Design Criticism

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Mad (Magazine) Crazy…

At a time before cable television and the internet, "Mad Magazine" truly ruled and paved the way for "National Lampoon" and Saturday Night Live.

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Lolita: A Cover Girl Misunderstood

The cover of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita has sparked much intrigue. 80 renowned designers and illustrators, like Paula Scher, Jessica Hische and Matt Dorfman (shown above), interpret the cover in new ways. Take a look.

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The Year the How Design Conference Got “Ugly”

The year was 1993 and using a computer for graphic design was, well, uncommon. See what Carlos Segura had to say about his digital design of the HOW Design Conference brochure that gave the design industry something big to talk about.

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Mad Men’s Peggy and the Truth About Cigarette Branding

Mad Men is hooked on cigarettes. And it just can’t stop. In the first scene of 2007’s pilot–set in 1960 and titled “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”–Don Draper talks with a waiter about Old Gold vs. Luckies. He shortly learns that they’re all poisonous. The theme continues, wafting through Don’s controversial “Why I’m quitting...

Separated Years After Birth

Max Körner (1883-1963), who I wrote about two weeks ago, left behind more than a bunch of obscure trademarks. Thanks to Daily Heller private eye and public nose sleuth, Mirko Ilic, we see (below) that Bluetooth owes a rather obvious debt to this less known German logo designer for his 1922 Behinger and Co....

Triggering Concern About Guns

The rapid fire of gun related tragedies has triggered more concern about regulation and the Second Amendment. The debate needs airing and The Gun Show: A Collection Of Posters Against Guns is mobilizing the creative community to put their talents to work, making and sharing work about how gun culture has impacted the nation....

Some Uncomfortable Thoughts About Sagmeister & Walsh’s New Identity

Stefan Sagmeister has a thing for self-exposure. When he launched his firm 20 years ago, clients received a postcard of the designer wearing dress socks and nothing else. (A black bar kept him from running afoul of the Comstock Act.) It became his personal brand. Last May, when he changed the name of his studio...

Covering Print Magazine, 1940-1953

The magazine we all call Print has had a half dozen different names since its inception in June of 1940. It was originally a limited-edition periodical that discussed the endless techniques used in the graphic arts industry, and even included original prints and tipped-in features within. From its first edition up to Volume VII,...

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...