Betty Boop Is Getting a Modern Makeover

For the first time in 86 years, the iconic cartoon character Betty Boop is receiving a high-end makeover. Her new style comes courtesy of American fashion designer Zac Posen, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) reports.

Betty Boop has more or less flaunted the same look since she first appeared on film on August 9, 1930 as a caricature of a Jazz Age flapper: a strapless, bright red dress, black high heels, gold hoop earrings, and a heart-emblazoned garter. Posen will re-design Betty’s cocktail frock, and he’s also teamed up with Pantone, the world’s leading color systems corporation, to give it a brand-new scarlet shade. The hue will be called "Betty Boop Red." Laurie Pressman, Vice-President of the Pantone Color Institute, told WWD that it’s a “high-powered shade of red that has a hint of blue and a gravitas that embodies the character’s adventurous spirit.”

The transformation won’t end there. Animators Max and Dave Fleischer, who made movies for Paramount Pictures, originally created Betty Boop as a homage to the Roaring '20s. But to make Betty more modern, King Features Syndicate, Inc.—the print syndication company that’s the exclusive worldwide licensing agent for Betty Boop—turned to vice-president of creative Frank Caruso’s alma mater, the School of Visual Arts in New York City. There, a team of graduate students will overhaul the rest of Boop’s look for their master’s thesis project. They'll also design a line of Betty Boop-inspired apparel and accessories.

No word on whether Betty Boop will continue to rock her standard hoops, garter, and heels, but we’re guessing she’ll receive different earrings and shoes to match her fresh new style.

[h/t Women's Wear Daily]

Banner image courtesy of YouTube.

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Courtesy Umbrellium
These LED Crosswalks Adapt to Whoever Is Crossing
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Courtesy Umbrellium

Crosswalks are an often-neglected part of urban design; they’re usually just white stripes on dark asphalt. But recently, they’re getting more exciting—and safer—makeovers. In the Netherlands, there is a glow-in-the-dark crosswalk. In western India, there is a 3D crosswalk. And now, in London, there’s an interactive LED crosswalk that changes its configuration based on the situation, as Fast Company reports.

Created by the London-based design studio Umbrellium, the Starling Crossing (short for the much more tongue-twisting STigmergic Adaptive Responsive LearnING Crossing) changes its layout, size, configuration, and other design factors based on who’s waiting to cross and where they’re going.

“The Starling Crossing is a pedestrian crossing, built on today’s technology, that puts people first, enabling them to cross safely the way they want to cross, rather than one that tells them they can only cross in one place or a fixed way,” the company writes. That means that the system—which relies on cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor both pedestrian and vehicle traffic—adapts based on road conditions and where it thinks a pedestrian is going to go.

Starling Crossing - overview from Umbrellium on Vimeo.

If a bike is coming down the street, for example, it will project a place for the cyclist to wait for the light in the crosswalk. If the person is veering left like they’re going to cross diagonally, it will move the light-up crosswalk that way. During rush hour, when there are more pedestrians trying to get across the street, it will widen to accommodate them. It can also detect wet or dark conditions, making the crosswalk path wider to give pedestrians more of a buffer zone. Though the neural network can calculate people’s trajectories and velocity, it can also trigger a pattern of warning lights to alert people that they’re about to walk right into an oncoming bike or other unexpected hazard.

All this is to say that the system adapts to the reality of the road and traffic patterns, rather than forcing pedestrians to stay within the confines of a crosswalk system that was designed for car traffic.

The prototype is currently installed on a TV studio set in London, not a real road, and it still has plenty of safety testing to go through before it will appear on a road near you. But hopefully this is the kind of road infrastructure we’ll soon be able to see out in the real world.

[h/t Fast Company]

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Here's How to Turn an IKEA Box Into a Spaceship
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Since IKEA boxes are designed to contain entire furniture items, they could probably fit a small child once they’re emptied of any flat-packed component pieces. This means they have great potential as makeshift forts—or even as play spaceships, according to one of the Swedish furniture brand’s print ads, which was spotted by Design Taxi.

First highlighted by Ads of the World, the advertisement—which was created by Miami Ad School, New York—shows that IKEA is helping customers transform used boxes into build-it-yourself “SPÄCE SHIPS” for children. The company provides play kits, which come with both an instruction manual and cardboard "tools" for tiny builders to wield during the construction process.

As for the furniture boxes themselves, they're emblazoned with the words “You see a box, they see a spaceship." As if you won't be climbing into the completed product along with the kids …

Check out the ad below:

[h/t Design Taxi]


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