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Threadless on Tour

It's hard to believe that a decade has elapsed since the birth of Threadless, the wildly popular t-shirt company with an ongoing, open call for design submissions. They're celebrating with the Threadless Everywhere Tour, a three-month, cross-country whirl of art parties, craft fairs, and community meetups that kicked off yesterday in San Francisco. Look for the company's distinctive Airstream trailer/art studio and spray-painted van tooling around your town or rally a Facebook group to convince them to stop by on the tour's third crowdsourced leg. Expect graphically intense birthday cake and plenty of t-shirts, including relaunched versions of some favorite designs from the last ten years.

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Lego World Cup

Have you caught World Cup fever? When there's no time to take in an entire, maddeningly low-scoring match, savor the highlights... in Legos! Since 2007, self-described crazy soccer fan Fabian Moritz has spent thousands of hours meticulously recreating major soccer matches in stop-motion animation with squads of smiley-faced Lego players. The resulting videos are collected on his website, Lego Fussball. Now the Hannover, Germany-based animator is working 'round the clock on World Cup matches. Among the most popular so far: Team USA's opener against England, which featured an astounding fumble by Brit goalie Robert Green. "In general, unusual scenes are a lot of fun, because I get to be very creative," said Moritz recently. "I have never recreated a goalkeeping error before, so I really enjoyed it."

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Pantone Hotel

Journey to the center of the color universe at the Pantone Hotel, a new boutique property in Brussels that invites you to experience the Belgian capital "through a lens of color and a spectrum of comforts." Designers Michel Penneman and Oliver Hannaert selected a distinctive palette for each of the hotel's seven floors (which range from "daring and fiery" reds to "captivating, esteemed, silky" shades of violet) and upped the contrast with clean white walls and the saturated outsized photographs of Victor Levy. Pantone consultants are on call to assist with any color crises. Our favorite touch? A rooftop bar serving color-matched cocktails. Choose from Pink Champagne (Pantone 12-1107), Lemon Drop (12-0736), or Daiquiri Green (12-0435).

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Grilled Cheese Invitational

What began in 2003 as a sandwich-making contest among friends in a Los Angeles loft has transformed into a national movement dedicated to perfecting the art of grilled cheese and regional competitions across the country. Tomorrow in L.A., thousands of cheese fiends will gather for the Grilled Cheese Invitational. The event "will surely be the best thing to happen to mankind, ever!" predicts artist and event founder Tim Walker. "Well, maybe second to that whole 'landing on the moon' thing, but as far as mankind's topmost achievements, it's totally way up there!" In addition to the competition that will crown the 2010 Grilled Cheese Champion, there will be a grilled cheese festival and multiple vendors to feed the hungry masses. Dress to impress, because delicious prizes are in store for the winners of the event's cheesy costume contest.

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Logo Awards

Good news: you’ve got a couple more weeks to show your logos some love by entering them in the mediabistro.com logo awards contest, a new initiative to celebrate the best in logo design. It’s as easy as registering, uploading a .jpeg of your best work, and then waiting for judges, including Armin Vit and David Airey, to deem you worthy of one of the gold, silver, or bronze awards. (An entry fee of $30 per logo is required.) All submissions must have been created by the designer or firm submitting the work between March 31, 2008 and March 31, 2010. The deadline for entries has just been extended to Friday, April 30, so submit soon!

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Curious George Goes to the Museum

Curious about the creators of Curious George, the world's favorite curious little monkey? A new exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York City offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives and work of illustrator H. A. Rey (1898-1977) and his wife, artist and author Margaret Rey (1906-1996). The German-born husband/wife team fled Paris by bicycle in 1940 and eventually settled in New York, where they authored and illustrated more than 30 books, including seven starring Curious George. The exhibition, on view through August 10, features original drawings and watercolors of the heroic monkey (who the Reys originally named "Fifi") and other characters as well as early drafts of their books, vintage photographs, and other documents that chronicle the couple's own curious adventures.

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Design a Strand Tote

New York's famed Strand Book Store is almost as famous for its iconic tote bags as for its "18 miles of books." After offering up special totes designed by the likes of David Hockney, Art Spiegelman, and Adrian Tomine, the store is inviting artists from around the world to submit their original illustrations representing the Strand for its first ever tote bag design contest. The grand prize package includes the production for sale of a Strand tote featuring the winner's artwork as well as more than $1,000 worth of graphics-rich books. Co-sponsored by the School of Visual Arts, TOON Books, Drawn & Quarterly, and Fantagraphics Books (who have all chipped in on prizes), the contest runs through March 31.

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The Crazy World of Maira Kalman

A new exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Contemporary Art celebrates the colorful career of illustrator, artist, and designer Maira Kalman. On view through June 6, "Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World)" is the first major museum survey of Kalman's work, including her twelve books for children, M&Co. watch designs, illustrated newspaper columns, fabrics, maps, and a special installation filled with the whimsical found objects (balls of string, lemon drops, green velvet top hats) that she has knack for transforming into treasures. Don't miss her illustrated version of the classic writer's reference, The Elements of Style, which breathes new life into Strunk and White's wacky example sentences. Can't make it to Philadelphia? Catch the exhibition when it tours to San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York.

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Make/Think

In October, creative types from far and wide converged on Memphis for “Make/Think,” AIGA’s biennial design conference. The event explored the ways that designers focus on making beautiful things, thinking about problems strategically, and the unique and powerful combination of these roles. For those who couldn’t make the design star-studded confab, we’ve got the next best thing: a growing collection of free videos from the event. AIGA launched the downloadable fun on December 1 with videos of Stefan Sagmeister discussing the results of his yearlong sabbatical of design experiments, Roger Martin explaining the power of design thinking, and Stefan Bucher making and sharing his monsters. The full-service site also includes full transcripts of the presentations and, when possible, a PDF copy of the speaker’s presentation.

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Autodesk Gallery

If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to visit the Autodesk Gallery, the sleek and sustainably-designed exhibition space of the company behind AutoCAD software. The LEED Platinum-certified space is the result of a $10 million transformation of Autodesk’s 16,500-square-foot briefing center into a showplace for the creations of its customers, which range from Lego to architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill. But it's more than a giant display case. Autodesk describes the gallery as "a gathering place for Autodesk customers, as well as for the design community in general," and visitors are encouraged to touch and interact with exhibits. The Autodesk Gallery is open to the public on the first Wednesday of every month and by appointment.

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