Obsessions

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...

Hair Is Important

If your Halloween hair is not close enough to the Lord, may I suggest buying a custom confection from Fifi Mahony’s in New Orleans? They outfit many a professional drag queen, burlesque dancer, and stripper, so you know that your hair will amaze and last. They constantly post new work to Facebook, so like...

Simplicity Destroys

Here’s a fascinating article from Discover Magazine circa 1987 which essentially posits that the idea of human progress due to civilization is nonsense. That’s shocking enough in and of itself, but current world events support some of what he’s saying. The author cites several facts based around agriculture showing that from the pre-agricultural period...

More Steps Towards Realistic Digital Reading

Based upon what we know about Opera’s new paged media and Adobe’s earlier CSS regions specifications, the future looks pretty bright for publishing to move into an HTML5 standard. Amazon’s pushing things one step further with its recent unveiling of their Silk browser and an announcement that they’re supporting HTML5 as the underlying technology...