Jessica Helfand | Essays

Annals of Small Town Life: The Logo Stops Here






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....
Lilly Smith | Interviews

Chain Letters: Jessica Gaddis

This interview is part of a new Design Observer series, Chain Letters, in which we ask leading design minds a few burning questions—and so do their peers, for a year-long conversation about the state of the industry....
John Foster | Accidental Mysteries

Doug Rickard: N. A.

Headfirst into the underbelly...
Sean Adams | Evidence

Smiley Smile

“The image we have would be impossible for Mickey Mouse to maintain. We’re just normal people.”...


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]

In Brooklyn, Smith and Reed maintain Order, and Standards: a terrific write-up in Hyperallergic. [JH]


Observed | December 22

The pitfalls of office design. [JH]

Gifts made of books. [MPL]


Observed | December 21

Design is everywhere. Even—and especially—Belgium! [JH]



Jobs | January 18