Andrzej Pagowski

I just stumbled upon this wonderful poster by Polish designer Andrzej Pagowski while flicking through Anne Odling-Smee's 2002 book The New Handmade Graphics. A fine reminder that the most effective design often happens nowhere near a computer. Lots more Pagowski posters here


"Some adventures are so small, you hardly know they’ve happened. Like the adventure of sharpening your pencil to a perfect point, just before it breaks and that little bit gets stuck in the sharpener. That, I think we will all agree, is a very small adventure. Other adventures are so big and last so long, you might forget they are adventures at all – like growing up."

— Anne Michaels, The Adventures of Miss Petitfour

Pinning architecture

Looking over the images in my Architecture board on Pinterest, it occurs to me that I don't really like curves. Or colour. Or people, apparently. Just plonk me in a big square white box devoid of human life, and I'm a happy bunny. 

2001 lobby cards

Whilst having a browse around poster emporium Posteritati, looking for something I couldn't possibly afford, I stumbled upon this wonderful set of lobby cards from the 1972 rerelease of 2001: A Space Odyssey. They're appear to be black and white images that have been hand-tinted. The limited palette of flat, vivid colour reminds me of the Jack Coggins illustrations I posted a couple of weeks ago, somehow making this look even more science-fictiony. It's like the realism Kubrick strived for has been replaced by pure pop art. I'd gladly watch the whole film like this.

London no longer exists

“For Londoners, London is obscured. Too thinly spread, too private for anyone to know. Its social life invisible, its government abolished, its institutions at the discretion of either monarchy or state or the City, where at the historic centre there nothing but a civic void, which fills and empties daily with armies of clerks and dealers, mostly citizens of other towns. The true identity of London is in its absence. As a city it no longer exists. In this alone it is truly modern. London was the first metropolis to disappear."

— Patrick Keiller, London

This Land

Photographer Peter Byrne visited 45 different ranches in twelve states to capture the life of the contemporary cowboy. This Land, designed by myself, is the result of this shooting adventure. The book is launched this weekend at Print Stuff, York's new independent print and publishing fair, and is available to buy from Peter's shop.

Friday links

Your weekly dose of webstuff. Clickety-click.

  • Tom Gauld has a bunch of new prints and originals in his shop. If anybody wants to buy me every single one of them, that would be awfully kind. 
  • A brief history of the pencil, as told by a pencil aficionado.
  • I'm currently reading Kassia St Clair's The Secret Lives of Colour. Really interesting book that explores the history of various shades, dyes and hues. See also: Mummy Brown.
  • Charlie, Oscar, Grace, Clara, Alfred, Lulu, Benny, Ginger … Reed Words look at a new trend in brand naming.
  • "I take down the schmutz …" – bookbinding the old fashioned way
  • The new Johnson Banks website is very … just go and a have a scroll.
  • I'm halfway through S-Town, the new podcast from the makers of Serial and it's quite incredible. Starts off as one thing, then turns into something else and then … I honestly have no idea where this is going. 
  • David Cronenburg audiobooks.
  • If you use Chrome, you simply must install the Earthview extension. See the world anew every time you open a tab. Can't recommend this enough.
  • Check out Tom "you know, that lovely chap that draws all the cakes and things on The Great British Bake Off" Hovey's new website
  • María Ramos Silva's Masters dissertation is all about the design of type for Olivetti typewriters. Really interesting stuff about the mechanics of typography. And now I really want an Olivetti Valentine. 
  • Aurelian Debat's Stampville looks like it'd be a lot of inky fun.
  • The Index – a wonderful experimental short by JG Ballard.


The third series of the thoroughly excellent Fargo (tagline: "heck happens") is almost upon us. While we wait, let's peruse this new philatelicious poster from Arsonal and see what clues we can pluck from it. Juicy crowbar action? Flying saucers? Sisyphus? Santa? What does it all mean? And if they make any real sheets of Fargo stamps for promotional purposes, can I have one please? Please?

Ilya Repin

I love the rabbit-holes that a little bit of image research can send you down. For example, I'm currently working on a new cover for Head of Zeus that calls for a spot of Russian realism; something I knew nothing about an hour ago. A few googles and clicks later, and I think I may have found a new favourite artist! The work of Ilya Repin (1844-1930) is absolutely captivating. His paintings are cinematic, suggesting the eye of Stanley Kubrick or David Lean. Details – a surgeon's raised hammer, a furtive glance at an unexpected guest – tell a bigger story surrounding the captured moment.

Here's a few (click images to embiggen). They're all amazing, but none have grabbed me quite like Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan (1885). Just look at the horror in that scene. Have you ever seen eyes more alive (or dead)? Incredible.