The Design Huddle #17

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Design Huddle — our roundup of the best links shared in the Black Pixel design team’s Slack channel — is now available as an email newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe now.

Emoji Join the Museum of Modern Art Collection

NTT DOCOMO’s original set of 176 emoji, first released as 12-by-12-pixel icons in 1999, have been added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The designs were an immediate hit, adding an additional expressive layer to the severely constrained limitations of text messaging in the late ‘90s.

Examples of the original emoji set, circa 1999 (image courtesy of MoMA).

While popular in Japan, it wasn’t until 2010 that emoji were translated into Unicode, allowing for consistent use and visual representation across languages. Apple added emoji support to iOS Messages in 2011, and emoji popularity skyrocketed.

RIP, Thunderbolt Display — Hello, LG?

While Apple’s discontinuation of the current generation of Thunderbolt Display was an ominous sign this past summer, the final nail in the collective coffin was driven home during Apple’s hardware keynote last week, where Phil Schiller spoke of Apple’s collaboration with LG on the new UltraFine 5K Display.

The LG UltraFine 5K begins shipping in December (image courtesy of Apple).

The new LG display, on sale directly via Apple’s online store, was showcased along with new MacBook Pros, the latter of which are capable of driving two 5K external monitors alongside their own built-in Retina displays.

Apple Introduces Human Interface Guidelines for Touch Bar

With last week’s announcement of brand new MacBook Pros, Apple has updated its Human Interface Guidelines to cover designing for the Touch Bar. Recommendations include:

  • Considering the Touch Bar a contextual experience (relevant to the content a user is currently interacting with on the screen),
  • Designing for tasks that start and complete on the Touch Bar itself (rather than requiring multiple interaction points across screens),
  • And not exposing functionality solely on the Touch Bar.

National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years With Poster Series

Sixty designers and illustrators collaborated with the National Parks Service (NPS) on a collection of gorgeous new posters to celebrate the government organization’s 100th anniversary. Designers James Louis Walker and David Rygiol curated the Type Hike collection, with all proceeds from poster sales benefitting the NPS.

Examples of the new Type Hike poster collection (courtesy of Fast Company).

Alex Rinker’s design for our own Mount Rainier National Park is particularly hot.

The Mount Rainier entry in the Type Hike collection.

Tools and Resources

Google launched a new suite of design tools for working within its Material Design style. The first app in the suite, Gallery, is a collaborative tool for design teams, aimed at better organization of project assets and artifacts.

Facebook Design announced the release of its new Origami Studio tool, a new Mac app for quickly designing and prototyping within Origami. The app also includes the ability to copy and paste elements as native layers directly from Sketch.

For anyone looking to up their keyboard shortcut chops in Sketch, this resource is definitely worth a bookmark. It covers all of the default shortcuts, as well as offering an overview for setting up your own custom shortcuts.

Speaking of improving your Sketch workflow, Sketch Runner is a handy tool worth checking out. It offers improvements for documenting navigation, super simple search-and-replace, and on-the-fly symbol and style creation. For quickly applying color palette selections to multiple objects on your artboard, check out the QuickColor plugin from Cole Perkins.

GIF of the Week

This GIF is scary good and particularly appropriate today, All Hallows’ Eve. Initially released in 2012, Patrick Tilborg’s Human Finger Gesture Pack takes the standard touch interface gesture illustrations to an absurdly creepy end.


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