anonymous designers

Recent articles about anonymous designers

Data storytelling in late Victorian London

Issue 101, Summer 2021


The design community is currently fascinated by data storytelling. Everyone…

Encyclopedic ambitions

Issue 99, Autumn 2019


English-language historical surveys of illustration have been undertaken on…

Party people

Issue 96, Spring 2018


‘Made In North Korea’ (House of Illustration, London, 26 March–13 May 2018)…

Duck the issue

Issue 96, Spring 2018


Surveying a decade of electoral shocks, coups d’état, demonstrations and…

We Made This: Technical challenge

Issue 95, Winter 2018


Sarah Snaith talks to Briar Levit, director of a new film on the history of graphic design

Design culture with constraints

Issue 92, Summer 2016


Until recently, everyday commercial graphic design from East Germany was…

Making sense of a complex ideal

Issue 92, Summer 2016


Simplification is an ideal we think we aspire to, whether we are talking…

I am a poster

Issue 92, Summer 2016


David Crowley, curator of ‘The Poster Remediated’ at the Warsaw International Poster Biennale…

James Mosley: A life in objects

Issue 90, Summer 2015


Through his ideas, collecting and dogged research, the former St Bride librarian has shown that…

Words and pictures talking


Canongate has reissued John Berger and Jean Mohr’s A Fortunate Man, about Gloucestershire doctor…

Nostalgia for the Carnation Revolution

Issue 89, Winter 2014


The exhibition ‘Freedom of Image’, which was spread throughout Porto between…

The retoucher’s accidental art

Issue 88, Summer 2014


The reworked press photos now being discarded are unique objects and compellingly strange images.…

Comic cuts

Issue 87, Spring 2014


Andreu Balius collects Spanish meat papers, which are typically covered in graphic images of…

A Monotype timeline

Issue 84, Autumn 2012


A selected, chronological list of notable events in the long, complex history of Monotype

Stanley Morison: Changing the Times

Issue 84, Autumn 2012


In 1929 Monotype’s typographical adviser, Stanley Morison, published an article critical of the…

Deep in the Monotype archive

Issue 84, Autumn 2012


A wide selection of Monotype’s drawings, artworks, publications and vintage photographs spread…

Pages from the library of libraries

Issue 84, Autumn 2012


Graphic design, devoted as it is to re-framing text and image, thrives as an…

Club-runner graphics

Issue 5, Winter 1991


In the mid to late 1980s we would be out every night at some club or other…

Dan Dare, Bunty and all their pals

Issue 83, Summer 2012


  James Chapman states his intentions openly: to trace the development of…

Crash covers

Issue 52, Summer 2004


J. G. Ballard’s novel resists attempts to summarise it with a single image

The meaning of money

Issue 5, Winter 1991


Bank notes change hands without so much as a second glace – a daily act of faith that says much…

We hardly knew you

Issue 42, Winter 2001


Street-corner merchandising tries to remember the twin towers

Temple of type

Issue 2, Winter 1990


St Bride Library is one of the world’s best sources of information about type design and…

Punk uncovered: an unofficial history of provincial opposition

Issue 33, Autumn 1999


British punk gave a sound, a voice and a visual currency to the disenfranchised and remote.…

Self-aggrandising, self-satisfied

Issue 38, Winter 2000


Brochures: Frost, Push, Elliott Peter Earls, the Office of CC …

Messy medium

Issue 64, Summer 2007


Social media is shifting message-making away from mass media and into the hands of multiple users.

Lost worlds

Issue 55, Spring 2005


Vernacular photography. Innocence regained? Or just another kind of fiction?

Your system sucks!

Issue 8, Autumn 1993


The flight from Modernism left a yearning for graphics that were rough, real, unaffected and…

Are you sure you need that new logo?

Issue 10, Autumn 1993


Graphic designers fill the world with a Babel of signs. Is it time we took them away again? By Ken…

Recent blog posts by anonymous designers

Books received #47

22 September 2021

The IBM Poster Program; This is What Democracy Looked Like; Flag Waves
Here is a selection of titles that caught our attention in recent weeks.

Walking in a nuclear winter land

13 December 2019

A new book recalls a time when civil authorities urged citizens to prepare for a threat from the East. By Andrew Robertson
The book Nuclear War in the UK, already in its second printing, has been a surprise hit of the Christmas election season, writes Andrew Robertson.

At your service

15 October 2019

Armin Hofmann’s Graphic Design Manual. A review by Alex Cameron
A reproduction of Armin Hofmann’s poster, Giselle, designed for the Basel Open Air Theatre in 1959, has hung at my desk for more than twenty years, writes Alex Cameron.

Drawing up Modern man

5 December 2018

Neurath and Kahn – the impresarios of early twentieth-century infographics. Review of Image Factories. Infographics 1920-1945
Image Factories. Infographics 1920-1945’s humble appearance belies its contents – a wealth of precious knowledge and visuals, and an elaborate inner design that uses three different papers and special colour prints, writes Sandra Rendgen.

Invisible women in Australian graphic design

4 July 2018

The ‘afFEMation’ project throws new light on influential women in Australian design history. Jane Connory explains her multifaceted project
The afFEMation project stems from my belief that designers included in the history of Australian graphic design should be measured by their local influence rather than by their connections abroad, writes Jane Connory.

Great display in Harlem

21 March 2018

Inspiring exhibitions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture illustrate the dynamic power of graphic design. By Robert Newman
If, like me, you’ve been both inspired and entertained by the cultural moment that the Black Panther movie has engendered, writes Robert Newman, you’ll want to see two equally inspiring and entertaining visual exhibitions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City: ‘Power in Print’ and ‘Black Power!’.

Books received #30

6 November 2017

This Is Me, Full Stop., Jonny Hannah, Hi-Fi Living, Sardon’s Stampography and drawings of UFOs
Here is yet another selection of books that caught our attention in recent weeks and months, reviewed by Lindsay Hargrave.

Characters in search of an emoji

6 May 2017

Can emojis help people with serious difficulties in communication and self-expression? Katie Baggs is on a mission to find the ‘emoji gaps’
For Eye’s quarterly Type Tuesday on 7 March 2017, themed ‘Fists, fleurons & emojis’, I joined designers Alan Kitching, Gavin Lucas and Rian Hughes plus Emojipedia’s Jeremy Burge to chair a panel discussion on non-alphanumeric characters, writes Katie Baggs.

Ghosts of designbots yet to come

21 December 2016

Automated graphic design and the rise of robot creatives – Francisco Laranjo files a critical report from the perspective of Christmas 2025
From our perspective here in 2025, it all seems inevitable, writes Francisco Laranjo. But maybe it wasn’t.

Fileteado Porteño – past and present

7 July 2016

A vernacular folk art has become synonymous with the visual identity of Buenos Aires. Gustavo Ferrari explains this extraordinary craft
Fileteado porteño is a traditional Argentinean artform, which began as simple decoration on the trade carts of bread, milk and vegetable sellers in the early twentieth century, writes Gustavo Ferrari.

What design didn’t do

30 June 2016

As a designer I feel guilty, says Marina Willer. Could we have done more to stop Brexit?
Twenty years ago, I chose to move from Brazil to London because it is the most diverse and cosmopolitan city in the world, writes Marina Willer.

Forging a new society

28 June 2016

Children’s picturebooks from Soviet Russia. Clare Walters reviews A New Childhood at the House of Illustration
Anyone interested in Russian graphic design and illustration of the early twentieth century, or in the history of children’s picturebooks, will find the current exhibition at the House of Illustration fascinating, writes Clare Walters.

More design for eating

7 January 2016

Menu Design in America looks back at more than a century of visual and culinary history
There is something very satisfying about a menu. Whether it be the cutout of a pig just before delving into a pulled pork sandwich or a space age diner preparing you for some interstellar fry-up.

City of signs

15 July 2015

Artist Alida Sayer witnesses a collision of ancient and hyper-modern in Andong, South Korea
The city of Andong, though widely considered the bastion of ‘traditional’ Korea, possesses a distinctively perpendicular aesthetic, writes Alida Sayer.


2 June 2015

An archive of historical, ‘aw shucks’ clip art shows a clipped version of history, says Steven McCarthy
One afternoon about fifteen years ago, my University of Minnesota office phone rang, writes Steven McCarthy. It was an attorney at law, claiming to represent The Gap, the clothing retailer.

Accidental art sale

10 April 2015

Haunting, retouched press photos from the collection of Raynal Pellicer are on display in a Paris gallery until late June
Raynal Pellicer’s collection of retouched press photos is on display at Galerie Argentic in Paris, writes Sean Eckhardt.

Codex lives on as a book

12 March 2015

The Eternal Letter, edited by Paul Shaw, was launched at the Type Directors Club in New York
Last month MIT Press launched the book The Eternal Letter: Two Millennia of the Classical Roman Capital at the Type Directors Club in New York City, writes Doug Clouse.

Beer signs in the grain belt

13 January 2015

Water, grain and time converge at the source of the Mississippi in Minnesota. Steven McCarthy tastes the typefaces and signs that brand his local beers
Minnesota has abundant quantities of beer’s two main ingredients: water and grain, writes Steven McCarthy.

Books received #11

7 November 2014

Paul Graham, Rian Hughes, Modern Toss, The Art of Noir and Nude’s take on underground graphics
Here are a few books that have caught our attention in recent weeks.

The trade that lost its way

14 May 2014

UK book printing is in trouble, says Francis Atterbury. The trade makes truly awful books, while the Private Press lacks content.
There’s a wave of technological revolution hitting the printing industry as new technology and new printing methods promise a revolution in the trade, writes Francis Atterbury.

Graphic protests inspire laughter and hope

28 March 2014

In the run-up to the Turkish elections, designers satirise the actions of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Report by Gülizar Çepoğlu.
A deluge of satirical poster designs and artworks have become a powerful form of protest for Turkish people, writes Gülizar Çepoğlu.

Typographic freak-out

25 March 2014

Content Aware typography makes Adobe’s software ‘fail’ in the most interesting way
Content Aware Fill first appeared in Adobe Photoshop CS5, released in 2010, writes Tom Harrad.

Even further beyond Beck

16 September 2013

Extended review: Rob Waller takes a closer look at Underground Maps Unravelled by psychologist Maxwell Roberts
Harry Beck’s underground map has to be the most celebrated and discussed instance of information design, writes Rob Waller.

Two sides of propaganda

28 June 2013

A new exhibition recounts the history of political persuasion, from coins to tweets.
The British Library’s exhibition, ‘Propaganda: Power and Persuasion’, shows a 1982 political cartoon that was drawn shortly after martial law was imposed in Poland. The drawing is of General Jaruzelski, a Polish political leader, attempting to bridge the gap between two sides of a widening chasm. The left side represents propaganda; the right represents reality, writes Katy Canada.

Sinhala’s voluptuous letters

26 June 2013

A collaboration – between Columbo, in Sri Lanka, and Falmouth, in the UK – explores the typographic possibilities of the Sinhalese abugida
The orthography of the Sinhalese, one of the peoples of the beautiful island of Sri Lanka‚ is one of three writing systems that populate the visible culture of the south Asian island nation, writes Timothy Donaldson.

Museum of lights

15 May 2013

Thomas E. Rinaldi’s New York Neon documents a cityscape sprawling with the remnants of illuminated signage. Rinaldi shies away from ‘spectaculars’ in familiar places such as Times Square in favour of the ‘open-air museum’ of on-premise storefronts across Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, writes Sarah Snaith.

Banham’s Melbourne letters

26 March 2013

The first thing you think on flipping through Characters is: Wow, I wouldn’t mind living in Melbourne, writes Robert Hanks.

A dentist’s unerring eye

17 January 2013

Dr Hans Sachs was the poster aficionado who launched Das Plakat. By Graham Twemlow
Graham Twemlow writes: A large part of the Hans Sachs poster collection is about to be sold off at auction (see ‘Back on the market’). Born in Breslau, Germany in 1881, Dr Sachs began collecting posters at the end of the nineteenth century while he was training to become a chemist (he later turned to dentistry).

Ladies’ unmentionables

15 January 2013

Shelley Gruendler is fascinated by the graphic language of feminine hygiene disposal bags
Twenty years ago, while in my second year at design school, I pilfered my first ‘feminine hygiene sanitary disposal’ bag from a doctor’s office in Raleigh, North Carolina, writes Shelley Gruendler.

Hand-made in Cambodia

21 November 2012

Painted signs enliven the streetscapes of Kratie, a sleepy provincial capital in North East Cambodia.
Cambodia is a country awash with hand-painted signs, writes Sam Roberts. They form an integral part of the streetscape but most visitors barely even notice them.

What are they thinking?

5 November 2012

These unique, plebeian graphic executions – ephemeral, often questionable lawn signs – embody the US Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of free speech, says Mike Kippenhan.
In the United States, automobile bumper stickers and lawn signs are the preferred way of informing others non-verbally of one’s political affiliation, writes Mike Kippenhan.

Smoke bomb

20 August 2012

Australia’s decision to ‘unbrand’ tobacco packaging demands more debate, says Alex Cameron
Last week I woke to the news that cigarette packaging is to be ‘un-designed’ as a result of a landmark ruling by the highest court in Australia, writes Alex Cameron. As a result, from December, all fag packets will be olive green, and dominated by large graphic health warnings, with the manufacturers' names printed in a small generic font.

The notes may be fabricated

31 July 2012

Alternative currencies show that money is just an idea that can be redesigned. By Livia Lima
We live in an age when it is difficult to trust our banks, writes Livia Lima, but what about the notes in your purse or wallet? With economies across Europe teetering on the edge of collapse, plans are being drawn up to revive ‘retired’ currencies such as the drachma, and some Greek cities have jumped the gun by issuing their own alternative currencies.

Design for drugs in NYC

7 October 2011

Exhibition will explore the graphic world of pharmaceutical products
A new exhibition at The Herb Lubalin Study Center at The Cooper Union will explore the graphic world of pharmaceutical design. Work by Andy Warhol, Lester Beall, Will Burtin and Herb Lubalin features in the show, which charts design for drugs from the 1940s to the present day. Here, curator Alexander Tochilovsky shares his thoughts about what he sees as a ‘golden age’ in US pharmaceutical design, the 1940s and 50s.

Lost in space

28 July 2011

Why do architects believe their wordless buildings are easy to read?
‘Sign designers are convinced that architects don’t like them,’ writes Rob Waller, in his provocative Monitor piece in the latest issue of Eye (no. 80 vol. 20).

Comic serif

11 August 2010

How Punch magazine turned table talk into cartoons and typography
The British Library have just published a book that explores the inner world of Victorian comic magazine Punch. The Punch Brotherhood, by Patrick Leary, examines the importance of oral culture (or ‘table talk’) in shaping nineteenth-century print culture.