I'm pretty sure it was Antonio at AisleOne who, unknowingly, pointed me towards Display; Kind Company's archive of important graphic design books. Some for sale, some not; like these amazing things. With cover designs by Yves Zimmermann, these copies of the Swiss Typo/Printing magazine Typografische Monatsblätter (or just TM for short) were published in 1958. Earlier this year Grain Edit featured some slightly earlier, equally superb cover designs for TM from 1956. And Jonathan (Insect54) Turner has copies from '68 on flickr.
We all love our coffee, don't we? I love my coffee. I don't drink tea but love my coffee. I love the ritual of making coffee. Favouring the stove-top method, epitomized by the classic Bialetti Moka Express coffee maker, every morning I love the process of emptying, rinsing, filling, waiting...pouring and of course, drinking. Black, one sugar please.
I believe IKEA to be a pretty ethical company (do correct me if I'm wrong) so I assume that that price is rock bottom for a sound reason (perhaps because it's got no handle, for example). But it's a beautiful cup. Well proportioned and exactly the right size for the amount of coffee my "everyday" coffee maker makes and it sits perfectly in my hand. "But it's got no bloomin's handle!", I hear you cry, "what good is a coffee cup without a handle!". Well, you see, I think that's exactly what makes this cup so beautiful, so very well designed. Because you can only hold it comfortably when the coffee is exactly the right temperature to drink. There's no sitting around, holding your cup, waiting for it to cool down; it's too bloody hot for that! And when it's ready, it nestles in your palm so not only do you experience your perfectly brewed cup of the black stuff at the optimum centigrade but you get the added comfort of a warm cup in the hand. And the value of that on a cold winter morning is not to be under estimated.
So whether intentionally or not (and I suspect the "not" may be more likely) the cup is more than a mere vessel for your essential AM caffeine fix, it amplifies the morning coffee experience. Which is pretty good going for a 25p cup*.
* Although technically, I think it's a beaker, if you want to be pedantic.
Serious but pertinent reading for my Christmas break, Jan Conradi's book about Vignelli and his white coated mates looks like it's not for the faint-hearted; more for the hardcore modernist sympathiser. Don't let my thumbnails deceive you, it's relatively low on pics and high on words but I'm rather excited about getting the inside track on the people that brought us that New York Transit Authority ID, pioneered grid use and championed graphic standards.
I flippin' love a Bartholomew map, specifically this era (late 60s). It's partly the richness of colour and intricacy of the actual maps (just isolate a small section to study!)...
...but largely it's because of the covers. Beautifully structured (setting aside the unfortunate use of &/and) they're brilliantly consistent. And using the simplified land mass to differentiate each sheet was a masterful move. Personally, I think these covers are on a par with Romek Marber's monumentally ace Penguin grid from the same period. So "on a par" in fact I can't help wonder if whoever designed the Bartholomew covers was directly influenced by the paperbacks he was reading.