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The designer’s thirst-quencher served weekly

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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

Must-see places or events
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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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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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