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Launched in 1995, Core77 serves a devoted global audience of design professionals, corporations, students, enthusiasts and fans.

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    Builders and craftspeople who work alone need to devise clever methods of achieving tasks better performed with assistance. Sometimes these tricks work great. Other times…they don't.

    That could have been so much worse; I'm amazed anyone would ever turn their back on such a thing!

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    A tool roll sounds like a nifty way to organize and transport all sorts of tools. But in my perception, there's really only one proper application for it.

    That application isn't woodworking. I know woodworkers use them to transport chisels and such, but the form factor doesn't make sense to me for several reasons. First off, look:

    Woodworkers do their work on workbenches, and to me, the wide spread of a tool roll takes up too much of that valuable benchtop space.

    Secondly, while this configuration here…

    …looks convenient for organizing by blade width, having all of the handles on one side means that when you roll it up, you get an odd-shaped cone, not a roll.

    On the other hand, if you pack the tools with the handles alternating, as with these carving gouges…

    …you can fit a heckuva lot of tools, and it looks very attractive, but 

    1) Selecting the precisely tool you're looking for seems it would be time consuming, and 

    2) A klutz like me is definitely going to slice a finger open at some point.

    I think the perfect application for the tool roll is this:

    If you're riding around on a motorcycle and it breaks down, it'd be nice to carry every tool you might need to fix it. The form factor is perfectly appropriate to a bike (whereas with a car you can just throw a toolbox in the trunk).

    This tool roll here is the best-looking one I've ever seen and it unfurls to a whopping 1.3 meters long:

    Since it's meant to be laid by the side of the road, there is no bench space for you to run out of, and I think it'd be helpful to see every tool at a glance. The tough leather is a good materials choice for something that's going to be sitting on asphalt or dirt.

    Sadly this particular roll, which was carried by German brand Manufactum, appears to be no longer made.

    Anyways that's my two cents. Do any of you carry tool rolls, and if so, for what application? Do you find the form factor useful?

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    While they clearly did not hire a graphic designer to lay out the type, this sign cost the city money to design, produce, distribute and install.

    And it's completely needless. The entire point of these two symbols…

    …is that they don't require an explanation and can be understood by those who cannot read English. Depending on your age you may not remember, but these signs used to look like this...

    ...and the current design is a clear improvement.

    Anyways, so here we have unnecessary signage tackling a problem that was already solved by good design.

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    It's that time of year again! The holidays are coming up, and we want to know:

    What's on your design wish list?

    This year, Core77 is asking you to Pick 5. Whether you're a tech junkie, a wood shop whiz, or an outdoorsy dad, select your top 5 gift ideas, share them with us between now and December 15th, and you'll be in the running for some amazing prizes.

    Here's how it works:

    1. Create a Gift Guide
    2. Get your friends to vote for you!
    3. Come December 15th, one community choice winner, one winner selected by our editors and a few runner-ups will take home something exciting


    Each Friday, our editors will pick 3 Weekly Winners to receive prizes ranging from gift certificates to MOO and Areaware to goodies from Hand-Eye Supply and Wintersmiths


    One Editor's Pick will win a set of double-ended Prismacolor markers.

    One Community Choice Winner (the guide with the most votes) will also take home something exciting—we'll be announcing this prize soon. 

    And three Runner-Ups will score handy multitools from Leatherman.

    Winners will be announced on December 17th.

    Get Started!

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    After hearing Jonathan Cheung give an insightful speech on the future of branding and retail at WGSN's Futures conference, we were inspired to speak with him in depth about his career history and current role at 164 year old denim company, Levi's. 

    Image Credit: Matt Edge

    How would you describe your current occupation?

    An orchestrator of ideas, a joiner of dots. I have the honor to work on the most iconic designs and in one of the most iconic companies in the history of clothing. The job of the design team here is to design better, beautiful clothes that are culturally relevant and that push this grand old company further—into the future. For that to happen, we need great people, so I'm lucky to work with wonderful talent. My job is to make sure we work with the best.

    What was your first design job?

    I spent most of my holidays from Fashion School working for different companies, and during my 3rd year of school I had a freelance job designing motorcycle jeans for a company called Frank Thomas. But after graduating, my first real, full-time job was at Moschino in Milan—working for Franco Moschino. The dream job. Moschino was the Vetements of its day.

    What projects are you currently working on at Levi's?

    So many! The main part of the Levi's line is my 'day-job', and we're just starting prototype development for Spring 2019. And then there's lots of side projects—from launching a new workwear line to the collaborations we do. I remember when we started working with Vetements and Off White in 2015, they were relatively unknown. It's been immensely satisfying to see them really become cultural icons. They are so talented and nice people too!

    What projects are you most proud of from your time at Levi's so far?

    Any time I get to work on our icons like the 501 and Trucker jacket is a proud moment, but I think what I'm most proud of so far is how Levi's has become relevant and cool again.

    What is the best part of your job? Worst part?

    The best part? Where do I start? I get to do the profession I chose, the one I love in a company that really has meaning—deep cultural significance—and it's based in San Francisco, California! There are things going on around this city—in tech and biotech—that are from the future!

    The best part is when you get those eureka moments, the epiphanies that literally cause you to jump up and down. That and the opportunity to meet and work with very talented people.

    The worst? Not that much really—like with any big company, we can be slow. I generally get frustrated when people look backwards too much, are too risk adverse and can't see that the future isn't just a linear projection of the past. But I don't see that as a Levi's thing—more of a human cognitive bias thing. 

    What is your favorite productivity tip or trick? 

    Get up early and be in the office (or just start working) around 7.45. That gives at least an hour of quiet, productive work before the meetings start. The trick I've found that really helps productivity is fasting 14-16 hours a day, which means basically skipping breakfast. I think there's some evolutionary evidence for this. As Nassim Taleb says, "does a lion hunt to eat or eat to hunt?". I've found it really helps focus in the morning, as well as making a positive difference to my general health. 

    That and make lists. 

    What is the most important quality of a designer? 

    Curiosity. Because that drives learning, which is the key that unlocks so many things. My definition of creativity is imagination + knowledge + action, and curiosity stimulates all of those things. Curiosity should drive to change, to try new things, to not settle for the status quo—to go out and taste all that life has to offer and bring those experiences back with insights that help you design better things. 

    Any advice for young designers trying to make it? 

    1. Go for it. Just doing something will get you very far in life. Don't wait for life to come to you, but be proactive and throw the first punch. As Amazon call it, 'a bias for action'. 

    2. Understand what makes a strong business and a strong brand versus a weak one. Answer: A strong identity, differentiation and control over pricing. 

    3. Understand what creates value. Answer: It's innovation and marketing! Value isn't just the tangible ingredients—the physical product—it's also social value. 

    4. Understand what drives desire—from the psychology to the neuroscience. Do some research into: Likability, Peer Recognition, Scarcity—Dopamine and Oxytocin. 

    5. Look for people more clever and talented than yourself, and spend time with them. 

    5. Look for the things where you'll learn the most—they are usually uncomfortable because the learning curve will be steeper. That's a good thing—it means most of your competition will also find it uncomfortable and give up. 

    6. Apply this formula to yourself, your design, presentation or pitch: 

    What problem do you/your design/your service solve?

    Why is it better than the current solution?

    What makes it different?

    Why should anyone care?

    If you can answer those questions, then you have something of value.

    How do you procrastinate?

    That's a good question. I think people are just realizing that procrastination can be productive—it's time when the brain processes data subconsciously. So instead of fighting it, it's about how to make that time more creative.

    Apart from surfing the web, just walking the floors in the office is good creative procrastination. You don't often get good ideas sitting at your desk, so help increase the chance of bumping into the next idea by walking the floors.

    That, and read a lot.

    A few of Jonathan's summer reading choices.

    Who is your design hero?

    I have many! The engineers Colin Chapman of Lotus and Soichiro Honda—I love the way they think—often brilliantly contrarian. The industrial designers Naoto Fukasawa and Jony Ive for simple beauty and raising the game. Shigero Miyamoto, whose creativity is breathtaking and makes me smile just thinking about it.

    In fashion, I've been lucky to work with amazing collaborators like Virgil Abloh, Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy. Outside of Levi's, My old boss Franco Moschino will always be a hero, and there's a designer who I've admired for many years, Phoebe Philo. 

    What is the most widespread misunderstanding about design or designers?

    That designers, and especially all fashion designers, don't understand business. That, to use an elegant English term, is utter shite. (tongue out emoji!)

    Two of the fashion designers I've worked for had a profound knowledge of business. Franco Moschino taught me The fractal, Pareto Principal. He explained that the wildest pieces in his collection were absolutely necessary for the business of selling simple suits and dresses. And Giorgio Armani's influence on the fashion business—pioneering lifestyle and diffusing aspiration into tiered sub brands, including restaurants and hotels—is as immense as his contribution to style. 

    If anything, it's way easier for designers to pick up business acumen than the other way around.


    This is the latest installment of our Core77 Questionnaire. Previously, we talked to Mika Piirainen.

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    Attention, designers—mark your calendars because the 2018 Core77 Design Awards will officially be open for entry on January 9! Now in its eighth year, the Core77 Design Awards continues to champion the principles of inclusivity, innovation, and excellence. Our annual collection of awarded projects have solidified the awards as a showcase of groundbreaking design over the years, granting awards to successful products such as the Nest Thermostat, the Biolite Stove, the Oculus Rift VR Headset and much more.

    In recognition of the broad spectrum of the design field, our Awards program offers 14 distinct categories, each further broken into dedicated sections for professionals and students. Each category is judged by esteemed Jury Captains and their chosen team members, which grants designers the opportunity to present their work to the best of the best in their respective fields. Past Core77 Design Awards Jury Captains have included industry leaders such as Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, Project H founder Emily Pilloton, and LAYER design lead Benjamin Hubert.

    Here are just a few of the projects that took home awards last year:

    Suzy Snooze

    Suzy Snooze is a smart nightlight that also acts as a sleep trainer and a baby monitor. The product is built to grow with the child. 

    From Farm to Market

    One team in the "Farm to Market" course utilized cider press leftovers to create a healthy snack for hikers and long distance sports enthusiasts.

    Montana State University's "Farm to Market" course took home the Design Education Initiatives award last year for its educational ingenuity—in this class, students from industrial design, graphic design, and business backgrounds were teamed up with farmers around the state to tackle problems related to farm food waste and using design thinking, figure out how to turn the waste into a profitable product. 


    Smart Design's design of the apparatus used by the startup Simprints allows the globalization of more advanced medical technology, even in developing countries. With Simprints, doctors around the world can more easily and intuitively identify an individual's medical records to ensure accurate medical treatment.


    Blink is a physical-to-digital experience that allows families with sick children to communicate through the language of light when separated during medical treatment.

    VOLTA Bike

    VOLTA is a stealth an elegant e-bike equipped with features such as anti-theft GPS tracking and smart lighting. 

    What are the benefits of winning an award?

    In addition to being recognized as an outstanding designer in your field, winners of the Core77 Design Awards receive personal feedback from design leaders, exposure to large media audiences, and are awarded a coveted Design Awards trophy. To reflect the multitude of people involved in shaping winning designs, the Core77 trophy was crafted as a tool for recognition, both symbolically and literally. As a functional mold, the trophy can be used to manufacture additional casts, allowing each member of the team to be individually honored for their contribution.

    The Core77 Awards trophy

    2018 Core77 Design Awards Schedule

    Design Awards Open for Entry: January 9, 2018

    Early Bird Deadline: January 31

    Regular Deadline: March 29

    Late Deadline: April 6

    Winners Announced: June 12

    Have any questions before January 9th? Feel free to email us at awards@core77.com. 

    Want to stay up to date on awards news, discounts, and deadlines? Subscribe to our newsletter in the orange box directly below.

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    As a Category Designer for Baseball/Golf, you would be designing Nike Baseball and Golf accessories. It would entail start to finish design work. Anywhere from future planning of the line to high-level design decks all the way down to nut and bolt design. As a Category Designer, you would be responsible for being the voice and vision for Nike Baseball/Golf equipment. You would be asked to attend high-level meetings with executives at Nike HQ, Insight trip meetings with MLB players and PGA Golfer

    View the full design job here

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    The amazing thing about the Porsche 911 is that it's essentially had the same form for over 50 years.

    At least, in broad strokes. With this animation from Donut Media, you can see that what we think of as subtle design changes were actually rather significant, spread over time. It's an impressive feat on the part of the designers, who have managed to modernize the car while maintaining the unmistakable form:

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    Want to design a furniture piece or interior that incorporates bentwood, but don't want to deal with the hassle of steaming? A company called Pure Timber produces Cold-Bend™ hardwood, which lets you skip right to the clamping/bending step. Check this stuff out:

    So how is that possible? Is this stuff real wood? As the company explains,

    Cold-Bend™ hardwoods are…indistinguishable from clear, straight grained hardwood because that's what it is. It has just been subjected to carefully controlled, but intense, longitudinal thermo-mechanical compression. The hardwood has been engineered to be extremely flexible (as long as it is moist). Once cold-bent by hand (or with jigs, clamps and fixtures), Cold-Bend™ hardwood is dried to fix the shape.
    Why does it work? It works because it can stretch. When wood bends, it has to stretch on the outside of the curve, which gets longer. Wood can't stretch, so steam benders use a steel backing strap on the outside of the curve to force compression to the inside of the bend (the inside gets shorter, but the outside stays the same length). With Cold-Bend™ Hardwood, the wood is compressed before it is bent. Therefore it can stretch on the outside of the curve during bending - no steam or backing strap needed. Since the wood is first plasticized in an autoclave and then compressed in a hydraulic press, very tight radiuses can be bent. We can bend it in any direction, make S-curves, twist it, and bend it on edge.

    You can learn more about the stuff here.

    h/t Popular Woodworking

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    Ben Rivera is the president and CEO of Leatherman Tool Group, which includes Leatherman and Ledlenser brands. Ben graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in mechanical engineering. In 1991 soon after graduating, he started working at Leatherman Tool and has played a pivotal role in the design and evolution of category-defining multi-tools. He is the mastermind behind the first wearable multi-tool: the TREAD.

    View the full content here

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    Aromea is a twist on the tea bag that gives you control over the strength of your tea. Its unique functionality lies in the innovative yet simplistic design of the packaging. Each bag features a two-axis, squeezing paper mechanism that allows you to extract the goodies without getting your hands dirty. Let it steep and then just give it a squeeze for an extra boost of flavor and aroma.

    View the full project here

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    This is a fun watch. Lowe's created an escape room, but rather than being one where you need to solve mindbenders to get out, this one requires fabricating skills and an ability with tools. Then they threw a contractor, an electrician, and YouTube makers Bob Clagett (of I Like to Make Stuff) and Grant Thompson (of The King of Random) inside and started the clock:

    I'd love to see an escape room specifically made for industrial designers. (Maybe at the next Core77 conference, boss?) If you were designing such a room, what would your obstacles be? I'm thinking they'd have to eyeball some part and 3D-print a corresponding part, without measuring, that fits into it to unlock it. Or they'd have to go back and forth with a BOM and a CAD file to figure out how to get the price down. Or, my favorite idea, hand-to-hand combat with an architect using T-squares and drafting triangles.

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    Looks like someone's gonna have a crappy Thanksgiving: The makeshift Baxter Street Lounge I've been writing about…

    The lounge, in happier days

    …has been shut down! Passed it this morning to see this:

    All gone.

    So much for the holiday spirit. I though the "disposed of as garbage" part was a bit much.

    Will keep an eye open around the neighborhood to see if the unknown lounge-makers find another spot and relocate.

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    Work for the largest consumer products company in the world! 4 billion times a day P&G brands touch the lives of consumers around the world. We are seeking a passionate, talented industrial designer to join our Gillette and Braun global grooming industrial design studio, located in the heart of vibrant Boston, MA.

    View the full design job here

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    Sound Huggle combines both headphones and earmuffs into one perfectly designed package. It offers warmth and Bluetooth-enabled audio that encourages you to explore the world around you with an industry-leading nine hours of charge.

    View the full project here

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    Hart includes some contemporary products like Max Lamb stools and HAY glass mugs, but she balances her list with classic items like a Braun analog alarm clock and Nest Magazine issues.

    View the full content here

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    Colen Clenton is the maker of a range of really wonderful adjustable squares and other measuring toolsthat we have been proud to stock for many years. I've never met him in person but we have chatted on the phone about this and that for ages from our ends of the earth. When my son was born, Colen sent us a magnificent rattle made of she-oak. He's a wonderful craftsman and a wonderful guy.

    This video below shows Colen in his New South Wales, Australia, shed workshop. I'm writing this from a Manhattan high-rise but I can admire his very different lifestyle and of course the reverence for craft that we share. Colen began his tool manufacture by making tools for his own use that attracted the eyes of people who coveted them. He speaks warmly and encouragingly to others who would like to earn their livelihood with their crafts. And needless to say, his gorgeous tools are scene-stealing supporting players throughout the video.

    One of the things I find most interesting about Colen's tools is that while they do exactly the same thing as many other measuring tools by other makers, their combination of design, materials, and execution makes them feel wonderful in the hand and amazingly satisfying to use. Watch the video and see how Colen's values and life choices are reflected in his tools.

    We stock the complete line of Colen's tool here.

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    Making the internet rounds is this incredible shot by nature photographer Inger Vandyke:

    The three horned animals are called Bharal or "blue sheep," a goatlike animal found in Ladakh, India. They're hard enough to see, blending into the environment as they do; but can you also see the snow leopard that's stalking them in the photo above?

    If you can't see the leopard, here's a hint as to what that animal looks like:

    If you still can't see it, try the higher-resolution photo here.

    Vandyke continued to shoot as the leopard eventually revealed itself and gave chase:

    No word as to whether the leopard got to eat, but there's an interview with Vandyke on the experience here.

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    Sometimes a client asks you for something that's a pain in the ass, but by pushing yourself and engaging that design brain, you're able to make gold out of it.

    Daniel Chaffin Furniture Makers, based in Louisville, received an unusual request for a dining table: "The client wanted to seat up to ten guests at times, while having the table function as an architect's desk at others," they explain. The architect client wanted to be able to spread full-size (36" x 48") blueprints on it, but "also wanted an elegant and simple way to make the table thin, minimizing its footprint in the space the rest of the time."

    DCFM's designers got to work and came up with what they call the Primmer Expanding Table:

    We chose to create a Dutch pullout system, [which uses] a series of rails attached to the leaves. Each leaf stores underneath the top when collapsed. To expand the table one simply pulls on the leaf. As the leaf moves out, the top lifts up. Once the leaf is clear the top drops down to its initial height.
    The problem with this system has always been the loud bang associated with the top dropping back into place. We resolved the issue by placing small hydraulic pistons underneath the top to dampen its fall. Now, when the leaves clear the top settles gently into position. The system works with minimal effort despite this unique application and the steep angles required to make such short leaves function properly.

    Here's how it operates:

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    Spotted on SoHo's once-glitzy West Broadway, which is now clearly in decline: Someone wanted a bench, but damn sure didn't want to pay for a bench.

    All materials were, I assume, looted from a nearby construction site.

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