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The designer’s thirst-quencher served weekly

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House Blend

Interesting products
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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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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Sketch 3

Move over, Photoshop. The long-awaited update to Sketch is here. Bohemian Coding's beloved app, premised on the concept that "making beautiful things should be a joy, not a burden," brings together powerful tools in an elegant, single-window interface. Sketch 3 ($79 at the Mac App Store) is geared toward a wide variety of designers and artists with new features such as Symbols, which allows you to reuse entire groups of content—think buttons, headers, footers—in multiple places in your design: change them once, and they update everywhere in your document.

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Mixed Drinks

Must-see places or events
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Pinhole Day

This Sunday, April 27th, take a break from your digital devices to spread the unusual beauty of a historical photographic process as the world celebrates Pinhole Photography Day. Now in its fourteenth year, the event celebrates and promotes the lenless method that dates from the 10th century. Join thousands of people (pinheads?) from around the globe in the simple act of making a pinhole photograph by adapting an existing camera or making your own out of a light-tight container, such as a box or a can, with a tiny hole in one side. Leave your perfectionist tendencies at home with your digital camera, because, according to Pinhole Photography Day organizers, "This is the photography of patience, of meditation, no more anguish for a 'badly turned out' photo."

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Font Fizz

Typography
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Comic Neue

Three years ago, digital designer Craig Rozynski set out to save Comic Sans, the blacksheep of the font family. The self-described "font philanthropist" has emerged from his hobby project with Comic Neue, a makeover of the awkward glyphs of the font that everyone loves to his hate. Free to download, Comic Neue aspires to be "the casual script choice for everyone including the typographically savvy." It's the perfect choice for lemonade stand signage or passive-aggressive office memos. "Best of all, Vincent Connare, the creator of the original Comic Sans, told me it ‘should be more casual,’" says Rozynski. "The criticism has come full circle."

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Hot Shots

Meet some creative people
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Good Design Is Good Business

In the course of working on projects for IBM, art director Sue Murphy was forever discovering graphic design gold in the company's deep archives. "Because of the nature of the Internet, not a lot of this is available easily online," notes Murphy, an art director at Oglivy & Mather in New York. "Or God forbid–hi res!" She is changing that with Good Design Is Good Business, a Tumblr that takes its name from a 1973 speech by Thomas Watson, Jr., IBM's second president. The online collection of posters, by the likes of Ogilvy, Paul Rand, and Carl De Torres, is sure to make you THINK.

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Mixed Drinks

Must-see places or events
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Type Camp

Ever dreamed of debating the finer points of kerning while scarfing s’mores? Meet Type Camp, the immersive design workshops founded by typographer, designer, and educator Shelley Gruendler. Upcoming camps include those in Toronto, Vancouver, Ireland, and come 2015, a return to Japan, where campers will expand their Latin and non-Latin typographic knowledge, explore Japanese art and calligraphy, and brush up on their hand-lettering skills.

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Rorshöck Treatment

I say Rorschach, you say Rorshöck. Rather than call the whole thing off, let's explore what that means with the help of a psychodiagnostic card game. Rorshöck In Color offers self-serve therapy through 20 original color ink blot cards, made much more fun than the real thing through the wacky photography and suggested responses printed on the reverse. An irrational diagnosis booklet is included to aid in analyzing. And the game's spiffy packaging, the work of San Jose-based Rotodesign, gives a new meaning to "shrink wrap."

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House Blend

Interesting products
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Guggenheim Color

Hunting for the perfect paint color? Try the purply blue favored by van Gogh or a Gauguin-ish green. These are just some of the shades to choose from with Guggenheim Color, a line of wall colors. Woodstock, Vermont-based Fine Paints of Europe teamed with New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to create two paint collections suitable for residential and commercial use. The Classical Colors range offers 150 colors drawn from paintings in the Guggenheim's permanent collection, while the more subued Gallery Colors consist of 50 hues favored by generations of Guggenheim curators, artists, and designers including Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed the museum and originally wanted to make its exterior red, "the color of creation."

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Kool Ade

Old school, retro picks
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Gift Shop of Horrors

Before you plan your summer vacation, pay a visit to Crap Souvenirs, a photo blog that delights in commemorative kitsch. "This site is meant to serve as a collection point, or perhaps a refuge, for the tackiest of mementos," notes editor Doug Lansky, who solicits snapshots from around the globe, adds witty descriptions, and invites readers to vote for their favorites. Among the early hits are a bottle opener featuring the face of Pope John Paul II, a stuffed camel whose flashing red eyes almost make you forget that its flank is embroidered with "EGYBT" (oops!), and a Mount Rushmore oil lamp that would appall and frighten even the most grizzled Antiques Roadshow appraiser.

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