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Wildlife photo ark | Tim Flach

Around twenty heaped tortoises each with a unique code engraved on the back of the shell.
Madagascan ploughshare tortoises with anti-poaching branding

I'm a big fan of projects looking to archive information of endangered species, particularly quality images, biomechanics and video, so that if conservation efforts fail future generations still at least have good data. So when I discover a project like Endangered, created by photographer Tim Flach, it has to be shared. Flach's photographs (see more at Gizmodo) are beautiful and frequently incredibly poignant, but they're also paired with detailed information on the animals, and the threats they face, from biologist Jonathan Baillie. It's conservation meets art, both noble goals in their own right that are only amplified by their intermixing. Definitely going straight on my future wishlist.

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Spiders, Dinosaurs and CVs" and the 49th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a data visualisation CV, Lucas the adorable arachnid, the trailer for Into the Spiderverse, and an article looking into the history of palaeoart.

Lucas the Spider | YouTube

A very cute spider runs excitedly towards the camera on a wood table.
Spider squeeee! Lucas the utterly adorable arachnid.

Lucas the spider has been doing the rounds of the internet this week and I fully understand why. I'm not the world's biggest fan of spiders but I'm also far from arachnophobic, even finding certain real-world spiders adorable. That said, nothing in nature (that I'm aware of) has been designed to tug at the heartstrings quite so cleverly as this short animation test. Others have already called for it, but can I add my name to the petition for Lucas to be in the next Disney/Pixar movie?

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Spiders, Dinosaurs and CVs" and the 49th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a data visualisation CV, the trailer for Into the Spiderverse, the Wildlife Photo-Ark project, and an article looking into the history of palaeoart.

Into the Spiderverse | Sony

Miles Morales, Spider-Man, swings into frame and lands on a skyscraper.
Into the Spider-Verse? Yes please!

Weirdly, yet another piece of spider-based animation dropped this week which captured the hearts of the internet, though this time less Tumblr and more Reddit. The first trailer for Sony's new animated Spider-Man film hit and just looks stunning. It's Miles Morales meets Spiderverse so I was already intrigued, but those visuals mixed with that soundtrack has left me with extreme hype!

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Spiders, Dinosaurs and CVs" and the 49th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a data visualisation CV, Lucas the adorable arachnid, the Wildlife Photo-Ark project, and an article looking into the history of palaeoart.

📆 10 Dec 2017  | 🔗

  • Moving Pictures
  • hype
  • Into the Spiderverse
  • Spider-Man
  • CGI
  • animated
  • design
  • Miles Morales 

The surprising evolution of dinosaur drawings | The Atlantic

Two theropod dinosaurs with unrealistic iguana like physiology fighting
Two Dryptosaurus (at time Laelaps) fighting in an incredibly famous image from Charles R. Knight, 1897

From ensuring the animals we may soon lose are well documented, to attempting to document those that have already been lost. It should be no surprise by now that I am a huge fan of the field of palaeoart and love both the finished pieces and the processes that go into their creation. There's something incredibly interesting about decoding the past and trying to set it to understandable visuals which I just love.

Stumbling on to an article taking a deep dive into the history of the field, then, was a fascinating read which has been put together very nicely. It's great to see books I find particularly influential, such as All Yesterday's, as well as their author's (and respective blogs) being linked to and discussed on such a main-stream website as The Atlantic. It would also appear that some new books on the subject may be coming out soon, which is great news. An article I will want to come back to from time-to-time, if for no more reason than to explore all the linked resources. Top work.

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Spiders, Dinosaurs and CVs" and the 49th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a data visualisation CV, Lucas the adorable arachnid, the trailer for Into the Spiderverse, and the Wildlife Photo-Ark project.

📆 10 Dec 2017  | 🔗

Developer achievement stickers | The Logo Smith

Badge reading "went outside" with a cartoon tree.
Updating this article in 2020 and it feels more relevant than ever...

In third place is a collection of 'achievement' stickers doing the rounds of the blogosphere right now. Originally designed by Jeremy Nguyen, published on The New Yorker and personally discovered via TheLogoSmith, the stickers are a humorous look at the pitfalls of being self-employed. They're specifically designed for freelance designers, but I feel a lot of them are applicable across disciplines. If you work from home, you'll probably find yourself smiling and nodding.

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Stickers, Eclipses and Lighthouses" and the 36th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a (then) new tool called Google Lighthouse, a blog post talking about a growing uneasiness with Google AMP, a look at time management, and a critique of data visualisation of future solar eclipses.

📆 07 Sep 2017  | 🔗

  • Graphic Design
  • achievement
  • stickers
  • Jeremy Nguyen
  • humour
  • remote working
  • design 

Lighthouse | Google

Today is a day for another round-up of interesting pieces from across the web. Nothing too special, but hopefully a little intriguing.

Cartoon lighthouse against a starry sky with waves in the foreground.
The tool looks great, quite a fan of the logo design too.

First up is Google Lighthouse, one of the many branches of the Alphabet behemoth and a pretty interesting little project. I haven't actually managed to get it up and running, but I'll definitely be trying it out on theAdhocracy sometime soon (and probably weeping at the result). I don't need to test it, though, to see it will be a very useful tool in battling the increasingly problematic issue of internet lag.

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Stickers, Eclipses and Lighthouses" and the 36th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a blog post talking about a growing uneasiness with Google AMP, a design collection of achievement stickers for developers, a look at time management, and a critique of data visualisation of future solar eclipses. For posterity, the opening paragraph has been kept here.

Visualising future solar eclipses | The Washington Post

Finally, I was blown away by the "Lifetime Eclipse Predictor" visualisation created for The Washington Post (discovered via Source). In the wake of the recent total eclipse in the US, along with reading various posts on the rarity of such events, I've been left with a real urge to try and make sure at my path eventually coincides with a path of totality.

It is a ridiculously awesome coincidence that our moon's diameter and planet's solar distance align so accurately. I mean, even if there are other life-hosting
planets out there, we're certainly one of an incredibly small number that can witness this phenomenon. That makes it practically a responsibility to see a total eclipse, at least once.

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Stickers, Eclipses and Lighthouses" and the 36th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a (then) new tool called Google Lighthouse, a blog post talking about a growing uneasiness with Google AMP, a design collection of achievement stickers for developers, a look at time management.

The importance of routine | Martian Craft

Fourth on the list is a simple article from Martian Craft outlining "The Importance of Routine". The post is aimed at remote works and is far from news to me, but it is a well-written example of how to apply this kind of thinking. I'm saving it here more to try and force myself into setting something like this up for my own free time.

Try not to build a schedule that’s too inflexible, but always have something in place each day.

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Stickers, Eclipses and Lighthouses" and the 36th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a (then) new tool called Google Lighthouse, a blog post talking about a growing uneasiness with Google AMP, a design collection of achievement stickers for developers, and a critique of data visualisation of future solar eclipses.

AMPersand | Ethan Marcotte

Second is the article which led me to Lighthouse in the first place: AMPersand, by Ethan Marcotte. Not much to add to this one, just another voice adding weight to my uneasiness with the idea of AMP and similar projects. Well worth a read if you're interested in the open web.

Few corporations have done as much as Google to elevate the importance of page speed as a design issue, and the work done by the AMP team is no exception. But in my experience, the only voices promoting AMP’s performance benefits are coming from inside Google.

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Stickers, Eclipses and Lighthouses" and the 36th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a (then) new tool called Google Lighthouse, a design collection of achievement stickers for developers, a look at time management, and a critique of data visualisation of future solar eclipses.

Learning from Lego with modular design | A List Apart

An interesting look at using padding only on the very lowest element within a hierarchy (as Samantha says, the atoms of your design) and therefore setting it globally. It's a logical approach, though I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who took one look and thought "surely margins would be a better approach". Still, a useful tool and clever way of thinking about object spacing that could make your CSS a lot more efficient.

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Thoughts from around the web" and the 13th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a blog post on logo design and a critique of modern "culture-fit" hiring practices.

📆 31 Mar 2017  | 🔗

The imbalance of culture fit | A List Apart

It may not surprise you to learn that people who have experienced and enjoy all the same things I do tend to look a whole lot like me.

There, in a single sentence, is the issue with the concept of 'culture fit', something that is incredibly prevalent in the modern workplace. Companies like Google and Apple bang on about their 'company culture' so much that it's led a lot of smaller businesses to head down the wrong path; plus, it is very hard to realise when you're thinking along these lines. A colleague of mine recently stated that a potential new hire "just didn't feel like he'd fit in" and how he didn't think they'd "get along". The problem is, you're not supposed to employ people to be your friend; you're supposed to employ people to be your colleague.

Yes, shared values and ideals are a core foundation for a team, but we have to question what those ideals are. It's okay to hire people who are, as Matt states, empathetic and hard-working; not so much to discount them because they don't like Star Wars (even if it means the world to you). Different perspectives, different upbringings and different cultures combine to increase creativity, productivity and, ultimately, profit. Just look at the natural world: diversity increases stability whilst monocultures tend to wilt and disappear at the slightest disturbance.

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Thoughts from around the web" and the 13th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a blog post on logo design and an examination of modular design.

📆 31 Mar 2017  | 🔗

Nine design tips for a successful company logo | The Logo Smith

There isn't too much to add beyond the title. Ruta has put together an endearing infographic with a pretty decent list of key points to consider. Now, I'm not much of a logo designer myself, but the list seems well constructed and its appearance on TheLogoSmith is reason enough for me to believe it's fairly accurate. I do feel that the 'categories' of trending designs are a little broad-stroke (I'm not sure I could find any logos that wouldn't fit into at least one of them) but there are some pretty neat examples included – particularly the ombre pangolin! Makes me wonder if the time has come to finally dip my toes back into the logo design pond...

Examples for the logo category "ombre" or stepped-colour increments. Includes the Instagram logo as well as a butterfly with colour-graded wings, a range of mountains that fade into the distance, and a pangolin where each row of scales is a slighlty darker shade of red than the last.
It's probably unsurprising that my eye was drawn to the colourful animal...

Note: this was originally part of a full article titled "Thoughts from around the web" and the 13th post in my New 52 challenge. That article also linked to a blog post on modular design and a critique of modern "culture-fit" hiring practices. For posterity, the below paragraph has been kept here; it was originally the introduction to the article:

I'm not going to lie, I'm behind. I won't be getting March's MiM up any time soon (hopefully next week) but I've still spent all my free time this week trying to get it rounded off. Well, I'm happy I spent the time on that, but it's left me without any inspiration for what else to post. Still, post I must, and luckily I've recently found myself stumbling on to some very interesting, but not individual-post-worthy, articles. So here, in no particular order, are three things I enjoyed reading:

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