Design history

7 March 2013

Wanted: space for posters

Wanted: space for posters

In the wake of last week’s V&A symposium, two attendees make an impassioned plea for the foundation of a British poster museum.
For more than two centuries the poster has occupied public space on hoardings, building sites, the sides of buses and commercial vehicles, plus every conceivable spot where these images might be caught within the public eye, write Naomi and Daniel Games.

21 February 2013

Lubbock’s brilliance

Lubbock’s brilliance

During his lifetime, the prickly, uproarious brilliance of Tom Lubbock’s writing on art was a frustratingly well kept secret, writes Robert Hanks, hoarded by a few artists and fellow journalists, and the ever-diminishing fraternity of readers of the Independent newspaper (where we were colleagues for many years).

25 January 2013

Back when the future looked bright

Back when the future looked bright

A printed guide to the 1951 Festival of Britain prompted Nigel Ball to consider the value placed on design by governments – then and now
Not seeing the value of investment in design is a folly of the current British government, writes Nigel Ball.

17 January 2013

A dentist’s unerring eye

A dentist’s unerring eye

Dr Hans Sachs was the poster aficionado who launched Das Plakat. By Graham Twemlow
Graham Twemlow writes: A large part of the Hans Sachs poster collection is about to be sold off at auction (see ‘Back on the market’). Born in Breslau, Germany in 1881, Dr Sachs began collecting posters at the end of the nineteenth century while he was training to become a chemist (he later turned to dentistry).

13 January 2013

Back on the market

Back on the market

Prewar posters from the legendary collection of Dr Hans Sachs will soon go on sale at a New York auction house
A sale of 1250 prewar posters from Dr Hans Sachs’s legendary collection will take place in New York on 18, 19 and 20 January 2013, writes Graham Twemlow. The Guernsey’s auction catalogue states that: ‘… many of the posters in the collection are believed to be the sole surviving examples of those particular images’.

7 January 2013

The power of chess

The power of chess

Chess – the gymnasium of the mind – is a perennial source of inspiration for designers, film-makers and artists, says Jim Sutherland
It’s no wonder chess holds such a fascination for artists, film-makers and designers, writes Jim Sutherland. It has such a rich visual language to plunder.

10 December 2012

Sun-cheese wheel-ode

Sun-cheese wheel-ode

Dom Sylvester Houédard’s 1968 concrete poetry tribute to fellow poet Ken Cox is a double spiral of hand-set type, mysteriously linked by the sport of cheese rolling. Fraser Muggeridge explains.
The letterpress printed concrete poem designed by Dom Sylvester Houédard first caught my interest because of its use of the Flaxman typeface, designed by Edward Wright (1912-88) for the International Concrete Poetry Festival in 1967, writes Fraser Muggeridge.

13 November 2012

Type in Wapping

Type in Wapping

Pencil to Pixel opens up Monotype’s archive of typographic history, from artwork to artefacts
The ‘Pencil to Pixel’ exhibition, which opens this Friday at Metropolitan Wharf in London, gives visitors is a chance to see some of Monotype’s extensive archive of original artwork, type drawings, arcane artefacts (including justification drums and ships’ curves) and publications.

7 November 2012

Something to say

Something to say

The current vogue for letterpress is more than mere retro-nostalgia, writes Catherine Dixon in the run-up to Friday’s St Bride conference.
Letterpress is everywhere, writes Catherine Dixon (co-organiser of ‘Letterpress: Something to Say’).

2 November 2012

Graphic design history to boot

Graphic design history to boot

Everything must go when Ian Anderson sells off the contents of The Designers Republic (TDR) archive in its Car Booty Affair in Sheffield.
At what point does the ephemera that is graphic design become collectable? When does a piece of paper become an artefact? These are questions Ian Anderson of TDR makes us think about as he holds a retrospective exhibition of the studio’s work in the form of a car boot sale at the ‘Month of Sundays’ gallery in Sheffield.
 
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