There are designers, and then there are design nerds–people who more easily remember the names of typefaces than of humans and who worship Peter Saville and Massimo Vignelli the way teenyboppers worship Justin Bieber. Perhaps one of the world’s nerdiest design nerds, Kevin Finn of Australia-based studio The Sum Of, wants to put your design knowledge to the test. Four years ago, he created a trivia series, called DESIGNerd 100+, featuring three volumes of 100 questions each from some of the world’s leading creative minds, including Stefan Sagmeister, Steven Heller, and Lita Talarico. These were printed on cards and available in collectors’ tins.
Now, in a continued effort to gamify design education, Finn has transformed all three of these analog trivia card sets into an app. “The genesis of the app was very personal–I simply love design,” Finn tells Co.Design. ” I’m a design enthusiast. I’m a design nerd. And I am very interested in education.” Users are timed as they answer multiple-choice questions about branding, design history, typography, publishing, and contemporary design studios. A “Hint” feature helps out amateur nerds when they’re stuck. “As far as I’m aware, there is nothing else like this for designers,” Finn says–it’s the first, and possibly last, design trivia app available.
Casual design dabblers will likely flunk the test–these incredibly particular questions require more than a Design 101 knowledge. But it offers the nerdiest of experts a digital ego-stroking like none before. Most people don’t care if you know the title of the 2010 Abrams monograph about American designer James Victore, but this app will congratulate you for it. (“You really know your stuff!” it says.) Other questions include “The world’s first graphic design museum is located in which Dutch town?” and “What promotional item, which was labelled FAC 1, was designed in 1978 to mark the beginning of the famous Factory Records Catalogue System?” (Answer: a promotional poster.)
For those who want a fun way to learn design history, or to brush up on what they thought they already knew, the app certainly beats dense, deadly boring design textbooks. “Did you know?” factoids will help build your cocktail party conversation repertoire–and they’re often juicier than you might suspect of design trivia. “Did you know that Jonathan Barnbrook’s Mason typeface, was originally called Manson–after the serial killer Charles Manson?” one such tidbit reveals. “However, the name was changed by Emigre Fonts, who distribute the font, after they received numerous complaints. The name Manson was originally intended to express extreme opposites.” Now you know, and can go lord your knowledge over the lesser nerds in your life.
Check out the DESIGNerd 100+ App here.