Books


Origins of Design Patents
Although the story of design patents is closely intertwined with that of industrial design, in fact design patents predate the emergence of industrial design as an organized professional discipline by nearly a century.



Sign Painting
In the last ten years or so we have truly witnessed a resurgence of the sign painter’s craft.


The Editors
Self-Reliance
To think through making, to know yourself better through the process of producing something.



The New Art of Making Books
Founded in Philadelphia in 2016, Ulises is a collectively run art bookstore and exhibition space, who edited the recently published Publishing As Practice.


Jason Hill
Artist as Reporter
In the 1940s the New York daily newspaper PM’s experimented with the then already "lost art" of sketch reporting.


Sean Adams
How Design Makes Us Think
An excerpt from Sean Adams’ new book "How Design Makes Us Think".


Augusta Pownall
Rational Simplicity: Rudolph de Harak, Graphic Designer
An interview with Richard Poulin, the long-overdue first comprehensive monograph of Rudolph de Harak’s work.


Adrian Shaughnessy
Impact
Today, we use the internet and social media feeds to stay abreast of developments, but we used to rely on the design press. Already, most of the major players have left the stage. Will the few remaining stalwarts be around in 10 years’ time?



Covering Black America
Decades ago, the great artist, poet, musician, and author Gil Scott-Heron famously proclaimed, “The revolution will not be televised.” He was right...It was, however, delivered monthly to newsstands and Black homes within the pages of Ebony.


Steven Heller
A Month With President Obama
I spent last month, approximately three hours-a-night, seven-days-a-week, with President Barack H. Obama.


Steven Heller
Imagine, Observe, Remember
The poetically enigmatic title says it all: Imagine, Observe, Remember; it is a book about process, memory, remembrance and interpretation.


Jessica Helfand
On Learning
What resonates most unequivocally here is Emerson ’s plea for individuality—that iron string—the sovereignty of selfhood.



Steven Heller
Milton Glaser’s First Last Hurrah
Sketch & Finish illustrates Glaser’s teaching agenda, which is to say, one makes sketches to explore the unknown.


Patrick Fry
Magic Papers
Magic is largely a solitary endeavour, but the channels of its tips and tricks had a little-known heyday around a hundred years ago.


Jessica Helfand + Claire Weisz
On Architecture
Herewith, the first in a series of conversations with artists, architects, photographers, cinematographers, designers and makers of all kinds, from all over the world.



Word Rain
In fall of 1969, a strange and brilliant book came into the world.



Steven Heller
The Influence of Nightlife on Design
Cabarets, cafes, and nightclubs are as essential to the development of Modern avant garde art and design movements as are galleries, salons, and museums.


Steven Heller
Let’s Give Thanks for Books About Magazines
If you love print magazines and bemoan their demise Steven Heller has seasonal gift suggestions for you.


Steven Heller
The Novel That Took Me Down Jojo’s Rabbit Hole
Steven Heller interviews the author of "Caging Skies", the novel the new film Jojo Rabbit is based on.



Steven Heller
Dave King (RIP)
Last January I thought I had received an email from a ghost.



Steven Heller
Booklover’s Guide to Le-Tan
Steven Heller on illustrator Pierre Le-Tan and his daughter Cleo Le-Tan’s A Booklover’s Guide to New York.



Steven Heller
The Motivational Industrial Complex
This publishing season I’ve found three motivational books, each on the benefits of creative activity that, despite the biases noted above, I would suggest you read, if only to be entertained.


Jonas Banker + Ida Wessel
Process
The purpose pf this book is to reveal how physical sketching intertwines with critical thinking in the creative process, well beyond theoretical design jargon.


Steven Heller
The Bauhaus is Forever
You can never have too much Bauhaus.


Debbie Millman
Austin Kleon
Debbie talks with Austin Kleon, who describes himself as ’a writer who draws’.


Alex Cameron
On The Graphic Design Reader
Teal Triggs’ and Leslie Atzmon’s The Graphic Design Reader is as challenging as it is necessary.


Steven Heller
Don Wall: Brave New Book Design
Steven Heller talks to architect Don Wall about his radical book from 1971: Visionary Cities: the Arcology of Paolo Soleri.


Brian LaRossa
Why it Matters to Me if Designers Read and Write
Literacy means being an engaged and responsible citizen. It means building sympathy and empathy. It means being radically curious and pursuing meaning with a sense of purpose.


Ken Gordon
Designers Like You Should Read Machines Like Me
People, you might have noticed, are wracking their brains to understand artificial intelligence.


Debbie Millman
Elizabeth Gilbert
Debbie talks with Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love about the love of her life and her latest book City of Girls.


The Editors
Whose Book and Cover Designs are the Best of 2018?
Announcing the 2018 50 Books | 50 Covers selections.


Brian LaRossa
Should Book Publishing Leave New York City?
America’s publishing trade took root and flourished in New York because the city’s cultural and geographic conditions created an optimal environment for that to happen.


Steven Heller
Seymour Chwast: Few Words, Many Letters
Seymour Chwast, a man of few words, wishes there were more than 26 letters in the alphabet.


Ken Gordon
In the Future, Life Online Could Be “The Trial”—Unless We Design Something Better
The Trial is seen as prophetic by many.


Steven Heller
Photographing Science
The role that image makers have in the fields of science and engineering is more vital, especially now.


Steven Heller
Born to be Posthumous
Your book on Edward Gorey has been a long term journey for you. I know why I want to spend time reading it, but why did you want to invest so much of your life in Gorey’s head?



Observed | May 10

“Nothing is unaffordable in a C.G.I. dreamscape, and rent is never due.” Anna Weiner on the speculative design world of “renderporn”. [JH]


Observed | May 06

Last week Microsoft announced that they wanted the Twitterverse‘s help picking a new default font. This seemingly trivial choice by Microsoft will determine what works looks like for hundreds of millions of people. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]


Observed | May 05

In conjunction with the Walker Art Center, BluDot announces OpenStudio: a free design program for kids aged 9 to 14. [JH]


Observed | May 04

Titus Kaphar signs with UTA where he’ll start developing film projects based on his paintings. [JH]


Observed | May 03

A new site celebrating the Uruguayan publication La Semana highlights the personal and public triumphs of this memorable newsweekly. (In English and Spanish.) [JH]

Rhode Island’s license plate—known affectionately as the wave, and designed by Rhode Island native and RISD graduate Tyler Smith—will be redesigned by the, um, public. Holding an open design contest is bold and exciting;, writes architecture critic Will Morgan. It is also a recipe for disaster. [JH]

Wallpaper offers a superb roundup of advocacy and support groups working for equity, inclusion, and change in deisgn and related industries. [JH]


Observed | April 28

Lehrer Architects LA‘s second Tiny Home Village project has opened this week to residents in North Hollywood. Yet tiny houses aren’t always loved. Discuss! [BV]

How to really look at art: an eight-step guide by Antwaun Sargent. [JH]


Observed | April 27

Dwight Garner reviews the new novel by Rachel Cusk and notes its unusual (and seemingly deliberate) type choice: Optima! “Optima is unusual to see in a novel,” Garner observes. “I tried using it to type this piece. It made me feel I was working on Laurie Anderson’s laptop.” [JH]

At the nation’s newspaper of record, the term “Op-Ed”—a relic of an older age and nod to an older print newspaper design—is being retired from duty. [JH]

How mathematicians use their chalkboards to reveal the conceptual and visual beauty of their discipline: a new book by photographer Jessica Wynne. [JH]


Observed | April 21

Astrid Cooper is a curator in Bath, England. Also, she is five years old. [JH]

A new illustrated children’s book—featuring a flying gherkin—from Foster + Partners. [JH]


Observed | April 20

Introducing the whitest paint ever invented. [JH]

Just in time for Earth Day: Belgian artist Alain Verschueren’s Portable Oasis lets you spend quality time in the garden while social distancing at the same time. [JH]


Observed | April 19

Influential American architect Donald P. Ryder—who in partnership with J. Max Bond, Jr. was widely regarded as the most influential African-American architect in New York—has died at the age of 94. [JH]

Design ... and tasers. (Via Jeffrey Kittay) [JH]

Italy, meet Baltimore! [JH]


Observed | April 16

When wayfinding meets letterpress. [JH]


Observed | April 15

From trade catalogues to children’s stories, Dutch graphic designers during the first half of the 20th century produced a memorable body of work that deserves revisiting. [BV]


Observed | April 14

Everything you need to know about what’s happening in type today, from Monotype. [BV]

A collection of hand-lettered Marvel Comics titles, curated by Reagan Ray. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | April 13

Plagiarism? Target? Discuss! [JH]

When good design makes bad cities—and how it can make them safer for women. [JH]


Observed | April 12

Behold: the cyborg—sorry, fashion mask. [JH]


Observed | April 08

The Huntington Library has a history of inequity. Can it pivot toward inclusivity? (via Blake Eskin) [BV]


Observed | April 07

Memory as inventory: a beautiful tribute in the New York Times. [JH]


Observed | April 06

Overlooked no more: The IBM Poster Program: Visual Memoranda features work by Ken White, John Anderson, Tom Bluhm and photographer Rodger Ewy among others like, um, Paul Rand. [JH]


Observed | April 05

Blending is the new branding. (Blend = Brand ± Transparency ± Framing ± Bespoke ± Blur) [BE]



Jobs | May 14