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Illustration


01.14.14: Alexandra Lange

Playing With Design: Fredun Shapur
Add Fredun Shapur to the pantheon of modern designers making winning and sculptural objects for children.
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01.10.14: Gideon Amichay

No, No, No, No, No, Yes
In this excerpt from his book No, No, No, No, No, Yes. Insights From A Creative Journey, Gideon Amichay pushes past no to yes.
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01.03.14: Rick Poynor

Martin Sharp: People, Politics and Pop
Martin Sharp rediscovered: drawings and collages from the book People, Politics and Pop: Australians in the Sixties.
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12.06.13: Rick Poynor

Martin Sharp: From Satire to Psychedelia
The late Martin Sharp was a visual innovator whose work erased artificial distinctions between applied image-making and fine art.
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09.16.13: Rick Poynor

Bohumil Stepan's Family Album of Oddities
Bohumil Stepan’s Familienalbum presents a series of surreally equipped and irreverently modified collages of his family.
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09.07.13: Rick Poynor

Bohumil Stepan's Gallery of Erotic Humor
Mapp Editions has released a digital version of Bohumil Stepan’s Galerie (1968), a surreal collection of collages and drawings about the relationship between the sexes.
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08.30.13: Alexandra Lange

A World of Paste and Paper
Today's obsession with digital renderings sparked two exhibitions that suggest a handmade, but far from quaint, corrective.
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07.14.13: John Foster

The Voynich Manuscript
Accidental Mysteries for July 14, 2013 focuses on the rare and undecipherable Voynich manuscript.
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07.01.13: Alexandra Lange

An ABC of the ABCs
Were you a child? Did you read books? Then the NYPL's "ABC of It" serves as a portal back in time.
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05.09.13: Rick Poynor

The Age of Wire and String Rebooted
Granta’s new edition of The Age of Wire and String by Ben Marcus is a landmark of experimental illustration.
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02.24.13: John Foster

What's Inside?
Accidental Mysteries for February 17, 2013 focuses on what's inside: anatomical drawings.
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02.15.13: Rick Poynor

A Dictionary of Surrealism and the Graphic Image
An alphabetical guide to graphic designers influenced by Surrealism and to some key Surrealist concepts.
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01.20.13: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 01.20.13
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is a historical cartography.
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01.13.13: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 01.13.13
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is a miniaturist and his work.
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12.30.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 12.30.12
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is the Art of Comic Books.
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12.19.12: Alexandra Lange

Bad Taste True Confessions: Erté
True confessions about my own bad taste. I loved Erté. Did you?
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10.31.12: Alexandra Lange

Dot Supreme
On the enduring power of the simplest shape, from corporations to children’s books.
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10.05.12: Rick Poynor

The Museum of Communicating Objects
Orhan Pamuk’s The Innocence of Objects is an illuminating guide to his Museum of Innocence in Istanbul.
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07.06.12: Rick Poynor

Design a Cover for Eno's Music for Films
LA architect John Bertram has set a competition to design an alternative sleeve for Music for Films by Brian Eno.
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05.31.12: Rick Poynor

From the Archive: Graphic Metallica
Heavy metal’s extremity, as a set of aesthetic choices and as a way of life, exerts an enduring fascination.
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05.20.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 05.20.12
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is paper folding art.
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05.16.12: Amelia Lacy

Gene & Jackie Lacy
Gene and Jackie Lacy, Indianapolis-based graphic designers and illustrators practicing from the 1950s through the 1980s.
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03.23.12: Rick Poynor

The Covers of J.G. Ballard's Crash: An Update
Some recent covers of J.G. Ballard’s disturbing Crash, a notoriously hard novel for designers to interpret.
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03.02.12: Rick Poynor

Motif Magazine: The World Made Visible
Motif magazine, founded in 1958, anticipated a new way of seeing, documenting and appreciating the “visible world.”
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02.26.12: Rick Poynor

John McHale and the Expendable Ikon
Artist, graphic designer, information theorist, architectural critic, sociologist, futurist: it’s time to rediscover John McHale.
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02.04.12: Alexandra Lange

Want to Buy A Valentine?
You can buy a valentine handmade by someone else. You can send your beloved a vintage card using an app. But where's the romance in that?
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01.31.12: Rick Poynor

The Evil Genius of David Shrigley
British artist David Shrigley, subject of a major exhibition in London, is forever tempting and testing the viewer.
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12.01.11: Rick Poynor

Man in a Bowler: Illustration after Magritte
By copying Magritte’s subject matter and method, illustrators ended up making a great artist look hackneyed.
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11.25.11: Rick Poynor

How to Cover an Impossible Book
Tadeusz Borowski’s book This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen poses a visual challenge for designers.
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11.10.11: Rick Poynor

Literary Horror from the Chapman Brothers
British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman have created an image of sublime horror for the cover of Granta magazine.
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07.27.11: Rick Poynor

Andrzej Klimowski: Transmitting the Image
Andrzej Klimowski, author of a new book, On Illustration, has used the medium to create a compelling alternative reality.
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06.28.11: Rick Poynor

Speculative Fiction, Speculative Design
The cover of England Swings SF is one of those prescient imaginative leaps that vaulted so far it disappeared from the historical record.
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06.27.11: Julie Lasky

Between Two Convex Mirrors: A Conversation with Tomi Ungerer
Interview with illustrator and book artist Tomi Ungerer.
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06.06.11: Rick Poynor

Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?
A DVD cover for the classic film noir Kiss Me Deadly uses the blindingly obvious symbol that just keeps on giving.
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05.19.11: Rick Poynor

Unearthly Powers: Surrealism and SF
Richard Powers, auteur of the paperback cover, was a key figure linking science fiction and Surrealism.
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04.12.11: Rick Poynor

Stewart Mackinnon: Ruptured and Remade
Why, at the height of his early success, did a brilliant British illustrator decide to walk away and what happened next?
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04.07.11: Rick Poynor

Starowieyski's Graphic Universe of Excess
In Franciszek Starowieyski’s posters, desire, sexuality, monstrosity, madness and death conjoin in some of the most outrageous images found in graphic design.
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03.25.11: Rick Poynor

An Unknown Master of Poster Design
Karel Teissig might just be the best poster designer you have never heard of.
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02.22.11: Rick Poynor

On My Shelf: Richard Neville's Playpower
Martin Sharp’s cover design is a garden of queasily decadent delights where the joke is probably on the reader.
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01.20.11: Mark Lamster

Gerd Arntz: Design Icon
Gerd Arntz: A design icon who designed icons.
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12.10.10: Michael Bierut

At the Movies with Javier Mariscal
Chico & Rita is a new animated film by Spanish designer Javier Mariscal and director Fernando Trueba.
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11.11.10: Rick Poynor

What Does H. P. Lovecraft Look Like?
In a gilded age of adaptations: films, TV series, theatrical productions, H. P. Lovecraft’s short novel At the Mountains of Madness, is re-envisioned for a new generation.
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09.27.10: Debbie Millman

The Art of Poetry
Debbie Millman interview Poetry magazine editor Christian Wiman, plus a slideshow of 67 Poetry covers.
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09.01.10: Michael Bierut

James Victore: Straight Up
"Few designers have done more to render typography foundries irrelevant than Victore. The human hand, his hand, is always in evidence." Michael Bierut on James Victore's work.
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07.23.10: William H. Helfand

Ridendo
A slideshow comprised of covers from Ridendo a magazine distributed to French physicians.
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07.21.10: Christopher Mount

Wild at Heart: Tadanori Yokoo
Essay adapted from the catalog for "The Complete Posters of Tadanori Yokoo," an exhibition running through September 12, 2010, at the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan.
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07.16.10: Rob Walker

When Funny Goes Viral
Taking Lulz (Sort of) Seriously.
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07.13.10: Gerry Shamray

Harvey and Me
A remembrance of comic artist and graphic novelist Harvey Pekar by an illustrator who worked with him throughout his career, fellow Clevelander Gerry Shamray.
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07.01.10: Ernest Beck

Edward Koren in Retrospect
Essay on The New Yorker cartoonist Edward Koren.
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04.27.10: Steven Heller

Home Is the Sailor, Home from the Sea
In 1943, Margaret Wise Brown, the children’s book author signed a contract with Harper & Brothers to publish The Fathers Are Coming Home.
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09.25.09: Michael Bierut

The Figure / Ground Relationship
Designing is the most important thing, but it’s not the only thing. All of the other things a designer designer does all day are important too, and you have to do them with intelligence, enthusiasm, dedication, and love. Together, those things create the background that makes the work meaningful, and, when you do them right, that makes the work good.
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08.11.09: Steven Heller

Covering the Good Books
When reading was more fundamental than tweeting, Time Life Books played a significant role in getting the general public to acquire books on almost every subject.
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05.30.09: Michael Bierut

Seymour, An Introduction
In a world of design consultants, information architects, and experience planners, Seymour Chwast is something refreshingly old-fashioned: a commercial artist. If this is a term that has fallen into dispute, Seymour is the best argument for reviving it.
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04.21.09: Steven Heller

Father of Shrek, Grandfather of Tweet
William Steig was the father of vanity license plate abbreviations and the grandfather of the Instant Messenger, SMS, iChat, and Twitter shorthand.
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02.12.09: Rob Walker

A Successful Failure
Yiying Lu is an artist and designer in Sydney, Australia. One image in her portfolio is of a peaceful whale held aloft by a small flock of birds, aka as the “Fail Whale” of Twitter.
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12.03.08: Steven Heller

Draw Me Schools Of Commercial Art
Scores of advertisements, like the famous "Draw Me!" matchbook cover, offered willing aspirants the big chance to earn "$65, $80 and more a week" in "a pleasant, profitable Art career." Although the ads often shared space at the back of cheesy pulp magazines with offers to learn, well, brain surgery at home, they offered a legitimate way for anyone with a modicum of talent, limited means and an existing job to train in their spare time for a new profession.
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10.27.08: Steven Heller

In Praise of the Anthropomorphic
Today I’m going to go out on a limb. I’ve decided that the next big thing in illustration, is one of the oldest conceits ever: Anthropomorphism, “the attribution of uniquely human characteristics to non-human creatures and beings, natural and supernatural phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts.”
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09.15.08: Steven Heller

Breakdowns: A Review
Steven Heller reviews Art Spiegelman’s Breakdowns, his first anthology of autobiographical and experimental comics were originally published in 1978. Thirty years later, a new edition, Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist As A Young %@(#!, is finally out.
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08.26.08: Steven Heller

Where Have You Gone R. Cobb?

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08.04.08: Steven Heller

Clipping Art, One Engraving At a Time
These books, universally known as clip art books, some edited by Dick Sutphen and many others published by Dover and Chelsea House, were owned by almost every American illustrator, designer, and art director who found solace in them when an idea was needed but their imaginations were not entirely up to the task. This is a personal remembrance and homage to them.
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07.17.08: Paula Scher

It's How You Said It
Paula Scher: "The problem with the New Yorker's controversial Obama cover is not that it's dangerous and tasteless. The problem is that it isn’t dangerous or tasteless enough."
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06.07.08: William Drenttel

Thoughts on Democracy, July 4 2008

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11.17.05: William Drenttel

David Hughes: Caricaturist of Our Time
But my favorite, in recent years, is the British illustrator David Hughes. I yearn for his drawings, look for them in my favorite publications, and save them whenever and wherever I find them.
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