The excellent Standards Manual design series announces next title

Standards Manual is one of the greatest recent projects in archival graphic design. Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth painstakingly recreate notable graphics standards manuals from NASA, the EPA, the American Bicentennial, and the New York Transit Authority. Next up is Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, an overview of the iconic design firm behind many logos still in use today. Read the rest

Find out what makes things cool

Think you know how to make something cool? Mid-century industrial designer Raymond Leowry sure did. He's behind some of the most iconic pieces of American culture, including the Coke bottle and the Shell logo.

In this video, Derek Thompson of The Atlantic shares Leowry's effective MAYA (Most Advanced. Yet Acceptable) principle. The trick is this, Thompson says:

To sell something surprising, make it familiar. To sell something familiar, make it surprising.

Science even backs him up. Read the rest

Object Lessons: short, thrilling books and essays about everyday objects

The Object Lessons project, edited by game theory legend Ian Bogost and cultural studies academic Christopher Schaberg, commissions short essays and small, beautiful books about everyday objects from shipping containers to toast. Read the rest