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…

..discover how graphic designers can turn a $3.7 million profit in onlysix years: just add bling. And champagne. And pit bulls. It worked for ‘90s graphic design studio Pen & Pixel, which was responsible for some of the best/worst rap albums of all time. Let this New York Times Magazine article take you for a trip down memory lane you didn’t even know how badly you needed to go on.

…connect the dots from the West Coast Cali Gangster and Bay Area rap of my youth to the New School East Coast artists with the help of this illustrated history of Hip-Hop by Sub Rosa’s junior art director Jessi Brattengeier, which appears in the latest issue of the design studio’s magazine, Le Petit Mort. Not sure Slick Rick really qualifies as Hardcore, Jessi, but we’ll let it slide.

An illustrated history of Hip-Hop
An illustrated history of Hip-Hop

…don’t know a single designer who isn’t drooling over the prototype for Spector, a typography tool that can “grab” any font from a book or other piece of print and “drop” it on your computer—decoding the exact size, weight, and even the color.

…doff my hat to Daku, who recently installed his typographic art installation at the Lodhi Colony in New Delhi. The words he chose may be a little meh, the concept is ace—and still worlds ahead of this CNN headline about the piece.

…wish I was fluent in Norwegian—or that these pocket-sized classics illustrated by Magnus Voll Mathiassen came in English. I can’t resist a nice palm-sized piece of print, and Mathiassen’s wonderfully weird cover art and “horrible kerning” are so damn charming.

…easily fill a Mathiassen-shaped void with the weighty new issue of literary magazine American Chordata, which is, dare I say it, more beautiful than ever before (nice cover stock, fellas)?

American Chordata issue no. 3
American Chordata issue no. 3

…tip my hat to the 14 talented It’s Nice That Graduates, class of 2016. Out of 900 entries this brilliant bunch was selected—have a click through their work. A smattering of my favorite portfolio pieces, below. 

…almost ween myself off cat memes… and then find something like Cats in the Bag and it all goes to hell.

cats-in-the-bag