Have you ever marked out a board, went to cut, and re-checked your measurements after hearing the words "Measure twice, cut once" echo in your ears? It's remarkable how nuggets of shop wisdom can stick with you and save you a ton of trouble on a project.
At ManMade, we're big on collecting aphorisms, witticisms, and maxims that deliver helpful lessons in tidy packages. Sometimes, they're just what we need to stay productive, and get motivated to try something new. So, we're providing a few of our favorite in the form of free downloads: printable artwork to hang in your home, office, or wherever you create your DIY projects.
When I sat down to write about typography this morning, there was so much I wanted to say that the letters on my keyboard actually sat silent for a good few minutes.
We're in a golden age for typography. Gutenberg totally exploded Europe in the 1500's when he dropped the printing-press-with-moveable-type bomb, but even then, for the next 500 years, the spread of ideas and publishing were in the hands of a collection of specialist craftsmen and the people who hired them. (After all, producing physical objects is expensive.) Then, in rolled desktop publishing in the 80's and—combining computer hardware, software that included digital type, and the ability to effectively "print" on-screen and distribute to other screens instantly via the Internet—you've effectively got a second Printing Revolution happening right now, with type squarely in the middle of it.
Typography was once a niche element, but now we're up to our ears in it. As it is with any craft that takes a lifetime to master, thoughtfulness will set you and your message apart. The craft will give back what you put into it. Using typography in design is a lot like using salt in cooking: when it's used well, it contributes to a greater whole but goes largely unnoticed; when typography calls attention to itself, it's typically been used poorly.
If you've ever been putting together a quick flyer or PowerPoint presentation and wanted to put a little more thought into your font choices, but you feel like you're shooting blindly in the dark because you're not a trained designer, we've put together a quick guide for you.
Author Seth Godin, in his book We Are All Weird, argues that the Internet era has busted open the starting gate and let the tribes out: information has truly become democratized, so now it's much easier for niche interests to connect and collect. One great example of this is the MoOM, or Museum of Online Museums. Coudal Partners, a Chicago design firm who created the famous Field Notes brand of notebooks with design guru Aaron Draplin, have run the site for about 10 years, which is basically just a big list of links, and in it you'll find the full gamut of niche stuff: from major institutions' virtual presence, like Amsterdam's famous art collection at the Rijksmuseum, to the most overlooked stuff like Manhole Covers of the World, it feels like it's all here.
If you're a designer looking for visual inspiration, a novelist on the hunt for a random detail to spark a story, or a just fan of vintage eggnog labels, look no further than this treasure trove. I first discovered it way back in college and, though I did waste a lot of time combing through it, I was also able use it to do a lot of research on package design.
Read on for some of my favorites in the collection!
"There was 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing," so says Google CEO Eric Schmidt. While the truth of the matter is a little more nuanced, but as the world begins to flood itself with content, the quality of its delivery is becoming increasingly important.
Words words words, as the Bard said. All around us and packed with meaning despite the fact that many of us never stop to think about the other design aspects of the world around us. But that's where this little city exploration tour from Quartz comes in to unpack the hidden meaning behind everyday street signs.
How about some free stuff to start off your week?
Outside Open is offering a free poster featuring the NATO phonetic alphabet chart (you know, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) for use on all your International Radiotelephony needs. It'll certainly come in handy on your next call with tech support and all future covert military operations, and also features semaphore delineation (pre-electronic flag letter signals for naval communication represented in a circle), Morse Code,
Looking for a clean way to upgrade the way you handle your business cards? Thornwillow Makers have a great way to class up your calling card.
At this point, five weeks into the new year, your resolutions are set. You either embraced that new food or exercise plan, or you didn't. You've kept up with your promise to save more or drink less or go to bed earlier, or you haven't. And, to be fair, that's okay. You know yourself best.
As a kid, I loved making those paper ring garlands to help count down the days to Christmas. They weren't much, just strips of red and green construction paper, one looped inside another and held together with a swipe of glue stick, but, buddy, I loved the ritual of ripping those suckers off as soon as I woke up every morning.
So, for this holiday season, I wanted to embrace the idea of a countdown craft, but update it to something a bit more adult, a bit more masculine, and reusable season after season.
As much as we love the warm feel of wood textures, sometimes the cool touch of metal is the way to go. Industrial and modern, metal signs offer stark lines and muted colors that tend to fit well hanging in any masculine space.
But, metal can be feisty to work with and requires complex equipment, so it's not always a great weekend DIY project for the uninitiated
But! Making these letters and shapes out of wood then finishing with a
I know it's a little cliche and HGTV-y, and like "man cave," I've vowed to try to avoid the phrase "curb appeal," at all costs, but...for real, switching out your house numbers can totally change how you feel about the entrance to your home.
Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.
Sometimes, you're out and about, and you realize: you're not really looking your sharpest. An unexpected spill, a weird hair thing happening, or perhaps you're not smelling so fresh. In those cases, and plenty others, consult