Yet another reason to be on the GF Smith mailing list: a lovely piece to promote their Naturalis range featuring violin maker Juliet Barker MBE. It's one of a series "designed around our conversations with acclaimed craftspeople…", say GFS, "…They support our belief that selecting the perfect materials is a critical part of the creative process".
It would be easy to just enjoy the design of the piece but it's worth reading too. The text gives an insight into Barker's motivations for choosing her career and her passion for her craft. It reminds me, very clearly, of one of our clients who's in a similar field. A source of frustration for us as designers, his work is full of rich stories, craft and effortless beauty. Unfortunately, he's not willing, perhaps able, to invest in an effective expression of these values.
Anyway, this piece isn't credited but there's every reason to assume it's designed by MadeThought. Looking forward to the next one.
Applied Works (who, incidentally, do beautiful work) mentioned Retronaut's post of London Film Festival posters from 1957 up to 2010. It's a great collection if, as we agreed, a little patchy at times. For me, the best one was this one for the 10th festival in '66. Would love to know who designed it. Typical of the era's best graphic design it has a feel of Raymond Hawkey. If anyone knows who did design it, please let me know.
Turkish graphic designer Geray Gencer develops typographic posters that focus on social and cultural aspects of his country. Geray explains one of his latest projects:
"Essentially 'Istanbul Deko' is a type design project with a common theoretical base of architecture and typography. It uses an original typeface inspired by the multicultural heritage of İstanbul and designed with details of the city’s historical structures. Then I have produced a typographic poster series about istanbul and its architectural heritage as well."
You can see more of Geray's work on Flickr.
I hadn't heard from Loïc for a while. Then out of the blue, he emailed an interesting link through. Interesting but not quite AS interesting as what he's been up to lately. A little while ago, after setting up Cligne Cligne Magazine, he met the head of French publisher Didier Jeunesse Michèle Moreau. Interested in Loïc's knowledge of long forgotten children's books, one thing led to another and Moreau asked Loïc if he'd be interested in managing a collection dedicated to "awesome children's books, unknown to most".
The plan is for Didier Jeunesse/Cligne Cligne to, periodically, publish "lost" children's classics with two done and two or three more to come next year. Here's a little more, from the publisher, about the first two:
Isn’t it ironic? One of the oldest books by Ann Jonas is also the one that looks like it had been drawn this very morning. The editor Susan Hirschmann was already working with Jonas' husband Donald Crews when she asked graphic designer Jonas to create something for children. She devised two books: When You were a Baby and Two Bear Cubs. The latter was first published thirty years ago but, strangely, was never reprinted.
Peter is back and he’s quite unhappy: he can’t whistle! This is the second of seven books featuring this young character written and drawn by Ezra Jack Keats between 1962 and 1972. And what happens? Almost nothing, or rather, a series of small experiences that make childhood rea. In this story, as in the others, the author gives back his own experience of the city as a kid.
Both books are skillfully illustrated: Ann Jonas' work clearly that of a graphic designer; simple black line work and flat colours from a limited palette. Meanwhile, Keats' illustration are beautifully textured and witty.
Forty years after Colorplan was first developed, GF Smith have maked the occassion with a top notch promotional double act: An open bound tabbed reference piece showing the colour range paired with a playful celebration "in three acts". The former is straight forward, a little retro and useful; the latter is ingenius, tactile and witty; incorporating folds, cuts and contrasts. Fantastic work, designed by MadeThought, that continues the paper company's tradition of outstanding design.
Franklin Gothic was my first favourite typeface. Way back in…ehum…19…ehum…when I was just starting out as a typographer it was Morris Fuller Benton's no-nonsense 1902 hit that became a staple for my enthusiastic Piet Zwart mimicry. Whether it was a technically correct tie-in, I'm not sure.
So I was delighted to see, a few months back, a homage to the condensed version of the typeface letterpressed by Blush Publishing as part of their Assorted Types series.
Pauline Clancy is an MA student at the University of Ulster studying Mutlidisciplinary Design. Pauline very kindly sent me a copy of her new self-promotional piece: A set of screen printed cards that piece together and reveal her pre-occupation with semiotics. Check out her website or blog for more typographics.
Last week I got an urgent email from Geneva. They needed a high resolution scan of my Swissair brochure for an exhibition of Swiss infographics. Happy to help I dug out the piece and brought it into work to scan. I was a bit busy so it took a few days to get on to it. An urgent call came in: they were getting impatient, could I get it done over the next couple of days. You know, the scans. The scans I was doing for nothing. For the exhibition I'd never get to. Could I get on with it? Of course! I nipped downstairs to our print shop friends who have a bigger scanner. But still, it could only be done in three sections per side. That was OK, I'd splice them together in PS. No problemo. Nearly done. One more section to join…
Another email came it: they'd found a copy of the leaflet. They didn't need mine anymore.
Now call me a grumpy old git but don't you think, after putting me under a bit of pressure, that was a bit rude? The fact that they'd found a copy, well, if that had been me, and I'd nagged someone I didn't know, who I wasn't paying…I'd have just kept quiet. Let it play out. If I hadn't delivered, it would have been OK. The onus would have been on me.
But I won't go on about it.
Anyway, if anyone would like high res scans of this, retouched and spliced togther, colours adjusted and images despeckled, let me know and I'll share a Dropbox folder with you.
I mentioned a week or so back that a few of us were in Belfast's Linen Hall Library for the launch of a book we'd designed. Well, Sam Irwin did it really. I can only take credit for supplying the vintage typewriter he used to tap out the entire text. It was a labour of love and it's a testimony to all his hard work, attention to detail and commitment to the cause that at the launch no one, I mean absolutely no one, mentioned either Sam or Thought Collective. No one.
We were sitting there, a few rows from the back. Smiling through the first set of thankyous, not worrying too much that we weren't mentioned because there was plenty of time left. They singled out all the other parties involved, quite rightly. Made a particular effort to thank the photographer involved. But when the final round came…nothing.
But the thing is, I'm not joking that it's a testimony to to Sam's diligent work that no one noticed the design. That's what we set out to do: undesign it. Only problem is, for that to be successful, it should mean it goes unnoticed. It wasn't noticed. Result.
To get the full story, pop over to the TC blog.