Environment

Keeping Everyone in the Loop: 50 Years of Chicago “L” Graphics

A recent visit to Chicago reminded me of how enamored I am of its rapid transit. It’s so much a part of what makes Chicago unique and exciting to me. Chicago is one of those cities with a “sound” to it—San Francisco being another—and the elevated “L” system is the reason why. Much of...

Nominating the Next Thanksgiving Day Balloon

On this night before Thanksgiving eve, here’s a thought for a new parade balloon: Bibendum, a.k.a. Michelin Man, is the symbol of the Michelin tire company. Bibendum is one of the world’s oldest trademarks. OK, he’s not as popular a character as Snoopy or Ronald McDonald, but he’s made for the sky—the original inflatable. So,...

Help Is on the Way

Hurricane Sandy caused terrible damage, but as always in New York, the tragedy brings the best out in people of good will. It was heartening to see all the different power company logos from around the country at the Con Ed staging area in Union Square park. I spoke to an electrical repair man...

Words To Brighten a Wall

Jun Yokoyama has created a piece of design art that he calls 3Decor. They are typographic 3-D panels with words and images and word images that can be used in the home. I was intrigued and asked him to explain: Is this visual poetry or commercial product? Originally, the work, which started over 20...

Bucky Fuller's Book: "I Seem To Be a Topsy-Turvy Design"

Last week, Steven Heller covered Quentin Fiore, designer of books by the medieval-minded media theorist Marshall McLuhan and the yuppie-brained Yippie leader Jerry Rubin. Heller also mentioned a 1970 paperback that the architect/engineer/designer R. Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller put together with Fiore and writer Jerome Agel. Fuller has been called the grandfather of the green movement....

Doctor, My Eyes . . .

It is called Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, but people prefer to use the acronym LUFF. Currently—as I write this, it is on, in its 11th year—the festival is known for the panoply of music creation and cinematography “left in the shadow of the mainstream culture,” says the festival branding and poster designer Demian Conrad....

Supergraphics and Computer Art: Deborah Sussman and April Greiman in L.A.

The exhibition California’s Designing Women: 1896–1986—on view at the Autry National Center, in Los Angeles, until January 6, 2013—includes 225 objects by 46 women designers. There are ceramics, clothing, furniture, jewelry, textiles, and much more. Fortunately, the graphic arts are not neglected. Although the show includes only a handful of women graphic designers, two...

Street Language from Above

Released publicly in May 2011, Ron Gabriel’s SVA MFA Design/Designer as Author and Entrepreneur thesis product was an ambitious awareness campaign called 3-Way Street. It aimed to introduce the concept of civility to New York City’s congested streets. To illustrate the potential dangers between pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists when uncivil behavior reigns, Gabriel created...

Experimental Entrepreneurial Exhibition Space

The headline should read: “Design Entrepreneur Stakes Out New Territory.” Prem Krishnamurthy, a principal of Project Projects in New York, has opened P!, a new exhibition space in Chinatown. It launches next week, on September 16, with a three-person show: Process 01: Joy, featuring works by the former photographer and now occupational therapist Chauncey...

Still Life with Trash

Proving that one man’s trash is another man’s limited-edition silk-screen print, Dan Ibarra and Michael Byzewski, of the Minneapolis-based studio Aesthetic Apparatus, are putting a new spin on up-cycling. Seeking inspiration for a workshop, the duo, revered creators of band posters and brand identities alike, began collecting trash along Minneapolis’s Midtown Greenway, a 5.5-mile...