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Contents

Editorial

07 Things to See and Do Essential design events and exhibitions for January 13 Talent Illustrator Charlie Duck

Angharad Lewis

“Awards are always rigged — the judges enter their own work and then give each other awards... they all do it. So young designers don't want to enter.” This was just one of the very forthright responses we got during 2009 when we began canvassing graphic designers for their opinions on existing UK awards schemes. We were aware that there was considerable discontent in the design community about awards but we didn’t realise quite how passionate people would be about it. Most of the designers we asked jumped at the chance to give their views and didn’t hold back — from constructive criticism to pure vitriol. Whether our correspondents veered on the side of optimism or cynicism, however, one thing became very clear: there is a real hunger among graphic designers for a new type of awards that they feel is genuinely about rewarding the best of the industry and that truly represents the breadth of talent, skills, approaches and media. It just so happens, then, that we might have an answer for you... Roll up, roll up, for the all-new UK Grafik Design Awards 2010 — no categories, no complicated entry process, no extortionate fee, no tacky ceremony, no judges entering their own work. We hope to answer all these negatives with a more constructive, upbeat, informed approach to awards, the structure for which has come directly from what you have told us you want. There will be ten overall winning projects that receive a Grafik Star award — projects ranging from whole identity schemes, to typefaces, to a single poster, website, animation or even invite card. You won’t have to enter work into categories, which means you don’t have to enter things twice if they span, say, book design and typography. Our judges will simply award prizes to the most outstanding work they see. The entry fee is £50 for the first item or project, then £25 for each additional item or project after that. Each individual or studio entering will get something back in the form of a free three-month subscription to Grafik, so you can keep up with news about the progress of the awards. There will also be two separate awards: Best Newcomer and Best Studio. As well as entering your own work, all the categories are open for nominations, so if you know a shy but talented designer who doesn’t go in for chasing accolades, you can be sneaky and get them on the Grafik Design Awards radar via our online nominations system. We hope that lots of you will enter and show us what the UK graphic design scene is made of, even if the only incentive is to get your work under the noses of some of the most respected designers and critics around. We are extremely proud of the group of individuals who have given us their backing and support by agreeing to be judges. The Best Studio Award will be judged by Wim Crouwel and the Best Newcomer Award will be judged by Peter Saville. The work submitted for Grafik Stars will be judged by our panel of experts: Phil Baines, Sara de Bondt, Emily King, Kate Moross, Ben Parker (MadeThought), Nick Roope (Poke), Eva Rucki (Troika), Marina Willer (Wolff Olins) and myself, with Caroline Roberts chairing the judging. For more information and to enter or nominate, just visit www.awards.grafikmag.com. The deadline for entries is Sunday 31 January. We’re genuinely excited about launching this awards scheme. We can’t wait to see what you’re made of, and look forward to celebrating the winners with you in April.

78 Bookshelf Essentials From resident book expert HUGO

19 Talent Photographer Will Robson Scott

80 Viewpoint What is your most memorable journey? 83 Review Critiques of new books, exhibitions and events

24 Showcase This month’s best new graphic design work

84 Exhibition Less and More —The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams reviewed by Kerry William Purcell

36 Profile Victor Moscoso by Robert Urquhart 88 Six Books 48 The latest Special Report design books Travel under fire

50 Rapid Transit Massimo Vignelli on his New York Subway map 56 Pro Motion A history of bicycle logo design 62 High Life The golden era of air travel 71 View Opinions, advice, perspectives

90 Exhibition Slash: Paper under the Knife reviewed by Amber Bravo 92 Exhibition Without Thought, Volume 10 reviewed by Dan Honey 94 Book Francis Baudevin: Miscellaneous Abstract reviewed by Angharad Lewis

72 How to 96 Be Green Exhibition The seventh Robert instalment of your Urquhart eco design guide reports from the Rotterdam 74 Designprijs Logoform ceremony Voigtländer by Stuart Geddes 98 Kalina, Gym 76 Class and No.Zine Letterform magazines Serapion By resident mag lowercase ‘a’ by man Michael Jan Middendorp Bojkowski


Contents

07 Things to See and Do Essential design events and exhibitions for January

78 Bookshelf Essentials From resident book expert HUGO

13 Talent Illustrator Charlie Duck 19 Talent Photographer Will Robson Scott

80 Viewpoint What is your most memorable journey? 83 Review Critiques of new books, exhibitions and events

24 Showcase This month’s best new graphic design work

84 Exhibition Less and More —The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams reviewed by Kerry William Purcell

36 Profile Victor Moscoso by Robert Urquhart 88 Six Books 48 The latest Special Report design books Travel under fire

50 Rapid Transit Massimo Vignelli on his New York Subway map 56 Pro Motion A history of bicycle logo design 62 High Life The golden era of air travel 71 View Opinions, advice, perspectives

90 Exhibition Slash: Paper under the Knife reviewed by Amber Bravo 92 Exhibition Without Thought, Volume 10 reviewed by Dan Honey 94 Book Francis Baudevin: Miscellaneous Abstract reviewed by Angharad Lewis

72 How to 96 Be Green Exhibition The seventh Robert instalment of your Urquhart eco design guide reports from the Rotterdam 74 Designprijs Logoform ceremony Voigtländer by Stuart Geddes 98 Kalina, Gym 76 Class and No.Zine Letterform magazines Serapion By resident mag lowercase ‘a’ by man Michael Jan Middendorp Bojkowski


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Save 20% off credit bundles of 50 or more. Enter offer code GRAFIK09 when you checkout. Offer expires Dec. 31, 2009


Contributors

What’s your favourite journey?

Max Leonard is a writer.

What do you never travel without?

Over the Alps by bicycle.

Laurie Wilson is a photographer based in California.

Jason jules is a creative director, stylist, producer, writer.

This one. “There’s not As a kid, midOS or GPS? A pump and another week, leaving my spare inner tube or road anywhere house in East a good book, that looks like London at around notebook and pen, this road. It’s one 11pm catching depending on my kind of place, a Central Line mode of transport. one of a kind. train west. Like someone’s Heading up the OS. GPS means face.” (My Own escalators at that soon nobody Private Idaho). Tottenham Court will really Road tube—all understand where Cell phone, the 9–5ers would they are or where mascara and be heading the they’re going. camera. other way, going There’s something home, while very regressive OS. all the freaks, in that.  the clubbers, Amber Bravo would be going Kerry William is a freelance up into seedy, Purcell is a architecture and subterranean design historian design writer. Soho. Then the and writer. journeys back I’ve always east, at three Any one that takes wanted to tour or four in the me to the coast. the hot springs in morning on the northern Japan, night bus home My own pillow. but my favorite with all the crazy real adventure clubbers, office Neither. was a river trip cleaners and Any travel down the Rio lost drunks instructions are Trancura in Chile crammed into a usually scrawled with my family.  double-decker; on the back of flirting, fighting an envelope as Forgetting and falling asleep. I’m walking out something. First-class travel. of the door. It’s situational.

Andrew Edwards Jan Middendorp is a type writer, is a designer. a page maker and an expat. Any journey by bicycle. Those that make me understand. A camera. OS.

Luggage. Wish I could. Human interaction. Speaking the language.

My camera. Neither: A to Z or AS (Ask Someone)


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Things to See and Do

Talent Contest

January

Deadline 31 January 2010

Grafik is very excited to announce its first ever awards scheme. The Grafik Design Awards are not about huge entry fees, black ties and awards dos where you don’t know anyone. They are about finding and rewarding the best work and the most creative studios and designers. To be eligible, work must have been produced in 2009 in the UK, and you don’t even need to try and pigeonhole it into one category. Our very respected panel of judges consists of Phil Baines, Sara de Bondt, Emily King, Kate Moross, Ben Parker (MadeThought), Nick Roope (Poke), Eva Rucki (Troika), Marina Willer (Wolff Olins) and Angharad Lewis, editor of Grafik. Peter Saville will be making an award for best newcomer and Wim Crouwel will be awarding the best studio. It’s easy and affordable to enter — £50 for the first entry and £25 for every entry thereafter, with a free three-month subscription to Grafik included. Entries to the best newcomer award cost just £20. You can enter online at www.awards. grafikmag.com, and don’t forget to make a note of the 31 January deadline. www.awards.grafikmag.com

New Alphabet Until 12 July

One exhibition not to be missed opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York at the end of December. The New Typography looks at the groundbreaking avant-garde movement that swept through artistic communities in the 1920s and 30s and was codified by Jan Tschichold in his 1928 book Die Neue Typographie. The book had a massive impact on both typographers and printers, who applied the new principles to all manner of printed matter from brochures to books, magazines and advertisements. The exhibition at MOMA features posters and ephemera (typically featuring asymmetric compositions often using photomontage) from its own collection of German, Dutch, Soviet and Czechoslovakian graphics, many of which were used by Tschichold himself during his teaching years. www.moma.org

Things to See and Do

January

07


Needle Point

Dutch Courage

08 January—13 February

22 January—20 March

Crafts are fashionable again, it’s official. Despite the resurgence of all things handmade, however, tapestry is still pretty far down the coolness list — it’s all garish Kaffe Fasset cabbage cushions and cross-stitch baby samplers as far as most people are concerned. An exhibition at the James Cohan Gallery in New York is set to change all that, however. Entitled Demons, Yarns & Tales, it’s organised by the UK art collective Banners of Persuasion, and features a series of tapestries by thirteen different artists including Peter Blake, Gary Hume, Grayson Perry, Gavin Turk and Julie Verhoeven. Just because thread is involved doesn’t mean that the subject matter has gone soft, though — subjects covered by the artists include imaginary landscapes, abstract architectural forms, fashion and nature and the politics of race, gender, international conflict and the environment. Phew.

Get down to the Galerie Anatome in Paris this month for an exhibition of work by maverick Dutch design agency Thonik. The Amsterdam-based agency’s energetic work has won it a raft of covetable clients including the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Venice Architecture Biennial, Amsterdam Public Library, Triodos Bank and Spiral Art Center in Tokyo, but it’s Thonik’s massively powerful rebranding of the Dutch Socialist Party (SP), with its bold tomato-based identity, that has brought it to so many people’s attention. You can read the full story on pages 56-61 of Grafik issue 176. www.galerie-anatome.com

www.jamescohan.com

Things to See and Do

January

08


So Sew

Master Class

15 January—27 February

21 January—03 April

A new exhibition at the PM Gallery in Ealing this month sets out to challenge our preconceptions about embroidery (yup, it’s all about the threadcount right now). Beware of Embroidery features work by five international artists all using embroidery — Kate Pelen (UK), Louise Riley (UK), Tilleke Schwarz (Netherlands), Laura Splan (USA) and Tamar Stone (USA) — and celebrates the diversity and energy that does exist within the medium (if you look hard enough). The subject matter is definitely very varied, from Laura Splan’s intricate doilies taken from the forms of various viruses to Tamar Stone’s Bed Books and Corset Books, inspired by the body brace she wore for twenty-three hours a day between the ages of thirteen and eighteen.

The late, great Alan Fletcher’s exhibition Fifty Years of Graphic Work (and Play) is coming to Manchester in January. Curated by Emily King and originally shown at the Design Museum in London just after his death in 2006, the exhibition spans Fletcher’s amazing fifty-year career, from his early days in New York, through the Forbes Fletcher Gill and Pentagram years, to his final period as an independent designer. The exhibition is required viewing for any self-respecting graphic designer, so if you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing it yet (or just fancy a second look) then it’s definitely worth a trip to CUBE in Manchester this month. The exhibition will be opened by St Peter of the Saville himself, a fitting tribute to such a great man. We miss you, Alan, the world has been a much duller place without you.

www.ealing.gov.uk/pmgalleryandhouse www.cube.org.uk

Object Lesson 30 January—23 May

Hove Museum and Art Gallery (situated at the somewhat posher and sleepier end of Brighton Town) has commissioned ten artists to create an original piece of work for Precious, a new exhibition that aims to create exciting new artworks from objects that have enjoyed a previous life as something else. Curated by Matt Smith and Polly Harknett, the show (strapline “Reclaiming Art and Craft” — it’s the C-word again) features objects fashioned from everything from waste paper and fabric to computer parts, bathroom taps, books, furniture and drink cans. Contributors include the lovely Andrew Mockett, a Brightonian himself, whose playful work has graced the pages of Grafik many a time. www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk

Things to See and Do

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Things to See and Do

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Things to See and Do

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Charlie Duck

Talent

Another talented Brighton University graduate, Charlie Duck has been busy making

work

for

numerous

exhibitions

and

books

since

he

finished

his

illustration course two years ago. As he reveals here, inspiration comes in many guises, from film and literature to praise from his granny.

01

02

03

01 Untitled, illustration for We Are the Friction book, April 2009 02 Kingdoms 3, self-initiated work, January 2009 03 Kingdoms 2, self-initiated work, February 2008

Talent

Charlie Duck

13


02

01

Talent

Charlie Duck

14


04

03

01 Three Rooms 1, selfinitiated work, June 2007 02 Untitled, self-initiated work, August 2009 03 Memento Mori 1, selfinitiated work, June 2009 04 Untitled, illustration for We Are the Friction book, April 2009

05

05 Dust & Shadow 3.5, for artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; book published by Duke Press, December 2009

Talent

Charlie Duck

15


Describe your style in three words. What is in your toolbox?

Digital or analogue? (And why?)

What’s better: working with a team or going it alone?

Where do you find inspiration?

What’s been the best and worst reaction to your work?

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

What would be your fantasy commission?

What’s the best creative facility near to where you live?

What are you going to do next?

Obsessive pencil drawings. Mechanical pencils, lead refills, normal pencils, sharpeners, rubbers, knives and a bone folder. I have another one with paints and brushes in, I’m just not quite ready to open it yet. Analogue without a doubt. I avoid using computers as much as possible. There is so much that is lost in the translation of an original work into a digital image, and then, in turn a printed reproduction. I always lose faith when it comes to that point with a drawing. It’s important to me to be able to create the pieces I want, independent of any digital process. I like the fragility of original works, and the idea of something existing as a one-off. I think it depends on the individual, what it is you’re setting out to do and what it is you want to achieve. Personally I prefer working alone, away from distractions. I like losing myself in drawings. However, second opinions are invaluable. At university we were encouraged to regularly discuss our work with our peers and our tutors, which is something I still do. I find thoughts and ideas tend to develop far more intuitively through conversation than they do sitting alone in your mind for days on end. Predominantly I would say literature, and then film. I have always been drawn to narrative and storytelling. I find it interesting to see how writers or directors create an atmosphere, capture a feeling or communicate a narrative, specifically the devices they employ to do so. I sent my grandmother some drawings in the post a few months ago. She wrote back a few days later telling me she thought I was “a real artist”, which I liked. In terms of bad reactions, I’ve always found indifference pretty frustrating. I think it’s important for work to evoke a reaction in the viewer, whether good or bad; to do neither seems to negate the purpose of making work in the first place. To not worry too much about what other people are doing. I think, particularly in illustration and design, it is only too easy to get caught up in what is considered contemporary and popular. The tutors at Brighton would always challenge us, steering us away from simply mimicking what was on trend. Instead we were encouraged to think about what it was we were interested in, and to be confident to explore that, finding one’s own points of reference Something Sisyphean has always appealed. Drawing a billboard by hand, with a 0.3mm mechanical pencil, that kind of thing. Due to the nature of my working methods I’m fairly self-sufficient, and have little call for facilities in the traditional sense. Can institutions be considered creative facilities? I think so. In which case it could be any one of a number of galleries or museums in London. The city houses, such an array, all so varied in their collections. I find I spend a lot of time in these kinds of places, absorbing their collections, looking for something new. I always leave feeling excited about what might be around the corner, full of optimism about drawing. I want to continue to exhibit works, and to take part in projects, as well as to return to working on some self-published books. I feel like I’m beginning to understand what it is my work is about, and what’s important to me, which is one thing. I’d now like to develop how I choose to communicate it. www.charlieduck.co.uk

Talent

Charlie Duck

16


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Will Robson Scott

Talent

From dark, moody subcultures to the subtle absurdities of life, young street photographer Will Robson Scott has a keen eye for catching the human condition. Fresh from a trip to South Africa, the Londoner tells us what heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up to next and offers some stark advice about his profession. 01

01 Mr.P, London, 2008 02 Dtrick and his mastiffs, California, 2009

02

Talent

Will Robson Scott

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01

02

Talent

Will Robson Scott

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04

03

01 D Double E, London, 2008 02 YRP, London, 2007 03 Matty and Sid, London, 2009 04 Police, London, 2002

Talent

Will Robson Scott

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Describe your style in three words. What is in your work bag?

Digital or analogue? (And why?) What’s better: working with a team or going it alone?

Where do you find inspiration? What’s been the best and the worst reaction to your work?

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? What has been the defining moment of your career so far? What would be your fantasy commission? What’s the best creative facility near to where you live?

What are you going to do next?

Bit of everything. Depending on what I’m photographing, a Mamiya7 or Canon 5d with a flash and tripod—I try to keep the set-up simple. It might seem a bit sentimental, but film seems to give my work a bit more integrity and makes me think a bit more about what I’m doing. But digital is the only way to work commercially and its immediacy is great. I prefer to work independently on personal projects to try to build a one-to-one relationship and get feedback afterwards. But if I’m working on a brief for a client it’s helpful to have people around you to give a bit of direction. Inspiration comes from everyday meetings with people and the world around me. I’m also interested in people living on the fringes of society, people who hold value in subcultures but not in the wider world. People buying your work or employing you is great, but it also makes me feel a bit guilty getting paid to take photos. Criticism can be hard to swallow but can make you stronger. Separate personal and commercial work, and as soon as you stop enjoying photography, quit. Finishing Crack and Shine (London’s first graffiti book) was a huge achievement, just because we were told so many times it would never happen. Also being invited on the Gumball rally (3,000-mile luxury-car rally) this year seemed like a once-in-alifetime chance. I just travelled to South Africa and found it an amazingly interesting country. I would love to get a chance to do a project about the country’s infrastructure and history.

My friend Morgan’s scanner, without a doubt.

I’m finishing a project on dogs and their owners. I might work on a new Crack and Shine project if I can deal with the headache. I am part of a new creative collective, Pirates, which has just been signed to CIA. I’ll continue with my own projects and I’m going to learn to drive, properly. www.willrobsonscott.co.uk

Talent

Will Robson Scott

22


ICA

Heavy Pencil

Alex Rich and Jürg Lehni

Bonbon

No Brow and Blexbolex

Abecederia

Swiss Federal Design Awards

Pierre-François Letue

Modernes: The Andam Fashion Awards 1989–2009

Design Real

Showcase


Lesley Moore

M1

Mind Design

Photography by Christoffer Rudquist www.c-h-r-i-s-t-o-f-f-e-r.com Styling by Shoko Goji Rudquist

Pete and Repeat

Tess Management

Marc&Anna

Roger Hilton Night Letters

C-Mon & Kypski

Melissa Price

Melanie Mues


ICA

Heavy Pencil

Sarah Boris, in-house designer at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, has recently completed a limited-edition album pack celebrating a year of Heavy Pencil nights at the venue. This brilliantly named event is an illustration-meets-music night where “professional and wonderful illustrators come down with pens, pencils, paper and some of their favourite music”. What might have been merely gruesome seems to have worked like a dream judging by the year’s worth of noodling and doodling in this collection. It makes for an interesting music compilation and some fantastic illustration. The music/illustration cross-feed works for toytronica bands like Psapp, Malcolm Goldie and Anthony Burrill, all worthy standalone contenders in the aural world, while the illustrations by Mimi Leung, Andrew Rae and Luke Best, Sac Magique and Ville Savimaa, among others, provide a solid graphic backbone to the project.

Showcase

January

Collaborating with Gemma Tortella, programmer of the Heavy Pencil event, Boris gathered twelve cards by artists including the omnipresent Anthony Burrill (who also did the cover of the pack). Boris was obviously excited by the event as it touched upon her interests in design and the chance to do something unique that connected design with music and performance: “There was no fixed branding for the night, so we also started from scratch, which was a great opportunity. The cards in the box are printed on uncoated white 700gsm paper and the pack is seven inches square to reflect its link to music.” Boris is keen to point out that Heavy Pencil has plans for 2010, citing Rob Ryan as a possible guest for a special Valentine’s Heavy Pencil night. Who knows, if you go along you might make a special pen friend. www.ica.org.uk

26


Marc&Anna

Pete and Repeat

Here’s one for you: Pete are Repeat are sitting on a fence. Pete falls off, who is left? Repeat? Okay then: Pete and Repeat are sitting on a fence... repeat ad infinitum. It’s as old as the hills. It’s also the title for an exhibition that showcases works from the Zabludowicz Collection, an international, privately funded contemporary art collection. Inspired by the Bruce Nauman piece Clown Torture (which, if you have coulrophobia, is the most terrifying film ever), the exhibition is the first held by the collection that draws solely on preexisting works, including those by artists Sherrie Levine, Keith Tyson and Wolfgang Tilmans. Exhibition curator Ellen Mara De Wachter turned to studio MARC&ANNA to produce the identity, gallery guide and catalogue. Marc Atkinson of MARC&ANNA reveals the link between the concept of the show and the design and identity that he and partner Anna Ekelund designed for it: “The title and concept was already halfway there, so the design followed on from the concept. However, because there was so much

Showcase

January

repetition we wanted to break it up. Each page has a different grid and we chose to use a selection of typefaces to overprint the main font. We wanted each repetition of the details to be slightly different, not an exact repeat. This hinted at the impossibility of exact repetition, and also represented the range of work on show. We chose a selection of classic typefaces, each famous for a different reason and use: Akzidenz Grotesk, Amasis, Avenir, Baskerville, Cantoria, Caslon, Din, Garamond, Palatino, Plantin, Sabon, Univers, and Zurich.” Chopping the invites from one A3 sheet resulted in four different versions, all containing the same information, but all with a different selection of typefaces. Cyclus Offset paper was used throughout, except for the image pages in the catalogue, which were printed on Greencoat Silk. Pete are Repeat are sitting on a fence. Pete falls off... www.marcandanna.co.uk

27


Mind Design

Tess Management

Tess Management, owned by Tori Edwards and Sian Steel, is a new London-based model agency that evolved from Independent Talent. Tess represents the crème de la crème — Naomi Campbell and Erin O’Connor, as well as new models like Georgia May Jagger, are all on its books. Edwards and Steel chose Mind Design to come up with the identity for their new enterprise. Holger Jacobs of Mind Design takes up the story: “A few years ago we noticed the work of Simon Egli, a Swiss designer who developed a multilayered typeface based on letterpress ornaments. We teamed up with Simon to develop a rather complex identity based on a modular system. The logo system developed from simple outlined letter shapes overlaid with various ornaments and Art Deco-inspired shapes. It would be possible to create endless logo combinations using this principle but we decided on a set of six colour and six blackand-white versions for general use. In print the logo is produced by overprinting five Pantone colours with a slight transparency.”

Showcase

January

The identity included model cards, portfolios, folders and stationery and Mind Design also designed a newspaper to announce the launch of the new agency. In connection with the logo, Jacobs developed a setof different frames that are used around the images. The newspaper folds to an A4 format, held together by a bellyband, which sports different versions of the logo. The look and feel of the work is a bit of a departure for Mind Design, which up until now has concentrated on starker, more modernist-style aesthetics. As Jacobs says, “For many years we followed the manifesto that ‘Ornament Is Crime’, but recently discovered how liberating it is to just play with shapes and pattern that have no particular function.” www.minddesign.co.uk www.tessmanagement.com

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Modernes: The Andam Fashion Awards 1989–2009

Pierre-François Letue

“Graphic design is not the finality, but is here to celebrate the subject.” So says Pierre-François Letue, when asked what have been his favourite outcomes from his recent project for the Andam Fashion Awards, which celebrate their twentieth anniversary this year. Andam, founded in 1989 by the mercurial Nathalie Dufour, exists to give ground-breaking young designers a leg-up into the notoriously treacherous fashion industry, and over the last two decades they have been a launch pad for some mighty impressive names — Martin Margiéla, Viktor & Rolf, Bless, Gareth Pugh and Giles Deacon among them. To celebrate the occasion, this book details the history of the awards (and in turn provides a suitably stylish analysis of cutting-edge fashion of the last twenty years) and its designer, Pierre-François Letue, has a pretty impressive history in fashion himself, having worked extensively for Chanel, Thierry Mugler and Karl Lagerfeld. The construction of the book is like that of a garment, with clever touches making parallels between the nomenclature of book design and clothes-

Showcase

January

making — on the spine the stitching is left exposed and the dust jacket is made from jacket-like cloth. The interior folds of the sleeve go beyond the traditional function to act as dividers between outer and inner sections of pages. At both ends of the book is a section made from a larger-sized glossy paper stock, carrying a gorgeous black-and-white shoot of clothes by thirty-nine designers, shot by Jean-François Lepage (“the best [photographer] we could dream to have, and directly coming from this generation,” says Letue). Inside the sleeves is a block of smaller-size pages forming the main section, with text composed in the font Périgord — “close to magazines, smart, but raw,” says Letue, “the perfect mix for the project”. The entire confection is then housed within a grey board slipcase, die-cut to reveal just the word ‘Modernes’ of the title beneath, and looking for all the world like the maker’s label on an elegantly cut garment. Bravo. www.andam.fr

29


Alex Rich and Jürg Lehni

Design Real

Design Real is the first show at the Serpentine Gallery to concentrate on design, in this case product design, curated by German industrial designer Konstantin Grcic. Grcic chose to work with Alex Rich and Jürg Lehni when it came to the exhibition design and identity, having collaborated previously with the pair on an evening event at A Recent History of Writing and Drawing at the ICA in London in 2008. This exhibition, however, was a much bigger proposition for all concerned. “The starting point, from a design point of view, was talking about language and objects, and the fact that there should be research available but we didn’t want it to be too didactic,” explains Lehni. The result is an exhibition identity, including catalogue and signage system, that uses strong, simple one-word titles in the gallery, backed up heavily by a website displayed on kindles within the gallery, and a catalogue published by Walter Koenig Books. The typeface, chosen by Rich, is the standard car number plate font (most notably used by him in

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January

his 2005 piece One Less Car). The reason for this choice, Rich observes, is that “it felt like a celebration of something you see every day”. Rich and Lehni were given free rein, allowing them room to explore their own ongoing research in innovations around print and technology. “The only guideline we were given by the Serpentine Gallery was that the book had to have a bellyband. The printing ideas came from the web format — working on a black background screen saves energy on the web, so we continued that aesthetic into print,” says Lehni. The difficult balance between too much information cluttering a gallery space and too little information rendering the exhibits impotent gestures was a tough call but one that Rich and Lehni have handled with finesse. www.design-real.com www.field-trip.org www.scratchdisk.com

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Bonbon

Swiss Federal Design Awards

If the Swiss Federal Design Awards are anything to go by, that nation excels at nurturing and rewarding young design talent. Nineteen designers have been shot to stardom via this year’s awards and their work has been documented in a brilliantly designed book by Bonbon. The 2009 catalogue comes on the back of two others designed by Valeria Bonin and Diego Bontognali of the Zurich studio. The pair first won the commission from the Swiss Federal Office of Culture in 2006 and were asked to design the book for 2007, 2008 and 2009. It may sound like a dream of a job but it was hard-earned — Bonin and Bontognali were themselves winners of an award in 2002 with their diploma project, “a book about trash and fast typography”. “Our idea was to make more than a catalogue. The winners of the award should not be forgotten after six months,” say the designers, echoing their own experience of winning. Bonbon alighted on the idea of making an encyclopaedia. “We wanted to collect a lot of different information about the winners and their work,” they explain, “good, bad, wrong, funny, strange, right, new, old, inconsistent, not important, private — in a way, to show them in a larger context than only in design.” Thus

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each of the winners gets a section where we’re introduced not only to their work, but also get a glimpse of their lives, environments and ways of working. Bonbon collaborated with photography duo Geoffrey Cottenceau and Romain Rousset (following collaborations with Korner Union and Cortis & Sonderegger in 2007 and 2008 respectively) and mixed their images with snaps by the designers themselves. One of the most beguiling and successful aspects of Bonbon’s design for the catalogue is its application of type. The font used throughout is Piek, designed by Philipp Herrmann and distributed by optimo.ch. The grid anchors images and text blocks to the central area of the page but this is also used as a sort of central margin, around which text at a 45-degree angle is arranged. The whole experience is very satisfying and if you find yourself hungry for even more Swiss design talent, you can see the work of the winners in an exhibition at MUDAC in Lausanne until the end of January. www.bonbon.li www.philippherrmann.ch

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Melanie Mues

Roger Hilton Night Letters

The drunk, desperate nighttime ramblings of a man to his wife may not sound like great material for a book, but in the case of artist Roger Hilton they make for fascinating and moving reading. A body of work entitled Night Letters, which comprises Hilton’s handwritten works as well as a collection of small gouache paintings, all produced during the two years leading up to his death in 1975, has been brought together in an enchanting new volume designed by Melanie Mues. The letters Hilton wrote veer from domestic arrangements (“Get some ham. And beetroot”), to philosophical flights (“The eating thing is idiotic; the fucking thing is equally idiotic: the song, music, art thing is idiotic. What remains? Nature raw in tooth and claw”) and desperate pleas (“All these things are sitting in the kitchen. I don’t want to go out to that horrid, cold place: egg cup, spaghetti, bacon, potatoes, milk. All could be made available to me. Why keep the whiskey out there instead of in here?”), to great humour(“Clear up your cigarette stubs, even normal people use

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an ashtray”) and touching intimacy (“9.30 Sun I awoke and refreshed and poking up I found you sound asleep. Well this is just to say I miss you very much. There is nothing in the world will replace you”). Sometimes such magnificent leaps occur all within the space of one letter, or even one spidery paragraph. The extremely personal nature of Hilton’s work is interpreted with finesse by Mues in her design. The title is embossed white out of black in Hilton’s shaky handwriting on a cloth-bound cover, giving the book a diary-like feel. The bulk of the book is given over to full-page reproductions of pages of Hilton’s letters, drawings and paintings. If you weren’t a fan of Hilton before, you may well emerge from this book a love-struck convert. “I think he deserves to be back on everyone’s bookshelves, says Mues. “He was a larger-than-life character, always rebellious against the art farts and institutions”. www.muesdesign.com

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Melissa Price

M1

Following her study in book form of the building façades of London’s Barbican Centre, Melissa Price of Cartlidge Levene has created a screenprinted graphic homage to the M1 motorway, which celebrated its fiftieth birthday in 2009. Price put on her historian’s hat and delved into the background of the M1, and motorway design in general, to find inspiration for the book. She was delighted to find that motorways — something usually considered ugly, brutal or boring — could yield some true aesthetic pleasure and remarkable design strategies. “I was interested in the graceful curves and shapes of the junctions and found that there are huge variations, from the simplest interchanges to those with multiple flyovers and roundabouts,” Price reveals. Her research also unearthed the methods used by motorway designers to make our driving experience more enjoyable and safe. “The earliest sections of the M1 had several long straight stretches which were discovered to have a soporific effect on drivers,” she continues. “In later motorway construction sweeping curved shapes were introduced after it was recognised that a changing perspective and vista helps drivers stay alert, improving safety. So the shapes and curves are not arbitrary, Showcase ShowcaseJanuary December

but designed with many factors in mind: optimum sightlines, ease of driving at high speed, blending with the landscape, and providing an ever-changing view for drivers.” Price’s twenty-page book contains her collection of drawings of the motorway’s junctions seen from above, and this view, executed in white and ‘motorway’ blue, emphasises the balance and simple elegance of these structures. Accompanying the illustrations are type compositions giving a full listing of the destinations signed from each junction, going in order from South to North. The book has a short cover in paper-lined bookcloth with a Singer-sewn binding. Despite Price’s clean modernist treatment, there is an unmistakable air of nostalgia about her undertaking, a whiff of Britain in the late 1950s, poised on the cusp of a new era, before the rest of the UK was crisscrossed with motorways and when ‘motoring’ — rather than simply getting from A to B — was a civilised pastime. You can buy your copy of M1 now from Kaleid Editions on Redchurch Street in London. www.kaleideditions.com www.melissaprice.co.uk

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No Brow and Blexbolex

Abecederia

Abecedaria is a chilling and rather odd sci-fi cum crime thriller story that has been published as an artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book by No Brow Press. The story tells of two notorious criminal brothers on the run from the law in the 1960s. The pair are chased from France to Africa, where they seek refuge in the fabled settlement of Abecederia. They hope to find sanctuary there, but instead stumble on something altogether more sinister involving gory human experiments, brainwashing and the evil Dr Praxis. The story and accompanying illustrations come from the fertile imagination of French illustrator Blexbolex and this is the first of his works to be translated into English. It was originally published in 2007 and soon after, in 2008, Blexbolex was the recipient of the prestigious Most Beautiful Book Award at the Leipzig Book Fair for his work on another title, Leute.

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In Abecederia, Blexâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comfortingly familiar pulp-fiction writing style is set against his sparse, off-beat illustration style to deliberately disquieting effect. The whole book is printed using just three spot colours, which are overlapped in places to create depth and also to show off the virtuosity of the printing. Relatively new on the independent publishing scene but already gaining a reputation for excellently produced obscure titles and specialising in illustration, No Brow is an admirable venture. You can pick up a copy of Abecedaria from shops around London and the UK including Artwords, KK Outlet, Beyond the Valley and various galleries, as well as select outlets around the world (check the No Brow website for details). www.nobrow.net

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Lesley Moore

C-Mon & Kypski

Alex Clay is keen to point out that there is no person named Lesley Moore at the design agency Lesley Moore. It’s a phonetic play on ‘less is more’, just as C-Mon in the name of the band it designed this sleeve for is a play on Simon (Akkermans, one of the band’s frontmen). Got it? Dutch band C-Mon & Kypski chose Lesley Moore to design its fourth album, We Are Square, to convey the message that, having started out as a two-piece, they had now racked up another couple of members and emerged as a fully wired electro-stomping-andgrinding four-piece. “Their previous albums were much more samplebased,” explains Clay, “so they wanted to show they are a band that also play instruments.” To do this, Clay combined hand-drawn portraits of the band members with a concept inspired by the title of the album. On the inner sleeve, he used photographs by Gabriel Eisenmeier of their instruments with cutouts based on a square shape. “The title of the

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album is so visual,” Clay continues, “that we wanted to use that in some way, so we came up with a pyramid for the limited-edition version. We thought ‘they are never going to go for it, but let’s propose it anyway’.” To Lesley Moore’s surprise the band agreed and there followed an extremely short turnaround on the work — it took just three weeks from concept to final delivery and was developed in co-operation with the studio Guido van Gerven. The result is a satisfyingly tactile article that suits the space-ska-lounge, sax-metal, astro-funk that is C-Mon & Kypski. “It’s every designer’s dream to do a record cover. We were very happy that our first one turned out like this,” says Clay. Lesley Moore would be proud. www.lesley-moore.nl www.c-monandkypski.nl

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victor Moscoso Portrait of Victor Moscoso by Laurie Wilson www.laurie-wilson.com

Surrounded by a lifetimeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth of ephemera, prints and drawings in a shed in the undergrowth in Marin County outside San Francisco, Victor Moscoso, now in his seventies, is still busy working. Robert Urquhart made a pilgrimage to see the king of Sixties psychedelic poster design for his recollections about that heady era, his wisdom about ways of working and a crash course in self-promotion.

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Opposite: The Miller Blues Band poster, offset litho, 1967 © Neon Rose Next Spread: Zap Comix #4, front and back covers, offset litho, 1970

“I always treated the job as if I was a plumber. Would you ask a plumber to fit a toilet for free? No. So don’t ask me. I call myself a graphic designer, that’s a practical and useful role in society.”

San Francisco, Brighton in the Himalayas, the place where, half a century ago, beatniks turned hipsters under the Californian sun. Victor Moscoso, the old master of psychedelic art, lives just north of the city, in sleepy Marin County across the Golden Gate Bridge. I could pop over in a taxi and go see him in an afternoon. Sitting by the pool after my arrival in San Francisco, I call Victor. “How much is the fee for this interview?” he asks. “There is no fee, Victor, but it’s great publicity for you,” I say. “Jeez, man,” comes the reply, “you’re getting me to do all this work for nothing? Okay. Make sure you buy my book before you come and see me. I’m about an hour and a half out of town. I can give you a couple of hours, I guess.” Thank you, Victor. A week later I’m sitting in a cab, clutching the book (Sex, Rock and Optical Illusions, published by Fantagraphics in 2005), heading over the bridge with a nervous taxi driver at the wheel. He’s wondering why he’s taking an Englishman into the remote hills beyond the bay. I’m wondering whether he knows where we’re going and what kind of reception I can expect when I arrive. Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley and Wes Wilson were the Big Five of what is now called the psychedelic art movement, producing posters for music venues the Fillmore Auditorium and the Avalon Ballroom for the Family Dog collective. Moscoso was also making posters for his own company, Neon Rose, around the HaightAshbury district. From 1966 to 1969, these five ruled. Their works lined the streets, advertising gigs by the Grateful Dead, The Sparrow (later to become Steppenwolf), Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, Quicksilver and the Miller Blues Band, among countless other legendary performers of the time. Their work was picked up around the world and became the trademark graphic depiction for the music and counterculture of a time. Today, Moscoso is one of the last men standing. His talent is equal to those he advertised. He is a legend. As you cross the Golden Gate Bridge from the city, the landscape changes. Marin County looks a little like the Lake District, or more like Devon in the summertime perhaps—lush, green, remote and hilly. The GPS directs us down a steep path into a thicket. Suddenly, from behind a bush, out leaps a tall, dark, bespectacled man in a bandana. He jabs at the window of the cab. This is Victor. It turns out the bush has a door and the door leads to Victor’s studio. Victor’s studio is amazing. There’s nowhere to sit, it’s stuffed full of drawings, reference materials; bits and bobs. It’s man-shed heaven. I had been filming my arrival on my camcorder but Victor objects. “Hey, what you doing? Put that away. There’s stuff in here that’s not copywritten yet.” Sorry, Victor.

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Victor Moscoso

Victor is obviously someone who has a handle on his business matters. As I set my Dictaphone going he also sets his own going, his wonderfully evocative Brooklyn-meetsWest Coast drawl announcing the wrong date into the tape recorder. I correct him. He tells me I’ve got toothpaste on my chin. “It’s showbiz, you always gotta remember that,” he reminds me. I like Victor. “Don’t blame me for being an American artifact, I don’t like it either,” Victor begins, meaning every word. “I’m a poster guy, that’s it.” We begin talking around the psychedelic art label. “The Ninja Mutant Turtles. They lucked out, man. Leonardo, Michelangelo, they had the right idea. Digging up treasure.” I guess he’s talking about commercial art. “Fuck this fine-art shit, man”. I bring up a quote from Victor at the end of his book— “What is the job? When do you want it? What does it pay?” “Oh shit, here comes one of those rare guys, an artist that knows about business,” he laughs. “I always treated the job as if I was a plumber. Would you ask a plumber to fit a toilet for free? No. So don’t ask me. I call myself a graphic designer, that’s a practical and useful role in society.” But back in the 60s the term ‘graphic designer’ didn’t exist and the profession was new. Throughout, Victor makes it clear that he was a poster artist: “That’s what we were known as, me, Griffin, Mouse, Kelley, we were the poster guys. There was no other way of communicating about these dance events. No radio, no television, this was the only way.” He arrived in San Francisco in 1959, from Brooklyn where his family had emigrated to from Spain at the onset of the Spanish Civil War. “Brooklyn is a great place to be from,” says Victor mischievously. Prior to his move to San Francisco, he attended Cooper Union before transferring to Yale. At Yale he studied under the ‘father of Op Art’, Joseph Albers. Albers was a refugee of another war. He had been a student, then a professor in the Department of Design at the Bauhaus in the 1920s and early 1930s. When the Nazi Party gained power in 1933 Albers felt the heat and fled to America. Or, as Victor astutely sums up, “Hitler sent all his non-performing artists to the USA.” Albers bridged a transition between traditional European art and the new American art of the 1950s and 1960s. This was the first of two points in Victor’s career when he would be “the right guy at the right place at the right time”. The second would not be until seven years later in Haight-Ashbury. Arriving in San Francisco just as the beatnik culture, gestated in his beloved NYC, reached the mainstream public consciousness around the world, Victor got a job as a labourer, “earning three dollars an hour, more than any of my college friends”, he notes. But Victor is dismissive of the beatnik movement, calling them fantasists. There was a more seriously active, more rebellious time to come.

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Opposite: The Chambers Brothers poster, offset litho, 1967 © Neon Rose

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01 Dallas Poster Show poster, offset litho, 1967 © Neon Rose 02 Incredible Poetry poster, offset litho, 1967 © Neon Rose

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“It’s one thing to think it… but to draw it… then to publish it? Wow. Outrage. We thought all the taboos had been broken.”

Opposite: Hawaii Pop-Rock poster, offset litho, 1967 © Neon Rose

The year of his arrival in San Francisco, America had “Holy shit. I had no idea, none of us did,” Moscoso become engaged in a war that was the catalyst to a cultural remembers of the show. “We did posters to get people to revolution and a shift in the thinking and understanding go to the dance hall. Sure, it got smart, we did it to entertain of America as a world power around the world. A war that them, and the information became entertaining. Here I am questioned the American Dream, a war that brought together doing what I want to and getting paid. Goodbye, Van Gogh a generation and divided a nation. Victor was on a different syndrome.” The Joint Show smoked the butt of the Haightfront line. “I got called up by the army, which wasn’t killing Ashbury love-in and Moscoso was already pushing things anybody yet by then, but still I didn’t want to join up so I forward again. “By this time I’m starting to get tired of posters, enrolled in college. We had more in common with the youth gee, I’m tired of them. I’m with Rick Griffin, he had been a of China than we did with our parents. America was an army cartoonist before the posters, and we came up with a plan of state. If your hair touched your collar you’d be expelled doing a full-colour magazine. We called it Zap Comix. Griffin from school. Married couples slept in separate beds. We ran into Robert Crumb, he adored Griffin’s work, and here were like ‘we know what you do, man. Christ, this is fucking we had all this unbelievable iconoclastic imagery. I took over bullshit.’ America. The country that has brought you the production and Wes Wilson joined in. That nailed it to the Vietnam War…” wall. Zap 2 comes out and it takes off, selling in every head San Francisco was already a magnet for America’s shop in the States.” Speaking about the triple-X-rated content counterculture. Beat-generation writers living in North Beach (including incest and severed penis heads) in Comix, Victor fuelled the renaissance with poetry that quickly took a hold says, “It’s one thing to think it… but to draw it… then to on the burgeoning music scene. By now Victor was teaching publish it? Wow. Outrage. We thought all the taboos had been at the Institute for Art, which put him in touch with ‘the scene’ broken. Right down the pipes, man, they can’t swallow this one.” directly. Artists like Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse were This was the last stand. By now the front line in the hooked up with music promoter Chet Helms under the title alternative war had broken ranks, Bill Graham was creaming of The Family Dog. Promoter Bill Graham was lurking, ready to money with business deals that were decidedly more selfmuscle in with his hard business ideas. The short-lived serving than they were in the interests of the community but highly productive period in which San Francisco was that had provided the talent. The new drugs of choice—heroin to dominate as the most iconic poster art centre of the world and cocaine—had turned the hippies sour. The war in Vietnam was about to begin. Victor saw an opportunity. For the second was now, even in the mainstream, an agreed failure. The time in his life he was the right guy in the right place at the party was over. right time. “I saw what those guys were doing and I thought Victor continued working on the fringes producing record ‘I can do this’.” sleeves, notably the excellent Headhunters album cover for While the posters Mouse and Kelley produced were Herbie Hancock in 1973, and working to demand for a clutch heavily influenced by Art Nouveau graphics, particularly the of 60s contemporaries including Jerry Garcia of the Grateful work of Alfons Mucha, Victor remembered the teachings Dead. Victor also continued to teach, primarily teaching of Albers and that of his own ‘plumber trade’ work ethics. students how to use their portfolio to get work, an honourable “Within three posters I was in the game. I started my own task and one that is only just beginning to be understood as production company and went to the promoters—who initially necessary by art schools even today. said they couldn’t afford me—and said: ‘Hire me and I’ll give Victor is incredibly humble about his influence and you 200 posters, then I’ll print the rest and sell them myself.’ abilities and is refreshingly candid about his generation. “Every This worked out well, I was selling them for a dollar a print.” generation is as talented as the last,” he says. “My work was The posters were everywhere. Victor recalls that the about the craft of putting opposing colours together. It had San Franciscan police were getting heavy-handed with the nothing to do with acid—how to you paint the birth and rebirth? hipsters, by now called hippies, beating them up for leaving You can’t. All I did was say: ‘Hey, go buy a ticket to this, you garbage cans out with the lids off. “The neighbourhood got might get something out of this.’ It’s easy to rebel.” together and said, ‘Hey, let’s not give the cops any excuse When I ask about the resurgence of psychedelic art in to fight’ so I came up with a poster that simply said ‘Clean Up’. the 1990s with the advent of technology that produces fractals After that I’d go walking down Telegraph Hill and there’d be and the fact that Timothy Leary said that the digital revolution posters in every window. It was like the Sistine Chapel, man. is the new LSD, Victor retorts: “He took too many damn drugs.” Wow, I loved it.” Victor’s love for his craft, away from the strobes and By 1966, the hippies had reached their high. “Sixty-six bongos of the dance halls, is obvious. He speaks with emotion was the true summer of love,” Moscoso asserts. “George about offset litho and stone litho techniques, drawing on Harrison was right when he said it was shit in 67. The trouble limestone, the texture and physical work of printing and started when the dealer Super Spade got killed—new drugs, silkscreening. But it’s time to go. The taxi driver who’s been new people—just because a guy has got long hair don’t shitting himself ever since I told him that there were probably mean to say you should trust him.” bears in this part of the woods is tooting his horn. In the hurry The descent may have started in 67 but it was also the to leave I forget to get my book signed, a regret that hangs year the Big Five made it really big. Often cited as a pioneering over my head. event in the evolution of psychedelic poster art, The Joint What was he like? asks the taxi driver as we head back Show was held at the Moore Gallery in July 1967. The ‘poster over the bridge. “I just met a master,” I reply. “So go and buy guys’ had an art show and the spotlight was well and truly on his book, Sex, Rock and Optical Illusion. them. People spilled out onto the street and hung off rooftops ”He’s not a plumber, he’s a decorator and, like to celebrate the decorators of a revolution. It sounds like one Michelangelo in his time, the best in the business.” hell of a party. There you go, Victor. I sold it.

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Opposite: Blues Project poster, offset litho, 1967 © Neon Rose

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02 Joint Show, offset litho, 1967 © Neon Rose 03 Pablo Ferro Films poster, offset litho, 1967 © Neon Rose

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Special Report

Travel The simple act of getting around often brings you into contact with some unexpectedly inspiring graphic design. Take maps—particularly classics such as Harry Beck’s Tube map or the New York subway map—both are discussed by the latter’s designer, Massimo Vignelli, in our Travel Special Report. We also deconstruct the semiotics of bicycle logos with Max Leonard and Jason Jules takes us on a trip to the dizzying heights of nowdefunct airline Braniff’s glamorous corporate look courtesy of designer Alexander Girard. Please fasten your belts for take-off…

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Rapid Transit Rapid Transit Rapid Transit Rapid Transit

Massimo Vignelliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1972 design for the New York City Subway map has become a classic piece of graphic design on a par with Harry Beckâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s London Underground map.

KERRY WILLIAM

PURCELL met up with Vignelli in New York to discuss the finer points of map design, the inspiration for the 1972 original and how it stacks up against the version that replaced it.

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In September 2009, Transport for London (TfL) took the decision to remove the River Thames from Henry Beck’s celebrated Underground map. On the surface, this may not seem like a significant edit of the original design. In fact, in many ways, the removal of the Thames could be seen as entirely consistent with Beck’s decision to disregard the geographical reality of London in favour of producing a diagrammatic map that was simple to read and easy to understand. Yet, for many Londoners, the river serves as an important boundary and, as the writer Iain Sinclair once said, without it “our city would have no soul”. In this instance, removing the river was a step too far. The authority received many complaints, and after Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, became aware of the omission, he called for it to be reinstated immediately.  The relationship of a map to the topography it seeks to represent has always been a contentious issue. From the earliest maps of the world through to today’s hand-held GPS devices, the way a town, city or country is represented two-dimensionally is imbued with social, political and cultural significance. Yet, the issues surrounding the creation of underground or subway maps present the designer with a rare set of problems. Unlike the streets above, a map of the subterranean world of the underground does not need to be geographically true. To approach it in such a way would only result in a work of enormous complexity, inscrutable to any but the most determined of passengers. Yet the map does need to make sense of the labyrinth of intersecting lines and services that criss cross the city, as well as providing a point of departure that will enable the passenger to find their destination above ground. In short, such a map needs to be both factual and artificial, a work of imagination and reason, an act of creative cartography.  Many of the questions sparked by the attempted redesign of the Beck map are familiar to the designer Massimo Vignelli. Author of the celebrated 1972 New York Subway map, Vignelli looked to Beck’s original design as a way of making sense of the amalgam of lines and local and express trains that characterise the New York transit system. “The London map is the only map that

has inspired me in the creative sense, the others have inspired me on not what to do,” Vignelli says when we meet in his Manhattan studio. “That’s because it is not a map. That’s why it’s good. What we needed was a diagram and we did a diagram, not a map. The diagram—or subway map—could not do all the things. You need a diagram about the subway, and then you need a geographical map, you know, with the streets. But if you try to put two things together, it’s a disaster.” Yet Vignelli did have to address the problem of establishing a correlation between the subway and the geography of the city. His own River Thames moment came when he decided to remove any reference to Central Park in his design: “We did take out Central Park because it was so much of a problem, because of the compression you need for putting in information.” However, such a move was seen as too severe, so Vignelli took the decision to “compress the park from a rectangle shape to a square shape”. He admits that many New Yorkers were “shocked” by this. Ultimately,

“people know that that isn’t the way. And if they see it that way, they don’t trust the map anymore. But if you don’t have it, it’s great.” In retrospect, one imagines Vignelli would have liked to have taken this one step further. In 2008, Men’s Vogue produced a limited-edition signed reprint of the subway map. Yet, as the whole nomenclature had changed since he first produced the map, when first approached by the magazine Vignelli only agreed to do it if he could produce a new one. “So we did one,” Vignelli notes, “and it had some kind of schematic geography, with the water,

because New York is full of islands and peninsulas etc. At one point they ran out of blue ink and just added a white background. If I had seen that from the beginning, I would have eliminated the blue completely.”

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Left: Detail of New York Subway map, designed by Massimo Vignelli, 1972 Right: Revised version of the original 1972 New York Subway map, by Massimo Vignelli, Beatriz Cifuentes and Yoshi Waterhouse, for Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Vogue magazine, 2008

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London is a city of villages, which have merged into  the metropolis we know today. By contrast, Manhattan is famously an island of grids. As the designer Michael Beirut noted, because of this, Beck’s design brings a sense of order to London, while, in contrast, Vignelli’s design was always going to be overshadowed by the strict geometric order above ground. The question is: how do you produce a map that works with the certainties of a geographical system that people are familiar with (streets, avenues etc)? “What we did,” Vignelli notes, “is try to keep it as simple as possible.

And as close as possible to reality, to a certain extent, within the boundaries of the system, within the boundaries of the grid we designed. We started with the real thing, with a real geographical map. Then we moved these things around according to the grid. You’re under ground, you couldn’t care less where the subway goes. You travel from point A to point B. If the subway goes in a straight line, you don’t know that. It doesn’t matter. We tried to be as close as possible to the cross-town lines etc, so we established a grid for all these things. There is a logic throughout.” Along with the Central Park issue, one of the criticisms repeatedly  levelled at Vignelli’s map was that it failed to connect the subway to the geography above ground. This case was made by Michael Hertz, the designer (with the MTA [Metropolitan Transit Authority]) of the map that would eventually replace Vignelli’s in 1979. He noted that, for instance, New Yorkers knew that at “50th Street and 8th Avenue you must walk a long block east to Broadway whereas Vignelli clearly shows it as an intersection”. Yet what Hertz ignores is that Vignelli did try to bridge the gap between his diagrammatic map and the local area of the station. Like a diver coming up for air, he offered a variety of maps to aid the decompression from train to street. “We had a system map, which is the diagram,” Vignelli notes, “we had a geographical map, a verbal map, and we did a fourth

one which was a neighbourhood map. The system map they did. The neighbourhood map they did in some stations. They never did a geographical map. This was a mistake. Because if you come out of a station, you want to know what streets are around, that’s why you need a geographical map. But if you need just information related to the lines, how to get from point A to point B, that is the system map. The verbal map was just telling you verbally: if you want to go to Times Square, you take this train, go to Grand Central, and take the shuttle and so on. Therefore, we were really covering all the aspects, the diagrammatic, the verbal, the geographical and the local [neighbourhood map]. So they can’t accuse us of not conveying information.” Each map offered a different reading of the immediate environment. For Vignelli, the prob lem with the current map designed by Hertz/MTA is that it attempts to provide all of this information in a single space. As he remarks, “You know, there is the fork, there is the knife and there

is the spoon. And each one of these three things has a specific use. You cannot eat soup with a fork.”

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For the 2008 Men’s Vogue reprint, Vignelli worked on the redesign with two of his associates, Beatriz Cifuentes and Yoshi Waterhouse. For Waterhouse, an understanding of the problem passengers experience with the current map shaped his work on the redesign. “When I’m on the subway, I see people peering at the maps, and this is New Yorkers, not just tourists, who are trying to index themselves on the map. And the way they do this is not by looking at the map, but by reading it. It’s not that you just follow a line and if there is a dot, you stop and if there isn’t a dot, you don’t stop. It’s just not that easy with the current map.” Waterhouse highlights the key distinction here between Vignelli’s design and the existing design. Vignelli’s map is visually generous, it foregrounds the primacy of the visual in conveying information. It’s intended to be viewed, not read. The current design attempts to be all things to all people. As such, of necessity it presents an excess of textual information (street names, parks, tunnels, cemeteries, bridges, ferry routes). It is in many ways a classic example of design by committee. For Vignelli, this is a committee primarily made up of verbal, not visual people. As he remarks, “Fifty per cent of the people are visual and fifty per

cent are verbal. So, the visual people don’t have a problem with maps, but the verbal people don’t read maps, no matter what.” Unfortunately, as is often the case, when it came to complaints about Vignelli’s map, the verbal people spoke loudest.  Yet maybe in some way the current subway map perfectly mirrors the highly individualised society that is New York City. Vignelli’s map asked the passengers to forgo some of their own narrowly defined demands in favour of a design that could better serve the whole. Ultimately, to accept the drawing as a diagram and not a geographical map required a level of altruism that just was not there. For Vignelli, freedom in New York “implies a disrespect for the other, because it is a me-me-me culture. It is my

freedom and to hell with you. There is no respect for the other. It is typical New York mentality, which is not rigorous enough. And it wants to have everything.” The result is a design where the passenger is being given too much information. As Waterhouse concurs, “The current map has everything they need, it’s just that it does it so badly. It’s absurd. Do you need helicopter routes on the map when you are underground?” Vignelli puts it more succinctly:

“While we designed a map with a grid, they designed a map with greed.”  In truth, many of the issues surrounding map design are challenged on a daily basis by the development of new navigation applications for the computer and, more significantly, the mobile phone. Maybe with the development of augmented reality apps such as Nearest Tube or the ability to tag specific places and routes on Google Earth, some kind of personal geography is challenging the traditional role of official maps. Vignelli is aware of these developments and has plans to make his own 1972 subway map available as an iPhone application. To journey across Manhattan with such a guide would at least make for a more visually enjoyable trip. Who knows, maybe a new London Underground map application, minus the River Thames, will also make an appearance in the future?

“While we designed a map with a grid, they designed a map with greed.”

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Pro Motion In the bicycling world, visual coding rules and often the finishing touch is having the right head badge on your frame. MAX

LEONARD takes a tour through the surprisingly rich world of bicycle

logo design, from marques invented by artisan frame-builders to branding and corporate race sponsorship. Illustrations drawn by ANDREW

EDWARDS

Design and cycling have a relationship characterised by extremes: the functional beauty of a classic steel road bicycle; the garish ugliness of 1980s professional Lycra kit. In a sense, for all frame-builders, the frame is the distinguishing mark, a logo in itself. This was most true in the 1930s when British frame-builders were forbidden from placing their name on their racers’ bicycles, the rationale being that this ‘sponsorship’ would compromise the amateur sport. Some, therefore, deformed tubes in patented patterns so that the bike rushing onwards to glory would be instantly recognisable in the following week’s cycling press. Yet bicycle logo heritage runs rich and deep, its early course, for the large part, outside the design establishment. Traditionally, top road bikes were built by hand in oneman workshops, by artisans producing a few hundred bicycles a year for local riders. A few engaged with logo design as a branding discipline, but one feels that many would much rather have been building frames. The physical constraints imposed by the bicycle doubtless also concentrate a logo designer’s mind. A traditional frame is made of steel tubes one inch in diameter — there is only so much usable surface area. Long waterslide decals on the down tube and a badge on the head tube are the norm. Despite, or because of, these factors, there is a common aesthetic and an iconography, inspired by the spirit of competitive cycling, technological innovation and notions of craft and heritage. What follows only scratches the surface, but explores five themes through some outstanding designs.

Logo for Ugo de Rosa, one of the most revered framebuilders. One of several Italian logos that use playing-card imagery

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‘Run With the Hunted’ Kinfolk logo, contemporary take on traditional head badges by Marco Hernandez of LitFuse Tattoo for new Japanese-American company that hand-builds steel frames

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Signatures and Logotypes The simplest maker’s mark — and one that suits bicycle tubing — is a signature. Traditionally, Italian builders signed their frames on the top tube, calling attention to the act of creation, the frame as art. Many companies have used cursive script, or a fancy bold serif or gothic font, conforming to certain ideas of elegance or craft. Campagnolo, the components manufacturer, turned to Pittarlin, a painter, to design its logotype in the 1930s; Giuseppe Olmo, a retiring racer who turned to frame-building in the same period, paired traditional script with a contemporary, blocky logotype, recalling a brand in the word’s original sense. Motobécane, a French company, made motorcycles before bicycles; its monolithic ‘M’ reflects these industrial — rather than artisanal or ‘authored’ — roots. Japanese companies have often used the Roman alphabet, perhaps inherited from the Italian master builders with whom several of the Japanese frame-builders learnt their trade. Keirin, state-sanctioned bicycle racing, was established in 1947 by the departing US troops — another possible source. 3Rensho (pronounced ‘san rensho’), despite its exotic name, has a logotype resonant of traditional Western designs. Level, by contrast, has taken the incomprehensible lettering and made it modern and graphically pure, in perfect symmetry along a vertical axis.

Logos for (left to right, top to bottom) Motobécane, Olmo, 3Rensho, Campagnolo

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Racing and Bicycles The bicycle head tube affords space enough for a crest, often made out of zinc or brass, and predates the car bonnet as a branding opportunity. Images of global renown or competitive success became widespread; the world champion’s rainbow stripes and the Olympic colours, rings and torch often featured on the logos of bicycles that achieved success in these arenas. 3Rensho’s decal refers directly to sporting achievement: three wins are necessary to triumph at a keirin meeting. Eddy Merckx, nicknamed ‘the Cannibal’ and winner of all of cycling’s top accolades, is widely considered the greatest cyclist ever. He founded Eddy Merckx Cycles in 1980, after he retired, although he also competed on bikes bearing his name. This logo dates from the later period. Through it (together with his portrait, which adorns many Eddy Merckx bikes and has aged as he has), the champion figuratively embodies the bicycle, promising a transmigration of his legendary power into those who ride his frames. Other firms deconstructed the bicycle for their logo. Campagnolo’s success was built on the quick-release axle, invented in the 1930s by Tullio, its founder and namesake, halfway up a mountain as he struggled to remove his wheel. Consequently, the quick release is central. Once quite ornate, a simplified version can be seen engraved on Campagnolo alloy parts.

Logo for Campagnolo, circa 1930s

Logo for Eddie Merckx, circa 1980

Logo for Simplex (a now-defunct French maker of derailleurs) with an intricate Art Deco derailleur forming the ‘S’

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Head Badges and Heraldry The bicycle is a great leveller, formerly a symbol of working-class mobility and emancipation, so the heraldic escutcheons favoured by many brands are less explicable than racingrelated logos. There is no aristocratic aspiration, simply a patriotic or regional, even tribal, pride — much like football club crests. Plus a certain combativeness: the bicycle, the usurper of the horse, was the steed these latter-day knights rode into battle. Many of these crests would have been designed or suggested by the badge-makers themselves, using a common stock of emblems. When Hyman Hetchins, a Russian immigrant, began building bikes in Tottenham in 1934, he took on the shield of the City of London, his adopted home, and the totemic lions of England. After a Hetchins ridden by the German Toni Merkins won the 100m sprint in the 1936 Olympics, the Olympic colours were displayed in the background. Cino Cinelli, a racer from Tuscany, started building bicycles in Milan in 1948. His badge displays the biscione (a snake eating or giving birth to an infant) and the fleurde-lys, the traditional heraldic symbols of Milan and Florence respectively. Thanks to the explosion of interest in track bikes, this classic coat of arms has been appropriated for a new generation. Designed by Benny Gold, the revised head badge adorns the Mash SF Cinelli bike, made by the San Francisco collective known for aggressive street riding.

Logo for Hetchins, 1934

Logo for Hill Bros, with coat of arms of Padiham in Lancashire, and Latin inscription ‘Fortune, the companion of valour’

Original logo for Cinelli

Head badge for the Mash SF Cinelli bike, designed by Benny Gold

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Birds and Wings Birds and wings are ubiquitous features of bicycle logos, worldwide and spanning all eras. Bicycles and birds: a romantic leap, a flight of fancy. A bicycle gives freedom, speed and command of landscape; riding one downhill may be the closest we ever come to the sensation of flying. Bianchi’s eagle head badge is reminiscent of fascist imagery, and the company, founded in 1885, did make fold-up bicycles for paratroopers. Columbus, a specialist tubing company, also made steel-tubed furniture — elegantly cantilevered desks and chairs — in Mussolini-era Italy. In 1978, Columbus bought Cinelli; if the combined company features heavily here, it is because of the design heritage and because Antonio Colombo, son of Columbus’s founder, has long engaged with the graphic arts. He immediately set about reworking the Cinelli coat of arms, and the winged C, designed by Italo Lupi, endures to this day. While the Columbus dove plays on the family name, Flying Pigeon, from the other side of the world, seems predicated on a misunderstanding. Who would want a bike named after sky rats? Yet pigeons and doves are close cousins, and there are an estimated half a billion Flying Pigeons, the original workers’ bikes that crowd Chinese cities, in existence.

The Kalavinka head badge, depiciting a kalavinka (Buddhist heavenly spirit), is hand-painted by the framebuilder’s wife in his Tokyo workshop

Logo for Cinelli

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Logo for Bianchi, 1885

Logo for Flying Pigeon

Logo for Columbus

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Sponsors and Peripherals Since its inception, road cycling has been surrounded by clubs, sporting associations, sponsors and promoters who have appropriated its visual spectacle, or used professional cycling’s aura, to spruce up their own public image. Advertising has always been visually savvy and, in Europe especially, early cycle racing and commerce are closely intertwined. In the early Tour de France, riders would descend like locusts on the villages they passed through, raiding bars for as much food and drink as possible. Some bar owners sent the Tour de France a bill; others shut up shop for the day. In reality, only ‘doméstiques’, the teams’ minor riders, would stop, then ferry beer back to the race leaders, but this Dubonnet advert shows the Tour leader stopping to drink the brand’s fortified wine. Good enough for the yellow jersey: an astute piece of promotion. The artist, A.M. Cassandre, later designed the Yves Saint Laurent logo. No sponsor has been as closely associated with the romance of cycling than Molteni. The company — which made sausages — sponsored a pro team from 1971 to 1976, a team that included the rampant Eddy Merckx. Thanks to Merckx wearing its kit, Molteni has virtually trademarked a certain shade of burnt orange. This graphic appeared on caps and ‘musettes’ (feed bags).

Logo for Rollapaluza, a race club where riders compete on bikes bolted to a stand, with no front wheel. The logo by Wayne Peach, shows two bicycles in head-to-head combat.

Dubonnet Tour de France advertisement

La Vie Claire health food stores introduced Piet Mondrian’s Composition A to its team jerseys during the 1980s

Logo for Molteni, the pro team sponsored by a sausage company

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High Life The glamour of international air travel, at its zenith in the late 1960s, was invented by Braniff, the airline that transformed dreary plane fuselages into colourful brand statements and made buttoned-up stewardesses into sexy hostesses. JASON

JULES tells the story of the ascent

(and eventual demise) of the Braniff brand vision with a cast that includes Alexander Girard, Emilio Pucci and Andy Warhol.

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It’s 1972, you’re female, twenty-two years old and an air stewardess. You’re cutting through the crowds at Newark Airport. Everyone’s busy with their luggage, their boarding passes, their big goodbyes; a thousand mini-dramas being played out on one giant stage. Somehow you’re immune to all this — you have your destination and you have a plane to catch too, but you swish through the throng as if you’re already gliding on a bed of air; they step aside for you, they pause and watch you go by, some of the guys, young and old, try and catch your eye — a wink, a smile. But you’re not fazed by all this attention; after all, you’re not just any air stewardess, you’re one of the select few. You’re a Braniff girl. When you got it, flaunt it.  Braniff was to air travel what Rolling Stone and Playboy were to magazine publishing; a radical rethinking of everything that had happened up to that date. The story of Braniff plays out like a Mad Men-type TV series; a tale of an age gone by, where marketing men and corporate presidents were America’s modern pioneers and where being maverick was a quality to be admired, not shunned. A tale of affairs, divorces and disasters and ultimately of a collapse caused by misjudgment on a grand scale — it’s the tale of Icarus played out in modern clothes. What’s more, Braniff left a cultural legacy that we’re living with even now.  It wasn’t until the airline was bought in 1965 as a company asset for his investors by Troy Post, an insurance man, that the Braniff story really began to hot up. Until then, its history reads like that of many other airlines. Based in Dallas and founded by brothers Paul and Tom Braniff in 1928, it initially served the Midwest and eventually expanded. By the mid-50s its reach included much of North America, South and Latin America and the Caribbean. Troy hired his brother-inlaw Harding L. Lawrence to be the airline’s president. The stylish (think Don Draper) Lawrence was at that time the vice-president of Continental Airlines — one of the most forward-thinking companies in the industry — and had been regularly courted by other airlines to come and work for them. His vision was to somehow turn Braniff, then the eleventh largest US aviation company, into the market leader. As part of his summary exit from Continental (with whom he would experience fierce competition until the bitter end), Lawrence took with him marketing agency Jack Tinker Associates. Led by the ace account executive Mary Wells, they had been working on a project to market Continental’s new fleet of jets. Wells was modern and smart and cultured: for example, she had Ray and Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen furniture for her wedding (her first wedding, that is). She would drive most of Braniff’s groundbreaking campaigns. Married to different people at the time, Lawrence and Wells would eventually divorce and marry each other.  By virtue of the country’s size and its postwar prosperity, the American commercial airline industry was already way more developed than its UK or European counterparts, but it was still functioning within a cultural context established during or prior to World War II. Fares were incredibly expensive and regulated — the core thinking here was that in order to ensure the safe running of planes, the government needed to limit competition between airlines that might eventually involve lower fares and therefore, it was assumed, standards. More, this meant that the government undertook to ensure that these airlines never went bust.  Until the end of the Fifties, all this meant that air travel was an option only for the rich — corporate execs, film stars, sports stars and such. It also meant that while the airlines did plenty to make their customers comfortable, they did little to differenti01 The End of the Plain Plane advertising, 1965 ate themselves from each other on a mass level, doing as much as they could to please the government regu02 Braniff logotype, designed lators and their wealthy passengers. by Alexander Girard, 1965

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t was Bob Six, main man at Continental Airlines, who I pioneered low-cost air travel. Going against common beliefs, he felt the future of air travel lay in giving the market a broader customer base — in 1962 he kicked this off by introducing economy fares to some of his routes.

01

t this time, most airports resembled large cavernous military aircraft A hangars. Planes were either white, with a strip running along the side of their livery, a visual gesture towards aerodynamics, or the dull grey of their steel shell. And so, with no real points of difference except routes, the new Braniff chief and marketing team were confronted with a huge challenge if they were to achieve Lawrence’s express goal of airline supremacy: how to create a sense of uniqueness from a point where there isn’t any? They were faced with something which many designers and marketing people are faced with today; where oftentimes if there are no inherent qualities to distinguish one product or service from another, there’s no alternative but to carefully manufacture an identity. Turning Braniff Airlines into a unique brand provided a creative template that still has currency today. The goal was to formulate a brand differentiation seemingly out of nowhere. What they did was recruit a crack creative team, all of whom brought something different to the party. Although they probably didn’t use the term at the time, what they needed was a ‘big idea’. In her biography, Mary Wells Lawrence explains: “I saw the opportunity in color the way Flo Ziegfeld must have seen an empty stage. I saw Braniff in a wash of beautiful color.” t was this overarching idea that fuelled the success I of the whole Braniff phenomenon. The goal was to capture the glamour and colour of the Sixties (and the postwar optimism of the Fifties) and inject it into air travel — creating relevance and a kind of appeal beyond its immediate audience and in doing so taking ownership of the period; modern air travel WAS Braniff International. The Braniff team recruited Emilio Pucci, the Italian designer known for his prints and his passion for colour, to design the uniforms for the staff — from ground staff to pilots, with special attention to the air stewardesses, whom they summarily renamed ‘air hostesses’. These designs turned the servile, stuffy air stewardess into a strong, independent, young, available woman — not too far away from ideas found within the fashion magazines of the time, except that their sole purpose was to travel, have a good time and serve the needs of their passengers (most of whom were men). The design of their uniforms enabled the hostesses to do what was coined and advertised as “The Air Strip”, as they gradually took off pieces of outer clothing during the course of the flight. “Somehow we got the idea that Braniff routes always took people from cold places to warm places,” explains Wells Lawrence. Further, Braniff made space agestyle helmets for its air hostesses, to protect their hairstyles while cutting through busy airports, and bikinis in which Pucci ensured they were photographed for press purposes at any given opportunity. Then, in an inspired move, the Braniff team recruited Alexander Girard. Raised in Florence, Girard studied architecture in Rome and ended up as a textile designer in New York working with Herman Miller and the Eameses. Like Pucci, whom he’d coincidentally known growing up in Florence, his thing was colour — Mexico and folk art being big themes in his work. Braniff was the kind of branding gig designers usually only ever dream of: to design the interiors, the check-in counters, the club lounges, the serving trays, the seats and, most importantly, the plane’s livery. Later, in 1973, Alexander Calder took over the gig that Girard had initiated.

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The kernel of the whole idea, that thing at the very centre of it, was to make the planes themselves a visual statement, an object that differentiated the Braniff ‘way’ from all others’. Wells Lawrence had already come up with the idea by the time she commissioned Girard to paint each of the airline’s fleet of Boeing 707s different colours — seven in total — including green, red and turquoise. It was this, and the advertising tagline “The End of the Plain Plane”, which created the before-and-after effect Braniff chief Harding Lawrence had hoped for. So radical was the idea of adding colour to the body of the planes that it immediately acquired press all over the world. The initial response from other airlines was shock. Some even argued that painting the livery added a dangerous amount of extra weight to a plane, but, as with most of the Braniff innovations of the time, the idea was soon copied throughout the industry. In 1968 Continental Airlines, taking a leaf out of the Braniff look-book, hired graphics guru Saul Bass to redesign its logo.  But even before the deregulation of US air travel in 1978, the Braniff glow was beginning to fade; it wasn’t that the idea had run its course, or that those behind it had lost confidence in this grand project, it was that they had too much confidence in it and believed its potential was limitless. The tale of Braniff and Harding Lawrence is a case study not only in the power of marketing and image but also its weaknesses. If “The End of the Plain Plane” was a statement of intent, then “The Air Strip”, followed by copy lines like “The Most Exclusive Address in the Sky”, were indications of a growing arrogance. In fact, it became less and less about the experience of flying and more about the power of advertising and the sweet smell of success.  Ads like “When You Got It, Flaunt It”, are a neat example of the fine line which the brand walked between branding and bragging. Imagine: Sonny Liston sitting next to Andy Warhol on a plane.

Andy Warhol: Of course, remember there’s an inherent beauty in soup cans that Michelangelo could not have imagined existed… Voiceover: Talkative Andy Warhol and gabby Sonny Liston always fly Braniff. They like our girls, they like our food, they like our style and they like to be on time. Thanks for flying Braniff, fellas.

Andy Warhol: When you got it—flaunt it.

Voiceover: Braniff International. When You Got It—Flaunt It.  While others saw deregulation as something to adapt to with caution, Lawrence saw it as a starter gun for rapid expansion, a process which included joining forces with Air France and British Airways on the doomed Concorde project, new internal and international flights and a brand-new state-of-the-art headquarters in Dallas. Spiralling debt was the outcome, and the involvement of Lawrence in a tax-fraud scandal only added to the Mad Men-type drama and Braniff’s eventual bankruptcy. And so it was that the Lawrence era ended in 1982.  Perhaps Braniff’s real legacy is outside the aviation industry: its complete-branding innovations and belief in the blend of art and commerce are now standard 01 Braniff International, launch campaign pamphlet 1965 practice in the creative industries. But it’s a different world in which we travel today: Bob Six’s notion 02 Braniff promotional that commercial aviation would be all about cheaper material, 1965 flights has come true. It’s more about the destina03 Braniff flight tag, RIO, 1965 tion and less about the journey these days. The notion of glamour has all but disappeared — in fact, the current thinking is: if you got it, whatever you do, don’t flaunt it, or you’ll be charged extra to get it on the plane. Thanks to Victor Constantini for his expert consultation and invaluable industry insight. 

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Next Month in Grafik 108 pages of the best graphic design work, new talent, events and exhibitions, reviews, opinion and inspiration.

Profile Special Report

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Meeting of Minds

A new Special Report looking in detail at key relationships in graphic design:

Client and Designer Wim Crouwel and Hamish Muir in conversation about 8vo’s work for Crouwel as director of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Mu­ seum, 1989—1994

Mentor and Protégé Derek Birdsall and John Morgan in conversation about their time working together in the late 1990s as designers from two different generations.

Art Director and Photographer Rachel Thomas and Dan Tobin Smith in conversation about their complex and constructive relationship as image-makers.

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74 Logoform Voigtländer by Stuart Geddes

76 Letterform Serapion lowercase ‘a’ by Jan Middendorp

78 Bookshelf Essentials HUGO introduces a story of people who have fought the good fight

View

72 How to Be Green The first of a two-part guide to paper’s place in ecology

80 Viewpoint What is your most memorable journey?


How to Be Green

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Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a shock to learn that the manufacture of just one sheet of A4 paper uses up the same energy as burning a light bulb for an hour. In this two-part look at the paper industry and how designers can make better decisions about sourcing and buying paper, inconvenient truths. Illustration by Richard

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How to Be Green

Nat Hunter

uncovers some

Hogg.

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For many people, the most obvious introduction to environmental issues is paper. It is a common item that nearly everyone, especially in our near-fully literate Western societies, uses and disposes of on an everyday basis. So the need to reduce, reuse and recycle paper is easily understood and people know to put that pile of Sunday supplements in the recycling bin or to buy recycled paper for their printer. But the production and consumption of paper is a bigger story than you might suppose. Not quite big enough to fill the 200kg of paper products consumed by each person in the UK every year, but certainly enough to fill at least two of these pages. Over the next two issues we’ll be looking at paper production, its environmental impact and how you can ensure that your paper use causes the minimum amount of damage to our planet. The invention of paper is traditionally credited to China in the early second century when Ts’ai Lun, an official attached to the Imperial Court of the Han Dynasty, created a sheet using a variety of fibrous materials, including old rags. The process spread worldwide but the modern technique using wood pulp wasn’t established until the nineteenth century and the separate experiments of Charles Fenerty and Friedrich Gottlob Keller. Wood revolutionised the papermaking industry by making paper much cheaper and more efficient to produce. With the aid of other popular inventions of the time such as practical fountain pens and improved printing processes, a massive demand for paper was created. Two hundred years later this demand has left us with one more environmental problem that has yet to be satisfactorily solved. In her excellent book Paper Trails, Mandy Haggith describes the process of modern industrial paper production and its environmental impact. The first stage is the felling of trees: 42 per cent of all industrially felled wood is pulped for paper and the industry is the primary motive behind most of the world’s managed forests. As with all high-demand industries, the lure of easy profit leads to unlawful activity and illegal logging to meet the paper industry’s demand for timber occurs all over the world, from Canada to Brazil and Russia to Indonesia. It is common practice in the timber industry to replace native trees with a fast-growing variety such as acacia trees, whose growth rate is so aggressive it can suck all the water from surrounding land, as well as releasing toxic chemicals that deter other plants from growing near them. So even in areas where forests were lawfully logged, Haggith found that the activities of the timber corporations had destroyed neighbouring forests and dried up rivers, thus devastating the lives of the area’s traditional communities. One Indonesian tribal elder interviewed by Haggith said: “This used to be my community’s forest, but now—look at it. We used to fish, but when there’s no water in the river there is no fish. We cannot hunt here any more. We lost the animals. We lost our bee trees, so we can’t get honey any more. We lost our medicine trees. We lost everything.”

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How to Be Green

After logging, the wood is transported to the processing plant, and naturally this transport has its own environmental impact. Earlier this year, I was part of a group of interested designers who visited one of the UK’s few remaining paper mills—the Tullis Russell plant in Scotland. It was a surprise to discover that the wood they use comes not from the nearby surrounding Highland forest, but from South America. Once it reaches the processing plant, the wood is chopped and then pulped in order to separate out the individual cellulose fibres, either by a mechanical process of grinding the wood chips or chemically, by stewing them in strong alkali solutions at high temperatures. At this stage the pulp is generally bleached or treated with other chemicals to create the different aspects of a finished sheet of paper, such as colour, smoothness and ink absorption. These chemicals carry a high risk of pollution and our preference for crisp, white paper is one of the more damaging demands of the papermaking process. The third stage involves spreading the pulp into sheets and extracting the water using enormous presses. It is then dried through heated rollers before being wound onto a reel for cutting and shaping. The whole process is so energy-intensive that a single sheet of A4 paper causes the same greenhouse gas emissions as burning a light bulb for an hour, as well as using a mug of water. Up to 90 per cent of the carbon footprint of a piece of print is already incurred during the paper manufacture. The papermaking industry is the third largest emitter of global-warming pollution in industrialised nations, and is the largest industrial consumer (and polluter) of water in European countries. More positively, the industry is now the biggest producer and user of renewable energy sources. The Tullis Russell mill is currently building its own onsite power plant and some producers are using the by-products of pulp production as bio-fuel, thereby drastically reducing their carbon dioxide emissions. While waste treatment, especially in Europe, has improved in recent years, many mills still release a variety of pollutants, especially chemicals from the treatment process. Also, papermaking generates large amounts of solid waste, such as the sludge from the wood fibres, coatings and fillers, and this is generally sent to landfill or incinerated. So that is how paper is made. It is possible that most of the paper you come into contact with today will have been through the wasteful, largescale, industrial process described above. Hopefully it has come from a more sustainable, well-managed source. This magazine is printed on FSC-approved paper, which is a step in the right direction. Next month we will be discussing the more environmentally friendly ways of papermaking, including recycled and FSC-approved paper. Plus we’ll help you choose which paper is right for you and the environment.

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Logoform

Logoform

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Voigtländer by Stuart Geddes View

Logoform

Almost more extraordinary than the lettering itself is the fact that Voigtländer has, through very thick and very thin, stuck with this logo for more than 250 years. That this logo survived the twentieth century is alone close to a miracle, amidst the flurry of modernisation, particularly in the world of camera makers. In attempting to research this logo, I stumbled across a black hole of information. While there is plenty of information about the company itself —and it’s a tumultuous history, from a royal privilege to produce opera binoculars, inventing the zoom lens and passing on buying Rollei, to being bought by Rollei and eventually going out of business in the early 80s—there is not a word to be found on the glorious Voigtländer logo itself. Was it Johann Christoph Voigtländer’s signature? Was it the signage from the front of its first lens shop? Did it even have a first lens shop? My guess is that some nameless printer or signwriter made this lettering, perhaps in a popular style of the day.

Whatever its history, though, the lettering itself is a heady mix of swashed calligraphy and moments of blackletter that seems as though it was last popular in the 1970s. It is unique and odd and beautiful in a way that you very rarely see in logos any more—because, I think, they’re thought of as logos, or brands, or parts of identity systems. The thinking behind a piece of lettering like this has a lot more to do with the semantics of a trademark, or the original cattle-branding meaning of brand. That is, it’s simply a distinctive mark.

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Letterform

Letterform

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Serapion lowercase ‘a’ designed by František Štorm by Jan Middendorp View

Letterform

To choose one character from a typeface is like choosing one colour plane from a Mondrian painting, or a single flower in an Arcimboldo. Type design is not about single glyphs. It is about creating elements to form a whole, about creating (or anticipating) a modular landscape with a purpose. Pretty details are a by-product. Admittedly, the details CAN be unbelievably pretty. Much of the font fetishism we’ve seen since type became cool is about details. But too much attention to detail can make a font fall apart. When each wacky ‘g’ screams out from the paragraph: “Look at my ear. Look at my tail,” we may be distracted by spectacular ‘g’-ness and stumble over the word which that ‘g’ is supposed to help form. So apparently we need coherence for a typeface to function as a reading tool—and maybe restraint in applying detail. Functionalism tried to convince us that responsible form-giving is about the elimination of any arbitrary detail; that functionality is best helped by objectivity; and that objectivity equals predictabilty, modularity, uniformity. Yes, but— and here I paraphrase Erik Spiekermann, talking about Helvetica in THAT movie—when the general dress code is uniform, you don’t get a typeface. You get an army. And a pretty boring one at that. So we want to find a different kind of coherence. Maybe we do need the details after all. Typography is not merely about communicating content. Let me rephrase that: setting and laying out text is not merely about creating an invisible

interface for immersive reading. Type is more than a channel to convey language. It also provides the text with a cultural context—time, place, circumstances—and must draw, keep and guide the reader’s attention. A typographic design (a page) that does this successfully is not about uniformity, it is about diversity. It may also be about attitude, dignity, history, humour, resistance, confusion, even illegibility. Typefaces can be called in to support or willingly sabotage the typographer’s/designer’s strategy. Which takes me to the typefaces of Prague designer František Štorm. Štorm’s typefaces are seldom neutral. They are expressive and personal. They refer to tradition in a number of ways: respectfully, irreverently, or tongue-in-cheek. They are too picturesque for some people’s tastes, while others see Štorm’s typefaces as the ideal tool for conveying emotion and atmosphere. It wouldn’t work if his fonts weren’t very well drawn and finetuned to function in a page of text. While many of his alphabets abound with unexpected details and unusual changes of direction, the overall impression is harmonious: they are consistent in their diversity. I have chosen Štorm’s Serapion, possibly his craziest serifed roman. I used it for years as a typeface for headlines and intros in the bi-annual cultural listings of the City of Ghent. It was eminently functional: it grabbed the attention and conveyed a feeling of excitement and fun. I picked the lowercase ‘a’ because it’s a beginning and it makes you feel something special is going to happen.

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Bookshelf Essentials

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At a time of year when our beliefs (or lack thereof) come into focus,

HUGO

leads us to

an inspiring book that is not only about believing in something, but putting your life on the line to stand up for it. So, take a break from your New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resolution list and meet the graphic designers, printers and publishers whose work has changed or saved lives.

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Bookshelf Essentials

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Editions Hazan Paris, 1997

The French Resistance by Raymond Aubrac View

At this festive time of year I have a tendency to cast my mind back to those who have sacrificed or have been sacrificed in our name. After all, the yuletide season is such a sentimental time of year, and as such is a perfect time for reflection on just where our cultural gifts come from and who has paid for them. I like to do my bit to acknowledge all that. In the book trade, Christmas is given over to near-hysterical positivity in a desperate attempt to maximise emotional customer spend and see us through another year. Which is right and necessary in the contemporary battlefield of retail survival. But in all this frenzy I feel personally compelled to offer up at least one sobering note among all the cheerful tomes. It’s always a book that gives one pause for thought, a little reminder that there has often been immense sacrifice and suffering in our cultural back catalogue. This year my selection comes from Editions Hazan in Paris and its remarkable series, Pocket Archives. Our volume is The French Resistance. The introductory essay is written with great clarity and simple grace by Raymond Aubrac, a Resistance fighter, and the book is filled with excellent archival pictures from numerous Resistance archives. The book both substantiates and dispels our film noir views of the Resistance: some of it was beautiful and heroic, most of it was grubby and horrific. The text and pictures resonate with sacrifice and righteousness, with fighting what is wrong and fighting those who would make an accommodation with evil rather than stand up to it. Those who stand up to malign power often pay dearly for their beliefs. The moral core in me wants desperately to believe that right always wins in the end—not without arduous struggle, but that it does always win. In our time, I think of people like the Tibetans. They face seemingly impossible odds, with little hope of their struggle ever freeing them from a tyrant as rich, ruthless and powerful as the colossus that is modern China. Still, they fight as best they can with what they’ve got and appreciate our support, however we can give it. In June of 1940 the same thing could have been said for part of the population of France, which had been defeated by perhaps the most efficiently well-oiled monster of militarism the world had ever seen, Nazi Germany. And until D-Day in June of 1944, the French—or rather those French people who opposed the collaborationist Vichy regime—had to fight this beast as best they could, by clandestine and underground methods, locally or regionally organised, rarely facing the enemy directly for lack of equipment, and suffering torture and execution when caught or betrayed. Ordinary citizens did this because of beliefs stronger than personal safety or advantage. They did it because, most fundamentally, they believed it is right to fight wrong. This was the essence of the Resistance.

Bookshelf Essentials

Why this subject and this book for you now? Because in this struggle it was writers, graphic designers, printers and publishers who were instrumental in the fight. As much as their compatriots in the armed struggle, they put their lives on the line to do right, using the skills they had to help fight the fight. They kept the lines of communication and information flowing to others in the Resistance, which was vital to its survival and eventual victory. They informed the general citizenry for whom they fought, who were otherwise force-fed a diet of outrageous propaganda. They faced huge obstacles and dreadful consequences —execution being the very predictable consequence of being caught, after torture. They stole paper where they could, and with great difficulty hid enormous printing presses. They printed by night in cold dark cellars, and distributed their work secretly and at great risk by day. They wrote and designed and printed underground newspapers, leaflets and posters to assist and inspire people they might never know, to help in a cause they often could not see but only believe in. Much of this work was paid for out of their own pockets, from what little they had. Their work was utterly compelling and meant something vital to life itself. You could say they had no choice. That would be true. But it would follow, then, that we do have choice in our beliefs and how we act on them today. So when I put this book and its story before you it is with a hope that those of you in the creative community may realise that through your skills you have the power to address power, and the means to make that communication/confrontation effective. Be it with words, graphics, posters or the web. Those are skills vital to life and they should be used to promote right and good. I hope you have a cause. Some cause. Why? We have it comparatively easy these days, struggling with things like bills and budgets, deadlines and competition. Not easy, but ‘tough out there’ for us is not the end of the world. Others before us, before us in the past and standing before us now, have, and do struggle with much more. They often suffer horribly, or die trying, to redress wrongs. If you really want to make more sense of your life and this world, find yourself some cause and fight for it using the skills and tools you’ve got. You have choice, which is something best utilised before a time comes when you may not. The purported old Chinese proverb/curse, ‘May you live in interesting times’, may someday become, simply, ‘We all now live in interesting times’. But before the world comes to that, put some of your time and skills into the causes of our times, and we might just escape that most unforgiving season. hugo@grafikmag.com

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Viewpoint

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What is your most memorable journey?

Aurelia Lange

Memorable and nostalgic were the Lange family holidays in the Renault Espace in the mid-90s. Consisting of four excited siblings, two parents and a twenty-hour drive from Cheltenham to Zakopane in Poland. Soundtrack to road trip varying from Alisha’s Attic, Alanis Morissette to David Bowie and Pink Floyd. Stopping off in Belgium and Germany on the way, I wish I had taken more pictures. www.aurelialange.co.uk

David Barath

My most memorable journey was my first trip to the Milan Design Week. My girlfriend is a design journalist, so she has access to all the places. She knows what to watch for, what not to miss. We were running all day long, from one stand to another, from one hall to another. During these four days, all we did was run, scanning the environment quickly. Such a density of stimuli I had never experienced before, and it was such a visual shock that these four days inspired me for months afterwards. www.davidbarath.com

Chrissie Abbott

Andreas Friberg Lundgren

During a trip to Paris, me and my girlfriend rented bikes after sharing a bottle of wine in the spring sun. We rode off with no set destination, crisscrossing our way through the city. The ride was shaky to say the least and we nearly got arrested for going in the wrong direction on a one-way street. The fact that it was our first time in Paris and neither of us spoke French made the situation even more crazy. I have been on many journeys but this blurry moment still remains one of my fondest travel memories. www.lundgrenlindqvist.se

Jay Hess

Driving through the Texan desert, the empty road cuts straight into the horizon. The destination does not matter as you feel frozen between the blue sky and red desert. It is like moving in slow motion and fast-forward at the same time. www.byboth.com

Earlier this year I went to Galveston on the coast of Texas which is one of the most surreal places I’ve been to as it is consistently hit by hurricanes so is like a weird seaside ghost town. It was a particularly rainy day but as the bus set off the sun broke through the clouds. I noticed that the guy in the adjacent seat was trying to get my attention, but I didn’t understand what he was saying until he put his hands together and arched both arms, then pointed out the window at an enormous rainbow. It was good. www.chrissieabbott.co.uk

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Viewpoint

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84 Exhibition Less and Moreâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Design Ethos of Dieter Rams reviewed by Kerry William Purcell

88 Six Books The latest design books under fire

90 Exhibition Slash: Paper under the Knife reviewed by Amber Bravo

92 Exhibition Without Thought, Volume 10 reviewed by Dan Honey

94 Book Francis Baudevin: Miscellaneous Abstract reviewed by Angharad Lewis

96 Exhibition Robert Urquhart reports from the Rotterdam Designprijs ceremony

Review

98 Magazine Kalina, Gym Class and No.Zine magazines by resident mag man Michael Bojkowski


Exhibition

Review

Less and More— The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams

Design Museum, London Until 7 March

Reviewed by Kerry William Purcell

When walking around an exhibition, one can undergo innumerable impressions. They may be inconsequential, bizarre, fleeting or trivial. Often, such thoughts are instantly forgotten, but occasionally an image can endure. For example, when visiting the Design Museum’s retrospective exhibition on the work of Dieter Rams, entitled Less and More — The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams, I started to think about Terry Gilliam’s 1981 fantasy film Time Bandits. More specifically, I recalled the scene in which the parents of the main character, a young boy named Kevin, are sitting down to dinner. While the mother is making fruit juice in a blender, we see behind her a large array of white electronic kitchen utensils and gadgets (mixers, electric knives and coffeemakers). While preparing the food, the mother recounts the story of a friend whose own electronic utensils were all destroyed because of a blown fuse. The father retorts smugly: “She should have bought German.” The overall implication of this scene is clear. Kevin’s parents are transfixed (simplistically so) by a form of obsessive consumerism, forever chasing after the latest ‘time-saving’ device (earlier in the film the mother boasts how a new kitchen can turn a block of ice into a beef bourguignon in eight seconds). Set in the early 1980s, the scene captures a time when these newly fashioned electric consumables still had the aura of something unique. Not yet gathering dust under the kitchen sink, they sit proudly on the shelf, bestowing a level of distinction and status on their owner.

KF 20 coffee machine, for Braun, 1972. Photograph by Koichi Okuwaki

Unfairly or not, this scene came to mind when I was walking around the Rams exhibition. Seeing people standing reverentially before a Braun Multipractic Kitchen machine or the Braun Blow Dryer P 500, I was struck by the corresponding encounter (albeit in a less rarefied environment) many people would have had with these items in their homes throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Yet, while in working-class homes many of these new devices would have been valued for their ability to cut down on manual labour (and the prestige of owning such an item), as is stated in one of the exhibition captions, many “Braun products were [originally] conceived to appear in middle-class homes without being conspicuous for their modernity”. The restrained simplicity of Rams’s designs made modern technological devices acceptable to a middle-class audience who did not wish to be associated with the brash consumerism of the post-war period. It was an approach echoed by Dr Fritz Eichler, who was responsible for Braun’s design and communication from 1956, who noted that Braun designs were for “people who do not consider their flats as stages for their unfulfilled wishes and dreams, but as places that are simple, tasteful and practical”.

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Perhaps it is this inconspicuous quality of Rams’s designs that makes them appear rather anonymous. Yet such simplicity is notoriously hard to achieve. It is a discreet and unassuming approach that does not clamour for attention. As Rams famously declared in his much-quoted Ten Commandments on Design, “good design is unobtrusive”. Products designed in this way “are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should always be neutral, they must not be seen, they must underline their usefulness.” The consequence of this reductive approach is most apparent in the hi-fi units and record players designed by Rams. Unlike the shavers, hairdryers and various kitchen utensils, hi-fi audio systems often feature a rather complex array of switches, dials and buttons that communicate information on radio frequencies and audio quality, along with the obvious stop/start, forward/rewind and on/off functions of the different formats (tape, record player etc). With clear and easy-to-understand product graphics, operating elements and switches arranged in a logical order, Rams’s hi-fi systems were perfectly formed devices whose function was intuitive for the user. They are one of the highlights of this show.  In these hi-fi systems, the housings were often made of steel, with aluminium front plates and screws integrated discreetly into the design process. The overall effect was one of understated elegance. It is in these designs that one can detect the source of inspiration that has influenced so many of today’s contemporary designers. This link is recognised towards the end of the exhibition with a small glass cabinet featuring objects by designers who have acknowledged their debt to Rams. Alongside such figures as Jasper Morrison, Sam Hecht and Naoto Fukasawa, the individual one thinks of most when looking at Rams’s designs is Apple’s Jonathan Ives. It is quite easy to play the game when walking around the show of spotting the embryonic Apple product. A handheld radio that looks like an iPod, or a speaker that resembles an iMac — in materials and product graphics the influence is clear.  Yet, as much as Ives has declared his debt to Rams, in the design of this exhibition the admiration appears to be reciprocal. One of the overriding impressions of the show is that of visiting a rather exclusive department store or, to be more accurate, an Apple Store. As in the aforementioned outlet, Rams’s products are placed on long white tables, grouped by type and with each product neatly set apart from its neighbour. It is an approach that is, at times, too reverenTop: TP1 portable radiotial and lacks a much-needed critical dimension. From phono combination, 1959 the very beginning, the contextualisation of Rams’s work is brief. Walking into the space, we see a few Bottom: ET 66 control calculator for Braun, 1987 pictures of key influences on Rams’s early development (a Mondrian painting, the cover of the magazine from the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, a work by Lissitzky). It feels all too brief, almost perfunctory. Unlike in a retail store, when visiting an exhibition you look for a sense of historical context. A better use of drawings, plans and associated design paraphernalia would have certainly given the show greater critical authority, which is no less than Rams’s work deserves. On the evening I attended this show, Rams himself gave a brief talk before the exhibition opened. While he spoke the chimes and bleeps of various mobile devices echoed around the entrance to the museum. I considered how the design of many of these devices was probably indebted to the man who stood before me. Yet, in fifty years’ time, will these products look as beautiful as the ones featured in this show?

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Six Books

Review

Glitch: Designing Imperfection

Published by Mark Batty, £24.95

Signage Systems + Information Graphics by Andreas Uebele

Published by Thames and Hudson, £24.95

In normal circumstances, your Mac crashing or discovering you have a virus might be tedious (at best) or disastrous (at worst), but perhaps there’s a hidden benefit. At least that’s what this book is all about — the glitches, errors and fuck-ups that end up being part your work. For some designers and artists, those things that seem a problem for most of us actually form the basis of what they do. Problems are seen as rebellions and, in turn, a refreshing way of visualising the world. Malfunctions become a way of expressing yourself. This book is a homage to the digital hiccup and the people who utilise it in creative work. Authors Imam Moradi, Ant Scott, Joe Gilmore and Christopher Murphy have compiled a detailed compendium of visual glitches from the internet and also informative interviews of the people behind them. Good reading for glitch geeks.

The Fiction of Science by Frank Hülsbömer

Published by Gestalten, £37.50

This excellent source book, according to Uebele in his introduction, will appeal to architects, interior designers and communications designers. Putting the junction between typography and architecture under the microscope, Uebele makes clear the need for typography to be integral: an ally. With examples spanning roughly the last decade, but also with a couple of projects dating back to the 1980s, the upbeat and contemporary selection is laden with mostly German references but brings in a couple of Dutch and American examples to even up the field slightly. The examples are each taken apart, broken down into graphic components and then reviewed in consideration to building use and material construction. The book would be a good addition to any library, even for the lay person who may just be interested in retuning to look at their graphic surroundings with fresh eyes.

It seems someone’s been left in a badly lit room with a lot of time to play around with paper, a guillotine, cutting mat, a few mirrors and coloured elastic bands and managed to get a book deal out of it. This frankly strange book by photographer Frank Hülsbömer mainly comprises large-scale photographs of his mildly diverting sculptural compositions, created, apparently, “in a flood of inspiration between 2006 and 2008”. The work professes a deeper meaning — exploring myths of the world of science — but how whimsical arrangements of paper and elastic bands do this has, unfortunately, evaded us.

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Review

Six Books

Published by Mark Batty, £9.95

Only in Japan could we imagine the amazing phenomenon of face food taking off. A cultural amalgamation of ‘character’ design and bento boxes, face food started as Japanese mums and dads attempting to make their kids’ lunchboxes more interesting by sculpting the food into popular comic and cartoon characters. With a little help from digital photography and social networking sites, it is now a fully fledged movement and the bento box creations from rice, ham, egg and nori have reached staggering heights of creativity. This little book by Western face food enthusiast Christopher D. Salyas (his second volume on the subject) is a ‘how to’ book, with sketches and photos of prime examples of face food, with ingredients and instructions on how to make set pieces or come up with your own little culinary tableaux. Our favourite is a rendition of the famous Velvet Underground and Nico ‘banana’ sleeve by Andy Warhol, reshaped in sticky rice, omelette and nori. Weirdly appetising.

Face Food Recipes by Christopher D. Salyas

Published by Mark Batty, £25.00

It’s difficult to imagine your brain being wired in a totally different way but this book opens the door to understanding the obsessive tendencies of the autistic mind. It brings together artwork created by autistic people of all ages, accompanied by Q&As in which the artists reveal something of their reasons for expressing themselves visually and the inspiration behind particular pieces of work. The range of talent is massive, from zero to accomplished, so don’t expect genius-like qualities throughout. But if you’re a practising or aspiring art therapist, this book is essential reading and it also offers the casual reader an insight into this curious strand of outsider art.

Drawing Autism by Jill Mullin

Published by JRP Ringier, £25.00

ECAL: A Success Story in Art and Design

Design school ECAL has a fantastic reputation and don’t they know it. The foreword to this book is by Pierre Keller, director of ECAL, and is evangelical and self-aggrandising in the extreme. Keller is not a shy man. Nor need he be — this mother of all prospectuses is as great as he says it is. As you’d expect, it’s a handsome tome with some snazzy shots of the star output. French with an English translation, it provides an in-depth review of the philosophy, teaching and output since Keller took the reins in 1995. If you are the kind of person that would buy an ECAL prospectus, or are perhaps a sentimental past student, or are even thinking of setting up your own European design school, then this one’s for you.

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Exhibition

Review

Slash: Paper under the Knife

Museum of Art and Design (MAD), New York Until 4 April

Reviewed by Amber Bravo

The interior lobby of the new Museum of Art and Design (MAD) looks as if it’s been hit by a tempestuous papershredder, as the entire ceiling is consumed by Andrea Mastrovito’s depiction of a storm seizing Christopher Columbus’s ship (as well as our attention). Mastrovito’s paper maelstrom is just one of many impressive pieces in the museum’s latest show, Slash: Paper under the Knife, a multifaceted exhibition whose material limitation belies its expansive vision.

Paperwork #701G (in the beginning), by Andreas Kocks, 2007. Photography by Christoph Knoch

Organised by MAD’s chief curator, David Revere McFadden, Slash is the third instalment of the museum’s Materials and Process series, which previously included Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting in 2007 and last year’s Pricked: Extreme Embroidery. As McFadden explains, “Slash showcases artists whose works surprise for their complexity and content, and not just for their technical virtuosity” — although almost all of the works exhibit some level of virtuosity, whether it be Andrew Scott Ross’s elaborate mural/vignette Stones & Rocks & Bones, which suggests the scale and breadth of human ingenuity and destruction, or Olafur Eliasson’s Your House, which diagrams a house in section encased in a book. Ross’s sweeping, gestural strokes give way to painstakingly detailed silhouettes, whereas Eliasson’s concept (the book itself was designed by Michael Heinman) calls for architectural rigour with its precisely drawn and cut sections. Attention to detail is just one of the exhibition’s prevalent motifs, and many of the pieces included are as much about ideas as they are about form. Take, for example, conceptual artist Nina Katchadourian’s Finland’s Unnamed Islands. Katchadourian treats these geological no-names as if they were biological specimens and encases each in a microscope slide for display. The detail and precision required to physically render and display the tiny forms is just as compelling as the overall concept. Although some pieces are firmly rooted in a fine/conceptual art realm, there are many that tread a line between illustration, decoration and fine art. Andrea Dezö’s illustrative shadow-boxes and Beatrice Coron’s tyvek screens are fine examples of this, as both create whimsical figurative narratives. And, of course, the exhibition’s few Kara Walkers display a reverence for her work and her influence in the medium. Célio Braga and Ferry Staverman — unsurprisingly both Dutch — create work that can be appreciated both as decoration and as art. Braga’s elaborate installations are almost more like decorative screens and Staverman’s cardboard sculptures capture the spirit of old folding Christmas ornaments.

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One of the most striking features of Slash, however, is its refusal to view paper as a twodimensional object (both figuratively and literally). The sheer architectural scale of some of the paper installations is staggering; Mia Pearlman’s work, for example, exhibits a level of dynamism and force that is somewhat unexpected in such a humble material. And one of the most enjoyable pieces in the show is Rob Carter’s Stone on Stone. Carter’s sevenminute-forty-four-second stop animation projection reconstructs the imaginary coevolution of two houses of worship, the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan (which is nicknamed ‘St. John the Unfinished’ and ‘The White Elephant of the Upper West Side’ for its constant state of disrepair) and Le Corbusier’s Sainte Marie de La Tourette in Lyon, France. The piece displays a wit and virtuosity that both complements and eclipses many of the other pieces in the show. As with any collection, some works are more compelling and successful than others, but Slash undoubtedly proves that works with paper deserve as much attention as those on it. If you’re looking for a diverse, inspiring collection of art to view this winter, this paper exhibition should surely make the cut.

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Exhibition

Review

Without Thought, Volume 10

Tokyo, 23 October— 23 November

Reviewed by Dan Honey

I stumbled upon Without Thought by accident when stopping for lunch at the fancy Gyre complex in Omotesando Hills. A small robot made from cardboard boxes beckoned me to the third floor. Standing before the works, I was like a kid in a candy store. So much to look at. Should I go left? Or right? Or directly to that piece in the corner? Slight panic. Heart palpitations... I decided on a fast circulate and then a second lap for slow consumption.

Top: Rubber band box by Hiroki Nishii, Panasonic Corporation Bottom: Shoe box by Aya Masuda, Ricoh Company Ltd

The exhibition is the outcome of the 10th DMN Design Workshop directed by Naoto Fukasawa. In these workshops, Fukasawa encourages a new guard of Japanese designers, from varying fields and disciplines, to interrogate his own design philosophy, Without Thought. In this regard, Fukasawa’s design approach is an ongoing study of how humans unconsciously interact with their environment. With this awareness, his designs are natural responses to basic human needs resulting in optimum forms that have the ability to improve everyday living. The workshops begin with a three-day winter camp where participants work through prepared exercises and case studies that prompt them to observe the quotidian and capture unconscious yet shared human behaviour. Based on the findings, new design ideas are shared and for several months after the camp, supported by ongoing review, the designers verify their concepts through fast prototyping and model creation. The theme for this workshop/exhibition was “box” — an object seen, used and reused on a regular basis. The exhibition presented forty-four experimental packaging designs that collectively commented on how we live our lives, giving new possibilities for our well-being. Aya Masuda, an emerging product designer for Ricoh, addressed the irritating and puzzle-like task of returning stilettos to their box by creating a contoured version where the shoe fits perfectly. Aki Kanai, a designer of office supplies, created a mischievous family of wig boxes, giving vitality to normally inanimate and rather awkward receptacles. Mayumi Seki, a creator who shares my own desires, designed a singleslice mirrored cake box that reflects to give the illusion of an entire cake with eight perfectly plump, delectable slices. Most appealing was the delightful miniature mandarin box, designed by Kai Tamura. With fresh memories of slimy squashed fruit in the bottom of my bag, I couldn’t help but think how much better my general existence would be if the fruit I purchased for my lunch came individually packaged for my enjoyment in Tamura’s box. The wonderful work exhibited in Without Thought, Volume 10 supports my proposition that the Japanese are the most intuitive designers in the world. The Without Thought initiative fosters the continuation of Japanese design traditions and Fukasawa’s long-term direction of the DMN Design Workshops is an interesting case study of how non-traditional education and hands-on mentorship can play a vital role in developing localised creative strengths.

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Exhibition

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Review

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Book

Review

Miscellaneous Abstract by Francis Baudevin

Published by JRP Ringier

Reviewed by Angharad Lewis

While millions of graphic designers around the world are busy making designs for the sides of packaging boxes — for products from pharmaceuticals to chocolates to records — artist Francis Baudevin is busy taking those designs apart and turning them into paintings. He’s been at it since the late 1980s and has a substantial oeuvre behind him, which is celebrated in this new JRP Ringier title.

ABM by Francis Baudevin, acrylic on canvas, 211 x 171 cm, 2000

I’m always keen to see what this publisher does next, partly because its editorial remit is so interesting, but also because it always has great designers working on its books. Miscellaneous Abstract by Baudevin, designed by Swiss duo Gavillet & Rust, does not fail to deliver on either front. Baudevin’s aesthetic, as well as his technique, appears narrowly prescribed. Put simply, he takes items from his collection of products and packaging, isolates the graphics on one surface and reproduces it, removed of any text, as a hand-painted canvas or wall painting scaled up ten times from the original size. If there are small printing errors or imperfections on the surface of the particular packet he is painting, these are included in the final work. Baudevin’s paintings, then, are a curious cross between reproduction and still life, injected with the conceptual decision to remove all text. It is the last that gives us the key to his work. It is remarkable to have an artist scrutinise so closely the end results of graphic design, and to elevate them into one-off artworks for galleries — the tables have turned; it’s perhaps more often graphic designers who look to artists’ work for inspiration. But Baudevin might be at the apotheosis of this patchy, intimate relationship. That is, with him it is no longer (never has been) something that is up for question — hierarchical concerns are inconsequential to Baudevin. Packaging — and the designs thereon — is simply matter in the world that interests him because of its geometric properties (he cites Mondrian more than once as an influence in the interview in this book) and the oscillation between two and three dimensions — packaging is designed as a flat ‘net’, folded into three dimensions, reduced again to a flat surface by the artist who then turns in into a new object — a painted canvas — in the physical world. A complex response to Mondrian’s process of reduction. Other comparisons float to the surface. Is Baudevin furthering Warholian narratives about consumerism? Bob Nicklas, in his introduction, thinks this is a blind alley. “It would be a mistake,” he says, “to see Baudevin’s project as critical or ironic, as a commentary on the culture of consumption (or self-medication) and distraction. His interest, like that of the graphic and packaging designers who produced the logos and album covers, is simply visual communication.”

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 would add that Baudevin’s project obfuscates and toys with our visual communication I receptors. Without the lettering of the original designs, our faculty for reading the work relies totally on the visual — contextualising these particular combinations of shape, colour and composition rests agonisingly on the tip of your tongue, inciting you to scrutinise the logo whose meaning you would subconsciously read and process in a millisecond in its original context on the side of a packet of painkillers. But here Baudevin lays bare the crux of what graphic design is — the amalgamation of text and image to convey a message — and how it works, by its deconstruction.  Finally, Gavillet & Rust, in its editorial design, gives an answering call to the artist’s enterprise. The text of the book, including titles and a long interview between Baudevin and Rainer Michael Mason, is set (in the font Antique) with deliberate spaces in unexpected places — it is made to look like there are letters missing, when there are not. We are asked to fall into step with a new way of reading the words — textual ‘touché’ to the deconstruction of visual reading at work in Baudevin’s painting.

Review

Book

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Exhibition

Review

Rotterdam Designprijs 2009

Museum Van Boijmans Beuningen Sunday 29 November

Reviewed by Robert Urquhart

A Sunday afternoon in late November, the chill exacerbated by the murderous suburban mansion-block feel of the museum, home to the biennial — the “king of Dutch design prizes” — the Rotterdam Designprijs.

Atlases by Joost Grootens, winner of the Rotterdam Designprijs 2009

I’m at the prize-giving ceremony and we’ve got serious business to do. This is a serious prize. We are here to contemplate promises. The Rotterdam Design Prize, played out every other year since 1993, was last won by Amsterdam-based graphic design agency Thonik, which set the natural course for a non-graphic design-based selection this time round. Indeed, adding to speculation, only two of the ten nominees shortlisted — Gorilla and Studio Joost Grootens — are strictly graphic design ventures. A lecture and debate prior to the announcement also adds fuel. Headed by Alice Rawsthorn, who is joined by designers Sylvain Willenz and Clemens Weisshaar, the debate is riddled with product- and industrial-based issues and buzz words (sustainability, anyone?). It is left to design critic Gert Staal to attempt to vocalise how Dutch design is currently viewed by the rest of the world — in short, excellent graphic design, not so sure about manufacturing and other design platforms. A short break in proceedings offers the opportunity to head down to the gallery to check out what the prize nominees were promising. The exhibition for the prize ran for several months prior to tonight’s announcement and is proof that it’s sometimes harder than expected to show work that was not destined for traditional gallery curation. Studio Joost Grootens’s delicate work on the Four Atlas book collection is lost behind a glass case, while the Gorilla project (a two-year series of graphic interventions in a national newspaper — see Grafik issue 180) shines. But then this is not just an exhibition, this is a prize that has “decided to shift the focus away from the individual product and onto the designers’ artistic vision”. Back upstairs it’s time to announce the winner. Peter van Ingen, chairman of the international panel of judges, in a wonderful Eurovision moment, chooses to perform his duties via a pre-recorded television piece to camera, only handing over at the last minute to Rawsthorn to announce the two winners, one receiving the big prize of 15,000 euros and also one public winner, voted for online (no euros, just kudos).

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Rawsthorn puts an end to all the speculation — it’s a clean sweep for graphic design, with Studio Joost Grootens picking up the euros and Gorilla picking up the kudos. Speaking to Joost Grootens after the event, he muses: “I really did not expect to win, especially after Thonik won in 2007. We all thought that a graphic designer couldn’t possibly win. I’m very pleased that I came this afternoon.”  In the citation that Studio Joost Grootens received, the jury remarked: “Grootens’s design practice can or at least should provide a new direction for the future of design.”  The surprise should be no surprise at all. Dutch graphic design continues in the vanguard. It’s not about style over substance, and promises are continually being kept. With Grootens’s design practice — the new benchmark — other graphic design teams will have a tough call in 2011.

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Magazine

Review

Kalina, Gym Class and No.Zine magazines Reviewed by Michael Bojkowski I was going to use this month’s column to attempt to invent a term for magazines and zines that are produced by small teams to high standards and that term was going to be ‘micropublishing’ — you know, like ‘microfinance’ and ‘microbrewery’. Then I looked it up and found a rather disparaging definition that used words such as ‘low mass appeal’ and ‘marketing’. The whole thing started to sound a bit ‘vanity publishing’. Truth is, these days you could easily argue that the main difference between ‘micro’- and mass-market publishing is more a matter of distribution than quality. Take Gym Class Magazine, for example. Okay, so I’m not entirely unbiased, having written for the mag a couple of times, but this has given me a peek into the publication’s inner workings. There is no massive editorial team here, no Gym Class office, no bean counters constantly checking budgets. It’s put together by jobbing designer Steven Gregor and features a random assortment of articles on popular and visual culture written in a charming yet rigorous manner by a ragbag bunch of contributors from the realms of blogging, illustration and editorial design. The design is slick and never seems limited by having to be in one colour.

Cover, Kalina magazine, issue one www.kalinamagazine.com www.gymclassmagazine.com www.nozine.com

Kalina magazine is another good example of a low-to-no-budget publication whose only limits seem to be the amount of time photographer and editor Noah Kalina can dedicate to it. Kalina, the maga/zine, benefits from being available via Hewlett-Packard’s Print-on-Demand venture known as MagaCloud. This means all printing and distribution is already taken care of and top editorial designer pal Jeffrey Docherty (currently art director for I.D. magazine) can bring the whole publication together with minimal fuss and bother. The first two issues were primarily folio pieces for Mr Kalina, each on a particular subject. Issue three is really fun as it sees his photography getting remixed by a whole host of creatives such as Andy Miller, Nicholas Felton and designers Toko. Ex-Sleazenation designer Patrick Fry’s follow-up to Full Moon Empty Sportsbag entitled No.Zine is also worth a look for its combination of zine aesthetics and suitably elegant production qualities. After looking at these publications, I was left with the question — “Were these zines or magazines?” The independent bods who put them together and their total unreliance on advertising says ‘zine’ yet the quality of their design and content combined with their decreasingly ‘lo-fi’ production values suggests ‘magazine’. See, this is where the term ‘micropublishing’ would come it handy in helping define the genre. Because this is a ‘sector’ that is just going to keep growing and growing. HP has recognised this already with its MagCloud venture, as has Issuu by making magazines from all levels of the industry available digitally to all-comers. So let’s reclaim the term ‘micropublishing’ from the doom-mongers and nay-sayers and celebrate their independent spirit. After all, it’s these pocket-sized mini-mavericks that will help keep magazines alive and well, now and into the future.

Review

Magazine

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84 Exhibition Less and More— the Design Ethos of Dieter Rams reviewed by Kerry William Purcell

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92 Exhibition Without Thought, Volume 10 reviewed by Dan Honey

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Grafik is an independently published, monthly graphic design magazine serving the international design community. Aiming to produce unbeatab...

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