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.



























































































































































11.27.06
How Hollywood Nailed The Half-Pipe
Pixar
and Animal Logic have mastered a particularly persuasive (and as it turns out, rather literal) form of spin that makes Road Runner look like dryer lint.







09.21.06
Death 'N' Stuff
Smoking Kills: The label days it all. Or does it? Once the allegedly chilling skull and crossbones is marketed as a decorative pattern
on a silk bowtie, its credibility as an mark of peril seems, well, somewhat questionable, begging the question: have we become so bored by life that we've inadvertently become inured to death?

































06.22.05
The Adventures of Cynic Boy and Design Mom in 3D
Brainwashed I may be, but I distinctly noted an homage to
Salvador Dalí — with perhaps a gentle nod to René Magritte — last night while sitting through Robert Rodriguez's ludicrous, yet oddly luscious new movie, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D.




06.10.05
The Cut: When Life Imitates Art (I Mean Design)
CBS Television debuted its new series,
The Cut, (modeled after other reality shows such as NBC's The Apprentice)about "16 aspiring designers."







03.24.05
The Design Police
As unlikely as it sounds:  
Graphic Junkies is a photo blog by  "an active law enforcement officer in the state of Georgia." The photographs are remarkable; the context compelling.






02.18.05
My Friend Flickr
Flickr is a digital photo sharing website and web services suite that was developed by Ludicorp, a Vancouver, Canada company founded in 2002. It's a utopian oddity — a culture enabled by a technology that in turn enables a culture — and it's a brilliant example of socially networked software because it's free, its easy, and it makes sense.




02.16.05
The New Paper Chase: Cyberspace on The Auction Block
On February 23,
Christies in New York will auction more than 1,000 items dating as far back as the early 17th century, all of it tracing the history of cyberspace.














































Observed | April 25

Designers at NASA explore the idea of an inflatable greenhouse tube for sustainable nutrition in—you guessed it—space! [JH]

Fyrkantig! Dagstorp! Malm! Every Ikea catalog cover since 1951! [JH]

Now you can design your own 3D-printed, biodegradable ... shoes? [JH]


Observed | April 24

The brilliant simplicity of New York’s new Times Square. [BV]

20 years later, costume designer Mona May looks back on her over-the-top work for “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.” [MB]


Observed | April 21

“This is what we do. This is what we don’t do.“ [MB]

W. A. Dwiggins was among the most influential and innovative designers of the early twentieth century, but you‘ve never seen a book about him, until now. [BV]

Operation Vandelay Industries: man is charged with impersonating an architect. [MB]

Sony World Photography Awards. [JH]


Observed | April 20

Apple’s new campus will have more parking spaces than office space. Oh, and guess what it’s called? Apple Park. [BV]

Why destroy a book’s prose to the point of it being unreadable? It‘s all about ownership. [BV]

Congratulations to Todd Eberle, the latest recipient of the Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography award. [BV]


Observed | April 19

Three simple words frame one young man’s perspective on how to address the design needs of an audience of billions: understand, identify, execute. [JH]

How design and advertising collaborations can lead to better campaign experiences. [JH]

Does Adidas own the rights to three black stripes? [MB]


Observed | April 18

Glass bongs as high art. [MB]

The result of a nine-day design competition, Belgrade‘s Pionir Hall "could be described as a hybrid between Brutalism, High Tech / Structural Expressionism and Postmodernism.” [MB]

“Design is a way to solve problems that people care about.” Ayse Birsel talks to design-centered companies. [MB]


Observed | April 17

The most important page in your portfolio, and how to make the most of it. [MB]

In the new Jane Jacobs documentary, does Robert Moses steal the show? [MB]

From Hyperalleric, six design proposals for the Mexico border wall. [MB]

Finally, a city branding campaign that’s in on its own joke. [MB]


Observed | April 14

Making things. [MB]

Proposed US/Mexico wall enters “design phase”. Sad! [JH]

“We put the hospital in hospitality!” New slogans for United Airlines. (Can new logos be far behind?) [JH]

New frontiers in promposal typography. [MB]

Design game changers. [JH]

How to design a record cover in 1977. [MB]

One designer’s energy-conscious solution to innovation and cuisine: boil-in-bag foods you cook in your washing machine. [JH]


Observed | April 13

An inspiring story about design, leadership, and social justice—from a soon-to-be newly-minted architecture school graduate at Harvard. [JH]



Jobs | April 26