American Reich

November 25, 2015

Man in the High Castel

World War II continues to be a gold mine for movie magicians, yet creating an alternative history that has one foot in that reality and the other in speculative fiction is a challenge for any designer looking for authenticity, a look at the challenge for the team responsible for designing The Man In The High Castle.

How ISIL uses media to get their message out

November 19, 2015

ISIL is spreading their propaganda to the world producing high end videos mimicking familiar Hollywood-like images

When I’m Sixty-Five

November 4, 2015

ID Card

A commentary for Design Observer on the state of design for seniors and the lack of focus and detail on the use of typography for communications for an older audience.

Logos Start Media Frenzy!!

September 2, 2015

Google Logo

In a post for Design Observer, Steven Heller questions if the media knows what designers do?

Tag Team: The Graffiti Artists of Show Me a Hero

August 26, 2015

Danise Ranallo Capuozzo photograph

The graphic designer Chris Capuozzo used photographs of Yonkers taken by his wife during the 1980s in order to achieve verisimilitude for the HBO show’s sets.

Magazines Can Compete with the Web with the Right Design

August 21, 2015

Muhammad Ali as St. Sebastian for a 1968 cover of Esquire

Great magazine covers once held pride of place in the home. They were social and intellectual status symbols. And among them, 92 covers that George Lois created for Esquire from 1962 to 1972 stand above almost all others. Publishers trying to combine print and digital continue to grapple with how to retain integrity between media, while investing in brand consistency. Digital and analog may have the same basic content, but their approaches are inevitably different.

The Many Meanings of K

August 12, 2015

In the alphabetic hierarchy A gets all the attention and Z comes in last, but the most symbolically crafty of all the letters is K. For Design Observer, Steven Heller looks at the many ways people have capitalized on K.

Know what else sucks about Donald Trump? His Branding

August 7, 2015

Trump Tower

In a post for, Steven Heller takes a sharp look at the lack-luster branding effort of Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Unwrapped: The Subtle Joys of Food Packaging

August 5, 2015

Whole Foods Packaging by Mucca

A post for The Atlantic, celebrating the art of what our meals comes in, from cookie boxes to condiment bottles.

Can Design Help the USPS Make Stamps Popular Again?

July 18, 2015

Michael Doret Postage Stamps

The Postal Service’s new Forever stamp series, “Summer Harvest,” targets two kinds of audiences: foodies and nostalgics. Designed and illustrated by the veteran illustrative letterer and typographer Michael Doret, who drew upon old fruit-and-vegetable-box labels for inspiration, the stamps seem to reflect the country’s renewed interest in organic and locally sourced food.

The Cognitive Benefits of Doodling

July 9, 2015


Two new books tout the benefits of drawing, sketching, and doodling as tools to facilitate thinking,even for the unartistic.

An Untimely Loss, a Timely Memorial

July 2, 2015

Herman Zapf

New York’s Morgan Library and Museum is currently exhibiting an original calligraphic manuscript of the preamble of the UN Charter, precisely hand-lettered in French, English, Spanish, and Russian by Hermann Zapf. The master type designer, who was also a typographer and calligrapher, died on June 4 at the age of 96.

Beyond Black and White: The Forgotten History of Color in Silent Movies

June 5, 2015

Voyage Jupiter 1909

Archived at Holland’s EYE Filmmuseum, more than 250 still images from early colorized films from as far back as 1895. These stills featured in an eye-popping book, Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema.

Queens of Kings

June 18, 2015

Queens of Kings, directed/edited by Nicolas Heller, takes a raw look at the stimulating and flashy lifestyle of some of Brooklyn’s brightest drag stars. Each episode focuses on the intricate duality of performing in drag and the compelling story of the person behind the makeup.

“They’re Grreeaat!”: The Enduring Charm of Advertising Characters

June 18, 2015

Meet Mr Product

Meet Mr. Product: The Graphic Art of the Advertising Character Volumes 1 and 2 (Insight Editions) by Warren Dotz and Masud Husain, are based on a collection of logos, packaging, and brand spokescharacters the authors acquired over the course of 30 years.

Revisiting the Work of One of the 20th Century’s Best Ad Men

June 11, 2015

George Lois

Fresh from the industry’s creative revolution in the 1960s, the art director George Lois helped make some of the greatest advertisements of the modern era.

Reviving a Beloved Forbear of the Graphic Novel

June 4, 2015

The Juggler of Our Lady

An unsung treasure that influenced the likes of Maurice Sendak, R.O. Blechman’s picture book, The Juggler of Our Lady, originally released in 1953 will be reprinted for a new generation.

The Dark Side of Design

May 28, 2015

Three-D Modling Gun

MoMA senior curator, Paola Antonelli and Jamer Hunt, the director of Parsons’ graduate program in transdisciplinary design, curated Design and Violence, a hybrid “exhibitio”” and critical forum that has been hosted online by MoMA for the last 18 months. The museum published a book of the same title that addresses the impact of design on everything from shooting targets to lethal injection drug cocktails. The project looks specifically at changes that occurred after 2001, a watershed year for the perception of violence in the United States.


May 18, 2015


A look long copy ad concepts, conceived by editor Ralph Ginzberg, including “Wanted” a subscription-selling ad for Eros; which was decidedly one of his most compelling.

Sex, Lies, and Animation

May 14, 2015


The cult indie filmmaker and cartoonist Bill Plympton remains a faithful advocate of the traditional hand-drawn method, on display in his latest romantic dramedy Cheatin’.

Hollywood’s Griffith Observatory at 80: Still a Gateway to the Stars

May 7, 2015

Griffith Observatory

A new book, Griffith Observatory: A Celebration of its Architectural Splendor, by the graphic designer and documentary filmmaker Arnold Schwartzman chronicles the building’s otherworldly beauty and mythic aura as one of one of Los Angeles’ most beloved attractions.

The Man Who Changed Humor in America Forever

April 30, 2015


Before it was a magazine, MAD was a satirical comic that ran under the inimitable leadership of Harvey Kurtzman. The title of a new, exhaustive biography by Bill Schelly out May 2, Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America, makes this exceptionally clear, giving Kurtzman a hero’s welcome into the pantheon of American cultural pioneers.

The Art of a Heartfelt Redesign

March 19, 2015

Southwest Airlines Brand Refresh

Southwest Airlines’ new logo and accessible font is a case study in how iconography conveys the human values of large corporations.

Design’s Great Debate

March 12, 2015

Great Debate

A 1972 argument between two Dutch designers, Wim Crouwel and Jan Van Toorn translated into English for the first time, taps into an age-old friction between art and commerce.

The Visionary Behind Italics

March 5, 2015

Aldus Manutius

A new exhibit commemorates the Renaissance-era printing innovator Aldus Manutius, who pioneered classic typesets and engineered the predecessor to the paperback.

The Designer Who Humanized Corporate America

February 26, 2015

Paul Rand IBM Carbon Paper

A new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, titled “Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand,” curated by Donald Albrecht, is Rand’s first solo New York museum exhibition. Paul Rand, was considered an American design pioneer who re-envisioned the look of megacompanies with whimsical, colorful logos and illustrations.

Socialist Regime, Commercial Design

February 19, 2015

Beyond the Wall: Art and Artifacts from the GDR

Beyond the Wall: Art and Artifacts from the GDR, a 904-page picture book published and edited by Benedikt Taschen of Taschen Books chronicles the GDR’s hybrid approach to Eastern and Western design, which echoed capitalist styles while, at the same time, rejecting its ideology.

In Cuba, Maps Make a Comeback

January 29, 2015

VanDam StreetSmart Cuba Maps

Old-fashioned navigation is enjoying a renaissance on the island, where Internet access is still scant.

When Bauhaus Met Lounge Music

January 22, 2015

Persuasive Percussion The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

An upcoming art experience revisits the flash-in-the pan symbiosis between modernist master Josef Albers and an easy-listening 60s record label.

A Reclusive Logo Designer Gets His Due

January 15, 2015

Wilhemlm Deffke, credit to Scheidegger and Spiess

A new monograph Wilhelm Deffke: Pioneer of the Modern Logo (published by and Scheidegger & Spiess and the Berlin-based Bröhan Design Foundation) is bringing Wilhelm Deffke, a little-known 20th-century German artist with a distinctive minimalist style, the showcase he deserves.

A Design Magazine That’s More Than Just Pretty

January 1, 2015

Works that Work

Works that Work (WTW) is a biannual print and online magazine that focuses its attention on consequential design that is rarely or never otherwise reported in design and lifestyle publications. Edited by Amsterdam-based type designer Peter Bilak, who also runs the type foundry and website Typotheque, WTW is concerned with the intentional and unintentional, jerry-rigged and precision-designed “work” that has made an incredible impact somewhere in the world.