Digest 3: Record Label Retrospectives & Obscure Design Collections

| Filed under: Digests

Between traveling, summer vacation, and sleep training twins, my media consumption has taken a bit of a hit lately. Work has also been busy, so my blogging hasn’t been as consistent as I’d like it to be. But I am hoping to keep these digests going, and I’ve got some new blog post ideas for the fall. Slow and steady wins the race... hope you enjoy!


  • The Criterion Channel

    The Criterion Collection

    Between this and the upcoming Disney streaming service, my movie watching needs are covered for the next few decades. I’m enjoying the discovery aspect of the new Criterion site, and it’s much more than just movies - it has interviews, documentaries, shorts, etc.

    Browse Movies

  • Nina Saxon: A Career Retrospective

    Art of the Title

    There are so many interesting connections to follow throughout Nina Saxon’s career. She got her start creating all of the laser bullets in the first three Star Wars films and went on the design some of the most memorable title sequences of the 80s and 90s, including Back to the Future and Romancing the Stone.

    Read on Art of the Title


  • Merge Records: 30 Years, 30 Tracks


    I’ve been on a big “Record Label Retrospective” kick lately, eagerly consuming all the books and music lists I can get my hands on. Merge put out some of my favorite albums of the early 00s, including Spoon’s Girls Can Tell and Kill the Moonlight.

    Read on Treble

  • Jazz Photography

    William P. Gottlieb

    One of my favorite Jazz album covers has always been Ramsey Lewis’ The In Crowd. The image of his black stretch Cadillac pulling into the Bohemain Caverns nightclub is the epitome of cool. Although Gottlieb didn’t take that photo, this Library of Congress collection is full of that kind of vibe.

    Browse on Library of Congress


  • Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War

    Tony Horwitz

    Historians contend that the American Civil War was bookended by the execution of John Brown and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Horwitz’s book is a digestible, well-written account of Brown’s life and influence.

    Buy On Amazon

  • Favorite Nonfiction Books of 2018

    Mother Jones

    This is a great list that spans a variety of subjects, most of which our world is currently struggling with (immigration, climate change, and racism, to name a few). I’ve only read a handful of the books on this list, but I’m especially looking forward to picking up God Save Texas by Lawrence Wright.

    Read on Mother Jones

  • Kurt Vonnegut Font & Book Covers

    Jack Smyth

    I love to see side projects that evolve out of a hobby or passion. Designer Jack Smyth re-imagined book jackets for the entire library of Kurt Vonnegut’s work, and ended up creating a new font in the process (which is free to download).

    Browse on kurtfontegut.com

  • Hip Hop Family Tree

    Ed Piskor

    Ed Piskor’s work is such a delightful rabbit hole. I started with his Hip Hop Family Tree series, which led me to discover an interview he did with Time Magazine, which led to his most recent work for X-Men Grand Design. More than anything, I love that he prints his comics in a large, non-traditional format.

    Buy On Amazon


  • Old Milk Caps


    I need to give a long overdue shout-out to @presentcorrect. Their twitter feed is full of so many interesting and obscure design-related collections, like this one for old milk bottle caps (which also reminds me of the pog craze).

    Browse Collection 1 on Flickr

    Browse Collection 2 on Flickr

  • Cigarette Packaging from Mexico

    El Modo

    Speaking of obscure design collections, I love these old cigarette boxes from the Museo Del Objeto in Mexico. They have a bunch of other fun groups on their site, including batteries, detergents, and matchboxes.

    Browse The Collection

  • 8/16 Bit Video Game Titles

    Title Scream

    Title Scream has been around for a bit, but I love re-visiting it. Bonus points for the animated gifs of all their title screens and adding platform and publisher filters.

    Browse on Title Scream

  • Old Department of the Interior Brochures

    Public - Archive

    As I was getting ready to embark on a National Parks vacation, @davatron5000 brought this collection of old brochures to my attention. Being the design hoarder that I am, seeing the digital scans makes me want to collect the originals.

    Browse The Collection


  • Demon Underneath: John DeLorean and the Invention of the Future

    Alex Pappademas

    If you looked up “80s Excess” in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of John DeLorean. There’s an upcoming film with Alec Baldwin as DeLorean, but it’s crazy that it’s taken Hollywood this long to make a movie about his life.

    Read on theoutline.com

  • Robert Swanson: Advertising’s King Of Jingles


    I love making connections through my blog posts and seeing what kind of memories they stir up. Lars from New Orleans sent me a fun little story about listening to the Northwest Orient jingle in the 70s, which led to this NPR piece about its composer, Robert Swanson.

    Listen on NPR