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…
…learn a new word: vexillography, or the “art of designing flags,” which Gilbert Baker mastered in 1978 when, at age 27, he raised the rainbow flag he designed outside United Nations Plaza in downtown San Francisco. MoMA has now acquired it in a signature bold move by Paola Antonelli, who said in an interview with BrainPickings’ Maria Popova:
“Flags are soaring symbols of pride and community, as well as emotional, incendiary sparks for those on the other side of the barricade. They are among the most immediate, primal, and communicative forms of design. They are made of icons and become icons themselves—even more so when they come to represent a long struggle, as does the rainbow flag: bright, simple, luminous, positive despite everything. The epitome of grace under pressure, a design feat.”
…didn’t enjoy the banter over Jeb!’s new campaign logo half as much until I read this “leaked email between Jeb Bush and his graphic designer,” hands down the best campaign logo-related article I read this week—though there was some stiff competition, namely from Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv and David Carson, who kept things refreshingly un-ranty.
“It’s what I would expect if Jed! Clampett were running for mayor of Beverly Hills. This logo suggests nothing new, exciting or progressive, nor serious or highly educated. Good ole boy comes to mind; also SALE TODAY, painted on the side of a building.”—David Carson
…compare logo redesigns from chain restaurants Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and TGI Friday’s and agree with the panel of judges that Domino’s easily rises to the top. As for the Pizza Hut atrocity, they might want to consider pulling a Gap and going back to the original (make that the 1967 original).
…was way more excited about the coming of the great taco emoji before I knew how hard Taco Bell has been campaigning for it all year. Now they can spell out their name without any words at all, a fact I’m sure they’ll rub in everyone’s feed as soon as possible.
…don’t even care that James Murphy’s noble ambition to bring pleasant sounds to NYC subway turnstiles is sponsored by Heineken, that’s how desperate I am to make my miserable commute even slightly more enjoyable, and if his project is adopted it could very well make taking the G a downright pleasure. If “the turnstile has to make a sound,” Murphy argues, “it might as well be beautiful… Rush hour, instead of being a nightmare, would suddenly become possibly become the most beautiful time to be in the subway.”
…remember Massimo Vignelli one year after his death with the “Timeless, Massimo Vignelli” tribute poster show on view now at Barcelona Design Week. A little closer to home, Pentagram designer Hamish Smyth and his crowdfunding guru/gf Alex Daly launched a Kickstarter campaign for their NYC subway station poster, which Smyth hand-drew as his follow-up to the uber-successful Kickstarter to reissue Vignelli’s 1970 NYC Transit Authority Manual.
…support the Emergency Floor campaign, a so-obvious-why-didn’t-anyone-think-of-it-before design solution to bring clean, sturdy, and sustainably made floors to the poorer than poor housing conditions many refugees and disaster survivors are living in right now. Consider donating to the campaign to help earthquakes victims in Nepal.