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…

…am charmed by the video made by Dress Code (the filmmakers who created AIGA’s Medalist videos) about Steve Frykholm, Herman Miller’s very first in-house graphic designer and current vice president of creative design, and the cheery posters he made for the company’s annual picnics. Watch it below:

…have to agree with Dieter Rams, who bemoans how watered-down the words “design” and “brand” have become, noting that “design is being used as a ‘lifestyle asset,’” a bit of window dressing slapped on to pretty things up. The antidote? Start referring to design by its true definition: it’s a problem-solving process, not a marketing buzzword.


…am reminded by Core77’s excellent Designing Women series how even a pro like Lella Vignelli was often forced to take the backseat to her husband’s fame. As Massimo noted in his book Designed by: Lella Vignelli, “It is not holding a pencil with four hands that makes a partnership; it is sharing the creative act and exercising creative criticism which is reflected in the end result.” (AIGA awarded the 1984 Medal to both Lella and Massimo.)

…am pretty excited to hear about how cool the new packaging design advancements are—we’re talking anti-counterfeit tech like “invisible micro-particles,” an “invisible printing method that can only be revealed by a special lens,” or this new “micro-embossing technique that embeds minuscule custom messages, logos, or patterns” to help consumers spot fake luxury goods.

…dig the new label-less can design Coke revealed (as opposed to those 12 designer versions from last week). It’s part of a Ramadan marketing stunt targeted at Middle Eastern countries, and while it won’t roll out to the rest of world, it’s still a cool, bold move—unlike some other recent beverage design decisions I can think of, like Starbucks’ attempt to ride on Williamsburg’s tired coattails with these “hand-crafted mason jars” (no offense to the fun illustrations by Steven Harrington).

Facebook female icon
Facebook female icon

…confess to almost never using Facebook, which is my excuse for not noticing how “sexist” the old Facebook friend icons were. In addition to making the woman icon equal in size to the male icon, the newly designed set removes the actual chip in the woman’s shoulder (for real) and updates her “Darth Vader helmet hair.”

…score admirably on the new AIGA Design Conference quiz. I know you think you’re all design savvy, but this one’s kind of a toughie. Take it yourself to see how well you know the industry’s movers and shakers. Go on, impress me.