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Blog Posts by Subject: Design

Where Did Times New Roman Come From?

An interesting footnote to the development of Times New Roman trickles down to us in the present day. The original hardware for the typeface—the “punches” that helped create the molds for casting type—were created jointly by the Monotype Corporation and the Linotype Company, the two main manufacturers of automated typesetting machines and equipment at that time. Both companies subsequently made sets of the type 

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Generative eBook Covers

Here at NYPL Labs we’re working on an ebook-borrowing and reading app. This post explores automated ways for creating covers for public-domain ebooks.Read More ›

Punk and the [Anti-]Prom

Every year, my interns and I have the pleasure of working with the students at the High School for Fashion Industries in conjunction with the Library’s wonderful Anti-Prom projects, managed by our colleagues in Teen services. Past themes have included Goth, Monsters, Super Heroes, and Glam. This year was Punk.Read More ›

December Author @ the Library Programs and More at Mid-Manhattan

Have you ever wondered what happens when a ghetto is unmade? Or what the future of Saudi Arabia means to the rest of the world? Or how overachievers do it? Do you think you know what real New Yorkers look like? Do you want to believe that

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The Silence=Death Poster

Guest post by Avram Finkelstein.

As a founding member of the political collective that produced the image most closely associated with AIDS activism, Silence=Death, I'm frequently asked to speak about this poster. Over the decades people have thanked me for it, telling me the poster was the rallying cry that drew them to political activism.

I have a slightly different take on that. In essence and intention, the political poster is a public thing. It comes to life in the public sphere, and is academic outside of it. 

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How and Where People Live: Upcoming Programs at the Mid-Manhattan Library

Although I've lived in New York City for the past 35 years I grew up in New England with a traditional New Englander's point of view about living and spending—if you can't afford to buy it, don't, and if you decide to buy your home pay it off as soon as you can.

Certainly, not everyone has this point of view, and economists might say a slowdown in consumer spending could cause a slowdown in the economic recovery. Regardless, how and where people live fascinates me. I have spent many, many hours driving up and down streets in various neighborhoods in and out of 

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Design for a Lifetime, or: "What Do We Do About the Bathtub?"

Would you consider New York City "age-friendly"? That is, is it a place where people of all ages—including the very old—can feel comfortable, safe, and happy?

One million people aged 65 and over call New York City home, and a half-million more are expected to swell those ranks by 2030. New York City's top-notch public transportation system and rich access to cultural institutions contribute toward making it a place where these folk will want to stay; most are not planning to leave for southerly climes anytime soon, if ever.

 

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September Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

The centrality of sunshine… the most fascinating New York Times obits of the year… the riddle of the

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July Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

Dangers of the 'foodopoly'... secrets of the original West Village... how Manhattan became capital of the world... a survey of time in love, war, crime, art, money and media... the spectrum of

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Our New Home Page, Search-dominance, and NYPL's Goals

I'm truly pleased to announce the launch of NYPL's new home page! It has more and better feature items for us to share great NYPL activities and materials with you, and a new book recommender tool that we're really excited about.

This new design—which we will continue to improve—builds off of a history of Web research, as well as a lot of recent work at NYPL suggesting we should do a better job of exposing our patrons to the full breadth of great NYPL services, programs, and other offerings. If you're here just to share 

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The Art Underfoot: NYC Manhole Covers

Art can be found in many places: on the walls at home, in museums and galleries. We walk through New York City and cities around the world looking at buildings, parks and street life, rarely looking down. But there is also art underfoot! Take a look at manhole covers. Manhole covers have intricate designs and other uses. Manhole covers may be a lost forgotten art.

Manhole covers protect people from falling down below, but manholes serve as a vital passageway to subterranean conduits for water pipes, telephone communications, electrical power and other 

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Remembering Martin Pakledinaz, 1953-2012

Costume designer Martin Pakledinaz in his New York office in 2005 with costume bibles he donated this year to New York Public Library for Performing Arts. Photo Credit: Diane Bondareff for The New York Times.

“Costumes have to tell you in a moment what that person is feeling, what they’re going through, what changes are happening.”                                                                   

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What Inspires You? A Book List of the Creative Process

Artists are always asked about what inspires them, what they were looking at (reading, eating, drinking, feeling, etc.) when they made this or that piece of art. They often remain coy, not wanting to divulge too much of the creative process, for fear of its ruining the mystery, or muddying the individual's personal interpretation of a work. In spite of their best efforts, the creative process, that window into the unique mind of the artist, remains a fascination for most of us. So, when we received a new title a few months ago,

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The Library: in 3D!

We have a Crafternoon every Tuesday at the Mulberry Street Library. Sometimes we make bracelets, sometimes we make greeting cards. But last month we were able to play with 3D.

You may not know this, but the library has a department called NYPL Labs that creates exciting ways for patrons to explore our vast digital collections. One of these projects was the

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Hand Made Summer Camp: Graphic Tees

Hey there summer campers!

We are working on a great new blog post that includes making your own mini loom! Until then, check out a blog post from last year, Graphic Ts! Enjoy!

Have you ever gone to a trendy clothing store, looked at very cool graphic tees, and said, "I could totally make that!"

I've had these moments a lot (I'm looking at you Urban Outfitters!) and finally decided to become an amateur T-shirt designer, using a fun project that I found in Todd Oldham's easy-to-follow craft book

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Hand-Made Summer Camp: Paper People

Welcome to our second round of projects in NYPL's Hand-Made Summer Camp. (If you missed our first round, Lindsy's woven card project, check it out; I'm thinking of making one with flat sheets of felt myself.) This week, inspired by vintage fashion and paper doll books, I've prepared some customizable paper people. 

I adapted this project from one I found in Paper People, a funny and inspiring 1970 book by Michael Grater. 

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Hold the Applause! Testimonial Menus

Perhaps you’ve noticed a few more people joining the menu party lately. The Buncombe County Medical Association is here. As are our friends from the National Life Insurance Company. We’ve even extended an invite to our canine crew (and their owners) from the Philadelphia Dog Show Association.

Clubs, organizations, companies, and associations often hosted an 

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The Queen B: Miss Buttolph and Her Menus

If you've transcribed even one menu, you've likely seen her stamp. A blue oval bearing her name, "Buttolph Collection", as graceful as a branding iron over asparagus, Russian caviar, or Boston baked beans.

Miss Frank E. Buttolph stamped nearly every menu she collected for the New York Public Library, twenty-three years worth, amounting to roughly 25,000 menus under her tenure 

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New Feature! Unlock Menus to Continue Editing

We've gotten a number of questions over the past week of What's on the Menu? about menus marked as "done." Do we really mean done? As in finished, vetted, archived for posterity? Fear not, we've cleared up this confusion with some new language. What we really meant to say was "under review."

On several occasions, a volunteer e-mailed us saying they'd spotted errors, or missing dishes, on menus marked as complete. I happily re-opened the menus in question (a facility only open to site administrators) and 

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Books for the Birds

Last week I read about artist Walter Kitundu's San Francisco International Airport installation, "Bay Area Bird Encounters." This work combines music, art, and natural history in an interactive mural with accompanying xylophone benches, and I do wish that I could visit it. Reading about it reminded me of Abby Glassenberg's Handmade Crafternoon appearance last month, and how inspiring birds in art 

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