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 | November 22

From warehouse to biblical museum, in Washington DC. [JH]

Just in time for Christmas: get your pocket-sized cosmic ray muon detector, here! [JH]

Tesla invites reservation holders of the Model 3 to design their own cars. [JH]


Observed | November 21

’Tis the season for travel dread; at Amsterdam’s Schiphol, smart design proves it doesn’t have to be that way. [BV]

The BBC looks at ‘the logos that have become legends.’ (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

Two million wondrous nature illustrations put online by the Biodiversity Heritage Library. [BE]


Observed | November 20

Why Not Associates: three decades! [JH]

Is healthcare design a gendered issue? [JH]

More on the forgotten female poster designers of yore. [JH]


Observed | November 18

Become a founding supporter of Mold TV! [JH]


Observed | November 17

Discovering a mid-century design powerhouse through her recipes. [BV]

Vaughan Oliver’s work is a treasure store of rare and precious specimens. Now, there’s a book celebrating it. [BV]

Universal beauty is an old and compelling idea. Our species, however, is marked not by a particular aesthetic preference, but by the multiple paths of creativity itself. [BV]


Observed | November 16

Womens’ anatomy as ... design trend? [JH]

Google’s Ivy Ross on design and intuition. [JH]

Love Design Matters with Debbie Millman? Become a founding member today! [BV]

Good Design for a Bad World. [JH]

This ridiculous flowchart design has to be intentional, right? [BV]


Observed | November 15

Partners in design, at NYU. [JH]

Seventy years of Ferrari. More here. [JH]

The end of civilization as we know it: Israeli branding bots! [JH]

The questions just keep coming: should we teach facial recognition technology about race? [BV]


Observed | November 14

An in-depth look at nation branding. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

Harvard Business Review, yet again, extols the virtues of empathy. Herewith, your friendly community reminder that our understanding of empathy tends to be flawed. [JH]

The blandification of graphic design. (Or, why you should just hire a good designer.) [JH]


Observed | November 13

German graphic design: a new book traces its rich visual, political, and cultural history. [JH]

How does 3D printing connect to real estate in Africa? A visualization of interconnected global issues. [BV]

Picasso bled his women for art. [MPL]

Do cities have colors? (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | November 10

It’s almost five o’clock, right? Judging beer by its cover, an oral history of craft beer label design. [BV]



Jobs | November 23