Robert L. Peters

31 October 2008

The hidden cost of war,




New York, New York

In 2003, Donald Rumsfeld estimated a war with Iraq would cost $60 billion. Five years later, the cost of Iraq war operations is more than 10 times that estimate. So what’s behind the ballooning figures? Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilme’s exhaustively researched book, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict, breaks down the price tag, from current debts to the unseen costs Americans will pay for many years to come. Watch the remarkable video/animation (starring Trade Gothic) here.

From the good folks at Good—(thanks Matt).

29 October 2008

This isn,


Lisbon, Portugal

I’ve accepted an invitation from Hector Aruso Ross of OFFF, Post-Digital Creation Culture to present at the next international festival in Lisbon, Portugal, 7-9 May 2009. With the event’s venue the Centro Cultural de Belém Conference Centre and the Leitmotif “fail gracefully,” it looks like it will be a fun festival… find out more about OFFF here, catch the latest event news here, and see the growing list of featured artists here.


28 October 2008



India, and elsewhere…

Best wishes to all my Indian and South Asian friends (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains alike) on this special day, the advent of Diwali, the festival of lights. May you happily celebrate “the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance,” and also find a “reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill,” all the while celebrating the simple (as well as the not-so-simple) joys of life!

27 October 2008

Encomium | Lou Dorfsman,


Roslyn, New York

The legendary Lou Dorfsman died last Wednesday at the age of 90. From Saturday’s obit in The New York Times: “Mr. Dorfsman’s work became a model for corporate communications, in the marketing discipline now called branding. In 1946, when he joined CBS as art director for its successful radio networks, the company was already a leader in both advertising and the relatively new field of corporate identity. Frank Stanton, then CBS’s president, understood the business value of sophisticated design and had earlier hired William Golden as the overall art director; in 1951 Golden designed the emblematic CBS eye, among the most identifiable logos in the world. Mr. Dorfsman not only extended Golden’s aesthetic by combining conceptual clarity and provocative visual presentation, but developed his own signature style of graphic design.”

I felt honoured to have met Lou in New York in 1984 (on the occasion of Leo Lionni being granted the AIGA medal, six years after Dorfsman had been awarded the same honour). Mr. Dorfsman’s work has inspired an entire generation of designers—here’s to your legacy Lou!

See some of Lou’s work here, here (Cooper Union article in PDF), or here (with some great links), and read about “the wall that Lou built” on Speak Up here.

“Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.”

—Lou Dorfsman, 1918-2008




Guantánamo, Cuba

Though now heard about infrequently in the news, the United States’ illegal detention center at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and the hundreds of so-called “enemy combatants” still held there (some for over seven years without even the basic protections granted by the Geneva Conventions) have not been forgotten—out of sight does not mean out of mind. Thanks to designer colleagues in Spain for the gno! initiative (many more graphic expressions here).

Images: “Guantànamo: an icon of lawlessness” poster; detainees upon arrival at Camp X-Ray, January 2002.

26 October 2008



…like this sheep on the famous Kjeragbolten chockstone, a 5 m³ boulder wedged in a crevasse at the edge of Kjerag mountain in Norway—a lofty and breezy 1000 m above the Lysefjorden (fjord).

25 October 2008

< head > conference,


the Internet, wherever

I gave a presentation today at <head>, as part of the world’s first interactive, real-time, virtual, global web-development and design conference (saving tons of emissions by not flying anywhere). It certainly challenged my Luddite-like tendencies (prior to today I had never even video-conferenced). Learn more about <head> here. Whew. Participants who took in my presentation can contact me here to obtain a PDF transcript of the quotations, etc. I used in my talk.

24 October 2008

Neon graveyard,




Las Vegas, Nevada

Old neon signs that have been decommisioned… a great image set here.

23 October 2008

A bevy of bottlecaps,



Kansas City, Missouri

Several hundred of these ephemeral little beauties in a collection here, thanks to fragmented (a.k.a. the talented Maura Cluthe).

22 October 2008





Osaka, Japan

If you like Kanji, typography in general, and/or online opportunities to ideate and compose in real time… fontpark 2.0 by the Japanese type giant Morisawa may be your cup of tea. Check out the gallery first, then “play and create” at will. (thanks for the fun link, Cameron).

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