Chabon

The seventh of my Bowie Book Club covers is Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. It's a great book – and a great film too – so this one was particularly enjoyable to design. To begin with, I was determined to do something with typewriters, but that seemed a bit too on-the-nose for a story about writers writing. And didn't hit the right balance between clarity and mystery. So then I tried to do something with bridges, but that was more a reference to the film (which has a running motif of symbolic bridges throughout) than the book itself. It did help me find the image for the Hart Crane cover though, so that approach wasn't a a complete waste.

And so instead we have this: Marilyn Monroe. Or more specifically, Marilyn Monroe on the day of her wedding to Joe DiMaggio. Or even more specifically, Marilyn Monroe wearing a short black satin jacket trimmed with an ermine collar on the day of her wedding to Joe DiMaggio.

And if you want to know what that's about, read the book.

Virginia Woolf on the cultivation of taste

I have to admit that so far, my life has been absent of Virginia Woolf – unless you include that film with Nicole Kidman's nose – but this passage from the London Library's On Reading, Writing and Living with Books really grabbed my attention:  

It would be foolish … to pretend that the second part of reading, to judge, to compare, is as simple as the first — to open the mind wide to the fast flocking of innumerable impressions. To continue reading without the book before you, to hold one shadow-shape against another, to have read widely enough and with enough understanding to make such comparisons alive and illuminating — that is difficult; it is still more difficult to press further and to say, ‘Not only is the book of this sort, but it is of this value; here it fails; here it succeeds; this is bad; that is good.’ To carry out this part of a reader’s duty needs such imagination, insight, and learning that it is hard to conceive any one mind sufficiently endowed; impossible for the most self-confident to find more than the seeds of such powers in himself.

Would it not be wiser, then, to remit this part of reading and to allow the critics, the gowned and furred authorities of the library, to decide the question of the book’s absolute value for us? Yet how impossible! We may stress the value of sympathy; we may try to sink our won identity as we read. But we know that we cannot sympathize wholly or immerse ourselves wholly; there is always a demon in us who whispers, ‘I hate, I love,’ and we cannot silence him. Indeed, it is precisely because we hate and we love that our relation with the poets and novelists is so intimate that we find the presence of another person intolerable. And even if the results are abhorrent and our judgments are wrong, still our taste, the nerve of sensation that sends shocks through us, is our chief illuminant; we learn through feeling; we cannot suppress our own idiosyncrasy without impoverishing it.

But as time goes on perhaps we can train our taste; perhaps we can make it submit to some control. When it has fed greedily and lavishly upon books of all sorts — poetry, fiction, history, biography — and has stopped reading and looked for long spaces upon the variety, the incongruity of the living world, we shall find that it is changing a little; it is not so greedy, it is more reflective.

It may have been written 90-odd years ago, but this still seems remarkably pertinent. Everyone is a published critic these days, everyone is screaming their taste at everyone else. 

O'Hara

Here we are, my latest attempt to cover 100 of David Bowie’s favourite books: Selected Poems by Frank O’Hara. It’s only the sixth one, but I’ve also managed to stockpile quite a few of the others that I'm almost sort-of happy with. Working without a client or a deadline is surprisingly frustrating – it’s impossible to let go, to accept a final design. 

But this one, I'm definitely sort of happy with. Mostly because I love that 1965 photograph of O’Hara by Mario Schifano, like he would pose for the cover, but he really has to take this call and besides he’s just too damn busy being poetic and destroying literature, as per his manifesto for Personism:

Personism, a movement which I recently founded and which nobody knows about … was founded by me after lunch with LeRoi Jones on August 27, 1959, a day in which I was in love with someone (not Roi, by the way, a blond). I went back to work and wrote a poem for this person. While I was writing it I was realizing that if I wanted to I could use the telephone instead of writing the poem, and so Personism was born. It’s a very exciting movement which will undoubtedly have lots of adherents. It puts the poem squarely between the poet and the person, Lucky Pierre style, and the poem is correspondingly gratified. The poem is at last between two persons instead of two pages. In all modesty, I confess that it may be the death of literature as we know it. While I have certain regrets, I am still glad I got there before Alain Robbe-Grillet did. Poetry being quicker and surer than prose, it is only just that poetry finish literature off.

For more of this sort of thing, check out Jason Kottkes post on O'Hara.

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Brutal London

Our obsession with all things brutal shows no signs of abating. Of course, this means that apartments in places like the the Barbican Estate or Balfron Tower are now pretty much unattainable for us regular humans. There is one very small way you can get onto the brutal property ladder though: Zupagrafika's Brutal London. With words by John Grindrod and pictures by Peter Chadwick, it comes with nine kits for you to build your own little concrete/cardboard wonders and a bit of history of each building. It's a bit silly and all really rather wonderful. 

Barbican Centre by Andrew Murray

I found this print of a 1983 Andrew Murray painting on eBay ages ago. It's been sat in a drawer waiting for a decent patch of wall and a frame, but in the meantime I thought I'd share it on here. The caption reads "Barbican Centre, City of London. An interior view looking towards the the Sculpture for Light (by Michael J. Santry) and the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre". It's wonderful – so much life and colour within that familiar vast space, like an illustration from Miroslav Sasek's This Is Brutality (oh if only that was a real thing). I'm not really familiar with Murray's work, but I did find another 1980s Barbican painting by him the other day, which is equally lovely – I wonder if there are more there … ?

Words we don’t say

I found this fascinating list on the Made Shop's lovely tumblr, originally posted by Hugo Lindgren at the New York Times.

Lindgren explains:

In 1997, when I was first hired at New York magazine, Kurt Andersen, now a best-selling novelist and radio-show host, had just been fired as editor. Everybody was grieving about this, though not me, since I wouldn’t have had a job there otherwise. And though it wasn’t until years later that I even met Kurt, he unwittingly left me a gift: tacked to the bulletin board in the office I took over was a single page titled “Words We Don’t Say.” It contained, as you might surmise, words and phrases that Kurt found annoying and didn’t want used in his magazine. Just yesterday, I rescued it from a bunch of old office stuff that I was throwing out, and I have to say, 14 years later, it’s still a pretty useful list of phony-baloney vocabulary that editors are well-advised to excise from stories.

I think I need one of these. There are many, many words I use far too often in my writing (I type "splendid" at least a dozen times a day), and tired, tabloidy phrases that get repeated over and over. There's a fine line between having a distinctive voice and having a hackneyed one. It's important to constantly exercise one's vocabulary muscle.

Marx

Thoroughly wonderful publishing collective Zed has just launched its new website, and I'm awfully proud to see my cover for Ronaldo Munck's Marx 2020 on there. It's one of those treatments that involved a surprising amount of work to arrive at an incredibly stark design – when you've got so few elements on a page, you don't really have anywhere to hide, it all has to be spot on.

Tschichold's ten common mistakes in the production of books

I recently found Jan Tschichold's The Form of the Book: Essays on the Morality of Book Design on Scribd (proper real-word editions are still available on Amazon, as long as you're willing to smash the studio piggy bank). The book collects various things that he wrote on design and typography throughout his career, but there's one bit that I keep returning to (possibly because it's a nicely-digestible list): ten common mistakes in the production of books. It was written in 1975, but it all remains pertinent today.

Everything in the book is worth your time, but I thought it'd be handy (for myself at least) to extract the list for future reference:

  1. Deviant formats: Book that are needlessly large, needlessly wide and needlessly heavy. Books have to be handy. Books wider than the ratio 3:4 (quarto), especially square ones, are ugly and impractical; the most important good proportions for books were and are 2:3, Golden Section and 3:4. The hybrid format A5 is particularly bad, while the hybrid format A4 is at times not entirely unsuitable. The inner book, or book block, of books that are too wide – square books in particular – will drop at the face. It is not easy to shelve or otherwise store books that are wider than 25cm; 97/8 in.
     
  2. Inarticulate and shapeless typesetting as a consequence of suppressing indents. Unfortunately, this bad habit is encouraged by business schools, who teach, quite erroneously, that writing letters without indents is < modern >. One should not believe that this is merely < a matter of taste >. Here readers and nonreaders separate.
     
  3. Opening pages without any initial, pages that begin bluntly in the upper left-hand corner and look like any other random page of text. One thinks he is seeing something other than the beginning. The opening chapter must be marked by a wide blank space above the initial line, by an initial letter or by something distinctive.
     
  4. Lack of form, a consequence of the stillness if using only one size of type. It is difficult for any reader to find his way around in a book where chapter openings are not accentuated and where title and imprint have been set in lowercase only in the size of the basic font.
     
  5. White, and even stark white, paper. Highly unpleasant for the eyes and an offence against the health of the population. Slight toning (ivory and darker, but never crème), never obtrusive, is usually best.
     
  6. White book covers. Equally confounding. They’re about as delicate as a white suit.
     
  7. Flat spines on bound books. the spines of bound books must be gently rounded; if they’re not, the book with be cockeyed after reading, and the middle signatures will protrude.
     
  8. Gigantic vertical lettering on spines that are wide enough to carry a horizontal inscription. Titles on the spine need not be legible from far away.
     
  9. No lettering on the spine at all. Inexcusable for books more than 3 mm thick. How does one relocate such a booklet? The author’s name must not be missing. It often determines the position of a book on the shelf.
     
  10. Ignorance of or disregard for the correct use of small caps, cursive and quotation marks.

Darkness

I've written a few words about Mike Mignola and Paul Buckley's Heart of Darkness cover for Grafik. I'm a little bit obsessed with the blackness of Mignola's black – it's just so very  … black. Perfectly suited for Conrad's story, which incidentally starts where I was born:

The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth.

That's probably pertinent in some way.

Bridge

Here's the fifth of my Bowie Book Club covers: Hart Crane's The Bridge, an epic poem inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge. 

This one owes a bit to fortuitous happenstance (definitely in my top three varieties of happenstance) – I was looking for images of bridges for another title on the list (Wonder Boys), when I stumbled upon a scan of the 1883 book, The New York and Brooklyn Bridge – Illustrated in the British Library collection. Published to celebrate the opening of the bridge, it is justifiably boastful: 

The Great Bridge, after thirteen years weary waiting and anxious watching, is at last finished, and of the thousands who will cross this broad pathway which connects the two cities, we venture to assert not one will disagree with us in the statement that it is “well done;” and when generation after generation shall have passed to “that bourne from whence no traveler e'er returns,” our Great Bridge will still stand, enduring as the Pyramids, and as a monument of the greatest engineering work the world has ever seen.

Hard to argue with that! The book is full of interesting facts, figures and diagrams – and some rather beautiful pictures, ripe for the picking by any wandering designer. It's a fascinating read; well worth a look if you're at all interested in the history of New York. 

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Street Furniture Design

Jolly nice to find the cover of Eleanor Herring's Street Furniture Design featured in the Casual Optimist's monthly Book Covers of Note round up. This one went through a lot of iterations – we tried all sorts of combinations of benches and lampposts and phone boxes and bus stops and bins and bollards. Basically everything from David Mellor's Street Scene. In the end though, it was Kenneth Grange's iconic 1958 parking meter that came out tops. 

The Divided Self

For the third cover in my Bowie Book Club project, I've tackled RD Laing's groundbreaking exploration of the nature of madness, The Divided Self. I imagine Bowie read this one more than a few times. 

Some notes:

  • This is one of several Very Intimidating Titles on the list, due to the fact it already has a definitive cover. Martin Bassett's overlapping circles are inseparable from this book – it's a design that has appeared on numerous Pelican/Penguin editions over the years. 
  • They were shooting a Laing biopic, Mad to be Normal, in York recently. Fantastic cast: David Tennant, Gabriel Byrne, Elisabeth Moss. We spotted Byrne in our corner shop one night, so of course Dr B, possibly the world's only Stigmata superfan, snuck up behind him and whispered "you're amazing" at him. He looked terrified.
  • I started off using a shot of Tennant as Laing for the portrait, but it kept ending up looking like a Doctor Who novel. I even tried merging Laing and Tennant's faces together, as if one was regenerating into the other  … this only made matters worse.     
  • There is a disappointing absence of Doctor Who novels on Bowie's list. Would anyone notice if I snuck one on there? 
  • The text is set in Bernard. What a wonderful name for a typeface. Bernard. Bernard. Bernard

The Day of the Locust

I wondered how far into my this project I'd get before I found an excuse to do a sideways cover and … well here we are, number two, Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust. It just works better for this idea, aimed somewhere in the middle ground between hand-painted 1930s title cards (thank you Art of the Title for inspiration) and Ed Ruscha. I think. I'll probably change my mind by teatime.

Interesting to see a Ballard quote on the cover – if there was one author I could've sworn would be on Bowie's list, it was Ballard. But he's a no-show. Odd. 

Inferno

So here we are, the first of one hundred covers for the Bowie Book Club. I have no idea where this project is going to take me or what I'm going to learn on the way … so perhaps Dante's Inferno is as apt a starting point as any. 

Most of this idea was rescued from a rejected design I worked on earlier this year – one of those simple concepts that has hung around on my desktop, looking for a home. Also at the back of my mind was a magazine article I wrote recently, looking at thematic links between Inferno, Frozen and The Thing. For some reason, there's a lot of Dante in my work at the moment.

Probably best not to ponder that one too much.

Bowie

In 2013, as part of their ongoing David Bowie Is tour, the V&A published a list of 100 books selected from the David Bowie Archive. It's not exactly a list of Bowie's favourites, more a cross-section of his reading habits. Think of it as a bibliographic genome, full of the themes, obsessions and influences that found their way into his music. It's really rather fascinating. And it's given me an idea.

I will design a cover for every single book on the list. 

Yes, okay, this is a silly idea. Preposterous. At some point it will hit me quite how preposterous. But right now, it feels like the very best idea that anyone has ever had. You can't beat a good side project to keep the creative cogs oiled, and right now, I reckon tackling this list is a great opportunity to challenge myself with titles that wouldn't normally cross my desk (there's so much fiction, I may cry). Hopefully this challenge will help me to develop new skills and methods and ideas and suchlike. Plus, in a weird, roundabout kind of way, it's a nice way to celebrate Bowie, to whom I owe so much.

So this is it, the beginning of a new, overwhelming project. To prevent it/me from going completely off the rails, I've set myself a few ground rules:

  • The covers should be commercial and contemporary. This isn't about making faux-battered pastiches of old Pelicans. They should look like editions that will go on sale tomorrow.
  • There is no order. I'll pick and choose whatever I fancy working on next.
  • I'll try to keep the nudge-nudge references to Bowie to a minimum. It's inspired by his list, it isn't directly about him. Sneaking in hidden lightning bolts and mis-matched eyes will become very tiresome very quickly. 
  • I'll try to retain any quotes and additional cover information from the most recent editions. No Richard and Judy stickers though.
  • It doesn't matter how long this thing takes. The vagaries of work and parenting will immediately put a halt to any notions of it being a one-a-day kind of thing.

Now all I have to do is decide which title to start with. Here's the full list, courtesy of davidbowie.com:

Interviews With Francis Bacon
by David Sylvester

Billy Liar 
by Keith Waterhouse

Room At The Top
by John Braine

On Having No Head
by Douglass Harding

Kafka Was The Rage
by Anatole Broyard

A Clockwork Orange 
by Anthony Burgess

City Of Night
by John Rechy

The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz

Madame Bovary
by Gustave Flaubert

Iliad
by Homer

As I Lay Dying
by William Faulkner

Tadanori Yokoo
by Tadanori Yokoo

Berlin Alexanderplatz
by Alfred Döblin

Inside The Whale And Other Essays
by George Orwell

Mr. Norris Changes Trains
by Christopher Isherwood

Halls Dictionary Of Subjects And Symbols In Art
by James A. Hall

David Bomberg
by Richard Cork

Blast
by Wyndham Lewis

Passing
by Nella Larson

Beyond The Brillo Box
by Arthur C. Danto

The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind
by Julian Jaynes

In Bluebeard’s Castle
by George Steiner

Hawksmoor
by Peter Ackroyd

The Divided Self
by R. D. Laing

The Stranger
by Albert Camus

Infants Of The Spring
by Wallace Thurman

The Quest For Christa T
by Christa Wolf

The Songlines
by Bruce Chatwin

Nights At The Circus
by Angela Carter

The Master And Margarita
by Mikhail Bulgakov

The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie
by Muriel Spark

Lolita
by Vladimir Nabokov

Herzog
by Saul Bellow

Puckoon
by Spike Milligan

Black Boy
by Richard Wright

The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea
by Yukio Mishima

Darkness At Noon
by Arthur Koestler

The Waste Land
by T.S. Elliot

McTeague
by Frank Norris

Money
by Martin Amis

The Outsider
by Colin Wilson

Strange People
by Frank Edwards

English Journey
by J.B. Priestley

A Confederacy Of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole

The Day Of The Locust
by Nathanael West

1984
by George Orwell

The Life And Times Of Little Richard
by Charles White

Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock
by Nik Cohn

Mystery Train
by Greil Marcus

Beano (comic, ’50s)

Raw (comic, ’80s)

White Noise
by Don DeLillo

Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm And Blues And The Southern Dream Of Freedom
by Peter Guralnick

Silence: Lectures And Writing
by John Cage

Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews
edited by Malcolm Cowley

The Sound Of The City: The Rise Of Rock And Roll
by Charlie Gillete

Octobriana And The Russian Underground
by Peter Sadecky

The Street
by Ann Petry

Wonder Boys
by Michael Chabon

Last Exit To Brooklyn
by Hubert Selby, Jr.

A People’s History Of The United States
by Howard Zinn

The Age Of American Unreason
by Susan Jacoby

Metropolitan Life
by Fran Lebowitz

The Coast Of Utopia
by Tom Stoppard

The Bridge
by Hart Crane

All The Emperor’s Horses
by David Kidd

Fingersmith
by Sarah Waters

Earthly Powers
by Anthony Burgess

The 42nd Parallel
by John Dos Passos

Tales Of Beatnik Glory
by Ed Saunders

The Bird Artist
by Howard Norman

Nowhere To Run The Story Of Soul Music
by Gerri Hirshey

Before The Deluge
by Otto Friedrich

Sexual Personae: Art And Decadence From Nefertiti To Emily Dickinson
by Camille Paglia

The American Way Of Death
by Jessica Mitford

In Cold Blood
by Truman Capote

Lady Chatterly’s Lover
by D.H. Lawrence

Teenage
by Jon Savage

Vile Bodies
by Evelyn Waugh

The Hidden Persuaders
by Vance Packard

The Fire Next Time
by James Baldwin

Viz (comic, early ’80s)

Private Eye (satirical magazine, ’60s – ’80s)

Selected Poems
by Frank O’Hara

The Trial Of Henry Kissinger
by Christopher Hitchens

Flaubert’s Parrot
by Julian Barnes

Maldodor
by Comte de Lautréamont

On The Road
by Jack Kerouac

Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder 
by Lawrence Weschler

Zanoni
by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Transcendental Magic, Its Doctine and Ritual
by Eliphas Lévi

The Gnostic Gospels
by Elaine Pagels

The Leopard
by Giusseppe Di Lampedusa

Inferno
by Dante Alighieri

A Grave For A Dolphin
by Alberto Denti di Pirajno

The Insult
by Rupert Thomson

In Between The Sheets
by Ian McEwan

A People’s Tragedy
by Orlando Figes

Journey Into The Whirlwind
by Eugenia Ginzburg

Mike Mignola’s Heart of Darkness

What is it about Mike Mignola’s black? It seems blacker than other blacks. Deeper, darker, inkier. It drags you into a version of the world in which shadow is the natural state of things; light is merely something that happens in the in-between.

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Holiday

This is incredible. Myself and the wife and the boy have managed to juggle schedules in such a way that we now have a week off. I'm not entirely sure how we did this. Sorcery may have been involved, souls bartered, something dark and unnatural that will one day tear us asunder. But hey, a week off is a week off. And it's not just a regular week off, watching Columbo and painting our toenails – we're going on holiday. I've heard whispers from other freelancers that such a thing is possible, but always assumed it was an urban legend or perhaps a meme I didn't understand. Yet here I am with my lovely family, on a train bound for Keswick and peaceful lakeside frolics. Not travelling with us today: the computer, the inbox, the admin, the reading, the writing, the tweets, the pins, the job. For the next seven days, I am not a designer. 

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Virgina Woolf on the cultivation of taste

I have to admit that so far, my life has been absent of Virginia Woolf (unless you include that film with Nicole Kidman's nose), but this passage from the London Library's On Reading, Writing and Living with Books really grabbed my attention:  

It would be foolish … to pretend that the second part of reading, to judge, to compare, is as simple as the first — to open the mind wide to the fast flocking of innumerable impressions. To continue reading without the book before you, to hold one shadow-shape against another, to have read widely enough and with enough understanding to make such comparisons alive and illuminating — that is difficult; it is still more difficult to press further and to say, ‘Not only is the book of this sort, but it is of this value; here it fails; here it succeeds; this is bad; that is good.’ To carry out this part of a reader’s duty needs such imagination, insight, and learning that it is hard to conceive any one mind sufficiently endowed; impossible for the most self-confident to find more than the seeds of such powers in himself. Would it not be wiser, then, to remit this part of reading and to allow the critics, the gowned and furred authorities of the library, to decide the question of the book’s absolute value for us? Yet how impossible! We may stress the value of sympathy; we may try to sink our won identity as we read. But we know that we cannot sympathize wholly or immerse ourselves wholly; there is always a demon in us who whispers, ‘I hate, I love,’ and we cannot silence him. Indeed, it is precisely because we hate and we love that our relation with the poets and novelists is so intimate that we find the presence of another person intolerable. And even if the results are abhorrent and our judgments are wrong, still our taste, the nerve of sensation that sends shocks through us, is our chief illuminant; we learn through feeling; we cannot suppress our own idiosyncrasy without impoverishing it. But as time goes on perhaps we can train our taste; perhaps we can make it submit to some control. When it has fed greedily and lavishly upon books of all sorts — poetry, fiction, history, biography — and has stopped reading and looked for long spaces upon the variety, the incongruity of the living world, we shall find that it is changing a little; it is not so greedy, it is more reflective.

It may have been written 90-odd years ago, but this still seems remarkably pertinent. Everyone is a published critic these days, everyone is screaming their taste at everyone else. Culture is just one great big scream. 

Kubrick on Disney

Nick Wrigley recently compiled a master list of Stanley Kubrick's favourite films, stitching together remnants of interviews and articles from his career. Some are rather tenuous, plucked from passing mentions or second-hand anecdotal evidence, but there's enough in there from the man himself to get an idea of how his tastes changed throughout his career.  

One thing that stands out is this extract from a 1968 interview with Charlie Kohler of the East Village Eye, in which Kubrick discusses Disney, violence and censorship:

I saw Mary Poppins three times, because of my children, and I like Julie Andrews so much that I enjoyed seeing it three times. I thought it was a charming film. I wouldn’t want to make it, but … Children’s films are an area that should not just be left to the Disney Studios, who I don’t think really make very good children’s films. I’m talking about his cartoon features, which always seemed to me to have shocking and brutal elements in them that really upset children. I could never understand why they were thought to be so suitable. When Bambi’s mother dies this has got to be one of the most traumatic experiences a five-year-old could encounter. I think that there should be censorship for children on films of violence. I mean, if I didn’t know what Psycho was, and my children went to see it when they were six or seven, thinking they were going to see a mystery story, I would have been very angry, and I think they’d have been terribly upset. I don’t see how this would interfere with freedom of artistic expression. If films are overly violent or shocking, children under twelve should not be allowed to see them. I think that would be a very useful form of censorship.

I wonder what he would've made of modern Disney fare. For example, Tangled and Frozen are both big favourites in our house, but there's no avoiding the fact that they deal with parent mortality and the threat of capital punishment. And there's Finding Nemo, which opens with the slaughter of hundreds of babies – we turned that off pretty quickly. I understand these stories require a sense of peril to push them along, but must there be quite so much death?

If you need to fill your head with more Kubrickly goodness, look no further than Coudal's ever-expanding link-dump.  

Manuals 1

“Anyone who says that a manual is a creative straitjacket is a moron. Without a manual you will end up speaking a dialect. A good manual allows you to speak a language.”

Design legend Massimo Vignelli doesn't beat around the bush in his introduction to Manuals 1, Unit Edition's study of corporate identity design manuals from the 60s, 70s and 80s. The book – currently being republished via Kickstarter – boasts 21 examples of these printed design-bibles from the pre-digital era; each communicating a common purpose across fields as disparate as international sporting events and space exploration, telecoms and transport. Within them, the lexicons, syntax and grammar of each brand's design.

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