Category Archives: Bookshelf

The Handmade

This year, for Handmade 2012, design and interiors magazine Wallpaper* asked all their graphic designer and illustrator friends (pretty much a who’s who of some of the best creative brains in the business) to design a series of covers for the August issue. They also called out to the Twittersphere, inviting readers to give creative direction by asking them to name their preferred cover star and tweet them a brief.

The result is a grand edit of 30 works of art, created by the likes of Alan Kitching, Quentin Jones, Anthony Burrill, Tom Hingston, Rob Ryan and James Joyce, to name just a few.  If you’re quick you can still get your hands on a copy..


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Wondering Around Wandering

Wondering Around Wandering is a new project by Mike Perry, a New York based designer and interdisciplinary artist.  His aim is to host a  3 month, free community exhibition and event space in Brooklyn, with workshops, screenings, gatherings, open discussions and much more.  He wants to offer a space that will be an evolving environment, where visitors will be able to freely explore and create their own unique experience. Continue reading

Artist Interview: Here & Now talks to Prince Hat

Swedish designer Prince Hat, aka Patrik Svensson, has very kindly taken time out from his busy schedule to talk to us at Here & Now (a brand new feature on the blog).  The designer and illustrator is well known for his simple yet clever approach to graphic design and illustration, working with clients such as The Telegraph Magazine, Wired UK, ICON Magazine, New Scientist and GQ Australia.  Fresh from his signage project for Jashanmal Books in Dubai, here’s what he had to say..

Where do you live and work?
I live and work in Stockholm, Sweden.

Tell us a bit about your background, how did you become interested in illustration and design?

I never drew or anything as a kid, but I’ve been what you may call a voyeur or observer for as long as I can remember, which means I always had a fascination for how things and people and every little thing around me appear and look like. I did some pretentious design on my family’s first PC when I was 14 or so. I downloaded rare Nirvana b-sides and designed my own record sleeves, made home printed t-shirts etc. Internet was just a slow baby back then, and I remember taking hour-long naps in the middle of the night on the couch while a song was downloading next to me. Occassionally, my dad woke up from the computer buzzing and asked me what the hell was going on.

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Great Expectations

Great Expectations is a typographic experiment designed to explore the relationship between graphic design, typography and the reading of a page through approaches to a much-loved text.

Brought to you by GraphicDesign&, the book reveals the power typography has to influence and affect the way we interpret a text.  Page 1: Great Expectations collects the responses of 70 international graphic designers when given the same brief – to design and lay out the first page of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.  The text was chosen in part because it directly references lettering as Pip searches for clues about his family from the letterforms inscribed on their tombstone.

The brief encouraged the 70 contributors to explore, challenge or celebrate the conventions of book typography, with each layout accompanied by a short rationale explaining the designer’s decision-making process.  Contributors include A Practice for Everyday LifePhil BainesCartlidge LeveneTony Chambers / Wallpaper*,William Drenttel and Jessica HelfandKarlssonWilkerLuke Hayman / PentagramMorag Myerscough, and Sam Winston.

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How To…

There is no more ridiculed literary genre than the self-help book.  It wasn’t always like this.  For two thousand years in the history of the west, the self-help book stood as a pinnacle of literary achievement.  The assumption behind this long tradition was that the words of others can benefit us not only by giving us practical advice, but also – and more subtly – by recasting our private confusions and grief into eloquent communal sentences.  

With the growing secularisation of society, it is presumed that the modern individual should manage the business of living and dying by relying on sheer common sense, a good accountant, a sympathetic doctor and hearty doses of faith in science.  As citizens of the future we aren’t supposed to need lectures on how to stay calm and free of anxiety. 

But we need self-help books like never before  – The School of Life

The School of Life has just launched a series of six intelligent self-help books, put together by some of the leading minds in the field, examining some of the great issues of life – work, sex, money, emotional maturity, digital life and changing the world.  The quirky covers are designed by Marcia Mihotich, and like the books themselves are a refreshing approach to the self-help genre.  Bright colours and simple shapes make the playful design instantly recognisable and easy to read.

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Typoholic

A lovely new book  from the team at Victionary, Typoholic celebrates modern typography at it’s most playful.  Featuring 288 colourful pages of custom types, from digital to real life installations, it offers a thorough review of modern type-making.

Separated in to two parts, the first Typoholic Font to Form, focuses on type-related projects, while the second Typoholic A to Z, is a collection of contemporary illustrated typefaces.  The book examines a diverse range of sculptural, illustrated and photographically created letterforms and alphabets as they in appear in graphic identities, art projects, advertising and much more.

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Bold & Beautiful

Book cover designs by graphic designer Klas Ernflo – created in 2007 for a series of books about classicical art, they were eventually rejected by the publisher.  The bold, minimal design is a refreshing approach to a more traditional subject matter.

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Prince Hat

A great collection of work from Prince Hat, aka Patrik Svensson, a Swedish designer represented by Agent Molly & Co.

As a big fan of designers who continually integrate viewers into their work, Svensson enjoys creating a game for both the designer and the viewer.  With this approach it’s no wonder his designs are becoming increasingly popular, with clients including Wired, GQ and ICON Magazine, and his work can been seen as book covers, film  posters, and much, much more.

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Pick Me Up Returns

Pick Me Up returns to Somerset House today, promising the very best from graphic artists around the world.  The London based art fair offers limited edition prints, workshops, weekend events, as well as talks, performances and portfolio reviews.

A selection of 20  international rising stars of the graphic arts world have been specially selected to create a piece for the event, including Sarah Beetson, Tim McDonaghNiki Pilkington, Paul X Johnson and Sarah Maycock.  They’ll be an opportunity to buy the exclusive artworks during the event.

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Secrets of the Studio

Just out from Thames & Hudson is a new book offering a rare insight into the work spaces of some of Britain’s most celebrated and emerging talents.  It gives a compelling behind-the-scenes look into their artistic processes, capturing them at their most creative, experimental and sometimes chaotic!

Artist Paula Rego at work in her studio

Featuring 120 artists living and working in Britain today, from the most noteworthy to new, upcoming talent, Sanctuary offers a feast of specially commissioned photographs (by Robin Friend) while following each artist through their working routines.  Portraits, images at work, places of inspiration and incisive interviews from Howard Hodgkin, Grayson Perry (fresh from his exhibition at The British Museum), Peter Blake and many others, the book explores today’s art world and contemporary art practice.

Grayson Perry in his studio

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