Books


Observer Quarterly

Observer Quarterly

In the winter of 2015, we launched a new publication called Observer Quarterly. The idea is for each themed issue to include original writing, interviews, and photography alongside archival material that draws a narrative between the history and current condition of new and underappreciated aspects of design culture. Our first issue—the Acoustic Issue—covered new ways of looking at sound as part of the design landscape. The second issue examined tagging as a social, cultural, and indexical practice. And our newest issue—following our conference, Taste, which took place in Los Angeles in the spring of 2016—looks at the multiple intersections between design and food.



Observer Quarterly

Design | The Invention of Desire

Advancing a conversation that is unfolding around the globe, Jessica Helfand offers an eye-opening look at how designed things make us feel as well as how—and why—they motivate our behavior.

More books by Jessica Helfand




How To

How to

How to, Michael Bierut’s first career retrospective, is a landmark work in the field. Featuring more than thirty-five of his projects, it reveals his philosophy of graphic design—how to use it to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world. Specially chosen to illustrate the breadth and reach of graphic design today, each entry demonstrates Bierut’s eclectic approach. In his entertaining voice, the artist walks us through each from start to finish, mixing historic images, preliminary drawings (including full-size reproductions of the notebooks he has maintained for more than thirty-five years), working models and rejected alternatives, as well as the finished work. Throughout, he provides insights into the creative process, his working life, his relationship with clients, and the struggles that any design professional faces in bringing innovative ideas to the world. Offering insight and inspiration for artists, designers, students, and anyone interested in how words, images, and ideas can be put together, How to provides insight to the design process of one of this century’s most renowned creative minds.

More books by Michael Bierut




5050

50 Books | 50 Covers Catalog

The ultimate “book of books” to catalog the 2015 winners of the 50 | 50 competition. Publisher, author, and previous 50 Books | 50 Covers recipient Dave Eggers introduces the book. Photographer George Baier IV, who has photographed countless authors and book jacket projects himself, has thoughtfully taken pictures of every book and cover winner. Mohawk generously donated the finest paper. Printed offset, locally, here in the United States. Copies no longer available.



Observer Quarterly

Massimo Vignelli: Collected Writings

Massimo Vignelli (1931–2014) was one of the most influential designers of the twentieth—and twenty-first—centuries. The work he and his wife Lella accomplished at Vignelli Associates is universally admired. While Massimo himself never wrote for Design Observer, he appeared throughout its pages in spirit and as an example for over ten years. This collection of writings about Vignelli from the Design Observer archives—interviews, memories, observations, and critiques—includes selections from the lively comments and discussions that appeared after the original publication of these pieces. Contributors include Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand, Debbie Millman, and Alice Twemlow, among others. Get this book!



Persistence of Vision

Persistence of Vision: Collected Writings of William Drenttel

Designer and publisherWilliam Drenttel (1953–2013) was co-founder and editorial director of Design Observer. Since its inception in 2003, Drenttel contributed to Design Observer almost weekly on all manner of topics, from social change to democracy to his early career on Madison Avenue. We’ve collected two dozen essays—originally published on Design Observer—and an introduction by friend and former literary editor of the New Republic, Leon Wieseltier, and put them into print for the first time, including the lively comments and conversations that followed their original publication. Persistence of Vision is not only a tribute to a greatly missed design leader, but serves as an important addition to the design writing canon. Get this book!



Observed | May 25

The lost typefaces of W.A. Dwiggins. [MB]

Speed poster design. [JH]

Design and healing. [JH]

Stephen Gates, Global Head of Design at Citi: “Creativity is a blue collar profession.” [MB]


Observed | May 24

Designing better protests. [JH]

It’s Amsterdam week in the media! Compare and contrast: Theo Van Doesberg versus Jane Pauley. Discuss! [JH]

A design bookshop grows in Brooklyn! Anne Quito explains. [JH]


Observed | May 23

Reframing contemporary urgencies through the lens of design. An interactive exhibition from SVA Products of Design at NYCxDESIGN [BV]

Can a font be a whole brand? YouTube Sans Medium is meant to be. [BV]


Observed | May 22

When TV logos were objects...plus behind-the-scenes of HBO’s model city [MPL]

Olympic/paralympic mascot design proposals for Tokyo 2020 will be judged by ... children. (Download the creative brief here.) [JH]

Crowdfunding now: Paul Rand’s IBM style guide (with optional French translation). More here. [JH]

The visualization of disappointment: one Tumblr site captures every single tearful moment of bachelorette rejection. [JH]


Observed | May 19

The rise of the designer as life coach. [MB]

Meet Gerhard Steidl, the printer the world’s best photographers trust to produce their books. [MB]

What does design share with comedy? (Don’t quit your day job!) [JH]

Every color of cardigan Mister Rogers wore from 1979–2001. [MB]


Observed | May 18

"Back when I was the captain of Oxford University, I would never have dreamed that I would be influencing the Laws of Cricket.” Studying the finer points of cricket bat design—from an orthopedic surgeon. [JH]

Design “can solve a problem in an elegant way,” notes Dr. Brandon Glen, chief executive of Good Design Australia, noting that “it goes well beyond aesthetically pleasing teapots and kettles”. [JH]


Observed | May 17

Apple’s new headquarters: breathtaking design utopia or anal-retentive indulgence? [MB]

“Pay Trump bribes here.” How an artist pulled off an astonishing design coup at Trump’s DC hotel. [MB]


Observed | May 16

Modeling umbrella design on the very particular wings of one insect. [JH]

Entrepreneurs obsessed with design. [JH]

Girls designing rockets. [JH]


Observed | May 15

A futuristic airport terminal at JFK, built in the 1960s, abandoned for years, and soon to be reopened as a hotel. [BV]

Photos from New York City’s subway system as seen in the 70s and 80s. [BV]

Edible sneakers that combine an artist’s love of footwear and sushi. [BV]


Observed | May 12

If you’ve ever doubted that visualization matters to data analysis, you need to see these images. [BV]

Atlanta’s I-85 highway should have been torn down instead of rebuilt. [BV]

The weird words and phrases type designers use to test their fonts. [BV]



Jobs | May 25