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The designer’s thirst-quencher served weekly

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Font Fizz

Typography
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Lettering Large

Weary and wary of design clients' constant calls to "make it bigger"? Immerse yourself in Lettering Large (Monacelli Press), in which Steven Heller and Mirko Ilic explore the outsized world of monumental typography. From a consideration of "extroverted type" and "typo-hypnotic messages" to letters that live large outdoors and those that balloon into objecthood, the book offers a giant dose of inspiration and a visually exhilarating reminder of why size matters.

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Mixed Drinks

Must-see places or events
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OpenSky

Launched with a list of "tastemakers" who hawked their favorite products, social shopping site OpenSky recently broadened its horizons to include hundreds of small businesses and emerging brands from around the world. The retooled platform takes it cues from Facebook, complete with a feed of news from product categories, stores, and fellow shoppers that you "follow." The vast selection of products on offer range from custom calligraphy and the latest gadgets to nifty homegoods and even tasty treats. In want of a sculptural stool made from broken skateboards (from deckstool) and a slab of sea salt chocolate butter toffee (from The Secret Chocolatier)? It's all under the same (Open)Sky.

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House Blend

Interesting products
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PinWorld

Get a clear look at where you've been and where you're going with the PinWorld Wall Map. Designed by Emanuele Pizzolorusso and Alessandro Maffioletti for Florence, Italy-based Palomar, the flexible felt map--available in two sizes and colors--can be used as a diary of visited destinations, a travel wish-list, or simply a worldly bulletin board. The package comes with a set of 15 snappy red pins to help you combine cartography with autobiography.

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Graze

How's that new year's resolution to eat better and/or less coming along? Stoke your willpower and satisfy your easily bored tastebuds with Graze, a delicious take on the by-subscription craze. The company has whipped up 90 (and counting) healthy snacks--think nuts, seeds, dried fruits, crackers, dips, and some sweet treats--ready to deliver to your mailbox in boxes that will set you back $6 a month. Lest you be unpleasantly surprised by a handful of "Mississippi BBQ pistachios" or "Wasapeas," you can specify which snacks you "love," "like," or would prefer to "trash," so you can graze away.

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Kool Ade

Old school, retro picks
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Everyday Design

Why do some objects delight, while others frustrate? What is "good design," and what does your brain have to do with it? Find out in the pages of The Design of Everyday Things by Dan Norman. First published in 1988, the beloved book has been revised and expanded for a new edition out this month from MIT Press.

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House Blend

Interesting products
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Eco

A number of companies have made eyeglasses more affordable and even added a philanthropic "buy-one-give-one" twist, but what happens to all of those specs when they're replaced by more stylish models? Enter eco, a line of eyewear that is proudly "earth-conscious" as well as reasonably priced. The eyeglasses and sunglasses, available for men and women, are made from recycled stainless steel and repurposed plastic. But that's only the beginning of the brand's commitment to sustainability: eco plants a tree for each frame sold (through a partnership with Trees for the Future) and makes it easy to donate your unwanted eyewear.

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Book Brew

New and upcoming books
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The Design Book

Discover and reacquaint yourself with 500 inspirational designs that span a half century in the pages of The Design Book, a handy and affordable ($19.95) new publication from Phaidon. We guarantee that many of the items featured are in your home already, and everything in the book is still in production. "It doesn't matter if it dates from the 17th or 21st century; if it's in The Design Book it has stood the test of time," says Phaidon editor Joe Pickard. "Read the whole thing and you'll understand the whole history of design."

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House Blend

Interesting products
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My New Flame

Candles go high tech in "My New Flame," an enchanting lamp designed by Moritz Waldemeyer and recently acquired by New York's Museum of Modern Art. Powered by 256 small LEDs, the German-made light source has a double-sided circuit board that displays the gentle movements of a flame flickering in the wind.

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Off the Wall

Art lovers short on wall space should check out s[edition], a London-based venture trying to create a market for limited-edition downloads of works by artists including Damien Hirst, Shepard Fairey, and Tracey Emin. The online gallery offers digital images and videos that can be purchased for display on mobile phones, tablets and computers, or simply hoarded in one's virtual art "vault." Prices range from $8 for a Wim Wenders photograph to $800 for ownership of one of 2,000 digital editions of Hirst's "For Heaven Sake," a platinum cast of a baby's skull that is covered in diamonds.

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Book Brew

New and upcoming books
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Pretty Pictures

Typography meets illustration in the extraordinary work of Marian Bantjes. The Canadian designer-craftsman's first complete monograph, Pretty Pictures (Metropolis Books), is an inspiring thicket of some 800 images, including sketches and rejected concepts, with descriptions of each project supplemented by Bantjes's candid thoughts. "I wanted to create a book that answered many of the questions people ask me about my work, and showed both the process of some of the pieces and the progress and development of my career over the past ten years," she says. "This book is full-on intense. It's not the type of thing you flip through and absorb at a sitting."

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