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A Tale of Two Colin

Take a look at the work of two renowned poster artists with the last name of Colin: Paul Colin (1892 -1985) and Jean Colin (1912-1982).

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Hangin’ With the Hang Tags

Hang tags aren’t some neo-punk rock group or a new form of graffiti. I love hang tags, so here are a few more to show from France in my irregular series of labels “with strings attached.”

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The Beauty of Swatches (not the watches)

Paris has always been fashion heaven. God has always been in the details. Many of those heavenly details have been the swatch cards that the French pattern makers so beautifully composed to show their wares.

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More French Medical Fun

Steven Heller finds that the designs of vintage French medical products have a typographic flair that can’t be ignored.

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Spheres of Information

Data visualization has come a long way since the days of the information wheel. But the wheel is still a delight to use and sometimes a feast for sore eyes. These are some I recently found.

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What Juxtaposition Says About Culture

How magazines stacked the spot ads they were given says something about the priorities of the readership, if not the country, at the time they were published. This assortment is reproduced just as it appeared in a Christmas issue of Liberty magazine in 1940.

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The War For Christopia

Christmas is lots of things. I like to think of it as a place that I can call Christopia. Take a little bit of magic, a dash of kitsch, and a whole lot merry and the result is that utopia where elves govern and the jolly one reigns – and where the standard greeting is ho ho ho.

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The Nicer Swastika

The Swastika is a vexing symbol. Even I’m conflicted. It represents utter terror and criminality, while it’s also a symbol of luck, fortune and fertility. Go anywhere in the world, and it will be seen in all its guises.

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The Good War, For Design

World War II may have been necessary, but like all wars, the horrors outweighed the fruits of victory. The war also produced well-designed insignia, charts and graphs. Considering that military design is to design what military music is to music, the high level of consistency, imagination and taste contributed to well-designed military regalia.