Threat Quality Press have a great post by an ex-Borderite on why the way we sell magazines is pretty stupid. It raises some interesting issues about the ghettoisation of magazines in shops (for example, why aren’t sci-fi mags kept with the sci-fi books, instead of next to the knitting mags?), and I completely agree with the conclusion that the logical future for book/magazine shops is in curation. You can’t compete with Amazon’s quantity, so don’t.
Less, but better. It applies to pretty much anything.
I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again: if you don’t like reading but you do like grey pictures, then my other blog is made especially for you. It’s basically just lots and lots of found photographs of beautiful concrete structures. Enjoy it before Prince Charles has it destroyed.
Here’s my regular dose of pictorial discoveries – although none of them come close to the splendidness of this first one. Charles Eames? Smoking a pipe? Sat in an Eames plastic armchair? Atop an Eames table? In black and white? I would gladly have this tattooed on my bottom.
Over at the Designer’s Review of Books (which I am an infrequent contributor to), Owen Priestley has reviewed The transformer: principles of making Isotype charts by Marie Neurath and Robin Kinross. Looks rather good. I’ve experimented with this particular form of data visualisation before – a little chart of mine ended up in Gym Class magazine a while back – but I’d love to find out more.
“In the end, a design should stand by itself, without excuses, explanations, apologies. It should represent the fulfillment of a successful process in all it’s beauty. A responsible solution.”—Massimo Vignelli
Responding to the new website for Inventory magazine, there’s a bit of a heated debate going on at Drawar about font sizes. Some claim the type on the site (designed – perfectly in my opinion – by Stuart Hobday) is illegibly small, while others claim it’s just fine. Amongst all the discussion, Swiss Cheese and Bullets has been mentioned as an example of good use of small type. To be honest it is something I’ve been back and forth about – I constantly experiment with different sizes, but always come back to 10pt. So what do you think? Is 10pt too small? Is tiny Helvetica more legible than tiny Georgia? Should we just expect people to use their browsers’ zoom options? Pop over to Drawar to join the discussion.
A real treat turned up in the post: Unit Edition’s latest Design/Research paper. Printed on wonderfully tactile newsprint (and these days, what isn’t?), it charts the short life of sixties neo-modernist magazine Form. As well as a generous selection of spreads and covers, it contains a revealing interview with editor, designer and publisher Professor Philip Steadman. For those of you out there who love nothing more than some thoughtfully griddled Helvetica, this is a must.
My latest findings from across the web. Lots of interesting bits and bobs, including space-tools and proof that Esquire produces the best covers in any language. Click each pic to visit the source, or check out even more of my findings on ffffound.
A particularly satisfying pile of boxes has appeared in our office after a bit of an anxious wait. Trust me on this one: having your printer go into administration halfway through a job is NOT fun. Still, the finished product (all 8,000 copies of it) looks and smells delicious. I’ll take some proper photos with a proper camera when I’ve got some proper time.
One for the Monocle-lovers out there: Inventory magazine (in their words: “a curation of ideas in product, craft and culture”) has a lovely new website, designed by Mr Hobday in typically elegant, gridular style. A reservoir of calm sophistication amongst the usual bluster of the web.
Having just read Frank Chimero’s ‘playlist’ of great writing, I’ve had my eyes opened to the wisdom of Mr Kurt Vonnegut. It shames me to say I’ve never actually read Vonnegut before, but looking at his seven tips for writing with style, he’s a definite contender for my own playlist (more on each after the jump):
Find a subject you care about
Do not ramble, though
Keep it simple
Have guts to cut
Sound like yourself
Say what you mean
Pity the readers
I’ve got a few writing projects lined up ahead of me, so hopefully I’ll hear Vonnegut’s voice in my head as I’m working on them. Not really sure what he sounded like, so I’ll just assign him the default disembodied voice: Richard Burton.
Aaages ago I set up a Flickr group for covers and spreads of The Face magazine. It’s still slowly growing (big thanks to Oli Pyle and Jonathan Gitlin), but I’m sure there’s a lot more out there that. If you have any issues, please take a few pics and throw them into the group pool. Maybe if we show enough interest, EMAP will do the decent thing and release a complete archive in some digital format or other.
Executive Edits is a growing collection of profiles of inspiring business and creative sorts, focusing on insight and inspiration. It’s well worth dipping into for a read, particularly as they have an incredibly small interview with yours truly (in which I reveal my first ever inspiration – an exclusive! – and clumsily use the word ‘Davids’).
Dr B and I watched Brian De Palma’s bonkers Phantom of the Paradise the other night, and one of the things that really caught my eye was this logo for the fictional Death Records label. It looks like something that was designed yesterday, not way back in 1974 (although the choice of type gives it away a little – any idea what it might be? It’s Ortem. Thanks to @sammigoat/@robgj for identifying that). The more I look at it, the more I love it. Definitely one to be filed under ‘all time classic logos designed for fictional clients’, alongside Ghostbusters and Weyland-Yutani Corp.