London-based production designer Óscar Díaz dreamed up a novel printing technique whereby a specific type of paper absorbs ink gradually. The technique allowed for him to create self-printing designs, where numbers on a calendar, letters on a card, or leaves on a botanical (etc.) are revealed bit by bit, so they are "growing works." Quite appropriately, his calendar design showed under the "Gradual" category at the 2007 London Design Festival. Each number on the calendar is printed daily, until the end of the month when the ink well is dry. So, the calendar not only signals elapsed time but gives a true sense of it. His plant posters grow up slowly, mimicking the growth of a real plant. In the case of his larger plant posters, complete growth can take up to four months. His Christmas card, which reads "Happy New Year 2008," took four days to print itself. Clever, huh? I have to say this is genuinely one of the coolest ideas I've shared here. Let's just see if Díaz can take a note from Gutenberg and make this printing technique commercially viable. To see his card in action, read more
Although my late nights at the library with a highlighter glued to one hand and a ballpoint lodged behind my ear are well over, and my professional writing is all accomplished via QWERTY, there are still times when my laundry emergency involves a dash of ink on my favorite Spring pants or crisp, white top. What to do? The solution is simple. All that need be done in this situation is pour rubbing alcohol on the ink stain before washing the garment as usual. The mark should disappear like a rat up a drainpipe. Tattoo ink, though, is another thing . . .
A new tattoo ink may make tattoo regret a thing of the past. Due to hit tattoo parlors this fall, Freedom-2 is a permanent but (relatively) easily removable ink. Right now, tattoo removal requires a lengthy, painful and expensive series of laser treatments. But Freedom-2 tattoos can be removed with just one such treatment.
The science behind this ink is pretty cool: The biodegradable, bioabsorbable dyes (such as cosmetic-grade iron oxide, a relative of rust) are packed into microscopic polymer beads. When they're hit with a laser, they burst and dissolve.
I'm guessing that tattoo purists will scoff—after all, if you get a tattoo, you know it's permanent. But I know quite a few people who wished they hadn't gotten a band tattoo on their backs, too. This ink would be perfect for people who want a tattoo for the rest of their lives, but prefer to have a little insurance policy in case they no longer want that horrible bottom tattoo. What do you think—would you get a tat with this ink, or do you think that a tattoo is forever?