Roman Mars

Host and Producer, 99% Invisible

Roman Mars is host and producer of KALW’s 99% Invisible, a short radio show about design and architecture.  The 99% Invisible podcast recently peaked at #8 in the iTunes rankings for all podcasts, as well as #1 in both the Arts and Design categories.  He is also the host, producer and program director of Public Radio Remix from PRX, a 24-hour, experimental public radio story stream broadcast on XM 123 and public radio stations across the country.  He was a founding producer at PRX/NPR’s Snap Judgment and Senior Producer at the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

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99% Invisible: Cover Story

Jan 23, 2015

Episode 101: Cover Story

99% Invisible: Vexillonaire

Jan 9, 2015

This episode of 99% is from Nov. 11, 2014.

Here’s a trick: if you want to design a kickass flag, start by drawing a one-by-one-and-a half inch rectangle on a piece of paper.

A design at these dimensions held 15 inches from your eye looks about the same as a three-by-five foot flag on a flagpole a hundred feet away.....

Episode 132: Castle on the Park

Oct 10, 2014

This episode was originally aired on Sept 16, 2014.

On the southwest corner of Central Park West and 106th Street in New York City, there’s an enormous castle. It takes up the whole east end of the block, with its red brick cylindrical turrets topped with gleaming silver cones. The stained glass windows and intricate stonework make the building look like something out of a fairytale.....

From April 15, 2011.

99percentinvisible.org

The first designed object: the Acheulean hand axe!

US paper currency is so ubiquitous that to really look at its graphic design with fresh eyes requires some deliberate and focused attention. So pull out a greenback from your wallet (or look at a picture online) and really take it in. All the fonts, the busy filigree, the micro patterns…it’s just dreadful.

99% Invisible

When you think of suspension bridges, the first two that come to mind may be right here: the Bay Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge. But after this next story, there's another that may stay with you -- a suspension bridge in the state of Washington called the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Roman Mars relates this bridge in this edition of 99% Invisible.

Emile Holmewood

One day, when Melissa was thirteen, she and her friend Liz bought some geodes. They didn’t want to wait to get home to crack them open, so they decided to throw them against the wall of an apartment building. Liz’s aim went wild on one of the geodes, and it went through a window. Melissa would have probably forgotten about the incident, had it not been for one inexplicable thing: the window didn’t get fixed. Ever. So in 2011, 22 years after the incident, Melissa went to go find the person who left the window broken for so long. She brought along a tape recorder. 

If you’re not from California, or missed this bit of news, the University of California has a new logo – or, rather, had a new logo. To be more precise they had a new “visual identity system,” which is the kind of entirely accurate but completely wonky description that gets met with sarcastic eye rolls from anyone who isn’t a designer, but there it is. But they don’t have a new logo anymore. Because of a massive public backlash, the UC system actually suspended the monogram while we were reporting this story.

Flickr user gorbould

Last night, the Golden State Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets 131 to 117 in what USA Today called “one of the most entertaining blowouts in recent memory.” The high-scoring affair reflects the modern game. But scores that high would have been unfathomable back in the early days of the NBA. That is, until professional basketball was redesigned.

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