Books


Observer Quarterly

Observer Quarterly

In the winter of 2015, we launched a new publication called Observer Quarterly. The idea is for each themed issue to include original writing, interviews, and photography alongside archival material that draws a narrative between the history and current condition of new and underappreciated aspects of design culture. Our first issue—the Acoustic Issue—covered new ways of looking at sound as part of the design landscape. The second issue examined tagging as a social, cultural, and indexical practice. And our newest issue—following our conference, Taste, which took place in Los Angeles in the spring of 2016—looks at the multiple intersections between design and food.



Observer Quarterly

Design | The Invention of Desire

Advancing a conversation that is unfolding around the globe, Jessica Helfand offers an eye-opening look at how designed things make us feel as well as how—and why—they motivate our behavior.

More books by Jessica Helfand




How To

How to

How to, Michael Bierut’s first career retrospective, is a landmark work in the field. Featuring more than thirty-five of his projects, it reveals his philosophy of graphic design—how to use it to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world. Specially chosen to illustrate the breadth and reach of graphic design today, each entry demonstrates Bierut’s eclectic approach. In his entertaining voice, the artist walks us through each from start to finish, mixing historic images, preliminary drawings (including full-size reproductions of the notebooks he has maintained for more than thirty-five years), working models and rejected alternatives, as well as the finished work. Throughout, he provides insights into the creative process, his working life, his relationship with clients, and the struggles that any design professional faces in bringing innovative ideas to the world. Offering insight and inspiration for artists, designers, students, and anyone interested in how words, images, and ideas can be put together, How to provides insight to the design process of one of this century’s most renowned creative minds.

More books by Michael Bierut




5050

50 Books | 50 Covers Catalog

The ultimate “book of books” to catalog the 2015 winners of the 50 | 50 competition. Publisher, author, and previous 50 Books | 50 Covers recipient Dave Eggers introduces the book. Photographer George Baier IV, who has photographed countless authors and book jacket projects himself, has thoughtfully taken pictures of every book and cover winner. Mohawk generously donated the finest paper. Printed offset, locally, here in the United States. Copies no longer available.



Observer Quarterly

Massimo Vignelli: Collected Writings

Massimo Vignelli (1931–2014) was one of the most influential designers of the twentieth—and twenty-first—centuries. The work he and his wife Lella accomplished at Vignelli Associates is universally admired. While Massimo himself never wrote for Design Observer, he appeared throughout its pages in spirit and as an example for over ten years. This collection of writings about Vignelli from the Design Observer archives—interviews, memories, observations, and critiques—includes selections from the lively comments and discussions that appeared after the original publication of these pieces. Contributors include Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand, Debbie Millman, and Alice Twemlow, among others. Get this book!



Persistence of Vision

Persistence of Vision: Collected Writings of William Drenttel

Designer and publisherWilliam Drenttel (1953–2013) was co-founder and editorial director of Design Observer. Since its inception in 2003, Drenttel contributed to Design Observer almost weekly on all manner of topics, from social change to democracy to his early career on Madison Avenue. We’ve collected two dozen essays—originally published on Design Observer—and an introduction by friend and former literary editor of the New Republic, Leon Wieseltier, and put them into print for the first time, including the lively comments and conversations that followed their original publication. Persistence of Vision is not only a tribute to a greatly missed design leader, but serves as an important addition to the design writing canon. Get this book!



Observed | April 18

Design and icons. [JH]


Observed | April 16

Eric Markfield’s Real MTA map reflects the current (woeful) state of the New York subway system in real time. Only lines with good service (no delays, no service changes or planned work) are shown. [MB]

Design and euthanasia. [JH]


Observed | April 13

What are you listening to? How? A fun look back at old-school headphones. [BV]

Opening next week check: Jade Doskow’s Lost Utopias, documenting the remains of World’s Fair sites, at the Front Room Gallery in NYC. [BV]


Observed | April 12

A day in the life of Mike Katz, the last of a dying breed: 70mm film projectionists. [BV]

The Accessible Icon began as a street art project and is now a rival to the 1968 Wheelchair Symbol. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | April 09

Will Burtin’s contributions to design can be characterised as important as Albert Einstein’s contributions to science.” [BV]


Observed | April 06

Behind Microsoft‘s AI design. [MPL]

Researchers are trying to understand how switching to electronic devices is affecting our memory and our literacy by studying a lowercase g + type designer Andy Clymer on the “g” he just couldn’t make work. [BV]


Observed | April 05

Claire Weisz receives Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architects NY Chapter. [JH]


Observed | April 04

Itty bitty birds. [MPL]

The twin film phenomenon: two movies that are not only about the same thing, but are often released around the same time. [MPL]


Observed | April 03

Visualizing Earth, from the side. [MPL]

Graphics sparking change. [MPL]


Observed | April 02

Pantone wants to curb your road rage with ‘nature-inspired’ car mood lighting. [BV]

Did you ever have a myspace account? Did you remember to delete all those old photos? Our old photos follow us online, and it‘s changing culture. [BV]


Observed | March 30

Get ready for next Christmas early with what’s sure to be the toy flying off the shelves! [JH]

Mobster Times! [JH]

Christopher Scoates will leave the Cranbrook Museum to become the director of the Museum of Arts and Design. [JH]


Observed | March 29

Yankees’ plans to depict ballplayers in the medium of beer foam thwarted. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | March 28

How service design is changing the way cities work. [JH]

Jens Müller and Julius Wiedemann’s A History of Graphic Design is out now from Taschen. More here. [JH]

Good design continues to be good business. [JH]


Observed | March 27

Disappointed by history on your last vacation? Check out these ancient ruins reconstructed with architectural GIFs. [BV]

Prettier in pictures: The stunning skylines of China’s megacities [BV]


Observed | March 26

We Heart Milton. [JH]

Can you learn design ... online? [JH]

Making smart cities smarter. [JH]


Observed | March 23

Designer Paw Poulsen turns celebrities such as Bill Gates and Elton John into typefaces. [BV]



Jobs | April 19