Illustrated Aviation Books By Assen Jordanoff

As a kid, whenever I’d visit my Grandmother’s house in Columbus, OH, I’d make a beeline to her bookshelf. It consisted of books on public health and education (she worked with the Ohio State Department of Health), as well as …

The Original Desktops

These are the apple of my eye. Once, they were what was next.  Old “writing machines,” used in print shops, trade schools and offices at the turn of the century, were the original desktops. I cut my proverbial type-writing teeth …

Nōn Verbīs Sed Rēbus

The Latin word rēbus, which means “by things,” became nōn verbīs sed rēbus—“not by words but by things.” The rebus principle involves the use of symbols and pictograms for their sounds regardless of their meaning, to represent new words. The rebus …

The Vintage Speedball Textbook

I once found a set of Speedball pen nibs as a kid. I was familiar with conventional pen and ink usage, but had never seen nibs like this before. It wasn’t until taking a calligraphy course in college (with Professor …

Italia on the Screen

Italian Ways is an online magazine (in English) about Italy edited and designed by Angelini Design in Rome. The stated aim of the project, says Michele Angelini, “is to give visibility to historical and artistic Italian places—in particular the ones …

Geographic Liberties Were Taken

The icon doesn’t die. Vignelli Transit Maps describes the history of the New York City subway maps and follows this city’s transportation growth from separate, independent lines to one large system. Peter Lloyd and mapmaster Mark Ovenden present a history …

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Fighting never solves anything. But as a boy, my father made me take judo and jujitsu lessons so I could protect myself against a large number of bullies who preyed on stragglers in my Lower East Side, New York neighborhood. …

Graphic Advocacy Takes a Stand

Elizabeth Resnick has been an fervent advocate of graphic design as a tool for social and political agitation. She’s documented a wide range of material and organized three exhibitions on complementary themes over the past decade. The most recent, “Graphic …

A Day's Pickin's at the Outdoor Market

Fruits and vegetables aren’t the only bounty at the Roman outdoor produce markets. There are fresh fish, meats, spices, liquors, housewares, sweatshirts, and socks, but my favorites are the fruit wrappers. Louise Fili and I have been collecting these tissue-paper-thin …

Surgical Design for Surgical Equipment

Intuitive Surgical designs and manufactures a robotic surgical system called da Vinci. Mike Hanuschik, who leads a design and product management team, said something that recently piqued my interest: “Intuitive Surgical works at the nexus of design, graphic design, and engineering.” …