Penguin Books has launched an ambitious web project to promote and accompany Khaled Hosseini's novel And The Mountains Echoed, which will be released in paperback in the spring. A page-for-page 'digital companion' to the book, the site features 402 different mini experiences for fans to explore...
Created by Dare Toronto for Penguin Canada, The Echo Project (echoproject.ca) is a mix of videos, illustrations, audio recordings and interactive puzzles, and aims to allow readers to explore the themes contained within the novel in more detail. Watch the film below for more info on the project:
The Echo Project is the latest example of how publishers are experimenting with digital technology to reach out to new readers or launch books in an unusual way. Penguin previously collaborated with the London office of Dare to create the MyFry app to accompany Stephen Fry's second autobiography, which allowed readers to enjoy Fry's book in a non-linear fashion via mobiles.
The team at Dare Toronto was inspired by the way that newspapers and other mainstream media outlets are now incorporating music, video, maps and interviews to tell news stories in a rich and dynamic way. "A similar thinking was behind The Echo Project," says Dare Toronto ECD Paul Little. "The difference for publishing is, and what we were concerned with, was to not ruin mental pictures or to take away from what's great about reading. This is a companion to the reading experience."
Khaled Hosseini has contributed to the website himself, alongside other authors and artists, and Canadian editors and TV personalities. Each contributor was invited to choose a page from the novel that inspired them and suggest what could appear on the corresponding page on the website. Some contributors actually provided a finished page for the site, but most simply told the creative team at Dare how they felt when they read the page in the book, and the agency then developed the web page on their behalf.
The site includes historical information about some of the scenes included in the novel, which journeys from Kabul to Paris, to San Francisco and to the Greek island of Tinos. It also references items intrinsic to Afghani culture, including wedding traditions and recipes. Some pages of the site are also deliberately left blank, with readers invited to propose ideas for what should appear on these.
If you're a freelance illustrator, you might have thought about getting yourself an agent. But what exactly can they do for you and your work, and how do you go about approaching one? We talked to four agents to find out...
For our recent illustration special issue, we organised a round table discussion with four agents – Helen Rush, director of Rush Agency; Victoria Pearce, senior agent at Illustration Ltd; Caroline Thomson of Arena Illustration; and Claire Meiklejohn of Meiklejohn and New Division agencies. They talked through everything from how they get their illustrators work to negotiating contracts, fees and rights.
In addition to the topics discussed below, the four of them also shed light on new trends within the industry; how agents can help illustrators to manage their own style and exposure and develop a long-term career, whether as a recent graduate or an established freelancer. An edited version of the discussion is presented below.
CR: How do you go about getting work for your illustrators? Do you still place value in showing a physical portfolio, for example?
Victoria Pearce: There's a whole armoury. When I started out as a junior booker for a photographic agent 20 years ago, it was just based on the reputation that you built with your client. Sending portfolios over by courier, hoping one would get selected. Now you have to be as competitive as you can digitally. You need a well-designed, optimised website backed up with the traditional forms of promotion. We first reacted to the digital age by doing e-marketing and newsletters, but now we're all aware that people's inboxes are terrifying things to open every morning – so there are opportunities for print promotions to stand out.
Helen Rush: It's so nice to see something in a decent format that you can hold and see in print. And the majority of the time it is going to end up in print. But when we show work, it is always backed up with an iPad so people can zoom in and see all the details. And the volume of work on an iPad means we can carry around much more.
Claire Meiklejohn: When you have meetings, it's also an opportunity for the person you're visiting to get away from the screen. Your mind becomes clearer as you look at something physical.
VP: I saw a fantastic presentation by a young graduate illustrator, Chris Gilleard, who we've recently taken on. He had a small traditional portfolio but then each project was extended by a digital presentation on the iPad – all these long continuous scrolls. But from a purely selfish point of view, with a physical portfolio it was always very difficult to get the edit correct if I was seeing different people. It wasn't flexible – so the iPad was the answer.
HR: We have loose-leaf portfolios that we change depending on who we go to see, as well as individual portfolios for the artists, then iPads for animations. You can't do all that on your own though, it's hard work!
Caroline Thomson: In the main, it's really recommendations from a client – they recommend us to the illustrator. Obviously, we have to love the work, and we might then have a six month trial period and go from there. We also go to student shows; we've picked up a lot of people from D&AD's New Blood, and we have affiliations with certain universities, so we see the illustrators coming out of them before the shows.
CM: The amount of submissions is always tricky to manage, as it's huge. But you get quick at going through them. You know what you're looking for, you can tell.
CR: And what is it that? Can you quantify it?
HR: No! It's a bit like falling in love, isn't it?
VP: Yes, it's seeing the work and getting a shiver down your spine. It is like sieving for gold though, because of the sheer numbers we get as a large agency. We have on average over 200 submissions a month through the website.
CT: You have to be really honest as well. We're a small agency, so we don't really take on that many people a year, two or three. And we find we have to be really honest, as much as we might love what they do, will we get them the work?
CM: You also might already represent someone similar. And even when you've got to the point where you like their work, what's their personality like, what's their background? We talk to our illustrators a lot, the relationship is absolutely crucial.
CT: And you have to learn about how they work. Even how long it takes them to do a piece of work. It sounds obvious, but it really is true – it's important that you know that, so you can tell the client.
CM: We've been representing some of our illustrators for over 15 years. But every new person we take on, in my mind, we're still going to be repping them in 15 years. It's long-term.
CR: Can we talk about fees and rights? What factors determine how you work out these aspects of a project?
HR: Yes; exposure, territory. And the client budget.
CT: It's all based on the exposure of that image. Is it worldwide, or just regional?
CM: So it's actually a lot of factors, and while it's probably very simple for us because we do it all the time, unfortunately a lot of independents fall into not necessarily knowing how to price things.
HR: I think they just lack the experience. When I was training someone in pricing things up, we both wrote our figures down and I'd say, ‘Well I don't know how I got to that'. But it's experience, it really is. Having a feel for what you're doing.
VP: A younger freelance illustrator might just be flattered to be asked to work. But they aren't thinking of the bigger picture: that the client wants to work with you specifically because they like your style in order to sell their product. The illustrator is part of that selling, that promotion and so there's a value to that. And you need to be very careful about that value. A really useful point of call can be a membership with the Association of Illustrators (AOI) who have a telephone hotline. They are there to help you specifically with costing as part of the membership.
CT: I was part of the pricing survey that they did recently. In the members' section online it gives you examples of certain parts of the industry; like ‘a book cover on somebody else's book with a UK publisher' and there's a fee bracket for that. But rights are changing so much, with ebooks and audio downloads – an image might now be on the audio account, too. And most publishers are now also thinking about worldwide usage, as many of the big publishers are global.
CT: So many clients say to me, ‘We will retain the copyright'. But it's not theirs to retain, it's the illustrator's, it's their intellectual property. And in the majority of cases, when an illustrator comes up with their own characters, backgrounds and scenes, it's their IP, their copyright. So it's only for the client to buy, or make use of - they can't retain it.
CR: For those thinking about working with an agent, could you sum up what it is you look after for an illustrator? And is there an ideal time to work with one?
HR: It's about supporting somebody and developing a career. When we take new grads on, that's what we do – show them what to do and build a portfolio.
CM: Generally speaking the portfolio they come in with is not the one they're going to work with, it needs to be produced into a commercial portfolio. The right samples and subject matters are crucial. But most important are the fees and the contracts.
CT: Yes, knowing always to ask for money for something – not to do free work, on the whole.
CM: Some people seem to think that if they do work for free this time, they'll be paid next time. And we've all been in the industry long enough to know that at the moment you do it for free, that means you work for free! That will carry on.
VP: We probably take on fewer graduates as we like people to be a couple of years out of university – to have come out with these high expectations, spent a year getting them dashed. So they're starting to market and promote their own work with clients, and managing the process. But one important piece of advice would be to separate yourself from your work – see it as a business and create a business plan for your work over a year or two years. By separating your creative from yourself you can see it objectively and strategically.
CT: After two years they'll probably have a better idea of whether their work is selling, for a start, but also they might be getting to a point when they're really quite busy. And that's the problem with illustrators – the busier they are the fewer clients they are able to see. And that's when an agent is really handy, because we do the business side of things and they can get on with being creative.
CM: Yes, if you're at the point in your career when you're very busy, that's the other area when we come into our own as well. Lots of people presume that if you're really busy you don't need an agent because you're getting the work in. But actually that's exactly when you do need an agent.
HR: I remember one of our artists getting a great job but they weren't used to pricing. He said, ‘Oh I'll do it for a couple of thousand'. We got him £68,000. That's a life-changing amount of money.
VP: There can be a perception with agents that we can be unfriendly, that we're the bad guys, but we're not, we're here to facilitate and help everybody in the process. And, hopefully, make everybody happy by negotiating the best deals all round. Us then invoicing clients frees illustrators up. And it can be hard to chase up that client who might well be the same person who commissioned you.
HR: It's quite easy for us to ask for more money; it's sometimes very different to ask for more money for yourself.
CR: What else can new graduate illustrators do to get their portfolio into shape?
CM: You need to know where illustration is being used. Go into WHSmiths, look at the editorial - that's how to develop your portfolio. All the work you've done in university should be about honing your skills. So the briefs you've responded to aren't necessarily enough like ‘real life' - you need to know your market. The easiest way is to be commissioned, but you can set your own briefs. Look through a magazine and find an illustrated article, that's your real life brief. Set yourself ten from ten different magazines, then you've produced ten pieces of work for your portfolio which are as ‘real' as you're going to get them.
CT: Many new illustrators don't think about the end-user and I think that's because of what's happening with illustration courses at the moment: because of the situation with the fees you're getting a lot of students who perhaps would have done fine art being pushed into illustration, because it's deemed commercial. But it's not commercial unless you want it to be commercial; it's as ‘fine art' as you can get it if you want. College is a great place to experiment, but if you want to go out and get work then you do have to think, ‘Who's going to buy my work?'
HR: And push yourself - don't just pick the safe and easy magazine articles to work from - be tough with yourself so your work is always moving. Remember it is a rollercoaster. Even the busiest illustrators have quiet patches.
Claude the Lion by Sean Sims, designed for the Queens Jubilee celebrations through the Greeting Cards Industry Show, PG Live (New Division)
CR: Finally, have your own opinions on what illustration is – and can do – changed over the years you've been in the industry?
VP: I think there'll always be a place for illustration because what it offers is a unique identity to clients and brands. They want something very distinctive.
HR: And you can work with anybody from anywhere in the world.
CT: I still think of it as being the most basic, most fundamental communication tool out there. It is specifically designed to communicate an idea, sometimes with text, sometimes without. But in the most simple and graphic terms it's an amazing tool.
VP: With the rise of digital media, I felt some of the magic and the art was being lost in photography. With illustrators, still working by hand, I could see the art was there. I'd love to see more use of fashion illustration within an editorial context, though – to one day see a return to an illustrated Vogue cover, if there's an art director out there who's got the balls to do that. In fashion photography there are a lot of fantasy images but some of it is too objectifying, there's too much retouching. Looking at illustration, I know it's pure fantasy. It has a sophistication.
CM: When someone uses illustration it just stands out from the crowd, from editorial through to advertising. It's the medium that is going to grab your audience's attention.
For GraphicDesign&'s latest book, Golden Meaning, 55 creatives were asked to interpret mathematical concept the golden ratio. Responses include some witty and inventive work exploring how graphics can be used to convey complex or abstract theories...
Golden Meaning is the second release from GraphicDesign&, a publishing venture set up by Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright. The first, Page 1, featured 70 designers' interpretations of the first page from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations and offered a look at the effects of typography on reader experience (you can read our blog post on it here).
The golden ratio - also known as the golden mean or divine proportion - was first studied in Ancient Greece and has been used for centuries by artists, architects and even composers to create work with harmonious proportions. Contributors to the Golden Meaning were asked to create work based on this theory and have produced illustrations, mnemonics, typefaces and interactive software.
Malika Favre created a silhouette of a woman using a golden ratio grid (above), while Bibliotheque devised a mnemonic to help people remember the golden ratio as an angle:
Oli Kellett doctored a portrait of himself in accordance with a template devised by a retired US surgeon that uses the golden ratio to determine how a beautiful face should look:
Other designs consider how the golden ratio relates to our everyday surroundings - such as Mark Hudson's, which compares the proportions of everyday objects, from a Mars Bar to a pack of playing cards.
And some involved a creative approach to coding: Face37's Rick Banks and Tom Duncalf used Processing and the Fibonacci code to generate a typeface, and Sennep used coding to create a visualisation examining the relationship between the Fibonacci code, the golden ratio and the patterns on the head of a sunflower:
Not all of the works are entirely mathematically accurate but each presents a thoughtful, creative way of visualising a complicated theory. By choosing contributors from a range of countries, disciplines and age groups, Roberts and Wright have compiled a diverse collection that challenges traditional notions of how we can visually convey abstract ideas.
Illustration by Rose Blake highlighting the short period of time when the height of a parent and their child equals the golden ratio.
Julia's submission, which matches numbers in the Fibonacci sequence to words in the Oxford English Dictionary.
"We invited contributions in batches," says Roberts. "This allowed us to see how the book was progressing and ensure we had a real mix of work.
"We were keen to include illustrators, who are lateral thinkers by trade, but we also wanted plenty of contributions from typographers and some from creatives with a more mathematical or scientific background, such as The Luxury of Protest [which specialises in data visualisation]," she adds.
George Hardie chose to represent the golden ratio using wine.
The book was compiled with help from Guardian blogger and mathmetician Alex Bellos, who suggested using the golden ratio as the key concept.
"We discussed a few options with Alex and thought this was a fitting choice, as it's often associated with aesthetics and creating things of beauty," explains Roberts. As Roberts points out, the standard dimensions of a paperback also use the golden ratio - something Erik Spiekermann addressed in GraphicDesign&'s first title.
Homework drew a 'golden ass'...
As well as providing an interesting read for designers and mathmeticians, Roberts hopes the book will help make maths more accessible.
"As with all GraphicDesign& projects, our ambition was to show how the knowledge and practice of graphic designers, typographers and image-makers is uniquely capable of shedding light on ideas," explain Roberts and Wright in their introduction to the book.
The pair are already working on a third title about religion, and hope to release a range of books marrying design with a range of subjects.
And Jessica Nesbeth used hair to illustrate the golden mean.
Our March issue is a craft special and examines how a range of creative work was made, including Maya Almeida's underwater photographs and a 3D-printed slipcase by Helen Yentus. We also explore the science behind Jessica Eaton's extraordinary images, and go behind-the-scenes of new ads for Schwartz and Honda...
On top of all that we look at the BBC's new iWonder platform, review the Design of Understanding conference and books by Wally Olins and on the Ulm School of Design, and Paul Belford explains the power behind one of the most famous posters from Paris 1968.
The March issue of Creative Review will be available to buy direct from us here. Better yet, subscribe to make sure that you never miss out on a copy – you'll save money, too. Details here.
Opening the issue, our Month in Review section looks back at the The Lego Movies' 'ad break takeover'; Black + Decker's new identity; the return of the Old Spice guy; and the debate around the new Squarespace Logo service.
Daniel Benneworth-Gray raises a sleep-deprived toast to working through the night; while Michael Evamy's Logo Log salutes the Mobil identity on its 50th anniversary.
Our craft features begin with a look at the work of underwater photographer, Maya Almeida. Antonia Wilson talks to her about what it takes to create her beautiful images...
And Helen Yentus, art director at Riverhead Books in New York, talks us through her radical 3D-printed slipcase she recently designed for a special edition of Chang-Rae Lee's novel, On Such a Full Sea. (Yentus also created this month's cover.)
Rachael Steven looks at the thinking behind iWonder, the new online storytelling platform from the BBC...
...While six of the objects that appear in BarberOsgerby's In the Making show at the Design Museum are featured – each one 'paused' midway through its manufacture and beautifully shot by György Körössy (two pound coin shown, above right).
Antonia Wilson also talks to photographer Jessica Eaton about the process behind making her stunning images of cubic forms.
And Eliza Williams discovers how over a hundred sacks of spices were blown up in a new ad for Schwartz...
... while a more sedate approach is explored in a behind-the-scenes look at Honda's Inner Beauty spot from Wieden + Kennedy.
We also look at why VFX is becoming more invisible, and (above) look at the latest trends in packaging.
In Crit, Nick Asbury reviews Wally Olins' new book, Brand New...
...Mark Sinclair reports back from the recent Design of Understanding conference...
... and Professor Ian McLaren looks at a new book on the influential Ulm School of Design, which he attended in the early 1960s.
Finally, this month's edition of Monograph, free with subscriber copies of CR, features photographs of Norfolk by designer Pearce Marchbank.
The March issue of Creative Review will be available to buy direct from us here. Better yet, subscribe to make sure that you never miss out on a copy – you'll save money, too. Details here.
Art director and illustrator Kate Moross has published a book offering advice for aspiring creatives and a look at her impressive career so far...
By the time Kate Moross was 21, she had set up a record label, designed a clothing range for Topshop and created work for Cadbury's, Sony, Vice and Dazed & Confused.
We first featured Moross as one to watch in 2008, when she was in her final year of a graphic design course at Camberwell College of Arts. In the six years since, she has set up a successful studio and produced record sleeves, music promos and campaigns for an impressive range of clients, including MTV, Jessie Ware, Disclosure, Paul Smith and Ray Ban.
As someone with a career that many twice her age would be proud of, Moross is well-placed to advise future generations on achieving success - which is what her forthcoming book, Make Your Own Luck: A DIY Attitude to Design & Illustration, aims to do.
As its title suggests, Make Your Own Luck is a guide to creating your own opportunities - something Moross has done since her teens, when she designed the school magazine and sets for school plays. She also made flyers for local gigs and club nights, designed Myspace profiles for bands and created logos and avatars for anyone and everyone she could.
"I followed a simple DIY ethos inspired by the riot grrrl and punk music culture that I had been absorbing...through pirated music, gigs, zines and, more importantly, the Internet," she says in her introduction. "I didn't emerge into the world with a fully formed style or approach. Rather, I've worked hard for years," she adds.
The book stresses the importance of self promotion throughout, offering advice on setting up your own website and selling your own prints. It also provides a guide to agreeing fees and rates, being sensitive to clients' wishes without compromising your style and sticking to your creative vision even if your tutor doesn't 'get' it.
But while she offers plenty of tips for students hoping to make the most of art school, Moross also stresses that having a degree isn't everything. "When I read a job application I don't look at the CV until after I've looked at (and liked) the portfolio," she says. "Having a Bachelor of Arts doesn't make you employable. Experience is just as important," she says.
As well as being full of practical information, Make Your Own Luck is a hugely enjoyable read. It's littered with examples of personal and commissioned projects - from t-shirt designs and large scale murals to music videos and packaging - and the thoughtful commentary provides a fascinating insight into how Moross works. Designed by Praline, it features doodles by Moross throughout and the cover image, a collection of objects showing her range of work, was shot by photographer John Short.
For anyone interested in starting a career in a fiercely competitive industry, Make Your Own Luck is an essential read. It's also an inspiring book for fans of Moross' fun, varied and colourful style. As Neville Brody says in a foreword to the book, "Kate Moross is...brilliant, creative, fun and unique. And obsessed. You have to be. To not only survive but prosper in this industry requires all the driven craziness you can muster."
Make Your Own Luck: A DIY Attitude to Design & Illustration is available to pre-order and will be published by Prestel Publishing on March 24. For details, click here.
A collaborative project from photographer Jason Orton and writer Ken Worpole, documents the changing landscape of the Essex coastline. We talk to Orton about his work as a photographer and the beauty of the forgotten landscape...
The book traces a rich history of cultural tradition and artistic heritage, connecting social-historical contexts and patterns human settlement with the changing ecology of the region. Worpole explores how writers and artists have been drawn to the area, since, post WWII, perceptions of the aesthetics of Englishness have shifted away from a romanticised view of rural life, and attention and value has turned towards contested eastern shorelines.
Orton's photographs echo this, capturing these unique landscapes, and often liminal spaces, where town meet country and land meets sea. They depict vast "edgelands" of ambiguous coastline, new hybrid spaces, occasionally dotted with familiar relics of past human activity - windswept estuaries, bleak and beautiful marshlands, industrial and military ruins, and overgrown, abandoned outhouses.
In many of these depopulated and now wild landscapes, there is a sense of both desolation and wonder. As Worpole suggests, "at the tide's ebb, there can be an overwhelming sense of emptiness in a world bereft meaning", but also, "a sense of wonder at the edge of things is plainly evident in children when they first encounter the sea. There is no landscape in the world as magical - or whose spaces are so immeasurable - as a tidal beach."
CR: Can you tell me a bit about your background - how did you first get into photography?
JO: I was brought up in a small village just outside Plymouth. After studying at Essex and Warwick Universities I worked for a government quango for five years, and then took a Diploma in Photojournalism at the London College of Printing. I worked as a editorial photographer for newspapers including The Telegraph and The Financial Times and then shifted direction, concentrating on long term personal projects.
When I moved to London it was important for me to get to know the city in a way that would enable me to cope living there. I began to use photography as a way of understanding the place.
CR: What were your earliest creative influences and interests?
JO: If I'm honest I don't think I was particularly creative when I was young, and I can't recollect having a camera until my late teens. However, being brought up in a small village by the sea, I was always exploring the landscape and coastline nearby.
CR: How would you describe your aesthetic?
JO: Possibly warped! I believe that my notion of what is a beautiful landscape is somewhat different from what is usually considered beautiful. I have no strong desire to photograph grand, dramatic, ‘sublime' landscapes. I have an interest in visually representing the overlooked landscape. They are generally places where there is some evidence of former human activity (through farming, mining, industry etc.).
CR: What draws you to landscape photography in particular?
JO: I still believe that photography, and particularly landscape photography, has an important role in establishing concrete knowledge about a particular place. I am interested in how photography can be used as a counter to those who would prefer to treat certain types of landscape as having no intrinsic value. Beyond photography, I am interested in what people value within a landscape, the ways that they connect with the landscapes around them, and how photography can explore the relationship between landscape, history and memory.
The Wells Fireworks Factory project in Dartford, Kent, (pictured above) had a focus on how nature constantly re-appropriates forgotton spaces. These corrugated iron sheds, which for obvious reasons were spaced apart from one another, survive in an overgrown landscape of elder bushes and buddleia. How do structures like these feature in debates about what should be preserved in landscapes that are earmarked for regeneration? I would argue that they constitute an important part of the post-war history of Dartford Marshes and should be preserved in some form. Unfortunately, developers frequently see landscapes like these as blank canvases that can be cleared or levelled flat. The specifics of place are something that they'd prefer not to deal with.
CR: How would you describe your process, including collaborative projects such as recent publication The New English Landscape?
JO: First and foremost I'm a walker. It's the desire to walk a landscape that sometimes manifests itself in the making of these photographs. But not always. It is very rare that I visit a landscape with a pre-determined idea about how I will photograph it. I like to re-visit them and then see how the photography develops over time. I like the idea of a how a particular landscape can work its way into people's consciousness.
The New English Landscape explores the relationship between text and photographs. The writer, Ken Worpole, and I have worked together on several previous projects and intuitively share similar interests, pre-occupations and approaches to visual and historical details. Our starting point is that text and photographs should work independently, although our common interests inevitably mean that there is often an affinity between the two. We walk together on a regular basis and some of those walks have been the starting point for collaborative projects.
CR: Where do you find inspiration?
JO: I would probably say that most of it comes from outside of photography, although there are of course photographers whose work has inspired me, notably the British landscape photographer Jem Southam.
But inspiration can come from simple encounters. I was recently spending time in Plymouth and one morning while walking into the city centre I met a woman who does the same walk on a weekly basis. She was aware of the subtlest changes in the landscape, and was concerned about the implications - it's that intense connection with a landscape and place that inspires me.
CR: What items are in your must have kit?
JO: Not much in the must have kit... Ordnance Survey Map, two cameras, including a Mamiya 7ii film camera with 65m and 80m lenses, film, light meter, bananas, nuts and raisins.
CR: What is the best thing about being a photographer now? And the worst?
JO: Not sure that I see things in terms of best/worst. I'm curious about what goes on around me, and photography allows me to satisfy that curiosity. And every now and again I get paid for being curious!
CR: Are you working on anything at the moment?
JO: I'm working on a commission for the GLA (Greater London Authority), developing a series of photographs that are loosely based around walks made along tributaries of the River Thames. These will form part of a primer document for a project called the All London Green Grid. As I've already done quite a lot of the photography for this commission, the recent flooding hasn't really affected the work, although this might well be different if I was starting from scratch now.
The New English Landscape by Jason Orton & Ken Worpole is published by Field Station and is available to buy here.
Photographs: Hornsey Island, Essex, Mar 2013; Maylandsea, Essex, Feb 2013; Maylandsea, Essex, Feb 2013; three images from the Wells Fireworks Factory project, Dartford, Kent; Mersea Island, Essex, Feb 2013; Maylandsea, Essex, Feb 2013; Hornsey Island, Essex, Mar 2013; cover and spreads from The New English Landscape.
Unit Editions just announced a new book titled Manuals 1 Design & Identity Guidelines. It’s a study of corporate identity design manuals from the 1960s to early 1980s. The book includes manuals created for NASA, Lufthansa, British Steel, NYC Transit Authority, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC, and more. The ABC manual is from my collection that I’ve contributed.
I’ve been really looking forward to this book. Manuals are such a great learning resources because they’re not only great to look at, but they also give you insight into the rationale and thinking behind each system. You get to experience what the designers were thinking.
The foreword was written by Massimo Vignelli and the book includes text from Adrian Shaughnessy, NASA designer Richard Danne, Greg D’Onofrio and Patricia Belen of Display, Armin Vit, Sean Perkins and John Lloyd.
Chocolate NAIVE is award-winning bean to bar chocolate maker in a countryside of Lithuania. Passion for food is a consequence of being in love. Every love story deserves a book. Chocolate story got the pink one.
“Naive Story About Love, Man and Chocolate” is a debut for writer Arunas Matacius, who is also product developer at Chocolate NAIVE. It is said, that every human has to be surrounded by three persons in order to create personal happiness: one, who listens; second, who listens and ups; third, who listens and downs. The story is about a man, who met those three persons and they all were women.
The Design Museum has announced the nominations for Designs of the Year 2014. The diverse line-up includes life-saving inventions, experimental architecture and some intriguing graphics and digital work...
Seventy six projects have been shortlisted by industry figures and entries are divided into six categories: product, digital, fashion, architecture, graphics and transport. As always, this includes designs chosen for their beauty, orginality or unusual approach - entries include a floating school in a Nigerian lagoon, a watch that allows users to feel the time as well as read it and the ABC Syringe (below), which changes colour when exposed to air thus alerting users to its pre-use or potential exposure to infection.
In the digital category, the screen-based aspects of McCann Melbourne's multi-award-winning Dumb Ways to Die rail safety campaign has been shortlisted alongside Bristol studio PAN's Hello Lamp Post - a platform that allows residents to converse with street furniture using the text function on their mobile phones. (Read our blog post on the project here). Bare Conductive's Touchboard project also offered an ingenious take on interactivity, turning almost any surface into an interface using electrodes.
As well as immersive gaming experiences such as the Oculus Rift headset, the digital category contains some potentially life-saving inventions. The Aerosee (above) is a crowdsourced search and rescue drone that enables smartphone, desktop or tablet users to search mountains in the Lake District for people in danger, and the Portable Eye Examination Kit enables eye exams to be carried out in remote or low-income areas where traditional eye exams aren't possible.
Nominations such as Vitamins' Lego Calendar (above), the allowing studio to visualise how much time they spend on different projects using different coloured bricks (when you take a photo of it with a smartphone all of the events and timings are synchronised to an online calendar), and City Mapper (below) an app that helps users navigate large and complicated cities on foot and public transport, simply make life easier.
Nominees in the graphics category include Experimental Jetset's 'Responsive W' identity for the Whitney Museum (above, which we covered back in July), Marina Willer and Brian Boylan's identity for the Serpentine Galleries (below), and the M to M of M/M Paris: a 528-page book on graphic designers Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustiniak, designed by Graphic Thought Facility (featured in CR Nov 12 issue, read our piece here).
Also featured is the Art Directors Club Annual 91 with illustrations poking gentle fun at the industry (see our post here).
Chris Ware's amazing Building Stories graphic novel (see review by Jimmy Stamp here) in the form of a a boxed set, consisting of 14 distinct printed works-cloth-bound books, newspapers, broadsheets and flip books.
Stephen Jones' issue of A Magazine Curated By, which was dedicated to Anna Piaggi and the art of illustration
Chineasy, a Chinese language learning system created by entrepreneur ShaoLan Hsueh and illustrated by Noma Bar:
James Bridles' Drone Shadows, a series of installations depicting an outline of an unmanned military aerial vehicle promoting Jeremy Scahill’s investigative documentary Dirty Wars:
Grand-Central by Thibault Brevet, an open internet platform that lets people express themselves freely through a tangible output device (see top an above). Users can submit text via their smartphones which is then ‘written' in marker pen by a mechanical printer - creating a physical embodiment of a digital message.
Arts and culture journal, The Gourmand, Created by David Lane (Creative Director), Marina Tweed & David Lane (Founders/Editors-in-chief)
And Anthony Sheret, Edd Harrington and Rupert Dunk's Castledown Primary School Type Family - a typeface commissioned for a primary school in Sussex that evolved into a project aiming to create a unified, dyslexic friendly type system in UK primary schools.
Because of the way it is put together (submissions from 'industry experts' which are then reviewed by a Design Museum-appointed panel rather than a paid-for entry system), Designs of the Year always throws up a quirkier selection than industry awards such as D&AD. That is both a strength and a weakness in that some nominations can appear a little random but there are always delightful surprises and some welcome attention for designers who may not figure in other schemes.
Makoko Floating School in Nigeria, A prototype floating structure, built for an historic water community. Designed by NLÉ, Makoko Community Building Team
Shortlisted entries will be on display at the Design Museum from March 26 to August 25 and you can view the full list of nominations here.
A visitor's vote will be open to the public. The museum is introducing a social vote this year, too, allowing Twitter and Facebook users to choose their favourite of two exhibits from the show each day. Design of the Year is supported by Bird & Bird
Penguin Books has officially revealed a new identity for its relaunched Pelican imprint, home of many a non-fiction classic. Publishing May 1, cognitive scientist Bruce Hood's The Domesticated Brain is one of the first titles to be released...
Earlier today @PenguinUKbooks tweeted two 'reveals' of the redesigned Pelican logo, which is a continuation of the bird in flight designed by Edward Young and used on the series' covers when first launched in the late 1930s. (William Grimmond later refined the design of the logo.)
Art director Jim Stoddart says that the new logo is is part of "a much broader and in-depth project that involves the design of the books, inside and out, and a unified and a creative new web-presence.
"The new Pelican will focus the meeting point between people's hidden interests – whatever the subject – and helping them fill the holes in their understanding with accessible writing from the very foremost experts," he says.
The Pelican series, which became famous for its books on contemporary issues of the day – not to mention its cover design – was discontinued in 1984. Professor Hood tweeted a link to his forthcoming book on February 2 which revealed the new-look Pelican cover design in full.
Another four titles by Melissa Lane, Orlando Figes, Robin Dunbar and Ha-Joon Chang are listed at pelicanbooks.com where visitors can also sign up to a mailing list.
CR will have more details on the design behind the relaunch in the coming weeks.