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.
























































































































































































































































































11.27.06
How Hollywood Nailed The Half-Pipe
Pixar
and Animal Logic have mastered a particularly persuasive (and as it turns out, rather literal) form of spin that makes Road Runner look like dryer lint.







09.21.06
Death 'N' Stuff
Smoking Kills: The label days it all. Or does it? Once the allegedly chilling skull and crossbones is marketed as a decorative pattern
on a silk bowtie, its credibility as an mark of peril seems, well, somewhat questionable, begging the question: have we become so bored by life that we've inadvertently become inured to death?
































06.22.05
The Adventures of Cynic Boy and Design Mom in 3D
Brainwashed I may be, but I distinctly noted an homage to
Salvador Dalí — with perhaps a gentle nod to René Magritte — last night while sitting through Robert Rodriguez's ludicrous, yet oddly luscious new movie, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D.




06.10.05
The Cut: When Life Imitates Art (I Mean Design)
CBS Television debuted its new series,
The Cut, (modeled after other reality shows such as NBC's The Apprentice)about "16 aspiring designers."







03.24.05
The Design Police
As unlikely as it sounds:  
Graphic Junkies is a photo blog by  "an active law enforcement officer in the state of Georgia." The photographs are remarkable; the context compelling.






02.18.05
My Friend Flickr
Flickr is a digital photo sharing website and web services suite that was developed by Ludicorp, a Vancouver, Canada company founded in 2002. It's a utopian oddity — a culture enabled by a technology that in turn enables a culture — and it's a brilliant example of socially networked software because it's free, its easy, and it makes sense.




02.16.05
The New Paper Chase: Cyberspace on The Auction Block
On February 23,
Christies in New York will auction more than 1,000 items dating as far back as the early 17th century, all of it tracing the history of cyberspace.















































Observed | February 23

Rethinking school design in the wake of school tragedy. [JH]

“Show me someone with a seemingly unbroken stride and unfettered path.” Frank Bruni’s remarkable essay about his imperiled sight. [JH]


Observed | February 22

Black Panther spurred conversation among urbanist architecture and cities buffs on Twitter. [BV]


Observed | February 21

The case against popular culture: it‘s not just bad art, it enslaves us to repetition and robs us of aesthetic freedom. [BV]

Ready to embrace robots? [MPL]


Observed | February 20

At Stanford’s School of Continuing Education, a dive into the relationship between happiness and design. Here’s the syllabus. [JH]

Tackling Cape Town’s water crisis while reconsidering what might be considered luxury or waste. [BV]

Chicago toddler knows his car badges. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | February 19

Angharad Hengyu Owen’s wandering typographic lyricism. [JH]

At the Design Museum in London, through May 6, The Guardian’s design evolutions over time. More here. [JH]


Observed | February 16

The first energy-positive Arctic hotel. [MPL]

Do concrete monsters deserve to be rescued? Saving Brutalism. [MPL]

AIGA Eye on Design‘s first magazine is now available for pre-order, and while the theme for issue 01 may be “Invisible,” it’s no wallflower. [LS]


Observed | February 15

Valentines Day may be behind us, but embracing the V is a daily constant. Enter Racket + #KnowTheFlow. [BV]

Visualizing musical scores: Theresa Sauer‘s stunning Notations21. [BV]

Fuzzy dudes. That‘s all. [MPL]


Observed | February 14

Ellsworth Kelly’s chapel at the University of Texas at Austin. [JH]

Long live graffiti. And the importance of exhibitions. [JH]


Observed | February 13

Poland. NATO. Design. Go! [JH]

Designing the perfect cafe. [JH]

How do you build a healthy city? [JH]


Observed | February 12

A new design residency is announced, courtesy of our friends at Core77. [JH]

A new logo for Lufthansa. [JH]

Busting the myths of logo design! [JH]


Observed | February 09

Ethics, truth, addiction—and design. [JH]

“These magazines were portals to other lives, systems of taste I learned by acquiring the small talismans and minute gestures that held these worlds up.” Hua Hsu remembers The Face and the magic of print. [MB]

It’s hard to be inspired on Friday. Adobe wants to make it a little easier: download free icon kits made by legendary designers here. [BV]


Observed | February 08

“American society has so normalized our inferior sidewalk system that we don’t believe we deserve a place to walk.” [BV]

Are madness and creativity linked? Is the art of the mentally ill freer in expression? [BV]


Observed | February 07

If birds left tracks in the sky, what would they look like? [BV]



Jobs | February 24