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Hard News in the Icon Age

Sylvain Boyer founded icons times, which he claims “is quite possibly the first iconographic news aggregator.” It provides a new way to read the news by representing each breaking story as an informative icon. Icons times presents a series of icons evolving over time and topics, creating a new language and a new way to read news. I was intrigued by Boyer’s concept and skeptical of its viability, so I asked him to explain:

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Hey, Genius . . .

Yesterday, the website Liquid kicked off a weekly series featuring Marty Neumeier’s rules, adapted from his book on business creativity. Here’s a sneak peak at next week’s.

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Must Designers Go to School?

If you were starting a career in the late 1920s or early 30s (the period of Great Depression), and you had artistic aspirations, this cover and the booklet it graced would have been for you. Explore this vintage catalog of the Federal Schools, Inc. training programs, the largest commercial art correspondence school in America.

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Home Alone with Hanksy’s House Painters

Take a look at the newest work by New York and LA street art punster Hanksy: He and 43 invited street artists took over a four-story abandoned house on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to make their art.

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Marshall McLuhan, False Prophet

Take a look at Marshall McLuhan, his role in Woody Allen’s film, the book about his work and why this philosopher has continued to be so appealing – even today.

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Sequitur or Non?

Whoever said the twenty-somethings have lost irony was being ironic. Wit and sarcasm are alive and well with Spencer Charles. “I chose to use non-sequiturs because they remind me of bits of overheard conversation,” he told me, “which when stripped of context, are usually pretty funny, or at least entertaining.”

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Weekend Heller: Reveling in Rand

Just returned from the MODA (Museum of Design Atlanta) exhibition Paul Rand: Defining Design, and if you have any reason to be in Atlanta do not miss it. Culled from many collections are original collages and comps for some key work and many printed pieces that will surprise even the most avid Rand-fan. Here are some highlights.

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Smoking’s Poster Boy 1900

What’s fun about looking at old cigarette advertising is how guileless they were. Take this advertisement for Omar Cigarettes. The portrait of the gent on the links who’s played a “bully round” looks, well, like the epitome of an anti-tobacco message. The linkage between the headline “When a Cigarette Tastes Sweetest” and the wizened granddad is off the mark.

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“Historic” Historic Preservation

I’m a big fan of architectural historic preservation and restoration, and have involved myself and my studio in the saving of three structures that faced imminent destruction. These include railway stations in Skokie, Il, and Scarsdale, NY, as well as …