Design Bites: Unleashing Ideas with Microdosing, Crafting a Sustainable Icon, Microsoft's New Font

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Tiny Doses, Big Ideas? Microdosing in the Design World.

The practice of microdosing psychedelics, such as LSD or psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms), is gaining interest in the creative fields, especially among designers, artists, and entrepreneurs. Microdosing refers to the act of consuming tiny amounts—typically about one-tenth of a hallucination-inducing dose—of these substances. After all, having an epic spiritual awaking during a Zoom call is not the goal.


According to a study conducted in 2018, microdosing may enhance both convergent and divergent thinking, thereby augmenting problem-solving skills and fostering creativity. Consequently, many professionals have observed positive impacts on their work performance and productivity. However, the effects of microdosing can considerably differ from one person to another

The rise in remote work and non-traditional approaches to creativity has sparked discussions about the potential of microdosing to augment creativity and overall well-being.

While microdosing psychedelics appears promising in potentially improving creativity and cognitive performance, comprehensive and controlled studies are required to fully understand its effects and potential risks. It's crucial for anyone contemplating this practice to proceed responsibly, under appropriate supervision, and with a thorough understanding of the potential risks and benefits. Getting stuck in a deep philosophical conversation with your desk plant during a video conference probably isn't a great look.

Behind the Recycling Symbol: Designing a Sustainable Icon

Ever wondered who designed the recycling symbol? You know, the familiar three-arrowed triangle we look for on our plastic bottles before with throw them in the bin?

The origins of the symbol start from a design competition in 1970. To honor the first-ever Earth Day, the Container Corporation of America (CCA) invited designers to submit a symbol that could represent recycled paper. A panel of designers, including legendary graphic artist Saul Bass and influential IBM designer Eliot Noyes, sifted through 500 submissions. Rising to the top was the submission from USC School of Architecture's recent grad, Gary Anderson.

Gary Anderson

Only 23 years old at the time, Anderson envisioned a simple yet impactful design: a Möbius strip with three intertwined arrows. Anderson pocketed a modest prize for his ingenuity, but the CCA decided to place the design in the public domain. This crucial move set the stage for Anderson's symbol to rapidly gain global recognition, transforming it into the international icon we know today.

Anderson modestly admits, “It didn’t take me long to come up with my design: a day or two.” Over the ensuing years, Anderson's design has served a greater purpose: it has motivated people to recycle, simplified sustainable choices, assisted in managing recycling programs, and fueled various green movements. Not too shabby for a symbol conceived in a couple of days, right?

Microsoft’s Shiny New Typeface

Microsoft has unveiled its new default font named 'Aptos,' set to replace Calibri across its Office suite. The designer behind this new typeface is Steve Matteson, renowned for his role in crafting Windows' original TrueType fonts and Segoe. Previously recognized as Bierstadt, Aptos is an homage to the Swiss typography of the mid 20th-century, infused with a gentle softening to avoid the rigidity of grid-based typography. The font has been characterized as "warm," "professional," and "relatable."

Aptos offers a variety of styles including condensed, monospaced, and serifed versions. Even though Aptos is all set to become the go-to typeface for Microsoft 365 subscribers, other fonts like Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial, and the rest from the selection process will still be accessible as alternative options within Microsoft's applications.

For a deeper dive, check out the announcement here.