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Rugs With Soul, Made By Expert Hands
culture
ArtVenture
culture  /  art
Astroswag
studio  /  culture
Broad Exploration
culture  /  art
Hiding in Plain Sight
design  /  art  /  culture
Draplin Design’s California Compiled
design
So many watches I need 8 arms
design  /  studio
Flying Motorcycles!
design  /  culture
Foosball Tournament
studio  /  culture
To Iceland and Back Again
travel
Gateway to Space
culture  /  art  /  design
TWO phones too many: Astro x Krimston
studio
Dodgeball Uniforms
culture  /  studio
NASA Brand Guide
design
NYCxDesign Week
culture  /  art  /  design
Live Stream in 360°
studio
The Sultan of Suave
culture  /  art
Pins for the Win
culture  /  studio
Baller sound that won't drain your wallet
news
Getting Gifty With It
studio
Tahoe Snowcation
travel  /  studio
XOXO XBOX
studio
9.27.2015
Posted by David Whetstone
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NASA Brand Guide
The original NASA brand guide has been making its rounds on the blogs; we saw it on HYPEBEAST then found the ORIGINAL SOURCE. Here are some of our favorite images.
8.31.2015
Posted by Tom Galbraith
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Pins for the Win
With enamel pins trending in streetwear, we were inspired and designed our first collection celebrating our #FIGHTGRAVITY campaign. These little guys have proven to be popular, so save some space on your lapels for our next collection.
7.6.2015
Posted by David Whetstone
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So many watches I need 8 arms
The updated color ways for Minus 8's Layer 24 collection have just dropped in. In this follow up collection, we were inspired by bold color blocking, and userd the unique layer construction to create new, unexpected color and material finish separations in the case. New details include various enamel and lume-filled branded etching which adds depth to smooth case geometry. Look for new Minus 8 watch models soon.
9.22.2015
Posted by Tom Galbraith
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Dodgeball Uniforms
Airbrush painting has long lived in mall kiosks, county fair booths and/or street fairs. Malcolm Stuart is keeping this art form in thrive-mode working out his loft in Oakland painting his perfect mix of pop and beauty. Malcolm got his MFA at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Shortly after graduating he didn't really know what his next step would be, so he started an airbrush apprenticeship at a shop in Green Acres Mall in Jamaica, Queens called Art of Your Mind.
At Astro we love the quick vibrant color because we want it FUN! We are so glad Malcolm took to the airbrush, because now we have these KILLER dodgeball t-shirts. Check out more of Malcolm's work here and follow him on Instagram!
9.22.2015
Posted by Tom Galbraith
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Baller sound that won't drain your wallet
Motorola just released the Astro designed Moto Pulse on-ear headphones. These cans boast 40mm speaker drivers and bluetooth connectivity up to 60 feet. The battery also lasts up to 18 hours on a single charge. Yes they look awesome, yes they sound killer, but the real lure just may be their affordability. $59.99 out the door! The Pulse comes in two colors to choose from, black and chalk. Check out the positive reviews in TheVerge and Engadget, then go slap a pair on your earholes!
11.25.2015
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To Iceland and Back Again
Recently our designer Francois Dransart visited Iceland with his buddies. The week long trip took him through space-like sparseness to lush, gushing waterfalls and fantastic hot springs. He somehow got a drone through customs without a hitch, so now we get to see Iceland through Francois’ eyes. Enjoy!
12.22.2015
Posted by Tom Galbraith
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Getting Gifty With It
Coming from a long line of DIY designers, thinkers, and tinkerers, it’s no surprise that we at Astro take Secret Santa serious. After the traditional drawing of co-workers names from a hat, there are only two rules for the gift exchange. Firstly, you can’t make people cry, and secondly no live animals. The gifts often fit into a medium-to-harsh roast type scenario, but not always. Sometimes the gifts are killer hand-made gifts from an awesome person you work with. That’s just the luck of the draw. This was the 21st annual gift exchange, but the first for a good handful of new designers that were indoctrinated. Always super fun, and Karson in particular can’t wait till next year.
01.21.2016
Posted by Woo
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Broad Exploration
Last week I was in LA with a few hours to kill and found myself standing in front of a huge honeycomb-like structure. I quickly identified it as The Broad, L.A.'s New Contemporary Art Museum. The museum was designed by Diller Scofidio and Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, and the admission is FREE!
The Broad has an impressive collection of influential artists from the 1950s to the present. The first floor featured present day artists with paintings and sculptures by Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami. Perhaps my favorite thing there was Kusama's Infinity Room, a small mirror-lined room with hanging LED lights that seemed endless.
The installation continued on the third floor with works from the 50’s including Jasper Johns, the 60’s: Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol. The 80’s were represented by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons amongst others.
If art is not your jam, just go and walk around in there, just for the architecture alone. Take some photos (they allow photography) and post to Instagram. People will think you’re cool.

If you plan to visit, make reservations online to avoid long wait times. The infinite room has an especially long line because space is limited.
2.10.2016
Posted by Tom Galbraith
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Draplin Design’s California Compiled
We are super psyched to receive this new poster from Aaron Draplin and his Draplin Design Company from Portland OR. Astro is logo-checked in Draplin’s homage to the behemoth that is California. In this print titled California Compiled, Astro shares real estate with the likes of WD-40, Bigfoot, Thrasher Magazine and Pavement. We would like to thank Aaron for including us in this killer poster. Get one of these mega-rare posters for your wall here. California dreaming indeed!
2.19.2016
Posted by Dennice Quijano
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Rugs With Soul, Made By Expert Hands
BiYuu is a textile design brand that creates beautiful woven rugs. These rugs are led by Marisol Centeno, who founded the brand in 2012. The designer's vision is to create textiles with a strong vision of quality, cutting-edge design and social responsibility.

BiYuu takes care of our planet and pays attention to the current state of environmental precarity using earth-friendly, sustainable materials. Implementing small-scale artisanal production, BiYuu supports the custodianship of our natural resources.

Marisol Centeno, lead designer, works closely with artisans from Teotenango, Mexico where rug weaving has been a tradition for decades. BiYuu is a fair trade company and uses prices that balance with the market, respects local customs, and all while understanding the process and time it takes to create a handmade product.

03.03.2016
Posted by Tom Galbraith
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Tahoe Snowcation
Ahhh, Snowcation!

Check out the snowboard selfie-stick goPro skills of our designer Francois. We had a blast rolling up to Tahoe.

Most of our crew will probably remember the snowy peaks atop Heaveny, but I’m not sure what I’ll remember most. Will I remember the snow, the fish tacos, pool sharking, relaxing, hiking, thrift shopping, or the persistent rash on my leg from the hot tub? I guess it doesn’t really matter, it seems I’m set to remember it all. #snowisdope
03.11.2016
Posted by Sean Missal
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ArtVenture
February was a long month of traveling for our industrial designer, Sean Missal. He traveled up and down the west coast before making his way east, hitting up a variety of galleries and museums along the way.
LA Art Show
LA Convention Center
www.laartshow.com

My travel started in LA at the same time as the LA Art Show. This exhibition had so much breadth that it was hard to take everything in, but as a designer my attention was drawn to form and sculpture. There were a lot of pieces exhibited by the original artists from the Light and Space movement that stemmed out of Southern California in the 1960’s. The overall gestures of these pieces and the presence they held in the space was really inspiring, and the interplay between form and lighting was a great inspiration for its application in the work we do designing products.

Kehinde Wiley
Seattle Art Museum
www.seattleartmuseum.org/wiley

Kehinde Wiley’s work is impressive on so many levels, from scale and detail to content. While his past work focused on celebrities and pop stars, Wiley’s newest works tries to reimagine and empower ordinary people of color. Done in the style of 18th century portraiture, these pieces were massive with ornate details and striking compositions. Alongside his paintings, Wiley had a mix of sculpture and stained glass installations that drew attention to the details of his work as well as help highlight his overall message. Definitely recommend popping in on this one if you find yourself in Seattle.

Break Bread/Baker's Son
Think Tank Gallery in LA
www.thinktankgallery.org/break-bread-press-release

My favorite show by far was Break Bread, a joint art installation between Scott Hove and my friend Keith Magruder (Baker’s Son). The Think Take website describes the show best; “a whimsical candyland with a dark twist, Break Bread is filled with floor-to-ceiling cake sculptures, cake chambers, and a nostalgic watercolor ice cream truck.” The space was a crazy mix of art, light, candy, and installations. The contrast between Keith’s watercolor and Scott’s cake based work meant there was always something eye-catching that kept me moving through the space.

Corning Museum of Glass
Corning, NY
www.cmog.org

During a quick visit to the East Coast, I had the chance to check out the Corning Museum of Glass. My visit was brief, so I only glimpsed part of the museum’s extensive collection. They are world renowned for their comprehensive and celebrated glass collection, showing pieces from more than 3,500 years ago. The little time I did have was spent at the new Contemporary Art and Design wing. Not only is the glass collection amazing and inspiring, but the building itself is just as impressive, a stark flowing interior to contrast the colorful and delicate glass pieces. A beautiful space filled with beautiful work.
3.25.2016
Posted by Tom Galbraith
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Flying Motorcycles!
Astro’s Norio Fujikawa has been very active lately. Currently, Norio’s design concept that mixes motorcycles, space flight and Japanese animation is featured in Forbes’ Lifestyle section. Check it OUT!.
4.01.2016
Posted by Clare Nauman
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TWO phones too many: Astro x Krimston
Krimston came to us with a love for their iPhones and travel. But with the all of the travel came high roaming fees and a constant switching between work and personal phones. We worked with Krimston to design TWO, a, iPhone case that is also a dual SIM card, so all of a users’ contacts and information can stay in one place without having multiple phones. Check out Krimston’s Kickstarter here!
04.03.2016
Posted by Tom Galbraith
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Foosball Tournament
Last week, we had a gigantic blast competing with Frog Design in an action-packed foosball tournament here at Astro. If you didn’t know, we take our foosball serious here, or more importantly, we are serious about looking good while playing and winning foosball. We designed our first AFC (Astro Foosball Club) t-shirts and patches, as well as a gold trophy to match. Frog took the bait, I mean accepted our invitation to this evening of foos, brews, pizza and beats. With sheer tenacity and skills, Astro emerged victorious!Mega-good–times! We can’t wait to beat another design group in some sort of amusement game. Snooker, Air Hockey? Pop-A-Shot? Bring it on!
4.22.2016
Posted by Clare Nauman
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Live Stream in 360°
In the world of live video streaming, we are used to seeing video in two dimensions, with images framed up in 90 degree angles. With the latest work we did with VideoStitch, live streaming in 360 degrees is now possible. We worked with the VideoStitch team to create Orah 4i, a four-camera rig that stitches images together to create a 360 degree virtual reality experience. The tiny size means the Orah 4i is inconspicuous and portable. We also created the naming and branding for Orah, making a totally custom font. This little camera rig is making some buzz, and we think The Verge says it best.
04.27.2016
Posted by Brett Lovelady
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The Sultan of Suave
Recently I attended the Oscar de le Renta exhibit at the San Francisco De Young Museum with my lovely wife and daughter for a grand afternoon of American (via Dominican Republic) fashion history. ODLR’s genius is on full display in this collection. We especially enjoyed “The Sultan of Suave’s” work inspired by thematic locations like Russia, China, Spain, etc. in addition to his bold use of colors, textures, detailing and materials which were amazingly crafted and executed. He often designed for the America’s First Ladies and Hollywood elite, but just as impressive was his work and support for the struggling children of his native Dominican Republic. For more background also checkout his website timeline, http://www.oscardelarenta.com/world-of-oscar.
5.04.2016
Posted by Tom Galbraith
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XOXO XBOX
It’s with bleary eyes and callused fingers that we heard it was game over for the production of the Xbox360 as of April, 2016. Working on the Xbox360 console, controllers and family of accessories was the start of a long running collaboration between ASTRO and Microsoft. Originally released November 22nd 2005, the Xbox360 has since sold over 84 million units and racked up over 78 billion gaming hours played. It is fantastic to be part of the Xbox legacy, which also arguably set the bar for game controllers to this day (they’re still in production). We’d like to also Hi5 the army of creative people that bled into this product family, it was a great run. For more information about our design process and pictures of early Xbox 360 models, check our product page.
5.12.2016
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Hiding in Plain Sight
During WWI, around 1917, British military vessels were being sunk by German U-boats at an alarming rate.
In that same era, American painter Abbott Handerson Thayer was creating a lot of paintings of angels. He later became known for his influence on the development of military camouflage.
During the late 1800s, Thayer focused on disruptive patters in nature, and began experimenting with countershading. He was convinced that the military would benefit from the use of these patterns to camouflage troops and vessels. He proposed this to the military twice unsuccessfully.

A salient example of this is in a couple of photographs Thayer sent to the military showing how disruptive patterns could camouflage troops. To make his patterned clothing, Thayer covered his jacket with rags and patches and painted his face with grease in a manner similar to that of contemporary battle camouflage.
Though Thayer did not succeed, he eventually filed a patent for treating ships to make them less visible in 1902. His writing on disruptive patterns later inspired British artist Norman Wilkinson.
Wilkinson worked as a designer for the London Railway and British navy, creating art and communication materials. Wilkinson’s most notable contribution is the widely recognized razzle dazzle pattern. Razzle dazzle patterns are meant to distort the proportions and orientation of a ship, thus making it difficult to asses its exact location and trajectory

Thayer’s research and writings seemed to have inspired Wilkinson since the term “razzle dazzle” was used by Thayer to describe disruptive patterns in nature. In 1918, Wilkinson succeeded in convincing the British military to use the razzle dazzle pattern on their ships by proving that U-boats could not properly determine the exact location of a ship clad in this pattern. The margin of error for a torpedo to hit its target is 8º. What does that mean? If a U-boat determines the distance between their own vessel and a ship, they can triangulate and predict the ship’s positioning to launch a torpedo that will hit its target. By using the pattern on ships, the British navy increased the margin of error to 25º. That meant that British ships were being sunk significantly less, and much fewer casualties.

The success of the razzle dazzle pattern was responsible for saving ships and the lives of those aboard them. In the coming years the use of razzle dazzle was widespread, with passenger and cargo ships adopting the pattern to avoid U-boat attacks during WWI.
Soon razzle dazzle was so widespread that it entered the world of fashion. Between 1914 and 1920 there was an art movement called Vorticism. Vorticism sat right next to Cubism and Dadaism and is said to be responsible for appropriating Thayer’s “disruptive pattern” principles approach to create patterns for artistic and fashion purposes. One of the more prominent Vorticists was artist and fashion designer Sonia Delunay. The use of bold geometric camouflage patterns became a rather popular choice and some took it to the extreme.
By the time WWII started, the use of graphic patterns and camouflage became the part of the visual language of military uniforms and vehicles. Camouflage became a standard for military uniforms, such as that we can identify certain military conflicts by the camp patterns soldiers wear. In more recent times, patterns have become more and more technical, even though some of the more classic and fluid patterns still remain. One of the most important properties of technical patterns or pixel patterns (called ARMPAT and minecraft) is that they are designed in such a way that the eye converts the blocks into its surrounding by association. This tricks the brain to see things such as rocks, large animals (in the case of tanks), rather than the more common use of foliage.
The inherent beauty of some of these patterns has been co-opted by civilians and used in fashion as well as industrial design as much as the Vorticists did back in the early 1900s. The razzle dazzle pattern has gone through a resurrection during the past decade. We can see these patterns inspiring art direction, textiles, and set designs.

Military camouflage as a fashion statement became popular during and after the Vietnam War, and is still widely used in contemporary fashion. From celebrities wearing concealing coloration patterns to re-mixed Nordic snow camo, variations of camouflage are everywhere.
So next time you see a jacket like this OFF White one, where “concealing coloration” patterns are combined with “disruptive patterns”, think of Abbott Handerson Thayer, the grandfather of camouflage.
5.13.2016
Posted by Zac Maricondia
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Astroswag
One of the perks of working at a design studio is that we occasionally get to design some gear to up our swag factor. This time we did a collection of three fresh t-shirts featuring our mascot, Armstrong the Spaceman. And, because pins are in, we also designed a set of three very spacey pins.
5.17.2016
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Gateway to Space
Artist James Turell is well known for his expansive body of work exploring the materiality of light, space and color. I’ve been inspired by his work ever since learning about it in Art History. Recently his work was popularized to a new generation thanks to a certain musician who referenced Turell’s work for his Hotline Bling music video. What some newcomers to his work might have missed however, is Turell’s most ambitious and astoundingly massive work to date, Roden Crater. Viewed as the “magnum opus" to his prolific career, Roden Crater, is large-scale artwork covering several square kilometers and located in an inactive volcano in a remote region of Northern Arizona. Functioning as a “naked-eye observatory” and complete with celestial alignments, I find this project is truly awe inspiring on multiple levels. Although it is currently closed for ongoing construction since Turell acquired the site in 1977, I plan to visit this installation when completed (likely many years from now) and would encourage those who like his work to do the same.
05.19.2016
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NYCxDesign Week
While in New York last week we were lucky enough to visit a few of the design expos for Design Week. This is a series of design related events happening throughout the city focusing on various forms of design.

LUXE PACK

LUXE PACK was an exciting time to see what new innovations were on the market in packaging structure, paper materials, sustainability, and vendor availability. One popular trend we noticed was eco-friendly packaging and becoming more accessible and available in a wide range of luxury materials. Unique unboxing experiences were also creating a better presentation for the product and a memorable approach for the consumer. Paper printing techniques such as hot and cold foiling were also making an impact. Whipsmart had some beautiful simple packaging examples for Helmet Lang’s perfume on display that showed a hollow frame within the structure to cut down on cost and weight. While Mohawks collaboration with Conqueror was a favorite among the designers. They presented a very unique way of displaying their paper through printed material, books, and labels.

ICFF

ICFF remains the focal point of NYC design week, and the show reflected that status. Industry neophytes and giants alike shared their visions for the next year in furniture and home goods. A strong flavor of minimalism and primitive forms remained throughout, but we noticed a movement towards earthy and muted tones. One of our personal favorites from this show was the innovative and playful silicone rug collection Shore in London, and the the Bay area agency scene was represented via Branch’s Drift Stool in collaboration with Council.
Image from Shore website

Wanted Design

Located in the middle of Chelsea was the Wanted Design exhibit. It was a mixing pot of young designers and innovators showcasing their work from countries around the world. One artist representing France was Myriam Maxo who’s vibrant collection of patterns were inspired by her cultural and ethnic background. Walking through the tunnel you can see that the show is split into these international regions and that there is an overall feeling of unity within the design community. For example, Andreas Bergsaker’s work shows a beautiful, handcrafted, and minimal approach to simple structures which seemed to be a theme throughout.

Sight Unseen

Located on the 16th floor of the Grace Building, the Sight Unseen offsite was a welcome respite from the traditional trade show locale. With a focus on smaller and more craft focused studios this show saw a push towards bold blocky patterning and ethereal gradients. Many of the exhibitors were also the manufacturers, creating small runs of limited furniture, home goods, or textile lines. Germans Merics gradient glass pieces were one of the show’s standouts, as was Furnishing Utopia, a collaboration between 12 international designers seeking to bring the ideals and aesthetics of Shaker furniture into contemporary life.