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The designer’s thirst-quencher served weekly

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Magnum Stories

Polish up your photography skills in time for summer vacation snaps with Magnum Stories, new from Phaidon. A visual journey through the past six decades, the book features the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Eugene Richards, Martin Parr, Inge Morath and 55 other Magnum photographers. Each is represented by a fully illustrated photo story of their choice and a text that takes readers behind the lens.

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House Blend

Interesting products
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Smencils

Our childhood was scented and colored by one Mr. Sketch, he of the jaunty beret and wonderfully smelly markers (we were partial to the bracing spearmint/green). The latest additions to our arsenal of fragrant writing utensils are Smencils, "gourmet-scented" pencils made of recycled newspaper. Flavors include Juicy Melon, Kinda Cola and Razzleberry. To ensure fresh-smelling sketching, each Smencil comes tucked in its own tube made of corn-based, biodegradable plastic.

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Book Brew

New and upcoming books
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Doodle Revolution

Just as the longest journey begins with a single step, the most ambitious project can start with a single doodle. Learn more in the pages of Sunni Brown's The Doodle Revolution (Portfolio), which decodes the five types of "doodler DNA," considers the doodling habits of great thinkers and leaders, and makes a case for the utility of a habit that only seems mindless. “No longer will the Doodle live in a house of ill repute," notes Brown in her Doodle Revolutionary’s Manifesto. "Forevermore, we acknowledge the Doodle as a tool for immersive learning and we wield its power deliberately and without restriction, in any learning environment we see fit.”

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Wayne White

Fans of Pee-wee's Playhouse -- that is, everyone -- will recognize the distinctive creations of Wayne White, one of the creative minds (and voices) behind the show's puppets and insane charm. The designer, painter, puppeteer, sculptor and musician gets his well-deserved close-up in Beauty is Embarassing. The documentary, now available on platforms such as Vimeo and Netflix, not only examines White's deliciously madcap creative process, but also retraces his steps from childhood in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to parenthood in Los Angeles. "I hope audiences get that sense of joy that Wayne has about what he does everyday," says director Neil Berkeley. "That's the lesson I learned from him... spend every day doing work that makes you happy."

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Font Fizz

Typography
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Type on Screen

The extraordinary Ellen Lupton follows up her smash-hit primer Thinking with Type with a guide to the flickering, ephemeral world of type on screen. Published this month by Princeton Architectural Press, Type on Screen "surveys new design principles born of screen-based communication while drawing on traditions of form and function that have evolved over hundreds of years," writes Lupton in the book's preface. Pick up a copy to brush up on the finer points of web fonts, logotypes and animation alongside inspiring case studies.

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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The Luxe Project

Oops. You forgot your business cards. Again. Break the cycle by upgrading to sturdy morsels of lovingly printed cardstock you'll be proud to hand to strangers. In other words, get thee to Moo. The web-based print shop has earned a strong following of perfectionist creative types, in part by tapping top designers for its Luxe Project initiative. The latest guest creator is Jessica Hische, who has drawn upon her Daily Drop Cap project to create an elegant stationery set that includes customizable business cards, notecards and letterheads. Need another reason to snap up the latest Luxe set (available for a limited time)? All of the proceeds go to cat-loving Hische's charity of choice: the ASPCA.

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House Blend

Interesting products
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Slice

Designer scissors? Better nail clippers? Lime-green cheese graters with ceramic blades? We were skeptical, until we got our hands on products from Slice, the California-based company that offers a line of cutting tools that celebrate "bold design and extraordinary function." Slice has tapped top designers such as Karim Rashid, Yves Behar and Michael Graves to rethink everyday objects ranging from tweezers to spice grinders, and the results not only look impressive, they work better than their traditional counterparts.

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Meet some creative people
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Monikers

Drunk Jeff Goldblum. Kool-Aid Man. The Kraken. Get your friends to guess names such as these to triumph in Monikers, a snappy update of the classic party game Celebrity. Now up for funding on Kickstarter, the deck-of-cards-based delight is the creation of Alex Hague and Justin Vickers, who have tapped some of their favorite web writers, game designers, and illustrators for maximum zaniness. "There’s something amazing about how the jokes build up, so that by the end of the game, everyone is sharing the same depraved hive mind," says Hague, "and all someone has to do is make some obscene thrusting gesture and everyone immediately knows they mean Ruth Bader Ginsburg—or whoever."

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Font Fizz

Typography
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Codex

Summer reading alert! Font fans will delight in Codex, a journal-magazine hybrid "for people seriously in love with type." Founded by writer, designer, and publisher John Boardley, the visually entrancing periodical celebrates and analyzes "the people, tools, and type associated with this craft, from the man carving beautiful cherubim into wood blocks in the 1400s to brilliantly formed modern interpretations and departures." The latest issue includes a beautiful foldout of Gastrotypographicalassemblage designed by Lou Dorfsman and Herb Lubalin for CBS.

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Birdsnap

Toting around a thick field guide is for the birds. Identify flying creatures the modern way with Birdsnap, a new iPhone app that covers 500 common North American bird species. The free app was developed by researchers at Columbia University (the people that brought you Leafsnap!) and the University of Maryland using computer vision and machine learning techniques. Visual recognition technology can help to identify birds in photos you upload, and with a tap or two, you can automatically see visually similar species and learn how to distinguish them—or have the app generate a guide to local birds based on your location and the time of year.

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