Saturday, 4 February 2023

dtp associate (10. 523)

Having already treated us to an extensive survey of graphic design trends of the decade following, conservator and curator Forever Mozart gives us a directory of 1980s illustrators and letterers who capture the Zeitgeist and aesthetic of the era through their profile portfolios and comp cards.


Tuesday, 24 January 2023

ukiyo-e (10. 493)

Before gaining renown for his iconic series of woodblock prints of the Great Wave off Kanagawa, Katsushika Hokusai (่‘›้ฃพ ๅŒ—ๆ–Ž) published three comprehensive volumes of “Quick Lessons in Simplified Drawing,” which are really fun to browse and remarkably build figures from the same rudimentary figures that all art teachers seem to employ, with the first book breaking every conceivable subject into geometric shapes, the second book fragmenting their curves and contours and the third book diagramming stroke order. Much more from Kottke at the link above.

Thursday, 12 January 2023

mutcd (10. 409)

Via Kottke, we are referred to Jon Keegan’s survey, contributor for Beautiful Public Data, of the US Federal Highway Administration’s style guide for American road-markings. With particular emphasis of uniform, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways sets forth the national standards for all signage open to public travel, with exacting specifications for font (Highway Gothic), size, kerning, backgrounds, etc to ensure swift recognition and legibility.

Tuesday, 10 January 2023

6x6 (10. 403)

picket lines: Sunak’s cabinet to implement anti-strike laws to enforce basic services during stoppages  

⭕️ ๐Ÿ’ฏ: draw a perfect circle   

camera obscura: the fantastic, “historical” photography apparatuses of Mathieu Stern

all maps at once: interesting and interactive cartographical overlays with the open-source viewing standard  

murphy desk: the flow wall workspace designed by Robert van Embricqs 

this is the sound of a gavel: a litany of concessions in exchange for the House Speakership

Monday, 2 January 2023

6x6 (10. 381)

your posture is correct if you can lift your right foot in the air and rotate it effortlessly without falling: a Finnish tutorial from 1979 on the proper way to open doors—with subtitles in several languages

gebrausgraphik: the ornament and logo design of Max Kรถrner 

de laudibus sanctae crucis: the medieval pattern poems—that reference the Phaistos Disk and anticipate calligrams—of Magister Rabanus Maurus (see previously here and here)  

sword out of the stone: King Tut’s space dagger and other superlative archaeological finds—see previously  

wood wide web: ethereal ghost flower forgoes photosynthesis—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

inside story: an appreciation of Slim Goodbody

global village coffee house (10. 380)

Reddit contributor and conservator of varied projects called Forever Mozart 11 presents a vast design directory of graphic artist that perfectly encapsulates the 1990s aesthetic as filtered through the lens of American consumer culture with single page portfolios with selection illustrations of commissions and print interstitials.

The offset typography invoke, subject and style invoke a strong sense of nostalgia that informs the retro trend that’s seen a resurgence in recent times. I had a difficult time tracing the career of any one of these artists but could definitely extrapolate an entire gallery’s worth of advertising and ephemera from these signature samples and is definitely worth one’s time scrolling through and sharing your favourites.

Friday, 23 December 2022

how to draw christmas (10. 358)

Via Super Punch, having been previously acquainted with the sketching lessons of Ed Emberley—from the same source—we quite enjoyed this 1986 seasonal battery of exercises for decking the halls. Thirteen more festive panels to be found at Present /&/ Correct with more background at the links above. We especially liked the instructions for the sheep on wheels and the baubles and ornaments for the tree.

projection connections (10. 357)

The Map Room refers us to a brilliant infographic poster from designer and geomancer Daniel Huffman (having just issued a trading card set on the same subject—see previously) that myriad cartographical compromises and innovations proffered over the course of centuries to map a three-dimensional world on paper and how those techniques inform and compliment one another in the struggle to reduce distortion and bias. Much more at the links above.

Monday, 19 December 2022

7x7 (10. 345)

munro: better known for his violent Tom & Jerry shorts, Gene Deitch (previously—not the best counter-example) an acclaimed, award-winning animator 

thirty by thirty: environmentalists and delegates reach a landmark agreement to conserve nature and protect the rights of indigenous peoples 

incite a riot: January Sixth committee recommends a range of charges to be levied against Trump  

santaland: department store Christmas monorails—via the Everlasting Blรถrt 

scootch over: on the quarter-century anniversary of the premier of Titanic, director James Cameron wants to put to rest a roiling debate  

a slice of the cosmos: an interactive map of the observable Universe from Johns Hopkins University  

lichtspiel opus i: the Avant-Garde animation of Walter Ruttmann

Sunday, 18 December 2022

modernmas (10. 343)

Courtesy of the Everlasting Blรถrt, we really enjoyed this re-introduction to the portfolio and biography of graphic designer, architect and Modernist Master Paul Rand through this collection of hand-painted original Christmas cards. Rand was one of the first American commercial artists to adopt and champion the International Typographic Style (otherwise known as the Swiss Style), whose hallmarks were asymmetrical layouts and legibility.  Much more at the links above.

Saturday, 3 December 2022

phytomorphology (10. 358)

Via friend of the blog par-excellence Nag on the Lake, we are referred to a stop-motion exploration of leaf shape by Brett Foxwell, who collected, pressed and imaged over twelve thousand samples for this engaging sequence of gradual transition forms. Be sure to check out the source link to The Kid Should See This where you’ll also find their impressive holiday gift guide.

Friday, 2 December 2022

8x8 (10. 352)

fomites: turns out that COVID virus can stay of some grocery items for days—see previously    

fabulous fakes: an engrossing documentary about a Chinese painter whose specialty is creating pictures in the style of Van Gogh (see also) and travels to see the originals  

baguettes, bell-ringing and bee-keeping: UNESCO inscribes more human treasures  

foghorn: a celebration the floating lighthouses called lightvessels  

geopolitics is for losers: the infectious idea was concocted to account for defeat and hold influence  

gen-x studs terkel: the death of boredom is the biggest loss of a generation—a conversation with Joe Hagan  

viva magenta: Pantone announces its colour for the coming year—previously here and here 

such freedom: social network drops policies in place to limit the spread of misinformation on COVID

Saturday, 26 November 2022

li’l folks (10. 338)

Born this day in 1922 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Charles Monroe “Sparky” Schultz, cartoonist and creator of the characters who would become the Peanuts comic strip (his uncle gave him the nickname after the horse Spark Plug in a daily comic called Take Barney Google F’rinstance) is regarded as a universal influence, informing and defining the modern medium as a legitimate means of psychological and sociological exploration and commentary.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

8x8 (10. 321)

yotta, yocto: prolific data generation drives the need for uniform names for extremely large and extremely small numbers—see previously—via Marginal Revolution  

quarantine caper: narrow escape from Jingdezhen just before lock-down  

a classic non-equilibrium thermodynamic reaction: a demonstration of a Belousov-Zhabotinsky oscillation in a Petri dish—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links  

don’t copy that floppy: an overview of a few anti-piracy schemes of the late 1970s and early 80s  

jpeg morgan: the rise and fall (and broader fall-out) of crypto bank and exchange FTX 

infantry: Academy Award winning Czechoslovakian animated short Munro (1960) about a four-year old drafted into the army  

fangcang: artist, after being identified as a “close contact” is confined in a remote hospital and transforms room into exhibition space  

euler equations: computers make break-throughs in understanding fluid dynamics

Saturday, 19 November 2022

(•◡•) (10. 315)

This helpful, painstakingly formatted index of text meme templates—an interesting mix of emoji and ASCII characters—comes to our attention courtesy of Web Curios and was compiled by Nathan Allebach (previously, maybe) and available for anyone to copy, paste and tailor to one’s message. Definitely worth scrolling through this labour of love and completist dedication and letting us know your favourites.

Sunday, 30 October 2022

how-to-draw (10. 257)

Via the always excellent Present /&/ Correct, we were delighted for the introduction and sketching exercises to be found in Ed Emberley’s 1973 Little Drawing Book of Weirdos, the prolific illustrator and graphic designer especially lauded for his children’s picture books. Believing anyone can learn to draw, that not everyone has the calling or necessarilily needs to be an artist but no one should ever feel inadequate in their attempts to represent or convey, Emberley’s style of instruction employs letters, shapes and numbers and titles include Green Says Go, Flash, Crash, Rumble and Roll, Suppose You Met a Witch and Glad Monster, Sad Monster.

Friday, 21 October 2022

7x7 (10. 242)

lettuce rejoice: a bit of highly monitored produce outlasts the prime minister 

cincinattus: the real and fraught possibility that Boris Johnson could be brought back as the Tory leader

jazz swing and joy wheel: revisiting the playground and its antique architecture—via tmn  

hive mind: how studying the decision making approach of bumble bees can lend insights into the mechanics of human memory  

on pointe: ballet dancers caring for the tools of the trade  

not another experiment: UK opposition political parties call for a General Election 

every inch of you: a punny produce display

Friday, 14 October 2022

confirm receipt (10. 223)

Having previously been acquainted with the calling cards of citizens’ band and Ham radio operators, we appreciated this entree into QSL postcards exchanged around the world—and beyond—through this study by graphic designer Richard Bova on the standards, codes and curated selection of cards from across the globe.

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

proto-zoetrope (10. 212)

Via Messy Nessy Chic, we are directed to an artefact found in sizable archaeological Bronze Age settlement of Shahre-e Sukhteh (ุดู‡ุฑ ุณูˆุฎุชู‡, Persian for Burnt City) found amongst of treasure of the Helmand culture including an artificial eye, the oldest known board-game with playable pieces and dice, a human skull displaying evidence of successful brain surgery and this earthenware goblet, all items approaching five millennia in age, that depicts was researchers consider to be first animation—see previously. When the vessel is rotated, it reveals a leaping goat taking a bite off a leaf.

Sunday, 9 October 2022

7x7 (10. 206)

soundscape: calls for submissions for Wikipedia’s sonic logo  

parametric design: letting AI run wild to reimagine the future of architecture  

cactus buddy and friends: adult Happy Meals are causing chaos, workers beg customers to stop 

solidarity: Marge Simpson cutting her iconic hair graffitied on the Iranian Consulate in Milano  

shinkansen: a classic 99% Invisible explores how three very different bird species informed the bullet train’s redesign 

kill the wabbit: try to name these escapingly familiar works of classical music—see also  

obituaries: the swiftness of Wikipedia’s deaditors is astounding