Adobe's Fab 'Existential Calculator'

kelli_anderson5No matter how accomplished a print designer you might be, occasionally you’ll come across a project that drapes an arm over your shoulder and whispers in your ear, “You could be doing so much more with print.” This is probably how many designers felt at this month’s AIGA conference in Minneapolis when they beheld the “Existential Calculator” – an amazing print piece Adobe commissioned for attendees. It is a marvel of precision, planning and design.

Designed by artist Kelli Anderson, the calculation wheel is fabricated around the answering of a single question: “Should I take that job?” You find your answer by actually answering four sub-questions. For example: “When considering the working conditions, you catch yourself wondering…”

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Through the magic of diecuts, you turn the paper wheel until you find the best response for you, choosing from: “How much will this work improve things?” “Is it in your wheelhouse?” and “So, what’s the money like?”

“The physical design process on the project was a real pain in the ass,” Anderson admitted to FastCoDesign. “Surprisingly so. I made 15 mockups before I even got the thing to yield unique answers to every input combination.”

An intriguing piece, well worth a few pains in the posterior (sorry Kelli).

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