A magazine about programmers, code, and society. Written by humans since 2018.

Issue 068: Design

Welcome to the sixty-eighth issue of De Programmatica Ipsum, about Design. In this edition, we analyze the impossible dialogue between graphic designers and developers; in the Library section, we review "Design for Hackers" by David Kadavy, and in our Vidéothèque section, we watch "Helvetica" by Gary Hustwit.

The Impossible Dialogue, Revisited

During the preparation of this edition of the magazine, I realized that we have talked so often about design, that we might as well advertise ourselves as a design magazine. The reason is that design is a broad concept, encompassing various meanings, definitions, roles, and ideas. Or maybe that is because, well, software developers are designers.

Gary Hustwit

According to the Oxford Dictionary of English (second edition, revised 2005), the word "Grotesque" comes from the mid 16th century French word "crotesque". This is confirmed by Le Robert Dictionnaire Historique de la Langue Française, by Alain Rey et al. The word derives from the Italian adjective grottesca, related to grotto, or cave. It was first used to designate a certain type of art found in ancient Roman basements that apparently hurt some sensibilities. The Oxford Dictionary gives the following two meanings to the word: first, "comically or repulsively ugly or distorted". Second, "incongruous or inappropriate to a shocking degree".

David Kadavy

Few ecosystems react as viscerally and as brutally to "bad" visual design than whatever Apple has brought into the world. From the first Macintosh to the latest Vision Pro, the whole idea of making apps for Apple platforms involves, hopefully sooner than later, a severe and serious evaluation of style along with functionality.

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