Last Thursday night I was lucky enough to see the brilliant typographer & lettering artist Seb Lester give a talk at the Museum of Brands in West London.
Above is the rather lovely print I received at the event, designed by Seb himself and printed by Brighton based screen-print studio A New Star in the Sky. It’s a silvery black ink on white paper, the photos really don’t do it justice unfortunately.
The talk was fantastic, expect to see a write up about it for my blog at work soon! After the talk I had the pleasure of meeting Seb, who is a very nice guy and grew up a few streets away from me! You can follow Seb Lester on tumblr here; http://seblester.tumblr.com/
The lecture was organised by Playdesk, which is well worth checking out if you fancy coming to some design lectures in London and for a drink or two after (here is me looking confused).
I’m absolutely loving these designs for the New Yorker by designer Timothy Goodman ;
I’m excited to have six pieces in The New Yorker’s annual Summer Fiction Issue, entitled “Crimes & Misemeanors.” The theme was noir fiction, and I was asked to come up with ‘title cards’ to represent each fiction piece.
We tried to cover an array of styles from Gothic to Western to 70’s Bollywood, depending on the premise of stories. Two of the pieces were laser cut, all of them were shot on top of textures or old photos to capture the noir vernacular. Also, a great video trailer was shot for the issue (featuring dry ice and fake cocaine).
That Noir film title aesthetic is one of my favorites, especially since I’m a big fan of the genre itself, in both film and fiction. I did something similar (much less amazing though) as part of a book cover project in my 2nd year at uni, which you can see here.
Definitely worth checking out more of his work too, a very enviable folio! ; tgoodman.com/
Postcards from the Big Draw Charity Postcard Lotto organised and hosted by Urban Graphic.
"We have asked the artists we’ve worked with on our Toasted range, as well as some surprise guests, to draw/print/stamp/scribble/paint on an A6 postcard and send it back to us. On the night, at our newly launched shop and screen print studio in central Bristol, we will be hosting a blind lottery where people can donate and take home a postcard-sized piece of art!"
Some great contributors, and all for a good cause! You can see who created the selection I’ve picked above, and all the other postcards here;
Prints and patterns designed by Bickford Smith & Johnson. If some of them look familiar it’s because designers Coralie Bickford-Smith and Samantha Johnson both work creatively at Penguin and some of these are offshoots of book related projects;
"We have started out on many collaborations for book covers and thought how great it would be to take certain design themes further, to be freer with our brief and follow our design ideas for other products. The result is Bickford, Smith & Johnson. We can create bespoke surface pattern designs for your products or license existing designs from our portfolio. We also create limited & open editions of hand printed screenprints for sale."
Lovely work! I’m especially liking the quote posters, of phrases from William Blake and Jane Austen. Wouldn’t expect anything less from two excellent book cover designers though!
Book Covers: Before and After
“Four designers discuss their work on recent book covers: first a concept that didn’t make the final cut, and then the cover that ended up on the book.”
Love to see killed cover concepts! But I do think the final designs featured in this article are the better ones, except for the Ballard covers (from Jason Booher), where I think the original is more arresting and original.
Porter Square Books Blog recently posted an Interesting interview with book designer Peter Mendelsund.
Do you feel any particular responsibilities to the book, author, and/or publishers?
My job as book designer and art director is predicated on the idea that I will help sell a book, and to the extent that I do that, successfully position a book in the marketplace by making the appropriate jacket for it, I am fulfilling my responsibilities to the publisher.
In terms of my responsibility to the author and the book…representing the text is not (at least not patently) something I’m paid to do, but I see this act as a moral imperative. Characterizing, explicating, interpreting a text visually is the most interesting and gratifying aspect of what I do. When I fail at this task of signifying what a book is (or I am urged or directed in some way to betray what I see as a book’s essential nature) there’s a palpable sense of loss and guilt. It feels important to me that a book’s cover should not be dissonant with, or oblivious to, the text within. A book cover should be a book’s true face; which is to say, optimally, a jacket or cover will be a kind of visual translation of the book in question. So—to the extent that I successfully describe or epitomize a book—its plot, its themes, its affect…I am fulfilling my responsibilities to the book and to its author.
Peter has to be one of the most talented and interesting book cover designers out there, and his blog is well worth reading; jacketmechanical.blogspot.co.uk/ or look at more of his work here.
Give yourself an award, courtesy of Jessica Hische
"Are you a creative person that constantly submits to competitions but never gets in? Are you over 30 and bummed that you missed your chance to be a 20 under 30? or a 30 under 40? or some other random number under some other random number? Well here’s an award for you. If you think you deserve an award, fill in your name and your job title and you’ll be given an award. Then you can put “award winning designer” or whatever on your resumé."
The Smithsonian Libraries have an online ‘galaxy of images’. One of the collections is Book Arts & Design which has some really fascinating typography and book covers from the modernist period, as well as pre-modernism such as the selection above. Love it, so rich especially the Jules Verne cover!
I apologize in advance for this post if you are a fan of typograpy and lack free time…
Letter Cult have posted their Custom Letters, Best of 2012. Which is over 60 pages of amazing type and lettering. A real feast for the eyes, but it will take a while to get through. It’s split into 3 parts;
Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.
The pictures above are some of my favorites from their selections, and are by; Mary Kate McDevitt, Jessica Hische, Darren Booth, Mary Kate McDevitt (could have posted way more of her work), Dan Cassaro and Craig Ward.
Maricor/Maricar, the studio of Australian twins Maricor and Maricar Manalo, updated their website in February with a new design and lots of new work. Just realised I’ve had this post in my drafts since then!
Big fan of all their work, very original. I especially love the embroidered and colourful typography. Think they have posted about their process in the past on their blog, or pictures on Instagram. Looking forward to perhaps seeing some embroidery in person at Pick Me Up this year.
Easter Sunday seems like a good time to post chocolate packaging! Always been a fan of the design of Mast Brothers chocolate, which is made in Brooklyn. Love the simplicity of the patterns, bet the paper is nice and thick too.
You can read about it here;
“We originally just wrapped our chocolate in butcher paper, in hopes of doing anything we could to communicate the message that chocolate is food — not candy,” Rick Mast told me by e-mail. “We soon realized that the packaging needed something more so we tried to retain the feel of butcher paper but with beautifully designed patterns.” Every chocolate bar they create is hand-wrapped in specially designed patterned paper, one pattern for each of their many flavors. Although understated, the packaging, in its simplicity and thoughtfulness, alludes to the nature of the product it contains.