Great designers don't only set out to succeed visually, they understand the power of words and how creative and appropriate copy can strengthen a project's concept and effectiveness. Professional designers often work with copywriters, whose job is to write the words for advertisements, publications, websites etc. The opportunity to develop copy for self generated/school projects will better prepare you to work with or without a copywriter on staff once you graduate.

The Namestorming Process

The namestorming process for developing a title is a great exercise to build your creative copywriting skills. I'll go through the process below (adopted from Mashable), using a student's concept for a restaurant project as an example. 

Restaurant Concept: Dinner with your dog

To start, we'll braindump everything (there's no wrong answer, write it all down!) that comes to mind in each particular category below:

1. LITERAL CONCEPTS These should be words that directly relate to and describe the business, product, function, and/or service.

restaurant  food  service  dining  pets  pet care  meals  convenient  sharing  bond  men  inclusive comfy  laid back  social  relaxing  dogs  dog food

1. FIGURATIVE CONCEPTS Push past the obvious and expand to include names, feelings, events and moments.

restaurant - spot, joint, diner, dive
food - grub, sustenance, snack, life force, nutrition
service - with a smile, tips, waiter/waitress
dining - fine, champagne, linens, candlelight, lady & the tramp, spaghetti, italian, low light, strung lights, patio, outdoors
pets - puppies, kittens, birds, fish
pet care - petco, grooming, leash, collar, ID tag, fleas, ticks, 
meals - 3 a day, breakfast, lunch, dinner
convenient - fast, friendly, easy, time saving, clock, minutes, hours, stop watch
sharing - cut in half, shaking hands, unselfish, giving, loving, compassionate
bond - glue, tape, welding, stiching, togetherness, gold bond, james bond, an unspoken bond
singles - independent, kraft, dollar bills, meet people, singled out
inclusive - inviting, open, friendly, understanding
comfy - pillows, cushions, clouds, bed, arm chair, recliner, couch, dog bed
laid back - easy going, stretched out, feet up, arms back
social - meet people, talk, drinking, music, conversation, chit chat, banter, flirt
relaxing - de-stress, comfortable
dog - fido, doggy, dog-eat-dog world, dog days, hair of the dog, fire hydrant, chew toys
dog food - beggin strips, bones, pig ears, alpo, dad's, steak, water bowl, chewy, slobber, messy, crunch, scraps, scraping bowl

3. THESAURUS This will vastly expand your bank of words collected in step three and open up a lot of new possibilities! Try Merriam-Webster (free) or Visual Thesaurus (free trial). Using just one word below, you can see how much I missed! 

From Merriam-Webster:

dog (domestic animal) - canine, doggy (or doggie), hound,  pooch,  cur,  mongrel,  mutt;  bitch; lapdog,  pup,  puppy,  puppy dog,  whelp;  bandog,  bird dog,  coonhound,  courser,  gundog, hunter,  sheepdog,  sled dog,  watchdog,  wolf dog,  wolfhound;  guide dog,  police dog, working dog

dog (a person whose behavior is offensive) - bastard, beast, bleeder [British], blighter [chiefly British], boor, bounder, bugger, buzzard, cad, chuff, churl, clown, creep, cretin, crud [slang], crumb [slang], cur, dirtbag [slang], dog, fink, heel, hound, joker, louse, lout, pill, rat, ratfink, reptile, rotter, schmuck [slang], scum, scumbag [slang], scuzzball [slang], skunk, sleaze, sleazebag [slang], sleazeball [slang], slime, slimeball [slang], slob,snake, so-and-so, sod [chiefly British], stinkard, stinker, swine, toad, varmint, vermin

From Visual Thesaurus:

Now I'm thinking even more about the various meanings of the word dog, and since this is a restaurant, I'll certainly add all of the food related categories to my list. Step three can seem tedious, but it definitely pays off. If time is not on your side, start with the words that relate most to your concept and the direction you want your title to go. For example, I know I want my version of this restaurant to be more of a masculine, beer-drinking, sports-watching atmosphere, so I can quickly eliminate words like candlelight, italian, champagne etc.

4. EXAMPLES AND TYPES Going back to your root list expand the main ideas into examples and types that further describe each word.

Dog - Top 10: Labrador retrievers, german shepherds, golden retrievers, beagles, bulldogs, yorkshire terriers, boxers, poodles, rottweilers, dachshunds

Restaurant - coffee shops, bar, diner, joint, inn, outlet, saloon, cafeteria, grill, hideaway, dive, canteen, café, greasy spoon, luncheonette, dining room, lunchroom, chophouseeaterypizzeria, drive-in, doughtnut shop, fast-food place, hamburger stand, hashery, hotdog standnight club, soda fountain, watering hole

Types of Dog Owners - The BFF’s: your dog is your sidekick; The Norms: you adopted a dog because it’s the American way; The Look-a-likes: your dog has been a part of your life for many years; The Fashionistas: your dog is your baby; therefore, you take care of him like a small child; The Worker Bees: you and your dog are a team

4. Phrases and Sayings I'm sure by now you've already listed a few in one or more of the steps above, but this is another chance to include more common catch phrases, slang terms, quotes, cliches, idioms etc. It's worth it to do some research here as well.

dog-eat-dog  dog days of summer  give a dog a bone  every dog has his day  man's best friend  who's walking who  sit   stay  roll over  paw  shake  go get him  speak  your a dog what's up dawg  quit begging  barking up the wrong tree  barking mad  hair of the dog  fed to the dogs  in the dog house  the tail wagging the dog  you cant teach an old dog new tricks  sick as a dog  hot diggity dog  top dogs  lucky dog  work like a dog  meaner than a junk yard dog dog tired  let sleeping dogs lie  pooper scooper dog treats bow wow

dinner is served  soup's on  bite more off than you can chew  bite the hand that feeds you bottoms up  bring home the bacon  chew the fat  come and get it  done to a t  down the hatch food for thought  grab a bite  take home a doggie bag  grab a bite  happy hour

5. Mix and Match Now that you have a plethora of reference material, start pulling out words and phrases that catch your eye and try combing them into titles. Once again, don't worry if they are bad, silly or inappropriate - you only need one good one, but sometimes you have to clear all the other junk out of the way to discover it.

Bring Home the Beggin Strips  
Doggy Hour
Man's Best Friend
The Lucky Dog or Lucky Dog's
Chew the Fat
The Dirty Dog or Dirty Dog's
Kibbles is Served
Dinner and a Doggie
Pup's Pub
The Doggie Bag
Will Bark for Beer
The Watering Hole
The Fire Hydrant
Lick the Hand that Feeds You

6. Feedback Spend time discussing your list of name within a group and be critical of each. What does the name communicate out of context? Is it original and/or clever? Is it easy to say? Is it memorable? Once you've answered these questions, hopefully you've found the perfect solution. If things aren't quite working out go back to your research and come up with a new list of titles. The possibilities are endless once you've done the backwork, so get to it!

10 Examples of Inspiring, Thoughtful, and Visually Stimulating Design Thesis Projects

The story of the ClearRx begins in the frail hands of a grandmother who misunderstood the labeling on a pill bottle and took the wrong dosage of prescription medication. That mistake made her ill and inspired her granddaughter—then a master’s candidate at the School of Visual Arts (SVA)—to ask simple, yet powerful questions about what had been taken for granted as the acceptable way to store and distribute medicine.

Deborah Adler—the granddaughter/grad student—identified several problems with existing pill bottle designs. Why were so many different styles of labels used? Why did information about the drug provider so often trump information about the drug itself? Why was the type so tiny? Why were so many factors unwittingly conspiring to increase the risks associated with taking prescribed drugs?

When Adler completed her SVA thesis in May 2002, she had arrived at a solution that changed a long-neglected form factor and fundamentally overhauled the communication design of the pill bottle. She produced a compelling prototype that offered a safer, more usable means of storing and distributing medicine.

Adler’s original Safe Rx design raised almost as many questions as it sought to answer. Would it satisfy all of the mandates laid out by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? How would it change the workflow of the average pharmacist? Could any single company effectively deploy the design as a business solution?

Target, of course, chose to become that company, and it has been rewarded pretty handsomely. Since the ClearRx launched in 2005, Target’s pharmacy business has experienced double-digit sales increases. That return followed an investment in design—and a very thoughtful commitment to the design process.


Willy Chan's SFWOI (Soap From Waste Oil Initiative) is a both a beautifully designed and made wooden cart and a opportunity to teach the public about the improper disposal of waste cooking oil. Used cooking oil is supposed to be collected for use as biodiesel, but a huge quantity of it just gets poured into sewers or dumped directly into our waterways. The cart is a rolling soap factory, where the user makes fine, scented soaps from the oil in public--raising awareness of waste oil's useful alter ego, and the tragedy of its improper disposal and waste.

Read and see more: Green Design Highlights from Parsons’ BFA Product Design Thesis Exhibition 



Illustration student Jim Tierney developed an inspiring series of book cover designs for his senior thesis project at the University of the Arts.



Academy of Art MFA Graphic Design candidate Yun Lin’s thesis project enlists a game-centered approach and envisions a nonprofit foundation to help rescue a treasured animal—the giant panda—from extinction in the wild.



This MFA thesis project by   Chiharu Tanaka,   Academy of Art University in San Francisco,     involved designing new decorative typefaces that fused Japanese ornamentation with the Roman alphabet. The process involved researching Eastern and Western design principles, aesthetics and traditions and exploring the various ways that these two realms could interact and balance with each other. The “MONYO+MOJI” book showcases the rich variety of Japanese ornamentation and patterns with a new approach to design.

This MFA thesis project by Chiharu Tanaka, Academy of Art University in San Francisco, involved designing new decorative typefaces that fused Japanese ornamentation with the Roman alphabet. The process involved researching Eastern and Western design principles, aesthetics and traditions and exploring the various ways that these two realms could interact and balance with each other. The “MONYO+MOJI” book showcases the rich variety of Japanese ornamentation and patterns with a new approach to design.

The 2011 RISD Graphic Design MFA Thesis Show is a group exhibition of selected thesis work from the RISD Graphic Design MFA Class of 2011. The show is published in a catalogue which will be displayed and distributed at the annual RISD Graduate Exhibition. The show is the catalogue, which is also the show. This is



Since the adoption of the Common Core State Standard Initiative, cursive handwriting instruction is no longer mandatory in the United States. The initiative leaves cursive handwriting out of school curriculum. In turn, numerous school districts have been replacing cursive with keyboarding. As cursive becomes a vanishing art, Sans Cursive strives to illustrate the significance of cursive as a necessary skill, highlighting its historical importance and its role in self-expression, brain stimulation, and fine motor skill development.



Down to Business aims to bridge the gap between the design world and corporate America. By approaching the job search as an opportunity to develop and market your personal brand, this annual report-style publication provides design graduates with the skills necessary to land a job without losing their personal identity.



8 typographic motivational mantras were designed and screenprinted onto 120 dollar bills. The bills were distributed around Portland, Oregon. The supporting website features an interactive map to explain the project and gather feedback.View the full project at



Project DesignED is an extra-curricular, graphic design education program for high school students planned and implemented by practicing industry professionals. The coursework teaches the basic elements and principles of graphic design focusing on information literacy and solving problems with critical thinking. Lessons are developed as “instruction sets”, increasing usability for busy professionals and, with localization, allowing implementation anywhere in the world. The coursework uses online lectures conveyed through motion graphics to introduce concepts, which field professionals elaborate on and help students practice, in person. The combination of learning modalities and its adaptability optimizes the students’ education and meets the needs of the expert-users.

The Diverse Landscape of Data Visualization

The digital world has drastically changed the way information is organized, disseminated, and viewed. Successful organization of content equates to quick interpretation, and supports the right-now attitude of modern society. We long since surpassed data overload—if you had printed all of the content on the internet in 2009 it would take you 57,000 years to read it (via The sheer amount of data has become overwhelming, but thanks to data visualization and information graphics, it will never become incomprehensible.

Although information graphics have been utilized for centuries to break down complex data into easily understood visual systems, Edward Tufte's strict rules for creating them are increasingly disregarded. Chartjunk can litter the data, skew content and confuse the audience (just like decorating a design can hinder its overall success), but in a world of shrinking attention spans strong visuals have become increasingly necessary to help capture attention. If you are a novice information designer be sure to consider the following as you develop your project:

The three parts of all infographics are the visual, the content, and the knowledge. The visual consists of colors and graphics. There are two different types of graphics—theme and reference. Theme graphics are included in all infographics and represent the underlying visual representation of the data. Reference graphics are generally icons that can be used to point to certain data, although they are not always found in infographics. Statistics and facts usually serve as the content for infographics, and can be obtained from any number of sources, including census data and news reports. One of the most important aspects of infographics is that they contain some sort of insight into the data that they are presenting—this is the knowledge (via Wikipedia).

The examples below show a broad range of approaches to data visualization. Consider how each utilizes visuals in various ways to support the content. How does each solution reveal content that may have been hidden otherwise?


David McCandless

Developing a Senior Thesis Project

In broad academic terms a thesis is a document or project submitted in support of candidacy for an academic degree presenting research and findings based on an original concept. A student design thesis should encapsulate this definition in the visual sense, while utilizing a similar thought process to assist in its development.

Coming up with a thesis idea can be a bit daunting at first, where to begin?!? Try using the three steps below to help you get started:

1. Answer to the following questions as the framework for a mindmap to assist in brainstroming possible thesis topics:
• What area of the design field most interests you after graduation? 
• What are the strengths of your current portfolio of work?
• What interests do you have outside of design that could be incorporated into your thesis?
• What topics/issues/subjects do you feel strongly about/wish to share with larger audience?
• Are their any products/services you have dreamed of creating and/or improving?

2. Once you have completed the mindmap, jot down a list of possible thesis project ideas. Then, try answering the following questions (from the UNC Writing Center) for each to help you decide which ideas are strong enough to develop into a proposal:

  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument or providing a new idea.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is, “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. What can you add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning?

3. Identify your strongest two or three ideas that have passed the above litmus test and develop each into a one-page written proposal. Remember to focus on the concept first, and expand on your concept by outlining a number of possible visual directions, format options, and research necessary to develop the content.

At this point, you should be ready to defend your ideas with confidence and provide enough material to encourage productive dialog in a classroom setting!











Art Institute of Pittsburgh In-Progress Portfolio Review

Last week I had the pleasure of providing feedback to senior portfolio students at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I met with six or seven aspiring designers and was impressed overall with the quality of self-authored illustration incorporated into much of their design work. One student in particular really stood out from the crowd...

Personal Identity System, Chelsea Erdner

Personal Identity System, Chelsea Erdner

Loud Tour Poster, Chelsea Erdner

Loud Tour Poster, Chelsea Erdner

I'm a sucker for design that provides a tactile experience, and AIP student Chelsea Erdner's thoughtful use of color, paper, texture and style throughout left me cheering for her future success!

Special thanks to AIP Graphic Design Chair Tamara Pavlock for inviting me to the class and sharing The Early Kerner with her students!


Design Mockup Resources

Don't let the inability to produce or professionally document your work negatively impact a strong design. If you are looking to save some money (as most students are) or don't have the skills to pull off the perfect photo shoot, mockup templates are a professional alternative. Mockups are used in professional studios and agencies everywhere to present work to clients. Using them in your own portfolio will keep the focus on your strong concepts and visuals while illustrating to a potential employer that you have the ability to prepare projects for professional presentation in a digital format. There are many online sources for mock-up files. Below are a few options to fit any need and budget.

Mock-Up Everything

Mock-Up Everything

MOCK-UP EVERYTHING Go Media, the creators of Shirt Mockup, are proud to bring you Mockup Everything. Mockup Everything provides an easy-to-use online platform for applying your graphic designs to a growing variety of print products. Creative artists, like you, can visually prototype your merchandise design and save jpeg snapshots to share with your marketplace. This is a great way to test your product’s market potential as well as explore how it might look before going through the expensive manufacturing process. Take it a step further and upgrade to the Pro version to gain access to many more product templates and the ability to mockup snapshots twice the size of the free version.

iPhone Placeit
iPhone Placeit

PLACE IT PlaceIt can tell the story behind your app in seconds. The service is simple. You have screenshots of your app but that doesn't cut it if you want to engage your audience. PlaceIt is constantly working to take beautiful imagery with the latest devices. They process your screenshot and place it within environments for a final photo that can be used as marketing collateral.

Graphic River

GRAPHIC RIVER Everything you need for your next creative project. Over 4.5 million digital products created by a global community of designers, developers, photographers, illustrators & producers.

Spoon Graphics

Spoon Graphics

SPOON GRAPHICS No matter whether you’re presenting designs to a client or showcasing your latest work in your portfolio, taking the time to present your work can really boost its value and shows how the design works in its intended use. This collection of free PSD templates makes it easy to showcase your stationery & branding designs, business card and posters & leaflets in realistic settings as if they had been professionally printed and photographed.



PIXEDEN Great design resources all year round, Pixeden releases between 12 to 16 premium and 3 to 5 free resources a month. You can expect to get 150 to 200 quality resources a year from them in a wide range of categories from print templates, to icons set and web elements... Their resources have no download limit and are royalty free for use in both personal and commercial projects.

Documenting Portfolio Work: Posters

The poster is one of the most immediate, accessible and abundant forms of print design and most all designers have an opportunity to produce work in this form as students and professionals. Displaying poster work in a print or digital portfolio is not always a simple as placing a drop shadow behind the file and mounting it to a board or posting on your portfolio site. It's certainly a good start, but can limit the appreciation for the piece, especially when a poster is, by nature, meant to be viewed in an environment. When planning to document a poster design, scale, materials and the original environment is was posted in should all help to communicate and support the designer's original concept. If detail is required to show the intricacies of type and image, these can always be photographed with a macro lens (or using your camera's macro setting). This way special processes and materials are not lost, as is the case when reverting to a digital file. The examples below nicely showcase design, printing method, concept, scale, detail, and even use environment and mood to strengthen concept.

Herrmann Poster Jean Pierre Jeunet Film Festival Poster, Kristen Herrmann

Silk Scream 5 Silk Scream Silk Scream Film Festival, Wall-to-Wall Studios

Student Art Exhibition Student Art Exhibition, Emir Bukva

The Letters Poster The Letters Poster Detail The Letters Poster, Richard Perez and Ross Moody

Tactile Type With Purpose

It's not just what you say, but the way you say it—as designers it's our responsibility to consider the most effective way to communicate both verbally and visually. While there's no shortage of font choices to "help" make this decision easier, in some cases the most memorable and striking solutions look to a process that reaches the viewers on a more natural, human level: the hand. The following examples are referenced for their conceptual sophistication and unconventional execution. These are not trendy hand-drawn quotes, or examples of a particular typographic or illustrative style. These designers have utilized the hand as a tool to communicate and support a concept and they do it ALL THE TIME - check out their websites for more designspiration. Jessica Hische: The Lolita Cover Project "I was asked by John Bertram Architects to participate in a fun project. A wide variety of designers were asked to submit an alternate cover for Nabakov’s Lolita. This is my submission, the lace lettering used to represent something that can be construed as both hyper-sexual or innocent and virginal depending on the context." Client: John Bertram Architects



Stefan Sagmeister: AIGA Detroit Lecture "For this lecture poster for the AIGA Detroit we tried to visualize the pain that seems to accompany most of our design projects. Our intern Martin cut all the type into my skin. Yes, it did hurt real bad." Client: AIGA Detroit

AIGA Detroit


3st/Rick Valicenti: Truth Be Sold "An edition of 15 letterpress prints, made using broken wooden letterforms printed in metallic gold ink on black paper. Created at the Hamilton Type Museum in Northern Wisconsin."

Truth be Sold


Marion Bantjes: True Heart "For my Valentine’s Day mailout I printed on glassine again (it’s just so fun) and sent this little love note all over the world. The original is drawn by hand in pen & ink (red) on archival paper." True Heart














James Victore: Racism "A protest poster created during the summer of 1993 after racial riots upended New York City. The original of this poster is housed in museums around the world as well as the Museum of Modern Art, NYC. I hate racism. Do you hate racism? Buy this poster, you racist." Racism










Paul Sahre: Adobe Took My Milk Money "No Adobe products were used in the design of this poster." Publisher: Graphic Magazine Adobe Took My Milk Money

Student Addys Entry Deadline: Wednesday, Feb. 5th, 2014

ADDYsVisit and login as a student entrant. Review the student category list to find where your work should compete, and follow the simple drop down menus to enter your information. Make sure you credit the members of your creative team, so that they will be recognized properly in press releases and other AAF winner publications. Submission of entries acknowledges the right of the AAF to use them for publication, exhibition and marketing of the Student American Advertising Awards competition.Please note: Comps, original photographs, illustrations, etc. all become the property of the AAF and will not be returned.




Over 2,500 logos (without permission) were used to create this 2010 Academy Award-winning animated short! The film was produced by French Animation Studio H5 in their spare time. Of the surface, the film is an entertaining, Tarantino-esque cartoon, but some initial reactions from viewers on Jeff Hilimire's Begin the Begin blog are worth reading if you're interested in considering the underlying messages of modern society's obsessive consumption.



Photographing Print Design Work

Professional photographic documentation of your print portfolio work is essential to communicating your talents on screen. The physical portfolio, while great for face-to-face interviews, has become secondary to showcasing your work in a portfolio site. Employers can easily narrow down a pool of candidates by accessing portfolios online, and you want to make sure the documentation of your work is equal to the craft and creativity of the pieces themselves. A great photograph can make average work seem better than it is, and the opposite is true of a great project shot in bad lighting, at an odd angle, with a distracting background, etc. Taking the time to plan out how you'll shoot each project is a great start, but there is also learning curve to studio photography. If you are inexperienced or lack confidence in your photography skills hiring a professional is worth the investment!


A Step-by Step Process for Documenting Your Work

1. Look at your body of work and research examples of print design shot in the style(s) you plan to use. There are lots of great examples at FormFiftyFive, Lovely Package, The DielineVisuelle, and Bitique.

2. Create a document for each project. Include the title of the piece, colophon (paper, fonts, binding, special processes, etc.), a brief description, quick photo sketches (camera phones are ok for this) of all the shots you'll need to showcase the project, and the style of shoot/type of backdrop you plan to use.

3. Schedule a shoot date with a professional photographer, a reliable and capable photo student, or plan to shoot your own work. WARNING: If you're thinking, "I got this! My iPhone camera apps make all my photos look sweet!" please hire a professional.

4. If you're still confident in your photography capabilities, begin gathering the necessary equipment - a digital SLR camera, a tripod, lenses, backdrops (seamless paper is a must!), studio soft boxes (lighting), and an assistant. Depending on the piece, you made need to employ some photo styling tools to create the perfect set up (foam core, double sided tape, sticky tac, etc.).

5. Organize your work into categories, so that pieces that are similar in size and chosen background style are shot consecutively - this saves set up/tear down time.

6. Shoot 10 times the amount of images you think you'll need. Yes, this will take longer, but it will save you the headache of having to go back and reshoot when you realize you've missed something. Always shoot in RAW and make sure you move around your lighting on each set up, bracket your exposures, and vary the angles and compositions of the images. Take details of illustrations, typography, bindings, folds, papers, textures and special processes (use your camera's macro mode). Holding a business card in your hand or turning a page helps to illustrate scale and can create a feel for the stock and finishes that you've used.

7. Review your images during the shoot on a laptop or desktop screen to make sure they images are in focus, exposed properly, and that you have enough variety. Once again, this takes some time, but ensures you won't need to reshoot at a later date.

8. Once you've finished, back up your RAW files in a few locations. View all of your images in Adobe Bridge and star the shots you want to further edit. Open those you've selected in Photoshop Camera Raw and fine tune the temperature, tint, exposure, and contrast. Remember to never save over your originals!

9. Open your edited photos in Photoshop to make further corrections - remove dust and dirt spots, edit shadows, etc. You can even cut out your background all together and create your own shadows and backgrounds digitally.

Taking the time to plan out your shoot and carefully documenting your work pays off in the end. You've spent hundreds of hours creating and perfecting your portfolio projects – applying professional standards to the documentation will ensure that your work receives the same reaction on screen as it would in person.



Two-tone Monograms Courtesy of The Daily Heller

The following collection of monograms is courtesy of Print Magazine's The Daily Heller, a wonderful email subscription series from design historian and critic Steven Heller. Sign up for your own daily dose of inspiration from Heller's archives here! 1.22.14/Two-tone Monograms

Monograms and signets are beautiful typographic delights that require a keen design sense and a calligraphic hand. These German specimens from Max Körner’s Das Neue Monogram und Zeichenwerk (c.1950) is a sampling of a lost talent, although not a lost art. So much was achieved with two colors and a pen.

Two-toned MonogramsTwo-toned MonogramsTwo-toned MonogramsTwo-toned MonogramsTwo-toned MonogramsTwo-toned Monograms