Simon Griffee · Design · Photography · Writing · Illustration

What: education

Milton Glaser

A color drawing of a dog by his dead owner’s feet and a typewriter.
Milton Glaser’s poster for the Olivetti Valentine typewriter.

Today I called my mother in Italy and she told me she read in a newspaper there that Milton Glaser died last night, on his 91st birthday. Mom has one of Milton’s posters that he gave to me, and I gave to her. Although she never met him she was, like many, touched by his work.

It took me a while to absorb this, but tears came as I waited in line at the farmer’s market, later in the morning.


The Core 100 Logotype Design

Core 100

Columbia University’s Centennial Celebration of its Core Curriculum has begun and you might spot a strange Core 100 logo here and there around the campus. Having designed the logotype, I wanted to give a visual overview of the work involved in making it.

Notebook page with Core 100 logotype design notes.


Remembering Leonardo da Vinci 500 Years After His Death

A deluge drawing by Leonardo made on the end of his life.
A deluge, c.1517–18, by Leonardo da Vinci. Black chalk, pen and ink, wash. 16.2 × 20.3 cm (sheet of paper). RCIN 912380. Larger version at Wikimedia.

Taking a moment from current life flux to note that Leonardo da Vinci, a great human being, died 500 years ago on 1519 May 2nd.


Centennial Celebration Logotype for Columbia University’s Core Curriculum

The Core 100 logotype in the corner of the frame of a detail of Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People.

A glimpse of the logotype design for Columbia University’s Centennial Celebration of the Core Curriculum.

The background image in this test is a detail of Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People.

It has been a pleasure to work with Columbia College on this project.

The Door Problem #

Liz England explains work roles in a game company.

Tips for Limiting Social Media Information

A pencil drawing of labels attached to eachother. The top label has the word ‘data’, and the lower label has the letter ‘m’, written in morse code.
A pencil drawing representing metadata — data about data — which is often used by social media sites to track their users.

Some advice for using social media while limiting access to your information:


Complementary Books & Videogames

A list of good book and videogame pairings, last updated 2018 March 28:


Lake Mareotis View Towards Temple of Sekhmet in Yamu, Egypt, Ptolemaic period (49–47 BC), February 2018

Assassin’s Creed Origins has quickly become one of my favorite games through the breathtaking realization of its world alone. It is visually and aurally — both sound effects and music — beautiful, a stunning technical and artistic achievement.

It is also lots of fun, and an educational “Discovery Tour” version is forthcoming, as are more street photos of this digital world as I explore it (the in-game photography-mode feature is a great idea which should become a standard in all 3D games.)

Perceptive Game Writing

A pencil drawing of a woman walking and holding a notebook and a sword.
Illustration by Simon Griffee.

Computer games increasingly shape young people’s education as we are surrounded by computers, even carrying them in our pockets.

This can be positive, but like our attention, and most things that we make, the majority of games and commentary about them are shallow, so it is worthwhile to shine a light on good writing about games.

Here are some favorites.


The Challenge of Art to Psychology, New York City, April 2017

The basic inquisitiveness of the human mind serves the fundamental desire of the human to establish meaningful relationships between himself or herself and the world, and (intrinsic to that process) to put his or her personal stamp on some aspect of the surround.

—Seymour B. Sarason, The Challenge of Art to Psychology, pp. 68–69.

Odyssey Mentoring Program Logotype

Odyssey Mentoring Program logo.

Trivium Art History Project #

The humanities are losing funding in academia, and people don’t see art history as relevant to their lives. Trivium’s goal is to bring art history back to culture.

Life on the Infinite Farm #

Book to teach children the concept of infinity (PDF).

Learning to Program in Python

A drawing Monty Python’s foot from the original in Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time.
The Python programming language was named after the BBC’s comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus created by, among others, John Cleese. Perhaps this in itself says much about the language.

A friend with no programming experience asked how to learn to program a computer using the Python language, so I wrote this list:

Learning How to Learn #

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