The following post is brought to you by MINI. Our partners are hand picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.
When BMW relaunched MINI back in 2001, the modernized wee car was lauded for recapturing all the best parts of the delightful puckish attitude and styling cues that made the 1959 original an icon. Today the BMW Group is hoping to establish a new expression of the MINI brand, one that takes that minimal footprint, stretching it in every direction into a spacious concept , taking advantage of the space-saving benefits of an all-electric platform.
VR headsets help visualize what the spacious four-seat layout might look inside the MINI Vision Urbanaut during #NEXTGen. Photo: BMW Group
The experience proposed by the MINI Vision Urbanaut is made possible by the migration toward the skateboard-like platform of an electric drive system; without all previous required trappings of a gas fuel engine, the MINI Design team was able to create an interior experience more like a living room than car cabin. In fact, the team of designers began plans for the MINI Vision Urbanaut’s interior before any exterior detailing was developed, using floor plans, pieces of furniture plus wooden scale models to provide an indication of size, with augmented reality employed to create a digital model across the vehicle’s 4.46 m in length.
Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design describes the MINI Vision Urbanaut as an “[extension] of the user’s private space into the public sphere”, a near-future vehicle with a form that is only “mini” in moniker. Alongside all the expected cutting-edge features one might expect from a future-gazing concept – minimalist and screen and haptic touch-laden interface sans any buttons or switches, recycled material woven textile upholstery, an array of LEDs to change the exterior appearance/colors of the vehicle – MINI Design proposes a novel digital-analogue interface to activate personalized “moments”.
The MINI Token is a literal physical token shaped to store customized comfort and technology settings, an activation “between an analogue object and a digital connection”. Inserted into a table slot, the Token activates preconfigured MINI Moments labeled “Chill”, “Wanderlust” and “Vibe”, alongside a user-customized “My MINI moment”. Set into a configured slot, the Token awakens a bevy of interior effects, ranging from ambient lighting, music preferences, and even fragrances to adjust what the vehicle smells like.
The MINI Vision Urbanaut’s nearly seamless surface and compact rounded edges paired with wheels pushed to the outer corners of the body give the silhouette a tadpole-like silhouette, while also communicating a spaciousness to be revealed within. And that soft matte exterior gradient isn’t just a rendered flourish; “Zero Gravity” is a tri-ombre metallic effect transitioning from green to blue to a subtle toned gray that continues onto the windows as a patterned gradient. The effect is aesthetic, but also replaces a standard tint for a color-tinged barrier, delivering privacy and also blocking out sunlight.
Both front and back of the vehicle are outfitted with milled aluminum covers perforated with an array of multi-color dynamic matrix lights capable of signaling, illuminating the road, and also displaying custom graphics. And to maintain the DNA of the MINI heritage, the Urbanaut’s front features the identifiable round headlights associated with every MINI vehicle.
Envisioning a more polite vision of the future, the Urbanaut is designed to inform other drivers whether the vehicle’s automated driving function is activated; the LED matrix across both the front and rear end exterior surfaces signal when the driver has taken the wheel or in instances when the automated driving function is engaged.
“In 1959, the very first Mini ushered in a small-scale revolution in vehicle construction with its transversely mounted engine. With the MINI Vision Urbanaut we have been able to rethink and increase the usable surface area inside the car even further in relation to its footprint.” – Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design
When parked the dashboard lowers and the driver’s area transforms into a “daybed”, with the option to open the windscreen into the MINI Moments, “Street Balcony”.
Positioned along the driver’s side C-pillar is a space designated for “charms” – badges imagined to adorn the vehicle much in the same way hiking patches or destination stickers are often collected during road trips and camping adventures. One charm is dedicated to the #NEXTGen 2020 platform on which the MINI Vision Urbanaut has been celebrating its world premiere. Another has a QR code which, when scanned, takes you to MINI.com.
The MINI Vision Urbanaut takes the living room concept to a very relaxing and inviting next level, with a rear seat bench (appropriately called the “Cosy Corner”) designed to operate much like a sofa. The backlit textile Loop with mood lighting stretches above the seating to recreate glancing through the dappled light of a forest canopy, complete with ambient music and atmospheric nature sounds.
A small side table is outfitted with a slot for the Token, and in Chill moment a lamp is activated to complete the sensation of being in a room rather than a vehicle (and also where the Token is designed to be inserted).
The four LED-illuminated wheels took their styling cues from an unexpected source: skateboard wheels
As is the case of all designs envisioned to prognosticate the future of mobility, the MINI Vision Urbanaut is intended as an expression of the brand’s long term plans, with many of the vehicle’s technologies and design cues sure to inspire future MINI models. The Urbanaut’s spacious interior accompanied alongside the environment-enhancing MINI Moments hint the future of the British automotive brand will open up entirely novel and customizable usage scenarios, each giving driver and occupants the creature comforts of home while on the road.
We are grateful to Project Watches for supporting this gift guide. Our partners are hand picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.
We see a lot of great modern design working here, so it can be hard to “pick favorites.” That said, there are a few that have really stood out to our team and our readers. If you’re still struggling with what to get someone on your list (or what to ask for), here are some top picks from the Design Milk Shop!
Reveal Watch by Project Watches /// from $105
Projects Watches is a small business that celebrates creators around the globe through wearable works of art. Their artistic timepieces make for the best unique, affordable gifts this holiday season and beyond. The Reveal Classic Watch allows you to watch time in the present. This timekeeper reveals the current time through a looking glass while fading the past and the future. Available with either a leather or stainless steel mesh band and comes in both 40mm and 33mm – there’s a style and size for anyone on your list.
Seadpod 5 Pack by Plantseads /// $55
This brand takes its name Sead as an acronym for Sustainable Ecology, Adaptive Design. What makes these Seadpods so cool? They make it easy to create a vertical garden in places you wouldn’t have previously even considered. It’s the perfect way to grow some greenery, even if there isn’t a lot of space.
Large Natural Orbis Concrete Vessel by Konzuk /// $63
This is a great gift for the hard-to-shop-for person on your list. In its simplest guise, the concrete vessel works as a standalone design object. However, if desired, it can also function as a home for a scent diffuser, succulent plant or anything else that fits inside the vessel. Each one is handcrafted, making this work of high-modernism a unique gift for anyone.
Wick Portable LED Candlelight by graypants /// 149
If you blend the romance of candlelight with the functionality of a lantern, you get Wick. It provides portable LED candlelight – and there’s no worry about the candle burning out! Wick’s versatility makes it great for an office, living room, dining room and even outside. That also means it’s a great choice for anyone you’re shopping for. You can feel confident in your choice because this is also one of the Design Milk community’s favorite products of 2020!
Limited-Edition Carl Cashman “Social Distancing” Vase by Venus + the Cat /// $515
Only 50 of these limited-edition vases were made (and each is uniquely numbered) – that makes this a pretty damn special gift. This exclusive was commissioned by renowned contemporary street artist Carl Cashman, and his eye-catching style uses color, dynamism, character and personality with stark negative space that shines through on this vase.
Hagl Black Mat by Heymat /// from $150
Hagl’s design means that guests will notice it the moment they walk by it. The pattern, designed by Caroline Olsson, is inspired by hail against a dark sky, and it is a playful addition to any doorway. And, it’s made to hold up to shoes that have braved the wettest winters (which the design is based on after all).
Monti Taste Set by Sempli /// $100
The Monti Taste Set is designed for beer lovers – and it’s a gift that lasts a lot longer than a six-pack. In it, you’ll find four of Sempli’s glasses, each specially designed to enhance the flavor profiles of different beer styles.
Snow White Pantone Sneaker (men’s sizing) (women’s sizing) by Cariuma /// $89
OCA is Cariuma’s popular signature sneaker and this version comes with a Pantone twist. It’s crafted from high-end, raw materials, it’s lightweight, and it has a classic cap-toe design for comfort and style. All in all, we see why this shoe is so popular with our community. The neutral Pantone Snow White color makes it a great choice for Pantone lovers and for holiday gifting because it works with every wardrobe.
Boeien Salt and Pepper Set by Puik /// $30
Designed by Ka-Lai Chan, the Boeien Salt and Pepper Set isn’t your basic salt and pepper set. They’re playful, beautifully constructed, and stand out. Really, it’s everything you want in a holiday gift.
Adulting Candle by Anecdote Candles /// $24
Candles are a classic holiday gift because you can’t really go wrong with one. Anecdote Candles raises the bar with creative and nuanced scents, high-quality materials and a hand-poured approach. It’s no wonder these are one of our community (and team!) favorites.
If you’re still undecided or haven’t found the right gift, there’s one universal gift that is well-liked by friends, family, colleagues, and kids alike: the Design Milk gift card. Let your recipient pick out something for themselves from our shop. We’re sure that they’ll find something they didn’t even know they wanted.
In support of the Design Milk Mission and to celebrate Giving Tuesday, we’re donating 10% of our ecommerce sales made on Dec 1st, 2020 to this quarter’s charity recipient Share Our Strength! That’s 10 times our everyday donation, so finish your shopping and help us give back! Share Our Strength is the parent organization of No Kid Hungry, Cooking Matters and Community Wealth Matters and other programs with a mission to end hunger and poverty in the U.S. and abroad. Donate today!
Want to learn how to make T-shirts with Cricut? In this tutorial, we’ll make a Cricut iron-on T-shirt, step by step. It might sound intimidating, but using Cricut for T-shirts is simple, once you know where to start. So start brainstorming ideas, and let’s dig right into custom T-shirts with Cricut.
What You’ll Need For Making T-Shirts With Cricut:
a design for your shirt
Cricut Explore Air OR Cricut Maker
iron OR Cricut Easy Press
iron-on vinyl material
Try to make your design simple if this is your first time making a Cricut iron-on T-shirt. The more complex a design is, the harder time you’ll have later in the process.
We’ll be using a design from the Love Day Lettering Quotes from Envato Elements. However, you’re free to use your own designs too. I suggest using vector art and exporting as the SVG file format. When creating T-shirts with Cricut, complexity isn’t the only way to make something stylish and professional. Simple but well-made custom T-shirts with Cricut can be just as appealing as intricate designs.
For this, you can use the Cricut Explore Air or Cricut Maker. We’ll be using this for the process of cutting the iron-on vinyl material in the shape of our design.
For iron-on vinyl, you have a lot of choices when making T-shirts with Cricut. You can find iron-on vinyl in the crafts section of your local arts and crafts store. Cricut has its own brand, but there are many other choices too that will work too. You’ll want to keep in mind the color and texture of the material when it comes to your design. Try to pick a color and finish that will match the aesthetics of your design. Using Cricut to make T-shirts can be a lot of fun because there are just so many options.
For your Cricut shirts, I would suggest going with 100% cotton. You can find plain T-shirts in most clothing stores, and you can even find plenty of plain shirts at your local arts and crafts store.
Now, let’s dig into how to make T-shirts with Cricut.
1. How to Use a Cricut Machine to Make T-Shirts
First, open up Cricut Design Space. Cricut Design Space is free software that comes with your Cricut machine, and it’s the first step in learning how to make shirts with Cricut. Once open, you will need to start a new project.
You can start a New Project by clicking the New Project button on the top right or on the bottom left.
Next, we will need to select a template. Templates will let us get a feel for our design and ensure we are creating a print that’s the correct size.
Select Templates from the sidebar on the left of your Canvas space.
Use the search bar to search for T-Shirt.
From here, select Classic t-shirts.
There are many other T-shirt options too. In our case, we want to simply place a graphic in the middle of the chest area, so the specific T-shirt template you use won’t matter too much. This will be mostly used for gauging the size of our print.
Next, we will upload our design to Cricut Design Space. Again, this software is a vital part of using Cricut to make T-shirts.
From the left column, go ahead and click the Upload icon.
As you can see, you’re given two choices here. We’ll want to use the image type.
Cricut Design Space can accept a wide variety of media types. In our case, we are going to be using a transparent PNG file that we created in Photoshop. The key to creating a good cutting image is ensuring that the background is transparent or has a high-contrast background and foreground.
Go ahead and click the Upload Image button on the left.
From here, you can insert your design. Cricut Design Space accepts .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .DXF, and .BMP file types.
I suggest using the SVG file type as this is a great option for large files. It will retain its shape well, regardless of how much we change its dimensions once we import it into the Design Space.
You can get your artwork either by dragging your file onto this space or by clicking Browse and selecting your file that way.
I went ahead and clicked Browse. Navigate your folders to find the image. In this case, we are picking our SVG typography design.
If you’ve selected an SVG file, this part is relatively straightforward. You can give the image a name and add tags. This is purely for your own organizational purposes.
As you can see, our design is composed of text and a single flat color. We do this to ensure that it’s a good match for cutting. Also, we really want the start to be the material we picked for our iron-on vinyl. Select Save to add this to your images.
Note for Those Using Different File Types
If you’ve used a PNG or other file types which aren’t an SVG, you will have to do a little more work to prep your cut image for Design Space. (If you’re using an SVG file, you can skip down to the next step!)
For PNG images or other types, we are now given various options. Select the Simple setting on the right, and then click Continue on the bottom right.
For this step, you can use the Cricut Design Spaces tools to remove the background area. In our case, we already have a transparent image, so we can just go ahead to the next step. Click Continue on the bottom right.
Now we get to choose the type of image this is. For the purposes of our project, we only need to cut it. Go ahead and select Save as a Cut Image.
Now you should receive a message that your image was uploaded successfully. It will now join your gallery of images. You should now see your image under Recently uploaded images.
Go ahead and select your image. Then click Insert Images on the bottom right.
Now your image should be on your stage along with your T-shirt template. From here, arrange your design so it is placed where you want it on the shirt.
Click and drag the image to position it.
Note that the most important thing here is the scale. We’ll be manually ironing this design onto our T-shirts. You can use the icon on the bottom right of your image to scale it.
Now, before we make it, we need to ensure that our layers are cleaned up. Ensure that all of your cut images are present here. Depending on how you set up your image, you may have a single image or many different cuts.
In my case, I want to cut to cut the shape as I see it here, so let’s merge all these cuts together. To do so, right-click the layer group and select Weld.
Once you’re happy with your position and scaling, go ahead and select Make It on the top right.
Now that we’re on this screen, we can see a preview of what our cut shape will look like. We will have to place our vinyl onto the board.
Very Important! Make sure that you select the Mirror option. If you do not select Mirror, then your designs will be printed backwards onto your shirt. This is especially true if you have words in your design!
Go ahead and select the Mirror Option.
Now click Continue on the bottom right.
Make sure your Cricut Machine is plugged in and the USB cable is connected to your desktop. You’ll now see this screen! Once your Cricut is connected, you’ll be given options for the material.
Now we need to change the material. We’ll be using vinyl, so we need to change it to that setting.
Time to enter the real world! Change the dial on your Cricut machine to your desired material, and it will also update in Cricut Design Space. It feels kind of magical for some reason!
Note for Cricut Maker Users: You’ll have to select the material through Cricut Design Space. Select Expanded Materials and then select Iron-On.
2. How to Make T-Shirt Vinyl With Cricut
Your chosen material is a big part of learning how to use a Cricut machine to make T-shirts. Again, in this tutorial, we’ll be using iron-on vinyl.
Now you will need to place your vinyl material onto your Grip Mat. I suggest using a StandardGrip mat for vinyl Material, but LightGrip can also work. I’ll be using the LightGrip!
Place down your material with the shiny side facing down onto the mat. Do your best to keep it as evenly laid down as possible. This is an essential step in using Cricut for T-shirts.
Now open up your Cricut using the Open button and place your mat into position. This is essentially your Cricut T-shirt maker step—we’re getting ready to cut.
Notice the two white tabs on either side—your mat should be underneath both of them.
Now it’s time to get cutting!
First, press the button on the left that looks like two arrows. This will pull your Grip Mat into position.
If your mat is positioned correctly, the Cricut button will begin to flash. Go ahead and press the flashing Cricut button to begin cutting!
Tip: If your Cricut button isn’t flashing, make sure to check Cricut Design Space to ensure your Cricut is still connected to your desktop.
It can be hard to tell when the cutting is done just by looking at it. Luckily, we can gauge the progress with Cricut Design Space.
Once the cutting is complete, you will get a message like below! Go ahead and press the flashing Unload button on the Cricut machine.
Now you will need to peel the vinyl off the back. It’s important that the clear part of the vinyl stays on the Grip for now. Use your Weeding Tool on a corner to pull the back, and then use your hands to carefully pry the material up.
Tip: It can be tricky with some materials to get started on the peel. Try bending the tip of a corner and bend it back and forth until it comes loose. Try to start at a corner away from the artwork to avoid creasing your cuts.
Now continue peeling slowly. Take extra care around small details. The more detailed and intricate your designs, the more care you will need here.
If you have a design with tiny spaces (which is very likely if you included typography in your design), you’ll definitely need to use a Weeding Tool.
Poke these areas gently and pull to remove them.
Now you should be left with your final design uncovered!
Now you can peel the clear vinyl along with your design off the mat. Turn it over to see the results.
The next step is applying this to the T-shirt!
3. How to Iron Your Design Onto Your Shirt
With our iron-on vinyl design finished, it’s now time to apply this to our T-shirt!
If you have a Cricut easy press, this part is pretty straightforward. Follow the material heat guidelines, and you’ll be ready to go pretty quickly.
For the rest of us, we’ll be using an iron. First, you’ll need to prepare a flat surface or an ironing board. Switch the dial on your iron to cotton, and ensure that steam is off. All we need is the heat!
You’ll also need a T-shirt—I suggest using one that’s 100% cotton.
Before you touch your design, preheat your T-shirt by running the iron over it for around 10 to 20 seconds.
Place your design on the T-shirt with the design facing upwards. Place your iron down firmly for about 20 seconds over part of the design.
Repeat this process until you have pressed down for 20 to 30 seconds on every part of the design.
Once you are done, flip the T-shirt and repeat the process from the back.
Wait for a couple of minutes until the vinyl is cool enough to touch, and then carefully peel off the plastic layer.
Now your vinyl T-shirt is ready to go! Congratulations! You just learned how to make T-shirt designs with a Cricut. You are officially a Cricut T-shirt maker. Creating T-shirts with Cricut opens up so many different design possibilities.
It’s also important to note some Cricut T-shirt care instructions. After learning how to make shirts with Cricut and following all those steps, we want to make sure our work lasts.
Wait at least 24 hours before you first wash your iron vinyl shirt.
When you do wash Cricut tee shirts, it’s a good idea to fold them inside out to prolong the life of your design.
Make sure to keep these Cricut T-shirt care instructions in mind with your new Cricut T-shirt.
Cute Cricut T-Shirt Ideas From Envato Elements
Looking for some Cricut T-shirt ideas? Then check out these Envato Elements designs for some inspiration. Use them to make your own Cricut tee shirts, or mix and match them to create a custom design. Download these cute assets today and create even more Cricut T-shirt designs.
For all the coffee lovers out there, here’s a perfect collection of quotes for your Cricut T-shirt designs. The set comes with 24 different lettering quotes, and the SVG format is perfect for Cricut Design Space.
This pack comes with 36 different phrases! The long, swooping calligraphy lines would look great with some fun, shiny materials. It comes with lots of formats, but the SVG format makes it easy to get them into Cricut Design Space.
What Cricut Shirts Will You Make?
There you have it! We’ve explored how to make T-shirt vinyl with Cricut, using a cotton T-shirt and iron-on vinyl.
Learning how to make T-shirt designs with a Cricut can be a pretty involved process. It can take a bit of practice to get the process right, but once you have it down to a system, you can really start getting creative. You can get as intricate as you want with your Cricut T-shirt designs. You can also print on the front, back, and side with multiple materials. The only limits are your imagination and patience.
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Looking for more tutorials on Cricut and Design? Then check out these!
Snapchat to give cash for most entertaining clips The spotlight this week has been on, well, Spotlight, Snapchat’s new feature that surfaces the most entertaining snaps from the Snapchat community all in one place. With videos created with the Snapchat camera going viral on other platforms like TikTok, Spotlight is Snap’s rival to these apps, allowing users to grow their audience on Snapchat itself. Videos will be tailored to each user over time based on their preferences and favourites. What’s more, Snap will distribute over $1M every day to users who create the top Snaps on Spotlight. BRB, just off to make my viral video.
Twitter verification will return early next year Craving the return of your celebrity status on social? Looks like 2021 will be the year for you as Twitter has announced that it will relaunch its verification process early next year along with brand new guidelines for users seeking out that small, blue badge. Currently, this means eligible accounts would include government accounts, companies, brands, nonprofits, news media outlets, entertainment, sports, activists, organisers, and ‘other influential individuals.’
TikTok to warn users about photosensitive content With its range of content, TikTok isn’t always the safest place when it comes to photosensitive epilepsy. The platform has now taken steps to ensure that any videos containing potential triggers are flagged, allowing users to be aware of the content they are about to view. Users will receive a notification giving them the option to skip all similar videos in the future, offering peace of mind to epileptic TikTokers.
Twitter launches initiatives to help combat violence against women Twitter has teamed up with UN Women and the UN Human Rights Office to raise awareness of violence against women, something that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. The platform has created custom hashtag-triggered emojis, with the app also providing Ads for Good grants to several nonprofit partners. Twitter has worked with health authorities and nonprofit organisations to expand its #ThereisHelp notification service, which sends notifications with contact information for local hotlines and other resources to users who search for terms associated with gender-based violence.