4 July 2023
Graphic design live #13
magCulture in New York; Hipgnosis documentary (UK and online); contemporary Iranian posters in Zurich; and Mexican blackletter online.
Listed below are some current and upcoming events that have caught the attention of our editorial team this month. To stay up to date with design related exhibitions, conferences, talks and workshops, visit Eye Events page for regular updates.
Squaring the Circle
7 July — 31 August 2023
Location: UK and online
Anton Corbijn’s debut documentary Squaring the Circle (the story of Hipgnosis) pays homage to the British design studio that revolutionised album cover art. Led by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, Hipgnosis elevated album covers to visionary art, inspiring generations of artists, designers and musicians. See ‘Heavy rotation’ in Eye 104 and ‘Big ideas and giant turkeys’ on the Eye blog.
Squaring the Circle delves into the story of Thorgerson and Powell, tracing their journey from a small operation in the 1960s to ‘rock royalty’ in the 70s. The documentary embodies the era’s creative tone and Hipgnosis’ impact on music design. Based around an extended interview with Powell, there are fascinating quotes from clients (Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney), former colleagues (George Hardie, Andrew Ellis and Jill Furmanovsky), neighbours (Glen Matlock), fellow music designers (Peter Saville) and some extended musings from Noel Gallagher.
Corbijn’s black-and-white cinematography adds stillness to the interviews, while animated presentations breathe life into the cover artwork, shown in colour. Tickets from Picturehouse. Further details of screenings (inc. Sundance London, 7 July) and streaming via Dogwoof.
‘Sleazy’ Peter Christopherson, Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell and Storm Thorgerson, in Hipgnosis’s Denmark St studio, 1979.
Powell with a print of the cow Hipgnosis photographed for Pink Floyd’s Animals, filmed by Anton Corbijn for Squaring the Circle.
magCulture Live 2023
9 July 2023
Wix Playground 100 Gansevoort Street New York, NY 10014 US and online
Since 2013, magCulture has been hosting an annual event that celebrates creative editorial projects by featuring a diverse line-up of speakers from the world of magazines. This year, figures such as Debra Bishop (see ‘Books received #16’), Matt Willey (see ‘Reportage lives’ and ‘Jump cuts’ in Eye 104), Dan Crowe (see ‘Port of entry’), John Sunyer, Anna Jay and Chloe Scheffe (see ‘Chloe Scheffe: Rethinking editorial design’ in Eye 100) will share their work and insights into the evolving role of magazines in contemporary culture. The theme of ‘magCulture Live 2023’, ‘Format’, will explore the dimensions of magazine production, including size, shape, and periodicity. Attendees can expect an engaging exploration of the creative possibilities and choices available to magazine makers.
Alongside the main event, magCulture presents the MagMagMag pop-up shop, offering a curated selection of international magazines. There will be also three additional free events, featuring presentations and discussions with industry professionals. From a special presentation by Alexander Tochilovsky on the graphic design archive at Cooper Union’s Herb Lubalin Study Center, to insightful conversations with influential figures like Kim Hastreiter, Milah Libin, Anna Jay, and Roxanne Behr, magCulture Live promises a thought-provoking experience.
‘magCulture Live 2023’ will take place in New York and online on 9 July 2023.
Covers of the magazines discussed at ‘magCulture Live 2023’.
Visual Poetry: Contemporary Posters from Iran
27 July — 29 October 2023
Museum für Gestaltung, Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 ZürichZurich, Switzerland
In the 1960s, Iranian graphic design emerged as a distinct discipline. Despite the challenges posed by the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979 and the Iran-Iraq War, designers continued to build upon their prewar legacy. This exhibition showcases a collection of Iranian poster art from the past twenty years, presenting a fusion of Persian heritage and contemporary international design trends. While some posters affirm Western perceptions of Islamic aesthetics, others subvert them in surprising ways. Through poetic and symbolically coded visuals, these works transcend the cultural and political restrictions of the regime, embodying the creative freedom that arises during times of political turmoil.
‘Visual Poetry: Contemporary Posters from Iran’ will be supported by a series of talks, lectures and workshops, expanding on themes featured in the exhibition. The accompanying book from Contemporary Iran (Lars Müller) explores the fusion of history and contemporaneity, blending Iran’s cultural traditions with Western influences and computer-generated graphics.
Posters featured in the exhibition ‘Visual Poetry: Contemporary Posters from Iran’.
Spread from Contemporary Iran published by Lars Müller (2023).
A beautiful dark heritage: a historical overview of blackletter in Mexican letterform culture
31 July 2023
This free online talk will focus on the presence of blackletter in the Mexican landscape that can be spotted everywhere from Tijuana to Cozumel. In the shape of cholo graffiti, sign painting for birria taco spots, tequila ice cream, tattoo parlours, gravestone carving and a myriad of unapologetic crossbreed lettering displaying creative new styles of blackletter, becoming an essential part of México’s letterform culture.
This presentation by educator, researcher and type designer Jesús Barrientos Mora will discuss the (most probable) reasons behind how and why a medieval calligraphy style became so deep-rooted in México – a legacy spanning 500 years.
Educator, researcher and type designer Jesús Barrientos Mora will share his insights on presence of blackletter in Mexican letterform culture.
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