Design Diary: Deborah Sussman’s Vibrant Legacy, Ira Glass Has No Life Hacks, The New Yorker’s Typeface Choices—Explained

Filed Under: product design , typography

The week’s best design stories (and general musings) to see you through the weekend.

 

One of the perks of being the managing editor at AIGA is spending my mornings reading design stories and calling it “work.” But not everyone gets to (or wants to) peruse RSS feeds like it’s their job. Consider this a hit list (as well as a few things you may have missed) of the most interesting things I’ve and seen, read and watched this week. You can follow along every other day, too, on Instagram @AIGAdesignand on Twitter@AIGAdesign.

This week I…

…mourn the loss and celebrate the vibrant life of L.A. designer, personal style icon and AIGA Medalist Deborah Sussman by rereading everything about her I can get my hands on (try this profile from Creative Review or this one from Design Observer) and have the most fun taking spontaneous breaks to Google image search for her bright and beautiful work. Also wondering if possibly maybe I could pull off those specs…

…agree with writer James Baldwin that artists do their very best work when they’re entirely alone. In a recently resurrected 1962 essay he posits that while man is undoubtedly part of the world at large, “he is also enjoined to conquer the great wilderness of himself. The precise role of the artist, then, is to illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through that vast forest, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.” Need proof? Pick up any one of these.

…actually enjoy learning about the various apps and recording equipment Ira Glass uses not only to produce “This American Life,” but the thoroughly sound-directed speeches he gives on the regular as well, even though I’ll probably never use them myself (unless my podcast fantasies come true one day). I’m also reassured that for a super-productive guy, Glass says he’s only “okay” at managing his time, and reveals that his biggest “life hack” is living within walking distance from his office. The rest of the interview is pretty compelling, too, particularly his advice to aspiring writers/designers/thinkers, etc. to take your brilliant idea in hand and “Begin now. Be a fucking soldier about it and be tough.

…put an end to wondering why The New Yorker updated its signature typeface Irvin, plugged in some Neutraface and other titillating typeface quandaries from the magazine’s creative director, Wyatt Mitchell, now that SPD has made a few of its speaker series videos available online.

…learn a new language: cheese. I’m also taking a French refresher, but this one is way more satisfying.

…sort of forgive the creator of one of the most-loathed Internet spawn—the pop-up ad —for his sort-of apology.

…add the retractable leather and aluminum fountain pen Marc Newson just designed for Hermès to my wish list. It was apparently five years in the making and no less “complicated than conceiving the inside of an aeroplane.” That’s worth $1,650, right?

…download the Hanx Writer app (that's Hanx as in Tom Hanks), which lets you pretend you’re writing on a manual typewriter, but “with the ease and speed of an iPad.” Then I remember that Word comes with Courier and Courier New, so thanks, Hanx, but I’m all set here. And when my laptop battery dies I have a backup plan, courtesy of Hermès.

Still have more catching up to do? Check out last week’s (still completely relevant) Design Diary.