August
30

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Last Updated: April 26, 2012

Topic: Typography

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TOPIC / Typography

8 Faces typography magazine

Link: http://8faces.com/

8 Faces typography magazine
It wasn't until after the magazine sold out in under 2 hours that I found out about the new print publication focused on typography, 8 Faces. I was very disappointed that I didn't snag one of the 1,000 limited-editions for the debut issue. Judging from posts I saw online, the printed magazine looked lovely and exhibited high production quality.



"...Everything about this project shouldn't work: A printed magazine launched in a digital age. A niche subject with a limited audience. A large financial outlay in the aftermath of a recession. Oh and an editor who's never done anything like this before! But it's my belief that passion makes up for naivety, and that our collective love for type is a force to be reckoned with..." –Elliot Jay Stocks, founder and editor

Elliot Jay Stocks generously offered me a review copy of 8 Faces in pdf format. I was appreciative, but thought viewing on a computer screen would greatly lessen the reading experience. In the end it isn't only about having a beautiful, tactile book in hand—good content is good content. This magazine is filled with great content on every page. The writing is very accessible, but still shows expertise in the area of graphic design and typography. If you weren't one of the lucky one to get a physical copy of issue #1/Summer 2010, I recommend purchasing a pdf copy. The advertising is sparse, reserved for the very back, and handled tastefully.






The underlying theme of 8 Faces is supposed to be "if you could only use eight typefaces for the rest of your life, which would you choose?" It is a fun pun linking the 8 typefaces to the 8 design personalities interviewed and the theme is carried into the typesetting of the pages. Through the 8 feature interviews and supplemental content, there is far more of interest than just a designer's 8 favorite typefaces. Type Matters by I Love Typography's John Boardley is the magazine's thoughtful introduction. The main interviews are with Erik Spiekermann, Jessica Hische, Ian Coyle, Jason Santa Maria, Jos Buivenga, Jon Tan, and Bruce Willen & Nolen Strals from Post Typography. There is a harmonious flow to the content, with a consistency to structure of the interviews. At the end of the issue there is also an interview with The League of Movable Type.

I'm not sure if it was intentional, but the magazine is filled with intelligent debate on relevant issues impacting the field of typography and the web. The interviewees presented contrasting opinions about Typekit, Fontdeck, and the WOFF model. Usually you only catch this on twitter. I have a better understanding of the complexities involved in these subjects after reading 8 Faces.

The magazine was also designed by Elliot Jay Stocks. John Boardley designed the "Type Matters" spreads. 8 Faces is a bi-yearly magazine and the 2nd issue is scheduled to be out later in the year.

(top photographs via 8Faces.com, photograph of Ian Coyle by Lindsay Josal)
 

August
15

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

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TOPIC / Graphic Design

Paul Rand designs

Link: http://designrelated.com/inspiration/view/mattmatt/entry/1580/paul-rand

Paul Rand designs
On August 15th, 1914, Peretz Rosenbaum was born to an Orthodox Jewish home in Brooklyn, New York.
Peretz Rosenbaum would grow up to become an icon in the field of graphic design, better known as Paul Rand.

"...Rand did not set out to reform graphic design, he just wanted to be the best at what he did. Reared in the commercial art production departments — or `bullpens' — of New York's publishing and advertising industries, he understood the demands of the marketplace and accepted that design was a service not an end, or an art, in itself. Yet he was critical of the poor aesthetic standards that prevailed, maintaining that everyday life — especially commercial art — could be enriched by the artist's touch. He modelled himself on avant-garde artists, such as painter Paul Klee, designer El Lissitzky and architect Le Corbusier, each of whom advocated a timeless spirit in design..."
excerpt from Paul Rand monograph by Steven Heller


In my small collection of Paul Rand related items, I have a book that is said to be from Paul Rand's personal library. The first edition copy of Modern Book Design by Ruari McLean (c.1951), has a personalized inscription and an extra notation in the index. The pencil notations are from Helen Federico. When I purchased the book the seller provided this note about the history:

Helen Federico worked in Weintraub & Co.'s art department (1943-1951) under Paul Rand. And the Rands (Paul and Anne) and the Federicos (Helen and Gene) dined regularly together. Helen Federico would be a major source for Steve Heller's Paul Rand monograph. Gene Federico worked for Doyle Dane Bernbach (1951-54) and he went on to create a substantial body of work and received many graphic design honors.




Here is a book jacket design and a couple of paperback cover designs by Paul Rand.





In 1941 Paul Rand designed the logo for the Coronet brand. I'm not sure of the date for the below giant brandy snifter featuring Paul Rand's design and illustrative character logo.



more links about Paul Rand:
Paul Rand's Book Jackets and Covers / SVA MFA Designer as Author video
Identity Presentation for American Express design / Paul-Rand.com
Paul Rand's Final Logo? / Speak Up
1972 Hall of Fame: Paul Rand / Art Directors Club
History of Modern Design: Graphics and Products since the Industrial Revolution / Google Books
Portraits of Paul Rand / Paul-Rand.com
Remembering Paul Rand / Design Observer
Paul Rand modern graphic design fan club / flickr
Video of Steven Heller & Paul Rand interview / youtube
Paul Rand / RIT Graphic Design Archive
Paul Rand in Pink / Inspiration Resource
Paul Rand, Anti-War, Pro-Typographer / A Journey Round My Skull
Paul Rand Obituary from 1996 / The New York Times
Objectify Me: Steven Heller on Paul Rand's can / Objectified
Paul Rand's Children's Books / Daddy Types
Sparkle and Spin by Ann and Paul Rand / Chronicle Books
Paul Rand book covers / Scott Lindberg on flickr
The Trademark as an Illustrative Device / Paul-Rand.com
Paul Rand: Conversations with Students / Google Books
Steve Jobs on Paul Rand's NeXT logo video / youtube
Papa Logo / Metropolis
Designer Paul Rand Speaks at Media Lab / MIT
Paul Rand timeline (1914-1996) / Paul-Rand.com
 

July
30

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

Topic: Video

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TOPIC / Video

Alex Bogusky & his father Bill Bogusky

Link: http://alexbogusky.posterous.com/video-interview-with-bill-bogusky-desi

Alex Bogusky & his father Bill Bogusky

In the latest episode of FearLessQA, Alex Bogusky sits down for a conversation with designer Bill Bogusky (his father). The video is very interesting and discusses crowdsourcing, now outdated processes, logo design, and the relationship between a son and his dad.
 

July
22

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

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TOPIC / Book Cover Design

Penguin Great Ideas Volume V cover designs

Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32610318@N06/sets/72157624545552674/with/4

Penguin Great Ideas Volume V cover designs
Thanks to David Pearson's flickr, here is a preview of some of the designs for the fifth and last installment of the Penguin Great Ideas series. They are gorgeous as usual, and bet even more so in person. Of the 20 new cover designs in the Great Ideas series 5, David Pearson designed the majority of the covers (total of 13 covers), with Phil Baines (3), Catherine Dixon (3), and Alistair Hall (1). The books are on schedule to be available in the UK in August 2010.
David Pearson kindly shared with me a few images showing the behind the scenes design process of creating an actual stamp for the Of Human Freedom cover.

initial drawing


stamp created


after stamping (v. 1)


after stamping (v.2)


#82: Of Human Freedom by Epictetus (designed by David Pearson)


Here are the other cover designs in the new set:
#81: The Tao of Nature by Chuang Tzu (designed by Phil Baines first on an Olivetti typewriter)

#83: On Conspiracies by Machiavelli (designed by David Pearson)

#85: Dialogue Between Fashion and Death by Leopardi (designed by Phil Baines)

#86: On Liberty by John Stuart Mill (designed by David Pearson)


#88: Night Walks by Charles Dickens (designed by David Pearson)

#89: Some Extraordinary Popular Delusions by Charles Mackay (designed by Catherine Dixon)


#90: The State as a Work of Art by Jacob Burckhardt (designed by David Pearson)

#91: Silly Novels by Lady Novelists by George Eliot (designed by Catherine Dixon)

#92: The Painter in Modern Life by Charles Baudelaire (designed by David Pearson)


#93: The Wolfman by Sigmund Freud (designed by David Pearson)

#94: The Jewish State by Theodor Herzl (designed by Phil Baines)


#95: Nationalism by Rabindranath Tagore (designed by David Pearson, based on design by Charles J. Greenwood)

#96: Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism by Lenin (designed by David Pearson, based on original design by Richard Paul Lohse)

#97: We Will a Go Down Fighting to the End by Winston Churchill (designed by David Pearson, based on original design by Richard Paul Lohse)

#98: The Perpetual Race of Achilles and the Tortoise by Borges (designed by Alistair Hall)

#99: Some Thoughts on the Common Toad by George Orwell (designed by David Pearson, illustration by Joe McLaren, based on an original by Gwen White)
 

July
14

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

Tags: promo, video

Topic: Video

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TOPIC / Video

new titles sequence by Julien Vallée

Link: http://observatory.designobserver.com/observed.html?observed=118288

new titles sequence by Julien Vallée
Julien Valleé recently directed a title sequence creatively incorporating the names of sponsors for the OFFF Paris 2010 Festival.

 

July
07

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

Topic: Animation

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TOPIC / Animation

new Blu animation: Big Bang Big Boom

Link: http://www.blublu.org/sito/video/bbbb.htm

new Blu animation: Big Bang Big Boom
When I first started watching the latest video creation from the infamous street artist Blu, my first reaction was this is cool but it doesn't blow me away like his earlier MUTO animation. But, as the animation progresses (almost 10 full minutes), I began to realize the complexity in how his illustrations are now interacting in their industrial environment in such a poetic way. The title of the piece says it all: "Big Bang Big Boom, A Short Unscientific Story about Evolution and His Consequences."
Direction and animation by Blu
Produced and distributed by Artish.it Music by Andrea Martignoni
 

June
30

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

Tags: design, lego, nyc

10598     0     1 comments

 
 
TOPIC / Interior Architecture

LEGO Store opens in Rockefeller Center NYC

Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenhorton/sets/72157624389812278/

LEGO Store opens in Rockefeller Center NYC


On June 29th, the new LEGO store in New York City opened to the public and was swarming with parents and kids. Most of them eventually ended up waiting in a long line to purchase items, and I saw lots of kids holding boxes of Toy Story 3 LEGO sets. There were also interactive activities outside of the store such as helping to build a 15-foot LEGO apple.









One of the best parts of the new space are the LEGO brick shaped lights and the random LEGO scene installations. The LEGO display of Rockefeller Center was especially impressive.





As part of the grand opening celebration, the first 500 customers to make a purchase of $35 received a I LEGO N. Y. t-shirt and souvenir LEGO brick. The design of this is suspiciously similar to the cover of Christoph Nieman's I LEGO N.Y. book. Which came first?



The new store is located at 620 Fifth Avenue in NYC.
 

June
25

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

Topic: Illustration

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TOPIC / Illustration

Stephen Doyle's dollar bill illustrations

Link: http://www.feltandwire.com/?p=9173

Stephen Doyle's dollar bill illustrations
Through The New York Times Sunday Book Review, I've rediscovered the striking illustration work of Stephen Doyle. He recently created a series of four beautifully defaced American dollar bills which accompany book reviews for money-related titles.


review of Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite


review of A Crash Course in the Future of Finance


review of The Rise and Fall of Bear Stearns


review of The Devil's Casino

These aren't Stephen Doyle's first appropriated money illustrations. Back in 2009, his "Let's dump the greenback" dollar bill appeared in Wired.



Maybe best of all is his 3-D sculptural bill for the cover of Wired magazine in March 2010.


(image via Felt and Wire's interview with Stephen Doyle)

This year Stephen Doyle won the National Design Award for Communication Design. Print magazine also included him and his wife Gael Towey in their feature on Design Couples.
 

June
23

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Last Updated: November 28, 2010

Topic: Book Design

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TOPIC / Book Design

Art of McSweeney's book and dust jacket

Link: http://astore.amazon.com/designrelated-20/detail/0811866238

Art of McSweeney's book and dust jacket
“This book is being published at a time when there are some rumblings about the dire future of the book, and of the printed book in particular...” —introduction by Dave Eggers
random inspiration from old books on the “McSweeney's reference shelf.”
 
McSweeney”s 1  c. 1998
Oddi Printing in Reykjavik, Iceland
“The Three-Piece Dust Jacket of Maps and Legends” (see post on Jordan Crane art for Michael Chabon)


I finally have a copy of the Art of McSweeney's book in hand (pub 6/23). The new monograph from Chronicle Books brings together the art and design across the McSweeney’s brands in a coffee-table book format. As a retrospective of the independent publisher's 11th or 12th anniversary, there is a focus on the cover designs for their books and Quarterly Concern journals through 2009, but there are also sections highlighting the illustrations for the Wolphin DVDs, and The Believer magazine. Aside from imagery ranging from sketches to finished product, commentary and interviews are intermixed throughout.

There is an emphasis on the production of McSweeney’s books which I appreciated reading more about. I remember hearing Dave Eggers talk about his choice of printing in Iceland, but this book now gives further insight into why. The text tries to make the case that high production quality is not always out of reach for small publishers with a limited budget. There is support for this idea in a printing specs chart that compares prices of a book with or without “bells & whistles.”
 

The book is by the Editors of McSweeney's. Brian McMullen and Michelle Quint are credited for much of the design and editing of the book.

excerpt from Acknowledgments section: “This book’s fold-out jacket—composed of numerous stories and drawings by Dave Eggers—was adapted from a design for McSweeney’s 23. The inside of the jacket, which was adapted from a poster designed by Alvaro Villanueva, is populated by dozens of Charles Burn’s portraits for The Believer. The symbols on the spine, which appeared in McSweeney’s 15, are Icelandic runes.”
 

June
23

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

Topic: Video

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TOPIC / Video

TED 2010 / Marian Bantjes: Intricate beauty by design

Link: http://www.ted.com/talks/marian_bantjes_intricate_beauty_by_design.html

TED 2010 / Marian Bantjes: Intricate beauty by design

For the majority of us who didn't have the opportunity to attend this year's TED Conference, Marian Bantjes' talk from February 2010 is now posted online.
"Where my work as a graphic designer was to follow strategy, my work now follows my heart and my interests with the guidance of my ego to create work that is mutually beneficial to myself and the client. Now this is heresy in the design world. The ego is not supposed to be involved in graphic design. But..." —excerpt from Marian Bantjes' TED talk, Feb 2010
(photo above via the TED Conference on flickr)

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