TLDR Design 2024-06-07

Monotype Readability Partnership 📖, Adobe Terms Outrage 😡, Shutterstock AI Licensing 💵

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News & Trends

Monotype joins academic group the Readability Consortium to make the internet more readable (1 minute read)

Monotype has joined the Readability Consortium alongside Google and Adobe to enhance research on font readability and improve digital reading comprehension. Based at the University of Central Florida, the Consortium comprises over 200 scientists and academics focused on developing better fonts for diverse populations and contexts. Monotype will contribute its extensive font catalog and expertise to help expand this research to non-Latin scripts and operational settings like medical records and transportation.

Change to Adobe terms & conditions outrages many professionals (3 minute read)

A recent change to Adobe's terms and conditions has caused outrage among professional users who are concerned that the company now claims to access, use, and sublicense its content. Adobe requires users to agree to these new terms to continue using their apps, preventing access until they do so. Professionals, including designers and directors, have expressed strong objections, citing potential breaches of confidentiality and intellectual property rights, and some are considering switching to alternative software.

Shutterstock Made $104 Million Licensing Assets to AI Devs Last Year (2 minute read)

Shutterstock earned $104 million last year from licensing assets to AI developers. It has formed a new multi-year partnership with AI company Reka similar to its existing partnerships with tech giants like Meta and Alphabet. Shutterstock's extensive library of photos, videos, and audio assets makes it a valuable source of legally licensable content for AI training, positioning the company as a critical player in the generative AI industry. The company projects significant growth in this area, anticipating $138 million in revenue from AI licensing deals in 2024 and $250 million annually by 2027.
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Opinions & Tutorials

Everyone's talking about Cara... but is it any good? (10 minute read)

Cara offers a familiar user interface that combines elements of Instagram, ArtStation, and LinkedIn. It also offers control over a chronological feed and separation of text-based and image-based posts. Its strict anti-AI policy, dedicated creative community, job board, and ad-free environment make it a haven for artists. Cara's drawbacks include limited reach, sustainability concerns, unfamiliarity, added workload, and potential exploitation.

How to Classify Your Design System—A Framework (8 minute read)

The Design System Attributes Framework is a handy tool for classifying design systems by flexibility, consistency, composability, and completeness. It uses a simple graph to help you see where your design system stands and how to improve it. The framework can help you refine your work and navigate the intricacies of design system strategy.

Measuring What Matters: The Science of UX Design (8 minute read)

Metrics alignment is not only a best practice but a necessity for creating products that engage users and achieve business goals. Teams can create exceptional user experiences by leveraging data-driven insights guided by a well-defined North Star and using them to inform product decisions. Using a fictional company as an example, this post shows how key metrics can guide user research, design validation, usability testing, and post-launch performance.
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Launches & Tools

Create Stunning Visuals for Your Site Builder (Website)

HeroKit provides a variety of customizable, visually striking website heroes that can be easily integrated with popular site builders like Squarespace, Webflow, and Wix.

Hand-Drawn Free Icons (Figma plugin)

This free icon set features 11,100 hand-drawn vector icons in a doodle style based on a 24px grid.

Design Everywhere (Website)

An ever-growing collection of carefully curated works from around the world.
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Miscellaneous

Skeuomorphism and the Morphology of UI (8 minute read)

The Froschauerbrunnen fountain in Zürich exemplifies how design can evoke history and meaning in functional objects. In digital production, designers must balance aesthetics, function, and meaning, often using skeuomorphism to incorporate real-world textures and create a familiar, comprehensive visual language despite early interface limitations.

“Leave the Dishes for the Algorithm”: How Leading Designers Really Incorporate AI (5 minute read)

Top designers discussed integrating AI into their work at NYCxDesign, an event organized by Adobe. Among them were Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada, Siying Qu of Private Policy, and Nishat Akhtar, who crafts brand strategies for giants like Nike. They each shared their initial hesitations and eventual discoveries about AI. The discussion focused on ethics and preserving a creative perspective, describing AI as a tool rather than a threat while offering an optimistic future for design.

To brand Connected Wight, Thump Studio distills the true beauty of their home, the Isle of Wight (4 minute read)

Thump Studio, a brand and design studio from the Isle of Wight, designed an identity and visual language for Connected Wight, a web portal that connects various island sectors. Featuring a diamond-shaped logo, vibrant pink hero color, and typefaces Manuka and Family, the design promotes interaction among residents, visitors, and enterprises, balancing energy with tranquility.
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Quick Links

Apple's Adorable New Stickers are a Celebration of Past and Present (2 minute read)

Apple has launched adorable animated stickers celebrating its past and present ahead of WWDC 2024 featuring icons like the Dogcow, a rainbow serif wordmark, Susan Kare's legendary Macintosh icon, and Vision Pro.

The Popover Drama (2 minute read)

A tweet about a slow-loading HEY Calendar popover sparked a social media debate on SPA vs. HTML-Over-the-Wire.

A rare use case for em units (1 minute read)

Using em units for the text-decoration-offset property in CSS ensures underline offsets scale proportionally with font size.
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