The Weekly Wraparound: November 11

Filed Under: design educators , students , Article

Editors’ note: “The Weekly Wraparound” is an editorial roundup of links to the week’s best design stories, posted every Friday by the editorial staff of For recommendations all week long, follow us on Twitter at @AIGAdesign. 

Today is 11/11/11, which for Spinal Tap fans and corduroy enthusiasts is the greatest day ever. Our list might not go all the way to 11, but here are the stories we’ve been following.


This week on Design Envy, graphic designer, programmer and digital artist Stewart Smith—operating under the name Stewdio—shared what inspired him, from a gorgeous lookbook film promoting the Spring/Summer 2012 line of emerging fashion designer Charlotte Taylor to further proof that that internet’s infrastructure was built primarily to worship our furry friends.

Where do these selections rate on your envy meter? Cast your vote—the most popular designs will become part of a special collection in the AIGA Design Archives


The ironically titled “Brief Rant about the Future of Interaction Design,” by Bret Victor, was a popular post this week. He argues that the tap and swipe features on the current touchscreen devices are too simplistic and aren’t living up to our techno-futuristic expectations. Until the industry is able to catch up, the battle for tablet dominance wages on. Barnes & Noble unleashed its Nook Tablet and Dan Frommer commented, “The most impressive thing about the Nook Tablet is that it exists.” And Forbes reports that anticipation of the Kindle Fire is making iPad buyers think twice.

Related: also introduced the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: “Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers, as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.” O’Reilly Radar says it’s good for subscribers, but not so much for publishers and authors (or designers).


At the RGD Design Thinkers Conference last week, Jessica Hische was quoted as saying “Type designers and web designers are kindred spirits, they just don't know it yet” (source). We think they’re starting to figure it out, though. We’re certainly seeing web type improve at a rapid pace—this week Monotype expanded the families of Verdana and Georgia, improving them for the screen. And as we’ve reported before, Adobe’s acquisition of Typekit indicates exciting things to come (AIGA is hosting a webinar with Tim Brown of Typekit next month; learn more here.) On the Typekit blog, Ethan Marcotte wrote a great post this week on sizing text for the web (be sure not to miss the comment section too).  


As first reported on Tuesday by ZDNet’s Jason Perlow, Adobe Systems will cease development of Flash on mobile devices and increase investment in HTML5.

In a blog post on the company’s website, Danny Winokur, Adobe’s vice president and general manager of interactive development, said, “HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively. This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms.”

We all know what “cases” he’s talking about, but beyond that, as Devindra Hardawar writes for, moving away from Flash for mobile will allow Adobe to focus more on advancing the technology where it’s best suited, like for advanced gaming and premium video. And, as Michael Miller writes for the PC Magazine’s Forward Thinking blog, the long-term benefits of HTML5 seem only to be growing: “HTML5 is developing in all sorts of new ways, as well. Google has been working on enabling offline access for many of its applications, such as Gmail and Google Docs, within HTML5.”


Since 1981, Print’s Regional Design Annual has surveyed the current state of American design by dividing the country into six regions and appointing judges to assess what’s best in each one. But with the flattening of the web, do regions still matter? Are there variations in work from New England versus, say, the Far West? When asked, the winners said no, but the judges said yes. As Michael Freimuth, a Midwest judge, put it on “Regions still matter in the sense that they comprise creative communities. There's quite a lot more to our business and world than servicing clients—becoming an integrated and active member of your creative community is huge. You can’t ignore your immediate surroundings.” Learn more about the latest annual, now available for order, here.


On Sunday Geoffrey Mutai became the first person to run record times to win both the Boston and New York marathons in the same year, and we’re pretty sure Christoph Niemann became the first man to illustrate a marathon while running it. See all 46 of his sketches, capturing the big (crossing the finish line!) and the small (where’s the cap to my pink marker?) moments over 26.2 miles. 


Eighty-six years after its debut, The New Yorker has hired its first creative director, Wyatt Mitchell. He’ll be using his experience as Condé Nast’s digital magazine design director to give the title a coherent look across platforms, from hardcover books to the iPad. Though editor David Remnick will still control magazine covers and cartoons. (We wouldn’t give those up either!) As the New Yorker advances its design, we were reminded of an oldie but goodie by Michael Bierut on the magazine’s “slow design.” 


There’s no shortage of strong opinions on the internet, but TwoSides makes debate civil. Voting on issues is fun, and the visualizations are appealing too. For example, now’s your chance to settle the score: double or single spaces after a period?

Want to debate our selections? Tell us what we missed in the comments.

Compiled by Sue Apfelbaum and Rasika Welankiwar