Design

10 Beautiful Books for Creative Thinkers

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Whether you’ve been bursting with big ideas you don’t know what to do with or you’re feeling a creative slump, take heed. Here are ten beautifully designed books for visual learners, creative thinkers, and arty types who need a kick in the pants to get motivated and express themselves to the fullest.
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Stunning Staircases to Nowhere Created By Artists and Architects

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The award-winning Monument Valley is a puzzle game that uses architectural mazes and structures to lead its character through optical illusions in various levels. It’s an M. C. Escher drawing come to life, featuring interlocking bridges, rotating structures, and staircases that lead to nowhere. Inspired by the beautifully designed best seller, we looked at real-life staircases to nowhere created by artists and architects around the world.
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Revealing Close-Up Photos of Creatives’ Pencils

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Most people reach for their laptops or iPads when giving shape to their ideas. But for all our conveniences, there are some things that a computer just can’t do like the humble pencil. In a new photo series by Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney, first spotted on Photojojo, the duo captures close-up images of the pencils used by artists, designers, writers, and tastemakers. Most of the subjects are British, and we would love to see more women involved with the project, but you needn’t be familiar with those featured to appreciate how unique their tools are and the way tiny details reveal personality traits. Browse the series in our gallery, and get to know the secret life of the pencil.
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15 Things You Didn’t Know About Yves Saint Laurent

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Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent, which premiered at Cannes in 2014, looks at the life of the French fashion designer from 1967 to 1976. This was a career peak for the influential couturier and preceded his breakup with longtime partner Pierre Bergé (who also helped run the business). The film sees a limited release this weekend. In celebration of the Palme d’Or-nominated film, we’ve gathered a few facts about the fashion legend.
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Stunning Posters Created by Pioneering Designers

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Herbert Matter was a master of photomontage. Philippe Apeloig was inspired by the performing arts and treated “the letter as a choreographed body.” M/M Paris (Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag) has collaborated with musicians like Björk and fashion designers such as Jil Sander. These designers are considered pioneers in their fields and are being featured in a new exhibition from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, called How Posters Work. From May 8 to November 15, 125 works from the institution’s permanent collection will “[reveal] the design techniques behind some of the most iconic and beloved posters in the museum’s collection, from the hard-edged designs of Ladislav Sutnar to the ever popular psychedelic posters of the 1960s, which epitomize sensory overload,” according to a museum press release. “The exhibition demonstrates how some of the world’s most creative designers have employed design principles to produce powerful acts of visual communication.” From film posters to typewriter company ad campaigns, preview the striking designs featured in How Posters Work in our gallery.
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Intimate Photos Capturing Three Weeks in the Life of Legendary Designer Coco Chanel

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French designer Coco Chanel created a contemporary silhouette for the modern woman with the creation of famed fashion house, Chanel. Photographer Douglas Kirkland, who shot behind-the-scenes photos for films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sound of Music, captured the fashion icon for 21 days in 1962. Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 from Glitterati Incorporated is Kirkland’s chronicle of his Paris assignment for Look Magazine, during which he wound up living with Chanel for three weeks. The photos reveal an intimate side to the designer’s very public life. The book is available on April 13, including a French edition and limited editions of 100. Preview Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 in our gallery.
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The Best Eye-Popping Office Designs of the 1970s

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The 1970s are often remembered for a garish palette, but it was a decade of great change — especially in terms of design. With the last season of Mad Men premiering tomorrow, set during the start of the 1970s, we have office design on the brain. “Office design in the 1960s and 1970s actually became more humanistic, with greater concern for the ability of the individual worker to have some freedom in the design and specification of his or her work area,” state the authors of Designing Commercial Interiors. Ergonomic designs were an essential part of the ’70s office environment. Many companies started recycling efforts and championed sustainable building design as a response to the ongoing energy crises. Experimental furniture, high-tech materials, and eye-popping colors were all the rage. We’ve highlighted some of the finest office designs from the ‘70s, which tease a look at Mad Men’s updated digs, below.
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13 Absurd and Design-Savvy Vintage Employee Handbooks

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Today’s employee manuals just can’t compare to the handbooks of yesterday, with their quaint rules and vintage designs. Corporate rulemakers like Disney and Playboy asked a lot of their employees in order to maintain a strict order and image-focused facade that launched each organization to the top of the pop culture charts. See what the manuals for stewardess, amusement park attendant, and Playboy bunny required in this collection of vintage employee handbooks.
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10 Works of Architecture for People Who Prefer to Live Alone

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Living alone doesn’t have to feel lonely — especially when you call a skillfully designed, intimate abode home. For the single-occupancy crowd, these houses and apartments have been customized to meet the needs of people flying solo. Space, light, and views have been maximized. There are no dingy, shoebox-style holes in the wall here — just gorgeous, tiny homes for the person who enjoys their own space.
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Meet the Makers: A Roundtable Discussion

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The “Maker Movement” is undeniably having a moment. After spending time in the studios of two Renegade pros (Richard Upchurch of Brandnewnoise and Martha Moore Porter of Buried Diamond), we wanted to dive deeper. So we invited some key players to Flavorpill HQ to talk about challenges facing maker communities, advice for designers, knitters, and crafters in the 21st century, and just what life’s like at the intersection of the physical and digital. Check the video below for insights from Krystal Persaud, Design Lead at DIY circuit-makers littleBits; Natalia Krasnodebska, Community Manager at 3-D printing pros Shapeways; John Fiorelli, founder of Cut&Paste; Lindsey Ibarra, Style+Trend watcher at Kollabora; and The Zen of Making‘s own Haley Pierson-Cox.
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