Jessica Helfand | The Self Reliance Project

On Learning




Steven Heller | Essays

Peter Bradford, American Modern

Steven Heller remembers Peter Bradford, American Modern....
Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt | Audio

S8E8: Nina Cooke John

Nina Cooke John is founder and principal of Studio Cooke John, and also teaches at Parsons School of Design....
Debbie Millman | Audio

Seth Godin

In his third Design Matters interview, writer Seth Godin riffs on his 20th book—“The Practice”—a milestone text exploring creativity and the sheer power of doing the work and putting it out into the world....
Isometric Studio | Terms of Service

Terms of Service: November Edition

Providing tangible steps to rethink institutions from the ground up and examine meaningful alternatives....
Steven Heller | Essays

The Bounty of Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving day marks the quiet before the storm, when life assumes a commodified celebratory pace until my least favorite holiday, New Year’s Eve, restarts the cycle again....
Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt | Audio

S8E7: Maurice Woods

Maurice Woods is a principal designer at Microsoft and the founder and executive director of Inneract Project....
Debbie Millman | Audio

Design Matters From the Archive: Thomas Page McBee

In his extraordinary journey, Thomas Page McBee traversed trauma and wound up in the ring at Madison Square Garden, brimming with a host of wisdoms on gender, identity, feminism and masculinity....
Steven Heller | Essays

On Being Displaced

I felt queasy entering my office last Friday for the first time in almost nine months, since the Covid-19 lockdown in mid-March....
Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt | Audio

S8E6: Lisa Nakamura

Lisa Nakamura is the founding director of the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan....
Debbie Millman | Audio

Design Matters Live: Gemma O'Brien

From a life-changing letterpress moment to early viral fame and the current COVID crossroads, Gemma O’Brien remains a master of illustrious letterforms....

The Design Observer Cooperative

Observed | December 03

Help our friends at Class Action fund their next campaign, a series of billboards in the hotly-contested state of Georgia. [JH]

Kern in hell! Announcing: Hell Vetica (via Victoria Brown). [JH]


Observed | November 30

Help our friends at Unit Editions produce a long-overdue monograph on the work of artist and designer Ed Fella. [JH]


Observed | November 18

You may congratulate yourself for being a good listener, but often it’s the powerful who get to listen and decide what to hear. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]

Why the Google Workspace rebrand isn’t as bad as the Internet would have you believe. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | November 17

Aaaaaannnnnnd—that’s a lawsuit. Banana Republic gets sued over an Ampersand. [JH]


Observed | November 16

Architects designing for sea changes—as in, sea LEVEL changes. [JH]


Observed | November 06

Try to impeach THIS. [JH]


Observed | November 02

A history of American culture told through the pin-back button

Observed | October 30

A
t-shirt design created by Christian Rincon in honor of a champion of equality and justice. Proceeds benefit Senate races all across the country. [BV]


Observed | October 29

London’s Design Museum is hosting an exhibition of the work of Margaret Calvert, who had a prominent role in designing the UK’s road signage system. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | October 28

For the first time in history, Time Magazine will replace its logo with the word Vote. [JH]

“Mr. Lee thought a good designer should work in multiple forms, though he had a particular fondness for dance.” Longtime Yale professor and award-winning set designer Ming Cho Lee has died, at 90. [JH]


Observed | October 26

Our favorite minimalist, Kyle Chayka, on the quarantine palette. [JH]


Observed | October 20

Designer Peter Cho has introduced a daily drawing challenge—perfect for us all. Sign up here. [JH]


Observed | October 19

Shalom Schotten, a graphic designer at Thames & Hudson for over fifty years, has died. Remembered for his talent, kindness, and patience, the Austrian-born designer was 86. [JH]


Observed | October 14

“Either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate, and problem-solve.” Nominations for The Earthshot Prize begin on November 1. [JH]


Observed | October 09

Politicizing the duck stamp. (Sigh.) [JH]


Observed | October 08

“It Is What It Is”: All of Donald Trump’s Transgressions is a set of four artist’s books in which Trump’s transgressions are recorded and assigned colored cards as if by a referee in soccer. A monumental informational graphic work, Siglio Press needs your help to get it published. [BV]


Observed | October 07

Behold: the dawn of X (and why it’s a design story). [JH]

What is good design if not drama? Twenty-six movies every design lover should see. [JH]

Today, the Getty Research Institute launched 12 Sunsets: Exploring Ed Ruscha’s Archive, an interactive website that allows users to discover thousands of photographs of Sunset Boulevard taken by artist Ed Ruscha between 1965 and 2007. Stamen Design founder Eric Rodenbeck writes about the project and the many gems they found along the way. [BV]


Observed | October 06

Run—don’t walk—to pick up your copy of the new book by Roman Mars + Kurt Kohlstedt. [JH]

The existence and etymology of “uppercase” and “lowercase” is a fascinating tale. [BV]


Observed | October 05

The Japanese fashion designer Kenzo has died of complications from COVID-19, in Paris, his adopted home for more than half a century. He was 81. [JH]


Observed | October 02

The first Monday of every October is World Architecture Day: herewith, American architects choose their favorite Architects and buildings. [JH]

Do you think they provided allen wrenches in 1958? The IKEA museum has posted 70 years of their catalogs. [BV]


Observed | October 01

Wix debuts their bespoke typeface: Madefor. Madefor was designed in collaboration with its in-house studio and type foundry Dalton Maag. [BV]

Alexandra Lange on Wes Anderson: the fixation, the following—and now, the book. [JH]


Observed | September 30

How do you design for the future when the future you are designing for will not exist? [JH]



Jobs | December 04