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 | January 18

Beautiful weather rendering from Will MacNeil. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]


Observed | January 14

A New European Bauhaus? [JH]


Observed | January 13

Though it was later determined to be troll-driven, design twitter went bananas this week over the new CIA rebrand. [JH]

Women either decide or strongly influence 70% of all automotive purchases yet are 73% more likely to suffer injury in a car crash, and 17% more likely to die than the average man. A design problem? [JH]


Observed | January 12

Joy, disillusion, success, failure, hiring, finances, office space—just some of the topics in All in a Day’s Work, a new animated series about being an entrepreneur from our friends at Mailchimp in collaboration with It’s Nice That. [BV]


Observed | January 11

When Pac-Man arrived in 1980, it revolutionized gaming. The original game is at the root of a rich design tradition, one that goes well beyond detailed graphics and fluid controls. [BV]

Can the story of a pandemic be told in a single headline every day? David Rainbird collected headlines about the pandemic as a way of making sense of the infodemic that was 2020. [BV]


Observed | January 05

Paul Klee’s notebooks—nearly 4,000 pages of them—are now online. [JH]


Observed | December 30

“On cream-laid paper there is no “forward” button.” New York Times book critic Dwight Garner on the lost art of paper correspondence. [JH]


Observed | December 29

Job of the week: Yale’s British Art Center is looking for a new Design Director. [JH]


Observed | December 21

Renowned Swiss Designer Armin Hoffman dies at 100. [JH]

Screw mediocrity: Scottish industrial designer Neil Ferrier weighs in on a typographic mistake that turned out to benefit his career. [JH]

“That the cover of a book — something produced with a finite shelf life — could grip us throughout such a bitter, caustic year is either a triumph of artistry or a sign that our collective alarm bells are still not ringing loudly enough.” Matt Dorfman, Art Director for the New York Times Book Review, selects his favorite covers of 2020. [JH]


Observed | December 17

How custom fonts became the ultimate corporate flex. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

First world problem of the week, or, why graphic design matters on your wine list. Behold: vinography! [JH]

Italian architect Stefano Boeri introduces prefabricated timber and fabric pavilions as Covid-19 vaccination stations in public piazzas across Italy beginning in January. (H/T Adina Karp.) [JH]


Observed | December 14

Pantone names its colors of the year for 2021. [JH]

Apparently not all architects declare. [JH]


Observed | December 11

“Royalty Now” is an ongoing art project by graphic designer Becca Saladin that reimagines queens, kings, emperors, statesmen, nobles, (and a few famous musicians, scientists and artists) as contemporary people. Follow her on Instagram. [JH]

Forest Young, Vivianne Castillo, Kelly Walters, and Dori Tunstall—among others—on the new design rules and why they matter. [JH]


Observed | December 10

Currently streaming: What Next? A virtual symposium discussing luxury as a concept and the ethical and moral questions surrounding it. [BV]


Observed | December 07

One week left to help support St. Bride’s magnificent library—and contribute to their efforts to digitize it for the rest of us. [JH]

Typography. Esports. Discuss! [JH]

Everything you ever wanted to know about a rejected Paul Rand logo for Ford Motor Company—from 1966—but were afraid to ask. (With apologies for the term “fancy-schmancy design trends” which would make Mr. Rand spin in his grave.) [JH]


Observed | December 03

Help our friends at Class Action fund their next campaign, a series of billboards in the hotly-contested state of Georgia. [JH]

Kern in hell! Announcing: Hell Vetica (via Victoria Brown). [JH]


Observed | November 30

Help our friends at Unit Editions produce a long-overdue monograph on the work of artist and designer Ed Fella. [JH]


Observed | November 18

You may congratulate yourself for being a good listener, but often it’s the powerful who get to listen and decide what to hear. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]

Why the Google Workspace rebrand isn’t as bad as the Internet would have you believe. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | November 17

Aaaaaannnnnnd—that’s a lawsuit. Banana Republic gets sued over an Ampersand. [JH]



Jobs | January 18