Design Criticism

The Google Curse of Rand

This in from Otto Steininger: In his ongoing rage over Googling Paul Rand and getting all these images of Rand Paul mixed in, he created this poster. “Thought you might get a laugh out of it.” So true. . In Design Dialogues, Steven Heller interviews Paul Rand and 33 other brilliant design minds.

Big Problem, Small Page

Big problems can be solved on small pages. A little book produced in 1919 titled Solving Advertising Art Problems, produced by Advertising Artists, Inc., a commercial art service agency in New York, was published to show commercial artists successful work—particularly the work that their artists produced. There was one mantra in this book that...

Winsor McCay Illustrates Temperance — or Prohibition?, 1929

While strolling through a used-books store in Los Angeles over 20 years ago, I spied the dust-jacketed binding of a book with a familiar illustration style. Much to my delight, I’d found a little-known 1929 first edition volume published by the Hearst Company concerning Prohibition—and primarily illustrated by the brilliant comic-strip artist and animation...

The Seventh Seal of Disapproval

Death. Can’t live with it or without it. It sucks! Death is terrible when someone you love passes. But we’ve also all grieved when, say, a product that we’ve become attached to is put out on the ice flow. The Stone Twins, from Amsterdam, memorialized this grief over things in their book, Logo R.I.P.,...

Giving Big Bird the Bird

During last week’s presidential debate, Mitt Romney promised to kill funding for Public Broadcasting, which includes Sesame Street, the most successful educational TV show for children in the United States, if not the world. Here’s what he said: “I’m sorry, Jim [Lehrer, the moderator]. I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m gonna stop...

Metaskills vs. Robotic Curve

Marty Neumeier, author of Brand Gap and Zag, has a brand new book. Metaskills: Five Talents for the Robotic Age (to be released in January 2013) is a 21st-century handbook for navigating creative waters. Neumeier, who for many years published and edited Critique magazine, calls himself director of transformation for his Liquid Agency, which...

Is Ornament Actually a Crime?

This post marks the first installment of a new Imprint series about the intriguing visual archipelago that is pattern. Why and how do patterns—polka dots, stripes, and all their filigreed and more complex cousins—beguile us? What is the range of conflicting and buried meanings that individual patterns can convey? Pattern cuts across disciplines—art, design, and science, to...

O-Man: Rhyme or Reason by Robert Grossman

It has been too long since the last O Man installment by Robert Grossman. The time is right for a little incisive satire on the election—if you haven’t noticed, we are already just 35 days from November 6. The first of the presidential debates takes place this Wednesday evening. So in honor of campaign...

Netanyahu Bombs at the U.N.

If Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were a stand-up comic, he couldn’t have been funnier. Yet sadly for him, the visual aid he surprisingly introduced during his U.N. General Assembly speech last week, illustrating the serious need to draw a red line on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, was a dud. Perhaps because it may not...

Start a Career in Nation Branding

A university degree thesis can be a “senior project”—nice, but blue-sky—or it can be meaningful and substantive with far-reaching implications. An example of the latter is Good People, Great Nation by Christian Rau und Lukas Weber from the Fachhochschule in Mainz, Germany. Ambitious in content and size, the publication and website examines “the backgrounds of...