Full Mental Jacket

The revelatory book covers of Peter Mendelsund

His layering of photographs, drawings, and type gives the covers a three-dimensional quality—even an implied motion, like a freeze-frame of a film that might start up again at any moment.

Columbia Magazine, Fall 2014


Lost Birds

Four adopted women seek out their Native American roots

For decades, children were separated from their birth parents and placed with white families in what was promoted as an enlightened effort to aid assimilation.

Al Jazeera America, August 2014


The Perfect Deformity

What gives political cartoons their enduring power?

“A pamphlet is no more than a violation of opinion; a caricature amounts to an act of violence,” declared King Louis-Philippe of France in 1835.

Columbia Magazine, Fall 2013



In Syria, Speaking in Code

How people communicate when the government is watching

To suggest that a person was an informer, some would say khattu heluw: “His handwriting is beautiful.”

The Boston Globe ideas section, October 6, 2013


Business Talk

Have we been blaming the wrong people for our most annoying phrases?

A new analysis suggests that some of our most detested business jargon may not come from business at all.

The Boston Globe ideas section, September 15, 2013



The Last Deaf Utopia

Village sign languages, vanishing fast

Among anthropologists, the Martha’s Vineyard deaf community has long been legendary. But in recent years, academics have begun to find more communities like it throughout the world.

The Boston Globe ideas section, July 28, 2013



In Session

How Anthony Lewis educated a wary nation about the Supreme Court

In the late 1950s, the U.S. Supreme Court was as controversial and obscure as it had ever been. But the newspapermen of the day were barely equipped for the task.

The Paris Review Daily, May 13, 2013


A Terrible Beauty

Landscape photography in a man-altered world

Turning away from the idealized landscapes of Ansel Adams, Richard Misrach surveys Louisiana's Cancer Alley.

Columbia Magazine, Spring 2013 


The Supremes

How I fell in love with the Supreme Court

Here’s how you might fall in love with the Supreme Court: sitting in a dark theater, watching two actors facing one another in desk chairs on a minimally dressed stage, reenacting an oral argument.

The Paris Review Daily, May 31, 2012


Writing the Script

Is the time right for an Indian type renaissance?

Five years ago in September, typeface designer Peter Biľak got a last-minute invitation to a new world.

Print, June 2011


Prayer Type

How Eliyahu Koren used typography to encourage a new way to pray

Publishers of prayer books have long struggled to engage American Jews, to heighten their alertness at synagogue.

Tablet, June 30, 2009