Business + Industry

Ashleigh Axios
To Be a Design-Led Company
Over the last 10 years, design-led companies have maintained significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by an extraordinary 211%.


Steven Heller
State of the Union Rats
“Scabby,” as it is appropriately nick-named, is the labor movement’s most effective protest icon and guaranteed to grab the attention of even the most blasé passersby.


Doug Powell
On Design and Startups: Part 2
Doug Powell and Albert Lee continue their discussion on the role of design in tech startups. 


Doug Powell
On Design and Startups: Part 1
Doug Powell and Albert Lee discuss the influence of design in the tech industry, in particular in the startup sector.


Michale Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E9: Jay Parkinson
Dr. Jay Parkinson is the founder of Sherpaa, an online medical practice.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E8: Leslie Koch
Leslie Koch was the president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E6: Douglas Powell
Douglas Powell is a Distinguished Designer at IBM. He directs a global effort to bring human-centered design to IBM.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E4: Barry Nalebuff
Barry Nalebuff teaches at the Yale School of Management. His specialty is game theory and its application to business strategy.


LinYee Yuan
Easy Being Green
In the United States, over a third of the food that we produce goes to waste.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E2: Molly Barton and Julian Yap
Molly Barton and Julian Yap are cofounders of Serial Box Publishing, which develops original episodic fiction.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E1: John Bielenberg
John Bielenberg is a designer, entrepreneur and imaginative advocate for a better world.


Rob Walker
Listening to Retail
Disquiet Junto has been listening to retail, and it’s changing my ears.


Debbie Millman
Todd Waterbury
Debbie Millman talks to Target’s Chief Creative Officer Todd Waterbury about how technology is changing consumption and about how smart phones have raised our expectations for how companies should interact with us.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
150 Years, 7 Minutes, 6 Seconds
Visualizing business data, a logo to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, and more.



Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Fretting in Fredericksburg
This week Dear Bonnie gives an unhappy designer advice on contracts, fees, and client management.


Debbie Millman
Lynda Weinman
On this episode of Design Matters, Debbie talks to lynda.com’s Lynda Weinman about how the internet is challenging the traditional classroom model.



Rob Walker
Jony Ive: The Supercut
Finally! Someone made a supercut video of Jony Ive’s years of describing the awesomeness of Apple product design.


Paul Polak
An Open Letter to Larry Page
Paul Polack responds to Larry Page's statemet that he'd rather hand over his cash to Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX, Solar City) instead of donating it to a philanthropic organization.



Observed
Employee ID Badges
A deeper look into WWII era employee ID badges.


Michael Bierut
What Bill Knew
A 1991 speech by William Drenttel revealed what he knew about the business of design.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Cheated in Chicago
This week Dear Bonnie — our truth-telling advice column from Bonnie Siegler — advises independent artist "Cheated in Chicago" on the best course of action when her work is being used by a large brand without her permission.


Maria Giudice + Christopher Ireland
Rise of the DEO
An excerpt from the book Rise of the DEO by Maria Giudice & Christopher Ireland.



Paul Polak
End Poverty or Bust
Five years ago, Steve Bachar and Paul Polak decided to create a venture capital fund that would only invest in socially responsible companies. There was only one problem. There were no companies to invest in that met the criteria


Alexandra Lange
Learning New Tricks
Harvard doesn't have any design courses, but I've found new friends in "material culture." What it's like for a critic to go back to school.


Cheryl Heller
Forget Poverty. Let’s Talk Business.
In a recent article on the future of design, I used Paul Polak as a case for why generalists are so important to the world right now.


Alexandra Lange
That Personal Touch
In the age of the digital signature, what does script mean?


Owen Edwards
The Best Management Memo … Ever!
Owen Edwards on the most effective eight words he's ever read.


Alexandra Lange
Home Improvement
The Sweethome, where Consumer Reports and Amazon product reviews meet.


Alexandra Lange
Anxiety, Culture and Commerce
Is the museum store a distraction or an enticement?



Soren Kaplan
Harnessing the Power of Surprise
Breakthroughs share three common characteristics: they challenge fundamental assumptions about existing products, services, business models, or organizations; they transform existing ways of doing business by rewriting rules or revolutionizing current practices; and they apply resources in entirely new ways, whether people, knowledge, relationships, or technology.


Michael Bierut
Graphic Design Criticism as a Spectator Sport
Michael Bierut on logo redesign outrages, what they mean, and why we should demand more.


Rick Poynor
On My Screen: Shooting the Past
Stephen Poliakoff’s Shooting the Past, set in a fictitious photo library, is a film that could haunt you for years.


Alexandra Lange
Shopping With Sandro, and Other Tumblr Delights
Digitizing the Miller House Collection, and other museum and corporate visual archives on Tumblr.


Rob Walker
Making "Making" Mass
A visit to an outpost of TechShop, the aspriing "Kinko's for geeks," in North Carolina.


Rob Walker
The Bizarro Storytelling Exercise
The Bizarro Story Exercise: The value in thinking hard about the worst.


Rob Walker
The Infrastructure of the Cloud
On the material structures we depend on to deliver us the immaterial digital world.



Adrian Shaughnessy
When Less Really Does Mean Less
Since the banking crises of 2008, designers fromWestern nations are learning painfully to adapt to the new reality: less is the new normal.


John Thackara
From Milk to Superfoods: Supping with the Devil?
The social and ecological crimes Big Food is committing, in other parts of the world, so that you and I can eat what we damn well feel like.


Alexandra Lange
What the Cooper-Hewitt Needs: More Design, Less Talk
My six suggestions for how to fix the National Design Museum.


Rick Poynor
From the Archive: Raging Bull
A response to Michael Bierut’s essay about the relationship between bullshit and design, and the discussion that ensued.


Rick Poynor
From the Archive: Down with Innovation
Designers have too readily accepted the caricature of themselves as airheaded stylists. Visual form is a vital expression of culture.



Alexandra Lange
New Apple HQ, 1957
Wouldn't it be more radical for Apple to move back to town?



Helen Walters
Design and Business Education: The System Is Not Good Enough
In the past few years, there have been interesting attempts from within both business and design schools to elevate the potential of design and creative thinking as drivers of differentiated value.


John Thackara
How the Banks Want to Make China Sick — and Broke
Is it me, or are some banking people incredibly stupid as well as being venal and sociopathic?



Michael Bierut
Jerry Della Femina, Mad Men, and the Cult of Advertising Personality
A review of Jerry Della Femina’s From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor, published in a new edition on the occasion of the debut of the fourth season of the AMC series Mad Men.



Jane Margolies
Skin
Report on maternity clothes made in Colombia with local labor. (No seamstresses under the age of 50 need apply.)



Project
Kiva
Report on Kiva, the pioneering microfinance site, which won a 2009 INDEX award for humanitarian design.



Debbie Millman
Dan Pink
Dan Pink is an entrepreneur, speaker and the author of three groundbreaking books on the changing dimensions of the workplace. 



John Thackara
The Innovator Next Door
Whether it's narrowly defining innovation as technology, or imposing solutions on communities, John Thackara discusses the mistakes made by large companies.



Debbie Millman
Seth Godin
Seth Godin is the author of Purple Cow and All Marketers Are Liars.



Debbie Millman
Live From Las Vegas with Rossi Ralenkotter
Debbie Millman interviews Rossi Ralenkotter — President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority — and Emmy Award nominated Set Designer Susan Benjamin.



Debbie Millman
Brand Consulting
A discussion about branding, design and cultural anthropology with leading practitioners in each discipline.



Debbie Millman
Grant McCracken, Part 2
Grant McCracken PhD, author and a research affiliate at MIT.



Debbie Millman
Grant McCracken, Part 1
Grant McCracken PhD, is an author and a research affiliate at MIT.



Observed | December 12

Mis-overestimating the user, aka “the reverse George Bush design effect”. [JH]

In Dubai: building a design culture, from scratch. [JH]


Observed | December 11

Why success stories are just propaganda. [MB]

“Design thinking is kind of like syphilis: it’s contagious and rots your brains.” [MB]


Observed | December 08

Designing an autonomous car—from scratch. (Ford says they’re ready.) [JH]

There is Nordic design and then there is incredible Nordic design. (This is the latter.) [JH]


Observed | December 07

Protect your design job! From robots! No, not the tagline of a new blockbuster movie: an article about how you can actually, um, protect your design job from robots. [JH]

New design guidelines announced for the city of San Francisco. Perhaps other cities will follow suit: better to serve humanity than to express hostility, no? At a minimum, we should strive for coherent and peaceful cities. [JH]


Observed | December 06

Airbnb: People think our logo is anatomically suggestive. New Jersey ice cream parlor: Hold my beer. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

Saving faces...on eggs. [MPL]


Observed | December 05

Can design reduce stress in cities? [JH]

News from China: will design help “power the next stage of growth”? Some business leaders think so. Meanwhile, in Shenzhen, a new design center opens. And if you’re in Hong Kong later this week, threee days of design inspiration await you! [JH]

Type designer and House Industries co-founder Rich Roat has died, age 52. [JH]


Observed | December 02

A decade of Chip! [JH]

Can a logo be adorable? Air Malta thinks so. [JH]


Observed | December 01

Is this the end of an era? Is process passé? More here. [JH]

Design tool = privacy nightmare. [JH]

If God is in the details—maybe design is in the relationships? Nathan Shedroff thinks so. [JH]


Observed | November 30

Holograms and rainbow printing are just a few of the ways the new Hong Kong high-tech ID card is building in security. [JH]

It seemed like a good idea at the time? [JH]


Observed | November 29

Book lovers never go to bed alone. (Support public libraries!) [BV]

Cool new illustrations from London-based illustrator Fay Dalton for the original James Bond novels. [BV]

You’ve seen the decorations everywhere: How postwar Christmas embraced spaceships, nukes, cellophane. [BV]


Observed | November 28

From pickled sharks to compositions in silence, fake ideas and fake emotions have elbowed out truth and beauty. [BV]

Will there be grapes in 2050? Tour the facilities where scientists breed plants to survive the future. [BV]

Zuckerberg and the data visualization that’s become core to Facebook’s mythos. [BE]


Observed | November 27

Design for Neuroticism? Sign me up! Bot designers (yes, it’s a thing) frame bot characters around something called the “big five” (I was hoping for hippos, like on safari, but no luck). The big bot five is a “personality trait model according to which each personality has five dimensions — agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, extraversion, and openness”. [JH]

This just in from the department of first world problems: The Dip Clip is the brainchild of a problem encountered, a decade ago, by a group of designers who stopped during a short trip at a fast food drive-thru and “realized they could not easily enjoy their condiments without making a mess.” [JH]

“Apple’s designers have long had an influence in the company which is barely imaginable to most designers elsewhere.” In this week’s New Yorker, Ian Parker’s profile of Sir Jonny Ive and the future of Apple. [JH]


Observed | November 24

The complex history of flash photography. [BV]



Jobs | December 12