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Reely and Truly: a new film on photography by Tyrone Lebon

Posted: October 31st, 2014 | Author: Eliza Williams | Filed under: Music Video / Film, Photography | Comments Off

Filmmaker and photographer Tyrone Lebon has created a new documentary that offers a loose portrait of over 20 photographers at work, and muses on the nature of photography today...

The film, which is shown below, features some of the most significant figures in contemporary photography, from Juergen Teller to Mario Sorrenti, Nobuyoshi Araki to Ari Marcopoulos. Yet it is as much an account of a personal journey for Lebon: shot in a cinema vérité style, it chronicles his thoughts and experiences in making the piece (including phone calls to his father, Mark Lebon, another acclaimed photographer), and also features many different shooting styles and techniques. This encourages the audience to think about the nature of image-making while also absorbing the stories revealed by the participants. The film is shown below:

Lebon has enjoyed significant success in recent years, in his commercial shoots for brands such as Gap, Nokia and Stüssy, and in his personal projects, which include a book of work for Baron magazine, exploring how digital technology has impacted on sexuality. Yet for this project, he took a pause to reflect.

"I've always been fascinated by photography and photographers since my teens," he tells CR. "I wrote my dissertation for my anthropology MA on a photographer, my dad's a photographer, but I thought I would make documentaries and didn't want to be a photographer. Anyway, as it worked out, photography became my career and then as I got busier over recent years, I felt like I needed to take some time away. Taking time to reflect on where I was at by being able to observe and talk to photographers I admire and am interested in felt like an exciting thing to do. So in December last year, I decided to take six months off shooting photos myself to do a project on photographers."

Choosing who to include in the film happened in a number of ways. "It was a mix between some of my favourite photographers whose work I admire, and then some were recommended and introduced to me by others, and some are friends I’ve known for years," Lebon continues. "Photographers are often pretty tricky people and busy photographers have a lot of demands on their time. So getting hold of them to even properly explain what you would like to do is hard enough.

"Juergen took me two years to properly get hold of," he continues. "He had been filmed for another documentary a year or two before and wasn’t keen to allow that again. But I was persistent and eventually he agreed. Araki, even though he was in an exhibition with Juergen, was hard to track down and it was actually thanks to a friend inviting me to his karaoke bar in Tokyo that I eventually managed to meet him. Takeshi Homma is one of my favourite parts of the film and he is an amazing person to meet and talk to, but the few hours I got to spend with him were only confirmed just before. Similarly there were other great photographers I would have loved to have included in this, and came very close to meeting but things just didn’t quite work out for one reason or another. But I am pretty persistent and will continue to track them down!"

The film's loose style was in part due to Lebon's decision to make the work alone, which presented a number of difficulties. "Travelling and working as a one man band was pretty hard while doing certain sections of the filming when I was moving quickly to different countries," he says. "Jetlag, constantly organising the next bits of filming, film jams, trying to get good sound, and all this while try to be focused and interview someone at the same time was pretty exhausting. But I needed to be alone as I wanted the film to feel intimate and even if I could’ve had a big crew it wouldn’t have helped to get the footage I was after."

Some of the appearances by photographers in the film are pretty fleeting, so it makes sense to discover that this version of the project is not the completed work. "This film should actually be seen as an extended trailer for a bigger book project," explains Lebon. "The book will include photographs, texts and films about 30 or so photographers – each film will be a short, 15 minute-ish portrait of each photographer, and I hope to have it finished by this time next year."

Despite the film being one of the more comprehensive explorations of the work of contemporary photographers, Lebon doesn't see it revealing any grand truths about the medium. "I don't think it reveals anything specifically about photography today," he says. "I hope it gives an insight into the ways these different photographers think and approach their work and their lives. But the thing it probably reveals most clearly is the journey I went on while trying to make this film about photography. As my dad says in the introduction, a film about photography should be seen as a lie about a lie, or maybe a truth about a truth..."

The film is released today via Canvas, a new platform sponsored by Grolsch that is "committed to promoting original cultural thinking and creativity". It is created in collaboration with Somesuch production company and DoBeDo.


Music Videos of the Month

Posted: October 30th, 2014 | Author: Eliza Williams | Filed under: Music Video / Film | Comments Off

It's been a great month for music videos, with this round up featuring promos for Roy Kafri, Kasabian, Panda Bear, Bambooman, Murlo, Keaton Henson, and OK Go. First up though, a slice of animated brilliance for Sebastien Tellier...

Tellier is known for his distinctive Gallic style, which comes through even in cartoon form in this video for new track Love. The promo stars a nudey Tellier wandering through a Garden of Eden, and is directed by artist Valentine Reinhardt, who also painted the cover for his new album, L'Aventura. Production company: Division.

This new video for Mayokero by Roy Kafri is by Vania Heymann, the director behind last year's excellent interactive Bob Dylan video. Heymann makes great use of old record covers for this new piece – not a new idea in itself perhaps, but brilliantly executed here.

Director Ninian Doff created this dystopian tale for Kasabian's new track Stevie. Production company: Pulse Films.

Panda Bear's video for Mr Noah by directing collective AB/CD/CD is strangely gripping, even though it's hard to know quite what's going on and the swirling camera might make you feel a bit sick. Production company: Partizan.

A couple of more abstract pieces for you now: firstly, the video for Bambooman's Clasp, which is directed by Mark Prendergast and features some lovely use of bouncy rubber balls.

This mysterious video mixes classical imagery (rendered in CGI form) with shiny, liquidy graphics. Impressively, it is created by the musician himself, Murlo, and is for his track Into The Mist.

Director João Nuno is behind this narrative video about a lonely traveller to Bolivia, created for Keaton Henson's new track Don't Swim. Production company: Delicatessen Films.

Finally, no videos round up this month would be complete without the inclusion of the mighty OK Go, and the promo for their new song I Won't Let You Down. The band are masters of creating viral videos, and this new piece is a brilliant addition to their oeuvre, having picked up over 7 million views on YouTube in three days. As you probably already know, it features the band on Segway-type vehicles, is shot by cameras mounted on drones, and is extraordinarily watchable. Director: Morihiro Harano.


The crafty one: CR November issue

Posted: October 27th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Photography, Type / Typography | Comments Off

The November issue of CR is a craft special with features on several contemporary makers: from bicycle builders and bespoke shoemakers, right through to the latest creators of virtual reality...

This issue also features news of CR Club, our subscriber initiative which replaces Monograph. CR Club will offer subscribers exclusive access to events, free gifts and money off a variety of brands. Details of our first exclusive invite-only event, ‘Letterpress @ The RCA' – a talk by the world-renowned typographer, design and letterpress practitioner, Alan Kitching – are here.

Our November issue cover – the text of which is painted onto etched glass – is by Ashley Bishop of The Brilliant Sign Company (see below) and introduces the idea of 'Tradition and Technology'.

And the first stop in our investigation into modern craft is, appropriately enough, the Makers Cafe in London: the first coffee shop to also offer a 3D printing service. Illustration by David Doran.

We then look at how The Partners have worked with illustrator Kristjana S Williams to create an original 3D collage for the capital's Connaught hotel, elements of which are then used over 100 applications in the building, communicating its distinctive brand of heritage and modernity.

Introducing five original documentary films which will be soon be debuting on the CR website, we meet the makers who will be profiled in the series. And while they make everything from jeans and shoes, to cycles, signs and mobile phones, they each share a passion to create the very best in their field.

We talked to Hiut Denim Co:

The Brilliant Sign Company (whose Ashley Bishop created our signwritten cover, top):

Makers of handsewn shoes, Carréducker:

HTC, who design human- and precision-crafted mobile phones:

And Rusby Cycles:

Broadening out the notion of craft into the cutting edge of the digital world, Eliza Williams talks to some of the leading proponents of virtual reality, including Oculus Rift, Marshmallow Laser Feast and Unit9.

And finally in our craft section, what happens when great craft skills are mixed with great ideas? Studio Carter Wong know fully well as they've been working like this for thirty years: to celebrate their anniversary, they took us through ten of their favourite projects.

In other features we have a seven-page visual feast of graphic design from the forthcoming GraphicsRCA: Fifty Years show which opens at The Royal College of Art next month and celebrates the great work produced by the college's students over the past fifty years.

And talking of longevity, we also look at the career of Erik Spiekermann – alongside our timeline of his life and work, we republish a fantastic interview with the designer and typographer which appears in a new book dedicated to his craft: Hello, I Am Erik, out now from Gestalten.

In Crit, Rachael Steven attends the second Modern Magazine conference, while Rick Poynor enjoys the thrill of an exhibition dedicated entirely to the Gothic at the British Library.

And in reverse formation, the front section of this month's issue sees Daniel Benneworth-Gray attempting to navigate the York Book Fair without causing any lasting damage; while Michael Evamy looks at the various identity projects which have graced the World Trade Center, pre and post-9/11.

This issue also features news of CR Club, our subscriber initiative which replaces Monograph. CR Club will offer subscribers exclusive access to events, free gifts and money off a variety of brands. Details of our first exclusive invite-only event, ‘Letterpress @ The RCA' – a talk by the world-renowned typographer, design and letterpress practitioner, Alan Kitching – are here.

If you are not already a CR subscriber, you can find out about our various subscriber packages, here.


Introducing CR Club

Posted: October 27th, 2014 | Author: Patrick Burgoyne | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Photography, Type / Typography | Comments Off

Letterpress @ The RCA. Photo: Richard Haughton

This month we are launching CR Club, offering subscribers exclusive access to events, free gifts and money off a variety of brands you love...

The October issue of CR saw the final issue of our Monograph publication (see above). We'd run Monograph for nearly eight years. In its time it had been really valued – it even won an Art Directors Club Silver award and a place in the Design Museum's Designs of the Year show in 2008. But we were beginning to suspect that it was getting a little tired and was no longer proving much of an incentive for subscribers.

Over the summer we carried out extensive research with our subscribers which bore this out. We know that some of you still really enjoyed Monograph and will be sad to se it go but the clear majority were telling us that it was time to move on. So, we are trying something new and we'd like your help.

Over the next few months we will be announcing a series of special offers, events and treats for our subscribers via CR Club.

The intention is to make our subscribers feel very much part of a privileged community by giving them the opportunity to attend shows, talks or events and behind-the-scenes tours; gifts such as exclusive prints and discounts on brands you love. (If you don't already subscribe, you can check out the various subscriptions packages, here.)

Our subscribers come from all over the UK so we want to make sure that we have a range of activities and offers for everyone. Here, we'd really like your assistance. If you are based outside of London and the South-East, please let us know which local galleries you would like us to approach in order to secure exclusive deals and special offers for our subscribers.

We'd also like to know which brands you would like us to approach for CR subscriber discounts. We already have deals with the Design Museum, publishers Thames & Hudson and clothing brand, Tripl Stitched.

We're kicking off CR Club with an exclusive Creative Review invite-only event, ‘Letterpress @ The RCA' – a talk by the world-renowned typographer, design and letterpress practitioner, Alan Kitching which will take place at The Royal College of Art in London on the evening of November 11. Following the lecture, guests will have an opportunity to view the college's GraphicsRCA: Fifty Years exhibition.

In order to benefit from these offers, you will need to log-in to the site using your subscriber number. If you don't know what that is, please call us on +44(0)207 292 370. To subscribe to Creative Review, go here.

We're viewing this very much as an experiment over the next few months as we look to put together a fantastic package of benefits and offers for our subscribers. Please let us know what you would like to see in the comments below and we will do our best to make it happen.


Introducing CR Club

Posted: October 27th, 2014 | Author: Patrick Burgoyne | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Photography, Type / Typography | Comments Off

Letterpress @ The RCA. Photo: Richard Haughton

This month we are launching CR Club, offering subscribers exclusive access to events, free gifts and money off a variety of brands you love...

The October issue of CR saw the final issue of our Monograph publication (see above). We'd run Monograph for nearly eight years. In its time it had been really valued – it even won an Art Directors Club Silver award and a place in the Design Museum's Designs of the Year show in 2008. But we were beginning to suspect that it was getting a little tired and was no longer proving much of an incentive for subscribers.

Over the summer we carried out extensive research with our subscribers which bore this out. We know that some of you still really enjoyed Monograph and will be sad to se it go but the clear majority were telling us that it was time to move on. So, we are trying something new and we'd like your help.

Over the next few months we will be announcing a series of special offers, events and treats for our subscribers via CR Club.

The intention is to make our subscribers feel very much part of a privileged community by giving them the opportunity to attend shows, talks or events and behind-the-scenes tours; gifts such as exclusive prints and discounts on brands you love.

Our subscribers come from all over the UK so we want to make sure that we have a range of activities and offers for everyone. Here, we'd really like your assistance. If you are based outside of London and the South-East, please let us know which local galleries you would like us to approach in order to secure exclusive deals and special offers for our subscribers.

We'd also like to know which brands you would like us to approach for CR subscriber discounts. We already have deals with the Design Museum, publishers Thames & Hudson and clothing brand, Tripl Stitched.

We're kicking off CR Club with an exclusive Creative Review invite-only event, ‘Letterpress @ The RCA' – a talk by the world-renowned typographer, design and letterpress practitioner, Alan Kitching which will take place at The Royal College of Art in London on the evening of November 11. Following the lecture, guests will have an opportunity to view the college's GraphicsRCA: Fifty Years exhibition.

In order to benefit from these offers, you will need to log-in to the site using your subscriber number. If you don't know what that is, please call us on +44(0)207 292 3703

We're viewing this very much as an experiment over the next few months as we look to put together a fantastic package of benefits and offers for our subscribers. Please let us know what you would like to see in the comments below and we will do our best to make it happen.


Bagpuss, the marmalade cat

Posted: October 24th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Illustration, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

Emily's cat Bagpuss; the most important, the most beautiful, the most magical saggy old cloth cat in the whole wide world. And as new book The Art of Smallfilms reveals – originally, marmalade. So what happened to him?

The Art of Smallfilms, published by Four Corners Books (see our longer piece on the book here) charts the history of the Kentish studio set up by Oliver Postgate in 1959 and which went on to produce several classics of children's animation, from The Clangers and Bagpuss, to Ivor the Engine and Noggin the Nog.

Postgate's creative partner at Smallfilms was the illustrator Peter Firmin. He made the models, figures and sets for all of the above and drew many of the characters as sketches prior to modelling.

In the book's chapter on Bagpuss, one sketch in particular jumps out. It's clearly of our lethargic hero but he looks a little different: he's orange. The caption states that it's the "first colour idea" for the moggy.

According to the book, in 1973 Bagpuss was originally conceived as a marmalade cat, but when the material for his stripey coat was manufactured at Dunbar Fabrics in Folkestone – they used pink by mistake. Which, of course, turned out to be just the right colour for Bagpuss and possibly one of the most magical, most beautiful, most serendipitous moments in Smallfilms's history.

Also of interest to Bagpuss fans will be the drawing reproduced in the book which reveals that Professor Yaffle started life as a 'Professor Bogwood', a human character that was deemed too gloomy and too out of place among the other characters. He was then reconfigured as the woodpecker bookend we all know and love (initially without the trademark specs).

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.

 


Bagpuss, the marmalade cat

Posted: October 24th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Illustration, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

Emily's cat Bagpuss; the most important, the most beautiful, the most magical saggy old cloth cat in the whole wide world. And as new book The Art of Smallfilms reveals – originally, marmalade. So what happened to him?

The Art of Smallfilms, published by Four Corners Books (see our longer piece on the book here) charts the history of the Kentish studio set up by Oliver Postgate in 1959 and which went on to produce several classics of children's animation, from The Clangers and Bagpuss, to Ivor the Engine and Noggin the Nog.

Postgate's creative partner at Smallfilms was the illustrator Peter Firmin. He made the models, figures and sets for all of the above and drew many of the characters as sketches prior to modelling.

In the book's chapter on Bagpuss, one sketch in particular jumps out. It's clearly of our lethargic hero but he looks a little different: he's orange. The caption states that it's the "first colour idea" for the moggy.

According to the book, in 1973 Bagpuss was originally conceived as a marmalade cat, but when the material for his stripey coat was manufactured at Dunbar Fabrics in Folkestone – they used pink by mistake. Which, of course, turned out to be just the right colour for Bagpuss and possibly one of the most magical, most beautiful, most serendipitous moments in Smallfilms's history.

Also of interest to Bagpuss fans will be the drawing reproduced in the book which reveals that Professor Yaffle started life as a 'Professor Bogwood', a human character that was deemed too gloomy and too out of place among the other characters. He was then reconfigured as the woodpecker bookend we all know and love (initially without the trademark specs).

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.

 


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




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




Hear from six of the best from The Modern Magazine

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Graphic Design, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Type / Typography | Comments Off

Following on from its Modern Magazine conference last month, magCulture is releasing a video interview with one of six of the main speakers every Wednesday. The second film has just gone live and features Elana Schlenker, the designer behind the ‘pamphlet of typographic smut' – Gratuitous Type...

During September's conference magCulture filmed a series of interviews with six of event's speakers and is continuing to post the results over the next few weeks. Last week, Wired Italia's David Moretti discussed what went into launching the magazine – you can see his film below.

Elana Schlenker is the Brooklyn-based graphic designer behind Gratuitous Type and she talks about the founding of the magazine and her plans for the next issue. Schlenker's exhibition, based on the recent fourth issue of Gratuitous Type, is on now at KK Outlet in London.

Over the next four Wednesdays, interviews with the following creative and editorial talent will appear on magCulture: Veronica Ditting, The Gentlewoman; Adam Moss, New York; Kai Brach, Offscreen; Jeremy Langmead, Christies.

Here's the first interview in the series, Wired Italia's creative director David Moretti, interviewed after speaking at the conference in London on 19 September.

The Modern Magazine conference is reviewed in the new issue of CR.