Posts Tagged ‘Designs’

New gear and impressions: Peak Design’s ‘Leash’ shoulder and ‘Cuff’ wrist strap

10 Aug
The new Peak Design Cuff in the ‘ash’ color (top) and new Peak Design Leash in the ‘black on black’ color (bottom). The addition of metal hardware to both these products is a major part of the update, though I personal prefer plastic hardware because it won’t scratch my camera.

I’ve long admired Peak Design products because they offer an elegant and simple solution to the chore that is removing and replacing one’s camera strap, something I do a lot of working at DPReview.

The ‘secret sauce’ of the Peak Design system is what the company calls ‘Anchor Links,’ which are small loops of incredibly strong cord connected to a circular plastic anchor. The cord threads through a camera’s eyelet and the anchor attaches to a Peak Design shoulder or wrist strap.

The company’s Leash (camera strap) and Cuff (wrist strap) have been available for a while, but this update should offer some nice improvements to two already well-thought-out products.

What’s new

  • Both products have been re-worked for a more low profile design, and feature machine anodized aluminum hardware. The strap portion is still made out of ultra strong seatbelt-style nylon.
  • The Anchor Links have also been redesigned: The cord portion has been reduced to half the thickness for easier threading through narrow eyelets, but still holds up to 200 lbs like the older anchors. The plastic portion of the anchor is now angled for easier connecting.
  • A new aluminum anchor mount (included with leash) can be connected to a tripod socket allowing you to wear your camera more comfortably as a sling.
  • The updated Leash gains a second length adjuster. The hardware for the adjuster is now made of aluminum instead of plastic, and the adjuster has a leather strip for easy access.
  • The Cuff gains a new aluminum adjustment mechanism. There’s also a built in magnet in the leather portion of the strap for storing as a bracelet when a camera is not attached.
  • New color options: In addition to ‘black on black’, there is now an ‘ash’ color option which features tan leather accents and silver aluminum.

Impressions: the Leash

The new and improved Leash, in use. To remove the strap, simply press on the circular portion of the anchor and slide it up.

In my seven or so years writing about cameras, it brings a small tear to my eye to think about the cumulative hours spent fumbling to remove and replace camera straps. If only I’d started using Peak Design accessories sooner.

I’ve been using the updated version of the Leash for about a month now as my primary camera-reviewing strap and it’s largely been a good experience. Peak Design sent several of their new Anchor Links along with the review samples and I’ve been able to keep them on the different cameras I’ve been juggling. The Leash ships with four of these little connectors, and an additional 4 will set you back $ 20.

The old Anchor Links (left) and the newly-designed ones. Both have the same weight limit.

As mentioned above, the Anchor Links have been redesigned to play nice with narrow eyelets. Still, I ran into several occasions in which I struggled to affix them to certain cameras. Ultimately with the help of a push pin, I found success.

Back to the strap itself: I’m quite fond of the width of the Leash. Thick straps tend to get in my way and irritate my neck. And the nylon material of the Leash seems reassuringly strong.

That said, in general I found the strap too slippery. Sometimes I like to bike with a camera slung around my back. I could not do this with the Leash because my camera kept sliding forward. Simply put, the Leash could definitely benefit from some sort of grip or padding.

It’s nice to have two points of adjustment though (the previous version had one). However I can’t help but feel like the leather strip connected to the buckle – meant for easy adjustments – is over-engineered. Grabbing the buckle alone seems like an adequate method of adjusting. Furthermore, the leather strip makes loosening the strap easy, but tightening the strap is another story.

After a fair trial, I do not think I would purchase a Leash to use on my personal camera. More likely: I will consider Frankenstein-ing my current leather strap to use Peak Design’s Anchor Links and Strap Connectors for easy removable.

Impressions: the Cuff

I had less opportunity to try out the Cuff (I’ve been testing cameras too large to warrant a wrist strap), but I did spend a little time with it on a Ricoh GR as well as a Leica M6. And my impressions of it are almost entirely positive.

The leather portion of the Cuff hides a small magnet that can be moved up around. Why? So that when you are not using the Cuff, you can easily store it out of the way as a bracelet. The Cuff also features a new aluminum adjuster. It simply slides up and down, but works as intended.

When not using the Cuff, it can be folded up and worn like a bracelet. This keeps it out of the way, but at hand, until it is needed again.

One issue I did encounter while testing the Cuff is the nylon loop on the Anchor Links can feel too short, forcing you to grip the Anchor Connector along with the camera (see image below). Peak Design, if you are reading this, pretty please offer an Anchor Link with a longer cord.

I wish the cord on the Anchor Links were longer to avoid getting in the way of gripping the camera.

The Cuff may be a tad overkill for a camera as small and light as the Ricoh GR (shown above) but proved appropriate for shooting with a Leica M6 + 40mm Rokkor combo. It also looked darn nice attached to the latter.


Overall, as far as quick attaching strap systems go, I’ve yet to find one I like better. Both of these products are well-made and seem both reliable and durable. Though there are aspects of the Leash I still feel could be improved upon, the Cuff is one of the best-engineered and nicest-looking wrist straps I’ve used.

Overall, as far as quick attaching strap systems go, I’ve yet to find one I prefer more. Both these products are well-made and seem both reliable and durable.

The original Leash and Cuff retailed for $ 20 and $ 35 respectably. The new versions are $ 30 and $ 40. For a decent camera strap, $ 40 does not strike me as outrageous, but $ 30 for a wrist strap is certainly on the pricey side. Ultimately, I think I could justify the latter purchase, because there really isn’t any wrist strap quite like the updated Leash (especially the magnet bit). And the ‘ash’ color option sure looks fly. I’ll probably skip the Leash though.

What I like about the system:

  • Peak Design’s Anchor Links make it simple to remove and replace a strap
  • The cord portion of the Anchor Links is now narrower than before for cameras with small eyelets
  • New ‘Ash’ colorway is quite sharp-looking

What I didn’t like about the system:

  • Metal hardware on a shoulder/wrist strap can scratch your camera
  • The loop on Anchors Link is too short, gets in the way of gripping some cameras
I am not a fan of the new easy-grip strap adjusters on the Leash. They make it easy to loosen to the strap but difficult to tighten it.

What I like about the Leash:

  • Narrow strap with mostly low-profile design stays out of the way when shooting
  • Two strap adjustments points

What I didn’t like about the Leash:

  • Leash has has no grip to stop it from sliding or padding for shoulder
  • Leash quick adjusters feel over-engineered and have difficult time tightening the strap
The Cuff in ‘ash’ has a classy look.

What I like about the Cuff:

  • Movable magnet in Cuff is a nice touch, makes it easy to store wrist strap as bracelet when not in use
  • New strap adjuster is simple but effective way to tighten or loosen the Cuff

What I didn’t like about the Cuff:

  • $ 30 is a tad pricey for a wrist strap

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Art of Wearable Tech: 10 Fashionable Designs Help with Fun, Sex & Self-Defense

03 Aug

[ By SA Rogers in Gadgets & Geekery & Technology. ]

Not all wearable tech has to be a tiny smartphone on your wrist or a device that tracks how many steps you’ve taken – it can also record your memories as you see them, visibly react to your emotions, flirt with people on your behalf, warn others they’re invading your personal space or even measure your sexual performance. These unconventional wearables are also a little less dorky than usual, aiming to blend fashion and technology in a way that’s exciting,  beautiful and sometimes strange.

Robotic Jewelry by MIT Media Lab

What look, at first, like jewels or little bulbous decorative accents on a blouse suddenly start crawling around like they’ve got minds of their own. ‘Kino’ is a collection of ‘living’ jewelry from MIT Media Lab, designed to reconfigure itself in response to environmental conditions. “It is our vision that in the future, these robots will be miniaturized to the extend that they can be seamlessly integrated into existing practices of body ornamentation. With the addition of kinetic capabilities, traditionally static jewelry and accessories will start displaying life-like qualities, learning, shifting, and reconfiguring to the needs and prefereces of the wearer, also assisting in fluid presentation of self.”

Lumoscura Smog Mask by Stephanie Liu

Dazzling fiber optics inspired by shimmering white peacock feathers make the need to wear a smog mask at least a little bit more fashionable. Says designer Stephanie Liu, “Masks have always been associated with disease, fear and negativity. Some wear it in public to hide their identities, in reality it attracts attention and can generate fear and stress amongst those in their immediate surroundings. As air pollution becomes more and more of an issue in many countries, people have begun to surrender to wearing a mask for the sake of their health, however there are still a lot of people who do not wear masks for many reasons – the top three being unattractive, uncomfortable and repelling people.”

Smart Self-Defense Spider Dress by Anouk Wipprecht

People might be less likely to mess with you if the mechanical spider you’re wearing as a dress makes a sudden move. That’s the idea behind the Smart Spider Dress by Anouk Wipprecht, powered by Intel Edison. The legs of the spider constantly move, reacting to the wearer’s real-time biometrics as well as violations of social norms, like when someone invades their personal space. “Since the system based with mechanic spider legs is literally hosted on the shoulders of the wearer and attacks using the same viewing angle as the wearer, the system knows how you feel and adapts to those feelings,” says Wipprecht.

MIT Duoskin Temporary Electrical Tattoos

Anyone can create functional devices directly attached to their skin, including lights and controls for mobile devices, using an electricity-conducting gold leaf paint in a fun design that makes it look like a metallic tattoo. “We believe that in the future, on-skin electronics will no longer be black-boxed and mystified; instead they will converge toward user friendliness, extensibility, and aesthetics of body decorations, forming a DuoSkin integrated to the extent that it has seemingly disappeared,” says MIT, who refer to the project as ‘digital skin jewelry.’

i.Con Smart Condom Ring Measures Performance

No more boasting about your performance using inaccurate figures. The i.Con smart condom ring by British Condoms will know exactly how long you last, how many positions you used, ‘velocity of thrusts,’ ‘girth’ and other data, sending the information straight to your smartphone via bluetooth. One positive of this technology is, it can give users a way to measure improvement if their data is disappointing and they want to work on things. But perhaps even more valuable is the fact that the wearable comes with an ‘antibodies filter’ to detect the presence of sexually transmitted infections.

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No More Ugly Apartment Buildings: 13 Designs Refreshing the Paradigm

25 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Apartment buildings are typically so hideous, it’s kind of exhausting. A structure with some measure of character gets knocked down in a prominent spot and before locals dare to dream that something cool might go up in its place, there’s another boring old block of apartments (or worse yet, condos) adding to the dull architectural noise of the city. Of course, it’s all subjective. You could argue, fairly enough, that pretty much all new apartment buildings are ugly, and that trying to make them ‘cool’ results in an even more irritating visual offense. What do you think – are these 13 designs switching up the same-old same-old in a positive way?

Lots of Light: 9 Units at the Apartment in Kamitakada

Developers looking to squeeze big bucks out of a project by creating high-end luxury housing are a lot more motivated to build structures that are more interesting than usual, but every now and then, there’s the rare project that gives some aesthetic consideration to a building that’s actually affordable to the average city resident. Takeshi Yamagata Architects designed this 9-unit building in Tokyo as a cluster of four buildings connected by open-air pathways, integrating gardens, curving walls and lots of windows for the feel of an urban refuge minus the multi-million-dollar price tag.

325 Kent by SHoP Architects

Currently under construction on the site of an old Domino sugar factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the 325 Kent project by SHoP Architects is part of a redevelopment masterplan transforming the refinery into a 380,000-square-foot complex with a waterfront park and four residential buildings containing 2,800 rental units. SHoP’s building will house 522 of those apartments in a 16-story structure, arranged around a dramatic elevated courtyard. The units at the top will be stepped to create a series of spacious outdoor terraces. Nope – this one isn’t going to be cheap.

Pixelated Concrete: 222 Jackson by ODA

Over in Queens, the 11-story 2222 Jackson building by ODA features a pixelated concrete facade creating voids and projections for shade, privacy and outdoor spaces. Located just steps away from MoMA PS1, the building is conceived as a modular grid, giving it about 30% more outdoor space than the same-sized building with the same number of units arranged in a more typical shape.

Parasitic Growth: Plug-In City 75 by Stephane Malka

Commissioned to update and expand a 1970s-era building in Paris, architect Stéphane Malka proposes a system of parasitic wooden cubes that would attach to the facade, extending the living space and reducing the structure’s energy consumption by 75 percent. The unusual design would help mitigate problems with poor insulation and permeable windows while adhering to the city’s restrictive building laws, which don’t allow architects to build vertically.

Contemporary and Complimentary: p17 Housing in Milan

How do you sensitively design a new apartment complex that will blend in with a historic neighborhood while reflecting the era in which it’s being built? For P17, a residential housing complex in Milan, Italian architectural firm Modourbano harmonizes with surrounding buildings while retaining a contemporary feel, thanks to the beautiful natural hues in its sandstone facade.

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Bold Boats: 15 Wild, Fantastical & Futuristic Nautical Designs

12 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

File these awesome boat and watercraft designs under ‘things you’ll wish you had access to this summer.’ Who wouldn’t want their very own personal submarine, or a house boat shaped like a UFO? Some of these wild-sounding creations are concepts – like automated, self-piloted cargo ships and yachts shaped like giant illuminated swans – but others are available to rent or purchase right now.

UFO Houseboat by Jet Capsule

This UFO-shaped fiberglass floating object features a main living area with kitchen, bathroom an storage in its above-water level, while the submerged level contains a bedroom and second bathroom. Or, you could commission one to hold a floating restaurant, gym or hotel reception area. They’re powered by electric engines that push them along at a speed of about nine knots, and their batteries are charged by solar panels, wind turbines and water turbines. The manufacturer, Jet Capsule, will reportedly be ready to start shipping these out via helicopter in 2018.

Quadrofoil: Electric Hydrofoiling Personal Watercraft

This thing looks like a mechanical animal galloping through the water. It also looks really fun to ride in. The Quadrofoil gets a top speed of 21 knots and features an electric engine that can be fully charged in under two hours. They’re available for order now at the company’s website, in three models.

U-Boat Worx C-Explorer 3

This ‘luxury personal submersible’ boat by U-Boat features a 360-degree acrylic pressure hull capable of containing a pilot and two passengers, zooming around underwater for up to 16 hours at a time at a maximum depth of 3,300 feet. Plus, it’s air-conditioned. That’s pretty incredible! While it’s primarily geared toward scientists and researchers rather than the general public, it looks like anyone can order one, provided you have the cash.

Hydrohouse by Max Zhivov

A houseboat, dock, garage and water parking for a hydroplane all come together in a single nautical creation called the HH Hydrohouse, with all parts made from prefab modules so it can be transported by truck. It contains a kitchen, master bedroom and two guest bedrooms and a bathroom, and its upper canopy is one big solar panel array.

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Tread Lightly: 16 Clearly Stunning Transparent Floor Designs

06 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Drawing & Digital. ]

Glass floors give us a glimpse at what’s beneath our feet – whether that’s the historical bones of a building, a swimming pool on the next floor, the city streets or the bottom of a canyon – while freaking us out over the potential of breakage. And yes, sometimes these glass floors really do crack, no matter how ‘unbreakable’ they’re supposed to be, including those situated hundreds of feet above the ground.

2 Glass-Bottomed Bridges in China

You’d better not be afraid of heights if you’re gonna cross this glass-bottomed bridge in China, suspended a stomach-turning 590 feet above ground level in China’s central Hunan Province. Known locally as Haohan Quiao, the bridge features glass panels measuring 24 millimeters thick, which are supposedly 25 times stronger than regular glass. But this isn’t the only such bridge in China. The second is the structure hanging 1350 feet over the bottom of Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon – and this bridge really did crack at one point under an unexpected volume of visitors, forcing its closure. This one is officially the world’s longest glass bridge.

Office in Oslo by Reiulf Ramstad

A 19th century villa gets a modern update by architect Reiulf Ramstad, while this transparent section of floor reveals the old beams hidden beneath the newer materials for a reminder of the building’s history.

Hotel Les Cols Pavellons

You’d never guess that just beyond the traditional-looking 13th century farmhouse at hotel Les Cols Pavellons in the Catalan town of Olot is a series of ultramodern glass pavilions. These ‘zen’ hotel rooms are like crystal cubes housing almost nothing but a bed, a glass table and chairs and a bath for a minimalist experience that’s all about experiencing the design.

Glass-Bottomed Sky Slide in Los Angeles

More than just a glass-bottomed observation deck, which is becoming more common all over the world, this attraction at the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles is a fully functioning slide that chutes guests 45 feet from a window on the 70th story to a terrace on the 69th.

Glass-Bottomed Suspended Pool in Houston

Houston is home to an awesome plexiglass pool that cantilevers 10 feet past the edge of the building, 500 feet above street level. Installed at the new Market Square Tower apartment building by Jackson & Ryan Architects, the skypool offers views of the Houston skyline, and stops passersby in their tracks on the sidewalk below.

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Tread Lightly 16 Clearly Stunning Transparent Floor Designs

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Nothin’ But Net: 12 Slam Dunk Artistic Basketball Court Designs

03 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

Way cooler than your standard basketball court, these custom-designed settings and hoops turn the sport into something like an interactive art installation in which the players ‘perform’ in more ways than one. Outdoor courts are painted in vivid hues or plunked on rooftops, hoops are reinvented in stained glass or set within the crashing waves of the ocean, and court lines light up and transform.

Pigalle Basketball Court in Paris by Pigalle, Ill-Studio and NIKE

French fashion brand Pigalle teamed up with Ill-Studio and NIKE to paint a stunning sunset-hued basketball court set between two apartment buildings in Paris. Gradients of deep blue, fuchsia, pink, orange and yellow creep up the walls of the three surrounding structures and out to the sidewalk to celebrate the release of Pigalle’s latest collection with NIKElab.

Carlo Carrá Park in Alexandria, Italy by Gue

The muralist known as ‘Gue’ gave the basketball court at Carlo Carrá Park in Alexandria, Italy a bright makeover as part of an urban regeneration and redevelopment effort. “The idea was born from the possibility of being able to cross the field’s space,” says the artist, “and to stay inside the composition and change the perception of shapes through the game’s movement.”

House of Mamba Basketball Court by NIKE

Leave it to NIKE to create a totally functional basketball court that doubles as a work of modern installation art. The brand teamed up with AKQA to develop a full-sized LED court for the NIKE RISE basketball tour taking place across China, utilizing motion-tracking and reactive LED visualization to lead players through drills based on Kobe Bryant’s training. Then, in 2015, they completed ‘Rise 2.0,’ a second version of the court with LeBron James.

Rooftop Basketball Court in Venezuela by PICO Estudio

Design collective PICO estudio teamed up with local and international firms as well as volunteers and community members to transform a self-built house that was once a drug trafficking venue in Caracas, Venezuela into a valuable community space hosting a recording studio, computer area, waiting area, kitchen and an incredible rooftop basketball court retrofitted with vibrant green steel framing and chain-link fencing for safety.

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Lush Labels: 15 Bold & Beautiful Botanical Packaging Designs

19 Jun

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

Representing all that’s fresh, lush and alive, botanical illustrations can make even the most boring everyday products seem life-sustaining, highlight the potential of a simple bag of dirt and turn takeout coffee cups into fashion accessories. They’re especially effective on personal care products, tea, liquor bottles and other products that go in or on our bodies. This selection of botanical product packaging is so gorgeous, it’s tempting to just keep them on shelves for decor long after the contents are gone.

Pure Health Products by Philippe Tyan

This series of packages created for a theoretical health supplement company by Philippe Tyan makes getting your vitamins seem a whole lot more pleasant with beautiful illustrations of fanciful plants.

Allis Gluten-Free Packaging by Maison d’Idee

Hummingbirds hover around an array of enticing flowers on Allis range of gluten-free flour (see what they did there?) in this series by Maison d’Idée.

Wolffer Estate Gin by IWANT

A special-edition pink gin by Wolffer Estate is set off perfectly in a transparent bottle with botanical labeling by IWANT design.

Superfly Juice by B&B Studio

B&B Studio created this ‘no logo’ bottle for Superfly, a new addition to Firefly’s juice range, which is a collaboration with one of the world’s most influential mixologists.

Vila Florida by Lo Siento Design

“This bar and restaurant is located inside a civic center with a garden, and the entire image seeks to evoke that atmosphere,” says Lo Siento design of its ‘Vila Florida’ project. “Featuring botanical elements and bright green as the only color, the result is fresh and natural.”

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Lush Labels 15 Bold Beautiful Botanical Packaging Designs

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Future-Proof Parking Garages: Autonomous Vehicles Drive Reusable Designs

03 May

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

As driverless vehicles hit the streets and shared car usage grows, forward-thinking architects, developers and urban planners are working on adaptable designs to future-proof parking garage structures and give them second lives.

Big firms like Gensler see the writing on the wall, predicting car usage will peak by the end of the decade and ride-sharing may dominate by 2025. The effect of this on cities and real estate will be massive, freeing up home garages, street parking and dedicated parking structures — nation-wide there are over 500,000 parking spots and spaces inside buildings and outdoors covering an estimated 3,500+ square miles.


Gensler’s The Mod concept plays to new possibilities in light of their predictions, featuring garage floor heights that will work for new uses. Its modular sections can be easily moved or removed to let in light and facilitate circulation. Built-in utility hookups also help make conversion easier. The firm has also designed a building in Ohio with three parking levels made to be changed into offices over time with easily-added facades and details similar to ones found on other floors (below).

Another such project — a 1,000-car garage for building residents in the Arts District of Los Angeles by Avalon Bay — is to be completed in four years, a long time in this age of fast-evolving technology. Accordingly, their plans include tricks to make converting this area back to other residential uses easy and efficient. This includes flat floors (rather than inclined ones found in many garages) so they can be turned effectively into usable spaces, like shops or community areas.

Converting garages will be a huge project of the coming decades, but so will rethinking the way new architecture is designed in the age of autonomous vehicles. Without people at the wheel, cars can park themselves in smaller spaces. Loading/unloading zones will be reduced and the way people enter buildings (from the street rather than a garage) could change dramatically as well.

Then, of course, there are streets — with less street-side parking, space is opened up for things like parklets, walking and biking paths (not to mention all of the changes to how roads will work). Accordingly, many designers, developers and planners are wisely anticipating these changes — still, their ultimate effect on the built environment remains to be seen as the future continues to take shape.

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Art of Typography: 13 Text-Based Designs Spell It All Out

02 May

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

The language of letters themselves is revealed when we look at their shapes as artistic forms and experiment with the materials we use to create them, whether using them as the basis of furniture design, climbing walls or intricately cut works of paper art. These typography-based experiments encourage us to look at the written word in a whole new way.

Typographic Climbing Wall by Gordon Young

4,000 recycled plastic climbing holds join up with 1,000 sea-themed novelty climbing holds to form a typographic wall spelling the name Barry Island in the UK. Gordon Young transformed a sea wall into an interactive landmark for a previously neglected corner of the shore.

Typographic Paper Cuts by Annie Vought

Sometimes consisting of sentences and sometimes just a jumble of letters, these typographic works are painstakingly hand-cut from paper by artist Annie Vought. A piece called ‘Gosh I’ve Been Here Before’ measures 53” wide and consists of sentences strung together in circles like the rings of a tree.

Playing with 3D-Printed Letter For by Thomas Wirtz

Designer Thomas Wirtz created his own typeface, 3D-printed a series of acronyms like ‘BTW,’ ‘FYI’ and POV’ and used them as forms for experimentation with physical media like ink, dye, fire and colored gases.

Letter-Shaped Desks by Benoit Challand

Individual works stations are designed in the shapes of letters to spell out messages in an open-plan office environment, where you tend to either find zero privacy or a maze of cubicles. Designer Benoit Challand aims to celebrate the beauty of large-scale typography while bringing some fun into these spaces, demonstrating the concept with tiny models.

Legible Graffiti by Mathieu Tremblin

Ugly spray-painted tags are a dime a dozen, and almost always illegible. Artist Mathieu Tremblin basically took any artistry out of the tags by converting them into basic typeface, showing us how nonsensical it all is when simply spelled out.

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Art Of Typography 13 Text Based Designs Spell It All Out

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Blackmagic Designs promises scopes for 4K Video Assist monitor/recorder

25 Apr

Blackmagic designs has announced a variety of professional ‘scopes’ will be added to its Video Assist 4K monitor/recorder. In the meantime, the company has also added support for ten extra languages.

Firmware v2.5, due in June, will add waveform, RGB parade, vectorscope and histogram options to the device. These can either be displayed on a black background, overlaid on top of the video feed or shown as picture-in-picture frames.

Waveform, RGB parade and vectorscope are tools used by video professionals for quickly assessing exposure and color. These are powerful tools, each of which gives a different way of understanding the brightness and color makeup of the footage, to help set up and monitor your video as you capture it.

‘Scopes’ being added to the Video Assist 4K include this RGB parade, showing the spacial distribution of per-channel brightness values within the scene, helping with exposure and color balance.

We were recently impressed when the Panasonic DC-GH5 became the first camera we’ve reviewed to provide in-camera scopes, but the addition of these functions to the Video Assist mean that they’re now accessible to anyone shooting with a camera offering HDMI output.

Update v2.4, available today, adds support for ten additional languages, meaning the device can now be operated in: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.

The latest firmware can be downloaded from the Blackmagic Designs website.

Press Release:

Blackmagic Design Announces New Professional Scopes and Multi Lingual Support for Video Assist

New software update supports 10 additional languages, plus a beta demonstration of full professional scopes for professional monitoring.

NAB 2017, Las Vegas, Nevada – April 24, 2017 – Blackmagic Design today announced the immediate availability of Blackmagic Video Assist 2.4 update which adds support for multi-lingual support for 10 separate languages. This means customers can now use Video Assist in their native language. This update is available now as a free update for all Blackmagic Video Assist and Blackmagic Video Assist 4K customers.

Also demonstrated at the NAB 2017 show are powerful new professional scopes operating on the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model, including waveform, RGB parade, vectorscope and histogram that can be viewed full screen for accurately evaluating video signals passing through Blackmagic Video Assist 4K. These scopes are shown as a development preview and will also be available in June as a software update free of charge for all Blackmagic Video Assist 4K customers.

Customers can see a beta demonstration of the new language support and preview the new professional scopes on Blackmagic Video Assist 4K at the Blackmagic Design NAB 2017 booth at #SL216.

The new scopes make the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model perfect for live production monitoring, as portable test scope for broadcasters, and even for balancing color when color grading using the RGB parade scope.

The new localized Video Assist adds interface support for Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. This broad language support now makes it easier for more customers to use Video Assist anywhere in the world.

“Video Assist has become an indispensable part of everyone’s production kit,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “It’s the perfect portable field monitor and recorder. The addition of full blown professional scopes makes it even more exciting and useful for customers. Plus, the new multi-lingual interface will make it easier for non-English speaking customers to use it!”

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Video Assist 2.4 update is available now from the Blackmagic Design website free of charge for all current Blackmagic Video Assist and Blackmagic Video Assist 4K customers. Blackmagic Video Assist 2.5, which will support scopes on the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model will be available in June.

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