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The designer’s thirst-quencher served weekly

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Kool Ade

Old school, retro picks
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Scrabble Typography Returns

Andrew Clifford Capener's fontastic version of Scrabble is back! The California designer set out to reinvent the beloved board game in a way that would excite people about typography. His concept was to replace the familiar bleached-wood, monofont letter tiles with rich walnut versions in a variety of typefaces. An additional design tweak: all of the game components would be magnetized, an innovation that anyone who has lost that lone "Z" or "K" can appreciate. A licensee of Hasbro is back on board with a second (limited) edition, which includes new fonts and Bauhaus-inspired game components.

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House Blend

Interesting products
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Work Happy

Tired of boring beige office supplies? Meet Poppin. The e-retailer specializes in "workstyle" products: designer-friendly desk accessories in a range of hues, including pure, unbesmirched white. Look no further for your hot-pink tape dispenser, transparent emerald acrylic ruler, and neon notebooks. In need of more than accents? Poppin also offers a large assortment of techie goods (earbuds, neoprene laptop sleeves, gadget "nests") and clean-lined furnishings.

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Font Fizz

Typography
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All Aboard

When Ludvig Bruneau Rossow discovered an old model train set in his grandmother's basement, he did the obvious thing: made letters out of it. The Norwegian designer's "self-initiated typography experiment" resulted in Train Set, a zippy typeface dotted with tiny houses and the odd caboose. Rossow photographed his font and laid it out with a choo-choo twist, replacing the usual fox-jumping dog with another pangram: "The quick brown supertrain travels from Oslo to Grua."

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Mixed Drinks

Must-see places or events
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Viyet

If the term "vintage" makes you slightly nervous when it comes to furniture, check out Viyet, "the new way to buy nearly new furniture." The site's selection of items combines finds from New York City homes and interior designers. Among the items that are sure to be hit under any tree this month: chic and cheery Jonathan Adler pillows, a Wendell Castle table, and any of the striking organic forms by Designlush.

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Font Fizz

Typography
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Freudian Font

Sometimes a font is just a font, except when it is based on the handwriting of Sigmund Freud. Harald Geisler turned his fascination with the famed psychoanalyst's century-old letters into an elegant typeface. "It made me smile to imagine a person writing his or her shrink a letter set in Freud’s handwriting," says the typopgrapher, who studied original documents in the archives of Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna and Freud Museum London to develop four alphabets that are interchanged at random. Don't be surprised if the elegant letters show up in your dreams.

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Book Brew

New and upcoming books
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Kolor

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in black-and-white anymore! There's a beguiling Technicolor quality to Kolor (teNeues), a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of images by Elliott Erwitt. The photographer sifted through his archive of nearly half a million 35mm slides to select the images in this book, all published here for the first time. "I appreciate simplicity -- true beauty that lasts over time," Erwitt has said, "and a little wit and eclecticism that make life more fun."

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Pixelist

Your Instagram masterworks deserve to break free of their pixellated prisons, spread their wings and start a new life as... photorealist oil paintings! That's the transformative promise of Pixelist. The startup offers handmade oil paintings of any image you can capture or create, with "commissions" starting at $150. How? A bunch of willing and able Chinese painters sourced by founder Will Freeman, an Emory grad now based in Hong Kong. Notes Freeman, "We’re using the very thing that nearly killed realistic painting centuries ago -- the photograph -- to bring it back."

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House Blend

Interesting products
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Kitchen Pencil

Whether you aspire to write a novel while whipping up some macaroni, find yourself brimming with design ideas and the need to stir soup, or just take pride in multitasking, you'll want to add the Kitchen Pencil to your arsenal of writing utensils. Created by London-based Sebastian Bergne for ENO (Editor of New Objects), the solid beech wood object is half spoon, half pencil and all part of Bergne's goal to design things that elicit grins. "I like to think that different projects make different people smile for different reasons," said the designer. "The beauty is that there is no smiliest project. If there was, we would all be the same." Just take care while sharpening your dual-function kitchen tool, lest your dish receive an accidental pinch of pencil shavings.

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Logo Party

"It's not what you know that counts, it's what you do!" While that's not a sentiment we can rightfully endorse, it sums up the loopy logic of Logo Party, a brandtastic board game that tests your logo knowledge. Get your teammates to guess brands by giving them clues based upon the four ways to play: draw it, describe it, do it and reveal it. The first team to reach the "Logo Party Space" wins!

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Book Brew

New and upcoming books
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Cabinet of Curiosities

Last year in downtown Manhattan, the former headquarters of the New York Mercantile Exchange were temporarily transformed into "Le Cabinet de Curiosités," an exhibition that combined contemporary art with 18th- and 19th-century antiquities in a setting that blurred time and categorization. Now the show, conceived and curated by Thierry Despont with Marlborough and Steinitz galleries, returns in the pages of a sumptuous new book from Assouline. From an astronomer’s cabinet to trompe l’oeil crumpled paper paintings by the late Claudio Bravo, the exotic interior is both seductive and disorienting.

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