Delight & inform

Timelines of Design

History will repeat itself, but in order to make change, its essential to know what came before. Several design timelines are worth checking out to fine tune your historical design knowledge, among them Phaidon’s three book tome on industrial design, Design Classics (available as an iPad app as well.) Or, peruse advertising’s key moments in the last 50 years via D&AD’s timeline. And the interactive, informative Design History Timeline shows seminal moments in history, layered with impactful moments in design (like the design of Helvetica).

An Extra Two Hours

Maybe you only have two minutes to spare – maybe not. (Can you at least sit still for two minutes?)

We all have said it – “If only I have more time, I’d…” read more books, workout, volunteer, etc. This lovely infographic reveals some of the most common answers to the question of “What would you do with an extra 2 hours in your day?”. Thirty-five percent would spend that time having guests over for dinner; 54% of Americans would put that time toward starting their own business. What would you do with a little extra time?

Designed Departure

Heed the Mayan calendar with wit and creativity, via Just in Case – an end-of-the-world survival kit. The bold yellow and black packaging includes some basics – water, matches, and some special twists – Chocolate Abuelita and Xtabentun D’aristi, a Mayan liqueur, to take the edge off, and a Notebook – “in case you start to feel philosophical.”

Eat Their Words

Food and design meet in varied wonderful forms in Eat Me: Appetite for Design, new from Victionary. The book deliciously covers several case studies of inventive and gorgeous food packaging, restaurant interiors, brand identities, and conceptual projects. All are packaged in wafer-covered chocolate or vanilla, complete with a bite out of the corner.

On the Island

Happy Memorial Day! If you’re in New York and looking for something to do…

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis teamed up with the Cooper-Hewitt in NY to create a monumental exhibition on graphic design – Graphic Design: Now in Production. The show started in Minneapolis this past fall, and opened on Governor’s Island in New York this holiday weekend. It  explores the transformation of graphic design from a little-known field to a creative tool with wide and varied outlets. Additionally, it “showcases a series of developments over the past decade, such as the entrepreneurial nature of designer-produced goods; the renaissance in digital typeface design; the storytelling potential of titling sequences for film and television; and the transformation of raw data into compelling information narratives.” One not to miss – on view until September 2, travelling to LA, Houston and Winston-Salem following.

(Image of a section of Fanette Mellier’s Specimen poster)

Words with Straws

A good Friday kickoff! We just came across this incredible, gargantuan straw Yeah! sculpture by Bangkok design group Farmgroup, which was hung with other straw sculptures during the holidays at the Siam Center in Thailand. Another great installation they did with thousands of tube-shaped objects was this  impression wall (inspired by the classic child’s toy).

Bicycle Portraits

Cyclists Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler began a study of cycling in South Africa, which turned into a celebration of the country’s diverse bike culture. The enterprising duo spent 2 years riding 6,000 miles to photograph and interview people who use bicycles as their means of transport. From their extensive endeavor, they compiled images and stories into Bicycle Portraits. These beautiful illustrations show the diverse terrain that each cyclist journeys on. They recently secured their Kickstarter funding so you anyone can now order the book online.

Cupcake Collages

Create and share beautiful patterned works of art … using artisan cupcakes.

Graphic Sweetness

While many chocolatiers have recognized the lure of beautiful packaging, some have put the focus purely on pattern.  Local Brooklyn favorite Mast Brothers’ goods are wrapped in elegant, heavyweight papers – some traditional paisleys, others with rows of bicycles or anchors. And Singapore brand Chocolate Research Facility encases their unique flavors like banana and spiced tea in a mixture of vibrant and quirky looks.

Graphic Reading

Eight:48, a UK graphic magazine with nice full-spread coverage of designers and illustrators, just released their eighth issue.

Available now through the astute boutique publishers Counter-Print UK.

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