Dear Bonnie


Bonnie Siegler
Rapid Fire
Our own Bonnie Siegler takes your questions



Bonnie Siegler
Frightened in Fort Lauderdale
The benefits of being scared



Bonnie Siegler
Unsure in Utica
Measuring up — or not


Bonnie Siegler
Naive in Norwalk
Dear Bonnie doles out some homework


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie
Baffled in Buffalo



Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Fretting in Fredericksburg
This week Dear Bonnie gives an unhappy designer advice on contracts, fees, and client management.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Lost in London
Are you as good as you think you are? Is your job?


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Lost in Louisville
This week, Dear Bonnie highlights the importance of good communication ... and manners.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Helpless in Hermosa Beach
This week Dear Bonnie turns the answering over to contest winner Erica Heinz, who encourages readers to “work collaboratively, without the need for recognition.”


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Deals in Dillon + A Giveaway
This week Dear Bonnie reminds us that design should never be sold by the pound.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Nervous in Nantucket
This week Dear Bonnie encourages a new-ish employee to speak up!


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Dissed in Denver
This week Dear Bonnie reminds a 19 year old intern what it means to be a 19 year old intern.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Partnering in Peoria
What questions do you ask to start a business partnership off right? Dear Bonnie has a few. 


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Wondering in Westport
This week Dear Bonnie advises a do-everything-wonder-kid about his portfolio.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Aggrieved in Atlanta + Bumming in Brooklyn
Advice for designers who receive unsolicited opinions from friends and those whose clients have bad taste.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Lost on Long Island + Stuck in Schenectady
This week Dear Bonnie tackles what to do when your client stops returning your calls, and how to get your brain moving.



Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Cringing in Charleston
This week Dear Bonnie gets to the heart of the conundrum that is graphic design. Designers represent the needs of both art and commerce, which means they serve many masters.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Reeling in Rotterdam + Apprehensive in Austin
This week Dear Bonnie tackles clients who don't pay and clients who think you've stolen a logo. Excellent advice from Bonnie Siegler.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Taunted in Tehran
This week Dear Bonnie answer Taunted in Tehran about proper credits when you've collaborated with a group, but one person runs off with the idea.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Mixed up in Martinsville
This week Dear Bonnie answers Mixed up in Martinsville about how to deal with clients without burning bridges. The key: written agreements.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Frustrated in Florida
This week's advice from Dear Bonnie focuses on how to handle on those people who think graphic design is as easy as a 1-2-3 click.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Confused in Connecticut
This week's advice from Dear Bonnie deals with aloof clients: Are they too cool or embarrassedly avoiding your questions because they just don't know the answers?


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Women of Washington + Young in Youngstown
This week's advice from Dear Bonnie focuses on women: are there enough women represented on jury panels, in board rooms, anywhere; and is there any specific advice for young female designers?


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Cheated in Chicago
This week Dear Bonnie — our truth-telling advice column from Bonnie Siegler — advises independent artist "Cheated in Chicago" on the best course of action when her work is being used by a large brand without her permission.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Trapped In Toledo + Desperately Seeking Designers
This week Dear Bonnie — our truth-telling advice column from Bonnie Siegler — advises Trapped In Toledo on how to win over his client's communications officer and Desperately Seeking Designers on finding talented, deserving young hires.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Tips for Toyland
This week Dear Bonnie — our truth-telling advice column from Bonnie Siegler — takes a lok at the pitfalls of casual letter writing.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Bullied in Brighton
This week Dear Bonnie tackles bullying at the office.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Interested in India + Window Dressing in Wisconsin
This week Dear Bonnie tackles online vs. offline design studios, client retention and the future of retail window dressing.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Troubled in Techworld + Befuddled in Buffalo
Our first Dear Bonnie — a new truth-telling advice column from Bonnie Siegler.



Observed | June 25

Jessica Helfand gave a poster design workshop to scientists at Yale a few years ago and was told by one that if he followed her advice, nobody would take him seriously as a scientist. Behold: the future! A graphic design revolution for scientific conference posters. [BV]

The new ghost museums of China. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | June 20

Poster House, the first museum in the US dedicated exclusively to posters, opens today! Listen here to their first audio newsletter and guide narrated by Steven Heller. [BV]


Observed | June 19

Remembering the Bantam paperback of The Greening of America with its truly relentless deployment of Bookman Swash Italic. Quintessential 70s. RIP Charles Reich, 1928-2019. [MB]

Here’s your chance to hear Debbie Millman on the other side of the mike. Recorded live on stage at the famous Design and Advertising festival in London in May, Debbie is interviewed on episode 14 of This Way Up. [BV]


Observed | June 17

The School of Visual Arts has donated nearly 100 of its beloved Subway Series posters from the past three decades to the brand new Poster Museum, opening Thursday, June 20. These, as well as all new posters created in the future, will live in the Museum’s permanent archival collection. [BV]

Can a small Italian village point the way to more livable modern cities? A conference of urbanists aims to find out. [BV]


Observed | June 14

The late William Helfand had an incredible collection of medical prints, posters, and advertising emphasized "quack" pills, potions, and snake oil cure-alls. Hear his daughter, and our co-founder Jessica Helfand pay tribute to his "quackery” obsession. [BV]


Observed | June 11

“Beer cans are officially the new record sleeve.” The rise in craft brewing has spurred a beer aisle design renaissance. [BV]


Observed | June 10

Seeking 1000 people who eat. ZOE‘s experts are marrying nutritional science with machine learning to perform the world‘s largest study of individuals‘ unique nutritional responses. Visit joinzoe.com to sign up. Read this NYTimes article to see why. [BV]

A new exhibit at the Saint Louis Art Museum celebrates amateur photography from 1890–1970 through the recent gift of 150 amateur photographs from St. Louis collectors John and Teenuh Foster. John Foster assembled this collection of anonymous found images over the past 20 years, some of which can be seen in his Design Observer column. [BV]


Observed | June 06

An in-depth look at an urban mall designed to revive downtown San Diego that is set to be destroyed, from Alissa Walker. [BV]


Observed | June 05

Congratulations to Susan Kare, Patricia Moore, MIT D-Lab, Tom Phifer, Tobias Frere-Jones, Tobias Frere-Jones, Derek Lam, Ivan Poupyrev, Open Style Lab and all the winners of the 2019 Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards! [BV]


Observed | June 03

The first in a series of articles about the early days of the space age, in celebration of this summer’s 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing:
How NASA selected the first astronauts (and why no convicts have walked on the Moon). [BV]


Observed | May 30

Felice Frankel has donated hundreds of images taken during her early career as a landscape architecture photographer—Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute, Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, Richard Haag’s Bloedel Reserve, and Dan Kiley’s Miller Garden—to MIT libraries to create a learning resource. [BV]

As a kid, I had no idea that Peter Max was so derivative (Heinz Edelmann, Andy Warhol, Push Pin). I just knew his work was everywhere, and he got to sign it. To me he was the most famous artist in the world. That makes this story so depressing. [MB]


Observed | May 29

London Street Photographer Nick Turpin highlights five photographers making candid public photographs on the fringes of street photography. [BV]


Observed | May 28

An essay from Rob Walker on the tension inherent in what we do with the time we have, and how we try to make more. [BV]

NBA players are no longer waiting for shoe companies to give them personal logos — they are creating their own. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | May 24

Congratulations to Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand! The Observatory made dezeen’s list of 14 of the best architecture and design podcasts to subscribe to. [BV]


Observed | May 23

From Atlas Obscura: 18 of the world’s most wondrous public transportation options. [BV]

Iceland’s environmental ministry says Justin and his Belibers have nearly ruined Fjadrárgljúfur canyon. But even for the non-famous, selfies are ruining national parks and the great outdoors around the world. Go outside but leave your phones at home. [BV]


Observed | May 22

How do you create a logo for a presidential candidate? On this week‘s The West Wing Weekly: West Wing & fonts. The guests are our co-founder Michael Bierut, who designed Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 logo, and Leslie Wah, who made the campaign logos in Season 6 of the West Wing. [BV]


Observed | May 21

Wanna play with some Brutalist buildings? Skyline chess has a new offering of London’s most-notable architecture from the Brutalist movement including the Trellick Tower, Petty France, Centrepoint and Cromwell Tower. [BV]

Design Observer co-founder @jessicahelfand is heading to Malta this week as an external critic working with Professor Vince Briffa, recipient of the Tribute to Art and Innovation award at this year’s Venice Biennale. [BV]


Observed | May 20

Book lovers will want to pay close attention to a new collaboration between Designers & Books and Peter Kraus’s Ursus Books & Gallery in New York. This installment: A Flowering of Creativity: Ladislav Sutnar and F. T. Marinetti. [BV]


Observed | May 15

We can‘t wait to explore Boston this fall when we host The Design of Business | The Business of Design conference at MIT. Bike-commuting, T-riding, and monorail-tweeting around Boston with transit-oriented 20-something NUMTOT founder Juliet Eldred. [BV]


Observed | May 14

What year is it? Why does it matter? While chronology and dating might not be exciting, they are the stuff that history is made on, for dates do two things: they allow things to happen only once, and they insist on the ordering and interrelation of all happenings. [BV]

“We should not be excessively interested in books”, wrote Roy Gold, biblio-graffiti outsider artist, and a bookish man. [BV]


Observed | May 13

You may not love sports, but it’s hard not to enjoy sports photography, especially for it’s innovativeness. Case in point: Sports Illustrated photographer Neil Leifer hit a grand slam when he set out to capture a double play on film. [BV]



Jobs | June 25