Design Criticism

The Cooper-Hewitt's New Electronic Publishing Series

On February 1, the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, will launch the first three titles in its new DesignFile line of e-books on design writing and research. According to a press release, DesignFile will publish “at least six to 12 titles annually during its first three years.” The debut e-books are The Miser’s Purse by Laura...

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Fighting never solves anything. But as a boy, my father made me take judo and jujitsu lessons so I could protect myself against a large number of bullies who preyed on stragglers in my Lower East Side, New York neighborhood. You see, most kids back then traveled in small self-defense packs to ward off...

Graphic Advocacy Takes a Stand

Elizabeth Resnick has been an fervent advocate of graphic design as a tool for social and political agitation. She’s documented a wide range of material and organized three exhibitions on complementary themes over the past decade. The most recent, “Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for a Digital Age 2001-2012,” is set to open tomorrow at...

Greetings From the Underground

The Composing Room, Inc., in New York City, was the most ambitious and progressive of all the type houses operating during the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. Much of the credit goes to Dr. Robert Leslie and his staff. Smart printed material was issued regularly, and one example is a collection of front pages produced...

The Continuing Adventures of O-Man

A Daily Heller regular, Robert Grossman’s O-Man comic, has been noticeably absent for the past few months. I guess the campaign pressures took its toll. But here as a projection is a post-election reflection for your detection.

When Low Got High

Some of you may recall the 1990 landmark exhibition that originated at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City called High & Low: Modern Art & Popular Culture. It was curated by MoMA’s director of painting and sculpture, Kurt Varnadoe, and The New Yorker art critic (at the time) and Varnadoe student,...

Art, Struggle, Signal

Political art gets its due. In fact, sometimes the same historic material becomes overexposed and loses its import. Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics & Culture (currently two issues are published) is a welcome addition to the scholarship and documentation of this genre. Alec Dunn, an illustrator, and Josh MacPhee, a founder of...

An L.A. View of Meggs's N.Y. School of Design

Everyone will approach the fifth edition of Meggs’ History of Graphic Design through their own personal filters. Steve Heller’s already done his overview of the print and digital versions. Paul Shaw may pick up his Blue Pencil to correct factual and editorial errors. Marxist and feminist critics might deal with the two Martha Stewart...

Many Happy (Tax) Returns: A Marxist Doctrine

With all of us looking at the Fiscal Cliff on the horizon, who better to explain things than Marx . . . . . . GROUCHO Marx. About 15 years ago, I traded my signed copy of The Groucho Letters to the animation creator/director Tom Warburton for his 1942 edition of Groucho Marx’s second...

Rand's Rules of the Road

Paul Rand was a stickler for the details that God is supposed to be in. As precise as he was in his own work, he was twice as precise in how others used his logos. His insistence on quality was best stated by Rand in an article in Print magazine in 1969: “Quality deals...