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New type

Posted: October 24th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Books, Graphic Design, Type / Typography | Comments Off

This month’s pick of new type designs, projects and events includes new releases from foundries Klim and Blackletra, a lovely letterpress printed newspaper and an exhibition exploring type and manual printing methods from Fraser Muggeridge...

Spot Mono

First up, though, is Berlin type foundry and design studio Schick Toikka’s latest release, Spot Mono. Available in four weights with an extended icon set, its design is inspired by contemporary Japanese display typefaces and classic typewriter faces such as Courier.

Images via Schick Toikka

Shick Toikka has produced some great typefaces this year – including a bespoke design for the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York – and this is no exception. To promote its release, the studio has also produced a three-colour risograph printed specimen book (limited to 100 copies). Buy it at schick-toikka.com

Gandur

Blackletra founder Daniel Sabino's last font release was the angular graphic script Haltrix - featured in Gareth Hague's article on type trends in our July issue (which you can read here). His latest type family, Gandur, is the result of an investigation into two ideas: "the intersection of geometry and calligraphy, and the morphological differences between Blackletter and Roman."

"The design began by adhering to a strict hexagonal grid but during its development, slowly moved from a purely geometric to a more pen-based design. This is especially true in the heaviest weights," explains Sabino.

For details, see blackletra.com

Domaine Sans

New Zealand type foundry Klim's latest release, Domaine Sans, is an elegant family of text and display typefaces. The design began with an exploration into sans serifs with contrast and follows the release of Domaine; a Latin serif based on a custom logotype which Klim founder Kris Sowersby designed for wine brand Hardys.

"Sans-serif typefaces with contrast are not very common these days," explains Sowersby on the Klim blog. "I suspect the spectre of Optima inhibits their use. I think Optima is a wonderful typeface—it’s the first cogent typeface with contrast, in my opinion—but anecdotal evidence suggests that amongst graphic designers it’s still quite divisive," he adds.

Domaine Sans Display was featured before its release in New York magazine's Spring Fashion 2014 issue, pictured below, which inspired Sowersby to work with Dave Foster on a Fine version with extra thin hairlines. It's a beautifully crafted design and you can read more about its development here, or buy it here.

Spread from the Spring Fashion issue of New York magazine, 2014. Image via klim.co.nz

Fraser Muggeridge - Mimeographica Alphabetica

Graphic designer Fraser Muggeridge's new exhibition at London's Whitechapel Gallery, open until 30 November, features a striking abstract alphabet display (below), created by overlaying and duplicating stencils. The show explores manual printing techniques and is part of a collaboration with secondary school students from Welling School in Kent. Also on display are two mimeograph printing machines, vintage stencil sets and manuals from Muggeridge's personal collection.

On October 30, Muggeridge is hosting a workshop at the exhibition, followed by a talk from designer Eric Kindel on the history of stencilled texts. For details or to book tickets, see whitechapelgallery.org

Extra Condensed

Extra Condensed is a beautifully produced letterpress newspaper from London printing studio Counter Press, described as an "occasional publication of work, musings and typographic meanderings."

The first issue is eight pages long and printed in black and flourescent orange in an edition of 150. Each page was designed, typeset and printed by hand using wood and metal type. Buy a copy from 27 October at thecounterpress.co.uk


Gratuitous Type - issue 4

The fourth issue of Elana Schlenker's Gratuitous Type - described as "a pamphlet of typographic smut" - features interviews with Claire Huss, Europa, Dries Wiewauters, Table of Contents, Raw Color, Letterproeftuin, Pure Magenta, Kokoro & Moi, Tim Lahan and Emmet Byrne.

As always, it features some fantastic imagery and some lovely touches, from the acetate wraparound cover with gold polka dots to a metallic debossed centrefold. To celebrate its launch, Schlenker is hosting an exhibition at KK Outlet in London until October 31 featuring prints, interactive projects and installations by creatives featured in the issue. You can also watch an interview with Schlenker and magCulture's Jeremy Leslie from this year's Modern Magazine Conference, where Schlenker delivered a talk on the publication, here.

gratuitoustype.com.

Glenfiddich Modern

Purple Creative launched a new brand identity for Scotch whisky Glenfiddich this week - the new logo features a redrawn stag made to look more "anatomically correct". The identity system also features two new bespoke typefaces from Fontsmith: Glenfiddich Modern, a headline typeface inspired by the brand's logotype and Founder's Script, loosely based on Glenfiddich founder William Grant's handwriting.


Images via Fontsmith

Fontsmith and Purple Creative worked with a graphologist to determine key traits in Grant's handwriting, which were adapted to create a more modern typeface with a nod to the brand's heritage. The typefaces will be rolled out across packaging and communications, and Glenfiddich Modern works well alongside the updated, streamlined logo.

 

Cookies - Music for Touching

Music for Touching, the debut album from Cookies (New York musician Ben Sterling), is packaged in a delightful typographic record sleeve designed by Tracy Ma, deputy creative director at Bloomberg Businessweek and Emily Keegin, an artist and creative director who studied photography at the Royal College of Art before moving to Brooklyn.

The vinyl edition comes with a companion newspaper, Tools for Touching, which features 20 images exploring "the sexuality of domestic-life through a series of sculptures fashioned from household objects, from a head massager to a spatula and a toothbrush (see below). It's bold, playful design and a great use of type.

You can order the 12" vinyl here.

Image via cookiesvision.bandcamp.com

Faile - Works on Wood

Works on Wood is a new book from urban art duo Faile (Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller), published by Gestalten. Packed with full-page photogaphs, it's a real visual treat and provides a comprehensive look at the pair's work with wood; from large-scale murals to ink on wood prints and hand carved prayer wheels.

Combining traditional techniques and materials with a an aesthetic influenced by street signs, MTV and advertising, the pair's work features some brilliant hand painted and carved type - much of which draws on signage and lettering found in Brooklyn, where they both live. "The mix of colours, typefaces and advertising verbiage. The wear and tear. The stacking of new upon old. The variety of designs ... are all brilliant in their own way. It all came together to help inform the approach to language and typography throughout our work," explain Miller and McNeill in an introduction. It's a pleasure to read, and featured essays provide an insight into the pair's influences and processes.

Spread showing Choose Your Pleasure, 2009 Acrylic/silkscreen ink on wood in steel frame

Spreads showing boxes stacked in studio in process for Lost in Glimmering Shadows (2003)

Spread showing Prayer Wheels from Lost in Glimmering Shadows.

Spread showing The Plant Building and Mural in Times Square, New York, 2014


New type

Posted: October 24th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Books, Graphic Design, Type / Typography | Comments Off

This month’s pick of new type designs, projects and events includes new releases from foundries Klim and Blackletra, a lovely letterpress printed newspaper and an exhibition exploring type and manual printing methods...

Spot Mono

First up, though, is Berlin type foundry and design studio Schick Toikka’s latest release, Spot Mono. Available in four weights with an extended icon set, its design is inspired by contemporary Japanese display typefaces and classic typewriter faces such as Courier.

Images via Schick Toikka

Shick Toikka has produced some great typefaces this year – including a bespoke design for the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York – and this is no exception. To promote its release, the studio has also produced a three-colour risograph printed specimen book (limited to 100 copies). Buy it at schick-toikka.com

Gandur

Blackletra founder Daniel Sabino's last font release was the angular graphic script Haltrix - featured in Gareth Hague's article on type trends in our July issue (which you can read here). His latest type family, Gandur, is the result of an investigation into two ideas: "the intersection of geometry and calligraphy, and the morphological differences between Blackletter and Roman."

"The design began by adhering to a strict hexagonal grid but during its development, slowly moved from a purely geometric to a more pen-based design. This is especially true in the heaviest weights," explains Sabino.

For details, see blackletra.com

Domaine Sans

New Zealand type foundry Klim's latest release, Domaine Sans, is an elegant family of text and display typefaces. The design began with an exploration into sans serifs with contrast and follows the release of Domaine; a Latin serif based on a custom logotype which Klim founder Kris Sowersby designed for wine brand Hardys.

"Sans-serif typefaces with contrast are not very common these days," explains Sowersby on the Klim blog. "I suspect the spectre of Optima inhibits their use. I think Optima is a wonderful typeface—it’s the first cogent typeface with contrast, in my opinion—but anecdotal evidence suggests that amongst graphic designers it’s still quite divisive," he adds.

Domaine Sans Display was featured before its release in New York magazine's Spring Fashion 2014 issue, pictured below, which inspired Sowersby to work with Dave Foster on a Fine version with extra thin hairlines. It's a beautifully crafted design and you can read more about its development here, or buy it here.

Spread from the Spring Fashion issue of New York magazine, 2014. Image via klim.co.nz

Fraser Muggeridge - Mimeographica Alphabetica

Graphic designer Fraser Muggeridge's new exhibition at London's Whitechapel Gallery, open until 30 November, features a striking abstract alphabet display (below), created by overlaying and duplicating stencils. The show explores manual printing techniques and is part of a collaboration with secondary school students from Welling School in Kent. Also on display are two mimeograph printing machines, vintage stencil sets and manuals from Muggeridge's personal collection.

On October 30, Muggeridge is hosting a workshop at the exhibition, followed by a talk from designer Eric Kindel on the history of stencilled texts. For details or to book tickets, see whitechapelgallery.org

Extra Condensed

Extra Condensed is a beautifully produced letterpress newspaper from London printing studio Counter Press, described as an "occasional publication of work, musings and typographic meanderings."

The first issue is eight pages long and printed in black and flourescent orange in an edition of 150. Each page was designed, typeset and printed by hand using wood and metal type. Buy a copy from 27 October at thecounterpress.co.uk


Gratuitous Type - issue 4

The fourth issue of Elana Schlenker's Gratuitous Type - described as "a pamphlet of typographic smut" - features interviews with Claire Huss, Europa, Dries Wiewauters, Table of Contents, Raw Color, Letterproeftuin, Pure Magenta, Kokoro & Moi, Tim Lahan and Emmet Byrne.

As always, it features some fantastic imagery and some lovely touches, from the acetate wraparound cover with gold polka dots to a metallic debossed centrefold. To celebrate its launch, Schlenker is hosting an exhibition at KK Outlet in London until October 31 featuring prints, interactive projects and installations by creatives featured in the issue. You can also watch an interview with Schlenker and magCulture's Jeremy Leslie from this year's Modern Magazine Conference, where Schlenker delivered a talk on the publication, here.

gratuitoustype.com.

Glenfiddich Modern

Purple Creative launched a new brand identity for Scotch whisky Glenfiddich this week - the new logo features a redrawn stag made to look more "anatomically correct". The identity system also features two new bespoke typefaces from Fontsmith: Glenfiddich Modern, a headline typeface inspired by the brand's logotype and Founder's Script, loosely based on Glenfiddich founder William Grant's handwriting.


Images via Fontsmith

Fontsmith and Purple Creative worked with a graphologist to determine key traits in Grant's handwriting, which were adapted to create a more modern typeface with a nod to the brand's heritage. The typefaces will be rolled out across packaging and communications, and Glenfiddich Modern works well alongside the updated, streamlined logo.

 

Cookies - Music for Touching

Music for Touching, the debut album from Cookies (New York musician Ben Sterling), is packaged in a delightful typographic record sleeve designed by Tracy Ma, deputy creative director at Bloomberg Businessweek and Emily Keegin, an artist and creative director who studied photography at the Royal College of Art before moving to Brooklyn.

The vinyl edition comes with a companion newspaper, Tools for Touching, which features 20 images exploring "the sexuality of domestic-life through a series of sculptures fashioned from household objects, from a head massager to a spatula and a toothbrush (see below). It's bold, playful design and a great use of type.

You can order the 12" vinyl here.

Image via cookiesvision.bandcamp.com

Faile - Works on Wood

Works on Wood is a new book from urban art duo Faile (Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller), published by Gestalten. Packed with full-page photogaphs, it's a real visual treat and provides a comprehensive look at the pair's work with wood; from large-scale murals to ink on wood prints and hand carved prayer wheels.

Combining traditional techniques and materials with a an aesthetic influenced by street signs, MTV and advertising, the pair's work features some brilliant hand painted and carved type - much of which draws on signage and lettering found in Brooklyn, where they both live. "The mix of colours, typefaces and advertising verbiage. The wear and tear. The stacking of new upon old. The variety of designs ... are all brilliant in their own way. It all came together to help inform the approach to language and typography throughout our work," explain Miller and McNeill in an introduction. It's a pleasure to read, and featured essays provide an insight into the pair's influences and processes.

Spread showing Choose Your Pleasure, 2009 Acrylic/silkscreen ink on wood in steel frame

Spreads showing boxes stacked in studio in process for Lost in Glimmering Shadows (2003)

Spread showing Prayer Wheels from Lost in Glimmering Shadows.

Spread showing The Plant Building and Mural in Times Square, New York, 2014


Designa: technical secrets of the visual arts

Posted: October 23rd, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Art, Books, Graphic Design, Illustration | Comments Off

A new sourcebook aims to reveal the secrets behind the many of the patterns and symbols that occur in the traditional visual arts. From Celtic and Islamic designs, to studies of curves, perspective, symmetry and the 'golden section', Designa is a real box of delights...

 

The book is actually composed of six previously published editions from Wooden Books, with various appendices included to provide further context. And each chapter – ostensibly one of the six books published between 2007 and 2013 – is at once scientific and philosophical about the process of design. After all, much of the work charted here is centuries old, the product of cultures from all over the world. It's had a lot of time to prove that it works.

 

Designa brings together observations of the natural world and astronomy, optics, geometry and mathematics to show how the visual arts are heavily indebted to science. If your creative practice involves drawing and designing patterns – or incorporating them into your work – then this packed book unlocks the secrets to countless aspects of the artform.

"We harness lines to make our world, to bind language into time, to connect and protect, surround and select," runs a typically enigmatic line from Adam Tetlow's chapter on Celtic Pattern.

In an age where trends speed by from one day to the next, Designa looks at the foundations of pattern, line, shape and symbol that will no doubt be in place for generations to come.

Designa is published by Wooden Books; £14.99. See woodenbooks.com. It is available from Amazon UK, here.


The Art of Smallfilms

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Art, Books, Illustration, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

From the puppets created for Bagpuss and The Clangers, to the paper cut-outs that shaped the world of Noggin the Nog, the archive of Smallfilms has been meticulously detailed in a new publication from Four Corners Books. It's both a celebration of handmade creativity and a tribute to British eccentricity and imagination...

The book has been put together by Jonny Trunk who is, as comedian Stewart Lee suggests in his introduction, something of an archivist of British popular culture. Trunk's methods as a cultural excavator are, Lee says, a perfect fit for a visual history of one of the UK's most cherished creative companies.

 

Eva Herzog's highly detailed photography captures all the figures, puppets, sets and drawings used to create The Clangers, Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine and Noggin the Nog, plus a selection of Smallfilms' lesser known series, including The Pogles and Pogles' Wood, Tottie: A Doll's House and Pinny's House. Each object is documented, quite rightly, as a piece of art.

Smallfilms was the result of Oliver Postgate's belief that he could make better children's television programmes than those being aired in Britain in the late 1950s.

As a stage manager for ITV he made props for science programmes and sit-coms and, in 1958, after a brief experience of children's television, he wrote a six-episode story entitled Alexander the Mouse, which was then commissioned by the channel.

To make the backgrounds and character design for the programme, Postgate contacted Peter Firmin, a freelance illustrator and lecturer at the Central School of Art in London.

 

After collaborating on an early animation technique whereby characters were moved around on a zinc table via magnets held underneath, the pair worked on carboard constructions which were animated live by levers and sliders positioned behind the card.

Postgate eventually purchased a camera and taught himself to animate, while Firmin, based in Twickenham at this time, began to construct 3D models and puppets. The raw materials were essentially household objects that they had to hand – fabrics, cotton reels, computer tape and foil would be mixed with felt, paper, wire and glue.

When the Firmin family moved to a farmhouse in the village of Blean in Kent in 1959, the outbuidings and barn provided Smallfilms with a workshop studio.

Shortly afterwards the Postgates moved to nearby Whitstable and The Pingwings and the The Pogles (1965-68, spread shown above) became their first animated films to use models (the latter was filmed outdoors, something that Postgate later advised against ever doing again because of the ever-changing light).

 

As a general rule, Trunk writes, Postgate would come up with a series idea and Firmin would produce the sets, models and puppets – which Postage would then film. Firmin's wife Joan was also integral to the process: she made many elements for the programmes, including costumes and clothes and even the knitted Clangers themselves (above).

Soon enough, Smallfilms became something of a cottage industry – albeit a small-scale, highly imaginative one – that went on to produce the children's classics which would make its name in the 1960s and 70s, namely: The Clangers (1969-74), Bagpuss (1974), Ivor the Engine (1958-59 in b/w and 1975-77 in colour, two spreads shown below) and Noggin the Nog (1959-65 in b/w and 1982 in colour).

 

While Firmin (now 85) has clearly kept the Smallfilms archive extremely well preserved, credit must go to Trunk and Four Corners for pursuing the idea of bringing it all together in book form.

Herzog's photography is so good that the experience of looking at the pictures of these well-known characters from yesteryear feels more like quietly studying them in an exhibition.

 

In his introduction, Lee states that the danger in enthusing about this kind of work is that fans of it can appear reactionary; the world in which Postgate and Firmin created these films has changed forever:

"The social circumstances and value systems that shaped those paper and scissors, arts and crafts cowshed visionairies of another era, Firmin and Postgate, are long gone," he writes.

But to see this world preserved in such a beautifully produced book is a real treat. And perhaps something of Postgate and Firmin's method lives on, or has been renewed, in the digital age. Their adherence to salvaging and recycling things, using their hands to turn unassuming objects into a brilliant kind of folk art, still speaks to the modern audience.

The Art of Smallfilms – The Work of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, edited by Jonny Trunk and Richard Embray, is published by Four Corners Books; £25. The book is designed by John Morgan and features photography by Eva Herzog. Art direction by Morgan and Kirsten Hecktermann




Hans Eijkelboom’s People of the 21st Century

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 | Author: Eliza Williams | Filed under: Books, Photography | Comments Off

We are used to seeing photos of people who stand out on the street – those who are snapped by fashion mags for having a 'look' all their own. But what about the rest of us? We might just find a place in Hans Eijkelboom's new book, People of the 21st Century...

The book, published by Phaidon, chronicles a body of work created over a 22-year period. Each page features an assemblage of shots all taken in an individual place: Eijkelboom sets up camp for a short period in an area of a city (usually a busy shopping district) and then picks a 'type' to photograph. The grouping could be made through a particular item of clothing, or object, or by a behaviour – couples walking arm in arm, for example. The day's shots are then organised as a group and dated.

 

The book is fascinating to flick through – in part to see the changing fashions (remember when everyone was wearing lumberjack shirts?) but also in the deeper questions it provokes. Are we all fashion automatons? Do we not have any unique style? When advertising is so often focused on promoting the idea of free expression and individuality, it is somewhat disheartening to see that in actuality, we all end up looking the same.

Eijkelboom describes his work as being rooted in "identity" and states that this project was sparked by a desire to explore his place within a society dominated by commercialism. "When I started the project, I wondered whether I was a product of the consumer society, rather than my own man," he says in a recent interview. "I wanted to make the series almost as a mirror, in which to see myself. If I can see the surrounding society, then I can see what makes me who I am. I think ‘how can you be so naïve to go to a shop, to buy clothes that sum up your personality, and not realise that, at the same time, 10,000 men and women around the world do and think the same things?’ But I do it too, of course. We’re told we’re individuals, and we buy these things, and we are a product of the culture that we live in."

In the introduction to the book, David Carrier argues that beyond the common factor grouping the figures, much diversity is revealed, yet it is difficult not to see Eijkelboom's work as a statement about our conformity and desire to fit in. This is reinforced by the snatched style of the images – Eijkelboom grabs his shots via a remote trigger hidden in his jacket pocket, so the passers-by are oblivious to being photographed. The style sets his work apart from other recent photographic projects such as Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York, which, through the combination of short interviews and carefully shot portraits, serves to highlight the individual rather than the crowd.

Eijkelboom's work draws comparison with Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek's Exactitudes project, which also groups people according to their clothing styles, though in a more formal setting. It also falls within a lineage of documentary photography that includes the work of Martin Parr. Yet there is something undeniably contemporary about Eijkelboom's exploration of conformity and individual expression, and also in his demonstration of the fact that we are more conscious than ever that our clothes are vehicles of self-expression. Even if it turns out that lots of other people express themselves in exactly the same way.

People of the 21st Century by Hans Eijkelboom is published by Phaidon, priced £24.95. More info is here.


The Art of Smallfilms

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Art, Books, Illustration, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

From the puppets created for Bagpuss and The Clangers, to the paper cut-outs that shaped the world of Noggin the Nog, the archive of Smallfilms has been meticulously detailed in a new publication from Four Corners Books. It's both a celebration of handmade creativity and a tribute to British eccentricity and imagination...

The book has been put together by Jonny Trunk who is, as comedian Stewart Lee suggests in his introduction, something of an archivist of British popular culture. Trunk's methods as a cultural excavator are, Lee says, a perfect fit for a visual history of one of the UK's most cherished creative companies.

 

Eva Herzog's highly detailed photography captures all the figures, puppets, sets and drawings used to create The Clangers, Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine and Noggin the Nog, plus a selection of Smallfilms' lesser known series, including The Pogles and Pogles' Wood, Tottie: A Doll's House and Pinny's House. Each object is documented, quite rightly, as a piece of art.

Smallfilms was the result of Oliver Postgate's belief that he could make better children's television programmes than those being aired in Britain in the late 1950s.

As a stage manager for ITV he made props for science programmes and sit-coms and, in 1958, after a brief experience of children's television, he wrote a six-episode story entitled Alexander the Mouse, which was then commissioned by the channel.

To make the backgrounds and character design for the programme, Postgate contacted Peter Firmin, a freelance illustrator and lecturer at the Central School of Art in London.

 

After collaborating on an early animation technique whereby characters were moved around on a zinc table via magnets held underneath, the pair worked on carboard constructions which were animated live by levers and sliders positioned behind the card.

Postgate eventually purchased a camera and taught himself to animate, while Firmin, based in Twickenham at this time, began to construct 3D models and puppets. The raw materials were essentially household objects that they had to hand – fabrics, cotton reels, computer tape and foil would be mixed with felt, paper, wire and glue.

When the Firmin family moved to a farmhouse in the village of Blean in Kent in 1959, the outbuidings and barn provided Smallfilms with a workshop studio.

Shortly afterwards the Postgates moved to nearby Whitstable and The Pingwings and the The Pogles (1965-68, spread shown above) became their first animated films to use models (the latter was filmed outdoors, something that Postgate later advised against ever doing again because of the ever-changing light).

 

As a general rule, Trunk writes, Postgate would come up with a series idea and Firmin would produce the sets, models and puppets – which Postage would then film. Firmin's wife Joan was also integral to the process: she made many elements for the programmes, including costumes and clothes and even the knitted Clangers themselves (above).

Soon enough, Smallfilms became something of a cottage industry – albeit a small-scale, highly imaginative one – that went on to produce the children's classics which would make its name in the 1960s and 70s, namely: The Clangers (1969-74), Bagpuss (1974), Ivor the Engine (1958-59 in b/w and 1975-77 in colour, two spreads shown below) and Noggin the Nog (1959-65 in b/w and 1982 in colour).

 

While Firmin (now 85 – and still working) has clearly kept the Smallfilms archive extremely well preserved, credit must go to Trunk and Richard Embray at Four Corners for pursuing the idea of bringing it all together in book form.

Herzog's photography is so good that the experience of looking at the pictures of these well-known characters from yesteryear feels more like quietly studying them in an exhibition.

 

In his introduction, Lee states that a minor danger in enthusing about this kind of work is that fans can appear reactionary; the world in which Postgate and Firmin created these films has long since ceased to exist: "The social circumstances and value systems that shaped those paper and scissors, arts and crafts cowshed visionairies of another era, Firmin and Postgate, are long gone," he writes.

But to see this world preserved in such a beautifully produced book is a real treat. And perhaps something of Postgate and Firmin's method does live on, or has been renewed, in the digital age. Their adherence to salvaging and recycling things, using their hands to turn unassuming objects into a brilliant kind of folk art, still speaks to the modern audience.

The Art of Smallfilms – The Work of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, edited by Jonny Trunk and Richard Embray, is published by Four Corners Books; £25. The book is designed by John Morgan and features photography by Eva Herzog. Art direction by Morgan and Kirsten Hecktermann




AOI Illustration Awards 2014

Posted: October 17th, 2014 | Author: Antonia Wilson | Filed under: Art, Books, Illustration | Comments Off

There's some wonderful work on show at Somerset House this month as part of the AOI Illustration Awards 2014. Here are some the winning images and other highlights from the shortlisted work...

The Awards are open to illustrators around the world, working in any medium, and are assessed by judges from the industry, including commissioners, publishers and artists. Overall Professional and New Talent winners are selected from a shortlist of winning work across eight categories - Books, Children's Books, Self Initiated, Advertising & Design, Editorial, Public Realm, Research & Knowledge Communication, and Research & Knowledge Communication.

We love the elusive, smug little bird (above) in Chris Haughton's SHH We have a plan, which won the Children's Books Category (Professional).

 

Charlotte Halsey created a 3D piece called Wandering in Circles (Part Two) from 3000 individually hand cut paper curls (New Talent, Self-Initiated). The delicate detail in her work is mesmerising. (Pictured above)

Also shortlisted in Self Initiated, was Michael Parkin's screenprint Where There's A Will There's A Whale. (Pictured below)

And Aaron Meshon's pen and ink Brooklyn! map won the Self Initiated category (Professional). (Pictured below)

Jasu Hu was the New Talent winner in the Advertising and Design category with this series for World's End Clothes, inspired by the architecture of Louis Kahn. (Pictured above)

Andy Ward's series of posters for a mental health campaign for the University of California's Santa Cruz campus, was the Professional winner this category. It certainly answers the client's request for a "no holds barred assult on the eye with a 100% artificial colouring approach"). (Pictured above)

What's not to love about an owl in 3D glasses... as seen in Jonathan Burton's poster for the Athens Open Air Film Festival (shortlisted for Advertising & Design, Professional). (Pictured above)

Also from Burton, a series of surreal illustrations for Douglas Adams' Life, the Universe and Everything, commissioned by The Folio Society, which was shortlisted for the Books category (Professional). (Pictured above)

And winning in the Books category for New Talent was Katie Ponder for her dark collage series The Rite of Spring, inspired by Stravinsky's music of the same name. (Pictured below)

Winning the overall Professional Award and in the Books category, was Geoff Grandfield's illustrations for Mary Renault's set of historical novels The Alexander Trilogy, created using chalk pastel on printmaking paper. (Pictured below)

And winning the overall New Talent award, and in the Children's Books category (New Talent), was William Grill for his beautiful colour pencil illustrations for Shakleton's Journey, reinterpreting a historical expedition for a younger audience. (Pictured below)

Prosopagnosia by Johanna Roehr won the New Talent Award in the Research & Knowledge Communication category, illustrating a condition also understood as 'face blindness', where the ability to recognise faces is impaired. This is part of an on-going project by Roehr, called dis•order: A Visual Dictionary of Curious Neurological Phenomena. (Pictured below)

David Doran, won in the Editorial category, for New Talent, for his commission for The New York Times Book Review, which accompanied a review of Dennis Bock's novel, Going Home Again. (Pictured above).

And Fabricating Art, by Laurindo Feliciano, for Flaunt magazine won in this category for Professional. (Pictured below)

The shortlist for this category also included this political illustration called Cameron's Cuntry, by Paolo Fiore (New Talent), complete with Fiore's take on Cameron's campaign poster. (Pictured below)

It's well worth checking out all the shortlisted work on the AOI website, and there's also an exhibtion of selected work on at Somerset House in London, until November 2.

This includes some great work from the shortlist for the Children's Books category, including Yeji Yun's fishy characters for the ancient Korean folk tale The Rabbit and the Dragon King, Zoom Zoom Zoom by Katherina Manolessou, and some awesome infographics in Grundini: Body Book by Peter Grundy. (All shortlisted for the Professional award, pictured below, top-bottom).

www.theaoi.com

www.somersethouse.org.uk


Win these six books in our #1mCR pile up!

Posted: October 16th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Photography | Comments Off

As part of today's #1mCR Twitter fun we are giving away a couple of splendid prizes, including this set of six new titles from Laurence King. To be in with a chance of winning them, all you have to do is get your visual-thinking hat and read on...

As we reached 1m followers on Twitter this morning, we thought we would like to say thank you for helping us get there and offer up a great prize for one lucky CR reader.

Publishers Laurence King have kindly dontated six new books for us to giveaway (as displayed above).

They are: Draw Paint Print Like the Great Artists by Marion Deuchars; Fifty Years of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegen and Caroline Roberts; TM by Mark Sinclair; Editorial Design by Cath Caldwell and Yolanda Zappaterra; Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera by Robert Shore; and 100 Ways to Create a Great Ad by Tim Collins.

As we're celebrating a digital achievement, for this competition we thought we would turn the focus onto our other love: print. So to win this fine selection of paper-based objects, all you have to do is correctly guess the height of the pile when the six books are placed on top of one another*. Old school competition! (*Not end on end! Books will be piled up on top of one another, you know, in a conventional book-piling manner.)

If it helps, page numbers (and dimensions) of each of the books are available on the LK website. But you're a canny lot – and we reckon someone can have a decent go at guessing the combined thickness of all six. If you guess correctly, or if you come closest to the exact figure as verified by our ruler-wielding friends at the publishers – you win the stack.

A few pointers:

– Answers in millimetres, in the comments below, please. Remember to leave your name and also email address along with your guess. If you don't leave an email we won't be able to contact you if your guess is correct.

– Tt would be wise to try and plump for a figure that no-one else has guessed so far, but in the event that the correct answer is left by several commenters, the first to have left the answer wins.

– The competition closes on Monday October 20th at 11am. Any answers posted after this will not be counted. The correct answer and winner's name will be published on the post later that day.

Good luck!

This competition is now closed – Winner announced!

Thanks to everyone who entered, but we can now reveal the winner of the six Laurence King books.

The height of the pile of six books was measured at LK HQ and confirmed as:

151 mm.

Our winner is "Stephanie" who was the first (and only) person to guess 151 mm correctly at 16.08 on October 16. Well done Stephanie! An email is on its way to you now.

To celebrate reaching one million followers on Twitter, we're also offering 30% off all subs packages until midnight (GMT) on Friday October 17 – go here for details.


Can I get an RT? CR’s most retweeted stories

Posted: October 16th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Photography, Type / Typography | Comments Off

CR reached 1m followers on Twitter today, so we thought we'd take the opportunity to look at some of our most retweeted stories and, if you're a CR follower, tell you a bit more about the million-strong gang you're part of. To celebrate, we also have a great CR subscription offer for you...

Thanks to our followers we've just reached a milestone on Twitter – to celebrate that fact we're offering 30% off all subscriptions packages until midnight (GMT) on Friday October 17 – go here for details.

Our very first tweet, sent out on February 23 2009, read "Creative Review's first tweet". We like to think that it was this kind of in-depth yet pithy analysis that helped us on our way to reaching a million followers this morning.

Looking back over our 14,000 or so tweets (exporting data from Twitter Analytics) many of them certainly did OK, plenty did very well, but a select few went RT-crazy.

In fact, two of our most popular tweets ever were sent out within the last couple of months: one linked to a story on the design of Aphex Twin's highly-anticipated new record; the other linked to images of, yes, some radical Norwegian banknote design. A look back at the stats reveals that our followers are interested in a huge range of subjects.

So, where are you from?

Well, according to TweepsMap, 29.1% of our Twitter followers are in the US, 26.3% in the UK, 3.5% from Canada, and 3.2% in India.

Indonesia represents 3% of our Twitter audience. It's a very international crowd with a further 8.7% of followers based in 191 different nations. Listed by city, the top five places are London (6%), New York (3%), LA (2%), Jakarta (2%) and Washington DC (1%).

And what do you like?

The results show that it's as wide a set of subjects as our audience is international – and also reflects the breadth of creativity CR aims to cover.

Using MyTopTweet we can bring up the most retweeted CR tweets of our last 3,200 but, again, exporting from Analytics and reordering the data gives us a better idea of what was popular over the last two years.

Our most retweeted RTs or MTs – i.e. retweets of images tweeted by other people, or links to external sites – include a shot of a Dutch bricklaying machine in action, a Richard Jolley cartoon for Private Eye and the news that twelve of Tom Gauld's Guardian strips are now – or at least were at the time – available as prints.

But looking at the most retweeted tweets that link to our own blog stories, there was a really interseting mix. So, here's the top ten, covering the last two years.

1. We've noticed how images have become key to Twitter over the last few years and this one, which linked to details on our just-published World Cup issue, seemed to sum up the state of the beautiful game:

 

2. One of Twitter's strong points is the ability to get a message out and have it shared by a community with a common bond, even if the news is rather sad:

 

3. Sometimes the subject matter can be a little suprising (here, banknote design) – but when it looks this good, it demonstrates how great work can get people talking about all manner of things:

 

4. No surprises here. Aphex Twin + new album + packaging by the Designers Republic x internet = RTs. A very popular tweet and blog post.

 

5. This one for a homeless charity in London also did well – a clever idea which produced some great artwork:

 

6. And this is powerful stuff, too. Also, the campaign certainly seems to have had an effect, as Lego recently ended its links with Shell:

 

7. This is great as it's our most retweeted tweet which links back to the Feed section of our site. Great creative work from Istanbul:

 

8. Transport for London are a perennial CR Twitter favourite when it comes to communications projects produced for them. Add cycling into the mix and you have yourself a tweet with legs:

 

9. And back to the World Cup. How to design a football kit – keeping to the FIFA rules:

 

10. Our tenth most retweeted tweet was news of Peter Chadwick's launch of his fantastic archive of images of Brutalism:


The above is certainly an eclectic mix – but the link between them all is great creativity.

To say thank you for following us, keep an eye on the blog today for new offers on magazine subscriptions, plus we have a great selection of books from Laurence King up for grabs.

CR is on Twitter at @creativereview.

To celebrate reaching one million followers on Twitter, we're also offering 30% off all subs packages until midnight (GMT) on Friday October 17 – go here for details.


Small Publishers Fair 2014

Posted: October 6th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Art, Books, Type / Typography | Comments Off

Over fifty independent UK presses are set to attend the Small Publishers Fair at London's Conway Hall this November, offering attendees the chance to check out a range of books by writers, poets, artists, designers and composers...

On Friday 14 and Saturday 15 November, the Conway Hall on Red Lion Square will host the free event which aims to showcase the best in small press publications; from artists' and fine press books, to 'zines, pamphlets and other printed ephemera.

This year's special exhibition, Herman de Vries – Books and Editions (first shown in the Van Abbemuseum in Einhoven, 2013-201), is curated by Herman de Vries and publisher/art dealer, Peter Foolen.

According to the organisers, the show includes an overview of "artist books, catalogues, cards, earth rubbings, dried plants and leaves, editions as well as publications from de Vries' Eschenau summer press". The works on display are from Foolen's own collection, extended with works on loan from the artist. (Peter Foolen Editions will also publish a small book on occasion of this exhibition.)

The Small Publishers' Fair 2014 is at Conway Hall, Red lion Square, London WC1R 4RL from November 14-15, 11am to 7pm. There will be readings and book launches on the Saturday. More at smallpublishersfair.co.uk, facebook.com/smallpublishersfair and via @smallpublishers. Photographs by Caspar Evans