AIGA Justified

AIGA: Rejustified

It’s time to take a new look at AIGA’s ‘Justified’ design competition.

the new Oscars® envelope design

Designing the Oscars

After more than 80 undesigned years, the Oscars finally get some attention.

designing icons

Designing Icons

Things to consider when designing icon systems

alex liebold japan poster


Another poster for ___________

Women in Design Step Magazine Cover

Women In Design

So today I asked my students to each bring in the names of three living designers they admired, one of whom had to be…

Redesigned Oscars Envelope

The Envelope, Please

New envelope designs by “stationer to the stars” Marc Friedland…

Facebook statistics


Did you know that Graphic Design at CCA now has a Facebook page? Did you know that CCA design faculty member Jeremey Mende won…

Think Globally, F*ck Locally

If there’s one thing we can all agree on about condoms, its that their packaging is universally ugly. Whether or not you experience confusion…

Look & Feel

The California DMV today announced a redesigned driver license and ID card with improved security features and a brand-new look — the first makeover in…

Back To School

One of the things I never anticipated was that this blog would have a life beyond the classroom. I first created a web page…

can we date flowchart

Can We Date?

Not much to say here, except that this is a fairly amusing, lighthearted infographic to which you may or may not relate. Here’s how…

dollar redesign project

Dollars That Make Sense

Back in April I posted about the redesign of the US $100 bill. My god that thing is ugly. Well, since July of last…



Following the success of Helvetica and Objectified, filmmaker Gary Hustwit announced has announced the third film in his design trilogy. Design Writer Alissa Walked…

Tom Dair

“Design is about people, not things”

Smart Design’s Tom Dair received the Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Award last week, and was promptly quoted in a speech by Michelle Obama. The…

redesigned girls scouts logo

Brand New

There’s a brand new design firm in town (well, in NYC) headed by Pentagram Alum Jennifer Kinon and Ogilvy expat Bobby Martin. They call…

jabulani soccer ball


With the World Cup officially underway, its interesting to look at some of the design issues pertinent to the game. Unlike our other favorite…


Mandeville & Wenlock

The mascots for the 2012 Olympics have been unveiled. Named Mandeville & Wenlock, they kind of look like giant, cycloptic, anthropomorphic bottle openers. You…

pepsi logo arnell


In recent years we’ve seen the obliteration of the logo landscape we’ve come to know and love. Marks by Paul Rand, Saul Bass and…

Double Decker

London Mayor Boris Johnson officially unveiled the design of the new “Routemaster” double decker bus today. The new design looks much like the winning…



To prevent the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport, Greenpeace came up with a novel three-part solution called Airplot: They bought a piece of land…

marlboro subliminal advertising

Welcome To Subliminal Country

So, I don’t follow Formula One either (this is assuming you don’t), but this story caught my eye last week and it’s pretty fascinating….

Top 10 Design Insights

  I’ve shown this to most of my students at one time or another, partly because its one of the funniest things I’ve ever…

So Long

[to the students of my just concluded spring 2010 GD2 class] I have a small bronze sculpture by an artist whose name I cannot remember…

us dollar redesign

New Money

Is our money just destined to be ugly? The US Treasury today unveiled its new $100 bill. Designed to combat counterfeiting, the resulting aesthetic…

clever little box

The Cat is Out of the Bag

Puma recently announced their revolutionary new shoebox design (or as they put it, “the best shoebox ever”). Working with CCA faculty member Yves Behar the…

Cartographies Of Time

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right*. But I just couldn’t help myself from posting about this new book from Princeton Architectural Press….


David McCandless and Ben Bartels created this interesting visual comparison between the CO2 emitted from the unpronounceable volcano in Iceland and the European aviation…


You’re probably already aware of designer Nick Felton’s annual report obsession. If you’re not, here’s a quick recap: Nick keeps rather religious track of…

this is where we live

Video Process Books

The best way to document the process of a 4D project is, as you might expect, in 4D. The folks at Apt Studios did…

Obama Recovery Infographic

We Love Infographics

Whatever your politics, this is a pretty compelling use of information graphics to tell a story (not surprising considering that Edward Tufte is now…

sorry we're sorry sign

Come In, We’re Open

Sorry for the interruption. It appears all systems are one again up and running. I’ll try to update the assignments page tonight and post…

jeremy mende

Type + Image

One of the ongoing formal challenges of graphic design is the need to successfully integrate type and image. This is a recap of some…

Obama Logo

The Big O

About a year ago I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to Sol Sender, designer of the now classic logo for the Obama…

fuck design

Happy Valentines Day

Since I have a habit of making every holiday or event into a design lesson, Valentine’s Day should be no exception. Forgive the graphic…

olympic torch bombadier

Designing The Olympic Torch

Design is design is design. If you’ve ever been intimated about taking on a design project that you’ve never done before you might find…

Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30

MTV announced this week that they are updating their 30-year old logo. That’s not to say that the old logo had been stagnant all…

Waiting For Permission

From Michael Bierut Via Typotheque This essay is also available in his book, 79 Essays on Design. “It almost seems like a dream now….

milton glaser

Why Women Don’t Succeed In Design

Contrary to what you may have heard, they do. We’ve already looked at Jennifers Morla and Jerde and most recently Louise Fili. I think I…

Design For Haiti

GOOD Magazine has a little project going for their Transparency section — design an info graphic about the Haitian earthquake. It’s worth checking out….

frizz logo

I Love This Logo

Sometimes the best way to say something is simply to say it. Or not.

logo identity brand

Logo / Identity / Brand

This is a deep subject and I could go on about it forever. In a nutshell, though, there are three terms we sometimes make…


Besides being a total genius illustrator, Christoph Niemann has some pretty good advice for the aspiring logo designer (as shown above). And while we’re…

New San Francisco Bay Bridge

Re-imagining The Bay Bridge

John King has an interesting article in today’s Chronicle about the future of the soon-to-be-obsolete Bay Bridge. Taking cues from New York’s High Line,…

woody allen


OK. Welcome. Not a bad first class. Obviously a few of you are going to have to give up on the dream of being…

The Grid System

Everything you ever wanted to now about grids, but were afraid to ask.

just design by christopher simmons

Good Friday

Normally I’ll post something here for you on Fridays and Saturdays (Sundays you’re on your own). Today, however, I’m punting you over to another…

london tube map

Explaining Design To 10 Year Olds

From designer Michael Johnson: I once had to launch a book in Canada in front of 800 delegates knowing that the shipment of books…