How people are represented matters because it’s in popular media that our social world is both constructed and reflected back at us.

– Ruby Hamad


Featured illustrator: Igor Kozak

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 64!

View/share online

It’s crunch time here at Offscreen HQ (i.e. the tiny desk at my shared office space). Lots to do before the printing of issue 22 kicks off on Monday next week. So once again, I’ll keep my opening notes short this week and just urge you to watch Sacha Baron Cohen’s speech (see below) if you haven’t done so already. – Kai

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Apps & Sites

Mouseless →

Shortcuts cheat sheet & trainer

This Mac menu bar app combines a searchable database of thousands of shortcuts (conveniently detecting what app you are currently using) and a training feature that helps you learn and remember those shortcuts.

Who Can Use →

Colour contrast checker & previewer

Who Can Use is a web-based tool that “brings attention and understanding to how colour contrast can affect different people with visual impairments.” It also made me realise how many different types of vision impairments there are. 👍

Smallpdf →

PDF editor

A powerful, web-based tool that lets you do all kinds of fun things with your PDF: conversion, editing, compression, merging, exporting in various formats, etc.

Monodraw →

ASCII art editor

The Mac app Monodraw allows you to “easily create text-based art (like diagrams, layouts, flow charts) and visually represent algorithms, data structures, binary formats and more. Because it’s all just text, it can be easily embedded almost anywhere.”


Indie Mag of the Week


Firewords →

A literary magazine of fiery fiction and poetry where the writing is brought to life by illustrators from around the world.

– Latest Issue: 11
– Frequency: 2 issues/year
– Formats: print & digital
– Origin: Scotland

Every week 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!




Speculative Everything →

Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming

“Designers are usually seen as problem solvers. Their function is to make a product better or more beautiful, or to make a process more efficient. But what if, instead of solving problems, they posed them?” Speculative Everything shows us how to use design as a tool to create not only things but ideas, to speculate about possible futures.


Bellroy Studio Backpack →

Sturdy bag with easy open mechanism

If I was in the market for a new bag today, I’d definitely consider Bellroy. The Melbourne-based bag and wallet maker has an impressive range of thoughtfully designed accessories, like this Studio Backpack with a smart magnetic Fidlock mechanism and a pleasing colour and material selection. Nice add-on: Bellroy is a B Corp.


Overheard on Twitter

During my interview today I poured some water into a cup and it overflowed a little bit.
“Nervous?”, asked the interviewer.
I simply replied, “No, I just always give 110%.”



Food For Thought

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Award Speech →


It made the rounds on Twitter, so if you haven’t watched it yet, please do. I never thought I’d credit an out-of-character Borat with one of the best ever speeches on the damage done by social media (and in particular Facebook). I also had no idea how articulate Ali G is! “Facebook will run any ‘political’ ad you want, even if it’s a lie. And they’ll even help you micro-target those lies to their users for maximum effect. Under this twisted logic, if Facebook were around in the 1930s, it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads on his ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem’.” Transcript here.

Bundling and Unbundling – Real Life →


Learning about the concept of ‘unbundling’ (on which much of the digital economy is built) will make you look differently at most tech companies. “Reducing the world’s accumulated complexity – businesses, institutions, or cities – to sets of discrete tasks or features requires viewing the world as a computer does: quantifying value, weighing costs against benefits, and disregarding ambiguity.”

Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable →


To be honest, when I first read this article a few months ago, the ‘woke, green urban hipster’ in me felt attacked. Reading it again with my defenses down, I find myself nodding a lot. While I still believe a more frugal, ‘green’ lifestyle is more sustainable than others, it certainly is not going to change an inherently unsustainable system: “Making our goods, economic activity or infrastructure ‘greener’ and more efficient without a major overhaul of the global economic system is not a long-term solution. (...) In other words, the more efficient we are, the cheaper consumption gets, and in an economy predicated on endless growth, the more we consume and waste. The environment will always be at the losing end of this logic.”


Aesthetically Pleasing

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Beautiful, unusual branding for a bakery.

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Ultra-realistic paintings by artist Niharika Hukku.

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Grtsk is a neutral grotesque font with 126 variable versions.

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I’m enjoying this unconventional office interior inspired by shipping containers.



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The Week in a GIF


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