Design history

29 October 2012

Giants of the visual imagination

Giants of the visual imagination

While others struggle with ‘personal expression’, the Vignellis prove that a simple approach and focus makes great design, writes Quentin Newark.
   Quentin Newark writes:   As I was designing the catalogue for the Tate Modern exhibition ‘Albers and Moholy-Nagy’ (2006), a book hefty with designs for adverts, glass paintings, books, chairs, exhibitions, logos, films and colour studies, I thought: we don’t make them like that any more. Creative minds that can flit between disciplines without inhibition.

10 October 2012

The magazine that wasn’t

The magazine that wasn’t

Aspen, the cultural journal that challenged the limits of its form, goes on display at Whitechapel Gallery in London
To read an edition of Aspen magazine is to flip through a booklet, unfurl a concertina, shuffle some postcards or to unfold a poster, writes Elizabeth Glickfeld. Copies of the cult 1960s artists’ magazine are now so prized that the tactile experience of reading any one edition is necessarily denied the viewer of the exhibition ‘Aspen Magazine: 1965–1971’ (in the Pat Matthews Gallery at the Whitechapel Gallery in London).

3 October 2012

The purpose of posters

The purpose of posters

London Transport’s spare posters go under the hammer at Christie’s tomorrow.
‘Of course it's not about graphic design,’ said my friend, glancing at the high proportion of besuited viewers. ‘It’s about money!’

26 September 2012

‘Shake hands with the devil’

‘Shake hands with the devil’

liz farrelly

The final hours of Graphic Design: Now in Production (the New York leg) provided a snapshot of contemporary practice, from the Stone Twins to Metahaven.
For the final Saturday of Cooper-Hewitt’s ‘Graphic Design: Now in Production’ exhibition in New York, a student and professional crowd massed for ‘The Final Hours’, writes Liz Farrelly. The temporary location (while the Carnegie Mansion is closed for renovation) was Governors Island, a breezy six-minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan.

12 September 2012

Information inspiration

Information inspiration

Commercial Type’s Paul Barnes will give the annual Beatrice Warde lecture at St Bride Library.
Type design and lettering today stands atop of a pile of historical information collected over many centuries. Much of this is still visible if we look hard enough.

17 August 2012

Give us back our design!

Give us back our design!

East Germany’s biggest design archive is about to be put under wraps, inaccessible to scholars and the general public, writes Jessica Jenkins
In the period of political upheaval immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an unknown amount of GDR design material was hastily sold off to dealers, writes Jessica Jenkins – something of a mixed blessing, since, while it was consequently conserved and evaluated, the material was lost to public view.

3 August 2012

Not pasted over

Not pasted over

East German posters are given a place in design history, thanks to Plakat Ost’s exhibition in Berlin
The rituals of telling the story of East Germany have become as tired as the rituals of East Germany itself, writes Jessica Jenkins. Typically, works of graphic and industrial design from the former German Democratic Republic are not interpreted as works of design, but paraded, even fetishised, as material manifestations of ideological burden and the command economy.

31 July 2012

The notes may be fabricated

The notes may be fabricated

capitalism, currency, finance, money, money

Alternative currencies show that money is just an idea that can be redesigned. By Livia Lima
We live in an age when it is difficult to trust our banks, writes Livia Lima, but what about the notes in your purse or wallet? With economies across Europe teetering on the edge of collapse, plans are being drawn up to revive ‘retired’ currencies such as the drachma, and some Greek cities have jumped the gun by issuing their own alternative currencies.

24 July 2012

Crashing through the type

Crashing through the type

Time magazine infographics by Nigel Holmes, 1970s – infodesign in Eye 82
It was good luck, really, writes Nigel Holmes. Walter Bernard, Time’s art director, was looking for someone to do the magazine’s charts and diagrams when I walked into his New York office in September 1977, during a job-finding visit to the United States.

24 July 2012

Type Tuesday: Presstival

Type Tuesday: Presstival

type tuesday

Preview of a late summer festival for British print and type enthusiasts
We like the sound of ‘Presstival’, otherwise known as the annual open day of the Whittington Press, which takes place on Saturday 1 September this year.
 
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