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Surreal art created by Google Advanced Neural Networks

July 7th, 2015

Google’s image recognition software is an incredible feat of engineering. Based on the structure of a biological brain, the ‘artificial neural network’ (ANN) consists of 20–30 stacked layers of artificial ‘neurons’, each neuron talking to the next to decipher what it can ‘see’ in a given image.

Like a human brain, the ANN is ‘trained’ to recognise objects and elements of a picture, with the neurons constantly adjusting and learning until together, they are able to accurately recognise, say, a dog, a banana, a tree.

But the ANN is not yet perfect. In an effort to understand precisely what is happening at each layer of the network, programmers decided to try turning the network upside down: instead of the ANN simply recognizing elements of an image, would it be able to recreate the image?

The results were surprising – often beautiful, and sometimes pretty creepy!

You see, while our human brain can look at clouds in the sky and sometimes imagine that they look like a bird, or a heart, or a face, we know that clouds are clouds. But the ANN doesn’t know that, yet.

When presented with a picture of clouds and asked to recreate it, this happened:

 

 

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Skype hidden emoji

June 26th, 2015

On his Twitter profile, John Hicks describes himself as a “gentleman graphic designer, Whovian, cheese enthusiast and cyclist.” He’s also the new Lead Designer at browser and software company Opera, and the brains behind some of the best loved icons on the web.

 

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Long lost typeface brought back to life

June 25th, 2015

London, England, turn of the 20th Century. Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson, a bookbinder, and engraver Emery Walker went into business together, establishing the Doves Press printing company.

 

 

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Keynote: more than just an alternative to PowerPoint

June 19th, 2015

Though I took some convincing, I’m a recent convert from PC to Apple Mac. The transition was surprisingly easy to make (switch out CTRL for CMD and you’ve basically got it), but I do confess I still use Microsoft for Mac software, including ­– but only when absolutely necessary – the love-it-or-hate-it program PowerPoint.

Those of you who have ever sat through any kind of formal presentation will be familiar with the term “death by PowerPoint” – the embarassing clipart, the slow agony as the presenter reads aloud bullet point after bullet point, the cringeworthiness of words unnecessarily whizzing and twirling across the screen.

 

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Why start-ups should not worry about getting the logo design right first time

June 12th, 2015

Every single one of the most successful brands in the world has a memorable logo – think of big names like McDonalds, Burger King, Coca Cola, and Apple just for starters.

Your company’s logo is the face of your business, the visual “hook” that helps customers to recognise you, recall what you do, and separate you from your competitors.

 

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Inn_v_tive c_mp

June 9th, 2015

The British media reported this week that the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has seen a 40% drop in the number of new people coming forward to donate blood.

Blood donation in the UK is unpaid, so relies on volunteers who are willing to spare an hour of their time once every three months to give a pint of their finest red stuff. Donated blood is used to help accident victims, cancer patients, people with hereditary blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia, women having traumatic childbirths, and for crucial scientific research. In short, it saves lives, so a drop in donor numbers is very worrying as it could mean life or death for someone in need.

 

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Sky vs Skype

May 21st, 2015

In a controversial decision by the General Court of the European Union, Microsoft has been blocked from filing a trademark application for its video chat software Skype.

 

 

 

 

 

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New logo design for Lexmark

May 14th, 2015

Lexmark, with its familiar logo with red diamond, is a brand that has been synonymous with printers and printing ever since its divestiture from computing giant IBM in 1991.

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Graphic design students eschew computers to recreate famous book covers

May 5th, 2015

While browsing the internet for inspiration about what to write about this week, I came across this brilliant art project by students of Shillington College.

Shillington is an international organisation providing design education courses. With campuses in New York, USA; London and Manchester in the UK, and Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, willing students can learn the basics of web or graphic design in a few months, and go on to advanced education or employment in the creative arts.

In an international challenge, Shillington students were assigned the task to recreate a book cover, but with one caveat – no computers allowed. The results are amazing!

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Tourisme Montreal highlights its accents in logo design rebrand

May 1st, 2015

I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Montréal, home of LogoBee’s HQ, but a recent rebranding of the regional tourism board has made me want to visit!

Arguably, Tourisme Montréal’s previous logo –  ‘à la Montréal’ (see below) was a little dated and tired. When I first saw it, I was perplexed by the lipstick ‘kiss’ – it seemed rather feminine and thus confusing as to who the logo was meant to appeal to. I also thought the lipstick made the more difficult to read.

 

All that has changed with a fancy new restyle by agency LG2. The new Tourisme Montréal logo is bold, easy-to-read, gender neutral and very digital-friendly, as this video shows.

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An unfortunate Easter egg design hidden in Google Maps

April 29th, 2015

The cheeky little Android robot has been depicted in a wide variety of costumes and guises over the years, but recently got into trouble by appearing to take a pee on the Apple logo!

The naughty icon appeared embedded into the ‘map view’ of Google Maps, located at coordinates just south of the town of Rawalpindi in Pakistan.

The cheeky little Android robot has been depicted in a wide variety of costumes and guises over the years, but recently got into trouble by appearing to take a pee on the Apple logo!

The naughty icon appeared embedded into the ‘map view’ of Google Maps, located at coordinates just south of the town of Rawalpindi in Pakistan.

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The Apple Watch

April 24th, 2015

We didn’t even know we needed one, but the launch of the Apple Watch this week is sure to take the world by storm. Market experts are predicting that, like many of Apple’s other products, it’s the creative design types who will be at the front of line to purchase one of these wrist-based mini-computers.

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Clinton logo design causes a Twitter storm

April 15th, 2015

Former First Lady Hillary Clinton announced that she would be running for the US Presidency again this year – and of course, every good marketing campaign needs a logo. Here’s Hillary’s:

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Avril Lavigne heads contest to design new logo

April 9th, 2015

I’m generally not a fan of logo design competitions – they always seem like such a good idea; a way to engage your target market and perhaps find some as-yet undiscovered (and therefore cheap!) creative genius to help sell your brand.

In reality however, they can be a bit of a waste of time. For businesses who are serious about getting their branding and identity “right”, I’d always advise to hire a recommended and reputable designer or agency – someone who really knows what they are doing.

"Avril Lavigne 2013" by Glenn Francis - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons 

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Brands with Heart: new font collection with

March 12th, 2015

How do you convey to your customers that yours is a company that cares? International typeface company Monotype thinks it has the answer – with a font.

Monotype, and global branding firm Lippincott, worked together on a brief from Southwestern Airlines to develop a custom typeface and new brand identity. Southwestern was keen to convey the idea of “a maverick spirit and a passion for serving others”, and how better to do this than to somehow capture the essence of its warm, hospitable employees?

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