Obsessions

How Walt Disney Used His Kansas City Library Card

When the word “Disney” is mentioned, it’s almost impossible to separate it from the craft of motion picture cartoons. Whether it’s used to describe a multinational entertainment corporation, or it alludes to Walt Disney the man, it’s easily synonymus with the technique of film animation. This was obviously not always the case. In 1920,...

Jessie’s Gang

Jessie Gang is passionate about design—and designers—so much so that she’s hard at work on an ongoing series of  “icons of graphic design” portraits—Jessie’s Gang. Jessie, a graphic and product design major at the School of Visual Arts, admits (with a smile) to papering her walls with creations by some of her favorite artists,...

Joe Shuster’s Artwork for the 1942 Novel The Adventures of Superman

I used to spend a lot of time as a kid visiting antique (actually, “junk”) shops. It was like visiting a museum, except you pick up stuff and hold it. One of the things I found (probably around 1972) was a book by author George Lowther from 1942 about Superman. I’d never heard about...

Affordable Love

Gallerist Jen Bekman’s affordable art site, 20×200, offers a selection of smart, well-curated photographs and prints, as evidenced by these Steve Lambert pieces. There are a variety of love-themed options (as well as a slew of other subjects), should you be on the Valentine’s Day gift hunt or just because.   Resources Recommended by...

On the Roadside Sign Again

I’ve been slightly obsessed with portable roadside signage since I first encountered a stretch of white boxes with flashing red arrows along Route 28 in upstate New York. I’d certainly seen that form of advertising before, but didn’t realize how ubiquitous it was throughout rural America (or admittedly, what little I know of rural...

A True Visionary Gives Chicago A Landmark Branding Campaign Circa 1920-30

(This piece is a much expanded version of an article co-written with photographer/writer John Gruber for Print Magazine and the British trade mag Ads International in 1998.) The thought of Chicago in the 1920’s usually conjures up images of gangsters, Prohibition, and other Roaring 20’s clichés, but there was another movement in the Chicago...

Greenwich Letterpress Is Just My Type

It is way too easy to spend money at Greenwich Letterpress. Without fail, I manage to leave with some extremely necessary item each time I visit the sunny West Village shop — a journal, some letterpress greeting cards, or maybe a book plate — you know, life’s staples. I am a girl on a...

Signing Off

Hi, designers. As some of you may know, today’s my last day with Print Magazine as a regular contributor. It would appear I’ve been writing Obsessions since the Chicago HOW Design Conference. Not last year’s HOW Conference, the one in 2005. At that point, Obsessions was a sort of catchall column, dedicated to curiosities...