01.12.17
Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 48: Lella and La La


On this episode, Michael and Jessica remember John Berger, who was best known for Ways of Seeing, a BBC television series with a companion book designed by Richard Hollis. Michael says:

I remember being assigned this book in college in the 70s and thinking it was hideous.… Now I think it’s brilliant and it actually seems prescient and has been extraordinarily influential.

There are at least two or three occasions in my life where I’ve just been up against a combination of text and images and I’ve said — often to a younger designer I’m working with who may not even know the reference — I’ll say, “Oh to hell with it, let’s just do it like Ways of Seeing.”

Also mentioned:
  • New York Times obituary for Lella Vignelli
  • Geoff Dyer, Olivia Laing, Ali Smith, and Simon McBurney remember John Berger
  • trailers for Jackie and La La Land
  • Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly, and Donald O’Connor, Good Morning

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  • Posted in: Popular Culture, The Observatory


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    Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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