Embrace the timeline….

On creating rich, flashy and immersive advertising experiences online by Owen van Dijk

Remember Dreamless.org? A trip down memory lane…

with 9 comments

Dreamless.org back in the day

Do you remember Dreamless.org, the forum setup by Joshua Davis back in 2000? Although i was more of a lurker, i have good memories of it and met some really great people through it.

Eduard von Lindheim together with some other Dreamless members (i remember Vitaly Leokumovich from Ego7 and Sunny and another guy from Friends of Ed)Β  organized the New Media Underground Festival, as a grassroots initiative and held their first meeting at the Lux and ICA during the same time as the UK Flashfoward conference in November 2000. Only through Dreamless i found out i lived 5 minutes away from Eduard (i used to live in Rotterdam back then), and i helped him out a bit organizing the festival. The other organizers were spread around the world (New York and London) and communication was usually through ICQ, email and Dreamless.

The event itself was priceless, hundreds of people showed up and had to crawl together in a small art gallery space, while even more people had to stand outside and couldn’t get it. There were sessions by Joshua Davis, James Patterson and lots of FlashForward speakers showed up as well. I forgot most of the lineup and don’t have any pictures or video’s of it so please leave a comment if you were there (and have a better memory) There were free shirts given away, books, lots of great conversations and lots of positive energy. During that week another NMUF event was given at the ICA. I remember seeing a lot of grassroots initiatives popup during those years and the NMUF festival was given all over the world, in New York, San Francisco and Cape Town.

I was reminded by Dreamless and the NMUF while reading the cover article about Threadless by Max Chafkin in Inc Magazine:

“When he wasn’t working or studying, Nickell was tinkering with Web design, a hobby he indulged in on Dreamless.org, an Internet forum for illustrators and programmers. He would spend hours at a time cruising the forum, talking with his online friends and engaging in a pastime called Photoshop tennis. In it, designers pass digital photographs back and forth and challenge one another to manipulate the images in the most outrageous way possible.

Nickell’s design for the New Media Underground festival — three lines of gray text that mimicked the layout of the Dreamless website — was an entry for a contest that the festival’s organizers were holding online. The design was simple and not quite pretty. But it was strikingly clever — a physical representation of their digital community. The Dreamless members agreed. Nickell won the contest.

In concrete terms, this accomplishment meant exactly nothing: He got no money or even a copy of his winning shirt. But the experience was exhilarating. Dreamless members spent a lot of time batting ideas back and forth, but their creations rarely made it out of the digital realm. Suddenly, Nickell had an idea: What if the best designs were printed on T-shirts and sold in the real world? He suggested as much to Jacob DeHart, one of a handful of friends he had met on Dreamless. DeHart, a student at Purdue University, loved the idea, and each pitched in $500 — enough to pay a lawyer to set up the business and print the first round of shirts.”

Although i’m familiar with Threadless I never realized Nickell won the competition. I think i still have a shirt somewhere, so if i find it i’ll send it over to Threadless πŸ™‚

What are your stories about Dreamless?


Written by ohwhen

May 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm

9 Responses

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  1. oh yes, Dreamless! The two things I remember are NMUF/London and the hopefully still famous client quote thread. Somehow you just can’t beat:

    “more fonts. use more fonts!”
    “ummm… how many do you want?”
    “how many do you have?”

    Actually, you could possibly beat it with:

    “client comment: Please also put a landlord hat on the landlord.”



    November 26, 2008 at 6:15 pm

  2. dreamless.org was great. seemed like it was over as soon as it started. anyone know of any current designer forums that would be close to the modern day equivalent? the signal to noise ratio is what ultimately kills most good forums, dreamless included.


    February 4, 2009 at 9:08 am

  3. I was a young lad when dreamless was around. I made a few posts- mostly got people wondering what the hell I was on about. In between going to raves and doing lsd and learning all my computer skills i would prowl dreamless, praystation, forest, presstube, half empty etc…

    the things i remember most about dreamless was taking part in the photoshop ping pong. No one gave me flack for being 16 there.

    I miss dreamless. Sometimes while im waiting for renders at work I wish I had a secret place to go to sill that isnt the roof of this building.


    June 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    • I’ve been there in dreamless.org party! I dont remember that much, just felt in love for Joshua, my mentor… cant miss him πŸ™‚
      Flash forward.. huch.. 10 years ago..


      December 26, 2010 at 9:37 pm

  4. I really miss dreamless it was a great time waster though. Sheesh.. I’d never get away with the ammount of time I spent on there at the workplace now.



    March 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm

  5. dude. did you ever find the tee??? πŸ˜‰


    January 11, 2013 at 7:50 pm

  6. flashback….


    July 26, 2013 at 12:46 am

  7. Jake I still have a tee -_- name your price mwhahahaha πŸ˜›

    OMG copper!


  8. oh shit… but #dreamless IRC was where it was at


    February 12, 2019 at 11:34 pm

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