Simon Esterson

Recent articles by Simon Esterson

Magic and logic

Issue 103, Summer 2022

Review

How do you tell the story of the way graphic design actually gets done? Two books…

Bound for modernity

Issue 103, Summer 2022

Opinion

Spiral and comb binding have been rehabilitated for aesthetics and practicality. By Simon Esterson [EXTRACT]

Ten projects by Jim Sutherland

Issue 101, Summer 2021

Feature

A graphic designer downsizes to spend more time thinking, studying and designing without commercial studio pressures. What could possibly go right? By Simon Esterson. Portrait by Philip Sayer [EXTRACT]

Fritz Gottschalk and the Swiss-Canadian connection

Issue 99, Autumn 2019

Feature

Gottschalk + Ash International spans more than five decades, a Swiss design studio with Modernist roots in Northern Europe and North America. Eye went to Zürich to meet the people behind the practice

Liberté, égalité, typography

Issue 97, Autumn 2018

Feature

Serge Ricco, creative director of l’Obs, has shown this word-driven, left-wing French weekly the power of expressive type and images

A note on the type

Issue 95, Winter 2018

Review

The Eye reviews desk bends under the weight of new books on type, from the…

Notes from the American North-West

Issue 93, Winter 2017

Review

With a notebook and pencil poking out of the top pocket of his denim work…

Book of the mag of the moment

Issue 93, Winter 2017

Review

IL is the monthly supplement of the Italian business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. Since…

The book of Michael

Issue 92, Summer 2016

Review

It is a pleasure to read a book that is honest, accessible and direct about…

Reputations: Mucho

Issue 89, Winter 2014

Feature

‘We were interested in working internationally, to learn from different cultures and to know how design behaves globally. We had international clients. But you really need people in those places to stay active. So the answer is sharing.’

All the news in theory and in action

Issue 88, Summer 2014

Review

Everybody is publishing books about small independent magazines these days (or planning to, from what…

An Atlas of Typeforms

Issue 86, Autumn 2013

Feature

As a sidebar to ‘Quiet man of letters’, Simon Esterson talks about his early encounters with this celebrated book by Alan Bartram and James Sutton

Sans serifs in suburbia

Issue 87, Spring 2014

Feature

Sainsbury’s brought 1960s Modernism to the kitchen cupboard

Well fed in the West End

Issue 87, Spring 2014

Feature

Ardizzone’s menus evoked a mid-century world of food-loving Londoners

Pictures on a page

Issue 84, Autumn 2012

Review

This Eye special issue about Monotype focuses on the technology of putting words on the…

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 is to develop typefaces: pulling component parts of various typefaces that seem to work well and amalgamate those into a new design.’

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 approach to twenty-first century challenges.

Editorial Eye 84

Issue 84, Autumn 2012

Opinion

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

A tale of two diagrams

Issue 83, Summer 2012

Review

Frank Pick, the London Underground system’s legendary manager, believed good design was good for business.He…

When the pen was mighty

Issue 78, Winter 2010

Review

These two volumes (Custom Lettering of the 40s & 50s, Custom Lettering of the 60s…

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 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.’

Off the shelf

Issue 82, Winter 2012

Review

Jonny Trunk is obsessed by the childhood memory of a cornflake box seen on family…

Brodovitch’s encore

Issue 80, Summer 2011

Review

In 1945, the small New York publisher J. J. Augustin published, in an edition of…

Drink me

Issue 76, Summer 2010

Review

From its cork-finished covers to its wine-bottle proportions, Eduardo del Fraile’s Wine Labels looks and…

Big book of books

Issue 73, Autumn 2009

Review

Bibliographic is a book about books. British designer Jason Godfrey has selected 100 books about…

You can judge by the cover

Issue 70, Winter 2008

Review

Designer Andrew Howard’s catalogue of his exhibition Gateways: An International Exhibition of Book Covers, Portugal…

Soft-edged memoir

Issue 81, Autumn 2011

Review

Duncan Fallowell’s ‘memoir for misfits’ How to disappear (Ditto Press, £14.99) is possibly as interesting…

Manual transmissions

Issue 68, Summer 2008

Review

Will Burtin was one of the pioneers of twentieth-century American graphic design, but he strode…

Head Trip

Issue 78, Winter 2010

Feature

Simon Esterson applauds the vivid drama of a pharmaceutical brochure

Union of Soviet socialist images

Issue 71, Spring 2009

Review

Cover design for Red Star Over Russia (Tate). In 1970 David King was in Moscow…

Putting the graph in graphic

Issue 70, Winter 2008

Review

Data Flow: Visualising Information in Graphic Design (Die Gestalten Verlag, £40, $78, €49.90) is publisher…

The ranged left years

Issue 74, Winter 2009

Review

As we leave the certainties of the last few decades behind (stable social and economic…

Printing.com

Issue 66, Winter 2007

Feature

Where digital tools changed design, global communications and green issues are redefining the world of print

The font now arriving at Platform 1

Issue 75, Spring 2010

Review

Stories in the glossier design books usually have neat endings: the project is completed successfully…

Penguin in pictures

Issue 73, Autumn 2009

Review

The Penguin Collectors’ Society is an owners club for people who worship at the shrine…

The elegant simplicity of torn paper

Issue 69, Autumn 2008

Review

There is an elegant simplicity about this combined book and DVD on the Dutch designer…

Glimpses of a graphic reality

Issue 33, Autumn 1999

Review

Admit it. What graphic designers really want is to see work by other graphic designers…

That’s art direction

Issue 61, Autumn 2006

Feature

Words and pictures – and the way they are used to tell a story – lie at the heart of every magazine, big or small

Taking care of business

Issue 80, Summer 2011

Feature

The pages of Bloomberg Businessweek explode with infographics, illustration and design experiment. Interview with creative director Richard Turley

In few words / Manplan 1

Issue 54, Winter 2004

Feature

The AR’s Manplan is a tactile reminder of a time when magazines lived dangerously

Kit of parts

Issue 44, Summer 2002

Feature

A newspaper is a giant kit of parts that gets assembled in different ways each day. Contemporary newspaper design is about trying to define how the kit should look and work. Drawing on examples from throughout the world, Simon Esterson examines the process

First Things First Manifesto 2000

Issue 33, Autumn 1999

Feature

Thirty-three visual communicators renew the 1964 call for a change of priorities

The Vignellis: a thoroughly Modernist marriage

Issue 60, Summer 2006

Opinion

Lella and Massimo Vignelli talk to Eye’sJohn L. Walters and Simon Esterson

Inspiration

Issue 58, Winter 2005

Opinion

Designer Simon Esterson finds inspiration in Ken Briggs’s National Theatre programmes from the 1960s

Could this be the death of the dot?

Issue 14, Autumn 1994

Review

How can you make a picture look its best on the printed page? In recent…

Recent blog posts about Simon Esterson

Letterpress celebration

13 October 2020
Design history, Graphic design, Posters, Type Tuesday, Typography

Italy’s Tipoteca museum commemorates its quarter century with 25 specially commissioned posters. By Simon Esterson and James Clough
Based in Cornuda in the northeast of Italy, Tipoteca is one of the finest printing…

Every Eye ever

26 June 2020
Brand madness, Graphic design, Magazines, Photography, Typography

A display of every edition of Eye from 1 to 100 turned magCulture into a surreal cross between gallery and newsagent, complete with masked customers. Art director Simon Esterson reports
On Thursday 18 June 2020, Jeremy Leslie was keen to celebrate customers being able to…

Reportage lives

12 August 2016
Magazines, Photography, Typography

Long reads, big pictures. Newspaper magazines rise to the challenge of telling real stories
This weekend two newspaper magazines step out of their usual structures and remind us what…

Type on the tongue

20 December 2013
Food design, Typography, Visual culture

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…

Type Tuesday: Reputations

3 July 2012
Graphic design, Magazines, Technology, Typography

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…

Beatrice Warde lecture

27 October 2010
Design history, Graphic design, Typography

Sébastien Morlighem’s gripping tale of Excoffon and the Fonderie Olive.
Tuesday night: to Bridewell Hall at the St Bride Library for the annual Beatrice Warde…

Early adopter: Desmond Jeffery

4 November 2009
Design history, Graphic design, Posters, Reviews, Typography, Visual culture

St Bride hails the ‘non-designer’ who’s an unsung hero of British Modernism
The most exciting graphic design exhibition I’ve seen in London recently is at the St Bride…

Jan van Toorn at the Mermaid

29 March 2009
Design education, Design history, Graphic design, Visual culture

‘Collecting images is not enough. How democratic is it?’
In a very polite, and very Dutch way, writes Simon Esterson, Jan van Toorn used…

Founding father of infodesign

28 July 2008
Design history, Graphic design, Magazines, Reviews

How Will Burtin used design for science in exhibitions and magazines
Above: the walk-in Cell exhibition, a million times larger than life, designed by Will Burtin…