The Design Observer Twenty





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.



Observed


Brian Collins on design clichés. [JH]

The Tate Modern’s “public” viewing area allows museum visitors to look straight into the homes of the residents of a nearby building: interested readers can nerd out on the forty-seven page ruling that explains why a design decision can fall prey to the laws of public nuisance. [JH]

Lou Dorfsman and Al D’Amato’s powerful advertisement from 1962: an appraisal. (Via Natalia Pangaro.) [JH]

Remembering Carin Goldberg. [JH]

Coming soon to The Design Museum in London, an exhibition on design and history—organized by the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. [JH]

Will the future of design be collaborative? Figma’s Yuhki Yamashita thinks so. [JH]

Designers and layoffs. [JH]

Proving that America really is in crisis, the US State Department changes its official font to Calibri. Discuss! [JH]

The artist whose book covers distilled the nineteen-eighties. (via Mike Errico) [JH]

Ruth Adler Schnee, one of the more important textile designers of midcentury modernism, dies at 99. [JH]

In Denmark, thinking—and designing—out of the (grey) box. [JH]

Jerald Cooper’s aim is to make architecture and design more accessible by using layman’s language to break down barriers typically set up by white academics with advanced degrees. [JH]

Corn husks were just the start: a Mexican designer in London writes his own rules. [JH]

Wieden+Kennedy London launches standalone branding and design studio—called—NOT Wieden+Kennedy. (Play their logo generator yourself, here.) [JH]

Inclusive design, at Microsoft. [JH]

Best design stories of 2022, from The Guardian. [JH]

Penmanship, cursive, handwriting—what’s the point? [JH]

Set on half an acre in the lovely hamlet of High Falls, New York, the studio that once served Marc Chagall is for sale. [JH]

After escaping from a creatively-repressed and unsatisfactory graphic design career, Sticht became a public safety officer at the University of Rochester. (There’s hope for us all!) [JH]

Weird and wonderful artifacts, via Jason Kottke. [JH]

Design fiction—a speciulative pracrtice that combines science fiction, design thinking, and foresight—might be the next innovation in business. [JH]

For the love of drawing. [JH]

Design and sex. [JH]

Design nerds—rejoice! [JH]

In the latest issue of Print, Paul Sahre discusses his grammy nomination with Debbie Millman. [JH]

Both standard and limited collector’s editions of MuirMcNeil’s System Process Form are now available at Volume, together with a range of uniquely seductive rewards.

Also from Volume: a never-before-seen selection of Paul Burgess photographs documenting the British band, Pulp. Compiled by Burgess and Louise Colbourne, This Is Hardcore is available for pre-purchase now. [JH]

We were sad to hear that the visionary George Lois, died last week. He was 91. [BV]

Chicago Design Through the Decades opens today and runs through the end of the year. The project starts with Art Deco in the 1920s and goes through the 2020s with digital portraits produced using neural networks. [BV]



Jobs | February 05