Digital Ethereal

Luis Hernan's Invisible Landscape of Wireless Networks

Steven Heller

Confessions of a Frustrated Newsprint Lover

I’ve held on devotedly to newsprint as long as humanly possible but I recently reached the point where my loyalty gave way to expedience.

Adrian Shaughnessy

On Bias, Tolerance — and Taste

The unconscious mind responds with Darwinian brutality to anyone not “like us”.

The Editors

Everything We’ve Written About Paul Rand*

*But not every time we've referenced him. That would be a much longer list.

Jessica Helfand


For Paul Rand, a modern mark was a simple mark, and the secret to making things last lay in keeping them simple.

Nervous in Nantucket

This week Dear Bonnie encourages a new-ish employee to speak up!

Steven Heller

User-Friendly Paul Rand

Paul Rand did not coin the term “user-friendly.” He would have hated its trendy sound.

Rob Walker

“Kern Your Enthusiasm”

HiLobrow's “Kern Your Enthusiasm” is a smart, insightful series about lettering and typography.

Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo

The Rand House: A House to Work and Live In

While not a large house, it felt just right, as if it had been made to measure for every interaction and every function.

Michael Bierut

Thoughts on “Thoughts on Design”

On Paul Rand’s 96-page masterpiece, “Thoughts on Design.”

The Editors

Paul Rand : Observer Emeritus

Celebrating the centennial of a one of our most beloved American design icons.

John Foster

A Sampler of Rocks

Rocks are the stuff of castles, homes, weapons, making fire, creating wealth and beauty.

Dissed in Denver

This week Dear Bonnie reminds a 19 year old intern what it means to be a 19 year old intern.

Rob Walker

The Art of Redaction

A batch of visually “redacted” photos, courtesy of the FBI.

Adam Harrison Levy

Hiroshima Lost and Found

The lack of visual evidence of the atom bomb’s effect has helped us to forget its devastating impact. To see is to remember.

Jason Santa Maria

On Web Typography: Smart Quotes

Punctuation is a system.

Mark Yoes

Elinor Evans : Some Truths from the Master

The artist, educator, and architecture guru Elinor Evans turns 100.

John Foster

A Mississippi Delta Road Trip

Photographing the South on a week long journey.

Sara Jamshidi

Black Hand: Iranian Banksy?

Black Hand is one of the numerous underground artists in Iran and his exhibition is neither the first nor the last underground exhibition.

Partnering in Peoria

What questions do you ask to start a business partnership off right? Dear Bonnie has a few.

Véronique Vienne

Taylor Holland’s Scenic Tour

A photograph is at first a document. Crop it, and it becomes a picture. Trim it further into a square and you’ve got a “sign” — a potential icon.

Rick Poynor

The Mysteries of France:
A Gothic Guidebook

Guide de la France mystérieuse, illustrated by Roman Cieslewicz, is a surreal beast of a travel book.

John Foster

Looking Down: An Interview with Photographer Bryon Darby

Photos of grids and airplanes.

Sam Jacob

Daniel Weil: Timeless

Daniel Weil’s clocks might tell the time, but that’s not their real job.

Wondering in Westport

This week Dear Bonnie advises a do-everything-wonder-kid about his portfolio.

John Foster

Strange Ink

Works by untrained artists who found inspiration to produce unique works despite a host of impediments.


Redesiging the Parking Sign

Nikki Sylianteng was sick of getting parking tickets. Her solution: redesign the signs.

The Editors

Parametric Posters from MuirMcNeil

New posters by MuirMcNeil demonstrate the parametric principles of their typeface designs.

Adam Harrison Levy

Tracks of My Tears

As Rose-Lynn Fisher's photographs make clear, your tears are yours alone and each one is different.

Rob Walker

An End of Things

The life of a thing, the death of an object — and maybe a new life to follow? At Liberty Auction in Pembroke, Georgia.

John Foster

Shadwell Shams: A Tale of Two Forgers

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Jan Almquist

Perceiving Deeply

On Teaching to See, A film by Andrei Severny; produced by Edward Tufte.

Aggrieved in Atlanta + Bumming in Brooklyn

Advice for designers who receive unsolicited opinions from friends and those whose clients have bad taste.

Justin Zhuang

East and West: Graphic Design in Singapore Today

Since British advertising agencies brought modern graphic design into Singapore after the Second World War, a thriving community of independent studios has emerged in this former colony in Southeast Asia.

John Bertram

These Events Did Not Occur in Black and White

The history of cover design for This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen.

John Foster

Whirlwinds, Snowdrops + Big Bangs: Vintage Fireworks Labels

Happy 4th of July!

Jennifer Kabat

Exhibition as Inquiry: An Interview with Kieran Long

Guns, shoes and cheap jeans: Kieran Long has added all of these to the Victoria & Albert Museum’s permanent collection. At a moment where “design” can seem no more than a synonym for style and status, he’s busy challenging that notion.

Laura Tarrish

Hunter | Gatherer: Text as Textile

Evidence of fabric embellished with needle and thread has been found as far back as the Cro-Magnon days (30,000 B.C.). The artists featured here, writing with stitchery, challenge our expectations of what is commonly considered a domestic art.

Lost on Long Island + Stuck in Schenectady

This week Dear Bonnie tackles what to do when your client stops returning your calls, and how to get your brain moving.

The Editors

The New Design Observer

Welcome to the New Design Observer.

Véronique Vienne

Two Monumental Shows in Paris: One Large, One Small

There are two shows you shouldn’t miss if you happen to be in Paris this summer.


Black, Red + Gold

A conversation about colonization and visual resistance in Australia.

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