Brian LaRossa | Essay

The Shape of a Design Mentorship






Ken Gordon | Essays

The Second Life of Elevator Operators: A Lesson in Service Design

The manual passenger elevator will, of course, never win on efficiency. In fact, current elevators are already mostly automated and will surely become increasingly so in the future. But the manuals have something going for them that no push-button, computerized lift will ever have: humanity....
Sean Adams | Evidence

Blinded by The Light

I found the world of black light posters in late 1978, when I was in middle school. At the time, the fluorescent posters represented rebellion and a bad-ass attitude....
Jessica Helfand | Essays

Annals of Small Town Life: The Logo Stops Here

Working with Florence Knoll, Lucille McGinnis convinced her husband, Patrick B. McGinnis, that the New Haven Railroad needed a new logo. Enter Herbert Matter, Swiss-born designer, photographer and Yale professor whose own education was framed by apprenticeships with Cassandre, Léger and Le Corbusier....
Lilly Smith | Interviews

Chain Letters: Richard Ting

Richard Ting, Global Chief Experience Officer at R/GA, continues our Chain Letters interview series....
Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 73: Fire, Fury, Playtime

Eva Hagberg Fisher on dressing for sexual harassment proceedings, Oprah at the Golden Globes, Print goes digital, Fire and Fury pop-up book, Jacques Tati’s PlayTime...
Debbie Millman | Audio

Design Matters: Best of 2017

Debbie looks back at some of her favorite highlights of 2017 including Thomas Kail, Elizabeth Alexander, Mike Mills, Sarah Jones, Anil Dash, and Brian Koppelman....
Steven Heller | Opinions

Spielberg’s Post Is Flawed

Spoiler Alert: Steven Heller digs into the production of Steven Spielberg’s “The Post”....
Michael Bierut | Essays

Vladimir Nabokov: Father of Hypertext?

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....


Observed | January 22

The aging beauty of Soviet control rooms. [MPL]


Observed | January 20

Nike’s new sports hijab, a Beazley Design of the Year nominee, is not without controversy. [MPL]


Observed | January 19

The photobooks that inspire Peter Funch. [MPL]

It really is all about context. (And consequence.) [JH]


Observed | January 18

Spooky design job title of the day: hotels are now offering Instagram “butlers” to help you get that perfect shot. [JH]

Arab designers. All women. All amazing. [JH]

The secret weapon of the Starbucks logo is asymmetry. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | January 17

Inside one of America‘s last pencil factories. [MPL]


Observed | January 16

Design, Hong Kong, and the future. [JH]

IKEA invents the pregnancy test advertisement. [JH]

Is interface design to blame for the false Hawaii missile alert? [JH]


Observed | January 15

How good design can improve peoples’ lives: a look back at the design history of the baby transport system. [JH]

A new year’s resolution from Gizmodo: they’re going to write more about design. [JH]

Design is ... more than a department ... more than a phase ... more than a feeling! McKinsey explains. [JH]


Observed | January 12

Edith Wharton’s design legacy. [JH]

Cycling their way from Europe to Asia, two women are researching the history and contemporary uses of paper. [JH]


Observed | January 11

Is an artistic “hobby” the key for scientific fame? [JH]

Extraordinary visual evidence of climate change: a worthy Oscar contender, and a cautionary tale of epic scale. [JH]


Observed | January 10

E-waste graveyards. [MPL]

Up next: countertop dishwashers. [MPL]

What Google Street View tells us about income. [MPL]


Observed | January 09

If we do say so ourselves, the brilliant Craeft review from Michael Bierut on NYTBR is worth a read. [BV]


Observed | January 08

Raising Places: how the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is helping to support design. [JH]

Probably 2017’s best song about furniture design. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

What will graphic design look like in 2018? [JH]


Observed | January 05

Intelligent design—for robots. [JH]


Observed | January 04

In the wake of the net neutrality decision, should cities build internet networks? [BV]

The most stolen books according to indie bookstore owners: Joan Didion, Kerouac, Vonnegut, Bukowski, and somewhat surprisingly, ethics books from the philosophy section. [BV]


Observed | January 03

The design of the City of Oakland’s tree logo was inspired by a pair of cufflinks. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | January 02

In Malawi, a Dutch firm uses local materials to create affordable equipment for hospitals. [JH]



Jobs | January 23