Graphic design within reach
Designers are made, not born. Madison College’s noncredit graphic design certificates are an unintimidating, affordable way to make the acquaintance of industry standards InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop or to brush up on skills for professional and personal endeavors.
Cost: $507 (Professional Graphic Design Certificate I and II: $169 per class)
Where: Madison College, Foundation Centre 119, 3591 Anderson St.
It bag for everyone
Use the 15-inch Kånken backpack for the weekend, work, unexpected trips to the grocery store, or school. This durable bag carries everything you need in true Scandinavian minimalist style. Its exterior, made from “Vinylon F” fabric, repels moisture, meaning bad weather won’t send you scurrying for cover.
Where: Fjällräven Madison, 559 State St.
The iMac is a sleek, obsessively designed instrument (with attendant software) for carrying out state-of-the-art dreams. With Retina 5K display screen and more applications than you can shake a stick at, the iMac and Creative Cloud go together like John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.
Cost: 27-inch iMac from $1,799 (includes Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 or Magic Trackpad 2), Adobe Creative Cloud $599.88 per year.
Where: The Apple Store, 18 West Towne Mall
Designed for viewing
Films don’t get any more stylish than the 1930s screwball classic Design for Living. Art director Hans Dreier collaborated with the film’s producer-director, Ernst Lubitsch, on numerous other projects. Based on Noël Coward’s play, the film is less a madcap romp than a pre-Code story of unconventional love among three artists. (Fun fact: Theater legends Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt, whose estate Ten Chimneys is within easy driving distance of Madison, starred in the Broadway original with Coward, their good friend and frequent guest.)
Cost: $24 DVD, $32 Blu-ray
Industrial Strength Design: How Brooks Stevens Shaped Your World was written by the impeccably credentialed former UW-Madison adjunct professor Glenn Adamson as the catalogue to accompany the Milwaukee Art Museum show dedicated to the work of industrial design don and Milwaukee native Brooks Stevens.
Cost: $28 hardcover/$11 paperback
Where: Area bookstores, Milwaukee Art Museum gift shop
Tiny table with major impact
Designed by husband-and-wife design titans Charles and Ray Eames, the Herman Miller Eames wire base low table is a versatile mid-century classic that fits any interior whether arranged four deep as a coffee table stand-in or doing bedside table duty.
Cost: $205 and up