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Spike Lee’s Other Poster Design Bamboozle: Saul Bass

  A poster for Spike Lee’s latest movie may be a ripoff. But it’s not the first time he’s faced accusations of unlawful design “appropriation.” Eighteen years ago, Saul Bass himself was pointing the finger. First, the latest incident. It began when an ad agency hired L.A.-based freelancer Juan Luis Garcia, whose poster design...

If You Like Our Troops, You Can Keep Them

Ted Rall’s “Censored” Obama Cartoon and Other Controversies

Are editorial decisions really censorship? When I discussed the issue with Ted Rall, America’s most widely read alternative editorial cartoonist, he was unequivocal: “To edit is to censor. It’s true. Look it up in the dictionary.” And thus, his latest blog column headline is “I have been censored by Daily Kos.” I recommend that you...

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Father of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons Revealed

He was an illustrator, cartoonist, designer, puzzle creator and puppeteer. In 1928, the father of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons was commissioned by the department store to create a series of helium filled, rubberized silk animal balloons.

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“Historic” Historic Preservation

I’m a big fan of architectural historic preservation and restoration, and have involved myself and my studio in the saving of three structures that faced imminent destruction. These include railway stations in Skokie, Il, and Scarsdale, NY, as well as our studio’s White Plains, NY, home in the 1926 Bar Building. It’s truly as...

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City As Canvas: The Martin Wong Collection of New York Graffiti

  On February 5, 2014, the Museum of the City of New York will launch City As Canvas, an exhibit dedicated to the Martin Wong Collection. Wong, a painter in his own right, first started befriending graffiti writers in the early 1980s when he worked at Pearl Paints, recognizing and valuing the undeniable vibrancy...

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Image of the Day, 10/09/2013: Typography and Tableware

House Industries lent some of its typography and style to this set of tableware from Hasami, Japan. After having already collaborated for the Hasami Morning Collection, Hasami’s Kyohei Baba worked with House to create the brand Monohara. Read more about the project here. Via House Industries.

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Coming Soon: Movie Posters for Those Films Inside Our Heads

Attention dedicated film buffs: have you seen Saul Bass’s other sci-fi feature, Rendezvous with Rama? How about Luis Bunuel’s supernatural Las Fotografias? Or that low-budget thriller by Alfred Hitchcock’s nephew, Oh Shit, Bees!? Of course you haven’t. They only exist in print form, as part of “Coming Soon,” an L.A. exhibition of designs for...

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Cover Your Eyes: the Graphic Horrors of 1950s Comics

Since this is Banned Books Week, I’ve come to bury Dr. Fredric Wertham, not to praise him. Wertham was an anti-comic book crusader who did some serious damage back in the 1950s. As an entertainment medium, comics were the digital devices of their day: Sales could be counted in hundreds of millions, and more...

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The Comics that Corrupted Our Kids!

Kids these days, with their violence and gunplay and perverse sex. We’d all be so much better if only they didn’t have access to those video games and that nasty music and those awful movies and blah blah blah. Thus goes the scapegoating just as it always has. Back in the early 1950s, comic...