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The designer’s thirst-quencher served weekly

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Book Brew

New and upcoming books
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Alphabetabum

The standard alphabet book takes a turn for the nostalgic—and slightly creepy—in Vladimir Radunsky and Chris Raschka's Alphabetum, new from the New York Review Children's Collection. The benevolent ghost of Edward Gorey hovers over the book's faux-weathered pages, on which vintage photos of children (from Radunsky's vast collection of antique black-and-white photographs) are joined by playfully alliterative names and rhymes penned by Raschka. Among the questions posed by the authors: Are these children our great-great-great grandparents? We knew "Excellent Edwin Eugene" looked familiar!

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Kool Ade

Old school, retro picks
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FILMography

Film and photography, past and present, reality and movie magic collide in FILMography, an ongoing art project by Christopher Moloney. The fun-to-browse Tumblr matches scenes from films (and the odd TV show) with their real-life, present-day locations. Searchable by movie, location, actor, or year, the site uses still-frame snapshots to check in with the spaces and places familiar from classics such as Rebel Without a Cause and Rosemary's Baby as well as recent releases, including the cinematic masterpiece that was Sharknado 2. Fancy one of the images? Moloney makes each one available in an edition of ten signed and numbered prints.

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House Blend

Interesting products
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The Design Deck

Shuffle up and deal the basics of graphic design with The Design Deck. Printed on Vegas-standard Bicycle cards, a standard deck of 52 has been cleverly enhanced with bite-sized lessons about typography, color theory, design techniques, history, and more, each with a visual example. Canadian design enthusiast Ben Barrett-Forrest developed the edutaining cards earlier this year as his thesis project at McMaster University and then swiftly secured gobs of Kickstarter funding to produce the decks. "There's just so much potential for design in playing cards," he says. "Each of the cards is its own little design face, plus there's the packaging of the pack itself."

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House Blend

Interesting products
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Hem

From the design-obsessed people who brought you Fab comes Hem (Swedish for "home"), a new venture that is looking to bring high-end modern design to the online masses. The Berlin-based company, which ships to 30 countries, is not part of the flash sale fray: the focus is on original designs developed in collaboration with talents such as Sylvain Willenz, Luca Nichetto and Grain Design as well as those dreamed up in Hem's Helsinki R&D workshop and Stockholm design studio. Many of the furniture pieces and accessories can be customized with a few clicks.

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Mixed Drinks

Must-see places or events
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Atlas Obscura

There is something new under the sun, every day, all over the world. That's the core belief of the observant nomads over at Atlas Obscura, which aims to be "the definitive guide to the world's wondrous and curious places." Among the strange and singular destinations that the site allows you to virtually explore are Outer Mongolia's "Dinosaurs Fairyland" theme park, a handwoven bridge in Peru, and an 80-year-old house built out of newspapers. Navigate by region or category (Anomalous Islands, Microminiature art) or click "Random Place" for a quick hit of creative inspiration.

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Kool Ade

Old school, retro picks
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Stickable Pixels

Return to a simpler, eight-bit way of life, be the next street art sensation or just get your Ellsworth Kelly on with pixel art. Seattle-based startup 1x1 has taken to Kickstarter to make its colorful, self-adhesive squares a reality. A $30 pledge will get you a box of 14,800 pixel stickers that can be applied to glass, metal or any other smooth surface. Budding pixel artists have until November 5 to back the project.

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Hot Shots

Meet some creative people
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The Uncomfortable

What if useful objects were redesigned to be uncomfortable while retaining their original function? Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani answers this question with "The Uncomfortable," an imagined collection of deliberately inconvenient everyday objects, from a concrete umbrella and toeless rainboots to a leaning chair and an inverted Oreo cookie. "The Uncomfortable started as a twisted sadistic design project," says Kamprani of her 3D visualizations and sketches. "It's a parasite in the world of materialism and design."

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Kool Ade

Old school, retro picks
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Eastern Blocks

News of a forthcoming film adaptation of Tetris, the addictive and iconic puzzle video game, made us all the more appreciative of the viral-sensation music video debut from Pig With The Face Of A Boy, also known as Donald Newholm and Dan Woods. Released a few years a go, their delightful "A Complete History of the Soviet Union Through the Eyes of a Humble Worker, Arranged to the Melody of Tetris," earned them the (self-applied, yet deserved) title of "world's best neo-post-post-music hall anti-folk band." Click and watch to see why.

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Font Fizz

Typography
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Typeface Memory

Put your font of font knowledge to good use with a round of "The Quick Brown Fox Jumps over the Lazy Dog," a typographical take on the card-matching game of Memory. Created by Fábio Prata and Flávia Nalon of Brazil-based Ps.2 Arquitetura + Design for BIS Publishers, the game includes 25 variations of the letter "A" in typefaces ranging from Akzidenz Grotesk to Zapfino. Players attempt to font-match their way to a win, along the way sharpening their knowledge of subtle differences between say, Univers and Helevetica. Up the educational factor by reading the fine print (font fun facts) on each card or delving into the companion booklet that examines the evolution of type design, locating in history each one of the fonts used in the game. For any design buff, it's a match made in heaven.

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Color IQ Test

How sharp is your color acuity? Find out by taking X-Rite's Color IQ test. It's as easy as restoring a checkerboard of color chips to their proper ROYGBIV formation. The first and last chips in each of the four rows are fixed. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: drag and drop the ones in between to arrange them in hue order. Once you're confident in your efforts, click "Score Test" to see where you fall on the color IQ spectrum. The site will also provide historical score ranges by sex and age bracket. The real challenge: achieving the perfect score of zero. Meanwhile, don't let a low color IQ bring you down—just blame an improperly calibrated and profiled monitor.

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