Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Doors and Perception

On this episode, Michael and Jessica discuss Michael Rock’s essay The Accidental Power of Design, which uses the national conversation around bathroom signs to talk about how design decisions made in the past get mistaken for the natural order. As Michael Bierut says:
People are using design decisions that used to be in the scope of work of specialists who were charged with putting signs on doors in public places. Now suddenly, that’s a place where people are expected to have an opinion.
They also debate Mozilla’s transparent revision of its brand identity, and whether “open process, not open design” is a healthy way to embrace design criticism as a spectator sport.

Also mentioned:
  • Roger Cook and Don Shanosky, AIGA Symbol Signs
  • Ellen Shapiro, To CertifyD, or Not to CertifyD? That Is the Question
  • Esteban Pérez-Hemminger, certifyD
  • Fast Company, Uh-Oh, Mozilla Is Open-Sourcing Its New Logo Design
  • Engadget, Brace yourselves for Browsey McBrowserface.
  • Mozilla logo explorations: Round 1; Round 2
  • The Guardian obituary for David King
  • David King, The Commissar Vanishes
  • Showtime, Masters of Sex
  • David Halberstam, The Fifties

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  • Posted in: The Observatory

    Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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