For decades MIT Media Lab didn’t have a logo; now it has the potential for 40,000 of them. Brooklyn-based designers E. Roon Kang and Richard The came up with a fitting symbol to represent the preeminent research center dedicated to the convergence of design, multimedia and technology. Using three colors plus black, the algorithmic design features three intersecting spotlights that can be arranged into 40,000 unique shapes and 12 colors. Researchers can individualize the logo for their business stationery yet still link themselves to the Media Lab. The concept is geeky, serendipitous, and a melding of math and design to arrive at a different way of looking at things.
Most designers know that typefaces like Poster Bodoni take up more physical space on a page than, say, News Gothic Condensed, and that choice of typestyle not only affects readability but the credibility of the message as well — for example, never, ever typeset the CEO’s letter to shareholders in Comic Sans. One thing that designers probably haven’t thought about is how much ink each typeface consumes on an office printer. Well, a Dutch company called Printer.com did. It compared 10 of the most frequently used typefaces on a Canon inkjet and a Brother laser printer (both set at 600×600 dots per inch), using Arial as the baseline font.
Placing manmade installation art in a national park seems counterintuitive since national parks were established to preserve and protect wildlife habitat. But the 1,491-acre Presidio is unlike any other national park. Set in San Francisco’s tony residential area, it overlooks the Golden Gate entrance into the Bay, the reason why it served as a military outpost for 219 years (successively under Spain, Mexico and U.S. rule) until Congress closed the army base in 1994 and made it into a national park. Today, the Presidio is a mix of forested hiking trails and historic buildings converted to other uses, including the Walt Disney Family Museum.
Its proximity to urban surroundings has also resulted in some interesting collaborations. In 2009, For-Site Foundation (a nonprofit dedicated to the presentation of art about place) in partnership with the Presidio Trust invited 25 designers, artists and architects worldwide to propose custom-designed habitat for the wildlife living in the park. From there, 11 concepts were chosen for a site-based art exhibition called “Presidio Habitats: For the Place, Of the Place.”