Friend of FFF and talented freelance documentary photographer, writer and filmmaker Tom Price is due an update. He’s worked in the UK and overseas on a wide range of issues: from peace building in South Sudan, to social enterprises and socially-minded celebrities in the UK, to survivors of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, to victims of domestic violence in Brazil. Currently residing in Kolkata, India for a year, he’s available for commissions – mainly documentary projects for INGOs and editorial. He’s an absolute diamond of a guy, so if you have a project in mind don’t hesitate to contact him.
Posts by Luke Tonge:
The Five Things Book is a design-led, typographic book; revealing over 100 people’s five favourite things; along with the stories behind why they love each thing.
Gadgets, clothing, cars, art, people, places – in our daily lives we are constantly surrounded by amazing things. These things provoke memories, create deep feelings of nostalgia and we become attached to them. What if you had to choose only five things, as your favourite things. What would they be? And, why those particular things?
Over the last year the Five Things project has been posing those exact questions to people from all over the world. Each person would supply a list of their five favourite things, along with the reason they chose that particular thing. The replies have been mesmerising; often poignant, emotive and at times, funny. These answers provide an insight into the lives of people from varying cultures, places and backgrounds.
Its been fascinating to see the new English luxury watch brand Sekford take shape this year via the medium of Instagram, ahead of their recent launch. The three founders (Kuchar Swara CEO / Creative Director, Cédric Bellon Director / Watch Designer & Pierre Foulonneau Director / Industrial Designer) all hail from different design disciplines, which may go some way to explaining its particular aesthetic – that combines classic craftsmanship with Modernist principles.
The company originated when its founders were unable to find the sort of watch they themselves wanted to wear; a luxury, midcentury-style dress watch for everyday use, with a price equivalent to a great pair of shoes, bag or jacket. Its first, Swiss-made watch, the Sekford Type 1A, owes its clean, midcentury look to industrial designer Pierre Foulonneau’s dedication to functionality: ‘I think we have achieved a maximum dial size for a relatively small case,’ he says. The curved glass was watch designer Cédric Bellon’s infuence.
‘The domed dial is expensive to produce but it gives a thinner look and reflects the light nicely.’ Meanwhile, creative director Kuchar Swara engaged Commercial Type to create the dial font and markers: ‘They created a special cut of Edward Johnston’s Underground typeface, Sekford Underground Tiny, to allow more space for the markers. These were inspired by 19th century British pocket-watch dial typography, generally painted using single-hair brushes.’
The Sekford logo is an English Gothic Revival wood engraving cut by specialist engraver Mark Wilkinson in Lincolnshire, and appears on the back of all Sekford wristwatches. This short film was made by Thomas De Monaco. Lovely watches, great site – time to get saving!
Type foundry Monotype has launched a much-improved new website developed by consultancy iA, working with Monotype’s in-house team. Michael Evamy worked on copy for the new website while SEA worked on image art-direction.
Monotype creative director James Fooks-Bale says the aim of the new site was to bring in an entirely new architecture – “to move away from how we see ourselves to how our users see us” – while also “putting a more human face on to what we do”. Imagery is used sparingly, to let the type do the talking – “We’ve got thousands of typefaces and we wanted to surface them.”
We caught up with Digital Design Director Mark Boulton and he shared some thoughts about the intent, process and success of the project:
“Like most organisations, Monotype had original structured the website to naturally reflect how the business was structured. The challenge with this, of course, is that it didn’t map to how our customers think of us. For me, the biggest success of this new site is a simple information architecture designed to how our customers read about us and interact with us.
For me, the biggest success of this new site is a simple information architecture designed to how our customers read about us and interact with us.
The simple navigation – with hard rules about what can go up there and what can’t – means we have to think harder about how we drive users around by content rather than simply putting a link in a header and hoping. Coupled with a now consistent nomenclature, the site now relies on a model of stackable content objects (stacked by priority) to help people get around.
The challenges behind the scenes were quite considerable. The project was designed by iA in Zurich, together with the team at Monotype. But then the integration into a new content management system (Umbraco) was done in-house by a distributed team in Noida, just outside of Delhi; Bad Homberg in Germany; London and Cardiff in the UK; and finally Chicago, Boston and Nashville in the US. Managing any project with so many moving parts, with so many distributed people, can be challenging. But we had good people, an agile development process, and strong vision.
For the digital design team this site is just the start. It’s the first ‘instance’ of our digital design language, which is a project we’ve been working for quite a while, in an effort to unify our brand across all digital touch-points.”
For the past 7 years, author and ‘logo detective’ Jens Müller has been compiling modernist logos created between 1940 and 1980. This ‘golden era’ of modernist aesthetic in art, architecture and product design also produced some of the most iconic and beautiful brand marks. A collection of approximately 6,000 such logos that now fill the pages of Logo Modernism, a new book out from Taschen.
Ranging from media outfits to retail giants, airlines to art galleries, the sweeping survey is organized into three design-orientated chapters: Geometric, Effect, and Typographic. Each chapter is then sub-divided into form and style led sections such as alphabet, overlay, dots and squares. Alongside the comprehensive catalog, the book features an introduction from Jens Müller on the history of logos, and an essay by R. Roger Remington on modernism and graphic design.
Eight designer profiles and eight instructive case studies are also included, with a detailed look at the life and work of such luminaries as Paul Rand, Yusaku Kamekura, and Anton Stankowski, and at such significant projects as Fiat, The Daiei Inc., and the Mexico Olympic Games of 1968.
This book is not only full-to-bursting with hugely important logos, it is physically huge! Probably the biggest book i’ve ever reviewed. It’s 432 pages, and almost A3 in size! I’ve no idea how much it weighs, but you certainly get a lot of book for your money. If you have an interest in social, cultural or corporate history, this is an unrivalled resource and deserves a place on your shelves (if it will fit).
The third annual ModMag conference organised by Jeremy Leslie aka MagCulture takes place this year on Thursday 29th October. We can expect another celebration of creative editorial design as well as forward-looking advice and opinion on the future of the industry. The line-up of speakers is broad and quality – covering most areas of contemporary magazine-making: mainstream, independent, zine, digital, audio, free and branded. It adds up to an unmissable day of forward-looking, innovative publishing. We’ve attended both of the previous events and have been impressed by the quality of speakers and the intimacy this scale of event affords. If magazines are your thing, its one not to miss.
We spoke with a few of the speakers ahead of the big day to whet your appetites…
Yellow is a celebration of illustration and the people who’ve made it their own, created by the rad team behind OFF LIFE, who wanted to show that illustration isn’t just a medium of pretty pictures; that it can be as powerful as any photograph or piece of writing.
They rounded up 52 of the world’s most exciting artists, allocated them each a week of the year and asked them to illustrate one news story that broke within their seven days.
The result is an entire illustrated year from 52 unique perspectives. And with the year nearly up, every piece has been collected into a beautiful hardback book that showcases what illustration can bring to the biggest issues of our time.
Artists include: Jean Jullien, Hattie Stewart, Supermundane, Malika Favre, Stanley Chow, Pete Fowler, Charlotte Mei, Martin Rowson, and (literally) dozens more of the most exciting artists working today.
There’s some really great design books being published these days from publishers of all shapes and sizes. And then there are Unit Editions books. When Lance Wyman: The Monograph landed with a thud on my desk a few weeks ago I knew I was in for a treat, I’d been looking forward to it all year, but even my high expectations were quickly surpassed. As a huge fan of mid-century modern identity design, particularly that from U.S. designers, this book already stood a good chance of ticking all my boxes, and it delivers on all fronts – its full of beautiful work you’ve probably never seen before – its presentation is generous and does its subject matter justice – and of course it’s brilliantly written and designed as an object (design by Spin).
Adrian & Tony share editorial credit so I spoke to them both to find out a bit more…
FFF: Why Wyman? TB: I have been a Lance fan for a long time. In fact I had a hand in a relatively early appearance of his in the UK. I was asked by the D&AD on behalf of the, then, President Tony Davidson, to suggest an graphic designer for a series of D&AD President’s lectures and I put Lance’s name forward. He was his normal self-effacing self, he’s such a smart, switched on guy and there is never a smile far away.
I think the thing that excited me personally about doing the book was the opportunity to shine a light on his lesser known work. Eyes always light up when the Mexico Olympics are mentioned, and quite right too but he is so much more than that, his career has been overwhelming in many ways, and he is still actively designing, still making great work and is, in every way, a true great. The thinking behind our approach to making the book was to focus on and draw out the formal beauty of his work, the warmth and wit are readily available to any viewer, but it can sometimes be missed how elegant and powerful his work is.
FFF: Do you think this monograph goes some way to putting Lance in his rightful place (in peoples minds) as a designer of huge merit, talent and importance?
AS: I really hope so, because he is a somewhat neglected and overlooked figure – especially by the design world elites. I have a theory that this is because he is the great ‘public’ designer of our age. What I mean by this is that everything he does is – to use his phrase – ‘out in the street’. So no exquisite identities for cool art galleries, or work for highbrow clients. Instead, he has nearly always worked for public institutions – Mexico Olympics, Mexico City Metro, Minnesota Zoo, etc. – where his work is seen (and used) by millions. To maintain the highest standards of design, and still manage to create work for a mass audience is really, really difficult. But that’s exactly what Lance Wyman does. I hope our book opens people’s eyes to his genius. We can all learn a lot from him.
FFF: How long did the process take of putting together this book?
AS: Over a year of hard work from start to finish. Tony and I spent a week with him in New York last summer and photographed his entire archive and interviewed him at length. Then it was back to London and many hundreds of hours editing, designing, retouching, and finally putting the book together and getting it printed and distributed.
FFF: Did you allow the work to dictate the format/shape/size of the book? (The squat format beautifully frames so much of the work).
AS: The square format came from Lance himself. He rather shyly ’suggested’ it. He didn’t interfere in the design or editorial process – he trusted Tony and me to do a good job. Initially Tony was hesitant about the square format, but if you notice, it’s not exactly square, so it was a happy compromise.
FFF: If it sells out can you imagine offering a reprint in a smaller format like with Lubalin?
AS: No plans at this stage. Initial response has been fantastic – but it’s early days. The deluxe edition sold out almost immediately, and the ‘normal’ edition is trucking along nicely. We’ll investigate the possibilities of a second edition when we get close to selling out.
FFF: Who’s next on your hitlist of figures of historical importance (as opposed to modern/current practitioners) and when will you be making another announcement as to whats coming up next year?
AS: We have a very long wish list. Some of them will happen. Others will fall by the wayside. We have already announced books on Universal Everything and Morag Myerscough. But there are some corkers in the pipeline. Including one that we will be announcing next week. Stand by . . .
Edition of 2000 Hardback, black cover and white foil Two paper stocks CMYK + Pantone 464pp 280mm x 250mm
This October sees the triumphant return of Manchester’s creative festival Design Manchester, celebrating creativity, collaboration and inclusivity in the worlds of art, design, illustration, film, animation and photography. Now entering its third year, the ever-growing festival has become a staple of the city’s diverse and thriving cultural calendar, whilst also functioning as a highlight for creatives across the UK. With a theme of Know How, events for 2015 span the realms of Design How, Design Now, Film How, Music How and more, which together build a rich programme of talks, workshops, exhibitions, screenings, debates and a full weekend celebrating the love of print.
There will be a series of exclusive talks, including Design How, which welcomes key figures in the design industry including independent creative agency Territory, global design firm IDEO, London-based design studio Hudson-Powell, Brand & Motion agency Territory Studio, Director of design at the Government Digital Service Ben Terrett and Clive Grinyer, User Experience Director at Barclays.
Music How is an evening in conversation with some of Manchester’s musical legends, New Order’s Stephen Morris will discuss his illustrious career spanning over 30 years, following the release of New Order’s new album Music Complete. He’ll be joined by a leading light of the UK live industry, Jon Drape, and writer, journalist, DJ and creative producer, Luke Bainbridge, who will talk about their work together organising the creative triumph that is Festival No 6.
Other highlights include Design Now which features Parisian illustrator Parisian Malika Favre, graphic design studio Hudson Powell and co-founder of Lemon Jelly and Airside Fred Deakin.
As a showcase of Print Now, Manchester Print Festival, supported G . F Smith, will take over the People’s History Museum across one weekend with over 50 stalls selling independent artwork, along with free hands-on workshops in letterpress, screen printing, origami, badge making, paper flower creations, doodle wall and collage work.
Last year’s festival boasted 19 sold out events, 1099 workshop attendees and over 20,000 visitors, as well as a total of 20 original works and highlights including speakers Adrian Shaughnessy, Rejane Dal Bello, Supermundane’s Rob Lowe, Ross Phillips, and Michael C Place of Build, plus an adidas Spezial exhibition showcasing 800 pairs of collectors’ footwear, and a one-day installation of Helen Storey’s Dress of Glass and Flame.
Design Manchester 15 is supported by Arts Council England, the Manchester School of Art, part of Manchester Metropolitan University, and Manchester City Council.
For further information, announcements, updates and ticket information please visit designmcr.com
@designmcr / facebook.com/designmanchester #DesignMCR15
Now and again books come across our path here at FFF that we just have to share with you. Since the rise of the graphic design blog, and aggregator sites, the need for ‘overview’ design books has decreased somewhat – which makes coming across good ones all the more exciting. In such books the quality of the content is often reflective of the curator, and in these two instances from Laurence King that quality shines through.
Graphic Design Visionaries is by Caroline Roberts, founder of Grafik magazine, she knows a thing or two about design history having written several books, and in this latest 312 page slab she looks at 75 of the world’s most influential designers, their fascinating personal stories and significant works that have shaped the field.
Arranged in chronological order, the book shows the development of design, from early innovators such as Edward McKnight Kauffer and Alexey Brodovitch to key figures of mid-century Swiss Design and corporate American branding. The book profiles masters of typography, such as Wim Crouwel; visionary magazine designers, such as Leo Lionni and Cipe Pineles; designers who influenced the world of film, such as Saul Bass and Robert Brownjohn; and the creators of iconic poster work, such as Armin Hofmann, Rogério Duarte and Yusaku Kamekura.
Combining insightful text and key visual examples, this is a dynamic and richly illustrated guide to the individuals whose vision has defined the world of graphic design. If you are looking to brush up on your design history, or inspire someone to discover it for themselves, this is a great place to start.
Type: New Perspectives in Typography is edited by the hugely talented leading typographers Henrik Kubel and Scott Williams (better known as A2/SW/HK) and is an A to Z showcase of more than 100 carefully selected contemporary designers, including the best examples of their current work, and also features an introduction by Rick Poynor. These are typographers at the very top of their game, so when they curate, we take note.
Featured designers include David Pearson, Philippe Apeloig and Anthony Burrill, among others, alongside essays by acclaimed design writers Emily King, Paul Shaw, Monika Parrinder and Colin Davies that explore the past and future of type design. This book will encourage and inspire the next generation of designers as well as provide a sourcebook for seasoned designers and educators. It’s a fantastic looking book full of inspiring work.
Hard to believe we’ve never before shared the incredible work of Rob Clarke! Rob is a prolific designer of type and lettering, just a quick scroll through his site gives you an indication of his rate of output, and his site has just been updated with a stack of new projects. He’s responsible for the curves of some of the world’s largest and most recognisble brands including Air Asia, Dulux, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Reckitt Benckiser, Barclays and Cable & Wireless.
Joseph Alessio is a typographic illustrator and animator— who also art directs and writes, doing double-duty as a copywriter for projects, and occasionally write on type, lettering & design for sites like Smashing Magazine, Stemmings and Tuts+. His work is playful and varied, much of it animated as seen on his site. He’s also a nice guy, so you should definitely follow him on Instagram if you’re not already.
It’s 4 years since we last featured Advice to Sink in Slowly, the brilliant project established by John Stanbury almost a decade ago. Since 2006 both recent graduates and established artists, designers and illustrators have designed almost 100 posters for the project, passing on advice in a creative way.
John is using Kickstarter to try and raise £6,000 to enable ATSIS to print, package and post 3,500 free posters to first year students across the UK this Autumn. If the goal is met, individual students, student societies and student unions will be able to request a poster(s) through their website from late September onwards.
There’s some great rewards on offer, so dig deep and help them out.
In Loving Memory Of Work by Craig Oldham presents a visual record of Britain’s longest ever industrial dispute: the 1984-85 UK miners’ strike. The book, published by Oldham’s own imprint (Unified Theory of Everything) marks the 30th anniversary of the miners’ return to work. Bringing together political graphics and cultural ephemera alongside first-hand testimonies, it’s a celebration of the creativity of the working class, as well as a re-appraisal of the collective aesthetic of one of most important social & political events in recent history. Moving, witty and at times shocking, In Loving Memory of Work explores the immediate effects of the strike, while vividly demonstrating its continuing cultural (and political) relevance.
Earlier in the week we took a close look at some of the arresting images featured in the book. For this second post we had a proper chat with mastermind Craig Oldham, to get answers to some of our questions…
FFF: Looking back on any historical work can feel a bit removed or diluted, like sifting through collections of punk flyers from the comfort of your sofa in 2015. You talk about the book as a reappraisal, and even a celebration, of the ’84-’85 For UK miners’ strike work thats been wilfully ignored since – how do you think the work in the book has been received this time around by new audiences in a context so removed to that of the mid 80’s when it was produced?
CO: It’s difficult to say, as the book itself is still new. Books need time to settle and find their place; their success isn’t that it gets picked-up off the shelf and bought, it’s that it continues to be picked up by the person who owns it, passed around, shared and such, sometimes years afterwards. But the immediate feedback I’ve had about the book has been overwhelming, and to an extent this definition of success has been happening (I’ve had emails from people all over the country who’ve been bought a copy, or have been passed one, and felt compelled to get in touch). In that respect it’s been a success, and for me personally, I’m proud to have made it—which for me is a success.