Happy Birthday Massimo Vignelli! He is 82 today, and definitely one of the great living designers. A modernist and a purist, as well as graphic design he has also been involved in many other disciplines including product and furniture design, which is lucky considering he is famous for saying among other things; “If you can design one thing, you can design everything.”
You can find more of his work here, plus lots more about him in this excellent post on Brain Pickings. But most of all you should read The Vignelli Canon, a free E-book published online back in 2009.
Today is the 150th anniversary of the first journey by London Underground, seems a very good time to revisit my most viewed blog post ever; The Evolution of the London Underground Map :
Above left to right - 1908, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1927, 1933, 1937 and the present day. (Old maps are from here)
Before the development of the iconic diagram style map in 1931 the tube map was constantly changing, never sticking to a consistent style. Some maps showed what was going on overground too and most of them attempt to be geographically correct, showing the curves and turns of the lines. By 1927 the map has become much clearer and easier to follow.
The problem was that the train lines were getting longer and this made it impossible to fit everything into one map. Keeping it geographically accurate would have meant that the centre became smaller and harder to read, and the centre is the most densely packed and most important part. In comes Harry Beck in 1931, inspired by electronic circuit diagrams he had the idea of scrapping geographical accuracy and making all lines straight with only 45 and 90 degree angles. Design history was made and the map has barely changed since, becoming an icon and one of the easiest to use maps in the world!
I was disappointed not to see any commuters in party hats today, but very glad to see quite a lot of coverage online celebrating many of the great pieces of London Transport related designs from over the years.
I saw someone tweet about Jessica Hische’s new font Minot today, and had a quick look at her website for the first time in ages. I was quite surprised to see a lot of work I didn’t recognise, since she is so popular I’d usually expect to see all her new work somewhere or other online ( although I’m definitely not looking at as much stuff now I’m working all the time). This advertising campaign for Bing is one such project that is new to me;
“Bing put together a really fun campaign this year that I was pumped to be a part of—each day they had a letterer create a search term, something you would do in the summer. For a week, my lettering was posted one day at a time, but it was really fun to see what some of the other letterers did for the project!” jessicahische.is/doingthingsthissummer
Her website is looking excellent as ever, I think I once blogged about it’s Teen Girl Mode, pleased to see it has now been joined by Swiss Mode and Field Notes Mode (hint: click the heart in the top right corner), quite a fun feature!
NY Times- Favorite Book Cover Designs of 2012
“We asked people in and around the world of graphic design to name one of their favorite book covers from 2012 and briefly describe its appeal. “
Some really great designs! And picked by some of the best book designers around, oh and The Casual Optimist (who this link was via). While I’m on about book designers, people in the UK can see Jon Gray (featured here previously) on tv! Check out this on iplayer and skip to 25 minutes in, for a few minutes about book design.
Voting is now open for the Cover Junkie magazine cover poll of 2012. Above are my favorite 9, not sure which I like best though!
Another excellent branding project by Interbrand Australia ;
“Pearson Australia (owners of the Penguin Group) approached us to create a new brand for Bookworld. Pearson has recently purchased the digital assets of Borders and has transitioned the site and customers to Bookworld.com.au. Our brief was to build a compelling brand and an engaging experience. Our solution was born from asking ourselves a very simple question: have you ever wondered where the characters go when you close the book? The answer is, they go to Bookworld – where books come from.”
Love the logo and the illustrations, great work! Interbrand Australia have done some of my favorite identity projects of recent times, mainly I believe under the direction of English designer Mike Rigby. See more here http://www.standapart.com.au/ & http://www.mike-rigby.com/.
I first saw Cardon Webb’s new cover for The Invisible Man on Pinterest with no info below it, totally didn’t realise it was a contemporary cover! Being a lover of Mid-Century Modern (see my other blog), especially Lustig, Rand and Jazz album covers, I’m obviously going to think these are amazing (and I most definitely do). But personal preference aside they are also very vibrant and eye catching with excellent lettering. As well as having a good reason behind them;
“Ralph Ellison, one of the foremost African American authors of the literary canon, fell in love with music before he focused on writing. That’s why designer Cardon Webb researched record art and type from the mid-century jazz era to create fresh new covers for six of Ellison’s seminal works.”
I’ve been meaning to blog some of Cardon’s work for ages since he launched his new website, but whittling it down proved pretty difficult since I love all his work. Very talented designer, worth looking at his portfolio. Plus his excellent other websites;
- http://www.cardonuncovers.com/ for rejected cover designs ( I like these a lot).
- http://www.cardoncopy.com/ a project you may have seen before where he takes down hand-done flyers in his neighbourhood and replaces them with his own designs. Which is simultaneously interesting, hilarious and great design as well.
Levi’s X Seb Lester
Amazing work, love the packaging. Seb Lester always does great work, very luxurious lettering. If you managed to miss this lovely video about his work when he released some new prints recently, now would be the time to watch it!
And he once wrote my name in calligraphy, which was very nice (pic here), keep an eye on his facebook for that, he does it from time to time.
Campfire Cologne by antler & co
“Campfire Cologne is the Tried and True scent of your best summer ever. A nostalgic ode to cooking over the fire, secret swimming holes and the unending days of youth. Use it frequently, transport yourself, live the dream.”
This made me laugh, the back of pack copy is hilarious! Nice design to go with the clever words too, love the way they have photographed it in the picture at the top.
There is also a well designed website for it; http://campfire-cologne.com/ , and this hilarious promotional video; http://vimeo.com/fortripper/campfirecologne
Nicholas Blake series design for Vintage books, designed by La Boca.
Via Booketing (which has an interview in French with La Boca)
Soviet era Bulgarian Film posters!
From Socmus, the virtual museum of socialist era graphic design in Bulgaria. They have loads of interesting posters, logos, illustration and general ephemera worth looking at.
Guinness adverts, photographed by Paul Zak. The campaign came from art director Antony Nelson and copywriter Mike Sutherland of AMV BBDO London.
Don’t really need to say anything about these, the quality of the idea speaks for itself. Came across them in the Creative Review photography annual, where they won ‘Best in Book’.