Science is organised knowledge. Wisdom is organised life.

– Will Durant


Featured illustrator: Harry Woodgate

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 52!

View/share online

I’m using this week’s intro for some Dense Discovery and Offscreen ‘recruiting’.

Apparently a double opt-in is not enough to please the AWS gods, so to help minimise fake sign-ups to this newsletter, I’d like to implement a conditional captcha on the DD homepage. If you know your PHP and have experience with securing forms (ideally not through Google’s reCaptcha), please reply.

For the next issue of Offscreen I’m looking for candidates for our ‘A Day With’ feature which showcases an average day of someone from an under-represented country. In past issues, we had people from places such as the Philippines, Egypt, Jamaica, Iceland, Brazil, Lebanon, Kenya, and Japan. For this upcoming issue, I’d love to feature someone from South America (except Brazil) and an African country (except Kenya and Egypt). To qualify you need to work in the tech/web field, be a fairly confident English writer, and be accessible via email to work with us on the text and photography. Send me a link to your (or your friend’s) website or Twitter profile so I can find out a bit more about you/them. Thanks! – Kai

Dense Discovery is currently read by over 43,000 subscribers. Support us by (1) Sponsoring an issue, (2) Booking a classified ad, or (3) Sharing this issue with friends and colleagues.


Research with PingPong SPONSOR


PingPong →

Recruit test users

We created PingPong to handle the painful part of user research: recruit, schedule, record, transcribe and pay users. So you can focus on having great conversations. Perfect for user interviews, user tests, and design sprints.


Apps & Sites

Blackhole →

Fast, secure file sharing

Blockhole uses the blockchain to host encrypted segments of the files you share. As such there is no one source of knowledge, adding an extra level of privacy. Large files are ‘streamed’, meaning they are available for download while they’re still uploading on the other end.

FontFaceDojo →

Identify and bookmark fonts

This browser extension identifies fonts on the websites you visit but also does so much more: bookmark your favourites, play with the font in real time, show all available weights of the font, get font pairing suggestions, and more.

Tempo →

Minimalist email client

Tempo is a native Gmail client with an ultra-light interface that aims to make writing emails more ‘zen’ by focusing on important messages only. (Mac only for now, but support of other platforms is in the works)

Rivers →

A Slack/Whatsapp hybrid

Rivers caught my eye as a comms platform that combines some of the best things from Slack and Whatsapp, but is not owned by a big corp. That, however, also comes with some big question marks: how secure and future-proof is a service like this when there is little info available on the (Indian) company that runs it?


Indie Mag of the Week


Homesick →

Homesick is a publication that showcases rare and underexposed archival content, specialising in candid interviews and imagery you’re unlikely to find on the internet.

– Latest Issue: 3
– Frequency: two issues/year
– Formats: print only
– Origin: United Kingdom

We’re giving away five copies to randomly selected DD readers. Keep an eye on your inbox to find out if you’re among them!




Fairphone 3 →

A phone made with care for people & planet

The newest Fairphone just landed and it still follows the same approach to fairness and sustainability: a modular and repairable design that uses recycled and fairly sourced materials. Visiting the Fairphone website really opens your eyes to how toxic (both literally and figuratively) our gadget-driven lives have become to people and planet.


Field Notes →

National Parks series

How beautiful is the latest special series of Field Notes notebooks? “Gorgeous illustrations of nine iconic National Parks are featured on the covers of nine Memo Books, which are grouped into the three 3-Packs that make up the ‘National Parks’ Series.”


Overheard on Twitter

The designer’s first and most essential task is choosing the correct problem to solve. Because if you get that wrong, every choice you make after that is irrelevant.



Food For Thought

Dear Designer: If You Want to Make the World a Better Place, Start With Your Day Job →


Mike Monteiro on the problems with ethical offsetting through charity work and ‘tech-for-good’ side projects: “I don’t believe in ethical offsets. There’s no way that saving 10% of the world while destroying 90% of it turns into anything close to a net positive.” (Possible paywall)

We've Reached Peak Wellness. Most of It Is Nonsense. →


No industry sells snake oil better than the wellness industry. Once you remove the fads, hacks, and PR bullshit, the basics for staying relatively healthy are surprisingly simple: “Wellness – the kind that actually works – is simple: it’s about committing to basic practices, day in and day out, as individuals and communities.”

Damon Gameau: Director, Writer and Producer →


“The earth is hiring.” Australian film director and producer Damon Gameau about the ups and downs of his career that led to the making of his documentary 2040 and him becoming an environmental activist.


Aesthetically Pleasing

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League Mono is a free, monospaced, variable font and kind of a mashup, inspired by some beautiful forms found in both Fira Mono, Libertinus Mono, and Courier.

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Nicolas V Sanchez is an incredibly talented artist and a master of pen and pencil drawings.

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The Consumer Packaged Goods Directory is an online directory of brands with standout packaging design.

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Jigsaw puzzle manufacturers typically use the same die-cut pattern for many different puzzles. With ‘Puzzle Montage Art’ Tim Klein combines different designs into new 'remixed' puzzles.



Emailancer are your fast and friendly experts in email template design and development. We can deliver a custom design or convert yours into code that works across all devices.

Discover Nobias: a free browser plugin and newsletter that indicates left or right leaning news and keeps track of your media bias. It’s like a Fitbit for your news consumption.

Jost Hochuli’s (yes the one who wrote the famous book ‘Detail in Typography’) type family ‘Allegra’ is now available at the Swiss type foundry Nouvelle Noire.

Faculty is hiring a frontend developer who’s excited about using HTML and CSS to help us build a better web. Join us for an opportunity to do your best work.

Classifieds are paid ads that support DD and are seen by 43,000 subscribers each week.

Book yours →


The Week in a GIF


Email us the URL to your favourite GIF and we might feature it here in a future issue.

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