Evidence

Sean Adams
Big
Sean Adams found the best examples of the next generation of designers and artists in the field of large scale environmental graphics.



Sean Adams
Bad Color
Advice on creating color palettes from the author of The Designer’s Dictionary of Color.


Sean Adams
The Strange Case of the Designer
What makes a graphic designer strange? Is it the obsessive attention to kerning on street signs, arguing whether PMS 172 is orange or red, or collecting odd scraps of paper on every European vacation?


Sean Adams
The Design of Comfort
What I found in the typography of Disneyland was an incredibly dense design solution beyond typography with intentional choices to create a specific experience.


Sean Adams
Blinded by The Light
I found the world of black light posters in late 1978, when I was in middle school. At the time, the fluorescent posters represented rebellion and a bad-ass attitude.


Sean Adams
Smiley Smile
“The image we have would be impossible for Mickey Mouse to maintain. We’re just normal people.”


Sean Adams
When the World Was Young
When I started in the profession, I was the youngest such and such for a long time. Somewhere along the line as the generation before me retired or moved on to greener pastures, I became the old guard. This happens to all of us, which is better than being hit by a bus.


Sean Adams
Fake News: Blow Up
We are conditioned to understand that a photograph is an honest record of an object, time, and place.


Sean Adams
Hope is The Thing with Feathers
A closer look at NBC’s peacock.


Sean Adams
The Meticulous Bruce Rogers
Classical structure and typography, paired with a modern aesthetic, typified Bruce Rogers work.


Sean Adams
Gateway Drug of Dessau
The typography and graphic design at the Bauhaus represent the most religious allegiance to Modernism. But, it is the photography at the Bauhaus that serves as a gateway drug.


Sean Adams
Admiration for the Bland Subject (and Beautiful Design)
When presented with dull content, Sean Adams recommends designers “reframe, augment, or interpret the content and redesign.”


Sean Adams
Remembering Clive Piercy
Without Clive the world will be a little less colorful.


Sean Adams
Mixing Metaphors
This conceptual approach of the “fused metaphor” combines symbol “A” with symbol “B” to produce a new result.


Sean Adams
Hey
Sean Adams extolls the virtues of a narrative told with minimal means and a strong ideas.


Sean Adams
Joe Orton: Dangerous Collage
Is it graphic design?


Sean Adams
Manifesto of Surrealism: 3 Tragedies
We pass through our days creating fictions to make sense of the world.


Sean Adams
Return of the Standards Manuals or Revenge of the Rigid
These are not systems to be messed with.


Sean Adams
John Astrop and Eric Hill, Booze, 1967
Historic design work, linked to the cultural standards of its time, is often unacceptable now. Does that make it bad? Should the creator be vilified? Should the offending design work be eliminated from a classroom or book?


Sean Adams
Mary Blair: The Grand Canyon Concourse Mural
Mary Blair’s Grand Canyon Concourse mural in the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World is a super-graphic that transforms the architecture.


Sean Adams
Phyllis Tanner
“It is a cut-throat business. Be good at negotiating. It is not just about ART.”


Sean Adams
Jennifer Morla: El Museo Mexicano, 1995
As a designer, does the work we create subjugate and presume superiority over another culture, or does it attempt to authentically represent it?


Sean Adams
Marget Larsen
Marget Larsen’s design work bridged post-war American modernism and 1960s hedonist psychedelia.


Sean Adams
Will Burtin
Will Burtin was a graphic designer with no sense or boundaries in media.


The Design Observer Cooperative

Observed | August 06

On the power (and ephemerality) of street art. [JH]

The UX of LEGO interface panels. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | August 03

Antica is a new type family designed by Ale Paul & the Sudtipos team. [JH]


Observed | July 31

Branding a pandemic. (via Kim Baer.) [JH]


Observed | July 28

Why do these Apple ads, from a company that takes such pride in design, feature four people who are clearly not trained designers, designing? [BV]


Observed | July 27

Communicative efficiency is not the same as communicative empathy, and one of the truly gut-punching limits of social media is how poorly it corresponds to the individual experience of human grief. A primer by Jason Fields. [JH]


Observed | July 22

Futurefeed is an online space where writers, artists, and thinkers are invited to experiment + explore ideas that are important to them over an extended period of time. [JH]


Observed | July 21

Open a new window somewhere in the world. [BV]

The X-Prize Mask Challenge is looking for a face mask that is attractive, innovative, and achieves the filtration efficacy on par with a surgical mask. PS: You also have to be under 25 years old to enter. (Via Kim Baer.) [JH]


Observed | July 16

How Mexico City crowdsourced a map of its riotous informal bus system. [BV]

The atlas of surveillance. (Yes, you read that right.) [JH]


Observed | July 15

Social Matter, Social Design challenges the way we look at, think of, and interact with the social world by emphasizing the role of materiality. [JH]

When governors are graphic designers: a continuing story. [JH]


Observed | July 14

Design For America, the World Design Organization, and IBM team up to launch the COVID Design Challenge. [JH]

A national reckoning: why It is falling to individuals to become their own interim museums and archives. [JH]


Observed | July 10

Together again for the very first time, Microsoft ditches backgrounds for foregrounds—like simulated office desks. [JH]

A new, coronavirus-inspired concoction at Alinea, one of the world’s most famous restaurants, is spurring backlash online. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]


Observed | July 08

A look inside the typography of the Biden campaign, by Hoefler & Co. [JH]


Observed | July 06

Designer and photographer Margaret Morton, who taught for many years at Cooper Union and at Yale, died last week at her home in New York City. She was 71. [JH]


Observed | July 03

Architect James Biber on backgrounds as the new foregrounds. (Via Adrian Shaughnessy.) [JH]


Observed | July 01

An exhaustive study of house address number styles. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | June 29

Aric Jenkins curated some essential writing on racial inequity and injustice in urban planning and design for Pocket. [BV]

Alice Rawsthorn and Paula Antonelli cohost Design Emergency, a new series on Instagram Live. [JH]


Observed | June 26

In the “you can’t make this shit up” department, from the company once described as a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money, Goldman Sachs releases a new font you’re not allowed to criticize Goldman Sachs with. (H/T Jeffrey Kittay) [JH]


Observed | June 24

The Drift is a new online magazine about politics and culture. (Don’t miss what bores them.) [JH]


Observed | June 23

June 24 at noon Pacific, 3pm Eastern: don‘t miss Rachel Gogel speaking in the Ladies Who Create series from Dropbox. [JH]


Observed | June 10

IBM will no longer offer, develop, or research facial recognition technology. [BV]


Observed | June 01

For the Army Corps of Engineers in 1944, Harold Fisk created extraordinarily beautiful maps of the changing Mississippi River over time. [MB]


Observed | May 29

A brilliant and timely design exploration: Alexandra Bell disrupts perception by rewriting headlines. (Via Lana Rigsby.) [JH]


Observed | May 28

The new book from Scott Berkun, How Design Makes the World, “will help you see design everywhere and question why it works—or why it fails.”—Ellen Lupton. Watch the trailer. [BV]



Jobs | August 08