The Story of the First Postage Stamp

Postage stamps can reveal more than the history of a letter, they can reveal the history of a nation


The Invention of the Baseball Mitt

Once thought a sign of weakness, the baseball glove has become an iconic piece of equipment


The Origin of the Pilcrow, aka the Strange Paragraph Symbol

It is now nearly invisible in word-processing programs, but it was one of the most elaborate of manuscript ornaments


The Past and Future of the Baseball Bat

The evolution of the baseball bat, and a few unusual mutations

A Brief History of the Baseball

The development of the baseball, from shoe rubber and lemon peels to today's minimalist, modernist object

Points interactive directional signpost

A Sign For the Times: Digital Wayfinding Adapts to Your Needs

Design agency BREAKFAST is creating the street sign of the future

A sample of Dyslexie, a tyepface designed to help dyslexic people

How New Fonts Are Helping Dyslexics Read and Making Roads Safer

The right font can be appealing, but please don't take this as an excuse to use Comic Sans


The Daily Planet in Film and Television

The real buildings that played the Daily Planet in film and television


The Architecture of Superman: A Brief History of The Daily Planet

The real-world buildings that may have inspired Superman's iconic office tower workplace

BMW Guggenheim Lab, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

From New York to Mumbai, the Top 100 Design Trends of the Urban World

From micro apartments in New York City to the slums of Mumbai, these are the issues currently obsessing designers around the world

The score for John Cage’s indeterminate composition “Fontana Mix”

5 1/2 Examples of Experimental Music Notation

In the 1950s progressive composers broke from the 5 line music staff to experiment with new, more expressive forms of graphic music notation


The Evolution of the Treble Clef

For centuries, music notation was an inexact technique and hasty transcriptions may have resulted in this symbol


The Robot Revolution Is for the Birds

Look up for robotic ravens and cyborg pigeons

Bubo the robotic owl from the 1981 film Clash of the Titans

A Brief History of Robot Birds

The early Greeks and Renaissance artists had birds on their brains


The Past, Present, and Future of the Cuckoo Clock

From Orson Welles to Twitter, a look into the classic time-telling relic from your grandparents' attic


When F. Scott Fitzgerald Judged Gatsby By Its Cover

A surprising examination of the original book jacket art to The Great Gatsby

Benjamin Franklin’s phonetic alphabet

Benjamin Franklin’s Phonetic Alphabet

One of the founding father's more quixotic quests was to create a new alphabet. No Q included


What Happens When a Keyboard Goes From Tactile to Touchscreen?

There's a word for that odd quirk of Apple iPads that hold on to design components of old keyboards

U.S. Patent No. 207,559. The first appearance of the QWERTY keyboard.

Fact of Fiction? The Legend of the QWERTY Keyboard

What came first: the typist or the keyboard? The answer may surprise you

These two identical brands are considered to be distinct based on their location

Decoding the Range: The Secret Language of Cattle Branding

Venture into the highly regulated and fascinating world of bovine pyroglyphics

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