Why are all stereo components from every brand just over 17 inches wide? As the new owner of a 16.75 inch wide cabinet, that is a frustrating discovery. If you’ve ever taken apart a modern piece of stereo equipment, you’ll find it is mostly air. I’ve never seen a piece of solid-state Hi-Fi gear that comes anywhere close to using the full volume of its enclosure.

Did I mention that I want something simple for stereo speakers and a turntable. No 7-source HDMI switching with on-screen displays. No 40-channel surround sound. No “concert hall” echo effects. No 100-button remote control. FM radio would be nice.

I could just use another Sonos zone, but I really want something with a physical user interface. I know, I know: why do I hold on to such bygone concepts as volume knobs? And power switches?

I know volume knobs are obsolete. It’s obviously much more convenient to take a smartphone out of your pocket, unlock it with your passcode, navigate to the home screen, open an app, wait a few seconds while it connects, page to the volume screen, and adjust the sound from there.

July 31, 2016 July 31, 2016 design by Scott 1 Comment

In my dream last night, I was confronted with a product so annoying that, upon waking, I couldn’t believe it doesn’t already exist.

It’s a Selfie Alarm Clock. You know, like a regular bedside alarm clock1, but instead of a snooze button, it has a “selfie” button. It works as you’d expect.

Go ahead: build it and get rich. You can thank me later.

  1. Remember alarm clocks that aren’t phones? 

September 16, 2015 September 16, 2015 design by Scott 5 Comments

I spotted one of the most famous living type designers in the vegetable section of the grocery store this afternoon.1 I would have left it at that, but my extroverted wife loves talking to strangers. “Excuse me, are you Matthew Carter?”

  1. In my defense, he is easily recognizable from being in two of my favorite design documentaries, Helvetica and Linotype

August 17, 2014 August 17, 2014 design by Scott No Comments

These are a few of my favorite things: “The 20th-Century Architecture of Eero Saarinen

November 20, 2013 November 20, 2013 design by Scott 1 Comment

Thumbs Down: The American Airlines rebranding. (See also the hilarious comments by Massimo Vignelli, designer of the original logo.) Why do all new logos have a faux-3D gradient on them? I think the post-Rand UPS logo started that trend. Also, doesn’t the new eagle head bear an uncanny similarity to a #12 scalpel blade?

Thumbs Up: The Swedish 7-Eleven rebranding. Fantastic and clean.

January 24, 2013 January 24, 2013 design by Scott No Comments