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Owen Edwards

A Michelangelo, at 100 mph Plus

A Michelangelo, at 100 mph Plus The recent death of Italy’s Massimo Tamburini, at 70, from lung cancer, brought to an end the glittering career of perhaps the greatest motorcycle designer ever, but also — in my opinion — one of the greatest industrial designers of recent decades.

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The Editors

Records for Life: Rethinking the Immunization Card

Records for Life: Rethinking the Immunization Card In conjunction with World Immunization Week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation challenged the global health and design communities to reconsider the immunization card, classically one of the principal barriers to vaccination.

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Rick Poynor

The Conceptual Advertising of J.G. Ballard

The Conceptual Advertising of J.G. Ballard From 1967 to 1970, the British author J.G. Ballard published a series of disturbing conceptual advertisements in several publications at his own expense. While the ads are well known to his admirers and scholars, there has been little attempt to place them in a broader context in relation to design and advertising. Ballard’s project anticipated the emergence of culture jamming, subvertising, design fiction and speculative design.

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Francisco Laranjo

Critical Graphic Design: Critical of What?

Critical Graphic Design: Critical of What? Critical graphic design is a vague and subjective term. The meaning of the word “critical” in relation to graphic design remains unclear, resulting in an overuse and misuse in design magazines, books and websites. And in recent years there has been disenchantment and even skepticism toward graphic design work that is labeled as critical.

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John Foster

The Focused Obsession of Photographer Rob Amberg

The Focused Obsession of Photographer Rob Amberg In 1973 photographer Rob Amberg moved to Madison County, NC and became a documentary photographer. Though other great documentary photographers in the past have simply  “dropped in,” taken their images and left (take the WPA photographers, for example), Amberg and his wife live on a small farm in the same county he photographs. His subjects have been neighbors and acquaintances, friends of friends and strangers he has met.

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Adam Plunkett

How to Visualize Poetry — And How Not to

How to Visualize Poetry — And How Not to Having known next to nothing about visual poetry when I picked up an anthology of it this past year, I thought that I’d find one of two things in it: poems with drawings on them in the old tradition of illuminated books; or elaborate graphic representations of poems, backward ekphrases of, I don’t know, the river Acheron in Rothko paint.

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Bonnie Siegler

Dear Bonnie: Frustrated in Florida

Dear Bonnie: Frustrated in Florida This week's advice from Dear Bonnie focuses on how to handle on those people who think graphic design is as easy as a 1-2-3 click. "We understand the importance of visualizing emotional connections: this, in turn, can influence and enlighten people. People who understand and truly care about these kinds of solutions will always understand the importance and necessity of working with a trained professional."

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Alexandra Lange

Lucia Eames, 1930-2014

Lucia Eames, 1930-2014 Lucia Eames, the only child of Charles Eames and his first wife, Catherine Woermann, died on April 1. An artist and designer herself, after Ray Eames’s death in 1988 Lucia Eames took on the not inconsiderable task of preserving the Eames legacy. The 1976 film “The Chase,” starring Lucia, shows a freedom about the Eames House, a freedom translated into the branching ways the Eames legacy will come down to future generations of designers. Lucia Eames was the first generation to learn from them; thanks to her she will not be the last.

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David Morris

The Public Library

The Public Library The public library is a singularly American invention. Europeans had subscription libraries for one hundred years before the United States was born. But on a chilly day in April 1833, the good citizens of Peterborough, New Hampshire, created a radical new concept ― a truly public library. All town residents, regardless of income, had the right to freely share the community’s stored knowledge.

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John Foster

Found, Cut, and Rearranged: The Art of John Stezaker

Found, Cut, and Rearranged: The Art of John Stezaker For almost four decades, the artist John Stezaker has steadfastly been appropriating “found” press photographs, film stills, imagery from books, old postcards, and the like, to create a strikingly new way of seeing photography. One can tell that the artist is profoundly infatuated with images, whether he is subtracting from them (by cutting parts of them out) or adding them to another source.

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Samantha García

Inalienable Rights, Wolfsonian-Style

Inalienable Rights, Wolfsonian-Style Steven Heller kicked off the inaugural "Power of Design" ideas festival in Miami Beach at an altar of Art Deco palm fronds. MC’ed by inimitable writer Kurt Andersen, this year’s festival theme was “Complaints.” Participants had the mandate to drive “dissatisfaction to action” and “action to innovation” over four days at the Wolfsonian Museum. 

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Adam Harrison Levy

Data Loss

Data Loss Three years ago I lost everything. My young daughter, my beloved dog, my close friends, even myself. This was not the result of a hurricane, a fire, or even Alzheimer’s. It was the result of data loss.

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Bryn Smith

De Vinne at the Grolier Club in New York

De Vinne at the Grolier Club in New York We are not yet living, as novelist Gary Shteyngart once imagined, in a post-literate, visual age. Kindles, nooks, and other gadgetry may be replacing books on our nightstands, but printed artifacts can still capture our attention, and dazzle our senses.

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Chris Pullman

How Can One (Re)make Swiss Typography?

In the early 70’s, the MFA Design program at Yale, where I was teaching, was still in the thrall of the orderly, cool rationalism of Modernist Swiss typography. So it was shock to the system when, scanning the periodical shelves one evening in the Art Library, I came across the January 1972 issue ofTypografische Monatsblätter, a monthly journal serving the Swiss printing and typography industry.

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John Foster

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967

The Greenville, NC <em>Daily Reflector</em>: 1948 to 1967 One of the best ways to investigate the life and times of a region is to look at the local photo files from the daily newspaper. We can do that today, since more and more photographic images are being digitized and available for viewing. Local and regional newspapers give us a closer view of everyday life, much of it rather mundane — like ribbon cuttings, grip and grin photos of politicians, the local sports scene, community celebrations and the like.

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Other Recent Posts


Adam Harrison Levy: Data Loss
Bryn Smith: De Vinne at the Grolier Club in New York
Chris Pullman : How Can One (Re)make Swiss Typography?
John Foster: The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Jess : An Aposiopesis of Black Honey: or Variations on Dürer's Melancholia I
John Foster: The World of Tomorrow in 1939
Mark Lamster: The Astrodome and the Challenges of Preservation
Rick Poynor: The Filmic Page: Chris Marker's Commentaires
Adrian Shaughnessy: Open Source Politics/Open Source Design
John Foster: The Essence of a Teapot




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The Nabokov Collection (57)
The World of Tomorrow in 1939 (6)
The Flora of the Future (2)
The Conceptual Advertising of J.G. Ballard (2)
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Books By Contributors


Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are
Rob Walker
Random House, 2008


Communicate: Independent British Graphic Design Since the Sixties
Rick Poynor
Yale University Press, 2005


Design Research
Jane Thompson & Alexandra Lange
Chronicle Books, 2010


Design Without Boundaries: Visual Communication in Transition
Rick Poynor
Booth-Clibborn, 2000


Designing Pornotopia: Travels in Visual Culture
Rick Poynor
Princeton Architectural Press, 2006


Forty Posters for the Yale School of Architecture
Michael Bierut
Winterhouse Editions, 2007


In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World
John Thackara
MIT Press, 2005


Jan van Toorn: Critical Practice
Rick Poynor
010 Publishers, 2008


Letters From New Orleans
Rob Walker
Garrett County Press, 2005


Looking Closer 1
Michael Bierut, William Drenttel, Steven Heller & DK Holland, editors
Allworth Press, 1994


Looking Closer 2
Michael Beirut, Steven Heller, William Drenttel & DK Holland, editors
Allworth Press, 1997


Looking Closer 3
Michael Bierut, Steven Heller, Jessica Helfand & Rick Poynor, editors
Allworth Press, 1999


Looking Closer 4
Michael Bierut, William Drenttel & Steven Heller, editors
Allworth Press, 2002


Looking Closer 5
Michael Bierut, William Drenttel & Steven Heller, editors
Allworth Press, 2006


Master of Shadows: The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens
Mark Lamster
Nan A. Talese, 2009


No More Rules: Graphic Design and Postmodernism
Rick Poynor
Yale University Press, 2003


Obey the Giant: Life in the Image World
Rick Poynor
Birkhäuser Architecture, 2007


Paul Rand: American Modernist
Jessica Helfand
winterhouse Editions, 1998


Reinventing the Wheel
Jessica Helfand
Winterhouse Editions, 2002


Scrapbooks: An American History
Jessica Helfand
Yale University Press, 2008


Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media, and Visual Culture
Jessica Helfand
Winterhouse Editions, 2001


Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design
Michael Bierut
Princeton Architectural Press, 2007


Spalding's World Tour
Mark Lamster
PublicAffairs, 2006


Titans of Finance: True Tales of Money & Business
Rob Walker with artist Josh Neufeld
Alternative Comics, 2001


Typographica
Rick Poynor
Laurence King, 2001


Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design
Rick Poynor
MG Publications, 2010


Where Were You?
Rob Walker
Feed Books, 2006


Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities
Alexandra Lange
Princeton Architectural Press, 2012