Calculate the right measurements for design across devices

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New devices are always coming online, offering new formats, screen sizes, and pixel densities that you’ll want your product to accommodate. If Googling doesn’t give you the numbers you need, or you just want to show off your math skills, here’s a relatively easy way to determine the relevant metrics for your designs.

Do it yourself 🛠

There are six pieces of information you’ll want in the end: the screen diagonal measurement, screen dimensions, aspect ratio, pixel resolution, dp (or density-independent pixel, Android’s logical pixel) and the density bucket to which each device belongs. …


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The time, place, and identity encoded in a new typeface

This story is cross-posted from my portfolio at iamli.am

Girassol is a display typeface, inspired by the hand-painted street signs in and around Carcavelos, Portugal. The typeface attempts to collect, synthesize, and lovingly evoke the identity and spirit of the region in which the original forms were encountered, while acknowledging my own relationship to and presence in the place and the design.

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GMUNK on the psychedelic origins of his aesthetic and the importance of discomfort

In this episode, Liam speaks with Bradley Munkowitz, also known as designer/director GMUNK, unpacking Munkowitz’s scintillating psychedelic aesthetic — inspired by actual psychedelic experiences — and why it’s important as a designer to continually challenge and be challenged, maintaining a healthy discomfort with one’s own work.

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Liam Spradlin: All right, we’re recording. Welcome to Design Notes.

Bradley Munkowitz (GMUNK): Thank you. So you didn’t get all that ASMR talk we just had? That wasn’t recording?

Liam: No, but we can get back around to it. …


Exploring our shared vulnerabilities — and shared futures — in ink and code

In this episode, Liam speaks with interdisciplinary artist and creative coder Qianqian Ye in her San Francisco studio. The duo traces her journey from wielding calligraphy brushes to building a hand-holding glove, unpacking the vulnerabilities we all share as humans, how creative intent is communicated, and the importance of imagining other futures.

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Liam Spradlin: Qianqian, welcome to Design Notes.

Qianqian Ye: Hi, thank you.

Liam: To start off, I want to know about what brought you to your current work and how has that journey influenced the things that you’re making? …


On getting to know your tools and the art only technology can create

In this episode, Liam speaks with new media artist Harvey Moon in his San Francisco studio. The duo discuss how Moon’s work reveals unseen properties of the world around us, the process of creating one’s own creative tools, and the kind of art that’s only made possible through collaboration with machines.

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Liam Spradlin: Harvey, welcome to Design Notes.

Harvey Moon: Good to be here.

Liam: So, to start off with, I’m going to ask what brought you to your current work. …


Artist Conor Grebel unpacks the relationship between his personal experiences and creative work

In this episode, Liam speaks with Conor Grebel about how lived experiences inform and are conveyed through creative work.

Our conversation traces Conor’s journey toward creative work and the “ingredients” that help him craft soothing art for himself and others.

Note: The first half of this episode deals with topics of panic attack disorder, anxiety, and psychological abuse.

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Liam Spradlin: Conor, welcome to Design Notes.

Conor Grebel: Oh, thank you.

Liam: To start out with, I wanna know about the motivation and the journey that has brought you to your current work and how that has influenced the sort of things that you’re making. …


Bayonet Records founders Katie Garcia and Dustin Payseur on collaborating with musicians

In this episode, Liam speaks with Katie Garcia and Dustin Payseur, who together run independent music label Bayonet Records.

Garcia and Payseur (who also leads the band Beach Fossils) break down the complex relationship between a record label and the creative work it supports, the qualities of sonic design, and the magic of releasing an album on your own terms.

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Liam Spradlin: Katie, Dustin, welcome to Design Notes.

Dustin Payseur: Yeah, thanks for having us.

Katie Garcia: Thanks for having us.

Liam: So, I want to start off the same way I always do by learning about each of your journeys. Um, I want to know basically, how you got to where you are creatively now, and how the path that you took there influences your work. …


Host Liam Spradlin reflects on the first 25 episodes of the podcast

In this episode, guest host Barbara Eldredge turns the tables, interviewing regular host Liam Spradlin about his own creative journey and reflecting on the themes that unite the first 25 episodes of Design Notes.

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Barbara Eldredge: Welcome to Design Notes.

Liam Spradlin: Thank you. It’s-

Barbara: (laughs)

Liam: … very interesting to be welcomed. (laughs)

Barbara: Today we’re gonna be doing a little look back at some of the past episodes, and also dig into who you are, and what you do, and the lessons you’ve learned hosting. So to kick it off, Liam, who are you, what do you do? …


MoMA’s Rob Giampietro on how design shapes our understanding of the world around us

In this episode, Liam speaks with Rob Giampietro, Design Director at the Museum of Modern Art. Giampietro shares his journey from studio designer to design manager, explores the unseen details of a museum experience, and describes the responsibility designers have to create impact.

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Liam Spradlin: Rob, welcome to Design Notes.

Rob Giampietro: Thank you so much.

Liam: I wanna start off by hearing about your journey, both to design, and to design directorship.

Rob: I started, um … I was a … a designer, and running my own business very young, I think, relatively speaking. So I started a … a design studio at 23, with a partner, called Giampietro and Smith. And very quickly we kind of have had two main focuses to our business. One was design for culture, and for arts, so we had a lot of art galleries, like Gagosian, and White Cube, and Luhring Augustine, and things that we did a lotta work for. …


Vanity Fair’s visual director Clinton Cargill on looking at photography with intent

In this episode, Liam speaks with Clinton Cargill, the current Visual Director at Vanity Fair and former photo director at Bloomberg Businessweek. Cargill describes how he mastered the art of critically looking at pictures, what it takes to craft a compelling story with the expressive capabilities of photography, and why intent is central to creative work.

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Transcript

Liam Spradlin: Clinton, welcome to Design Notes.

Clinton Cargill: Thank you.

Liam: I wanna know about your journey up to now. So building up to being a photo editor at the New York Times, photo director at Businessweek, and ultimately the visual director at Vanity Fair. …

About

Liam Spradlin

Google Design

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