Weekend Heller: Possibly the Best Dailies of 2013

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

New Year is a time for reflection, or simply repetition. Too much holiday cheer weighs the blogger down, so its a perfect moment to haul out the of “best of’s.” Since I have the attention span of an elf during the holidays, I reached back a few months into my bag of goodies and present to you what might be the better Daily Hellers of the past year. Just click on the hotlink. There are many others that I’m fond of, but I can’t find them. You can, with patience, go through the archive (here), if you are at home on New Year’s Eve with only the prospect of watching the ball on TV for your celebratory fun. In any case, have a great New Year.

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Ai Weiwei’s Neo-Reality

A new documentary film Ai Weiwei – The Fake Case by Andreas Johnsen will be out soon and the poster announcing the film is as provocative as the artists. Thanks to Kellerhouse and Johnsen I reached Ai Weiwei through email with a few questions about art and provocation, and how he felt about this particular interpretive depiction.

The Forgotten Typographic Art of Price Tags

Next to cash register receipts, common price tags are arguably the most taken for granted pieces of graphic design. Many today are rendered by computer, so why bother showering them with respect. Some are, of course, handwritten without the flair of a true letterer. And most are stock designs that come from a few different business stationery outlets that sell various merchant necessities.

Artists as Art

Seymour Chwast’s perpetually fertile imagination is still going full bore with his series “The Artists: Postcard Portraits of Nineteenth & Twentieth Century Masters.” His “imaginings” of what the maestros look like wrapped in their own art brands are not simply charmingly witty, they represent Chwast’s fluid mastery of style, form and content. This suite is truly sweet (in the vernacular of youth). (They can be purchased or downloaded here.) I also asked Chwast a few questions about this new opus.

The Trib’s Mighty Book Week

The New York Herald Tribune was the first broadsheet to morph from a 19th century news makeup into a late 20th century art directed newspaper. Peter Palazzo was hired in 1963 as design director for the foundering paper as it …

How Germans Got Physical

In 1908 Dora Menzler founded a school in Leipzig, Germany, for training gymnastics teachers. Her company moved from Leipzig to Hellerau (my home town, not). Her 1924 book “Physical Training of Women In Pictures and Words” with a cover by Ludwig …

The Psuedo-Science of Adverts

Anyone who says that the mid-1950s Creative Revolution (The Big Idea epoch) was merely a semantic change in the way advertising was practiced, should think again.

Mad Men Title Sequence Inspiration Revealed

Film Director Steve Fuller discusses the inspiration behind Mad Men’s title sequence with Steven Heller, divulging sources of inspiration.

When Green Equaled Racist

Ruth Benedict and her colleague collaborated with the legendary animation studio UPA, famous for its Gerald McBoing Boing and Mr. Magoo cartoons, which had done a brilliant cartoon titled The Brotherhood of Man.

Design Without Design

One of the most fascinating aspects about building a design history (especially graphic design history) is finding and tracing an artifact from the past to present. So many large and small companies and firms that practiced in some way or …

The Italian Rand

“I know a lot of things” by Paul and Ann Rand was published in 1956 and is still a fresh as it ever was. It also knows no bounds. It was republished in Italian as “Quante cose so” by Edizioni …

New Gothic Typeface Be Damned

Michael Doret (of Alphabet Soup in L.A.), one of my favorite lettering artists and typeface designers, has been working on a new font that he says is in the spirit of black letter.

The Design of Don’t

These novelty Cards by Clare Victor Dwiggins use lettering and illustrations to posit the contrary of well-known sayings in a new light.

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