Design Observer Launches “Observer Editions” Imprint With Blurb

Partnership with Blurb produces four new print publications

San Francisco, Calif.—October 08, 2015— The Design Observer in partnership with Blurb, has announced the release of four new print publications as part of their new imprint, Observer Editions. The four publications include three books and one magazine. Design Observer is the leading international online forum for news and commentary about design, urbanism, social innovation, and visual culture.

The publications draw from the rich archive of Design Observer content as well as the winners of the prestigious AIGA Fifty Books, Fifty Covers competition. The collection includes: Massimo Vignelli, Collected Writings; William Drenttel, Collected Writings; The Quarterly: Volume One, and Fifty Books, Fifty Covers 2014.

“Design Observer is a preeminent authority on design and they should bring their remarkable work to the printed page,” said Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO, Blurb. “The old way of publishing meant securing an agent and negotiating a deal. That book then becomes part of someone else’s imprint and creative control was lost. Now it’s easy to launch an imprint and Design Observer can leverage their own voice and directly reach their audience with the Observer Editions.”

“Blurb’s creative publishing platform allows us complete creative freedom to seamlessly design and print our own books and magazines,” says Jessica Helfand, Creative Director of The Design Observer Group. “We are proud to have our first four Observer Editions printed with Blurb.”

The four publications include:

Massimo Vignelli, Collected Writings, a collection of essays on the Italian design legend Massimo Vignelli, originally published on the Designer Observer blog, where a lively comments thread has long been a trademark. These original comments are included with the essays by such leading designers as Michael Beirut, Jessica Helfand, and Steven Heller, to create a unique portrait of Vignelli and his work.

William Drenttel, Collected Writings, a collection of Bill Drenttel’s writings for the Design Observer that reflected his conviction that design had the capacity to help us understand, transform, and improve every aspect of human life.

Fifty Books, Fifty Covers 2014, a catalog of the winners of the prestigious 50 Books, 50 Covers design competition for books published in 2014 with a foreword by Dave Eggers.

The Quarterly: Volume One, The Acoustic Issue, a quarterly themed magazine, the first issue focuses on sound and its relation to design.

The Blurb partnership with Design Observer was launched in May, 2015, with the Thesis Book Project, a collaboration between The Design Observer Group and Blurb that recognizes exceptionally designed student books produced and printed, on demand, using Blurb tools. The first cycle was completed in June 2015 and there will be a new call for entries in January 2016. Students can go to for further details.

About Blurb®
Blurb® is a self-publishing platform and creative community that enables individuals to design, publish, share, sell, and distribute photo books, trade books, and magazines in both print and digital formats across the globe using its free, innovative book creation and layout tools. Founded in 2005 by Executive Chairman, Eileen Gittins, Blurb has nearly 2 million independent book authors worldwide, resulting in 3.9 million unique book titles, with more than 14 million units shipped to 80 countries around the world. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and can be found online at