Publishing

Rick Poynor
Exposure: Butlin’s holiday camp by Edmund Nägele
A sixties vacation in glowing color


The Editors
The New Design Observer
Welcome to the New Design Observer.


Warren Lehrer
The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley
An excerpt and slideshow from Warren Lehrer’s A Life in Books.


Andrew Howard
A Manifesto for Higher Learning
Andrew Howard, MA course director in Communication Design at ESAD — Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Matosinhos, Portugal — shares this with his incoming graduate students each year.


John Bertram
Lolita — The Story of a Cover Girl
Excerpt from Lolita — The Story of a Cover Girl.


Rob Walker
Looking Better, All The Time
Alexandra Horowitz' book On Looking offers a framework, and specific tactics, for smarter seeing.


Leonard Koren
Making WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing
An except from Making WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing by Leonard Koren.


Louise Fili
A Life in Letters
An excerpt from Louise Fili's Elegantissima.


Rick Poynor
What Does Critical Writing Look Like?
A report on work by the first graduates from the Royal College of Art’s Critical Writing in Art & Design MA.


Rick Poynor
The Closed Shop of Design Academia
Shouldn’t it be part of a design academic’s brief to communicate more widely with the design profession and public?



William Drenttel, and Jessica Helfand
Late Summer Reading
In the late summer, we share a reading list first published in Frieze magazine, April 2011.



Carl Schoonover
Portraits of the Mind
The book, Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century (Abrams) documents this overlooked dimension over two millennia of obsession with the brain.



Michael Bierut
Eight-and-a-Half by Eleven
An installation of over 10,000 tiled pieces 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper redeems what has often been dismissed as a banal graphic format.



Jessica Helfand
An Instrument of Sufficiently Lucid Cogitation
The legendary French photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson, who died on Tuesday at his home in the South of France, always carried a sketchbook with him. Today's obituary in The New York Times alleges that he described drawing as meditative, while photography was intuitive: though certainly both activities might have been informed by a relentless need to observe and in a sense, preserve the world around him.



Rick Poynor
Critics and Their Purpose
Pulling a 1960s art magazine from the shelf, I opened it at random to find a long list of thoughts about art criticism assembled in 1966 by students at the Royal College of Art in London. Many of these ideas apply to design.



Observed | July 20

Inside the high-profile Gilded Age resort you never heard of. [BV]

Some science to start your day: your brain doesn‘t contain memories—it is memories. [BV]


Observed | July 19

In the eye of the beholder: 2 photographers shoot radically different portraits of Detroit. [BV]


Observed | July 17

Karrie Jacobs discovered a manhole in the meadow in Prospect Park, a 526 acre park in Brooklyn and America’s premiere example of man-made nature. [BV]

It‘s World Emoji Day. Seriously. So what are the most popular emojis? [BV]

In case you missed it, there’s a woman’s name on the Declaration of Independence: Mary Katharine Goddard. She was the printer. [MB]


Observed | July 14

Rethinking prison design: the rise of the “justice hub”. [JH]

All hail the pepper mill! [JH]

Proving there is indeed no accounting for taste, Paris Hilton brags about her boyfriend’s tattoo “in a Disney font”. [JH]

Alan Kay on Quora: what you probably don’t know about Steve Jobs’s legendary 1979 visit to Xerox PARC. [MB]


Observed | July 13

Invaluable: a commonsense guide to PR and media relations from the brilliant Paul Ford. [MB]


Observed | July 12

The Mayor of London, announces the formation of a new social enterprise, Public Practice, to place talented designers and planners in local authorities for up to a year. [JH]

Just in case you need it: copyright law for balloon artists. [MB]


Observed | July 11

What’s the line between sampling ... and stealing? [JH]

Disability as design outcome. [JH]


Observed | July 10

Revealed at last: the world’s favorite color. [MB]


Observed | July 07

Leaving your footprint in nature, literally. [BV]

The creator of McMansion Hell on a new strain of modern houses for the masses. [BV]

Great piece: in the age of streaming TV, who needs title sequences? [MB]


Observed | July 05

Why do architects design furniture? [MB]

Steven Heller and Gail Anderson talk about their new book, ‘Type Tells Tales,’ a fascinating tour of books in which typefaces plays an active part in visual storytelling. [BV]

Design and exclusion. Full transcript here. [JH]


Observed | July 04

Why does the NRA hate modern architecture? [MB]

I wish Thom Browne had been around when I wore a grey uniform to school in the 1970s. Yikes! [JH]

Daddy, why are airplane windows round? [MB]

The alarmingly beautiful wiring inside the human brain. (Via Peter Lloyd Jones.) [JH]


Observed | July 03

Rethinking design in the age of fake news: how journalism is changing. [JH]

The extraordinary and mesmerizing detail of paper artistry. [JH]

Hats off to Claire Robinson, a design professor in New Zealand who wasn’t afraid to criticize the navy for crowdsourcing a design problem! [JH]

In defense of White House calligraphers. [MB]



Jobs | July 21