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More Magical, Turbulent History of The Color Green

Jude Stewart’s Beyond the Color Chart Bootcamp will teach you to wield color—including the color green, as detailed below—more intelligently in your graphic design practice. Register for this online course here. Welcome to part 2 in my mini-series on the new book GREEN: The History of a Color by French art historian Michel Pastoureau....

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03/12/2014: Typewriter poster

Posters like this are ubiquitous these days (see the Image of the Day Oscar post as just one other recent example), but there’s something about these simply-illustrated depictions of the typewriter’s evolution that is both intriguing and educational (looking at the 1878 Hansen Writing Ball brings to mind a number of questions). This is...

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03/05/2014: Joy Division album art history

The pulsar image of Peter Saville’s iconic design for the first Joy Division album has been reproduced a lot in recent years. When Adam Capriola wanted to use the design for a parody t-shirt, he followed an internet trail that went beyond what he could have imagined. In a blog post about his findings,...

Stan Mack’s Occupy-the-Fourth-of-July Funnies

It’s 1776 in Philadelphia. Congressional delegates “sweat, swat flies, and argue independence.” They retreat to a tavern and casually dump Jefferson with the job of composing a declaration: “Tom, write us something dignified, yet magical.” Once he’s finished, all the congressmen shout out changes at him: “Drop ‘independent’;” “Why ‘happiness’ instead of ‘property’? What’s...

From ? to !, Part 2

After posting “From Question Mark to Exclamation Point: A Visual History,” quite a few of you have sent me more samples which I did not include in my collection. Thank you, especially to Chisholm Larsson Gallery for their continued support in constantly sending us images. Here are a few beautiful samples, and over 70...

Ten Typefaces of the Decade

In 1998, in the middle of millennium-induced listmaking mania, I wrote a short piece for Letterspace, the newsletter of the Type Directors Club, on the “top 100 typefaces of all time.” The list was based on the historical, technological, or theoretical importance of each design rather than its aesthetics. Initially, the list caused barely...