The Modern House

To some extent the whole real estate industry is predicated on a form of voyeurism, but this site, from independent U.K. real estate agency The Modern House, is probably a bit more voyeuristic than most. The agency specializes in a particular brand of property:

Whether it’s a Modernist house, a cutting-edge contemporary apartment or anything in between, we specialise exclusively in modern properties. No-one understands this sector of the market as intimately as us. This is what we do. It is all we do.

Their site, which is appropriately better built than the vast majority of real estate listings sites, is basically pr0n for lovers of Modernist or “architect-designed” residences. The property photos tend to look not much like your house. For example:

They’re also priced accordingly. Feast your eyes at


Polaroids by Andy Warhol

This is everything I love and hate about Andy Warhol. On the one hand, I despise the way he created a self-perpetuating framework for the continual worship of celebrities. On the other hand, these simple Polaroids he took of his contemporaries were just phenomenal and retain a singular beauty that’s both naive and deeply penetrating all at once.

Polaroids by Warhold 1
Polaroids by Warhol 2

Found via It’s Nice That.


Animated Sexploitation Features from the 60s and 70s

For the historically minded, this post at Cartoon Brew rounds up ten NSFW animated works from the dustbins of history.

“For a brief decade-long period in animation history, between the late-1960s and late-1970s, feature animation filmmakers cast aside their inhibitions and created films that aimed to titillate and shock audiences with the novelty of sexual cartoon imagery… The diversity of graphic approaches was impressive: some of the films made pretensions to high art while others aspired to match the energy of underground comix.”

Thanks to the power of YouTube, you can watch all ten from a private corner in the coffee break room at your office. Read more here.


Quartz: Frere-Jones Vs. Hoefler

This makes me sad, because I know both Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones. They built an amazing company and have already made more than their share of indelible contributions to typography, if not to Western culture. Now their partnership seems broken forever, as the latter is suing the former over a dispute in company ownership.

“In a blistering lawsuit filed today in New York City, Frere-Jones says he was duped into transferring ownership of several fonts, including the world-famous Whitney, to Hoefler & Frere-Jones (HFJ) on the understanding that he would own 50% of the company.&#8221

I have no insight into this matter, but it seems inevitable that someone will emerge from this as a bad guy, and someone will emerge from this as a loser. Read the full article at Quartz.


Ten Most Popular Web Fonts of 2013

Designer Jeremiah Shoaf went through the sites featured last year at Typewolf, his superb design inspiration site, and came up with this list of the most popular web fonts used among them. It’s not a scientific list by any means, but it’s a useful insight into what some of the best designers were using last year. I hope he keeps doing this annually; as web fonts evolve and become more pervasive, this kind of survey is bound to get more interesting. Read the full list of the ten most popular web fonts of 2013 here.


Rick Poynor’s First Foray onto Pinterest

Poynor is one of the most respected design critics working today, and he has a keen understanding of visual culture. He recounts his first week on Pinterest with the dry amusement of an academic examining a toy for the first time.

“It’s both exhilarating and curious to see this ceaseless torrent of deracinated images passing from hand to hand, admired and valued for their visual properties, yet often torn loose from the contexts that allow their meaning to be fully appreciated. That might be how private scrapbooks and wall-mounted pinboards operate, but Pinterest pins are both personal tokens and public communication. Taking pleasure in a picture doesn’t rule out the need for some curatorial precision. Amassing these collections is undeniably satisfying, though. When I have gone a bit further, I know I will want to write about Pinterest again.”

I expect his next essay on Pinterest to make this one seem unhinged by comparison. Read the full article.


Coyote v. Acme

I was lucky enough to get a copy of Pentagram’s holiday card in the mail, which this year took the form of an elaborately detailed legal brief called “Coyote v. Acme.”

“Originally published in The New Yorker, Coyote v. Acme presents the opening statements of an imaginary lawsuit by Coyote against Acme for his personal injuries caused by the faulty devices, citing 85 occasions in which they ‘did cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper cautionary labeling.’ Our holiday greeting reprints Frazier’s essay as a mini legal brief with Weil’s drawings presented as supporting evidence. Weil carefully considered the design of each cartoon product, making sure the contraptions would functionally work.”

Coyote v. Acme

I had a good laugh. More images from the book here.


San Francisco MUNI Rebranding Concept

S.F.-based designer D. Kim worked with a friend on this superbly executed reworking of the MUNI logo, which no one would design from scratch today but that has achieved a well-loved, iconic status in the city. The new version upgrades the original to something much more aesthetically pleasing without sacrificing an ounce of its original spirit.

MUNI Rebranding Applications
MUNI Logo Before and After

See the whole presentation here. (Via Brand New.)



Last month I bought myself a Nexus 7 tablet to learn more about Android. I’ve been really enjoying it (I’ll write more about it soon), but honestly I haven’t found too much in the way of software that’s unique to the platform.

There has been one gem, though: SkipLock, a nifty utility that does something I’ve wanted on iOS for a long time: it lets you identify trusted wi-fi networks and, when the device is on those networks, it allows you to bypass the password screen. I use a pretty lengthy and complicated password, so being able to modify the default behavior in this way makes life much easier. SkipLock also provides similar behavior when your device is paired with a Bluetooth device; as soon as the device is out of range, it automatically locks.

If you have an Android phone or tablet, get SkipLock here.