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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 …

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The Century 21 of Kimono Design

In a world where everything looks the same in terms of big-retail fashion, it’s refreshing to come across this catalog of Japanese Kimono designs.

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History For The Price Of Peanuts

I can’t say I think of Planters’ Mr. Peanut as a source of historical data, but this colorful little “Paint Book” from 1935 would seem to indicate otherwise.

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Ludwig Hohlwein’s Fun In The Sun

“Man and Sunlight” is English title of Hans Surén’s book “Der Mensch und die Sonne”, published in 1924; one of many celebrating the German obsession with physical purity and hygiene, nude gymnastics and sun bathing. Surén advocated that men (and …

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Wallpaper (not the magazine)

While in Rome, design expert Steven Heller took note of the design in vintage booklets on how to hang wallpaper. Take a look at these charming examples.

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The Ages Of “21″

In 1936, the former speakeasy and NYC restaurant-club, Jack & Charlie’s “21″ (what we now know as The 21 Club) published, “The Iron Gate” as a self-promotional tool.

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Acid Candy From Argentina: Acido Surtido Design Magazine

Lucas López and Mauro López from Buenos Aires, Argentina, are the founders and editors of Acido Surtido, a design magazine started in 2001. I asked Lucas to explain the reasons for continuing an analog publication in this day and age. …

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Riting Before Texting

Before Instagram, photo albums required considerable manual labor to keep fresh and current. There were various ways, but one of the most popular was a tracing method, in this case known as Rite-a-Title. You could “Write a Title in a …

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Post-Modern Storybook Illustrations

I consider myself very lucky to have been exposed to children’s books as a kid that were published way before my time—it gave me a wonderful perspective on everything from design and illustration to historical content. A good example is …

How To Design An App

“I’ve been pretty busy, but in a good way,” reports Baltimore-based illustrator/designer/MICA instructor Joyce Hesselberth. “I usually have some editorial projects in the works. I just finished a few pieces for “The New York Times” and the “Chronicle Review.” I …