbes, is that the team worked right to end to get the carbon impact as low as possible, not knowing the final number till they actually got the shoe. That’s why the 2.94 indication on the side of the sneakers are handwritten and not printed.

After its limited initial launch, 10,000 pairs of the FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT will be released in FW21, with a wider release slated for SS22.


Image via Adidas/Allbirds


Image via Adidas/Allbirds


Image via Adidas/Allbirds


Image via Adidas/Allbirds

[via Adidas and Forbes, images via Adidas/Allbirds] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414022/Adidas-Allbirds-Team-Up-To-Create-World-s-Lowest-Carbon-Footprint-Sneakers/

Uncle Ben’s Rebranded Packaging & Name Hit Stores To Break Free From Stereotypes


Image via Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

The company formerly known as Uncle Ben’s is departing from negative racial connotations, one grain at a time. After promising to rebrand Uncle Ben’s products in the wake of George Floyd’s death and calls for equality, Mars Food has officially rolled out the new packaging and name in stores nationwide as of Wednesday.

The new Ben’s Original boxes are absent of the “Uncle” designation and face of the senior Black man who fronted them. Meanwhile, they still retain the same orange background and typeface.


Image via PRNewsfoto/Mars, Incorporated

Mars Food agreed to drop the “Uncle” name as it was derogatorily used on Black men by white Southerners to avoid addressing them by honorifics. The mascot was modeled after Frank Brown, a Chicago maitre d’ and chef.

A spokesperson told USA Today that some existing Uncle Ben’s products may still remain on shelves until they are sold.

Rafael Narvaez, global CMO and R&D officer at Mars Food, addressed in a statement, “Ben’s Original is not just a name and packaging change – we believe everyone deserves to feel welcome, heard and have access to nutritious food. That’s why we’ve committed to taking actions based on insights from thousands of consumers, as well as our own Associates, that are designed to enhance inclusion and equity in service of our new brand purpose to create meals, experiences and opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table.”

Mars Food North America regional president Denis Yarotskiy noted that more work needs to be done to “bring our new brand purpose to life to offer everyone a seat at the table.” Nevertheless, “we remain committed to delivering this ambition,” Yarotskiy assured.

The Ben’s Original overhaul follows the major branding change made by Pearl Milling Company, previously known as Aunt Jemima, which similarly vowed to pave the way for racial equity in the consumer goods market following the death of George Floyd.

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A post shared by Ben's Original (@bensoriginalusa)


Image via Ben’s Original

[via USA Today, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414020/Uncle-Ben-s-Rebranded-Packaging-Name-Hit-Stores-To-Break-Free-From-Stereotypes/

Bose Unveils FDA-Approved Hearing Aids That Don’t Require A Prescription


Image via Bose

Bose’s latest launch is a little different from its usual offerings. The audio company has now unveiled the Bose SoundControl Hearing Aids (US$849.95), which have been FDA-approved to be sold directly to consumers without a prescription.

The hearing aids are self-fitting, with options to personalize them according to individual needs using the ‘Hear’ app, specially designed by Bose to be used with the device.

‘Hear’ is the first self-tuning mobile app that’s been clinically proven to provide audiologist-quality customization for users with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Users can choose specific sounds to amplify. For example, when the ‘World Volume’ is turned up, quieter sounds will be amplified more, making for a more comfortable listen. The treble/bass settings can also be adjusted so that voices sound more natural or crisp depending on your preference.

Even the direction you hear sound coming from is customizable. Using the app’s ‘Focus’ setting, the microphones in each hearing aid will adjust to fit the direction you choose.

The ‘Front’ feature helps to focus sounds in front of the user, making it ideal for conversations. The ‘Everywhere’ feature allows for 360-directional listening, which is great for general listening when out and about.

For more information on the Bose SoundControl Hearing Aids, head over to the site here, where you can also take a free hearing screening test.


Image via Bose


Image via Bose


Image via Bose

[via SlashGear and Bose, cover image via Bose] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414016/Bose-Unveils-FDA-Approved-Hearing-Aids-That-Don-t-Require-A-Prescription/

Basquiat Painting Sells For $93.1 Million, Second-Highest Ever For The Artist

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Video screenshot via Christie’s

In This Case, a painting of a skull by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, sold for US$93.1 million at Christie’s latest auction in New York. This makes it the second-most expensive Basquiat work to ever sell at auction.

The painting, created in 1983, greatly exceeded its estimated price of US$50 million. Bidding began at US$40 million, with six people vying for the piece.

The auction ended with a winning bid of US$81 million, with the other US$12 million accounting for auction house fees. The artwork was being sold by former Valentino chairman Giancarlo Giammetti, though the new owner isn’t known.

According to Bloomberg, prices for Basquiat’s work have skyrocketed in recent years, driven by demand from a small group of billionaires. The highest-ever price paid for a Basquiat at auction was in 2017, when another painting of a skull sold to Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa for US$110.5 million.

This week, another Basquiat painting is going under the hammer, but at auction house Sotheby’s. The estimated price is also at US$50 million, so it only remains to be seen if the other painting sells for nearly double its price too.

#AuctionUpdate Following competitive bidding, Jean-Michel Basquiat's climactic portrait 'In This Case' realizes $93,105,000 at auction pic.twitter.com/wJoPu5AbST

— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) May 12, 2021

[via Bloomberg, video screenshot via Christie’s] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414018/Basquiat-Painting-Sells-For-93-1-Million-Second-Highest-Ever-For-The-Artist/

London Tube’s Official Art Project By David Hockney Incites Jokes Online


Image via Mayor Of London

Commissioned for a tourism campaign by the city of London, the Piccadilly Circus Tube Station’s latest art project has left the community baffled.

The artwork by famed English painter David Hockney, whose 1972 portrait stands as the most expensive work by a living artist to be auctioned off, is currently on display. It features a yellow ‘O’-shape and “Piccadilly Circus” over it on a purple banner, with the last ’s’ of “Circus” dropping to the next line.

The project was tweeted about by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, which has since drawn over 10,000 replies and 8,000 retweets from the public.

Here’s what the British public had to say about the tube’s latest artwork—they certainly had a field day flexing their skills on Microsoft Paint.

Brilliant work from David Hockney in Piccadilly—the first of a series of major art projects we’ve commissioned as part of our brand new #LetsDoLondon campaign. Lots more to come very soon! #DavidHockney pic.twitter.com/djW8BGSNuu

— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) May 11, 2021

Bollock
s

— Ross McGinnes (@rossmcginnes) May 11, 2021

You think that's good…wait till you get a load of Paddington!! pic.twitter.com/SMRp8NREiL

— Notorious N.A.T. (@Helio_Spherical) May 11, 2021

Is this a joke?

— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) May 11, 2021

pic.twitter.com/JmGl5KWyzn

— Richard Littler (@richard_littler) May 11, 2021

London: “David, you said you’d have something to us by today?”

*crashing noise*

London: “David? Are you there?”

*panicked scribbling sounds*

David Hockney: “Yes, yes. Just sending it…”

— Luke Benson (@Mr_LukeBenson) May 11, 2021

pic.twitter.com/weTj7CrV52

— Rick Burin (@rickburin) May 11, 2021

[via Mashable, cover image via Mayor Of London] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414017/London-Tube-s-Official-Art-Project-By-David-Hockney-Incites-Jokes-Online/

Keith Haring’s Fridge Door Is Up For Sale—And Its Artwork Beats Any Food It Kept


Image by Dutch National Archives via Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

They say never to judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to Keith Haring’s refrigerator, you’d care more about the door than its contents.

The fridge door, which will go up for auction by way of Guernsey’s on May 12, was lavishly graffitied and is believed to feature autographs by some famous names.

One of the inscriptions reads, “Madonna Loves Keith,” while the initials “JM” are signed below. The auction house’s president Arlan Ettinger told the New York Times that he believes the penmanship in the latter belonged to street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, though he could not confirm this when he got the signature verified.

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A post shared by Guernsey’s Auction House (@guernseysauction)

Ettinger said the door doubled up as Haring’s guest register, and that “it seemed like everybody who was anybody showed up there… [and] signed in on that refrigerator door.” It now displays some 80 inscriptions and tags.

The refrigerator resided in the late pop artist’s 325 Broome St. downtown apartment from the 1980s, and became in the possession of its current owner—a yoga instructor who wishes to maintain anonymity—when she moved in during the early 1990s. The fridge had actually been discarded during the moving process, but she quickly retrieved the object before the garbage crew could pick it up.

The fridge door is estimated to fetch a price range of US$75,000 to US$125,000. It will be auctioned off “without minimum reserve,” Ettinger told the New York Post, which means it will go to the highest bidder, no matter how much is being offered.

“It’s not beautiful, but it’s of that moment, of that time,” Ettinger reflected with the Times. “It reflects a certain spirit, a creativeness, that is alive today if you think about the people who were there — Madonna, and a long, long list of artists.”

[via The New York Times and New York Post, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414015/Keith-Haring-s-Fridge-Door-Is-Up-For-Sale-And-Its-Artwork-Beats-Any-Food-It-Kept/