01.26.17
Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 49: My First Tattoo


On this episode, Michael talks about the tattoo he designed for his daughter Martha, who has type 1 diabetes. (If you're interested in this tattoo, download a PDF.)

Jessica, who wore an allergy bracelet as a children, tells a story about discovering her son’s tattoo:

It is in a typeface that is really odd, and kind of horrifying, and the kerning is really bad.

His response?

Honestly, mom, just so you know, the real act of rebellion was choosing a typeface I that I knew you’d hate.

Also mentioned:
International Diabetes Federation, Blue Circle
Kerry James Marshall: Mastry at the Met Breuer
Mark Rothko: Dark Palette at Pace
Eric Kandel, Reductionism in Art and Brain Science (excerpt)
Henry Cowles, Play and the Scientific Method
Paul Rand, Design and the Play Instinct
Tad Friend profile of Mike Mills
Mike Mills, 20th Century Women
AIGA/NY Citizen Designer Pledge
Cliff Kuang on the 2017 Citizen Designer Pledge

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Posted in: Culture, The Observatory, Typography


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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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