Shopsin's Plate

Shopsins at a Brooklyn Goodwill


From a Brooklyn Goodwill to our kitchen!

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Happy Birthday Fletcher!



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Misty Mountain Hop

Images de L'Himalaya
Images de L'Himalaya
Images de L'Himalaya
Beautiful and intense Images De L'Himalaya by legendary Italian photographer and mountaineer Vittorio Sella (1859-1943).

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"Learn it all, and throw it out." Helen Frankenthaler

"Easels were respectable, but destroy the easel. Sable brushes were wonderful but get a house brush."
Right on.

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Paul Rand on Trademarks

Paul Rand, 35

Paul Rand Portfolio

Paul Rand Portfolio

Frank Zachary and Alexey Brodovitch on Paul Rand, and Paul Rand on trademarks, 
from Portfolio magazine #1, winter 1950. 

'Paul Rand is a boyish-looking 35-year-old Brooklyn-born designer whose ability to create good-looking advertisements has earned him an international reputation, a horde of imitators, the vice-presidency of a large Manhattan advertising agency (William H. Weintraub & Co.) and a $100,000-a-year income. As a trademark designer, Rand is relatively little known, although he has produced some of the most effective and original business trademarks in use today. This insert (below) demonstrates his virtuosity in this field. It also reveals Rand's grasp of the technique of trademark design, which is to give concrete form to an abstract idea by means of a single graphic shape or symbol, without assistance from the written word. Says Rand:
"A trademark is the signature of a company as opposed to the signature of an individual. It should as closely as possible embody in the simplest forms the essential characteristics of the product or institution being advertised. It should be easy to identify, and it should serve to glorify the merchandise in question, which is often dull and utilitarian by nature. A trademark is a miniature poster, which should sell in a nutshell".
Rand's best trademarks bear out his theory in practice, deriving their appearance and visual impact from the form and function of the product involved, as in his Coronet Brandy waiter whose head is shaped like a brandy glass, and his Helbros Watch Company monogram H which ends in the tight flourish of a coiled watchspring.'

$100,000 in 1950 equals $900,000 today, so this should be very inspiring if you're a graphic designer under 35. Alas, not so much if you're older.

Alexey Brodovitch's PORTFOLIO magazines: if you can find them and afford them, they're well worth having.

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The Umbrellas of Tuscany


Tuscan Umbrella

The classic green umbrella used by all the farmers in Tuscany. Made of heavy duty bright green canvas with a thick wooden shaft and red painted handle (carved from one piece of wood). I bought one when I lived there in 1988 and gave it to my parents, who have to walk a quarter mile every day to get their mail, which seems a very Tuscan-farmer thing to do.  
Below: The only other one I've ever seen outside of Tuscany (even though it's actually in Tuscany): from a Sarah Moon fashion spread in Realities magazine, 1968. 

Sarah Moon

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Deyan Sudjic's London Spacecraft, 1985






British journalist and author (then) and now Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic's awesome London loft, designed by Ridley Scott and Stanley Kubrick. It actually looks like a small Design Museum itself, or a spaceship that's been travelling around galaxies, curating. The only thing missing is a Braun KF 20 coffee maker. 

from Suzanne Slesin and Stafford Cliff's amazing The International Book of Lofts (1986).
...and not actually designed by Kubrick and Scott, but by Jan Kaplicky in London and David Nixon in Los Angeles, two architects in the transatlantic firm Future Systems.

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Buon Appetito! We're in Food & Wine magazine this month



Food & Wine magazine came over for a Christmas party we had with some fabulous friends, some vintage dinnerware, a crazy bronze elk tray, and vintage Italian recipes from Linda's Nonna and Mamma. You can read all about it and get the recipes fantastica in this month's (December) issue, out now.

a couple of behind-the-scenes pics:


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Saul Steinberg's Views from New York


Saul Steinberg Olde New York

Saul Steinberg's famous New Yorker cover from 1976, "A View of the World from 9th Avenue", 
and above, "Olde New York", his rare view to the East.

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David Hockney, Saul Steinberg, and Frank Stella

David Hockney, 1973
Saul Steinberg, 1979
Frank Stella, 1974

...and Josef Albers:

Josef Albers, 1974

from Renate Ponsold's book Eye To Eye

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Shazam! Lightning Bolt Drawer Sachet- $25


Linda made these lightning bolts from vintage tinsel metallic fabric, stuffed 100% with Maine balsam pine.
Guaranteed to smell like a forest of Christmas trees for years to come. Limited edition- we only have a couple yards of this fabric. Yet another perfect gift idea!

Available here: Lightning Bolt- $25

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Lauren Hutton, Richard Avedon, and a super cool clear hair dryer- Jun Rope, 1973

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Vintage 1973 Nike Oregon Waffle Trainers

IMG_9173 Vintage 1973 Nike Oregon Waffle
IMG_9174 Vintage 1973 Nike Oregon Waffle
IMG_9175 Vintage 1973 Nike Oregon Waffle
IMG_9176 Vintage 1973 Nike Oregon Waffle
IMG_9135 Vintage 1973 Nike Oregon Waffle
Vintage 1973 Nike Oregon Waffle Trainers

The first waffle-soled Nike sneakers ever. From the back of a closet.

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Everybody Hustle prints


Our newest print is inspired by the company motto in a 1920's office.
We thought it was so appropriate for these times that we redesigned it a little to hang in our own office. (It should hang in everybody's office!)

24"x19", printed with archival ink on 100lb. Bristol board. Shipped rolled.

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