Design Ephemera

New Target Pill Bottle

Target Pill Bottle
The New Target Pill Bottle

Medicine bottles are stupid and dumb. So are regulatory traffic signs, remote controls, cell phone interfaces, and the flushing mechanisms in toilets. Occasionally designers are hired to make them beautiful and dumb. Once in a blue moon, designers get it right. The new Target medicine bottle is one of those brilliant designs which make so much sense everyone must now be wondering why medicine bottles weren’t always like that. It is also great-looking, not through styling but as a result of good old form-follows-function clarity. Designed by Deborah Adler, an SVA student (who now works for Milton Glaser), as her thesis project, the new bottle sits cap downward to provide a large flat surface for clear graphics, features a pull-out card for personal and cautionary information, and is provided with changeable color-coded neck rings to distinguish drugs intended for different family members. Why is it so difficult for manufacturers to apply this kind of common-sense good design to all of those other infuriating objects that constantly frustrate us?

Design Ephemera Everyday

Help Stamp Out Over-cropping


The Post Office have just released this series of Masterworks of American Architecture stamps, which is nice, although the cropping of most of the images leaves little of the architecture to appreciate. Particularly egregious is the fact that they cropped out our graphics for Richard Meier’s High Museum. We have solved that by redesigning that particular stamp for you (go on, you can see our graphics if you look hard enough). If you want to see more…

Design Everyday Web

Usernames Are So 1996

I’m sure it’s happened to you at some point, you visit a website that you registered with, maybe your company’s healthcare provider, but you’ve totally forgotten your username and password. If you’re anything like me, you have a few usernames you’ve used over the years and a few passwords you might have used, but which ones are they? A few minutes of trying and I usually give up and ask for my username and password to be e-mailed to me.


This scenario happens to me over and over again and I never seem to get used to it. Is there another way? Are usernames really the best method for registering users?

Events Everyday

It Takes All Sorts

A participant, and a traditionally shaped New York City cop (I didn’t know there were any of these left), festooned with genuine good old-fashioned cop paraphernalia. Taken during today’s gay pride parade just along from our studio, at Fifth Avenue and 16th Street. Hillary Clinton got the biggest applause.

Essays Films Reviews

Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle
A few weeks ago I attended the premiere of Hayao Miyazaki’s latest animated film, Howl’s Moving Castle, at the MOMA here in NYC. I was ecstatic that the first premiere I’d ever attend was a Studio Ghibli creation. Maybe it was my brimming anticipation, or the expectations I’d come to hold from the reassurance that the creators of my favorite animated films could never, EVER do wrong… I was sure that night that I would come out of the theater happy and wide-eyed under yet another Miyazaki spell. I had no idea I was in for quite a different experience…

Culture Design

(One of) My Favorite Architect(s)

Lois Kahn
Louis Kahn at the AA.

I discovered this while rummaging through my computer this morning. I think I must have taken the photo in 1962 or thereabouts, when Kahn visited the Architectural Association and reviewed our fifth year projects. I can’t remember now what he said about my particular attempt (a utopian and megalomaniacal redevelopment of the South Bank in London), but I recollect it did go on to be ‘stored’, which meant it was put into the AA archives. In any event it was a wonderful experience to have been able to meet the author of some of the most sensitive and significant examples of modern architecture. He was a certainly a profound influence on my architectural work (before I defected into graphic design).

I have since donated the negatives of this and a companion shot to the Penn Architecture Archives in Philadelphia.

Design Everyday

Congratulations, Jasmin.

Jasmin Thesis

Four years ago, a German high school graduate with no previous experience but with an avid passion for design knocked on our door looking for an internship for the Summer. Her prodigious talent was immediately apparent, and in the few months she was with us we were glad to be able to help a little with her application to design school in Berlin. Now she has graduated with this accomplished monothematic magazine about funerals as her Thesis. Congratulations again Jasmin Mueller-Stoy, Diplom Designer.

Her website


Central Park This Morning


An egret wading in the shallows with the historic Dakota apartment building on Central Park West reflected behind (oops, sorry, that’s not the Dakota, that’s the building immediately north of it). Taken during our morning walk to work today. I love New York.


There’s a Solution to Every Problem

man smoking

I bumped into this guy delivering fruit in Union Square today. The ultimate answer to the soggy cigar butt problem and a perfect no-fuss design solution.

Design Ephemera Everyday

Signs of Civility

Park Neatly

Photographed last month, just outside Chichester (UK) and in Greenwich Village (NY).