A gentle reminder that the Leeds Print Festival starts this weekend. Now in its fourth year this event really does get better and better. As usual there is loads of fantastic stuff happening like exhibitions, a print fair, print workshops and talks. Tickets details and more info here
International Editorial Design Conference QVED 2015 is entering its third year and takes place in Munich from 26-28 February. The annual event brings together designers, publishers, editors and journalists from across the globe, and acts as a platform for sharing and discussing ideas and current work. This year’s line up includes: art director, designer and consultant Roger Black; Ricarda Messner and Michelle Phillips of Flanueur Magazine; award-winning art director, critic, author and editor Steven Heller; founding editor of Anorak Magazine Cathy Olmedillas; creative director of quarterly food journal Lucky Peach Walter Green; Sven Ehmann creative director of Gestalten plus many more.
This year’s conference boasts three carefully curated sessions: photography for magazines, illustration and infographics, each hosted by a special guest speaker. A particular focus will also be drawn on City Magazines with QVED co-curator and publisher of award-winning Paperjam, Mike Koedinger hosting the strand which will explore how city focussed publications shape future urban living. QVED is a platform not only for the makers of magazines, but for designers, journalists, editors and publishers to share and discuss the work they are creating. With an international lineup mirrored by an international audience, the conference brings together the best editorial minds from across the globe. QVED is co-curated and hosted by Boris Kochan, Mike Koedinger, Jeremy Leslie and Horst Moser. The conference takes place at Alte Kongresshalle in Munich. Get your Tickets!
Chinese illustrator and animator Yukai Du has updated her portfolio with a surreal short offering a sinister take on modern life in the digital age.
Cel animation, After Effects and 3D techniques combine in Way Out to stunning effect, but it’s Du’s dramatic colour palette and fresh use of pattern that command the most attention, bolstering the prophetic narrative and whisking viewers on an accelerating journey through the three-minute short to its tense conclusion.
“I wanted to emphasise the human character and the phone character, but also point out the difference between flesh bodies and electronic bodies,” says Du, who graduated from Central Saint Martins with an MA in animation in 2014. She started work on Way Out as her final year project and completed the piece at the start of this year.
“The strong orange and the bright green are the most significant colours,” she continues. “The dark colours help to build up the feeling of a mundane city and atmosphere.”
Lovely new work and portfolio website by designer & illustrator Richard Perez.
Saar Oz reminds us that we all have to start somewhere. The FFF Team wish you all a great 2015!
AKU is a young design agency put together by Alari Orav, Kaarel Kala and Uku-Kristjan Küttis, cranking out quality graphic design from Tallinn in Estonia since 2012.
Design studio Six are letting us have a look at some of their recent work, to mark the end of the year and the launch of their new website in 2015.
In this second of our year end reviews we’re looking again at publishing, this time focussing on books. Who better to speak to on the subject than the duo responsible for FFF-favourite Unit Editions – Adrian Shaughnessy and Tony Brook. With Manuals 2 [Unit 18] still flying off the virtual shelves we hear their individual reflections, highlights & predictions…
Tell us what it is you do, and why you do it..
AS/ I’m a graphic designer, writer and senior tutor in Visual Communication at RCA, and as one of the co-founders of Unit Editions, I’m also a publisher –but even after five years of Unit, it still sounds odd to write that. Me a publisher? Well, yes, actually. As for why I do what I do? Paranoia, fear and self-doubt.
TB/ I’m a designer at Spin and a (relatively recent) publisher with Unit Editions, I also collect graphic design and have curated a couple of exhibitions. I didn’t have any real choice about the design aspect, it is a vocation; I’m lucky enough to love what I do. The other three facets have happily fallen out of the first.
Can you both give us a couple of personal highlights from the year?
AS/ I’m not very good at looking back. I can barely remember what I did last week, far less think about what was happening in January. In my view, you only look back when you don’t have much to look forward to. There’s never been a time in my life when I haven’t had an immediate future stacked with deadlines, objectives and targets. When I’m in the old folks home with my hearing aid and pacemaker, I might start to look back. Having said that, I’d say that the success of our two Manuals books has been a highlight. Two weeks in Japan was also pretty good. Curating a show of 50 years of graphic design at the RCA was fun. But other than that it has been relentless work, work, and more work.
TB/ It’s been quite a year. I got to visit New Zealand through an invitation to talk at Semi-Permanent. It was a fabulous experience: I got to hang out with the legend that is Dean Poole from Alt group. Work-wise, seeing Manuals 2 in print has been incredibly satisfying, and launching the Spin website was a real highlight. Meeting up with Lance Wyman and Paula Scher was the cherry on top.
You collaborate on Unit Editions, how did that all come about?
AS/ I’d reached a point where I was fed up working with mainstream publishers and was beginning to think about starting my own imprint. I went to the pub with Tony and he said he was also contemplating starting a publishing venture. He had already done some self-publishing so he was ahead of me. But it made lots of sense that we combine our skills and use the knowledge and experience we’d both accumulated as studio owners over many years to start Unit.
TB/ As Adrian mentioned we had a fortuitous meeting where, after the shortest time, we realised that our ambitions were very similar and that our mutual interest and skill sets meant that we could make something work. There was a giant Unit Editions-shaped whole for books that balanced out (hopefully) beautiful design with rich visual and written content.
If you have time this week make sure you watch ‘Welcome to Union Glacier’. A documentary film about a small team of people who live and work on the glacier during the Antarctic summer.
If only every documentary was filmed by Studio Canoe in a Wes Anderson inspired style.
It’s been another bumper year for editorial design and independent publishing – plenty of new titles hit the shelves (and blogs) in 2014 – and many events and initiatives launched or returned – all pointing towards an industry in rude health. We caught up with Steve Watson and Jeremy Leslie, two of the industry figures most passionate about print, to get their reflections, highlights & predictions…
Tell us what it is you do, and why you do it..
SW/ I send out a different independent magazine every month to a couple of thousand subscribers around the world. And I do it because I’m in love with the ideas and energy in the best independent magazines, and I know that there are a lot more people out there who would love these magazines if they could only discover them.
JL/ I design, write and publish. Most of my time is spent designing, working with clients on their magazines, apps and websites at the magCulture studio. Alongside this I promote creative editorial design via the magCulture website, conferences and other events. And we publish a few things – we just launched our first magazine Fiera in collaboration with Katie Tregidden. I do it because I find editorial design fascinating. Design in an editorial context is not surface, it is content.
Can you each give us a couple of personal highlights from the year?
SW/ Jeremy’s Modern Magazine Conference was really great – it’s fantastic that he’s able to bring magazine makers from all over the world to London for one big get together. And at the opposite end of the conference spectrum, I also had a fantastic time at Indiecon in Hamburg. It was the first time they’d held the event and it was a genuinely indie production – a group of young friends doing something because they really care about it.
JL/ Things to remember include working with Douglas Coupland on Kitten Clone; taking Printout to Bristol; eating at Noma; putting together a radio show for Pick Me Up radio; discovering Limewood with Lesley; collaborating with Vitsoe on the 620 Reading Room; helping design a live stage show to mark Maison Moderne’s 20th anniversary. And moving from home into the new studio space.
You guys collaborate on Printout – how did that come about?
SW/ Way back when I first started working for The Church of London I went from having one day a week for Stack, to having two days a week. I was really keen to experiment with magazine events, and I remember speaking to Jeremy at The Church of London offices and realising that we’d both been having similar ideas. We realised that this wasn’t going to be either a Stack or a magCulture thing, so we knocked some ideas for names back and forth and a few weeks later we were running our first ever Printout.
Pica Editions is a superb new project from illustrator Clare Findon and Designer Jack Shaw. They’ve been collaborating together for three years now and decided the time was right to begin publishing our work under a collective name. They produce screen prints and hand bound books that centre around general interests and life experience.
They’ve also published a series of three prints based around sustainable domestic food production/consumption (Seasonal Veg., Growing Chart and Basic Crop Rotation) which display relevant information in a stripped back, aesthetically minimal way. Each print is produced in an edition of 100, in two colours on 100% recycled stock.
The beautiful images are thanks to a collaboration with Manchester based still life photographer Laura Hutchinson and were shot in the highly organic surroundings of the Biospheric Foundation urban farming project.
All around a top-notch project. Perhaps just in the nick of time for Christmas for your green-fingered-foodie-designer friends, but definitely also one to watch for the future.
Handsome Frank’s latest little film is about designer, illustrator and art director, Thomas Henry Burden. Few handle 3D illustration and Typography as well as Thomas and manage to make “60’s and 70’s National geographic meets 80’s and 90’s Argos catalogue toy section” look this good.
With winter around the corner and hedgehog numbers in rapid decline in the UK, animator Kris Hoffman has created a stunning, mixed-media film for Wildlife Aid to help support the species. Rather than confronting viewers with disturbing imagery, the charming short showcases the plight of Harry, an impossibly cute urban hedgehog.
Prop designer Joe James crafted the paper hedgehog puppet, while illustrator Sandra Dieckmann drew Harry’s world, injecting magic through intricate detail and beautiful texture. Hoffman’s job was to map Dieckmann’s drawings onto the card-based environments, marrying the flat, 2D designs with James’ 3D puppet to create a cohesive visual language.
“The aim was simply to make it as pretty and charming as we possibly could to get people’s attention,” Hoffman explains. “How could you not want to look at Harry, when he is so dashing?”
“I care about the message of the film and Wildife Aid’s work very much,” she adds. “It’s great to see that the animation has the potential to get others to care too and help the charity.”
The rest of Hoffman’s work is equally impressive – head over to her portfolio site to see more stunning animation and print projects.
A diverse range of work and disciplines from designer and illustrator Tim Smith. All those years of as a child spent drawing comic strip, starring his dog called Oscar paid off. We’re particularly fond of his contributions to the lovely project, Poop Deck and very cute EyePet press kit. Bravo!
Screenprinter and poster designer Dan Mather has opened a shop full of perfect gifts and wrapping papers to fill those designer stockings and socks this Christmas!