This week Monotype release Masqualero, the new typeface designed by Jim Ford. He can explain the design a lot better than I can, but in summary, it exists at the stonecutting/jazz intersection that you never knew existed. Art directing the launch, I've been able to play with Masqualero and it's various weights/styles well before anyone else gets their grubby mitts on it, and I can attest that it is quite, quite wonderful (especially for concocting identities, covers, sleeves and stationery for entirely imaginary clients, it turns out). I'm excited to see where and how it turns up in the next few months, now that it's out there for everyone else to enjoy.
Edwin Abbott's 1884 satirical classic Flatland is one of those books I know I absolutely must read, but for some reason it never quite happens. Every few years a beautiful new edition comes out and I almost, very nearly almost get around to it. This new edition from Epilogue Press – designed with a visual appendix of new diagrams, and enclosed in a foil stamped hardcover slipcase – is particularly beautiful and has gone straight to the top of my wishlist. Knowing that there are chapter headings like "Concerning a Stranger from Spaceland" and "How the Sphere, having in vain tried words, resorted to deeds", I simply must get it now. Check out Eye magazine's review for more insight from somebody who's actually read the blasted thing.
- Congratulations to all the winners at this year's ABCD awards. Some incredible cover designers out there at there at the moment.
- A supercut of left-to-right tracking shots.
- Man sells British fresh air to wealthy Chinese elite for £80 a jar because why not.
- The world's first Braille watch.
- Hidden Figures' Katherine Johnson is getting her own LEGO minifig. And if you still haven't seen the film, do. Using its subject matter to reflect on social and cultural issues of the sixties, whilst still being exceedingly entertaining, it's basically the NASA equivalent of Mad Men.
- Loving the cover of Creative Review's food issue. And everything inside, obviously.
- Two books about boats.
- The font that escaped the Nazis and landed on the Moon.
- Why is the internet orange?
- "I've written my name for the first time in ages" – Parkinson's disease left designer Emma Lawton unable to draw, but a new invention is changing her life. And you will cry.
- A look back at the history of the 3.18mm LEGO connection. Gripping stuff.
- I can't stop staring at the book design and lettering of Isabel Urbina Peña. Beautiful work, beautifully presented.
- The correct method for reheating pizza. Trust me, this works a charm.
- Signifier, Signed – Paul Schmelzer's project to get celebs like Yoko Ono, Ed Ruscha and Kim Gordon to sign his name. It means something, I'm just not sure what.
- The evolution of Keanu Reeves.
- I have returned to Instagram. I'm note entirely sure why.
I can confirm that Logan, Hugh Jackman's final (and very bloody) outing as Wolverine is great – arguably the best X-Men movie so far. Almost as good as the film is this poster for the IMAX release, with artwork by Dave Rapoza. I'm glad to see more painterly executions like this are making a comeback – a nice change from the dull "words over close up of Matt Damon's face" and "Benedict Cumberbatch with back to camera" trends of recent years.
… and it's certainly a step up from the "well this is awkward, we appear to be making some kind of Schindler's List allusion, or perhaps implying that Patrick Stewart has very tiny hands" approach found elsewhere in the Logan campaign.
I have a camera. I think I know how it works. There's the turny bit, and there's the inny-outy bit, and there's all those numbers and letters that do stuff. I'm particularly proud of some of the things I've shot with it, such as Some Feet and Nice Breakfast With Chorizo and the ongoing Distant Blurred Son series. But then I see the work of a real photographer like Pip, and I realise I know nothing at all. He uses his little black box to capture light and character and moment and turn it all into something more. His portraits of British actors are particularly beautiful (although if you ask me, capturing someone's essence by shooting their face rather than their feet is just cheating). Check out his portfolio for more of this sort of thing.
"Graphic design which fulfils aesthetic needs, complies with the laws of form and the exigencies of two-dimensional space; which speaks in semiotics, sans-serifs, and geometrics; which abstracts, transforms, translates, rotates, dilates, repeats, mirrors, groups, and regroups is not good design if it is irrelevant. Graphic design which evokes the symmetria of Vitruvius, the dynamic symmetry of Hambridge, the asymmetry of Mondrian; which is a good gestalt, generated by intuition or by computer, by invention or by a system of coordinates is not good design if it does not communicate."
– Paul Rand, A Designer's Art
For some reason, Paul Rand's stunning monograph A Designer's Art was out of print for several years. Fortunately, Princeton Architectural Press have done the decent thing and published a new edition, with a new afterword by Steven Heller. Over 27 essays, Rand discusses a wide range of subjects still pertinent to design in 2017, all accompanied by numerous examples of his work (more of which can be found at paul-rand.com). Demonstrating Rand's ability to simplify shape and colour and space into the most striking form, it's surprising how contemporary much of it seems – there are posters and covers and identities in here from seventy years ago that could've been made yesterday. It's a stunning collection and valuable education from one of design's greatest teachers; open it on any page and there's something incredible or thought-provoking that will spark inspiration. An essential read.
- This project to digitise wanted ads from former slaves looking for their families will break your heart a little bit.
- Stephen Fry and Watchmen's Dave Gibbons discuss the art of sound in comic books.
- I just remembered that I have a Pinterest account. Lots to see here.
- Inside New York’s little-known graphic design museum, The Herb Lubalin Center.
- Last Supper, a prologue to the sequel to the prequel of Alien. A good a time as any to reassess Prometheus, a film I wasn't best pleased with at the time.
- Brixton to build a permanent memorial to David Bowie. And it's rather wonderful.
- Can you think of any piece of music from a Marvel film? Why not? Every Frame a Painting has a look and listen.
- Excellent writer Andrew Kevin Walker has put the first draft for Seven on his site. Learn from his mistakes and his genius.
- The Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive is a brilliant archive of … Victorian … Shakespeare … well you get the idea.
- The SLJ900 segmental bridge launching machine is a thing to behold.
- Naysayers be damned! Tom Hardy's Taboo is a work of Wicker Man genius. Get everyone involved working on a Hellboy reboot at once, I say.
- Tom Hanks is to pen a book of short stories about typewriters, because of course he is.
- More Friday links, an idea entirely stolen from Tina Roth Eisenberg.
Delve is a weekly newsletter from Human After All and a coterie of film critics (Ian Freer, Peter Bradshaw, Tim Robey, Karen Krizanovich and Jonathan Crocker). It's basically a film-of-the-week thing with a bundle of interesting related links thrown in, but the best bit is the new limited edition artwork that accompanies each issue – often better than any official posters. David Mahoney's Arrival piece is suitably ominous, and just imagine if Karolis Strautniekas' Spectre artwork was the basis for the film's opening credits. Gorgeous stuff. Obviously, all of these deserve to exist outside of your inbox, so thankfully prints are available from the Delve shop.