New The Grid System URL

Hey folks, just a quick update that I moved The Grid System to a new URL: thegridsystem.net

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Reissue of the 1975 NASA Graphics Standards Manual

NASA Graphics Manual Reissue

NASA Graphics Manual Reissue

NASA Graphics Manual Reissue

NASA Graphics Manual Reissue

Jesse Reed & Hamish Smyth, the fellas behind the wonderful 1970 NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual reissue, have announced a new Kickstarter for the reissue of the 1975 NASA Graphics Standards Manual.

The original manual was created in 1975 as part of a NASA redesign done by Richard Danne and Bruce Blackburn, and it’s an important piece of American graphic design history. I’ve been on the lookout for years for a copy of the manual, but I still haven’t be able to find one. It’s super rare. That’s what makes this project so great. The manual will now be available to the general public, so everyone will get to enjoy it.

The reissued manual will be based on the Danne’s personal copy, and should ship in March 2016. Jesse and Hamish did an incredible job on the NYCTA manual, so I’m sure this reissue will be just as good. I’m definitely backing the project.

Here are the specs:

  • Images from the original presentation to NASA by Danne & Blackburn
  • 500+ word foreword by Danne, who has provided never-before-seen materials from the DanneDesign archive
  • 2000+ word essay on the culture of NASA at the time of the manual by Christopher Bonanos
  • Approximately 5lbs (2.3kg) on earth, 0.9lbs (0.4kg) on the moon
  • 9.5 × 11.5″ (241 × 292mm)
  • 200 pages including 10 gate folds
  • 93 plates printed from high-resolution scans of Danne’s personal copy of the manual
  • CYMK + 5 Pantone® spot colors
  • Hardcover with soft touch lamination and two-color silkscreen
  • Printed in Italy
  • 100 gsm Yupo Original and Perigord Matte 135 gsm
  • Stochastic printing
  • Red head and tail bands
  • Individually packaged in static shielding pouch

Actual Size: Experimental Jetset

Experimental jetset

Cooper Hewitt in NYC is hosting a talk with Experimental Jetset on September 16th from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, at their Smithsonian Design Museum. You can get more info and reserve a spot on their website. Definitely an event you shouldn’t miss.

Cooper Hewitt welcomes acclaimed international graphic designers, Experimental Jetset, for an evening of conversation. Experimental Jetset was founded by Erwin Brinkers, Marieke Stolk, and Danny van den Dungen in Amsterdam in 1997. The designers are known for their idiosyncratic, seemingly systematic work, including the new identity for the Whitney Museum of American Art. Work by Experimental Jetset is represented in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection and is featured in our exhibition How Posters Work, open through January 24, 2016.

Muji Toaster

Muji Toaster

Muji Toaster

Muji Toaster

Muji Toaster

The great Naoto Fukasawa has designed a series of kitchen appliances for Muji, that are now available in the US, and will be in the UK in the fall. The entire collection is super minimal and functional, but I’m in love with the toaster. Definitely going to replace my current toaster.

Muji has had a full line of kitchen appliances available for a while in Japan, and it seems like they’re going to start bringing more of the products to the US and Europe. Good news for us.

Read more about the collection on Dezeen.

Atlas

Atlas

Atlas

Atlas

Atlas

Wonderful identity design by Atlas for the Barcelona Design Museum. You can see more of Atlas’ excellent work on Facebook and Instagram.

Ditch the Printouts, Prototype Instead

Back in the day, I used to assemble my wireframes and designs into a presentation deck, printed it all out, and then reviewed the work with my team/clients. Many designers still do this today, and it’s a bad habit developed in the agency world where everything is printed out and put up on a board for review. Some folks might not print everything out, but they’ll still view the static screens side-by-side on a computer screen. This might work for designs meant for print, but it’s a lousy way of reviewing product designs meant for devices.

Here’s why.

First, it’s important to view your designs on the actual device they’re intended for. This puts your work into context and in its environment. You get a feel for the tangible things that you don’t get with a print or static screens, for example, if a button is positioned in a location where you can’t easily reach it with your thumb, or how scrolling with your finger feels a lot different than doing it with a mouse on a monitor. This kind of stuff isn’t visible in your designs, but it affects the overall experience.

Second, an interactive prototype gives you a better sense of how the experience flows from one screen to another, in both directions. A proto also allows you to experience the transitions and interactions by actually tapping on stuff, and seeing it react. Paper or static screens don’t offer this feedback. There have been plenty of times when I’m reviewing wireframes in Sketch, and everything looks and feels great, and then I discover issues in the design when actually viewing it as a prototype.

Wireframes and UI designs should be reviewed as a prototype with basic interactions, and on the device they were designed for. The time you usually spend assembling and printing a deck, use it to build a prototype instead. Tools like Invision, Marvel, Atomic and Pixate allow you to create functioning prototypes in minutes. These services also make it really easy to share your work with your team or client, so everyone can view it and add comments.

Why have a single static screen on paper, when you can have your entire user flow, with interactions, on an iPhone. You can’t beat it.