So, on Wednesday night Bruno Maag made a return appearance at UU as part of the Art and Design Fest linked to the Degree Shows. Particularly pleased to see him (I couldn't make it last time) off I trotted and what a treat it was; Bruno's infectious enthusiasm and opinionations make for a fascinating and entertaining talk.
Now, being a bloke and only able to do one thing at a time I didn't take notes, choosing to take photos instead so although this might be a bit disjointed what I thought I'd do here is provide annotations for some of the pics and just hope that the points are interesting enough. I doubt it will do justice to a vibrant and funny talk, and it will certainly skirt around some crucial points Bruno made to the largely student audience about the importance of craft and attention to detail.
The talk didn't kick off with that picture of Adolf et al having a knees-up in their lederhosen but it's a corker isn't it? The future Führer doesn't look too happy with his flower arrangement. Bruno used it to accompany a point about the Nazis mastery of branding.
Other Maagisms included: Why does Subway insist on telling you who they are three times? If that restaurant can't be bothered to include the crucial full point in their price, what can you expect from their food? Helvetica is not Johnston. Never trust a bank that uses VAG. And, one hour's work makes the Jonathon Saunders logotype 100 times better. Those weird diagrams, that look like something from Archigram, show letterforms being hinted (which I still don't understand) and (thank God!) Southampton is considerably more legible than it used to be.
I know, I shouldn't knock it. Getting anything published in my world is pretty cool. It can be surprisingly useful too. A considerable number of years ago I had a notion I wanted to work in New York and with a little help from two periodicals of the day that had printed my name alongside some bits of work I was (amazingly) awarded a visa. Not your usual common-or-garden visa either; one for "an artist of outstanding ability" or something like that. Don't ask me how I managed it but I did and having work in print helped.
So, like I said, I shouldn't knock it. And in fact, even though it's been a long time coming, the new book about blogs has turned out well. Only problem is, and I know from Twitter that at least a few bloggers have also acknowledged this, it's taken so long and the blogosphere moves so fast that the book seems somewhat contrary to the nature of the blog, highlighting a flaw in the idea of publishing a book about blogs. The grabs on my spread, for example, are almost exactly two years old and some bloggers have completely re-skinned their pages (a number of times) since the call for entries.
But I really shouldn't knock it. It's still very flattering to appear in print. Even if you're in amongst another 200, it really is still nice and at least for me, Ace Jet's not changed that much and the entries featured are good ones. That Neon entry is one of my favourites and those big Clarendon letters are still up on the restaurant around the corner from us and that atlas is still brought out regularly at home to show the boys which cloud formations are floating about.
So no, I'm not knocking it. I'm in print. Cool. Whoo Hoo!
Design Week readers will probably have found one of these dropping out of last week's edition. Now with the recent addition of a full set of italics (not featured on the specimen but detailed online) Effra feels, to me at least, to be kind of Gotham-esque but perhaps a little warmer/less perfect (in a good way). Anyway, it's timely because the Maagster returns to Belfast this week to talk at UU again, as part of the Ulster Festival of Art and Design. I missed him last time so I'm really looking forward to it. He's on at 7pm, I presume in the usual place and it's a mere £4 to get in.