Design Transitions – author interview

With its obsession with creating the new and improving the old, design is naturally a field that is in constant flux. In the past decade, design has been grappling with its identity somewhat. Whilst traditional skills are still important, increasingly sub- or über-disciplines such as design thinking, service design and strategic design have marked a significant shift in the roles designers and their clients and partners play on projects. Design Transitions documents this flux, by...

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Push Start: The Art of Video Games

Review by Andy Polaine I grew up with video and computer games. When I was a young child, I remember my father coming home from the pub telling me about the fantastic game he had played there. He described it as a TV mounted in a box with a knob you could rotate in order to control a ball in a kind of tennis game. The game was Pong, of course. It seems like only yesterday… A couple of Christmases later in the late 70s the “family present” was a Prinztronic Tournament...

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Type on Screen: 5 Questions with the Author

As a design educator, I find that there is a constant uphill battle to get students an ever increasing amount of information in a continually shrinking amount of time. Ellen Lupton’s previous books, including Thinking With Type and Graphic Design: The New Basics, have proven invaluable resources in this continued endeavor. Her latest book Type On Screen is yet another strong resource which provides a thorough overview of everything related to typography in the digital realm in a succinct...

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Critiqued: 5 Questions with the Author

When fellow Designers Review of Books author Christina Beard contacted me about her new book I was of course very interested to see what one of our own had come up with. The book she has produced however, Critiqued: Inside the Minds of 23 Leaders in Design, was a much more impressive undertaking than I had imagined. The book is focused on gaining design insight from some of the most well recognized designers in our profession today by constantly iterating on one project based on their input...

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Confessions of a Generalist

Thoughtfully designed, and encased in a conceptual cover that exhibits the interwoven intricacies of human involvement and existence, Confessions of a Generalist  is an all-encompassing tale of the magnificent life and times of the renowned American industrial designer, Niels Diffrient. Beginning with his humble roots, Mr. Diffrient walks us through his life’s journey, starting as a southern farm boy and concluding as a New York City-based industrial designer where he became most known...

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Graphic Icons: 5 Questions with the Author

As the creator of the site Design Is History, I have a particular interest in the history of graphic design. It was with that interest in mind that I jumped at the chance to interview John Clifford, author of the new design history title Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Design, about his catalog of some of the notable designers who have shaped what graphic design is today. D: What prompted you to publish this book as a collection of graphic designers? Why not focus directly on...

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Ken Garland: Structure and Substance—review and interview

The smell of Cow Gum rubber cement and the fascination of stacked Letraset trays form a large part of my childhood memories of afternoons spent at my father’s graphic design and advertising agency. The bookshelves were also a place of wonder for me. I would leaf through Graphis annuals, reference books and other monographs and frequently come across the work of Ken Garland. Of course, I did not know his name back then, but reading through Ken Garland: Structure and Substance from Unit...

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The Vintage & Classic Style Guide

In order to deal with the ever-growing pile of design books on my desk, I have become more choosy about what to review. Some design books are simply gorgeous design objects, others contain insightful content. All of them vie for attention. Even when I find an engaging book, that there are very few that are destined for my coffee table. The Vintage & Classic Style Guide, published by earBOOKS (Amazon US|DE), might just make the grade. The Vintage & Classic Style Guide is a collection...

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A Way to Learn to See: The new Interaction of Color iPad app

Reviewed by Carolina de Bartolo In my 2010 review of Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color, I summarized this most excellent volume as “an eternal gift to the world of design.” I stand by that statement. I’d now like to add that the new Interaction of Color iPad app is yet another beautiful gift to the world of design. This app is brought to you by Yale University Press, The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation and the NYC design agency, Potion, on the 50th anniversary of the...

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An Interview with Noah Scalin and Michelle Taute on The Design Activist’s Handbook

As part of a DROB series of interviews with authors, Jenny Venn interviews Noah Scalin and Michelle Taute about co-authoring the useful and inspiring book The Design Activists Handbook and about the emerging niche of designing for social change.     Jenny Venn: Noah, you’ve worked with a variety of social change clients/projects over the years. What separates social change projects/clients from more traditional projects/clients you’ve worked for in the past?  Noah Scalin: I...

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