This week, we’ve learned a lot: apparently people are still inventing colors. Corporations have their own uninspired “memphis” design styles, some of them are “blands” instead of brands, and designers are turning the Mueller Report into something we can actually understand.

Confusing by Design

It’s probably hard enough to read this entire email let alone the Mueller Report. And that’s not your fault, but the fault of the people who created it. What if design made things created for ordinary Americans into things that are also able to be understood by them, and not just the journalists whose job it is to read it? Here, an important look at how design can be a barrier, or a tool, for the people who need it most.

The Rise of the Blands

I’ll admit, many of the brands I think are cool and innovative are actually kind of lame. The hype surrounding these startup brands is infectious, and I fall victim to the sleek branding and progressive messaging. But when you take a step back, you begin to see that many of them aren’t doing anything unique. Let’s start thinking for ourselves and stop supporting brands that make $399 wifi-enabled juicers, or another fun electric toothbrush.

A More Inclusive Beauty Industry

Attention all beauty lovers! Today we highlight a new makeup brand identity that will be sure to pique your interest. Designer and creative director of Kulfi, Badal Patel, has created a joyfully refreshing take on a beauty brand. We’re not sure what we love more, the ethos behind this company or the playful vibrant colors. It’s a modern take on a traditional calligraphic script, with expressive illustration throughout this identity. The brief: To create an identity for a cosmetics brand that challenges the primarily Eurocentric beauty industry. Kulfi paves a way in this heavily populated industry with a new take, one of inclusion and representation for people of color.

So That’s What That’s Called

It’s good to finally have a name to put to what I previously described as “that tech company illustration style you see everywhere.” Corporate Memphis “makes big tech companies look friendly, approachable, and concerned with human-level interaction and community — which is largely the opposite of what they really are,” says tech writer Claire L. Evans, who began collecting examples of the style on an are.na image board in 2018. So whoever is reading this, do your part, and stop the spread.

New Blue Just Dropped

Cobalt blue is my favorite color. I get bullied all the time for that because my friends are like “just say blue.” However, what they don’t understand is just how rare the color blue is. So when I saw that scientists invented a new shade of it, I was geeking out. In a year filled with bad news, that is so cool, ok? If you are a blue fan as well, check out this article which breaks down just how difficult the feat was. Spoiler alert: it was hard.

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