Family Band's Kim Krans on Juggling Art, Music, E-Commerce, and More

Husband-and-wife team Kim Krans and Jonny Ollsin have no shortage of creative talent. Indeed, as proprietors of the always expanding online universe The Wild Unknown and cofounders of the appropriately named Family Band, they give off the impression that everything becomes …

Italian Graphic Design, Molto Squisito!

The TDM5: Grafica Italiana exhibit at the Triennale Design Museum will close in February 2013  (video here).  If you can’t make it there, the stunning catalog has just been published by Corraini Edizioni. Edited by Giorgio Camuffo, Mario Piazza, Carlo …

Toxic Nostalgia

“I LOATHE nostalgia!” The provocative opening sentence of the legendary magazine editor Diana Vreeland’s 1984 memoir, D.V., would find few supporters today—as a culture, we currently ADORE nostalgia. Design, from I.D. and the digital world to graphics and architecture, is …

What's Even More American Than Apple Pie?

The Fourth of July is America’s one-day Mardi Gras. Independence Day is commemorated with all-American things: dogs and burgers, apple and cherry pie, fries and potato salad, parades and picnics, beer and beer—and fireworks galore. Nothing’s more American than Chinese firecrackers, …

Litho-Mania: Marketing with Lithography, Circa 1939

My last post concerned the photoengraving industry of the pre-Depression period. This week it’s pre-WWII lithography! Litho Media: A Demonstration of the Selling Power of Lithography, published in 1939 by Roger Stephens and edited by H. Homer Buckelmueller and Colin …

Black and Shiny and Tastes Like Glycyrrhiza Glabra

Don’t tell me you don’t like licorice. Even if you insist that you don’t, your mouth will water at the sight of this packaging and identity. Amarelli is an Italian licorice manufacturer—but not just any licorice or any manufacturer. It is a …

Get Rid of Brand Baggage at HOW Design Live

We’ve all got our baggage. Designers, clients, even entire companies—no individual or institution is completely free of its own quirks, foibles, habits, and biases. But what about when a brand has baggage? How can designers and marketers do their best …

The Gift (Cards) That Keep on Giving

I’ve held on to more used Target gift cards than I’m comfortable admitting—and yet here I am, making yet another public confession about my propensity for over-accumulating. Apparently, I’m not alone in thinking that Target gift cards are the best …

Weird What You Can Find at a Roman Mercatino

I never had the least expectation of finding ancient artifacts of my extended family’s family businesses at a Roman mercatino (flea market), but here they are. Confections from the confectioners.