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Eye newsletter
26 July 2017

Dear friends

Eye 94, a type special issue, will be on press at Pureprint later this week and next, and it will feature a digitally printed cover unlike anything we have done before. I think you will like it.



Paul Barnes, unpublished lettering for private valentine, 1998, published in Eye 62.

In the run-up to printing and binding Eye 94 we’ve been working on publishing full, online versions of articles from back issues that have sadly sold out. Eye 62, another type special, featured ‘Back with a flourish’ in which Christian Swartz (Commercial Type) looked at the growing taste for ornamentation and 1970s kitsch that has led to a revival in the swash, the ‘tea cosy’ of typography.

Swartz writes: ‘For a type designer, swashes provide an opportunity for the kind of unfettered self-expression that is usually found only in lettering and calligraphy.’


Images from ‘Dark tools of desire’ including covers of La Révolution Surréaliste (1924) and Documents (1929), Hydrometric Demonstration of how to Kill by Temperature by Max Ernst (1920) and a poster by Hans Schleger (Zero) for Shell-Mex’s ‘These Men Use Shell’ series, 1938, among others.

Rick Poynor’s ‘Dark tools of desire’ in Eye 63 (also out of print) argued that surrealism’s relationship with graphic design was still strangely unfulfilled: ‘Surrealism’s implications for the commercial art of graphic design have never received much attention in academic histories and informal surveys. Dada and Futurism, by contrast, were such fertile sources of new approaches to typography that they remain essential points of comparison’.



Tiger, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Barcelona © Rubio Arauna Studio, Rai Pinto Studio. Picture by Victòria Gil. Photo courtesy of Wellcome Collection.

Occasional Eye contributor Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright (GraphicDesign&), with the Wellcome Collection’s Shamita Sharmacharja, are curating the upcoming exhibition ‘Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?’, on display 7 September 2017 — 14 January 2018. The exhibition will include work by Margaret Calvert, Abram Games, Ken Garland, F. H. K. Henrion and A2/SW/HK (designers of the guest typefaces in Eye 94), among many others, and will explore the relationship between graphic design and health.

Read Lucienne’s Eye 63 article ‘Being good’ on ethics in graphic design.

If you would like to receive Eye 94 before it hits the newsstands, please subscribe here. If you know someone starting college in the autumn, remember that students get a huge discount on subscriptions.

Warmest regards

John Walters, editor

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