Ben at Bark Design has very kindly sent me a copy of their self-promo-experimentalism Fig.It Out. Printed in a run of 1000 by Sharman and Co a specialist newspaper printer. It's really great and reminded me how, when I started Ace Jet, it never occurred to me that I'd get stuff sent to me. Like lots of bloggist, I get my fair share of emails/comments highlighting the work of other designers or events, or where I can get cheap viagra or watches (if you want to know, drop me a line). But there's no substitute for actually being sent actual stuff. Stuff is ace. Well, the good stuff is; like Bark's thing. So, thanks Ben! All hail the stuff.
Here we go again: me, spouting on about why you should join the Penguin Collectors Society. It goes like this: it doesn't cost much and it's great, really great. I mean, it's Penguin, so Phil Baines' is in it, Len Deighton's kicking around, Romek Marber's grid is all over the place, Milton Glaser chips in, the list goes on. Pick up a vintage Penguin and look for the design credit...chances are, if you're a designer, it'll be by someone you've heard of. Or if not, and you dig around, you'll probably discover it's someone you should have heard of.
Even if you're not a designer, if you're reading this you're interested in books or collecting or something and that's what the PCS is all about so if you sign up and pay a very few quid you'll get stuff through your door every now and then that'll be really interesting. And perhaps once a year (or is it once every two years?) a book'll turn up and it'll be worth two, three or even four year's of membership fees.
Penguin by Illustrators, which has just been sent out to members, is the culmination of two years of work which started with the second PCS Study Day at the V&A on March 24 2007. The first took place in 2005 and was organised to coincide with Penguin's 70th Anniversary. That one was Penguin by Designers and brought together many contributors from years gone by. The book that followed was superb. This time Penguin by Illustrators and is a more lavish publication. I only got it on Saturday so haven't read much, but flicking through there's plenty to get excited about, including details on key contributors, along with some of their non-Penguin work. What's most pleasing to see is work that's bang up to date, like Victoria Sawdon's work for the Great Journeys series and the stunning work of Coralie Bickford-Smith that I'd mentioned at the end of last year.
If you're not from around here, you may not be aware that July 12th is a special day in the NI calendar. Special because we get the day off, or as was the case this year, the next day off, in lieu. Some people like to spend the day dressing up and marching up and down a bit but many of us don't understand what that's all about and do other things. We went to our nearest National Trust property, Mount Stewart.
It's my age. I'm at that point, with two growing boys, where certain things appeal, when once they didn't. I've been to plenty of NT properties over the years but I feel that it's only really now that I'm appreciating them. They're exceptional. Beautiful. The gardens and grounds are thrilling adventure playgrounds for the boys: with trees grown, it would seem, especially to be climbed, woods grown especially to be scrambled through and lakes designed especially to be fallen into – Seth (3) fell in.
So, blessed by super-fine weather, we had a splendid day outside with the trees and ducks etc. My photos can't capture the real beauty or strength of colour found...out there...but a few things stood out that I wanted to show: There's the pea soup-like pond with it's vivid green (good enough to eat); the leafy magenta carpet (again, the photos don't capture just how vibrant that colour was) and lastly the illuminated canopy.
Next week we're camping at Castle Ward so armed with camera, boots and beard I'm sure I'll be bringing back more crusty outdoorisms.