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…

…use the New York Times list of the 12 best book cover designs of 2015 as inspiration for my 2016 reading list. The titles were chosen by designer and illustrator Matt Dorfman, who had this say about how he made his selections: “The covers that lure me into the pages often do so by posing questions that I don’t want to ignore.”

…generally steer clear of click-baity, year-end wrap ups, but when it comes to reflecting on what the last 365 days have really meant, there aren’t many people better poised for the job than illustrator Jean Julien, whose thoughtful responses to last January’s Charlie Hebdo shooting and November’s Paris attacks have resonated the world over. While he produced a lot of other excellent work in 2015, he’ll definitely be remembered for the visual mark he made around these two horrific events. But “having my work gain exposure from a tragedy,” he says, is definitely a low for him. The high? A new clothing collaboration, a TV show in the works, and some hard-won wisdom: “Favor hard work over cheap tricks.”

…admit that I’m more familiar with Olivetti’s design legacy via Giovanni Pintori’s posters, but a new monograph is here to reintroduce the world to Mario Bellini, a.k.a. the Italian Dieter Rams. He was the company’s design consultant for nearly 30 years, and added whimsy to the workplace with typewriters and accounting machines that were as playful as they were practical. Also, the man designed some incred hand jewelry (below).

…cannot wait to get my hands on the latest issue of The Great Discontent, featuring my swoony music crush Leon Bridges and a slew of lovely, long interviews about ambition (just in time for those new year’s resolutions) with creatives (and lady crushes) like Roanne Adams, Malika Favre, and Gemma O’Brien.

…have stopped caring about what flag New Zealanders will finally pick and moved on to much more important flag design news: the 103 flags art director Scott Kelly (coincidentally also from New Zealand) created for planets in the Star Wars galaxy. Kelly adhered to traditional flag design conventions (pattern, form, color, size), but scoured the adorably named Wookiepedia for details on how to best represent planets like the jagged, semi-arid environment on planet Thule, for example. “It needed to have a quite masculine feel to it,” Kelly explains. “Almost oppressive.”

…up my emoji game in a big way with SpeakEmoji, a brand new app that translates anything you say into a string of tiny icons with the power to communicate what you want, only better. It’s not exactly accurate, but that’s what makes it great. Case in point (we did not have a bikini holiday party):

Unfortunately, we did not have a beach-themed holiday party
Unfortunately, we did not have a beach-themed holiday party

…watch @treemassive grow taller by the day. The Instagram Christmas tree project launched by London creative agency New Future Graphic aims to become higher than the tree at Trafalgar Square—with way better decorations. Designers and illustrators can submit a layer by December 21; prizes go to the most liked.

…pick up some last-minute gifts for that special type lover in my life (I’m looking at you, mama) via AIGA Medalist David Carson’s new site and online shop. Use code AIGA20 for 20% off.

…actually don’t want a lot this Christmas. In fact, a simple compliment will do. Bonus points for one printed on toothy card stock via Complements Of, a quirky new project with a simple objective: spread the love. Their Instagram feed is already working wonders on me.