Graphic Design


zxxAvailable for free download, designer Sang Mun’s ZXX fonts are examples of how to elude character-recognizing artificial intelligence in style:

During my service in the Korean military, I worked as special intelligence personnel for the NSA, learning first-hand how to extract information from defense targets. Now, as a designer, I am influenced by these experiences continue the evolution of my own thinking about censorship, surveillance, and a free society.

Over the course of a year, I researched and created ZXX, a disruptive typeface that would be unreadable by text scanning software. It takes its name from the Library of Congress’ listing of three-letter codes denoting which language a book is written in. Code “ZXX” is used when there is: “No linguistic content; Not applicable.”


Imagine the experience of reading something printed in Frustro…a font that captures the illusory nature of our daily world. Hopefully available for your use soon, it was conceived to perfectly embody impossibility….


Maps and directions are virtually worthless, as they have become ubiquitous. But what about the incomparable sensation of being lost? Much harder to come by. That’s where this guide comes in. (Eventually…


Is the center circle at left larger than the center circle at right? How about this: are there gray spots between the corners of black squares?

Illusions are tricks that play off of the ways our brains typically process sensory information. The problem is that many of them have become clichéd. Hence illusion illusions — illusions that play off of the illusions we’re used to seeing. See the angry-comment-provoking Flickr set.

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liveanim8In 1996, Warner Brothers was on the cutting edge by building a “web site” to promote its new blockbuster film Space Jam. Since then, the site has been neither updated nor removed, but remains gloriously preserved, a fascinating museum piece showcasing what the internet looked like in its dark days fifteen years ago. There’s GeoCities-style web design, a slightly hallucinogenic swirl of animated graphics, goofy audio clips, garish patterns, screen savers, and difficult-to-navigate frames within frames — it’s amazing to think it was created for a billion-dollar, multinational media conglomerate. Gather any nearby teenagers for a history lesson and explore one of my favorite recent online discoveries, the Space Jam homepage.


The spookiest graphic design instruction book ever? Steve Heller of Design Observer recently hunted down the Third Reich’s 70-page, full-color style manual for the proper use of Nazi insignia, graphics, and typefaces….


The magical thing about the United States is that our nation is a rich tapestry — of gonorrhea cases and bankruptcy, that is. Find out what surprising, ignominious category your home state…


I’m a fan of this collection of third world war propaganda posters featured in the Guardian. New York-based designer Brian Moore created these nifty images, which explore the intersection of social networking…



Maher on the New DI think Bill Maher’s on the money again. Kudos also to Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm for his off-camera observation on the recent Real Time. Frances Martel writes on Mediate:

Whenever a major political party tries to “rebrand” itself, aesthetically, it inevitably ends in disaster. Last time it was GOP.com, but to prove the graphic failure is bipartisan, the Democrats have come up with a new logo, and a new slogan (“change that matters”). An exasperated Bill Maher tried to help out the party by offering some new slogans, like “fighting for you (to a point)” and “we got Lisa Ling’s sister out of Korea.”

The logo (which, it should be noted, The Atlantic has already called out for plagiarism from a Midwestern pizza place), is a small “D” in a blue circle. The hours spent thinking up this complex design must be incalculable. Maher presents it without comment, though his face says it all, and to add insult to injury, Jon Hamm of all people deadpans from off-camera, “Radiates power, doesn’t it?



Greenpeace UK held a rebranding contest to generate fresh new redesigns of the BP logo. That plain green flower was introduced in 2000, and ten years later … it’s time for an…