Design Observer: Writings on Design + Visual Culture: Design Observer

April 3, 2021

Observed | April 01

Harvard’s GSD Introduces its own design imprint. [JH]

Voices: Black Graphic Design History is a free two-part webinar series through the four MICA William O. Steinmetz ’50 Designers-in-Residence. To register click here and here. [BV]

Observed | March 31

Designing with the devil. [JH]

Observed | March 29

“Professional designers, evangelists — they all took the opportunity: ridiculing, discrediting, alienating, exposing clean styles and templates, usurping the right to make design decisions.
And they succeeded…” (h/t Ethical Futures Lab) [BE]

Observed | March 26

Brand mascots, cruelty, and humiliation: the Duolingo owl and theory of change. [BE]

When less is more. [JH]

Observed | March 25

Annals of design absurdity: Zara models feature poses that make the clothes impossible to figure out. [JH]

Observed | March 24

As representations of the collective power of local people banding together, the exhibit Meeting Hall Maine aims to instill an appreciation and desire in others to preserve vernacular structures as democratic forums for generations to come. [BV]

Observed | March 23

In an effort to provide more fonts accessible to everyone, the Indian Type Foundry introduces Fontshare. [JH]

Observed | March 22

Disney now qualifies its classical film library with “advisory” disclaimers that seek to recognize (and name) racial bias and othering. [JH]

Observed | March 19

Brilliant! (via Shaun Borstrock) [JH]

Color correction and its relationship to racial bias. (Via Dori Tunstall.) [JH]

Observed | March 18

A brutally honest perspective on the current—and precarious—state of design culture with Design Observer’s co-founder Jessica Helfand. [BV]

Observed | March 17

Everything you ever wanted to know about faces on currency. [JH]

Observed | March 15

Bravo and congratulations to Lawrence Azerrad for his latest Grammy win for the album packaging of for Wilco’s “Ode to Joy” [BV]

Observed | March 10

Yohokama-based Masayoshi Matsumoto is a balloon genius. [JH]

Observed | March 05

The Center for Urban Pedagogy now has a program in Public Access Design. Meet their newest design fellows here. [JH]

Observed | March 04

On the brink of nuclear war, America’s bold response to the Soviet Union depended on Juanita Moody, an unknown spy agency operative, whose story can at last be told. [BV]

Observed | March 03

For his piece Quantum Fluctuations: Experiments in Flux, London-based artist Markos R Kay set out to visually express a quantum interaction – a phenomenon that’s notoriously unobservable. [BV]

Observed | March 02

The beautiful, origami-like art of letterlocking. [JH]

Observed | March 01

See what other people are reading—quite literally. [JH]

Old photos of famous artists and scientists animated into ‘living portraits’ using AI. [BV]

From the brilliant Ariel Avissar, a supercut of the everlasting typewriter. (Via Kottke.) [JH]

Art, activism, and the Xerox machine. [JH]

Observed | February 25

The story of designer/Marxist Enzo Mari, the role of value creation, and a tale of two bookcases. [JH]

Observed | February 24

Vintage clothes, bright colors, and empowerment for Black women: one graphic designer’s sartorial adventure. [JH]

Observed | February 23

A revolutionary artist and the former minister of culture for the Black Panther Party, Emory Douglas used graphic design to build a culture of resistance. [JH]

OUCH, or, why UX design matters. [JH]

Observed | February 22

The story of Ford’s first African-American designer, McKinley Thompson, who sketched the original 1966 Bronco [BV]

Observed | February 19

Magazines and The American Experience, on view at the Grolier Club in New York. (View the exhibition online here.) [JH]

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