Welcome to Design Week

By Kat Hannaford on at

Design is something that's always existed -- after all, it's not like a pencil and paper just fell fell out of the tree it originated from, and hit Leonardo da Vinci on the head. Instead, with technology, it's just become more advanced. We've seen 3D printing revolutionise the speed and ease of going from the design to finished product (and sometimes back around again); Photoshop change the world (and our perception on it) with the flick of a mouse, and tech enthusiasts expecting more from their gadgets -- not just aesthetically, but functionally.

In association with Nokia Lumia, our seven day-long design week will hopefully educate you on design through CSS; 3D printing; skeuomorphism; aircraft design, and course through the more instantly-aesthetic, such as the design of desktop icons, and how Coca Cola cans have changed over the years...and over to the not-so-aesthetic (apologies, anyone who's ever made a dodgy Photoshop error).

We'll also have a great competition coming up later today, which you'll definitely want to keep an eye out for. In the meantime, bookmark this post, as it'll be the easiest way to keep tabs on this week's special design-related stories. We hope you enjoy, and as ever, if you have any suggestions (or want to lend a hand), Gizmodo UK is a constantly-throbbing, organic animal -- we can't do this without you. Get in touch now.


Today’s Google Doodle Is a Huge Animated Tribute to Winsor McCay’s Cartoons
Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo was an iconic comic strip in the US, first drawn in 1905. Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the cartoon in an animated strip which sees Little Nemo embark on an adventure through Google-Land. Read More >

Libratone Zipp Review: A Sweet-Sounding, Great-Looking Airplay Speaker That’s Easy to Use
A cylinder wrapped in a coarse wool jacket, which allows the soundwaves to pass through unmuffled, we review the £260 Libratone Zipp AirPlay speaker. I wouldn’t hide it behind a plant—even in spite of its shiny plastic top. Read More >

Zen, and the Art of Stunning App Icons
HD screens have ushered in a design revolution where details don’t just matter — they’re a requirement. Now an emerging scene of designers bound by format guidelines are treating their icons as visual haikus, and the photo-realistic results are stunning. Read More >

Hanging Rope Coatrack Doesn’t Waste an Inch of Floor Space
If you live in a small flat, you probably don’t have enough floor space to donate to a coat rack. But if you still need a place to drop your coat, you’ll be gobsmacked by this brilliantly simple hanging roberope with five moulded hooks along its length. Read More >

Milton Keynes Cows Vandalised / Massively Improved by Dinosaur Respray
The famous concrete cows of Milton Keynes have been vandalised, with the local equivalent of Banksy blacking them up and turning them into dinosaur skeletons. Read More >

Photoshop a Nokia Lumia 920; Win a Nokia Lumia 920
Here’s an easy way to become one of the first people in the country with a Nokia Lumia 920 in your hot little hand — yup, it’s a Photoshop Challenge! Jump over for more details. Read More >

AirPlay Speaker or Surround Sound System? With This Speaker, It’s Your Choice
Instead of relegating your trusty AirPlay speaker to second-class status and starting ove on the audio front, you could take a speaker like UnMonday’s 4.3L and repurpose it into a single satellite as part of a 5.1 dolby digital surround sound system. Read More >

*Reminder Klaxon* Get Your Entries In For This Month’s 3D Printing Challenge
We’ve extended the deadline for this month’s James Bond-themed 3D Printing Challenge, as have only received two — yes, two! — entries. So, if you want to win a Tokyoflash watch of your choosing, please get your entries in by Friday 19th. Read More >

Why the London Tube Map Has Been Turned Into a Working Radio
When Harry Beck designed the iconic London Tube map in 1931, he was partly inspired by circuit board schematics. He even sketched an “All Electric” spoof diagram of the network before working on the final draft. Read More >

Reverse-Skeuomorphism: When ‘Digital Things’ Transcend the Screen to Analogue Devices
Many will agree that Apple remains the master of industrial design in the digital age, but over the last year or so, some of their interface designs have divided opinion, and it comes down to a concept known as ‘skeuomorphism’. Read More >

What Does a Man (or Woman) Have to Do to Get a Coloured Smartphone Around Here?
A long time ago, phones did actually come in colours other than black. Was it the advent of the smartphone, and the two-year contract, which made manufacturers (and we, the people who don’t want to be lumbered with a novelty red phone) lose its edge when it came to colour? While black is accessible, simple and goes with almost everything, black however is…also pretty boring. Read More >

Shut Up Whiners, Instagram Is Great
Ah, Instagram, iPhone, Hipstamatic—they’ve all done so well to provide “real” photographers with so much to condemn, scoff at, and look down on. You know what? Get over it. Read More >

Recreating the Antique Poster That Inspired a Beatles Song
John Lennon wrote “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” in 1967, but most of the fanciful lyrics were actually written in 1843. You see, Lennon didn’t pull them out of a drug-induced hallucination—he pulled them off a 19th-century poster advertising the Pablo Fanque Circus. Read More >

Why Are Some Pills Little White Round Discs, While Others Are Big Red Torpedoes?
Pills, they’re the answer to every one of life’s little problems, or so the pharmaceutical companies would like us to think. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours, but have you ever thought about why? Why are some boring white and round, while others are bright pink and look like a torpedo? Read More >

Broken Headphones? Just Print Yourself Up a New Pair
Headphones are annoyingly prone to twisting and snapping, especially if they’re getting crammed into your bag everyday before heading off to work. And when they do break they get chucked, with all the electrical components still perfectly useable inside. Well now you can 3D print a new set with an entry level printer such as the MakerBot ‘Replicator’ and kit them out for just £10. Read More >

CSS and the Beautiful Future of Web Design
CSS might sound like a language that only geeks can decipher, but its accessibility and power has turned the web into a beautiful playground. This is the language of design, and it’s about to blow your mind. Read More >

The Future of Britain Is a Design Fiction
The London Design Museum announced this week that from the 30th of January 2013, they’ll be running an exhibition all about the future of high-tech Britain. The exhibition will be called ‘United Micro Kingdoms: A Design Fiction,’ and will imagine a Britain divided into four independent sub-states, “each free to experiment with governance, economy and lifestyle”. Read More >

Why Are Things In Science Always Minimalist, White and Shiny?
Design permeates all aspects of our daily lives, and while most concentrate on high design — that which makes things pretty, work well, and look awesome — some design is purely functional, even if it looks sleek and sexy on the surface. Design in science is just like that. Read More >

The 2012 Dyson Awards Shortlist Is Out, and Includes a Drone, an Air-Powered Bike, and a Human-Powered Washing Machine
This year’s Dyson Awards features all sorts of wild and wonderful ideas. From a fish-saving net, to a life-saving drone that can patch you up if you get stranded in the middle of nowhere; hell, there’s even a human-powered washing machine in the mix. Now we’ve got the top 15 finalists to ogle at (with three from the UK), from which the winner will be picked by James Dyson himself very soon. Read More >

This Sofa With Attached Dog House Is One Perfect Idea
Created by Korean designer Seungji Mun, this sofa is a perfect way to give your small and medium dog a place to rest and feel some privacy (they appreciate this, trust me) while keeping your house looking simple and clean. And you can put your coffee and a plate with a treat (for both of you) on top of it. Read More >

Changing Famous Logos to Comic Sans Ruins Every Logo
Comic Sans is so universally reviled on the Internet that it’s become hilarious when people actually try to use it. I wish I could be like those people who can look at Comic Sans and just see it as a happy font. I wish I could see the entire world in Comic Sans and love it. I wish every company’s logo was in Comic Sans. Read More >

10 Best Design Websites to Add to Your Radar
While our Design Week has been in full swing all this week, how about a look at some our favourite sites that eat and breath design 24/7? We’ve picked 10 of our favourites which manage to inspire, provoke thought, and give us a fantastic insight into the wonderful world of design, every single day. You’re welcome. Read More >

10 Great and British Designs, Handpicked by Two Eagle-Eyed Design Critics
Design is everywhere, and there is almost nothing that you use or see everyday that has, in fact, not been designed in some way…but is it great? For me, great design makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention – it’s transformational and makes you view the regular world around you in a totally new way. Read More >

Google Earth Used to Make Nostalgic ’60s and ’70s-Era Postcards
Hungarian art director and ad-man at BBDO, Akos Papp, has taken satellite images from Google Earth and given them a retro twist to create ‘Postcards From Above‘. The images have been beautifully selected and are mostly of modern architecture and urban infrastructure. To these, he added period typography from the ’60s and ’70s, and the effect is really very convincing. Read More >

10 Worst Photoshops of All Time
We live in the age of Photoshop, which means that we’re all duped on a daily basis by images that belie reality. But occasionally, those that doctor the originals are so incompetent, that they leave body parts floating around the place, or simply stretch the truth beyond belief. We lined up our 10 favourite failed attempts at image enhancement for your viewing pleasure. Read More >

Count Your Lucky Stars if You Ever Visit These 10 Beautiful Airport Terminals
While the weather hasn’t been all sunny days and picnics recently, I’m sure many of you would love to jet off to balmier bays, and what better way to start your trip than by checking out some of the most beautiful airports on your way to your destination? Here’s 10 of our favourites. Read More >

Why Are Blueprints Blue?
If you ever wondered why blueprints were blue and not black or red or white or brown or any other colour than, well, blue — it’s not because architects really like the color but because the technique in making blueprints caused the paper to turn blue. Read More >

Your Nokia Lumia 920 Photoshop Entries, So Far
Nokia, look away now, if you don’t want to see your lovely Lumia 920 appearing in some “compromising” situations. Readers who complied with our request to send their best Photoshop efforts in early have been gathered up and gallerised, and needless to say, we have some talented ‘Shoppers in our midst (and some sick, sick bastards). Read More >

50 iPad Apps Budding Designers Should Download Now
Unlike the iPhone, Apple’s tablet has enough screen space to enable more complex interactions. It’s therefore no surprise many within the design industry are using iPads for research; organisational tasks; finding inspiration, and even creating work. But how do you find apps to help you in your day-to-day design work out of the hundreds of thousands of free and paid-for apps in Apple’s App Store? Read More >

The Real Meaning and Future of Apple’s Mantra: Designed in California
Apple is a hardware design company. It owns ideas not factories. And because it runs its own operating systems, an intrinsic part of the design of its products is software. But this crucial area is showing signs of weakness as competitors copy its innovations. Read More >

You’ll Lust Over Porsche’s Laser Cut Pen More Than Its Cars
There’s no love lacking for Porsche’s high-performance vehicles, but compared to Lamborghini’s or Ferraris, they don’t always have that wow factor. At least not like the office supplies the company designs. The P’3115 LaserFlex pen from Porsche Design has a laser-cut interlocking stainless steel body that expands and contracts when the ballpoint tip is deployed. Read More >

Less But Better: Dieter Rams Did It First
If you’re a fan of British design hero Johnathan Ive (the guy behind the look and feel of the Apple iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad), you might also be aware of his major German influence, the now-80-year-old godfather of industrial design, Dieter Rams. Read More >

Adrian Newey: F1 Design That Starts With a Pad and Pencil
Adrian Newey, Chief technical officer of Red Bull Racing, is rightly held in high regard in the world of Formula 1, regularly described as a genius by his peers. He is the only designer to have won Constructors Championships with three different teams. Read More >

10 Celebrity Designer Gadgets
Thanks to the influence of a certain Cupertino-based company, sleek, well-designed gadgets are becoming the norm — in fact, we’re at a point now when almost all mainstream consumer electronics look eerily similar, amirite Samsung? Read More >

Check Out the Original Logos From These 10 Brands
A picture can paint a thousand words, but a logo only needs to say one. It might take a few decades for these companies to refine their style, but they’ve come a long way in finding their visual voice. Read More >

Image Credit: design from Shutterstock