CLOSE

Replace Your Inspirational Posters With Retro Patent Prints

For all the patents that end up going nowhere, a much smaller amount are destined to become cultural icons. The Game Boy, the iPhone, and the Kindle are all such success stories, and the team behind Retro Patents has found a way to make art from their humble beginnings.

According to TechCrunch, the newly launched online store offers prints of classic patents. Gaming enthusiasts can purchase posters of the patents for the Nintendo 64 or the Sony PlayStation to hang above their consoles at home. For designs that are even more old-school, there are patents for a photographic camera from 1962 and one of IBM’s first computing machines from 1942. The selection also includes concepts for contemporary apps like Uber and Airbnb.

In addition to making for interesting artwork, the pieces are meant to provide inspiration. Craig Watson and Aidan Sliney founded the social music app Soundwave together before collaborating again on Retro Patents. Watson told TechCrunch:

“When we set up Soundwave, we were always looking for motivational art to decorate our homes and offices[…]We used to find early screenshots of successful startups (Instagram, Evernote etc) and print these out and laminate them by hand! It was a good way of reminding us that every great company started out with a basic idea and not to get bogged down in all the other distractions that often get in the way of scaling out a startup.”

Retro Patents is the duo's way of sharing this inspiration tool with a wider audience. Prints come in two sizes—12-by-18-inches for $25 and 24-by-36-inches for $40—and can be purchased from the company’s website. If you're hesitant to commit to a poster, Retro Patents also provides links to all the original patents for your browsing pleasure.

[h/t TechCrunch]

All images courtesy of Retro Patents.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Pop Chart Lab
arrow
Comics
The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
technology
The Design Tricks That Make Smartphones Addictive—And How to Fight Them
iStock
iStock

Two and a half billion people worldwide—and 77 percent of Americans—have smartphones, which means you probably have plenty of company in your inability to go five minutes without checking your device. But as a new video from Vox points out, it's not that we all lack self-control: Your phone is designed down to the tiniest details to keep you as engaged as possible. Vox spoke to Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist, who explains how your push notifications, the "pull to refresh" feature of certain apps (inspired by slot machines), and the warm, bright colors on your phone are all meant to hook you. Fortunately, he also notes there's things you can do to lessen the hold, from the common sense (limit your notifications) to the drastic (go grayscale). Watch the whole thing to learn all the dirty details—and then see how long you can spend without looking at your phone.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios