Afraid

First edition of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 1962. No idea who designed this cover, but it's quite, quite perfect.

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Sit down

"I always wanted to give a lecture at film schools. You go in and you see all these fresh faces, and you say: 'You! Stand up, tell me your story. Tell me what your film is going to be about.’ And they start, and you go: 'Shut up and sit the f–down!' And if they do, you go: ‘You’re not ready.’ Because the film business is filled with Shut-up and sit-the-fuck-down. You got to be able to tell your story in spite of sit-down and shut-the-fuck-up. If you are going to let something like that derail you, what hope do you have against transportation department? What hope do you have against f–ing development executives?"

David Fincher, David Fincher: Interviews

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Ware/Kidd

I love this 1994 Art Director's Club invitation, designed by Chris Ware (and found in Chip Kidd's excellent monograph Book One). From now on, my main  – heck, my only – objective for any book cover design is that it "snaps the crackers". 

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

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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.

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.

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Boba Fett Pantone

Flicking through the enormous and fantastic The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, I stumbled upon this little curio: Pantone references for Boba Fett's costume, provided by ILM for the licensing branch of Lucasfilm. Presumably similar guidelines were drawn up for other characters. What specific shade is Yoda? What are the colour refs for all of the lightsabers? Is the dark side coated or uncoated?

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