The Weekly Wraparound: October 21

Filed Under: 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.  

Last week we were in Phoenix for “Pivot: AIGA Design Conference,” where AIGA unveiled its plans for Design for Good (read Alissa Walker’s report for GOOD), “Command X” revealed the “next great graphic designer” (see Sean Adams’, er, colorful recap), and the term doucheboob was coined (Michael Dooley explains). Videos will be posted on next month. Meanwhile, here are some of the other stories we’ve been following.


While we were away, art director, designer and artist Christopher Sergio curated Design Envy. Among his selections were THE book on generative design, discovered after years of hunting; and a 3-D printer that could make desktop manufacturing as common as desktop publishing. And this week, Laetitia Wolff, executive director of designyc, explores the power of design to effect change, from education to major political movements.  

What do you think of their picks? Let us know with your votes! The most popular designs will become part of a special collection in the AIGA Design Archives.


“Pivot” wasn’t the only design conference last week. From October 12–14, “Brooklyn Beta,” organized by Cameron Koczon and Chris Shiflett, assembled an intimate gathering of web designers to discuss making the world a better place by working on projects you love—passion drives change. The conference’s impressive attendee list, affectionately listed under “Made Awesome By” on BB’s site, makes it hard to believe this year is just its second. These roundups give a glimpse on what makes this event stand out:


It was a good week for type! We Love Typography relaunched its website. On his Google+ page, co-founder Kari Pätilä explains, “It's a complete overhaul. I wrote the backend from scratch and went for a more flexible and cleaner design.” See the site for yourself.

And yesterday Typekit announced the first of many improvements planned for its website. The premier update is geared toward faster font browsing, achieved through three main changes: 1) a revamped tagging system designed around font classifications, 2) two new categories of recommended fonts: headings and paragraphs, and 3) a new look for tags, trading text links for visual presentations. Learn more here.


And of course, it’s been National Design Week. Hurrah! We hope you’ve had, or will have, a chance to celebrate (“Design Across America” events continue throughout the year). Congratulations again to all of the winners of the National Design Awards, who were honored last night at a gala ceremony in New York, where each received a redesigned trophy by GlassLab—a literal reflection of this year’s awardees. A heartfelt “bravo!” is also in order for Debbie Millman, host of Design Matters, which won the popular vote for a “People’s Design Award.” 


At “Pivot” curator Ann Marshall explained how Phoenix’s Heard Museum strives to create educational and inspirational experiences that give voice to Native American peoples and perspectives, and to remind the public, “We are still here!” Her points hit home when we read this AP story about the misappropriation of the name “Navajo” to brand a line of merchandise at Urban Outfitters. The retailer dropped the name after receiving a cease-and-desist by the Navajo Nation, a consequence that could have easily been avoided. As Shane Hendren of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association Education Fund is quoted as saying, "There's a great many Navajo designers out there who would be more than willing to work for a firm and design garments for them. And having the cultural background, be able to not only give you an authentic design but stay within their cultural parameters." A post on Fashionista wonders if we couldn’t all try to show more sensitivity (hear, hear). Trends are fleeting, but we hope awareness will endure.  


In order to choose articles for each “Wraparound,” we’re always bookmarking and flagging stories to “read later” throughout the week. So we were especially interested to read Charlie Sorrel’s report on Wired’s Gadget Lab blog about Instaper 4.0, “the first major update since the developer, Marco Arment, started using his own app on the iPad. And man does it show.” In place of a cumbersome list of articles, the home screen now features a more easily accessible grid format. There are also improved social elements, a new icon, and integration with Wikipedia. For an in-depth look at what’s new—and the reason why Arment doesn’t charge for updates—check out The Brooks Review.



Although we missed it a couple weeks ago, Rob Walker posted a fascinating interview with Kevin Slavin (a previous Design Envy curator) about how Slavin came to develop his TED Talk on the algorithms that rule our lives. It’s a great read and includes this insightful quote by Slavin: “Given everything a phone can do, suggesting that the screen is the most important thing about it seems like a misunderstanding of what’s powerful in there. For me, the single most powerful aspect of the mobile phone is that it’s connected to other people and other things.” Read on at Design Observer.


Can you guess what the most popular image is in Getty’s Flickr collection? Apparently, all the world loves a crowd.

What have you been checking out lately? Let us know what we missed in the comments.

Compiled by Sue Apfelbaum and Rasika Welankiwar