Issue 39


Editorial, John L. Walters
An old German saying claims that the Devil hides in the details. Most designers, aligning…
Agenda, Rian Hughes
When musicians remake an old hit, it’s called a cover version. When a painter copies an illustrator it’s called fine art
Screen, Jessica Helfand
Minimalism. Maximalism. Chaos. Software advances plus a reconciliation of two strains of Modernism may finally lead us towards a new screen aesthetic
Rick Poynor
Has Penguin lost its touch? Though its original identity came from pairing strong images with a shrewd choice of fiction, the latest round of designs smells like empty marketing. Critique by Rick Poynor


John L. Walters, Nick Bell
‘It’s to do with keeping things simple and having the confidence to present an idea where everything can be understood. You don’t have to be in the know to unravel it.’
Steven Heller
With Number Seventeen, their New York design practice, Emily Oberman and Bonnie Siegler have acquired a reputation for dancing letterforms and emotionally resonant, playful graphics that speak directly to TV viewers who haven’t yet turned into their parents
Joel Karamath
Title sequences of the 1950s and ’60s grabbed moviegoers with psychological insights, orchestral violence and some lessons learnt from the early pioneers of animation, for whom motion graphics, sound and story were inseparable
David Heathcote
Scopophilic horticulture is back with a vengeance. Photographers and designers strive to represent raw nature in the form of outdoor chill-out spaces: sublimated eroticism for the consuming classes, or a canonic celebration of the persistence and transience of beauty?
Jeremy Hall
When designers and marketing teams attempt to visualise serious music, they reach for fine art, photography or artist portraits. How do these selections affect the listening experience – and the buying impulse – when there are more classical recordings in the racks than ever before?
Adrian Shaughnessy
The visual candour of Wallace Berman’s hand-bound Semina magazine links 1950s hipster art with contemporary graphics
Michael Worthington
When a practice goes live with its own website, the lines between sales pitch, culture, publishing and ads get blurred. But ask a search engine for designers and you end up with branding or blandness. Maybe self-indulgence is the best policy
John O'Reilly
Ask a search engine for graphic design and you end up with branding. A trawl that throws up Future Farmers, Interbrand, Landor, Pittard Sullivan, R/GA, 72 Hour Logo Design, etc