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Wall Street or Sesame Street

By Commentary

Yesterday’s presidential debate was unremarkable in most respects. One item stands out. About 15 minutes into the debate Mitt Romney tries to explain what programs he would cut. “I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I’m not going to − I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. That’s number one.”

In response to this we developed a site where you can comment. Which side are you on?

wall street or sesame street

Or register you opinion here on Facebook.

Vintage Psychedelic Posters

By Commentary

Push Pin Graphic no. 52

My father is a graphic designer and in the 1960s he was one of the lucky recipients of the famous Push Pin Graphic periodical, a promotional mailer highlighting the work of (left to right) Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast and James McMullan. Some issues of the Graphic were fold-out posters drawn in a psychedelic style typical of the period. He brought them home and I hung them on my bedroom wall. Eventually I grew up, became a designer myself, and went to work at Push Pin Studios. Life imitating art I suppose. I have the original posters to this day. Maybe I’ll go get them framed.

Herb Lubalin Drove a Racing Green Volvo P1800 ES

By Commentary

Herb Lubalin was my teacher, mentor, and boss. He was virtually mute, ambidextrous, and amazingly talented.

Early Herb Lubalin Design Studio Sign

Early Herb Lubalin Design Studio Sign

I rescued this brass sign from the trash when I worked there back in the 1980s. Read his brief biography here. My favorite memory is driving around with him in his fantastic Volvo P1800 ES, a tour de force of automotive design. Herb definitely had style. This sign definitely is the work of Tom Carnase, and you can see a resemblance to the New York Magazine logo he modified years later.

Signage Sightings in Nolita

By Commentary

Spring arrived in New York and a lazy walk down to Chinatown and Little Italy yielded a trove of type treasures.

Moe's Meat Market

Moe's Meat Market, Nolita, NYC

I’m glad that the Moe’s Meat Market sign is still hanging, even though you can only buy rather uninspired art within. Read More

How to get a job in graphic design

By Commentary


I recently made a presentation to students at City College at the invitation of another Cooper Union alum Ina Saltz and her colleague Donald Partyka. Rather than show a portfolio I showed my job history as it related to my teachers and classmates. I’m posting this to my blog because it has had over 500 views on SlideShare in one day so it must strike a nerve.

Bleu O Noir by Jacques Villeglé

By Commentary

A recent visit to the Museum of Modern Art yielded this wonderful piece I’d never seen before. “Bleu O Noir” by Jacques Villeglé, Done in 1955. Paper on canvas.

Bleu O Noir

He calls this art methodology “Ultra-Lettrist psychogeographical hypergraphics.” That’s impressive.

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Rand’s El Producto Cigar Album

By Commentary

This modernist package is one my favorite possessions. I purchased it for a few bucks at a flea market in Philadelphia.

Paul Rand El Producto cigar box

Paul Rand El Producto cigar box

It was designed by the legendary Paul Rand and features a photogram on the cover—hence the title “Cigar Album.” Read More

iBook Author

By Commentary

Apple had done it again. They created software for the creation of iBooks that’s easy to use and produces excellent results. We tried it out the day it was released and found it to be an excellent alternative to the more complex Adobe products. It’s designed for the textbook market, but obviously it can generate iPad-friendly projects of any type.

iBooks Author Interface

The iBooks Author interface is simple and intuitive

Download our first test here:


Instructions: Download the file (a .zip file) then uncompress it. To view the book on your iPad, make sure you have the latest free iBooks 2 app and iOS 5, and do the following:

Drag the book file (with the extension .ibooks) to the iTunes window and sync the book to your iPad. For more information, see iTunes Help.


Steve Jobs 1955-2011

By Commentary, Typography


Graphic design was transformed by Steve Jobs/Apple. We owe him a huge debt. In 1989 Postscript allowed desktop computers and printers to accurately render colors, designs, images, and most importantly, typography. This innovation led to a paradigm shift in the creation of marketing materials, videos, and interactive media.

My first professional setup was a Mac IIcx, an Apple Laserwriter, a Radius 19 inch monitor that weighed about 200 lbs., a 14.4 mbps modem. I paid $25,000 which included a service contract an a few other bells and whistles—and I was happy to pay it. We transmitted our ads and page layouts to a service bureau in New Jersey by dedicated modem, and received monochromatic Linotronic output pages the next day by messenger. It reduced our typesetting costs by 10 fold overnight.

Eight Tips to Avoid Cognitive Overload

By Commentary

When Aron Design creates a website we are intensely aware of cognitive overload—the brains inability to process the chaos of the typical website presentation.

Avoid cognitive overload with well designed pages that promote comprehension and increase effectiveness.

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