Graphic Design

Helina Metaferia, Crowning Care 1, 2021

Innovation for Good

Pioneering Project Explores Motherhood Through the Lens of Design

A new exhibition and book series offers an intimate view of reproductive history

A mural in Munich's former Olympic Village features Otl Aicher's pictograms.

The Tokyo Olympics

This Graphic Artist's Olympic Pictograms Changed Urban Design Forever

Having lived through Germany's Nazi regime, Otl Aicher went on to pioneer democratic design

A 1996 copy of "Super Mario 64"—rated 9.8, or A++, on the Wata Scale—sold last Sunday for $1.56 million.

'Super Mario 64' Is Now the World's Most Expensive Video Game

A pristine copy of the 1996 game sold at auction for $1.56 million, breaking a record set by "The Legend of Zelda" just two days prior

Maui's Haleakala is the world's largest dormant volcano, and its summit is considered the quietest place on Earth.

Ridiculous Reviews of Some of the Best National Parks

A new book combines illustrations of the parks with laughably bad critiques from disgruntled tourists

Illustration from the graphic novel 'Martina and the Bridge of Time' by Aaron O'Dea and Ian Cooke Tapia.

Smithsonian Voices

Time Travel Into Panama's Deep History With This Richly Illustrated New Graphic Novel

'Martina and the Bridge of Time' tells the story of the Isthmus' formation and evolution through the adventures of a young Panamanian girl

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Smithsonian Voices

The Surprising Story of the Smithsonian Sunburst

Crimilda Pontes was the Institution’s first official graphic designer and the designer of the iconic sunburst symbol

A "deliberately inconvenient" twin champagne glass created by Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani

Virtual Travel

Take a Virtual Tour of Failed Designs, From the DeLorean to Google Glass

An online exhibition showcases 40 creative flops, including a curvy ping-pong table and a doll dubbed Little Miss No-Name

Album cover, Sound, 1966; Designed by Laini Abernathy (American) for Delmark Records (Chicago, Illinois); Lithograph on folder paper; 31.8 × 31.8 cm (12 1/2 × 12 1/2 in.)

Smithsonian Voices

Why Cooper Hewitt Is Seeking Works by the Innovative Black Graphic Designer Laini Abernathy

Cooper Hewitt is collecting album covers designed by this important designer, who contributed to the Black cultural scene in the late 1960s

Xavier Viramontes, Boycott Grapes, Support the United Farm Workers Union, 1973, offset lithograph on paper

Smithsonian Voices

Curators Weigh In on the Making of the Landmark Exhibition 'Printing the Revolution!'

Exploring the origins of the exhibition that combines innovative printmaking practices with social justice

A whimsical bag designed to look like a European horse chestnut, made by contemporary British designer Emily Joe Gibbs

How the Handbag Became the Ultimate Fashion Accessory

An exhibition at the V&A in London traces the long history of the purse, from Elizabeth I's court to "Sex and the City"

One of Tyrus Wong's popular holiday cards.

How Tyrus Wong's Christmas Cards Captivated the American Public

The unlikely Hollywood visionary of 'Bambi' fame designed what would become some of the most popular holiday stationery of all time

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hollywood Africans, 1983

How Jean-Michel Basquiat and His Peers Made Graffiti Mainstream

A new exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston explores how a network of young artists in 1980s New York City influenced hip-hop's visual culture

A view of the Dujiangyan Zhongshu bookstore

Virtual Travel

See a Stunningly Surreal Bookstore in China

Dujiangyan Zhongshu features gravity-defying staircases and infinite bookshelves

This month's picks include Mantel Pieces, The Dead Are Arising and A Series of Fortunate Events.

Books of the Month

How the Alphabet Got Its Order, Malcolm X and Other New Books to Read

These five October releases may have been lost in the news cycle

Milton Glaser's Dylan poster was inspired by Marcel Duchamp's 1957 self-portrait. "The history of visual things in the world," says Glaser, "is my playpen."

How Milton Glaser Came to Design the Iconic Poster of Bob Dylan

The 1966 illustration of the folk-rock icon captured the psychadelic dazzle of the flower-power era

Some maintain that two spaces between sentences make paragraphs easier to read; others vehemently disagree.

Why Microsoft Word Now Considers Two Spaces After a Period an Error

Traditionalist "two-spacers" can still disable the function

Herbert Bayer, (above in a 1928 card by the designer) became one of the most influential graphic designers of his time.

The Pioneering Work of Graphic Artist Herbert Bayer

The Bauhaus-trained artist revolutionized the field of graphic design, but he tarnished his legacy by working with the Nazis

The $9,500 digital dress

Designers Are Selling Expensive Clothes That Don’t Exist—and People Are Actually Buying Them

Earlier this year, a digital-only dress sold at auction for $9,500

Flight map of Air India destinations from 1962.

The Sleek History of Airline Maps

A new book explores the evolution of cartography throughout more than a century of commercial air travel

Susan Kare designed pictorial symbols that enabled non-technical users to operate a computer, a great contrast to previous screens with “command line” interfaces that required knowing code.

How Susan Kare Designed User-Friendly Icons for the First Macintosh

The graphic designer is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cooper Hewitt for her recognizable computer icons, typefaces and graphics

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