Craig Black is a Scottish born graphic designer, lettering artist and typographer currently running his own design studio in Glasgow and London. He’s produced work for AIGA, Glug, UEFA and the BBC and published internationally by Computer Arts, Creative Review and IdN Magazine. Check out this great interview with him over on TypographHer.
In a growing world of budget ‘do-it-yourself-internets’ and ‘get-your-cheap-business-cards-here’ it’s always super good to see a new service that actually looks legit pop-up, welcome to the table Strut and Fibre.
Strut and Fibre is a new online print service, crafted by creative studio Delight aimed at people with a desire for a higher level of quality printing services with options excelling offerings from lower-end competitors.
Strut and Fibre have also locked in an incredible host of design ambassadors from studios to illustrators to create an exclusive offering across their range of business cards, postcards and A2 printed materials including: Build, Bread Collective, Delight, Hey Studio, Malika Favre, Richard Hogg, Steven Wilson, Supermundane, Two Times Elliott
The guys behind the service have also set up a launch event that’s taking place at Protein studios on the 8th of September followed by a 3 day exhibition featuring the ambassadors work in the same venue. Tickets for the launch can be grabbed over on Eventbrite here.
For all in the info on the event and their upcoming services hit up: strutandfibre.com
For more work from Delight check out their case studies here.
We’re big fans of top quality editorial design here at FFF, and one of the finest practitioners of our era is Matt Willey, who’s work we’ve covered numerous times. Now resident Art Director on arguably the biggest stage of all, The New York Times Magazine, we took the opportunity to chat with him about a recent very special issue – Fractured Lands.
Editor-In-Chief Jake Silverstein introduces the issue:
This is a story unlike any we have previously published. It is much longer than the typical New York Times Magazine feature story; in print, it occupies an entire issue. The product of some 18 months of reporting, it tells the story of the catastrophe that has fractured the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis. The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences — war and uncertainty throughout the world — are familiar to us all. Scott Anderson’s story gives the reader a visceral sense of how it all unfolded, through the eyes of six characters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Accompanying Anderson’s text are 10 portfolios by the photographer Paolo Pellegrin, drawn from his extensive travels across the region over the last 14 years, as well as a landmark virtual-reality experience that embeds the viewer with the Iraqi fighting forces during the battle to retake Fallujah.
It is unprecedented for us to focus so much energy and attention on a single story, and to ask our readers to do the same. We would not do so were we not convinced that what follows is one of the most clear-eyed, powerful and human explanations of what has gone wrong in this region that you will ever read.
FFF: This issue is clearly a piece of ‘serious’ journalism, how did the subject matter influence your approach to designing it? MW: Well I guess you aim at making something appropriate, or relevant, something that works.
FFF: Can you talk us through any of your decision making or thinking? MW: From early on in the process this was being described as a book, of sorts. It ended up being a single 42,000-word piece. But of course it is a magazine and I was interested in how that balance might work. It was an opportunity to rethink the magazine in the context of a one-off issue that could – and had – to behave differently, something that was able to accommodate such a long uninterrupted piece of writing. Jake (Silverstein, the Editor in Chief) made the (brilliant and brave) decision to go ad-free (the issue was sponsored by the Pulitzer Center) and that had a huge impact on the way the issue ended up looking. The first spread for example, always home to an advert, is a very sparse text-only intro on the left, which feels a little like the blurb you might find on the inside of a book jacket, opposite an editors note. It is, for us, if nothing else, a very unusual introduction to the magazine. The last spread features the only vertical image (a stunning photo of a girl running across a dusty street in Tikrit, Iraq) on the left next to a solid black page, it feels like an endpaper. I like how that works as an ending. I suppose it was a process of removing anything that felt superfluous, being quite severe about what was necessary. It’s very rigidly structured: the photographs (with the exception of that end page and one big double-page image upfront) appear in the same position and at the same size on each spread, there are no pull-quotes and instead the text is broken up by numbered chapters featuring an illustrated portrait of whichever of the six characters stories is being told. The issue is entirely black and white. I’m interested in applying these sorts of restrictions, stripping everything back, and then seeing what works.
I’m interested in applying these sorts of restrictions, stripping everything back, and then seeing what works.
FFF: Did you design it on your own? MW: I designed this issue but Gail and I were looking through layouts and discussing everything, as we do every week. One of the great privileges of working at this place is being surrounded by such an extraordinary team.
One of the great privileges of working at this place is being surrounded by such an extraordinary team.
FFF: I know Scott Anderson spent 18 months on the words – how long did you get on the design? MW: I worked on it on-and-off for about 3 weeks but things developed very rapidly in the final week of production, a lot of things changed and got decided in that week.
FFF: It feels like this issue is a lot of ‘firsts’ – first time without adverts, first issue devoted to a single story, first fully black and white issue etc.. – is there anything else you’d like to have done with it? MW: Not really, I think we pushed through most of the things that we wanted to do with this issue. I was pleased that we were able to do the wrap-around cover (I think that might be a first too?), and that we had an image that felt like it justified doing it.
FFF: The layout and typesetting feels very considered, respectful and restrained, did you explore any other styles or approaches that were a bit more dramatic or ‘Willey-esque’, or was it a relatively straightforward design job with such fantastic content? MW: This approach felt appropriate to me. I tried various typographic treatments for those chapter openers, for example, but it didn’t feel necessary to do anything more ‘dramatic’ or flamboyant with the type. Bold decisions can include decisions to not do something… if you know what I mean. I would argue that this this issue is just as ‘designed’ as many other issues, it’s just done with a lot more restraint. As a piece of design I’m as proud of this issue as I am the 800ft issue. They’re just different. It was extraordinary content to be working with but it certainly wasn’t straightforward to do, it was a tough issue to put together.
It was extraordinary content to be working with but it certainly wasn’t straightforward to do, it was a tough issue to put together.
FFF: The amazing Paolo Pellegrin shot images are all B&W, is this how you received them? – and did this influence the decision to keep the whole issue mono? MW: Yes they came in as black and white photographs and I guess that influenced the decision to keep the issue monochromatic. At one stage I had little hits of color for certain bits, but it wasn’t necessary. It just worked better in black and white.
FFF: It feels like ‘single issue’ or even ‘single story’ mags are now a viable thing, do you expect to be working on more of them at the day job?, and do you think other mags could learn anything from the holistic approach? MW: I don’t know if single story issues are somehow more viable now than at any other time. This issue is an extraordinary achievement editorially and I don’t think there are many magazines that would have, or could have, done it. But this story is such an important one. The gravitas of this subject means that dedicating the issue in this way, so completely, makes sense. I think it was a great decision by Jake to do this particular issue in this particular way. We do a lot of special issues each year, single theme issues (food, the Olympics, New York, money, education… and so on) but this issue is, as Jake says in his editors note, unlike any we have previously published. I don’t know if he’s planning anything else along these lines. It feels like a distinct one-off to me, but who knows.
this story is such an important one. The gravitas of this subject means that dedicating the issue in this way, so completely, makes sense.
Design Director: Gail Bichler, Director of Photography: Kathy Ryan Art Director: Matt Willey Deputy Art Director: Jason Sfetko Designers: Frank Augugliaro, Ben Grandgenett, Chloe Scheffe Digital Designer: Linsey Fields Associate Photo Editors: Stacey Baker, Amy Kellner, Christine Walsh
It is Banks’ fifth font and available exclusively sold through HypeForType, joining fonts created by designers including Alex Trochut, Non-Format, Craig Ward & Jon Burgerman.
F37 Bolton is a modern Swiss style sans-serif with a nod to German designer Günter Gerhard Lange. It features distinctive flat horizontal ascenders and descenders and is available in eight weights, priced at £35/weight, or £100 for the full set.
“As a designer, I’ve always loved Günter Gerhard Lange’s work. The German’s output has been a massive inspiration. He released Schoolbook in 1982 after redrawing Akzidenz-Grotesk. He took a classic, Swiss-style sans-serif and inserted quirky characters. The capital ‘I’ for example looks more like a ‘J’. In the same way, I wanted to create a modern, Swiss-style sans-serif but with a quirky twist. I think the flat, horiztonal ascenders on the ‘a’ ‘f’ ’g’ ‘l’ ‘Q’ ‘l’ ‘q’ and ‘y’ achieve this, along with the alternatives.”
Named after the UK town in which Banks grew up, it first came about while the designer was working on a bespoke, corporate typeface with branding agency Wolff Olins. An early experimental route featuring flat, horizontal terminals, ascenders and descenders was disregarded, but Banks believed it had potential, and set about making it less radical and more user friendly.
I Belong to Jesus is a limited edition book, bound with a limited edition t-shirt and band, and documents the ‘undershirt’ celebrations of players from the global game. In 2014, FIFA, world football’s governing body, announced that players would no longer be permitted to display or reveal any messages of any kind, on any part of their kit under any circumstances—even if their intention was good. Curated together by Rick Banks and Craig Oldham, this project was instigated in response to that ruling, celebrating a fascinating and often overlooked aspect of the beautiful game. The book is published by the Unified Theory of Everything and Face37.
We caught up with both Craig (CO) and Rick (RB) to pick their brains about all things books, celebrations and football..
FFF: This book is such a great idea! Such a simple single-minded theme – how on earth did it come about? Over a pint in the pub? How did you go from concept to execution?
CO: It was exactly that: a pint in the pub. We got together for a beer and started talking about the FIFA ruling and then how that’d be a great book, because so many instantly came to mind. It really went from there… sharing links, articles, Google-image links etc. to the point where we had to start drawing a line under it and start whittling.
RB: It wasn’t just one pint! Joking aside, I think the best ideas are always when you are away from the desk. That could be in a pub, gym or even shower. With technology nowadays, working together was so easy. Things like WeTransfer and Dropbox made it a breeze, especially as we were in two different cities.
From political reformists to palaeobotanists, the work of women has helped to shape Manchester into the great city it is today. Last year the public voted for Emmeline Pankhurst to become the first woman to have her own statue in Manchester for more than 100 years, thanks to the Womanchester Statue Project. This is a big step in the right direction, towards publicly acknowledging the impact Women have had on our local and national history. Unfortunately there are plenty more women whose stories have been pushed to the back of the shelf or who have been left out of the history books altogether.
Women in Print is an exhibition that aims to spotlight the role women have played in Manchester’s past and present. The collection is sixteen works by sixteen local designers, print-makers and illustrators. Each piece is be a celebration of the life and achievements of an iconic female figure from Manchester or who’s made a significant contribution to the city.
Proceeds raised from the sale of prints will go to Manchester Women Aid a charity with a mission to improve the lives of women in Manchester. We are also proud to have supported local initiative The Monthly Gift MCR, where on the opening night exhibiton go-ers were encourage to donate sanitary care products such as tampons and pads which were then passed on to local charities who distributed them to homeless women in the city.
Teasers for the rebrand were put out across all the social media forums over the last few weeks, using tag lines such as ‘The Story Continues’ against close up images of materials and processes, which focused on the main three aspects of the company – Packaging > Production > Partners.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months you’ll be aware that this Thursday the UK will vote in a referendum to decide whether to remain in the EU, or leave. Today the site RemainPositive.Eu has gone live full of illustrative posters intended to be shared online.
From the Facebook page:
If you too are sick of the negative campaigning from both sides of the debate, and you want to celebrate the positive reasons for remaining in Europe, the following campaign may be of interest: It’s not affiliated with any political party, and is simply designed to breathe some fresh air into the increasingly bitter debate. If you like it, please share it! ?#?RemainPositive?
The new Google Fonts makes it easier than ever to browse open source fonts and learn more about the people behind them. Using the Material Design framework, Google created a design that scales across different screen sizes and devices, and updated the entire of the site, from the overall interactivity all the way down to the logo design. Nicely done!
“Our first port of call was to look at all those bits of work you see for Universities which have a photo of a student on campus and the words Tomorrow, Future, Potential or Professionals in them, and ask ‘can we try and say something different?’
The idea arrived that, for all this talk of the future, it’s now which defines what you do next and the experiences you get whilst at University start the journey. So rather than focusing on tomorrow all the time we wanted to celebrate today (especially given the campaign was geared towards getting bums on seats at the Open Days). Hence the campaign idea that ‘Everything Starts Now’.
We put a number of ideas to client as to how we could articulate that (I think there were about 8 or 9 in all… one of which involved staging a massive race… that didn’t happen). The winning concept was one where we take existing students, ask them to make an exhaustive list of everything they’ve done since being at Huddersfield from joining table top gaming clubs to designing costumes to traveling and used that as the basis of a brief for our illustrators.
We made it our mission to let the illustrators do their thing. The client totally bought into that and were amazing about it: ‘Include some Huddersfield centric stuff and we’ll trust you’ they pretty much said (I’m paraphrasing).
The finished article is popping up all over Yorkshire and Manchester with digital moving advertising, online and print. The first 30 second film has been produced with our good friend Joe Brooks for Marthe with the other two to land in the next month or two.
We art directed photography with Nick Eagle who took about 1500 shots for the films. It’s been emotional.”
Unit 25 is a timely publication looking specifically at the typographic output of Herb Lubalin. 25 years after the great designers death his impact is still obvious (and welcome) with many designers claiming him as an influence.
By focussing on the typographic output of Herb Lubalin UE have managed to produce a handy (245mm x 165mm) affordable and flickable publication (208pp) which could act as a great introduction in print to Herbs work, especially if you missed out on the comprehensive Unit 07/14. It comes with new texts, new design, new photography, and lots of previously unpublished material, utilises two paper stocks and features lay flat binding.
On why they wanted to revisit Lubalin when so many other designers of note are not yet covered in print:
Herb Lubalin is, by today’s standards, a typographic master. Everything he did – working in collaboration with some of the giants of lettering and type – had the sparkle of genius. He even had names for what he did: he described it as ‘graphic expressionism’ or ‘conceptual typography’. Using his ability to adapt, merge and create new typographic forms, he was able to enhance and amplify meaning in ways that hadn’t been seen before. Having published two books celebrating the genius of Herb Lubalin as a graphic designer working in many spheres, this new volume concentrates solely on Lubalin’s typography.
Helping out Adrian Shaughnessy, Tony Brook & the Spin design team was consultant editor Alexander Tochilovsky, who many of you will know from his brilliant curation of the Herb Lubalin Study Centre and the equally brilliant ‘Flat File‘ digital publication he edits.
+ why not get involved with the Design Museum’s ‘#FontSunday’ on twitter – this weeks theme is Herb Lubalin!
You might remember NYC based designer, illustrator and artist Mark Weaver from such places as the internet, and his hugely popular ‘Make Something Cool Every Day‘ initiative. Still going (very) strong he’s recently unveiled a new portfolio site, updated with some great projects for the likes of National Geographic and Red Bull.
When it comes to media branding, there are few that do it better than DixonBaxi. Turn up the volume for this one.
Counter-Print have announced the launch of their 10th book! It’s a pocket-sized (115x150mm, 112 pages) book titled, ‘Book Cover Design from East Asia’ and is a compendium of more than 100 book covers from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
It features the work of Wang Zhi-Hong, Nakano Design Office, The Simple Society, UMA/design farm, Hayashi Takuma Design Office and many more.
Get your copy directly from Counter-Print.