In the 1960's, the signage within the NYC subway system was a total mess. The Transit Authority hired a design firm to come up with a solution, and thus the Graphics Standards Manual was born. It was a 3-ring binder loaded with pages that would dictate every minute detail of transit signage moving forward. Only so many copies were made, and most of them were ultimately lost or destroyed.
Not long ago, Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth discovered an original copy of the Graphics Standards Manual in a gym locker. They scanned it, shared the scans online, and the site became so popular that they decided to reissue the manual as a hardcover book. We asked Jesse and Hamish to give us some background, and explain the process of printing a book.
Our Technology category is home to the things the future is made of. This week we saw some mind-bendingly advanced stuff — from teen-made exoskeletons to skeleton keys. We hope you enjoy these cool and curious projects as much as we do.
What does this group of high school kids have in common with Tony Stark? If you said the construction of an advanced exoskeleton capable of lifting many times their body weight, you'd be right. The Amplified Juggernaut Assistance Exoskeleton, or AJAX, will debut at the Bay Area Maker Faire this May.
Sensors like an accelerometer and gyroscope help Ringo recognize stimuli, responding with LEDs and chirps. Plus, it's fully programmable and you don't have to clean up after it, making it just about the perfect pet.
The Qduino Mini is an itty-bitty Arduino-compatible board, and the first of its size to include a battery charger circuit and monitor. Use it to make all kinds of cool little things, like a binary clock, electronic dice, or an alarm that goes off when you burn your grilled cheese probably.
After funding last year's Fly6 rear-facing camera on Kickstarter, the Cycliq team has returned to bring you the forward-looking Fly12. The Fly12 illuminates your path with a 400 lumen front-light, and records where you're going with a 1080p camera — packing six to ten hours of run time in a single charge.
Oh, and in case their project wasn't cool enough, the Cycliq team also shared this video of some gnarly bike crashes. Remember folks, always wear a helmet.
Linda Liukas connected with more than nine thousand backers to make Hello Ruby, a gorgeous illustrated children's book about technology. Ruby has adventures, makes friends with Snow Leopard and a cute penguin, and helps teach kids basic programming skills along the way. The book will be published by Macmillan in October.
Horace is the youngest member in a circus family, and he's looking for his hidden talents. He's small, and shy, and not the most coordinated, but it turns out he's rather special after all. The illustrations are rich and the story is one of personal triumph — what's not to love?
Furqan's First Flat Top is a bilingual picture book about a boy getting his first haircut. The author/illustrator, Robert Catalino Trujillo, says "I want to reflect some of the children and families I see; I love children’s books and think diverse stories like this one need to be seen. As a parent, I understand the importance of encouraging reading at an early age, and this book will be in both Spanish and English, as I know the positive impact it can have when children are exposed to more than one language."
Dreamscarred Press published Andi Smith's Wee Beasties, a must-have book for any hardcore geek with kids (or nieces and nephews!) It's a bedtime story about baby versions of the monsters that typically populate dungeons and maul adventurers in Dungeons & Dragons, such as the Wee Cyclops and the Wee Troll. If you look carefully, there's a D20 on each page.
Jordan Stratford wrote Wollstonecraft, an illustrated steampunk book for kids 8-12, in which he invents an alternate history where Ada Lovelace (the world’s first computer programmer) and Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) meet as girls and form a secret detective agency. It was just published under the title The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Random House Kids this month.
Jonathan Tweet rallied over 1000 backers to help him make Grandmother Fish, a beautifully illustrated book about evolution for pre-schoolers. The interactive text encourages kids to get involved, asking them if they can wiggle like a fish or hoot like an ape.
Sometimes an old story deserves new illustrations to bring it to life for another generation. Allen Morris created 50 new images for this well-loved story.
This is just a small sample of the wonderful children's book projects that have been made with the help of our community. There are over one hundred children's book projects live on the site now, so maybe you'll find your next favorite kids' book here!