As editorial director at AIGA, I keep tabs on all the design news (so you don’t have to) and bring you only the best bits. Behold: my weekly hit list of the most interesting things I’ve and seen, read, and watched this week. Follow along all day every day on Instagram @AIGAdesign and Twitter @AIGAdesign.

 
This week I…

…can’t stop refreshing the Swiss Style Color Picker by German designer Fabian Burghardt, basically an infinite array of unexpected color combinations (roll over for the Pantone numbers) created to inspire your next project, or just keep you drooling screen-side.

…would buy tickets to any production at the Atlantic Theater Company based solely on the strength of its new identity, designed by Pentagram’s Paula Scher, a.k.a. the reason the Public Theater has been looking fresh since 1994. By turning the shape of the “A” into a geometric form that can be used in various colors like a spotlight, or a megaphone, or just a nice-looking graphic pop, the system can be adapted to the company’s six annual productions and still feel consistent.

…hope the AIA finds another use for the amazing expanding and contracting typeface Pentagram’s Natasha Jens (yes, one more bit of Pentagram news) designed for the organization’s Heritage Ball this year. So sad to see such a dynamic alphabet go to seed after just one use.

AIA type
AIA typeface by Natasha Jens

…wonder who on the Tokyo Olympics committee thought the best way to fix its plagiarism-ridden logo issues was to turn the search for a new identity into a design competition that anyone can enter. Didn’t we learn our lesson with the New Zealand flag?

…find no shortage of cool gifts to give all the new moms and dads in my life, like a subscription to DOT magazine or the latest offering from indie mag vet Apartamento, ABC: Fotos, “a children’s book and photographic A-Z that includes work from almost all the photographers who collaborate with the Barcelona-based interiors magazine,” like Juergen Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Terry Richardson. The next gen has no excuse not to be really effing cool.

…spend eight charming minutes with the family of plaquemakers who painstakingly create the handpainted ceramic markers you see around London that tell you where various famous historical figures lived (John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Gandhi, etc.). Turns out it’s awfully complicated to make a simple-looking plaque, and (spoiler alert) the future of this family-run business hangs in jeopardy if mom and pop’s son refuses to heed the call.

…really thought more people had commutes as brutal as mine, but according to FlowingData, a new data visualization calculator that sorts out how your work/life balance compares to other Americans, there are just 4,075 people in this country who share my stats—and it (sadly) all comes down to my 90 minutes of daily G train hell. It’s far more likely that you (along with 1.5 million other countrymen, the largest grouping) spend a mere 30 minutes commuting each day. What do you do with all that extra time?

via FlowingData
via FlowingData

…recover from jet lag after a whirlwind trip to the Czech Republic to accept the Ladislav Sutnar Prize on behalf of AIGA. There was lots of speechmaking, handshaking, and glass-raising with frothy pints of the country’s other greatest export (besides game-changing infographics).

The dean of the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Art and Design hands over the prize
The dean of the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Art and Design hands over the prize.