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Must Read: Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design

18 May

Nerd Alert!

Here’s a book that design lovers won’t be able to put down, and others might find just a little interesting. It’s called Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design and it’s by Michael Bierut, a writer for the popular, often-but-not-always-very-design-industry-specific blog, Design Observer.

I am happily and excitedly going to be teaching a graduate studio in the fall that focuses on conceptual development and communication, and this book is a wonderful companion for that class.  Though it talks a lot about graphics (as Bierut is a graphic designer himself, and at the famed Pentagram, no less)  it is effectively interdisciplinary in its discussion of client relationships, concept generation, public perception, and it even touches directly on architecture for several essays.  I can’t stop myself from going back to it for inspiration for studio exercises. 

A fun bonus that makes this book even more appealing: each essays is set in a different font. What a great detail that almost anyone can appreciate – there’s even a legend for the different types in the back of the book.

If you’re interested in picking it up I encourage you to do so and browse some of the essays: none is longer than three pages, and though you may find yourself googling lots of graphic designer’s and architect’s names, it’s well worth the read. You’ll find yourself learning about everything from how product posters actually get made, to what happens when an architect makes a grave mistake that means a skyscraper has been constructed in a structurally unsound way. 

…and while you’re browsing the book, there’s no better coffee mug to be your companion than this one:

Pantone Mug (image via

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


Things Organized Neatly!

27 Apr

Be still my heart, for there exists a blog devoted entirely to images of pretty things arranged in a neat and orderly fashion. It’s aptly titled “Things Organized Neatly,” and you can see it here.

It features lots of vegetables…

Beautiful! (image via Things Organized Neatly)

…lots of art supplies…

I relate to the thousands-of-black-pens. I relate so much you have no idea. (image via Things Organized Neatly)

…and lots of things photographed in a way that is begging for a spot on my, or your, or a future client’s wall.

I can just see a series of these... (image via Things Organized neatly via Marissa McClain Photo Design)

Not surprisingly, there are many selections from IKEA’s new cookbook as well as, inexplicably, lots of sandwich assembly photos.   I could look through it for hours.  Actually I already have.  It’s an endless source of inspiration, and I find beauty in so many places I wouldn’t have imagined. In fact, now that I’ve perused the blog I realize that I’ve seen so many of these images before and feel foolish for not having clicked through to see this blog as the source. In any case, I know it exists now and I’ll check it every day!

Hope you enjoy it, too!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.