Books


Observer Quarterly

Observer Quarterly

In the winter of 2015, we launched a new publication called Observer Quarterly. The idea is for each themed issue to include original writing, interviews, and photography alongside archival material that draws a narrative between the history and current condition of new and underappreciated aspects of design culture. Our first issue—the Acoustic Issue—covered new ways of looking at sound as part of the design landscape. The second issue examined tagging as a social, cultural, and indexical practice. And our newest issue—following our conference, Taste, which took place in Los Angeles in the spring of 2016—looks at the multiple intersections between design and food.



Observer Quarterly

Design | The Invention of Desire

Advancing a conversation that is unfolding around the globe, Jessica Helfand offers an eye-opening look at how designed things make us feel as well as how—and why—they motivate our behavior.

More books by Jessica Helfand




How To

How to

How to, Michael Bierut’s first career retrospective, is a landmark work in the field. Featuring more than thirty-five of his projects, it reveals his philosophy of graphic design—how to use it to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world. Specially chosen to illustrate the breadth and reach of graphic design today, each entry demonstrates Bierut’s eclectic approach. In his entertaining voice, the artist walks us through each from start to finish, mixing historic images, preliminary drawings (including full-size reproductions of the notebooks he has maintained for more than thirty-five years), working models and rejected alternatives, as well as the finished work. Throughout, he provides insights into the creative process, his working life, his relationship with clients, and the struggles that any design professional faces in bringing innovative ideas to the world. Offering insight and inspiration for artists, designers, students, and anyone interested in how words, images, and ideas can be put together, How to provides insight to the design process of one of this century’s most renowned creative minds.

More books by Michael Bierut




5050

50 Books | 50 Covers Catalog

The ultimate “book of books” to catalog the 2015 winners of the 50 | 50 competition. Publisher, author, and previous 50 Books | 50 Covers recipient Dave Eggers introduces the book. Photographer George Baier IV, who has photographed countless authors and book jacket projects himself, has thoughtfully taken pictures of every book and cover winner. Mohawk generously donated the finest paper. Printed offset, locally, here in the United States. Copies no longer available.



Observer Quarterly

Massimo Vignelli: Collected Writings

Massimo Vignelli (1931–2014) was one of the most influential designers of the twentieth—and twenty-first—centuries. The work he and his wife Lella accomplished at Vignelli Associates is universally admired. While Massimo himself never wrote for Design Observer, he appeared throughout its pages in spirit and as an example for over ten years. This collection of writings about Vignelli from the Design Observer archives—interviews, memories, observations, and critiques—includes selections from the lively comments and discussions that appeared after the original publication of these pieces. Contributors include Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand, Debbie Millman, and Alice Twemlow, among others. Get this book!



Persistence of Vision

Persistence of Vision: Collected Writings of William Drenttel

Designer and publisherWilliam Drenttel (1953–2013) was co-founder and editorial director of Design Observer. Since its inception in 2003, Drenttel contributed to Design Observer almost weekly on all manner of topics, from social change to democracy to his early career on Madison Avenue. We’ve collected two dozen essays—originally published on Design Observer—and an introduction by friend and former literary editor of the New Republic, Leon Wieseltier, and put them into print for the first time, including the lively comments and conversations that followed their original publication. Persistence of Vision is not only a tribute to a greatly missed design leader, but serves as an important addition to the design writing canon. Get this book!



Observed | February 23

Rethinking school design in the wake of school tragedy. [JH]

“Show me someone with a seemingly unbroken stride and unfettered path.” Frank Bruni’s remarkable essay about his imperiled sight. [JH]


Observed | February 22

Black Panther spurred conversation among urbanist architecture and cities buffs on Twitter. [BV]


Observed | February 21

The case against popular culture: it‘s not just bad art, it enslaves us to repetition and robs us of aesthetic freedom. [BV]

Ready to embrace robots? [MPL]


Observed | February 20

At Stanford’s School of Continuing Education, a dive into the relationship between happiness and design. Here’s the syllabus. [JH]

Tackling Cape Town’s water crisis while reconsidering what might be considered luxury or waste. [BV]

Chicago toddler knows his car badges. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | February 19

Angharad Hengyu Owen’s wandering typographic lyricism. [JH]

At the Design Museum in London, through May 6, The Guardian’s design evolutions over time. More here. [JH]


Observed | February 16

The first energy-positive Arctic hotel. [MPL]

Do concrete monsters deserve to be rescued? Saving Brutalism. [MPL]

AIGA Eye on Design‘s first magazine is now available for pre-order, and while the theme for issue 01 may be “Invisible,” it’s no wallflower. [LS]


Observed | February 15

Valentines Day may be behind us, but embracing the V is a daily constant. Enter Racket + #KnowTheFlow. [BV]

Visualizing musical scores: Theresa Sauer‘s stunning Notations21. [BV]

Fuzzy dudes. That‘s all. [MPL]


Observed | February 14

Ellsworth Kelly’s chapel at the University of Texas at Austin. [JH]

Long live graffiti. And the importance of exhibitions. [JH]


Observed | February 13

Poland. NATO. Design. Go! [JH]

Designing the perfect cafe. [JH]

How do you build a healthy city? [JH]


Observed | February 12

A new design residency is announced, courtesy of our friends at Core77. [JH]

A new logo for Lufthansa. [JH]

Busting the myths of logo design! [JH]


Observed | February 09

Ethics, truth, addiction—and design. [JH]

“These magazines were portals to other lives, systems of taste I learned by acquiring the small talismans and minute gestures that held these worlds up.” Hua Hsu remembers The Face and the magic of print. [MB]

It’s hard to be inspired on Friday. Adobe wants to make it a little easier: download free icon kits made by legendary designers here. [BV]


Observed | February 08

“American society has so normalized our inferior sidewalk system that we don’t believe we deserve a place to walk.” [BV]

Are madness and creativity linked? Is the art of the mentally ill freer in expression? [BV]


Observed | February 07

If birds left tracks in the sky, what would they look like? [BV]



Jobs | February 23