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Cool Idea: Growing Works

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,



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