House of Discards #2: Pixie Crew iPhone case


The first digital image was created in 1957, and measured 176 x 176 pixels. Even at this limited resolution, it was ground-breaking: a way to display real world images on a computer screen. Pixel counts grew rapidly, particularly in home computers and video game consoles of the 70s, 80s and 90s, as artists raced towards a photorealistic ideal. But low fidelity, carefully crafted pixelated images were not forgotten — they were fondly remembered in retro games like Mario and Pokémon, and created anew by indie developers in games like Minecraft. Today, we’re looking at a case that celebrates that heritage, by the Pixie Crew.


As you can see, the Pixe Crew is pretty straightforward — a light, rubbery case with a grid of dots on the back. You get a little box of ‘pixels’ of various colours, which you can put onto the field of dots to create your own custom designs. The pixels are thin and rubbery, but easy enough to stick on.

There are 176 dots in total (20 rows, 9 columns, minus six spaces for the Pixie Crew logo), so it does take a while to actually fill the space provided. I put down about half of the pixels in a semi-random design, and it still took me about ten or fifteen minutes to get everything in order. It’s harder than you’d expect to keep the little squares straight; they don’t particularly snap into place like Lego as you might expect. There aren’t that many colours available for the pixels, but there are enough for simple designs, like retro games or geometric shapes.


It’s quite satisfying to see a design take shape. The dots stay in place even with your phone in your pocket, and the whole assembly is more durable than I would have guessed. If you have the creativity and wherewithal to change your case’s design on the regular, then this is an awesome choice.

What do you think of the case? Let us know in the comments below. For more on graphics, check out Stuart Brown’s seminal documentary A Brief History of Graphics, linked below!