e y E fore Be u Yo y Bu
Look, read and click through some sample pages from the latest issue of Eye, Spring 2010. Eye is one of the world’s most desirable and best-loved design magazines: cool, clear and collectable, and a must-have for every designer’s bookshelves. Subscribe and receive a beautifully produced and printed edition delivered direct to your door every quarter. Single issues and ‘Classic collections’ are also available from the Eye shop. www.eyemagazine.com/shop
OVER THE RAINBOW
From advertising to illustration; posters to badges; fashion shows to pop videos, the design work of Anthony Burrill has become quietly ubiquitous. By John L. Walters. Portrait by Maria Spann EYE �����
1. Woodblock poster, open edition, signed in pencil, 2009. Printed by Adams of Rye on recycled paper using traditional woodblock printing techniques.
Anthony Burrill is the multitasking man of the moment – designer, illustrator, artist, set decorator and video director, quietly ubiquitous without being annoying or repeating himself. Need a slogan that’s feelgood without being clichéd? Burrill’s the guy – you see his letterpress Work Hard & Be Nice To People poster on the walls of cosy living rooms and London’s smartest new-media agencies. Need images to warn travellers of the dangers of the London Underground? Burrill’s posters and animations are direct without being stentorian or needlessly scary. And when KesselsKramer needs a deadpan image to support its longrunning ‘so counter-intuitive it’s intuitive’ campaign for the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam, who is Erik Kessels going to call but Burrill, who has been inking scuffed rooms and dodgy concepts for him since the 1990s. Burrill’s work is so plain and simple it can seem as though everything is on the surface. The posters, postcards and placards, full of teeth and smiles (‘Eat It All’), telegraph his ‘A. B.’ initials. Posters such as Bring Back the Golden Sunshine seem deliberately facile, in tune with an increasingly popular area of graphic design that can appear to be about nothing but itself. Burrill is at the forefront of the new wave of designer-illustrators, and by the mid-noughties he had developed a substantial commercial career working with advertisers and brands in public, private and cultural sectors, building a conﬁdent and distinctive portfolio. The creator of a poster saying ‘It Is �� For Me To Have Everything I Want’ seemed to have it all. Then, in the summer of 2008, just before the banking crisis that knocked the stuffing out of design and advertising’s biggest clients, came the ‘European Championship of Graphic Design’ show, which featured Burrill alongside ten graphic ‘team-mates’ including Happypets and Antoine+Manuel, at the Dutch Graphic Design Museum in Breda (see Eye 68). It is fascinating to see how much Burrill’s practice has branched and blossomed since then. He has moved smoothly into installation, exhibitions, music, video and fashion; advertising commissions ﬁgure hardly at all. Many of these projects are collaborations, and he cites the Breda ‘Championship’ as the crucial catalyst. Burrill comes from a working-class background in Oldham in the north of England, and he was the ﬁrst in his family to go to college. When he showed promise at school (‘I was the best in my class at drawing’), his father suggested he get a job as a draughtsman at an engineering company. ‘I had a look round and thought – it’s my kind of place!’ – but his art teacher suggested a foundation course at the local college, which led him to studying at Leeds Polytechnic, under John Ross. ‘He was like a mill owner from the nineteenth century, walking around in hobnail boots and corduroy trousers with braces. It was his kingdom.’ ‘I’ve never been a full-on illustrator and never been a full-on designer, and Leeds was perfect for that,’ says Burrill. ‘The course was quite freeform. If you wanted to go on the roof of the building and set ﬁre to a cupboard, you could do it – John Ross actively encouraged that kind of behaviour.’ Another important ﬁgure from that time was illustrator Russell Mills, who found time to help Burrill with his dissertation about Kurt Schwitters when Burrill visited his studio. ‘He had this
‘In those days it was the geeky boffins who used computers, it wasn’t the cool kids. Macs were too expensive!’
�� EYE ��/��
ambient music playing. And he spent all afternoon showing me stuff – I always think how important that visit to his studio was when people come to visit me.’ When Andy Stevens, who was in the year above him, got a place at the Royal College of Art, it was an encouragement to apply there himself. Burrill was nominated to take his fellow students’ portfolios to London. ‘I went down on National Express with everyone’s folders, but I was the only one who got in.’ Burrill’s Royal College contemporaries included future graphic design stars such as Mathias Augustyniak (later one half of � / � Paris); Fuel (in the year below); and Stevens, Nigel Robinson and Paul Neale (who went on to found Graphic Thought Facility; see Eye 39) in the year above. His own progress was less eventful. ‘It was like when you join the army and ﬁrst they break you, and then they make you!’ he laughs. ‘There were these things called “ideas”. Before it had been about shapes and textures.’ He felt like an outsider at the Royal College: ‘I spent most of the time not really getting it!’ Adams family The ﬁrst couple of years after graduating (in 1991) were spent assisting Emma Parker, his photographer wife, and working on the kitchen table at home. He bought type books from the Dover Bookshops and made little books by ‘ﬁddling around with bits of type and sticking them down with Pritt Stick’, and using the photocopier in a stationery shop. ‘In those days it was the geeky boffins who used computers,’ he says, ‘it wasn’t the cool kids. Macs were too expensive.’ When Parker was working on a poster campaign for ad agency ���, she introduced him to the agency’s art director, Erik Kessels. ‘I showed him some stuff and Erik was, like, “ja, it’s good”.’ A short time later, Kessels set up his KesselsKramer agency in Amsterdam, and called Burrill to help with a campaign for a new client, the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel. ‘He sent me through eighteen copy lines.’ These included ‘Now even more dog shit in the main entrance’ and ‘Now more rooms without a window’. ‘I don’t think he expected me to do them all,’ says Burrill, ‘but I did them in two days. ’Cause it was a job. All these clip art things I had collected – I used them all.’ The campaign attracted attention – design press, awards – and the time-lag between jobs started to reduce. Hans Brinker was his ﬁrst hit: ‘It got me in the charts.’ He continued doing jobs for ad agencies, and making his little books, steadily building a substantial stream of work in advertising and editorial design. After the birth of their second child, the family moved to the Isle of Oxney, near Rye in rural East Sussex. Noticing that the posters for local church and school events were much more attractive than the scrappy laser-printed jobs typical of provincial Britain, he tracked down their source – Adams of Rye, a family-owned printing business with a fully functioning letterpress printing works out the back. He started making posters at the press, the ﬁrst which was Work Hard & Be Nice To People (2005), and the collaboration continues to this day. The text, which he describes as being ‘like the things you see outside churches’, was, according to a woman he overheard in a check-out queue, the secret to a happy life.
6. Transport trophy in wood, acrylic and brass, one of nine designed by Burrill and Marriott for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year Awards, 2009. 7. Tower of four onemetre cubes with vinyl surfaces by Burrill as part of his contribution to the ‘European Championship of Graphic Design’, 2008 (see Eye 68).
2. Poster, 1993, from KesselsKramer’s campaign for the self-proclaimed ‘worst hotel in the world’. 3. Rainbow, from ‘Geometry in Nature’, a series of pictures exhibited at Colette in Paris, 2009. Burrill later made a version of it out of mirrors for his show at the Kemistry gallery in London. The rainbow over a landscape is a recurring image Burrill likes to use.
4. Detail of wooden structure designed by Burrill and Michael Marriott for the show ‘The Right Kind of Wrong’ at Mother, London, 2009. 5. Burrill and Marriott’s ‘Trojan Horse’ in the Mother advertising agency.
EYE ����� ��
Wilson 1789 Some typefaces defy the classiﬁcation of time and place. Wilson’s Roman of 1789 is a perfect example; it has features of an old style and a transitional, but
it looks neither like a Caslon, nor a Baskerville. Whoever cut the typeface had a sureness of touch that transcends time, a masterful demonstration of subtlety. It is a typeface that has inspired many revivals, and if one
looks closely at the ubiquitous Georgia, one can see that some of the ��� of Wilson’s typeface lives on. 1 (below). Detail of original specimen, printed in Glasgow. Collection of St Bride Printing Library.
DEEP IN THE ARCHIVES ➁
Venus Venus, Bauer 1907-27 With each new development in typesetting, huge numbers of typefaces
get left behind. You can see them in type specimens of old, but for the main part they remain artefacts to look at rather than typefaces to use. Venus is such a typeface. Issued by
Contemporary type designers Christian Schwartz and Paul Barnes select some historical type specimens that excite and intrigue them.
the Bauer type foundry, the sans serif was used widely in Germany in the early twentieth century: many early practitioners of the New Typography used it, not necessarily by choice, but through the
Schwartz and Barnes, who have just launched Commercial Type, a new foundry, are best known for their custom faces for The Guardian, Frieze and Publico.
printers’ limited selection. Coming in a wide range of weights and widths, it has a warmth and charm, but also eccentricity (note the unusually high cross bar of the ‘E’ and the small bowl of
the cap ‘R’). Sadly it is now a shadow of itself, with a mere handful of weights available. 2-4. Typefounder’s specimen from the early 1920s. Collection of St Bride Printing Library.
EYE ����� ��
MAKE EACH LETTER SPEAK OUT
Headlines composed of seat belts, letters like isometric renderings, hand-drawn brand identities … illustrative typography is rewiring the way we read art, design and communication. By Liz Farrelly
1 (above) and 2. Detail and opening spread from six-page feature about ﬁve of Andy Warhol’s female ‘Superstars’ in Avant Garde no. 3, May 1968. Photographs: Lee Kraft. Editor: Ralph Ginzburg. Art director: Herb Lubalin.
�� EYE �����
CLOSE AND TIGHT Legendary New York art director Herb Lubalin brought humour, sensuality and a contemporary ﬂourish to complex typographic arrangements. By Laura Forde
Herb Lubalin’s typography has been described as ‘smashed’, but nothing about his arrangement of letters on a page is violent or accidental. His methods were the stuff of legend – and none involved a sledgehammer. Nothing goes to pieces. Rarely have complex typographic arrangements been so uniﬁed. Lubalin’s marker-pen comps on tracing paper were as decisive as ﬁnished artwork. With a razor blade, he customised serifs, ascenders and descenders to his liking – some letters barely touching, others lovingly intertwined. Few designers set text in Lubalin’s ligature-rich Avant Garde with the energy and clarity its designer brought to the page. Though his career spanned ﬁve decades, Lubalin’s best work seems to inhabit a frozen moment, wedged between the corporate orthodoxy of 1960s Modernism and the Art Deco revival of the 1970s, a period of rich typographic eclecticism that endures and appeals to young designers today. Lubalin took the best of Modernism – its rigour, geometry and tightly constructed compositions – and
3. Avant Garde no. 8, September 1969. Lubalin’s ultra-tight ligatures for cover and section titles make an elegant contrast to Picasso’s bawdy gravures. 4 (left). Logotype for movie tie-in brochure, 1965.
EYE ����� ��
Monitor End of default
The technology that allows us to control type on the Web is available. Now designers and foundries have to decide how to use it best. By Simon Esterson and Jay Prynne
A selection of current sites using the new online type technologies. Right: FF Meta Serif with TypeTogether’s Adelle for Design Intellection (through Typekit). designintellection.com Far right: FF Netto with Suitcase’s Temier for Interactive Things (through Typekit). interactivethings.com
�� EYE �����
The short history of the World Wide Web has seen many rapid developments, in interactivity, speed, motion, colour and image-handling, but typography has customarily been seen as a problem, at least by designers who care about the way text looks onscreen. Web protocols mean that you can only specify fonts from a very small range of default typefaces that are universally available – installed on every users’ machine in order for them to render correctly. Within these restraints, any designer or art director who wished to specify type with the precision of a job for print, �� or ﬁlm would have to create the text as an image or build the site in Flash, but such routes raised many problematic issues of speed and accessibility. Clients such as corporations and publishers who were accustomed to branding every visible square inch with their custom fonts had to accept the default nature of the Web, and many designers have long resigned themselves to living through the typographic equivalent of the dark ages, relieved partially by the advent of Cascading style sheets (���) which allow much greater control over the styling elements of a website, including the size, weight and style of the (still limited range of) fonts. For a signiﬁcant minority of designers, the limited type palette became a signiﬁer of authenticity, a cool hair shirt they could wear with pride. The ‘default look’ of non-Flash websites has spilled into books, magazines and music design as a conscious style choice rather than necessity. For many years, the idea of being able to specify any typeface for a fully interactive, �3�-compliant website remained a far-off goal.
One of the ﬁrst signs that a radical change aspect of this is that the source of the fonts might be on the horizon was the launch of the is ‘obfuscated’ in order to deter users from @font-face tag which gives style sheets the accessing and potentially copying the fonts. ability to link to font ﬁles stored online and Many fear that Typekit’s obfuscation make them available to users’ machines. techniques are not strong enough, and that the While this was great news for designers, fonts can be too easily pirated. The Typekit blog who can at last wrest back control of the says: ‘The fact is, for something to appear in a typefaces that sites are displayed in, it seems, browser, it has to be on the Web. If it’s on the Web, it can’t be completely protected.’ In some on the surface, to be bad news for type cases, the browser has to download the font designers and digital foundries, who are to your hard drive before it can display them, concerned about the security of their bringing it, in essence, to your feet. Even intellectual property in an online environment Typekit co-founder Jeffery Veen admits that in which everything is seen to be free. The ‘someone with enough time and knowledge problem with @font-face is that it works with can recreate a font from our service.’ OpenType (���) and TrueType (���) ﬁles, ‘real’ fonts in other words, and that anyone visiting Changing by the minute a site employing @font-face is sent those real But Typekit is not the only solution: font ﬁles in some form. Typotheque is rolling out its own system The catalyst in this rapidly changing area (see interview with Peter Bil’ak pp.38) which was been the emergence of Typekit, the selfallows owners of Typotheque font licenses to described ‘easiest way to use real fonts on the Web’, a third party, Web-only, ‘fonts-as-acreate embeddable fonts via their accounts. service’ provider, produced by San FranciscoIt also promises special online versions of fonts based company Small Batch. for optimal screen rendering. Other players With Typekit, you don’t buy fonts, but create include fontdeck.com and Kernest.com. an account with various subscription options Now new Web Open Font Format (����) based on price and functionality. You then typefaces promise another more secure way of create a ‘kit’ of typefaces for your website from delivering the fonts, and you don’t need to use Typekit’s font library, which (at the time of a third party’s technology. ���� fonts can be writing) includes, among others, part of the ‘self-hosted’, although many user’s browsers FontFont library and fonts from Type Together, will need to catch up with the new type Porchez Typofonderie and Mark Simonson. embedding technology. Notably absent are major type designers Many foundries and type designers are still Hoeﬂer & Frere-Jones, Font Bureau and all considering their position, but it seems clear but one member of Village. that as the market for Web fonts grows, the Typekit works by storing the fonts on a business model is changing. We asked three series of global servers and delivering them to leaders in the type industry for their thoughts users as a website demands. The important about online type.
Chester Jenkins Village With our background in graphic design – I worked as a graphic designer for a decade before transitioning to type seven years ago and my wife and partner Tracy is a graphic designer, too – I believe that we are able to consider our clients’ needs alongside our Village members’ needs. Too often type people forget who they are making their type for; there is a way to balance what our clients think they want and what we think they need. But I certainly don’t speak for giant corporations like Adobe and Linotype, and I don’t speak for the hundreds of ﬂedgling type designers who distribute through MyFonts and are now on Typekit. I’m not imagining a shift away from ‘traditional’ OpenType fonts towards Web fonts; I see the latter as a complement to the former. I imagine that most designers wanting to use a typeface dynamically online will also want to use that typeface in static designs for print and other media. Because a Web font is a very speciﬁc tool for a very speciﬁc task, most people will still need the rest of the tools in the kit. I believe that the third-party / subscription model for Web font licensing will have a hard time surviving when most foundries eventually allow licensees to host Web fonts – in the ���� format, most likely – on their own servers. (And provided that the end-user license isn’t too arduous.) ���� is a format which was co-developed by one of our members,
Tal Leming, along with Erik van Blokland and Mozilla’s Jonathan Kew. It is the least imperfect of the formats being developed for controlling type on the Web. We are 100 per cent against @font-face, because it makes speciﬁed OpenType fonts freely accessible by, and to all. It is one thing to unknowlingly ‘share’ a Webonly font ﬁle, but quite another to give away an OpenType font ﬁle which can be used for anything. I am sure that there will be rampant piracy of Web fonts, but no more so than the piracy of ���s, and no more damaging to foundries. (Most pirates would not license their purloined fonts under any circumstance.) Clients presently licensing type legally will be the ones licensing Web fonts for their projects. I think that there is a way to provide both ‘traditional’ ��� fonts and Web fonts in ways that beneﬁt both the foundry and the client. Jonathan Hoeﬂer Hoeﬂer & Frere-Jones, Inc. We’re not quite ready to announce anything, but it probably goes without saying that this has been a subject of great interest for some time now. What I can say is this: we view Web fonts the same way we view other fonts: as an irresistible challenge, and a genuine opportunity to make typography better. H&FJ’s plans are what they’ve always been: we’re working to make the best fonts we can, and to provide them to both designers and readers in the most practical way.
Stephen Coles Font Shop International FontShop is taking some decisive steps. We can’t say we know exactly what’s going to happen with the shift from print media to the screen, but we do feel conﬁdent that offering a choice is the best way to get a read on the future. We offer fonts via the Typekit Library (a subscription / service model) and as standalone fonts in the ���� / ��� format (a per-font licensing model). The stand-alone model is very comparable to the way desktop fonts are licensed now. But instead of per-user, it’s per-page view. There are three broad levels intended to assign an appropriate fee to customers as varied as a personal blogger and a multinational corporation. For most designers one method works much better than the other and we’re already seeing that in our sales. In the end — once WebKit (Safari) and Chrome catch up — I think the ���� solution will be the preferred option by a majority of our customers, especially corporate clients. The main beneﬁt of ���� from a type maker’s standpoint is that the fonts can’t be used in desktop applications. Because these fonts are downloaded to every computer that views a Web page it was critical to type suppliers that they not be reused as standard ‘print’ fonts. It’s an extra layer of protection from unintentional unlicensed use. Just like desktop fonts can be used illegally beyond their license, so too can ���� fonts. Fortunately, Web font use is much easier for us to track than print font use.
Sites using Typotheque’s Web font service. Right: Fedra Serif Display and Fedra Sans for graphichug.com (group Website) Far right: Fedra Sans for Pool Inquinamento designed by Leftloft poolinquinamento.it
EYE ����� ��
Subscribe now at www.eyemagazine.com/shop
Look, read and click through some sample pages from Eye75, Spring, 2010.