Winsor McCay Illustrates Temperance — or Prohibition?, 1929

While strolling through a used-books store in Los Angeles over 20 years ago, I spied the dust-jacketed binding of a book with a familiar illustration style. Much to my delight, I’d found a little-known 1929 first edition volume published by …

R. Crumb's Sketchbooks

Robert “R.” Crumb is one of my favorite artists. Underground cartoonist, designer, illustrator, “drawer”—they all seem like inadequate titles when attached to his body of work. There was a show recently at the Society of Illustrators in New York City …

Musing on a Dead Tree

There are few things more functionally beautiful than trees. Oak, maple, birch, cherry, apple, pear—whatever the genera, they supply us with oxygen, offer us shade, provide us with shelter. Granola wouldn’t exist without their fruits, berries, and nuts. And let’s …

"What's In Your Garbage?"

For the Trash Issue, we asked 18 designers, “What’s in your garbage?” Sam Weber The photo is of my recycling bin, holding some reference photos and crumpled-up drawings. . Natasha Jen, Pentagram One 9-by-12–inch manila envelope; one padded manila envelope …

Still Life with Trash

Proving that one man’s trash is another man’s limited-edition silk-screen print, Dan Ibarra and Michael Byzewski, of the Minneapolis-based studio Aesthetic Apparatus, are putting a new spin on up-cycling. Seeking inspiration for a workshop, the duo, revered creators of band …

The Sweet Spot for Protest

Dissent is one of American’s most dearly valued constitutional rights. And protest is one of the most common spectator sports. The latest protest to make its mark in New York City is aimed at Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s fight against sugar-laced …

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 …

The Bottle's the Thing: The Branding Evolution of Soda Pop

My fascination with brand design started with the soda-pop realm. I’d always loved leafing through old magazines and usually paid more attention to the advertising in them than the articles. Because my father had a collection of Life magazines beginning …