by Hattie Stewart, from her show at the House of Illustration

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…

…almost can’t believe we weathered a major brand’s logo redesign without the requisite hate tweets and nasty comment threads when Google revealed its new sans serif identity (editor’s note: we spoke too soon…). The colors are the same, cheery palette we all know, the animations are friendly as hell, and the “e” is slightly rotated (something Heineken proved years ago signifies happiness and general good times). Thankfully fellow designers and critics don’t have anything snarky to say. Guys, is graphic design growing up?

…do not envy the job the next graphic designer to take on Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics logo will face, now that the games’ Organizing Committee has officially voted to pull the alleged act of plagiarism. In a final act of shameless self-defense, Kanjiro Sano blamed junior designers on his team for the design theft. No doubt Tokyo won’t make the same mistake twice. Oops, forgot about the whole Hadid fiasco. Okay, third time’s a charm?

tokyo-olympics-logo

…understand why New Zealanders are mostly underwhelmed by the shortlist of flag redesigns that’ll be put to a vote later this winter. You would be too if you faced a future of waving a black-and-white swirl or a blue-and-red fern around on a stick to show your national pride.

new-zealand-flags

…discover how beautiful 100,000 balloons can be now that Charles Pétillon has revealed what he’s been up to in Covent Gardens. The sky-high installation is an extension of the artist’s “invasions,” which he’s previously staged everywhere from abandoned cars, vacant alleys, and now London’s historic 19th-century market hall.

Charles-Petillon-Covent-Garden-1

…never considered dirt as a design material, but if anyone can work wonders with it, it’s Marian Bantjes, or, as Steven Heller calls her, “the Michelangelo of custom lettering.” For her latest project, a poster for AGI, Alliance Graphique International, she took vials of dirt and soil she’s apparently been collecting on her travels and created a pattern that’s as intricate as it is ephemeral. See what one errant sneeze did to the whole thing?

…didn’t realize we have illustrator/personal hero Quentin Blake to thank for London’s House of Illustration, which was almost a museum dedicated solely to showcasing the vast collection of his own work until he wisely suggested the founders might want to include some other folks, too. One year in, those intrepid curators are going strong, though they’re also up against a lot. It’s Nice That did a deep dive into the issues they’re up against and reveals just how hard it is to start a new arts foundation, even when you have the best of intentions and loads of support.