Well, this is absolutely lovely — a short film about letterpress typographer, designer, artist (and accordion player) Alan Kitching, and a set of posters he created with Monotype to celebrate the centenary of five influential designers born in 1914: Tom Eckersley, Paul Rand, FHK Henrion, Josef Müller-Brockmann and Abram Games:
Every single day, millions of New Yorkers rely on the subway to get around the city, and you can’t use the subway without encountering the signage designed by Unimark. Over the years many changes have taken place (such as the switch from Standard Medium to Helvetica), but it is a testament to the quality of the work that, 44 years later, the signage holds up.
And perhaps on a deeper level, the signage has given the subway a voice. When a lot of people think of New York City, these signs pop into their head. We feel a tremendous responsibility to publish not only an important piece of design history, but an important part of New York City’s history.
Even if you can’t afford the book itself — it starts at $133USD if you live in Canada, more if you are in the EU — you can back the project for as little as $3, and the project’s video featuring Pentagram‘s Michael Bierut on the graphic standards manual is well worth watching:
You can also see scans from a copy of the manual discovered the basement of design firm Pentagram in 2012 on thestandardsmanual.com.
It’s hard to believe it is already September, but here we are… time for another round of book covers!
If you’re new to this feature, each month I collect together new and recent covers that have caught my eye in the previous few weeks. Although the focus is on books released in the current month, the posts also include covers I’ve missed earlier in the year. You can find the previous month’s posts here.
Cartoonist Chris Ware is interviewed by Canadian journalist Jeet Heer in the latest issue of The Paris Review as part of the magazine’s ongoing ‘The Art of Comics’ series. You can read a short excerpt online:
It was the Peanuts collections in my grandfather’s basement office that really stayed with me through childhood and into college. Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy, and Lucy all felt like real people to me… I’ve said it many times before, but Charles Schulz is the only writer I’ve continually been reading since I was a kid. And I know I’m not alone. He touched millions of people and introduced empathy to comics, an important step in their transition from a mass medium to an artistic and literary one.
Italian design journalist Stefano Salis has kindly let me know about BUONA LA PRIMA!, an exhibition he has curated for the Artelibro Festival in Bologna later this month. For the exhibition, a committee of 15 professionals in the field of editorial graphics has selected the best Italian books covers published published in the past year. All 45 finalists (three for each judge) can be viewed on the Artelibro website, and visitors can vote for their favourite.
In addition to the prize assigned by popular vote, the jury of experts will also award a ‘Critics Prize’ to the best cover, in conjunction with the votes expressed by Ricardo Franco Levi, President of Artelibro, Romano Montroni, President of the Italian Center for the Book, and Giovanni Gregoletto, bibliophile and owner of Cantine Gregoletto that sponsor the exhibition.
The two winners will be announced on Sunday, September 21 at 12:30, with a toast at Palazzo Re Enzo.
BUONA LA PRIMA! opens Friday, September 12th at 6pm, in the Biblioteca d’Arte e di Storia di San Giorgio in Poggiale.
These stylish covers were designed by Canadian designer David Drummond for a series of new novels from Montreal-based publisher VLB éditeur. In the series, four different authors imagine the same plane journey on flight 459 from Paris. Planes on covers has spot UV:
I finally saw Only Lovers Left Alive this weekend (it can’t come as any surprise that I don’t get out much!), and I just came across this recent interview with director Jim Jarmusch about the film on IndieWire:
I’ve probably stolen from all kinds of places, but not really consciously. There’s nothing in this film that I can consciously say that I was making a direct reference to a film, but just the things they mention and talk about in the film as inspirations for the characters are then inspirations for the film itself… The beauty of ideas is that they are like waves in the ocean and they connect with things that came before them, and I think it is very important to embrace things that interest you and influence you, and incorporate them into what you do, as all artists have always done. The ones that say they don’t, are lying. Or are afraid that their work won’t be seen as being original, somehow.
The film, which is very much about art and authorship, does feel pasted together with bits of Jarmusch’s influences and interests. I’m sure many people will find Only Lovers Left Alive frustrating (its snub of Chechov’s gun in particular), but it is beautiful to just watch it slowly unfold.
(And, if you are curious, the font used in the posters picture above is apparently FF Brokenscript designed by Just van Rossum)