So Noted: Design Observer Observed


[Laura Shore] In the old days {before last week}, Design Observer was fairly austere, somewhat hard to penetrate, and virtuous-seeming in a low-contrast hospital-green kind of way. Overnight the site has become a total immersion experience for anyone passionate about design and social change.

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The Painted Pretzel labels were the belle of all


[Alyson Kuhn] I recently chatted with designer Yael Miller and letterpress printer Ben Levitz about these perfectly pretty labels. Yael had a “pretty easy” time getting Raven Thomas, the owner of Painted Pretzel, on board with letterpress printing. Ben had a “pretty fine” time running the Strathmore label stock through the press six times.

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So Noted: Logo Trends


[Laura Shore] According to Bill Gardner at, the recession hasn’t slowed the pace of new identities. Since 2008, nearly 35,000 new logos have been posted on the site. In his seventh annual trend report, Bill reports on surprisingly optimistic palettes for new identity work, and comments that Business may be slow, but it doesn’t have to be dull.

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Welcome to the Ministry of Type


[Alyson Kuhn] My friend Erin at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum is a great web scout. She recently sent out this e-nticing subject line: Philatelic Font-ophiles. Erin promised that This short blog post about UK mailboxes and fonts will make you swoon. Trumpet fanfare as I click on the link to the Ministry of Type, the blog of Aegir Hallmundur, a designer living in the UK.

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So Noted: Back to School


[Laura Shore] Our letterpress friends come from many different schools of experience. Whether you’re a) a refugee from commercial graphic design,  b) an old-tyme type aficionado, c) a book artist from the seventies, or d) a pre-industrial technologist  . . .  you may be ready to reach out and improve your skills, take a sabbatical, or simply find a new community of passionate practitioners.

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Julia Child: Gourmet Correspondent


[Alyson Kuhn] I saw an advance screening of “Julie & Julia” last week in Napa. I enjoyed the film so much that I was sad when it ended. One little line, spoken by Julie, piqued my interest in a big way. Julie’s husband asks her how the world knows so much about Julia Child and her husband Paul and their years in France. She replies that Julia wrote tons of letters to her friend Avis, and Paul wrote tons of letters to his twin brother Charlie… and nothing ever got thrown away. Oh, really?

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