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


Is the future of refugee housing permanence?

It’s Pablo-matic: Picasso According to Hannah Gadsby,” explores Picasso‘s legacy through a feminist lens, asking if, when, and how modern audiences can separate the artist’s work from his infamously misogynistic behavior.

Quite possibly the most fascinating job opportunity in design right now.

Jessica Helfand on using AI as a tool to reverse-engineer a historical narrative.

Rethinking the city.

Rethinking the planet.

The problems of the user interface, one streaming service at a time. More here.

Urban design, with safety in mind. And that includes parks.

Think design thinking is over? Think again.

A museum renames a vegetable still life by Van Gogh that identified the wrong kind of allium.

Graphic design and typography obsessives—look no further!

“The challenge isn’t just that our systems default to keeping the “unlike” out,” notes Jens Martin Skibsted, “but we are, rather, in need of an interconnected worldview that appreciates the existence of other realities and contexts.”

Neville Brody’s new monograph (his THIRD)—covering his work for Nike, Coca-Cola, Tate Modern and Channel 4, as well as various informational graphics and magazine editorials—will be published next month by Thames&Hudson.

Milan Design Week wants to know your most memorable experience. Ours is easily Shaped by Water, an immersive experience exploring water as a source of inspiration for design. Co-created by Ivy Ross and her design team in collaboration with the water, light, and sound artist, Lachlan Turczan. Vote for your favorite here.

Non-profit design advocacy agency Where are the Black Designers? (WATBD?) has announced a year-long partnership with digital product studio Ustwo.

“He was mulling a career in graphic design when, at 17, he saw a searing image that would change the course of his life.” The American photographer Kwame Brathwaite has died. Considered the catalyst fo the “black is beautiful” movement in the 1960s, Braithwaite’s career spanned art, music, and more. He was 85.

The subtley, simplicity, and curious symbolism of the humble serif.

After a career of looking at pictures, she is now making them. George Gendron talks to Kathy Ryan, longtime director of photography at The New York Times Magazine.

COLLINS co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Brian Collins and co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Leland Maschmeyer will speak on branding and creativity at OFFF Barcelona this weekend.

“I can’t imagine any person with a background in graphic design made that thing without a committee of bland politicians sanding away its edges until they felt safe enough to unveil that to the public.” Behold: Logogate!

Black designers, curators, and more.

How do you stop deep-sea trawlers from harming ecosystems? Commission 10-ton marble sculptures and place them on the ocean floor, of course.

For ten years, Matt Needle has reimagined every best picture award nominee by redesigning their posters.

Coca-Cola...and art?



Jobs | June 06