Author Archives: Michael Silverberg

Exclusive: Pentagram's Newest Partner Is Natasha Jen

Natasha Jen, a young Taiwanese-born graphic designer whose work connects digital media to architecture, has been named Pentagram’s newest partner. She joins the New York office in April as Pentagram’s third new female partner in two months, marking a significant evolution for a firm with an outsize presence in the design world. Working at...

Magic-Ink Testing with Brian McMullen

The McSweeney’s art director and senior editor talks Garamond, kids’ books, and the future of print.     Photograph by Jason Fulford   McSweeney’s Quarterly has taken radically different forms: a bundle of mail (No. 17), a newspaper (No. 33), a crate in the shape of a head (No. 36). What’s the idea behind...

Recovering Lolita

Among the problems Nabokov’s Lolita poses for the book designer, probably the thorniest is the popular misconception of the title character. She’s chronically miscast as a teenage sexpot—just witness the dozens of soft-core covers over the years. “We are talking about a novel which has child rape at its core,” says John Bertram, an architect and...

George Lois's Bright Ideas

George Lois doesn’t need advice. But the designer for whom “legendary ad man” is practically a Homeric epithet has loads to share in Damn Good Advice (for People with Talent!), a slim, fast-paced collection that comes out in March (Phaidon, $9.95). Although there are plenty of tips for the aspiring “master communicator” (No. 6:...

Gchatting with Jennifer Daniel

Bloomberg Businessweek’s graphics director on pictograms, clowns, and outsourcing sex ed to Yahoo! Answers    11:44 am Michael: Hey, Jennifer. 11:46 Jennifer: hello hello! look at me i’m typing in REAL TIME 11:47 Michael: Whoa! (Though you might have a Gchat autoresponder.) Jennifer: “your IM is important to me. please hold” 11:48 Michael: Well,...

The Czech Design Resistance

In Russian, samizdat literally means “self-published,” but the term has richer associations than vanity presses and Xerox machines. In the pre-glasnost years, artists, writers, and intellectuals in the U.S.S.R. would circulate underground publications clandestinely, often using typewriters and carbon paper to reproduce them. In spite of the danger, or perhaps because of it, the work...

The Posters of Occupy Wall Street

Early this morning, I visited Zuccotti Park, the shaky seat of Occupy Wall Street. Today is the two-month anniversary of the Lower Manhattan encampment, and although the NYPD raided it earlier this week and rousted the protesters from their tents, there was a sizable crowd there before 7 a.m. They were there to march...

One Perfect Thing: The Business Card

Try, if you can, to measure your online footprint. You likely have a few email 
addresses, a Facebook account, maybe a website, a Tumblr or two, a Twitter feed, and a LinkedIn profile, even though you don’t remember creating it and you’ve only logged on to respond to requests from people you’ve never heard...

Relational Aesthetics with a Waiver

Tomorrow, “Carsten Höller: Experience,” the New Museum’s mid-career survey of the 50-year-old German artist, opens to the public. Among the highlights: an ambling mirrored carousel with swings; an ethereal sensory-deprivation pool; and a three-story steel slide that worms its way through the galleries. It was the latter that had, a few minutes into this...

Mr. Heller Goes to Washington

Last week, Steven Heller, one of our longest-running and most beloved contributors—certainly our most prolific—traveled to the White House to accept the Design Mind Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. The award “recognizes a visionary who has effected a paradigm shift in design thinking or practice through writing, research, and scholarship.” It couldn’t...