Aug 23, 2023

57 years ago today, we saw through the eyes of the man in the moon.

Hello! I’m Cole and Today in Design is my newsletter devoted to bringing you the best of what’s happening today in design. If you’re new here, join designers from all over the world and sign up so I can see you back here every weekday morning.


Good morning. Lots of reading today from Tumblr building (failing) in public to a designer’s observations of defensive design; We discover who is responsible for those smiley face illustrations of the mid-2000s and design twitter/x redeems itself with some discussion around craft; This is Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023 in design.


@aleksliving reflects on the impact of “defensive design” on our world
After traveling to some new cities last week, I've been reacquainted with the concept of "defensive design" – a practice that often devolves into cruel & downright inhumane forms.

Tumblr Labs division shares some insight into a failed feature
Back in June, we announced our comeback as a new team that would imagine big ideas for Tumblr—and would build them in public (aka with you). Today we're very excited to announce our first failure.

Figma’s collaborative tools could change the way everyone works
In an era of the distributed workforce, the company has become an essential platform for visual collaboration. It's a winner of the 2023 Innovation by Design Awards.

Meet Relume, the bootstrapped AI web builder that wants to supercharge Figma and Webflow
Despite the abundant venture capital available for startups in the current wave of generative AI breakthroughs, totaling $14 billion in equity funding…


Designers on Reddit discuss the origin of those smiley illustrations from the mid-2000s—and we meet the creator!
Funny story. I am actually responsible for these. I used to be the lead graphic designer in company that was pushing them out on daily bases. Made thousand of them...

How to maintain healthy boundaries without getting fired (r/userexperience)
I work for a company that went through two rounds of layoffs, completing gutting already under-resourced teams. Everyone is struggling to balance untenable workloads and there's a lot of humble-bragging about working evenings/weekends to please our new execs.

@JordanAmblin provides a novel approach to maintaining uniform button spacing when icons are not present.
You could wrap your label in an auto layout with 4px padding, and use 8px padding on the button itself. Should always add up with/without the icon.


Joshua Guo demos BlendingMe—a figma plugin for blending vectors
BodyBlendingMe is the optimal method for blending two lines, ellipses, or rectangles.



Lunar Orbiter 1 took the very first photo of Earth from the moon's orbit.

This was a groundbreaking achievement, and from a design perspective, it offered humanity its first real opportunity to view our planet as a distant blue-and-white orb, which has since become an iconic representation in many areas of design, art, and popular culture.

This perspective-shifting image impacted design and artistic representation in several ways


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