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 hit list of the most interesting things I’ve seen, read, and watched this week. Follow along all day every day on Instagram @AIGAdesign and Twitter @AIGAdesign

This week I…

…learn all kinds of cool things about every type designer’s greatest love, the &. Like: the word “ampersand” is really just our decades-long, telephone-game version of “and per se;” it was once the 27th letter of our alphabet, and that for some designers like Jonathan Hoefler, it’s way more than a letterform, “It’s an opportunity for adventure. Even the most conservative typefaces can give sanctuary to a whimsical & or two.”

…get down with RoAndCo’s wintry Spotify playlist, perfect when you need to put on your don’t-bother-me-I’m-working game face and get sh*t done. Sign up for their newsletter and never miss a mix.

roanco-playlist

…get ready to board a flight to Cuba—legally and direct—just as soon as U.S. allows it (supposedly any day now) after reading Steve Heller and Vicki Gold Levi’s Cuba Style: Graphics from the Golden Age of Design, which is filled with vacation inspo from early to mid 20th-century travel ads designed to lure “vacationers, gamblers, and businessmen to the Caribbean paradise” via exciting and exotic-looking “Art deco streamline elegance and Las Vegas carnival gaudiness fused with the country’s own eclectic African and Spanish cultures,” writes Heller.

…remain just as skeptical about exhibits that fetishize recreate artists’ studios after reading the mixed reviews of “Miró’s Studio” currently at Galeria Mayoral in London. Though when it comes to New York for the Armory Show in early March I can see for myself.

joan-miro-studio

…indulge my most morbid fascinations with the How You Will Die data calculator, brought to you by Flowing Data, makers of Causes of Death and Years You Have Left to Live, Probably. After analyzing all the data I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re all basically effed.

via Nathan Yau of Flowing Data
via Nathan Yau of Flowing Data

…don’t find the overwhelmingly positive Twitter convo around #Budweiser’s new redesign by JKR entertaining whatsoever—and that’s a good thing. I think we could all do with a design-hate break on social.

JKR_Budweiser_Its_Nice_That4

…suddenly feel like I’ve done nothing important with my life after reading The Great Discontent’s interview with Google Creative Lab’s design lead Rob Giampietro, who seems to have worked at every major design studio, lectured, taught, written, won incredible awards, and managed to maintain his status as a cool, down-to-earth human being. What the hell, Rob? Stop making the rest of us look like schmucks.

Rob Giampietro, c/o The Great Discontent
Rob Giampietro, c/o The Great Discontent

…have never been as excited for a trip to Vegas as I am now that Roman Mars (creator of the 99% Invisible podcast) has signed on for a second year as our 2016 AIGA Design Conference host—and he’s performing a new episode of 99% Invisible, just for us. So, you know, don’t miss it. Register before February 2 for the best rate you’ll get all year. Follow @AIGAdesign on Twitter #AIGAdesign for the latest updates and speaker announcements.

Michael Bierut and Roman Mars at the 2015 AIGA Design Conference
Michael Bierut and Roman Mars at the 2015 AIGA Design Conference