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 | August 16

In addition to his work as a painter, Monet maintained stunning gardens that, after World War II, were destroyed and left neglected. Gilbert Vahé brought the landscape back to its former glory. [BV]

What wine do you pair with Roast Beast from How the Grinch Stole Christmas? More thoughts on what fictional foods might taste like. [BV]


Observed | August 15

Hot outside? Cool off with strangely melancholy poolside photographs from Slovakian artist Mária Švarbová. [BV]

You‘re never too old to make the world smile: At 90 years old, Kimiko Nishimoto continues to delight the world with her creative self-portrait photography. [BV]


Observed | August 14

Over at the Smithsonian, a discussion of relevance. [BV]


Observed | August 13

A brief history of plastic: design’s favorite material. [BV]

NYC’s Uber cap won’t solve the city’s traffic problem: what the city really needs is a limit on private cars. [BV]


Observed | August 09

The Trump campaign asks its supporters to choose a Space Force logo from six proposed designs. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | August 08

The hopes that data and design can revitalize urban areas. [BV]


Observed | August 06

Sticks and stones and all that: 25 legendary literary feuds, ranked. (And somehow many involved Dick Cavett.) [BV]


Observed | August 02

Do you remember them all? A history of Mac startup and crash chimes. [BV]

Famous landmarks, before they were finished. [BV]


Observed | August 01

Who really decides how language works? Grammar purity is one big ponzi scheme. [BV]

A new study has found that private ride options such as Uber and Lyft, and ride-hail services services like UberPool are resulting in more driving overall, making traffic worse + cities less livable. [BV]


Observed | July 31

Bless this Instagrammer: Wander. Roam. Replicate. [BV]

Where were you in 1988? [BV]


Observed | July 23

Need a little more Saul Bass on your walls? [BV]


Observed | July 20

Been enjoying GLOW? Check out the gorgeous ladies of Japanese wrestling. [BV]

Looking back at the design of the African Writers Series. [JH]


Observed | July 19

Let children play outside. Let them make mud pies and get dirty. [BV]


Observed | July 18

15 of the best illustrations of the 2018 World Cup. [BV]

Looking for a place to visit this summer? Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum looks amazing. [BV]


Observed | July 17

Interesting: Open offices result in less collaboration among employees. [BV]

Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the world wide web, has seen his creation debased by everything from fake news to mass surveillance. But he’s got a plan to fix it. [BV]


Observed | July 13

Traveling this summer? 22 ambassadors recommend the one book to read before visiting their country. [BV]

Can cottage cheese follow Chobani’s lead and rebrand>a? to achieve the unthinkable—some curb appeal? [LS]


Observed | July 12

What’s Eating the World? The fifth issue of
Weapons of Reason, a publication with a limited run of eight issues, explores the effects of the food industry on our planet with saturated colors and infographics that any designer would appreciate. [LS]

Congratulations to Karen Hofmann, the new Provost of ArtCenter College of Design. She‘s the first woman to hold the position in the 88-year history of the College. [BV]


Observed | July 11

What is the meaning behind the Thin Blue Line flag? (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | July 09

One full hour of 1980‘s video game ads! [BV]



Jobs | August 18