PBS New York


Peter Buchanan-Smith is a New York–based designer, author, and entrepreneur whose career has included art direction of the New York Times; creative direction for Paper magazine; and work for fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi, musical legends David Byrne, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, and the band Wilco. He is the author of several books, including The Wilco Book, and he has collaborated on many others, including Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style with illustrator Maira Kalman. His first tome, Speck: A Curious Collection of Uncommon Things explores the fascinating lives of ordinary people and commonplace objects. This connection between people and objects is also at the heart of Buchanan-Smith’s most recent venture, Best Made Co., a purveyor of finely crafted tools and an entrée into the symbolic world they conjure.

He speaks around the world about style, design and visual culture and teaches graphic design at The School of Visual Art in New York, and he was a board member of the New York chapter of The American Institute of Graphic Art (2005-2007). Peter has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and blogs around the world and his work has won numerous awards including a Grammy for his design of Wilco’s album A ghost is born.


Photo: Nate Bressler