Don't think I've ever mentioned this: I'm a cyclist. There, I've said it. I cycle. Not proper cycling I mean. Not, going out for a run at the weekend cycling. I just do a bit of cycling to work because it'll probably save my life and anyway, it's actually quicker than driving because the traffic in the morning sucks cycling. But I still love it and one effect of it is that I like cycling stuff more than I did when I wasn't a cyclist. So yes, the Olympics was trully "awesome". Wiggy and all that stuff. Brilliant.
John McD is a proper cyclist and tweeted a link to these ace ads by Mother New York earlier today. You can read a bit more about them here.
I'd originally titled this post "Mrs Heller". Ordinarily, that would be a terrible way to introduce someone like Louise Fili, but it is interesting that that is who she is…isn't it? Well, I thought so but as time's passed, I've felt it more and more innapropriate…I certainly didn't intend to give even the slightest suggestion that Fili is in any way in the shadow of her other half. In fact, a quick flick through Elegantissima (the first volume to celebrate her amazing work) and you'll be left in no doubt, Fili is clearly the one half of this particuar graphic design couple with the lion's share of the talent. Which Mr H quite openly admits himself in the book's introduction.
I imagine the work itself is not for everyone; it is a particular kind of work. Rich in apparent retro-style, there's no stripped back Helveticapseudomodernism. There is, on the other hand, page after page after page of hand-crafted beauty. At times it feels like a particularly american kind of graphic design although Fili herself may not like that description - in her opening text she emphasises her passion for Italy.
Perhaps the publication of Elegantissima is timely, following as it does that amazing volume on Herb Lubalin who she worked for before eventually setting up her own studio. And I can't help but mention that it was Fili who encouraged Ms. Hische on the creative path she chose.
Over all, it feels like this is a book well overdue.
We have a mystery on our hands. OK, a pretty small mystery but nevertheless, it's a mystery that begs answers. Path buddy Tim Fowler, from here, here and here, sent his copy of Forster's 1908 classic (well, actually, the 1955 Penguin edition).
But look at the title. Odd "A"s.
Now you can imagine how this might happen. Way back in 1955, Penguin's jobbing typesetter, momentarily distracted by thoughts of lunch and a rather tasty swan sandwich his wife had lovingly prepared for him the evening before, lifted a Gill Sans "A" out of the type tray and slipped it into position, not noticing that it didn't match the other he'd slotted into place just a few seconds earlier.
Hardly his fault. His job was to assemble the lead, he didn't put the wrong "A" into the tray. Perhaps a cleaner had found it kicking around the floor and thinking he was being very helpful and thinking that there's nothing to this type matching lark, dropped it into the little wooden compartment along with all the other "A"'s. They looked the same. An "A" is, after all, an "A".
Fast forward fifty seven years and there's a bunch of saddoes (myself and Tim inlcuded) scratching their typographically interested heads wondering about the anomaly. Of course, identifying the rogue "A", the second one, is one challenge.
What I would really like to know is whether this error really went unnoticed. It must have been printed in its thousands. Curiously, the peculiarity has been reproduced on modern deck chairs and canvas prints - perhaps it was never corrected.
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."
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.