Diana Seave Greenwald | Books

Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?




Debbie Millman | Audio

Jenna Lyons

From her trend-setting career with J.Crew to the medley of new projects she has launched over the past year, Jenna Lyons has perpetually made the world a more stylish, joyful place....
The Editors | Terms of Service

Terms of Service: February Edition

We’d love for people to start every day by slowing down and being more present in whatever way works best for them....
| Books

Covering Black America

Decades ago, the great artist, poet, musician, and author Gil Scott-Heron famously proclaimed, “The revolution will not be televised.” He was right...It was, however, delivered monthly to newsstands and Black homes within the pages of Ebony....
Debbie Millman | Audio

Adam Grant

In an illuminating and cerebral discussion, Adam Grant discusses his new book and the value of checking in and checking up on yourself....
The Editors | Watch This Space

Design Observer Community Session: Barbara Glauber

This month, we welcome graphic designer and design educator Barbara Glauber....
Steven Heller | Essays

The Thrill is Gone: A Collector’s Lament

The thrill of the hunt has been replaced by the ease of Ebay and Etsy. The joy of the browse is now a trudge through a recent spate of online book fairs....
Debbie Millman | Audio

Design Matters From the Archive: Marilyn Minter

Sex, power, feminism—Marilyn Minter reflects on her rise, being banished from the art world, and her return and personal revolution....
Steven Heller | Essays

Incompetence Is a Skill

It is a true fact that once you learn how to swim or ride a bicycle you never forget. Not so with digital design tools....
Laura Scherling | Essays

How Micromobility Vehicles are Redesigning Global Transportation Systems

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt business-as-usual, a micromobility revolution is quietly moving forward....
Steven Heller | Essays

WAR! What’s it Really Good For?

Do not be surprised by how much warfare has actually contributed to our world....


Observed | March 04

On the brink of nuclear war, America’s bold response to the Soviet Union depended on Juanita Moody, an unknown spy agency operative, whose story can at last be told. [BV]


Observed | March 03

For his piece Quantum Fluctuations: Experiments in Flux, London-based artist Markos R Kay set out to visually express a quantum interaction – a phenomenon that’s notoriously unobservable. [BV]


Observed | March 02

The beautiful, origami-like art of letterlocking. [JH]


Observed | March 01

See what other people are reading—quite literally. [JH]

Old photos of famous artists and scientists animated into ‘living portraits’ using AI. [BV]

From the brilliant Ariel Avissar, a supercut of the everlasting typewriter. (Via Kottke.) [JH]

Art, activism, and the Xerox machine. [JH]


Observed | February 25

The story of designer/Marxist Enzo Mari, the role of value creation, and a tale of two bookcases. [JH]


Observed | February 24

Vintage clothes, bright colors, and empowerment for Black women: one graphic designer’s sartorial adventure. [JH]


Observed | February 23

A revolutionary artist and the former minister of culture for the Black Panther Party, Emory Douglas used graphic design to build a culture of resistance. [JH]

OUCH, or, why UX design matters. [JH]


Observed | February 22

The story of Ford’s first African-American designer, McKinley Thompson, who sketched the original 1966 Bronco [BV]


Observed | February 19

Magazines and The American Experience, on view at the Grolier Club in New York. (View the exhibition online here.) [JH]

Bruce Blackburn, designer of the iconic NASA “worm” logo, dies at 82. [JH]


Observed | February 18

Everything you ever wanted to know about stamps, but were afraid to ask. [JH]

The extraordinary, long overlooked story of artist and sculptor, Selma Burke. [JH]


Observed | February 12

NYCxDesign’s inaugural breakout grant will provide a lifeline to three independent designers (or businesses) with a product or project that’s ready to go to market. Applications are due March 26. [JH]


Observed | February 11

For its inaugural year of 2020-2021, Caltech’s Critical Intersections: Conversations on Race, History, and Science online seminar series is dedicated to the history leading up to—and beyond—eugenics. For this week’s event, artists Edgar Arcenaux and Kurt Forman will create a printed artwork in conversation with the topic, which will be mailed to early registrants (who provide their mailing addresses) when registering. [JH]


Observed | February 10

Just in time for Valentine’s Day: our very own Jessica Helfand in the newest issue of Lovers Magazine. [BV]


Observed | February 09

Toying with design, in India (and online) [JH]


Observed | February 07

Our friends Wix launched a great new development tool: EditorX offers powerful collaboration, flexible grids and full breakpoint control. Watch a video of all the new functionality. (Thanks for the demo!) [BV]


Observed | February 04

Beautiful green helix or glass poop emoji covered in trees? You decide. [BV]


Observed | February 03

We seek beauty in nature, art, and philosophy but also in our phones and furniture. Now scientists search for the neural basis of how the brain responds to beauty. [BV]


Observed | February 02

Black Art Library is a resource of rare publications highlighting the work of Black artists. [BV]


Observed | February 01

John Maeda breaks up—then reconciles—with design. [JH]

The 1-year-old company Formr sells furniture made by formerly incarcerated people, using discarded materials from construction sites to help fix America’s massive waste problem. [BV]

“At worst, cover letters strain one’s faith that words convey meaning at all” [BV]


Observed | January 28

Designer Inga Plönnigs new font, Magnet, is the latest family from Frere-Jones Type, a sans-serif in thirteen styles. [JH]


Observed | January 26

What are dreams? Just the theater of the unconscious? Our brains’ attempts to impose a semblance of structure on the chaotic imagery we retain? Random epiphenomena? Responses to potential threats? [BV]


Observed | January 25

How an augmented reality app transformed London into an immersive art gallery. [BV]



Jobs | March 05