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The designer’s thirst-quencher served weekly

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House Blend

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Hanno the Gorilla

Conquer your cluttered desk and massive pre-summer vacation to-do list with the help of Hanno, a wooden gorilla created by designer David Weeks. The beechwood beast is named for Hanno the Navigator—the Greek voyager who explored Africa 2,500 years ago and is credited with discovering gorillas—and shares his namesake's bravery, strength, and curiosity. Weeks's jointed wooden menagerie also includes Ursa the bear, Lucy the crocodile, and Simus the rhinoceros.

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Curiator

A new online platform is bringing the functionality and ease of Pinterest or Tumblr to the world of art. Launched last month, Curiator is a digital, collaborative art collection: a place to keep track of your favorite art and discover an ever-expanding virtual collection of works. Founders Moenen Erbuer and Tobias Boonstoppel, veterans of AKQA and Google, respectively, created Curiator in part to gain a broader understanding of the artistic tastes of people they knew or admired in order to start their own art collections. "It’s about what you like, not about what we like," they say, "and definitely not just about what’s for sale."

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Sketchy Charades

If you've ever wished Pictionary would loosen up, you'll enjoy WhatchamaDRAWit, a doodling game that challenges players to imagine and sketch endearingly odd scenarios. The deck of 110 cards includes directives such as "Draw a Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy at a birthday party for the Easter Bunny" and "Draw an alien swimming in a bowl of pudding." Use the included 60-second timer to keep things competitive or take a more leisurely approach--we suggest cocktails and colored pencils.

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Mixed Drinks

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Archetypes

Are you more of a Caregiver, Creative, Intellectual, Visionary, Royal, Athlete, Spiritual, Tastemaker, Advocate, Rebel, Explorer, or Performer? Find out at Archetypes.com, a new personality test-meets-online platform that promises to help you understand who you are and then tailor the world (or at least the Internet) accordingly. Complete the site's eight-question quiz to identify your three strongest archetypes and then start exploring content and products tailored to your profile.

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Book Brew

New and upcoming books
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Design Trilogy Interviews

If you've enjoyed one, two, or all three of Gary Hustwit's design documentaries--Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized--you're sure to be mesmerized by his forthcoming book of compiled interviews. The 400 pages, gleaned from hundreds of hours (and 31 hard drives worth) of footage, are unedited glimpses into the minds of creative types from Paola Antonelli to Hermann Zapf. "What's striking to me is how wide-ranging the actual conversations are compared to the films, which seem kind of narrow in comparison," says Hustwit. "I'm actually excited--and a little frightened--about how it'll all work in one book...we'll see!"

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Hot Shots

Meet some creative people
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Dottinghill

Crowdsourcing and tattoos sounds like a dangerous combination, but not in the hands of Dottinghill. The site is serious about "skin accessories" (read: temporary water-transfer body tattoos). "We believe that temporary tattoos have been neglected as a great medium for people to express themselves artistically," say the Singapore-based founders. In addition to functioning as a marketplace, Dottinghill is a platform for designers to submit their original ideas for temporary tattoos. Submitted designs are scored by community members and selected designers are then compensated for the exclusive license to use their work, so they have skin in the game.

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Mixed Drinks

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Habit-Forming

'Tis the season for parental gifts and graduation presents. Check out the selection at MyHabit, Amazon's take on the flash-sale craze. You know the drill: hefty discounts on brand-name merch for a limited time. The Amazon innovations include a fuss-free interface, integration with your existing Amazon account and free shipping, at speeds that are almost disturbingly rapid. Launched with an impressive assortment of fashion brands, the site continues to build up its home and design section. Recent sales have ranged from cult brands (Lexon, MIU France) to oddball treasures (a robot lamp made from industrial pipes, an iPhone cover printed with axes).

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Hot Shots

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Gan-Gan

Determined to remember her late grandmother Elizabeth as the wonderful force of nature that she was, Welsh illustrator and animator Gemma Green-Hope created "Gan-Gan." The short video uses archival photographs, contemporary footage, inherited possessions (books, diaries, a knife carved from the wood of HMS Victory), and a touch of whimsy to tell the story of a life well-lived.

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House Blend

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Chasing Paper

Conquer your fear of wallpaper with Chasing Paper, a peel-and-stick solution created with the urban home (and commitment-phobic types) in mind. Sold in two-foot-by-four-foot panels that start at $30 each, the paper has the rich texture of traditional wallpaper with none of the mess or permanence. Designs range from stripes and chevrons to chalkboard panels and a delightful popsicle-and-ice cream print that's perfect for summer.

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Book Brew

New and upcoming books
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The Age of the Image

“There is big money to be made in creating literate visual stories, even if they are somewhat silly," writes Stephen Apkon of our viral video era in The Age of Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens, newly published in paperback by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. The book, with a foreword by Martin Scorcese, draws on the history of literacy and the neuroscience of storytelling to argue that now is the time to transform the way we teach, create, and communicate.

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