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The Obscure History of the @ Symbol



Over the past two decades, that little “a” with a circle curling around it, often referred to as the “monkey tail” by the Dutch and the “snail” by the Italians, has grown from being an obscure accounting symbol into one that is used daily by millions of people on their computers, tablets, and smartphones. Thanks to email addresses and Twitter, @ has become a key symbol of the modern electronic revolution. Have you ever wondered where the symbol originated? read on

Music Notes


I recently read an article about the wall graphics that Sony Music has added to their white office hallways and was impressed by the type design and execution. More than 1,000 artists and milestones cover 1,600 square feet of wall space. From 1887 through the present.

Timeline designer, Alex Fowkes, said his inspiration was newspapers, vintage record label posters and vinyls. The finished wall is made from 54 sections of vinyl stickers that can be changed out and added to as new artists are signed.

If you are curious on how the mural was made, a video of the process is shown here (the first minute is slow so skip ahead): http://vimeo.com/51460511x

2013: The Year of Green


In January, the 2013 Color of the Year was announced. Drum roll please… GREEN!

According to color corporation Pantone, they have nominated Emerald Green (#17-5641) as their Color of the Year. Why you ask? Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a press release that “Green is the most abundant hue in nature — the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity — no other color conveys regeneration more than green. As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. ” read on

Eat, Drink, and Be Married


After a year of planning, my wedding this past summer came and went in a whirl of laughter and happy tears. And a big sigh of relief. My wife Kristine and I did all the wedding decorating ourselves, from the flower arrangements to the design of the invitations, table gifts, and wedding programs. It was a lot of work, to say the least. read on

An Olympic Brand Takes Shape in the Rio 2016 Olympic Logo

As the London Olympics ended this summer, and I got over the initial shock of rooting for men’s freestyle canoeing, I’m truly excited to watch the Olympics in 2016 take place in Rio. And whether you loved or hated this years London Olympics brand (what was with those one-eyed, phallic-looking mascots?!), you have to appreciate the amount of time and thought put into branding this global event. It’s undeniable that the Olympics is one of the most prestigious projects a designer can work on (not to mention profitable. London’s logo price tag was a measly $625,000!). So far the Rio 2016 Olympic logo is shaping up to be quite attractive. read on

The Beer Can Revisited

On a recent trip to DeCicco’s Market in Brewster, NY, I was happily surprised when I saw two full aisles dedicated to craft beers.  Much like my method of choosing a new book, I enjoy browsing through all the label designs and usually end up picking up a 6-pack based on my favorite artwork. If it looks cool, it must taste great… right? read on

A Camera Made of Cardboard

As much as I dread assembling a dresser with 100+ bolts and an allen wrench, I have to commend IKEA for it’s simple, sleek, and affordable furniture solutions. Recently, in IKEA’s signature bare-bones-style, they have begun selling a camera made of cardboard. Yes, you read that correctly.

The camera is part of a new online, social campaign called PS at Home, urging people to take photos of their furniture in their homes and post them online to share their designs. What a brilliant idea. The campaign is set to launch in the U.S. this coming August.

Designed by Jesper Kouthoofd of Stockholm’s Teenage Engineering, the camera is ultra-simple, comprised of one piece of folded cardboard, one circuit board, a camera sensor, and an integrated USB connector. No zoom lens, image stabilization, or red-eye reducer.

It’s probably not the best choice to use on wet, rainy days either.

To learn more about the camera and it’s designer, Jesper Kouthoofd, watch the video or visit IKEA’s website at psathome.

Have You Read Your Bookcase Lately?

Being a confirmed type-junky, I thought this typographical twist on modular bookcases was just plain cool—so I had to share. Designed by Eva Alessandrini and Roberto Saporiti, the bookcases are a fun and functional series of modular storage cubes shaped as letters and numbers for the Italian furniture design firm Saporiti. Now what would you spell? TV?

The Little People Project

Little People Project

While browsing a small art shop in Chicago I happened across a photo book called “Little People in the City: The Street Art of Slinkachu.” It’s such a unique and clever project, reminding you to pay attention to your environment and really observe life. Sometimes the best ideas stem from looking at everyday things from a new perspective. read on

Create Jobs for USA

Starbucks has recently launched Create Jobs for USA, a campaign designed to create and sustain jobs across the country, collaborating with GOOD/Corps, a social innovation firm in Los Angeles affiliated with GOOD Magazine. Create Jobs for USA is an initiative to collect funds for job creation through grassroots community businesses.

One of the elements of the campaign is another really GOOD animated commercial created by the team at GOOD/Corps. I’m a sucker for infographics.

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