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