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Rick Poynor
Tracking the Locations of J.G. Ballard’s Super-Cannes
09.02.14

A photo-essay on the futuristic marina and business park in the south of France that inspired Ballard’s disquieting fantasy about corporate crime

Rick Poynor
The Conceptual Advertising of J.G. Ballard
04.17.14

J.G. Ballard’s conceptual ads anticipated the emergence of culture jamming, subvertising, design fiction and speculative design.

Rick Poynor
The Age of Wire and String Rebooted
05.09.13

Granta’s new edition of The Age of Wire and String by Ben Marcus is a landmark of experimental illustration.

Debbie Millman
Wendy MacNaughton + Caroline Paul
05.03.13

Wendy MacNaughton and Caroline Paul on a journey from advertising to Rwanda to illustration, and from Stanford to firefighter to author.

Rick Poynor
On the Trail of The Eater of Darkness
Rick Poynor
The Museum of Communicating Objects
10.05.12

Orhan Pamuk’s The Innocence of Objects is an illuminating guide to his Museum of Innocence in Istanbul.

Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: André Breton’s Nadja
Rob Walker
High Caliber Expression
Rick Poynor
Pierre Faucheux and Le Livre de Poche
07.30.12

A masterclass in book cover design: Pierre Faucheux’s work for the French paperback publisher Livre de poche.

Rob Walker
Selling Stories With Stuff
07.05.12

What Significant Objects suggests about the relationship between stories and stuff.

Rick Poynor
The Strange Afterlife of Common Objects
Rick Poynor
The Covers of J.G. Ballard’s Crash: An Update
Alexandra Lange
Downton Abbey: Fell In Love With a House
Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: A Classic by Berger and Mohr
02.08.12

John Berger and Jean Mohr’s A Fortunate Man brilliantly fuses words and photos to examine a doctor’s life.

Rick Poynor
How to Cover an Impossible Book
Rick Poynor
Literary Horror from the Chapman Brothers
Rick Poynor
Chris Foss and the Technological Sublime
Alexandra Lange
Up From Zero, the Novel
Alexandra Lange
Jane Austen, Landscape Architect
Rick Poynor
J.G. Ballard’s Terminal Documents
07.21.11

A speculative visual interpretation of one of the surreal image lists in J.G. Ballard’s experimental novel The Atrocity Exhibition.

Rick Poynor
Speculative Fiction, Speculative Design
06.28.11

The cover of England Swings SF is one of those prescient imaginative leaps that vaulted so far it disappeared from the historical record.

Alexandra Lange
Jane Austen, Architect?
06.22.11

Why is Austen next to Ballard on the Designers & Books lists?

Matthew Stadler
Publication Studio: What’s It Like?
06.07.11

On any given day the storefront is home to book production, bookstore, endless packing and shipping, a half-dozen hangers-on, curious drop-ins, lost tourists: a composite day in the life of Publication Studio, Portland.

Rick Poynor
What Does J.G. Ballard Look Like? Part 2
Steven Heller
Hitler’s Poster Handbook
02.17.11

Hitler’s Poster Handbook: a follow-up to “The Master Race’s Graphic Masterpiece.”

Rick Poynor
A Journal with No Fear of Flying
Rick Poynor
What Does J.G. Ballard Look Like?
02.04.11

J.G. Ballard was one of those rare writers whose vision inspired a new adjective. What is a “Ballardian” image and how have designers and image-makers interpreted it?

Rick Poynor
W.G. Sebald: Writing with Pictures
12.21.10

How do the great German writer's notoriously tricky visual fictions compare with reality?

Rick Poynor
Everything has Become Science Fiction
12.17.10

Is science fiction's most crucial task to envision the future or to understand the present?

Rick Poynor
What Does H. P. Lovecraft Look Like?
11.11.10

In a gilded age of adaptations: films, TV series, theatrical productions, H. P. Lovecraft’s short novel At the Mountains of Madness, is re-envisioned for a new generation.

William Drenttel, Jessica Helfand, and AIGA
AIGA Winterhouse Awards for Design Writing: 2010 Recipients
10.05.10

AIGA and Winterhouse Institute announce the two writers selected to receive the 2010 AIGA Winterhouse Awards for Design Writing & Criticism — including a $10,000 prize and a $1,000 student award.

Christian Wiman
"Five Houses Down"
02.15.10

Five Houses Down, a poem by Christian Wiman.

Alexandra Lange
Wives of the Architects
02.01.10

The beginning of a short story I have been writing in my head for years.

Sharon Olds
"Q"
12.14.09

Q, a poem by Sharon Olds.

Chase Twichell
"Negligent Worldicide"
07.14.09

Negligent Worldicide, a poem by Chase Twichell.

Mark Lamster
Ovid: On Picking Up Girls (Literally)
07.03.09

Ovid gives some un-politically correct advice on playing hard to get.

Alexandra Lange
Home Front
06.17.09

Good Neighbors is a cautionary tale, reminding us to focus less on what’s coming in to your home and more on the individuals already inside.

Christian Bök
"W, a poem"
05.19.09

A poem about typography by Christian Bök.

Michael Erard
Cedars
04.21.09

The wake of dead trees is thick behind me, and the others weep and gnash their teeth. Larger trees I leave for some chainsaw to come; I'm a writer, not a lumberjack. Michael Erand on cedars.

Michael Sorkin
On Paul Auster
04.15.09

The annual Lewis Mumford Lecture has become an intellectual rite of spring for urbanists, architects, and students of both. Here is Michael Sorkin's introduction to novelist and filmmaker Paul Auster.

Franz Wright
"Visiting the Library in a Strange City"
03.17.09

A poem by Franz Wright.

Kerry Saretsky
Curious Case of the Better Adaptation
01.16.09

Now that I am comfortably “well-read” in my twenties with a Master’s in modern English Literature tucked into my back pocket, I can’t help but notice that every movie I have seen lately — and every movie that I want to see — has independently stood as a work of print before being reincarnated into movie form.

W.S. Merwin
"Unchopping A Tree"
01.07.09

"Start with the leaves, the small twigs, and the nests that have been shaken, ripped, or broken off by the fall; these must be gathered and attached once again to their respective places..." A prose poem by W.S. Merwin about how to unchop a tree.

Michael Bierut
David Foster Wallace, Branding Theorist, 1962-2008
09.14.08


Debbie Millman
Spoken Word Broadcast
04.24.08

All spoken word show featuring poems, prose and a short story.

Michael Bierut
Would It Kill You To Smile?
03.11.08

Thoughts on the enduring influence of bershon, "how you feel when you’re 13 and your parents make you wear a Christmas sweatshirt and then pose for a family picture."

Chip Kidd
The Learners
03.06.08

Chip Kidd's new novel, The Learners: A Novel. An excerpt courtesy of the author....

Michael Erard
Babel's Nobel
10.23.07

Observers seem to track the nations, not the languages, of the 104 Nobel-winning writers. Yet parsing the list of 25 languages that they wrote in turns up many interesting instances of disproportion.

Jessica Helfand
Lost, O Lost
03.04.07


Michael Bierut
Speech, Speech
01.23.07

The State of the Union Address is tonight. Messages, big ideas, careful details, second-guessing, refinements and revisions, anonymity: graphic design has a lot in common with political speechwriting. What kind of client do you suppose the President is?

Billy Collins
"Design" (1995)
09.01.06

"Design," a poem by Billy Collins.

Rob Giampietro
Kafka & Typography
06.20.06

For many, including myself, "The Trees" is about typography, and, in its first sentence, Kafka lets letters speak directly to the reader themselves: "we are like tree trunks in the snow." Picture a field after a recent snowfall. Think of the straight, almost runic lines of the fallen boughs. Approaching them, they seem like characters from an unused alphabet.

Michael Bierut
I Am a Plagiarist
05.11.06

Plagiarism is a hot topic in the world of publishing, What does it mean in the world of design? Michael Bierut pleads guilty.

Willis Regier
In Remembrance of Richard Eckersley
04.24.06

Richard Eckersley died on April 16, having given the best years of his life to establishing the importance of high-quality book design for university presses. Here, a remembrance by Willis Regier, director of the University of Illinois Press.

Adrian Shaughnessy
Charles Dickens and The BBC
12.19.05

Who would have guessed that a
BBC costume drama would provide us with Exhibit-A in the defense's case — that a mass audience can be engaged without pandering to base instincts?
Dmitri Siegel
Bartleby™
12.11.05

In his classic story of Wall Street,
Bartleby the Scrivener, Herman Melville recounts the tale of a humble copyist employed by the story's narrator. Could Bartleby's perfectly crafted refrain be the appropriate response to a world where every choice and configuration has been designed?
Michael Bierut
My Favorite Book is Not About Design (or Is It?)
07.12.05

Act One, the autobiography of playwright and director Moss Hart, is the best, funniest, and most inspiring description of the creative process ever put down on paper.

Debbie Millman
David Barringer
06.17.05

Debbie Millman interviews Winterhouse Writing Award winner David Barringer, who discusses his new book and his views on the state of contemporary graphic design.

Rick Poynor
In Memoriam: My Manual Typewriter
06.16.05

The fully evolved typewriter is a 20th-century industrial archetype. It feels inevitable, almost elemental, like one of those object types, such as a chair or a fork, that simply had to exist in this universe of forms.

William Drenttel
In Remembrance of Susan Sontag
12.29.04

In Remembrance of Susan Sontag: a designer's twenty-five years of interaction with the legandary writer.

Michael Bierut
The Other Rand
12.16.04

The Fountainhead, a 1943 novel by Ayn Rand, continues to exert its influence over generations of architects and designers.

Michael Bierut
Barthes on the Ballpoint
06.19.04

Roland Barthes disliked ballpoint pens, suggesting that there is a "Bic style" suited for "writing that merely transcribes thought."

Jessica Helfand
The Lying Game
04.01.04


Jessica Helfand
Blanket Statements
03.16.04


Michael Bierut
Vladimir Nabokov: Father of Hypertext?
01.11.04

The innovative narrative technique developed by Vladimir Nabokov for his 1962 novel "Pale Fire" -- essentially a single epic poem with footnotes and commentary -- anticipated hypertext, the internet, and the interconnected world of blogs.

William Drenttel
VAS: An Opera in Flatland
09.22.03

VAS: An Opera in Flatland is the first full-length novel by Steve Tomasula and Stephen Farrell.

Jessica Helfand
The Art of Elegant Abstraction
09.10.03

Bill Morrison's surprising 66-minute film is now playing on the Sundance Channel. For listings, see: http://www.sundancechannel.com/film_finder/index.php?startingLetter=d


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