Category Archives: Design

This Retro Futuristic Train Actually Existed


Designed by Henry Dreyfuss, these trains (named “Mercury”) connected cities in the Midwest from 1936 to 1959.

It’s remarkable how something so dated can still look so cutting edge and futuristic. Seeing this photo makes me think I’m getting a glimpse into some parallel universe where this sleek and metallic aesthetic became the prevailing and dominant design principle.

How Woody Was Made

The original concept design for Woody in Toy Story is the stuff of nightmares. He looks drunk here.

This concept drawing from Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher shows Woody with the slits at his jaw to give him that ventriloquist’s-dummy look. “But as we moved into production,” Mr. Eggleston said, “looking at those slits became a little bit unappealing after a few minutes. So we decided, why not make him a pull-string doll?”

Read more about how Woody was fleshed out by Pixar.

Nike NYC Logo

Here’s how one can transform “NIKE” into my favorite city “NYC” courtesy of the design shop Triboro.

Children’s Dream Chairs in Real Life

A classroom of seven and eight-year olds at St John’s Church of England Primary School in Kingston, Surrey were each given a piece of paper and told to draw their dream chair. Two of the drawings were then selected and actually built by designers Jack Beveridge and Joshua Lake.

The rocking chair pictured above includes a fish bowl which is rather inconsiderate for the fish considering that it’s attached to a…rocking chair. Kids…Can’t trust them.

The children whose drawings weren’t selected were taught a life lesson about winners and losers in life.

Cool Towel Bro

Apropos towel for all beach bros this summer.


In his new book “Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living,” Todd McLellan neatly disassembles
the parts of various familiar objects “from iPads to Blackberry phones, Raleigh bikes to laptops, even a Zenith CH 650 aircraft.”

Who Invented the Smiley Face?

Nope, it isn’t Forrest Gump.

In 1963 designer Harvey Ross Ball was “commissioned to create a graphic to raise morale among the employees of an insurance company after a series of difficult mergers and acquisitions. Ball finished the design in less than 10 minutes and was paid $45 for his work. The State Mutual Life Assurance Company (now Allmerica Financial Corporation) made posters, buttons, and signs adorned with the jaundiced grin in the attempt to get their employees to smile more.”

I quite prefer the crudeness of Ball’s smiley face over the evolved version that we see today. :)