11.24.17
Maya P. Lim | Reviews

Observer Objects : Your quirky + curated guide to all things gifty



Vintage wheel chart wall clocks
With these vintage wall clocks made from Jessica Helfand’s collection of wheel charts, you’ll never forget to check the time. Beautiful and functional, these clocks add character to any room.

Now You See It And Other Essays on Design by Michael Bierut
Michael Bierut’s writing is as insightful as it is funny, as smart as it is critical, and as profound as it is illuminating. This collection of more than 50 of his essays is an absolute must-read, containing some of his sharpest writing on graphic design and visual culture. (But yes, of course, we might be a little biased over here at Design Observer. Read it and decide for yourself!)

Dear Data Postcard Kit
From the creators behind the Dear Data project, this postcard kit has everything you need to make and exchange mailable data visualization with a geeky friend. Sold in a bundle of two packs: one to keep, and one to give.



A Selection of Fifty Type Specimens From the Collection of Tobias Frere-Jones
Featuring type specimens from the personal collection of type designer Tobias Frere-Jones, these postcards are beautiful enough to frame upon receipt! Each box contains 50 cards sorted by four countries of origin: the U.S., Great Britain, France, and Germany.



Modern Typography Notecards
Send letters…as cards. Six noteworthy designs feature faces from the 1920s to 1960s, including Univers, Bifur, and Fregio Mecano. Each card provides contextual background on the back. One box contains 12 blank cards and envelopes.

Thinking of You Notecards
Spanning emotions of all colors, these blank notecards feature nuanced illustrations by Brian Rea, who illustrates the weekly column “Modern Love” for the New York Times. Thinking of You notecards speak volumes about love, gratitude, loss, and sympathy. Included in the box of 20 cards are plain envelopes and a helpful list of suggested phrases to help those at a loss for words.



Artists Who Make Books edited by Andrew Roth, Philip E. Aarons, and Claire Lehmann
From Marcel Broodthaer’s 1.5-inch-tall world atlas and Dieter Roth’s thimble-sized series of bound tabloid clippings to Martin Kippenberger’s cork “edition” of Don Quijote de la Mancha and Andy Warhol’s volume of drawings filled with hand-inserted tissue guards, Artists Who Make Books showcases hundreds of examples of books created by artists as part of their broader work. Through interviews and biographical vignettes, this book of books collects and reveals the contexts from which these objects emerged, and thereby examines how each artist’s book stretched the meanings of art and books.

I’d Rather Be Reading by Guinevere De La Mare
Quotes, photos, essays, poems, and illustrations…all about books and the pleasures of reading. A light treat for bookworms.

Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex
Nothing Rhymes with Orange is not your typical rhyming picture book. WIth a cast of fruit characters who seem oblivious to the fact that Orange feels left out, because nothing rhymes with his name, this story reminds us of the importance of celebrating differences in each other and in ourselves. With hand-lettered text and illustrations in mixed media, Rex creates a funny, wacky, and touching tale…and Nietzsche makes an unexpected guest appearance (in time to rhyme with lychee).



Medical ephemera collection
A treat for lovers of typography and antiques, these scarves, iPhone cases, and throw pillows feature the timeless charm of apothecary labels and other medical ephemera.

Michael Graves: Design for Life by Ian Volner
In this meticulously detailed biography, journalist Ian Volner explores the life of Michael Graves, renowned designer and architect. Perhaps best known for his design of the Alessi whistling-bird teakettle and bold building design, Graves left a resounding mark in the history of product design and in the broader visual landscape before his sudden death in 2015. This book tells the story of the man and his devoted relationship to his art.

Animal Friendship Notes
From sloths to koalas, foxes to giraffes, and penguins to zebras, these cards illustrated by Ashley Percival show the cutest, weirdest, most whimsical animal friends. (And just wait until you see the crazy envelopes!)



Graphic Design Discourse edited by Henry Hongmin Kim
More than 75 of the greatest texts on art, philosophy, sociology, and design history gather to form a topically expansive, culturally rich anthology of graphic design theory and methodology. From Aristotle to Michel Foucault, Walter Gropius, Paul Rand and many more, this collection weaves centuries of design commentary and criticism into a discourse that chronologically traces the evolution of visual communication. Graphic Design Discourse is an excellently curated resource for designers and educators fascinated by the transformation of the industry’s theories and ideologies.

Infinite Suburbia by Alan Berger (Editor), Joel Kotkin (Editor), Celina Balderas Guzman (Contributor)
How is the design of cities changing our society and visual landscape? How have patterns of expansion driven the environmental challenges we now confront? What do the design of suburbs around the world say about our cultures and where we’re headed? These questions, and more, are explored in 52 essays by 74 authors in this brave new collection.

The Artist Project: What Artists See When They Look At Art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The award-winning online series, The Artist Project, documented the reflections of 120 artists on pieces at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that resonated with them. The insights from these artists, now gathered with photos in this 272-page volume, offer additional context and a fresh angle into the way artists think and speak about art. In the introduction, Christopher Noey, who led the interviews, shares: “In so many of these works of art, there are things I hadn't seen, but after listening to these artists, now I do. They know that a work of art can tell us about the past, connect us to distant lands and peoples, explore the unfamiliar, and, of course, spark the imagination and open a path to the future. That's why it's important to know what artists see when they look at art. They remind us how much is at stake every time an artist creates.”

Pioneers of German Graphic Design by Jens Müller
Containing more than 1,000 reproductions of iconic pieces, this superb reference by renowned designer Jens Müller tells the stories of fourteen German graphic design pioneers and how their work fundamentally shaped the arc of design history.



The Olivetti Pattern Series Notebook
Writers, artists, and fans of typewriters and midcentury design will love this hardcover notebook featuring a variety of patterns made on an Olivetti typewriter. Like the two-color ribbon of the Lettera 32, this book features two ribbon bookmarks—one red and one black.

Grids and Guides drawing pad + Grids and Guides tracebook
Precision never hurt anybody! A large, gridded drawing pad featuring three repeated designs is perfect for meticulous desktop sketching. A pack of two tracebooks offers a clever, convenient way to trace items precisely, with measurement tips in the inner flaps of the gridded cover.




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