John L. Walters

Recent articles by John L. Walters

Luxury of less is more

Issue 87, Spring 2014

Feature

‘Roundhead’ Sean Perkins explains North’s designs for restaurateur Alan Yau and the St Pancras…

Burger, fries, no logo

Issue 87, Spring 2014

Feature

With ‘nothing to show and nothing to say’, Ben Stott’s ‘anti-branding’ helped turn the Byron…

Editorial Eye 87

Issue 87, Spring 2014

Opinion

What do we think about when we look at design for food and drink? This…

We made this: A life in artefacts

Issue 86, Autumn 2013

Review

Tom Dixon’s Dixonary (Violette Editions, £35) is a big book (632 pages) that…

Towering ambition

Issue 86, Autumn 2013

Review

Audiovisual events that genuinely work are so rare that Brooklyn Babylon

Violently opposed to war

Issue 86, Autumn 2013

Review

Looking for images of ‘peace’ on the internet yields predictable and clichéd…

Editorial Eye 86

Issue 86, Autumn 2013

Opinion

This type special contains several examples of letters that lie some way off the…

Reputations: Tony Brook

Issue 86, Autumn 2013

Feature

‘What other profession do you end up in where you learn so much about other people’s businesses…

Editorial Eye 85

Issue 85, Spring 2013

Opinion

Anyone who creates something new – whether it’s an idea or an artefact – is…

Man of letters

Issue 85, Spring 2013

Review

For much of the past decade, illustrator Tom Gauld has been a regular…

Old school layout

Issue 82, Winter 2012

Feature

Every fortnight, art director Tony Rushton and editor Ian Hislop lay out Private Eye in a way…

Better than the real thing

Issue 84, Autumn 2012

Review

A recent exhibition at the Ikon gallery in Birmingham presented work by…

Robin Nicholas

Issue 84, Autumn 2012

Feature

‘I don’t see myself as a typeface designer. Hermann Zapf is a typeface designer. What I have done…

Alphabetical jazz soup

Issue 84, Autumn 2012

Review

The most ingenious editorial design element of Jazz Covers is its double…

Dan Rhatigan: All about workflow

Issue 84, Autumn 2012

Feature

Monotype’s UK type director talks about the way the company’s 125-year history informs its…

Editorial Eye 84

Issue 84, Autumn 2012

Opinion

The original Monotype was an ingenious piece of highly disruptive technology that…

Psychedelic tract

Issue 83, 2012

Review

The era of psychedelic art – from the mid 1960s to the very early 70s – was…

Devil in the detail

Issue 83, 2012

Feature

Careful, even-tempered typographer by day – wild art director by night? For John Morgan, both the…

Bible of babel

Issue 83, 2012

Review

The 2012 European Design Awards, the winners of which were announced in…

Editorial Eye 83

Issue 83, 2012

Opinion

Several recent issues of Eye have focused on type design, but this special puts…

Illuminated thought

Issue 69, Autumn 2008

Feature

The practice is said to ‘signal a break with the past’ but GTF has an unforced ‘style’ that…

Reputations: Marian Bantjes

Issue 72, Summer 2009

Feature

‘I’ve come close to working with a couple of agencies for very big brands, but either the money…

Letters from Bologna

Issue 64, Summer 2007

Review

You could read the promotional material for this conference several times without…

Branches and roots

Issue 78, Winter 2010

Feature

John L. Walters on the break-ups and tearful reunions of Rock Family Trees

A2’s type design

Issue 67, Spring 2008

Feature

A2’s bespoke type design is mainly the responsibility of Henrik Kubel, though…

All her own invention

Issue 76, Summer 2010

Feature

Graphic design’s recent concerns have for decades been at the heart of Laurie Anderson’s…

Reputations: Commercial Type

Issue 82, Winter 2012

Feature

‘There has been typography on the Web for its entire existence, because there are words, and where…

The mystery of frozen locomotion

Issue 75, Spring 2010

Review

This exhibition explores the static, two-dimensional representation of movement.…

Power of two

Issue 70, Winter 2008

Feature

Clients who hire the company behind Five’s new identity always work directly with the main men

The United Nations of Type

Issue 64, Summer 2007

Feature

Look beyond the confines of the Latin alphabet, urges Johannes Bergerhausen of Decodeunicode.

Art and art direction – Kuchar Swara

Issue 73, Autumn 2009

Feature

The relationship between art directors and photography has developed in myriad ways alongside…

Revealing images

Issue 82, Winter 2012

Review

Bookshop shelves groan with giant compendiums of illustration, heavy on image…

Men behaving stylishly

Issue 79, Spring 2011

Feature

Who would dare to launch a glossy men’s magazine during an economic crisis? The team behind Port…

Polyphonic playground

Issue 68, Summer 2008

Feature

The world’s first museum of its kind, plus the ‘European Championship of Graphic Design’

Reputations: Karsten Schmidt

Issue 74, Winter 2009

Feature

‘If we don’t take responsibility as makers we sacrifice everything sooner or later. We have the…

Black gold

Issue 74, Winter 2009

Review

If there can be such a thing as a revolutionary coffee table book, Freedom Rhythm…

The digital reality of ‘emotional products’

Issue 69, Autumn 2008

Review

Adrian Shaughnessy has long been an astute observer of music graphics from both…

Lauren Greenfield

Issue 77, Autumn 2010

Feature

Slideshows, film, ‘motos’ and long portraits. Time-based picture-taking is transforming the way…

Pop Art’s moving target

Issue 72, Summer 2009

Review

British painter Peter Blake, who has just turned 77, makes a point of introducing…

Big ideas and giant turkeys

Issue 70, Winter 2008

Review

The culture of ‘album cover design’ often runs in a kind of parallel universe to…

What a genius

Issue 70, Winter 2008

Review

At one time, Barney Bubbles seemed like the Zelig of graphic design, the man who…

Noted

Issue 67, Spring 2008

Review

Visionaire is an extravagant art-and-fashion-infected ‘magazine’. Each issue…

The Ed and Geoff show

Issue 69, Autumn 2008

Review

Two Lines Align is the catalogue for the exhibition of that name curated by Michael…

Turning clutter into gold

Issue 69, Autumn 2008

Review

For most of us, clutter is the enemy, the bills and cards and tickets and cuttings…

Chalking and talking

Issue 69, Autumn 2008

Review

I’m in a gallery room at London’s ICA, sitting on a piece of Martino Gamper’s…

Angola’s blank screen

Issue 67, Spring 2008

Review

By concentrating on just six pieces for differing media, each concerned in some way…

Gameshow naturals

Issue 66, Winter 2007

Review

The twelfth biennial national conference run by the AIGA (American Institute of…

Momo’s nights, day by day

Issue 66, Winter 2007

Review

Ich&Kar’s Diary at Momo’s, 80x Posters (Pyramid, €35) tells how Paris-based…

War draw and jaw

Issue 66, Winter 2007

Review

The powerful images in James Aulich’s War Posters: Weapons of Mass Communication…

The empathy man

Issue 65, Autumn 2007

Review

For a ‘conceptual artist’, Chris Burden produces some remarkably powerful (and…

Kings of the cheese-slicers

Issue 65, Autumn 2007

Review

The cover of Love Song (DGV, £30, €44, ) by Non-Format sums up everything we’ve…

An A-Z of Style

Issue 64, Summer 2007

Review

Could anyone other than Steven Heller put together a pop culture book like…

Czech from scratch

Issue 64, Summer 2007

Review

Life Happiness Surprise, a bilingual monograph from the Prague-based Studio Najbrt…

Noted

Issue 64, Summer 2007

Review

Since October 2006, the Dutch daily newspaper De Volkskrant has published a regular…

Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger

Issue 77, Autumn 2010

Feature

‘This is reality’

Hands-on design and digital angst at the AIGA

Issue 58, Winter 2005

Review

In past years the biennial conference of the American Institute of Graphic Arts…

Over the rainbow

Issue 75, Spring 2010

Feature

From advertising to illustration; posters to badges; fashion shows to pop videos, the design work of…

Food dye chromatography

Issue 57, Autumn 2005

Feature

Stanley Donwood’s artwork for Matthew Herbert’s polemical album finds colour in chemistry

Sound and vision

Issue 76, Summer 2010

Feature

Given the visceral feelings stirred by music, it’s time we found new, meaningful associations…

Voice

Issue 44, Summer 2002

Review

‘One more session and we’re outta here,’ said John Hockenberry. ‘We can all…

Make music visible

Issue 76, Summer 2010

Feature

Gerard Saint’s Big Active is on a mission to turn music into something tangible through art…

Abbott Miller in the driving seat

Issue 43, Spring 2002

Review

A new phase for the visual culture magazine 2wice begins with this paean to the…

Type space

Issue 78, Winter 2010

Review

Supergraphics (Unit Editions, £25 + p&p, only available from uniteditions.com) is…

He has ways of making you read

Issue 68, Summer 2008

Review

Few novels have made use of graphic design for background or context, let…

Reputations: David Gentleman

Issue 78, Winter 2010

Feature

‘I did absolutely anything that came my way, which I’ve done throughout my life. But what I know…

Interview with Dan Fern

Issue 76, Summer 2010

Feature


Professor Dan Fern explains his pioneering ‘MAP / making’ course at the Royal College of Art…

The Monograph as Atlas

Issue 79, Spring 2011

Review

In his slim but tactile volume I Swear I Use No Art At All: 10 years, 100 books…

Shouting from the shelves

Issue 73, Autumn 2009

Review

Faber and Faber, the independent British publisher founded in 1929 by…

A certain smile

Issue 80, Summer 2011

Feature

Sara De Bondt is a shaker and mover, who leads a studio with a decisively contemporary approach to…

On message

Issue 74, Winter 2009

Feature

Content is king at Nicolas Bourquin’s Onlab, but its editorial focus incorporates visual delight…

Love letters

Issue 80, Summer 2011

Review

Scripts, with a jazz-like mix of virtuosity and improvisation, can represent…

Matthew Donaldson

Issue 77, Autumn 2010

Feature

Aerial ballet of upholstery – a high-speed ‘still life’ for Kvadrat at Pinewood

Character studies

Issue 73, Autumn 2009

Feature

Michael Johnson’s project to make a ‘phonetic typeface’ that English speakers can understand

Reputations: John McConnell

Issue 81, Autumn 2011

Feature

‘By wanting to be intelligent, it usually gets simpler and simpler. The creative process is paring…

The orderly chaos of James Joyce

Issue 72, Summer 2009

Feature

The blank canvas of a monthly flyer gave this graphic designer the opportunity to become a full…

In the thick of it

Issue 79, Spring 2011

Feature

Morag Myerscough puts an eclectic graphic sensibility into public spaces, with colour, pattern and…

10,000 one offs

Issue 80, Summer 2011

Feature

Field’s 10,000 ‘illustrations’ for SEA’s GF Smith paper swatch give a new dimension to…

David Pearson: inside out

Issue 77, Autumn 2010

Feature

The man who made series design fashionable (and profitable) at Penguin is also a publisher who…

Reputations: Paula Scher

Issue 77, Autumn 2010

Feature

‘I am fascinated by organisations and the way people behave in power structures.’

Resonating image-makers

Issue 29, Autumn 1998

Review

The graphic scores of Roman Haubenstock-Ramati (1919-1994) date from the…

Another self-indulgent design monograph

Issue 41, Autumn 2001

Review

A wall of Stefan Sagmeister’s work / live apartment in New York bears the…

Slow print

Issue 77, Autumn 2010

Feature

Allow plenty of time to read Marian Bantjes’ highly personal book debut.

Wanted: self-images

Issue 66, Winter 2007

Feature

A facial composite kit from the 1970s is the basis for an intriguing personal project

Frank’s wild years

Issue 68, Summer 2008

Review

Had Robert Frank never opened another shutter after 1956, his reputation…

Step and repeat

Issue 70, Winter 2008

Feature

Richard Rhys’s new foundry, which sells original patterns by designers and artists, gives a new…

Eine’s walls: notes from a vandal

Issue 65, Autumn 2007

Feature

The summer of 2007 brightened up when Vandalism appeared in Holywell Lane

Pin-sharp process

Issue 64, Summer 2007

Feature

GTF’s Tord Boontje monograph employs structural and decorative devices drawn directly from the…

All the flat boys

Issue 82, Winter 2012

Review

Michelle Cotton’s book, produced to accompany a Cubitt Gallery touring exhibition…

The book design complex

Issue 75, Spring 2010

Review

The annual one-day conference at St Bride Library in Bride Lane (off Fleet…

An Online Drift

Issue 64, Summer 2007

Feature

Five Eye commentators take a stroll along the highways and strip malls of contemporary cyberspace

Reason and rhymes

Issue 63, Spring 2007

Feature

Can design for contemporary jazz, world and experimental music have a meaningful partnership with…

Fanfare for the common man

Issue 79, Spring 2011

Review

This book is neither biography nor visual monograph but an entertaining…

Cage recast as eye candy

Issue 73, Autumn 2009

Review

American composer John Cage was a prankster, a gameshow champion and a…

Art and art direction – Daniel Eatock

Issue 73, Autumn 2009

Feature

Daniel Eatock’s approach to photography provides a provocative link between conceptual art and an…

Beyond the canon

Issue 68, Summer 2008

Feature

Introduction to special issue by editor John L. Walters

Port: Prêt á porter

Issue 79, Spring 2011

Feature

Jeremy Leslie, Port’s iPad app designer, explains his methods

The Mechanical Bride

Issue 27, Spring 1998

Feature

Marshall McLuhan's 1951 analysis of advertising's unholy trinity of sex, death and technology

Stephen Byram: art & design

Issue 42, Winter 2001

Feature

A New Yorker opts for content, tactility and the sound of surprise

Scoop

Issue 30, Winter 1998

Feature

A board game based on page layout, newspaper rivalry and editorial approval, who knows what strange…

Reputations: Gerard Unger

Issue 40, Summer 2001

Feature

‘Papers have all kinds of information on the same page; very distressing and very joyful; gossip…

Recent blog posts by John L. Walters

Design for eating: Milton Glaser

15 July 2014

Milton Glaser recalls working with an inspirational client – the great New York restaurateur Joe Baum (1920-98). Interview by John L. Walters
New York designer Milton Glaser has long been associated with design for food and drink, from his restaurant identities (Rainbow Room, Aurora) to his label and logo designs for Brooklyn Beer.

Poster engineer

8 July 2014

Naomi Games profiles the life and work of her father Abram Games in this recent book from the Antique Collectors’ Club
Flaubert once wrote that when one writes the biography of a friend or relative, one should do it as if taking revenge on that person’s behalf, writes John L. Walters

Type on the tongue

20 December 2013

Eye’s panel checks out the taste of Helvetica, Impact and Comic Sans (as cooked up by Sarah Hyndman)
Designer Sarah Hyndman is known for her Type Tasting workshops – popular events at Pick Me Up and London Design Festival this year. For Hyndman’s latest project, A Taste of Type, she has reversed the approach by asking, ‘what does type taste like?’

Comp up the volume

18 December 2013

A loud new book pays tribute to the Colby Poster Printing Company of LA and their clients, from artists to junk dealers
This new book is a riotous feast of posters produced in recent decades by the Colby Poster Printing Company, which shut its doors for good at the end of 2012, writes John L. Walters.

Insanely integrated, day one

12 November 2013

Despite its vague theme of ‘The fluidity in-between …’, the Integrated2013 conference in Antwerp was sharp and entertaining
The biannual Integrated conference organised by Hugo Puttaert, can seem bewilderingly complex at first glance, writes John L. Walters.

The gospel of Dave

30 October 2013

Graphic Renaissance man Dave McKean sings two of his Nine Lives and launches Sandman Overture at Foyles’ 3rd floor gallery
Dave McKean is a prolific illustrator, film director, animator, designer and self-publisher – the bearded Renaissance man of British comic art, writes John L. Walters.

Whodunnit?

23 October 2013

Last few days to catch the exhibition ‘Romek Marber: Graphics’ at the Minories in Colchester.
If you live within a few hours of Colchester in Essex, I strongly recommend a visit to the ‘Romek Marber: Graphics’ exhibition, which runs until Saturday 26 October 2013, writes John L. Walters.

See and hear

22 August 2013

If you have an interest in the intersection of sound and visual culture and you’re anywhere near London before next Sunday, I strongly recommend a visit to the Calvert 22 gallery in Shoreditch, writes John L. Walters.

Cover story

8 August 2013

You’ve seen that face before. But why is Jeanne Moreau (as seen in La Notte) staring soulfully from the cover of Eye 85?
The cover of the current issue, Eye 85, has attracted lots of (largely welcome) attention in recent weeks, writes editor John L. Walters.

Babylon aan ’t IJ

12 July 2013

Brooklyn Babylon, a multimedia spectacular by Darcy James Argue and Danijel Žeželj, raises the roof at the Holland Festival
In the critic’s lexicon, there are few terms more problematic than ‘multimedia’, writes John L. Walters.

Chair man

19 June 2013

London’s Estorick Collection shows the work of Giorgio Casali, the photographer who framed Domus’s modernist dream
The Estorick Collection is one of London’s smaller galleries, just a short walk from Highbury and Islington (a node of the shiny new London Overground) but not on many tourists’ art tours, writes John L. Walters.

Jazz in print

14 November 2012

Matt Willey’s sumptuous brochure for UK radio station JazzFM evokes a golden age of magazine and LP sleeve art direction.
Jazz and radio came of age around the same time, the 1920s, when ‘physical music’ was clunky and expensive, writes John L. Walters.

The purpose of posters

3 October 2012

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!’

The Olympic press gang

26 July 2012

Editorial designers get into the fast lane to deliver print for the Games
One big, but largely unsung design challenge of the 2012 Olympic Games has been the print production and design of 55 different publications, from the 196-page, perfect-bound Official Programme to an Olympics daily, the first of which is due to roll off the presses early on Saturday morning, writes John L. Walters.

Type Tuesday: Reputations

3 July 2012

Commercial Type’s Christian Schwartz & Paul Barnes – interviewed in Eye 82
‘There has been typography on the Web for its entire existence, because there are words, and where there are words there is typography … Some people believe that there is going to be a radical change in the process of reading because of webfonts. Actually, no.’

Music, flesh and fantasy

21 June 2012

When Mati Klarwein’s hyperactive paintings stole the psychedelic show.
Mati Klarwein is best known for a handful of album covers in the very early 1970s, a time when his exotic, erotically charged and quasi-mystical images stole the psychedelic show, writes John L. Walters.

Sonorama panorama

12 June 2012

A French magazine that put a new light (and spin) on musical multimedia
This June issue of French magazine Sonorama includes reports from the Cannes film festival, writes John L. Walters.

Type Tuesday: West coast ghosts

29 May 2012

This Emigre type specimen celebrates a lost era of LPs and recording studios
I once heard someone dismiss a former boyfriend with the put-down, ‘he’s the sort of person who files his records in alphabetical order.’ Which prompted me to think: ‘what other sort of person is there?’ writes John L. Walters.

Full tilt

11 May 2012

Glass & Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach liberates the space-time continuum.
Though I missed the UK premiere* of Einstein on the Beach by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass (nearly 36 years after its first performance in Avignon), reports John L. Walters, the performance I witnessed ran flawlessly without a break, clocking in around four hours 20 minutes, and earning a standing ovation from the packed house.

Blue notebook

19 April 2012

David Wild’s Jazzpaths is a personal and poetic ‘photomemento’
David Wild’s Jazzpaths is labelled a ‘photomemento’. It is a carefully printed hardback collection of mid-1960s impressions, in images and prose, formed during the author’s two-year stint in the United States. It is closer to poetry or oral history, however, than a conventional autobiography or photobook.

Javier & Fernando & Bebo

25 February 2012

Mariscal’s full length movie Chico & Rita is in the running for an Oscar
As this weekend’s 84th Academy Awards ceremony brings the season of movie awards madness to a glittery (and/or cringe-inducing) climax, it’s good to note that a leading European designer-illustrator is in the running for an Oscar.

Getting away with murder

2 February 2012

Good, bad and ugly cover ‘tributes’: a new spin on the death of music design.
The album cover may have lost its mojo as far as contemporary culture is concerned, but its classic era (from Blue Note to 4AD, say) maintains a powerful grip on the imaginations of music-loving designers, writes John L. Walters.

One day, all this will be ours

26 January 2012

Getting ready for the hyperbolic new Design Museum in Albertopolis.
The new Design Museum, slated to open in 2014, is cause for celebration in London’s design community, writes John L. Walters.

Who’s who

4 October 2011

High-octane graphic design in Barcelona for AGI Open
AGI Open is a high-octane assemblage of graphic designers with international reputations, performing to a packed gathering in Barcelona’s Coliseum Theatre.

Awesomely awesome FOTB

16 September 2011

Buzzwords and the inspiration of improv at the Brighton codefest
If you were to play buzz-word bingo at Brighton’s ‘Flash on the Beach’, the squares for ‘awesome’, ‘pumped’ and ‘stoked’ would fill up pretty quickly, writes John L. Walters. A wordcloud of all three days’ presentations would bloom with the same words, plus ‘HTML5’, ‘agile’, ‘responsive’, ‘Molehill’ and the inevitable ‘clients’, ‘schedules’ and ‘budgets’.

Sound and vision #1

9 November 2010

Time to find some new, meaningful associations between music + design.
Think about design for music, and record covers spring to mind, writes John Walters. (See ‘Sound and vision’ in Eye 76, the music design special issue, opening spread below.) That’s understandable: graphic design has borne witness to an extraordinary canon of independent work over the past 70 years.

Fine words for Kitching / Stothard

19 November 2009

Breathing life into the dying embers of letterpress … to light graphic fireworks
The great thing about spoken tributes, when they’re done well, is that they give the speakers a chance to say nice things they would never say face to face, writes John L. Walters.

Never mind the music

11 November 2009

Your chance to vote for the best of 2009’s vinyl sleeve art
Formats come and formats go (and MP3s are going the way of cassettes now that we have room for ALEs), but vinyl has had a surprisingly long afterlife, writes John L. Walters.

The right lines

30 October 2009

iwant’s illustrative identity for the London Jazz Festival
Album covers may be a dying art, but design for live music is thriving, writes John L. Walters, and iwant’s identity – brochures, posters, launch invitations (top) and floor vinyl (below), for next month’s London Jazz Festival is an example of what can be achieved when imaginative illustration and design meets a sympathetic music client.

Two degrees of (colour) separation

5 September 2008

Graphic Rolling Stones artefacts are saved for the nation
It began with a letter – addressed to the designer at the Royal College of Art, writes John L. Walters.