#c0ffee is the colo[u]r

This is fun:

What real words are actually valid CSS HEX colors? Parsing an English dictionary for entries containing only the letters ABCDEF and limiting the result to words of exactly 6 or 3 letters length (#FFFFFF or #FFF) gives us some interesting results.

Although sadly:

#faeces refered a tad too pale

Emoji as modern gargoyles

James Vincent for The Verge:

Emoji are going to be some of the most recognizable icons of the 21st century, says architect Changiz Tehrani, which is why he decided to cast 22 of them in concrete and use them as decoration for a building in the Dutch city of Amersfoort.

“In classical architecture they used heads of the king or whatever, and they put that on the façade,” Tehrani told The Verge. “So we were thinking, what can we use as an ornament so when you look at this building in 10 or 20 years you can say ‘hey this is from that year!’” The answer was obvious: emoji.

Eastern Bloc matchbox labels

The Instagram account @matchbloc collects 1950s and 60s Eastern European matchbox labels:

Mosty – healthy refreshments. (Czechoslovakia)

A post shared by @ matchbloc on

Seasons. (Czechoslovakia)

A post shared by @ matchbloc on

'Watch military films' (Czechoslovakia)

A post shared by @ matchbloc on

The account is run by Jane McDevitt, Partner at Maraid Design, and Neal Whittington of Present & Correct—both based some 1,000+ miles away in the UK.

From Jane’s 2007 post on the topic:

My interest in matchbox labels lies primarily in the design but also the concept that these small images can communicate to a large number of people.

1950s and 60s Eastern European labels captivate me most. Why did this area of the world embrace modern design and imagery when many countries, including Britain, still preferred the Victorian aesthetic?

Subject matter is also fascinating. As with advertisers, governments were quick to realise the potential of these far reaching messages. Propaganda was popular but so too was public service announcements including fire safety, hygiene, money saving, alcohol abuse and road safety.

This combination of subject and design has left behind an invaluable archive of its time.

A post on It’s Nice That suggests that a book is on its way.

NASA’s visions of the Future

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab produced some retrofuturist posters a while back.

Imagination is our window into the future. At NASA/JPL we strive to be bold in advancing the edge of possibility so that someday, with the help of new generations of innovators and explorers, these visions of the future can become a reality. As you look through these images of imaginative travel destinations, remember that you can be an architect of the future.

Here are a couple. You can download full-size files (200 MB TIFF!) from the NASA site to print out.

NASA's Grand Tour poster

NASA's Mars poster

Digitisation and the loss of iconography

Sue Walsh on the shared meaning of images as used for icons:

Imagine if the words sunglasses, thunder, continent, and sorrow were suddenly replaced with a single, brand-new word that meant each of those things, depending on their context. How would writers respond? How would readers know which meaning you were seeking when the new word was used? This is what is happening to designers.

Walsh goes on to discuss the ways different jobs are signified in the board game ‘The Game of Life’, and posits:

And what about jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago? A Market Research Data Miner. A Millennial Generational Expert. Social Media Manager. What do those look like? What images conjure up fantasies to kids wondering what they’ll be when they grow up? What would those illustrations look like in The Game of Life?

A modern day revision of The Game Of Life