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The designer’s thirst-quencher served weekly

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Mixed Drinks

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Young Guns

The Art Directors Club is once again on the hunt for the creative stars of tomorrow with Young Guns. Now in its twelfth year, the international, cross-disciplinary, portfolio-based competition seeks to identify the young creative vanguard. By "young," they mean 30 or under, and by "creatives," they mean those doing great things in graphic design, photography, illustration, advertising and art direction, environmental design, film, animation, video, interactive design, object design, and/or typography. The deadline for entries is April 7, and a jury of past Young Guns will select the winners.

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Book Brew

New and upcoming books
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Super Graphic

The Venn diagram of comic book fans and graphic designers consists of circles that are nearly overlapping. Both circles include Tim Leong, who can instantly transform (perhaps in a phone booth?) from design director of Fortune magazine into an intrepid explorer of the comic book universe. In Graphic World (Chronicle Books), he has created a visual guide to the comic book universe through pie charts, bar graphs, timelines, and scatter plots that offer a fresh perspective on all things superheroic.

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Arts for Transit

Did you know that the New York City public transit system is filled with permanent artwork? The city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) teamed with the ace navigators at Meridian to put the hundreds of works of contemporary art found throughout the NYC Subway, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and MTA bridges and tunnels in your pocket, provided that said pocket contains a smartphone loaded with this app. The entire collection of MTA-commissioned artwork is organized by subway (or railroad line) and by artist, from Alice Adams to Joe Zucker.

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Kool Ade

Old school, retro picks
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Honest Logos

What if a logo revealed the true nature of a company, as opposed to the image it aspires to present to the world? Such is the parallel universe imagined by Swedish graphic designer Viktor Hertz, who has created a series of "honest logos" for megabrands ranging from Apple (the text below the silvery fruit becomes "Appearance Costs") to YouTube ("CatVideos"). Some may have a future as guerrilla public health campaigns, aimed at too-frequent customers of McDonald's ("McDiabetes"), Camel ("Cancer"), or Marlboro ("Moneywaster").

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Mixed Drinks

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Aerial America

There's nothing like frigid weather, treacherous road conditions, and a full-time job to put the kibosh on that plan to take a cross-country road trip. Until you can drive the scenic route, get a bird's-eye view on Aerial America, an original series on the Smithsonian Channel. The new season, which takes flight on February 23, soars across Texas, Idaho, Utah, Kentucky, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming, revealing the resources of each states from the viewfinder of a helicopter-mounted Cineflex V-14 HD camera system.

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Book Brew

New and upcoming books
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Viva La Pizza!

As you prepare to delight that special someone with a heart-shaped pie, savor the art of the pizza box in the pepperoni-studded pages of Viva La Pizza! (Melville House). The freshly baked book is the product of author Scott Wiener's decade-long hobby of collecting and cataloging pizza boxes, a pastime that is rarely parlayed into much beyond a starring role in Hoarders. Wiener draws upon his trove of 550 boxes to trace the evolution of pizza megabrands (did you know that Hungry Howie was long depicted with a slurping tongue and a maniacal gleam in his eye?), serve up exotic international pizza box designs, and showcase the homespun logos of mom-and-pop shops.

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Kool Ade

Old school, retro picks
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Write On

Do you know what the handwriting of your closest friends looks like? Probably not. "We are at a moment when handwriting seems to be about to vanish from our lives altogether," writes Phillip Hensher in The Missing Ink, recently released in paperback (Faber & Faber). "It has stopped being a necessary and inevitable intermediary between people—a means by which individuals communicate with each other, putting a little bit of their personality into the form of their message as they press the ink-bearing point on to the paper."

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Get Swiss

Love asymmetric layouts, Helvetica, and anything devised by "Lindt Master Chocolatiers"? Display your discerning taste with the Swiss Poster Generator. The online tool, created by brothers Ben and Clark DuVall, makes creating bold, clean-lined posters a breeze. Enter your text, choose your settings (color scheme, style, size), click 'Generate!', and then admire your beautiful Swiss-style poster. Click on it for a higher-resolution, print-quality image to drop into your favorite image editing program.

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Mixed Drinks

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First Things First

You're starting at square one — with nothing but a signed lease and the smell of paint to call home. What do you design first? That's the question posed by Fab's "First Things First" challenge. The shape-shifting e-commerce company's design competition is open to all creatives in all disciplines. Selected items will be shown in Fab's fresh start-inspired design exhibition during NYCxDesign in May, and could eventually be put into production by Fab. Entries must be received by March 21.

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Book Brew

New and upcoming books
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Design History

Ready to take a deep dive into the history of decorative arts and design? Treat yourself to History of Design, new from Yale University Press. The doorstop of a volume spans six centuries of design (1400-2000) across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Indian subcontinent, and the Islamic world. In addition to the usual suspects--interiors, furniture, textiles, product design--the book tackles graphics, exhibitions, landscape design, even theater and film design. It's an essential addition to any design library.

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