Paul Rand is a little gap on my bookshelf. Princeton Architectural Press’ recent reprint of his 1985 monograph A Designer's Art (complete with obligatory afterword by Steven Heller) pretty much lives on my desk these days. Over 27 essays, he discusses a wide range of subjects still pertinent to design today, 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. One gripe: given Rand’s distinctive use of colour, it’s a shame that some of the images are black and white. Still, it's a stunning collection and offers a valuable education from one of design's greatest teachers; open it on any page and there's something that will spark inspiration. An essential read for designers, artists and everything in-between.
Ed Ruscha with six of his books on his head. Photograph by Jerry McMillan, 1970. I would love a copy of every one of those, but mostly I want that shirt because hot damn.
I was going to do a post about the work of legendary photographer Terry O’Neill, but whilst perusing his work on Artsy, it soon became apparent that there was simply too much amazingness to choose from. So instead, here's a more contained collection: his 1970s James Bond set photographs, caputing Connery, Lazenby and Moore at their Bondiest (plus a bit of bonus Blackman). For more of this sort of thing, check out O’Neill's book, All About Bond.
It was announced today that Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) has signed up to direct the new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction epic Dune. As good excuse as any to revisit the incredible concept art for Alejandro Jodorowsky's aborted 1970s version, by the likes of Jean “Moebius” Giraud, HR “NSFW” Giger and Chris “say, what do you reckon Rod Stewart would look like if he was a spaceship?” Foss. It's a shame none of this made its way onto the big screen (aside from Giger’s design for Harkonnen Castle, which appeared in Prometheus for some reason), so it'll be interesting to see if Villeneuve draws upon any of it for his new version, of if a similarly strong pedigree of contemporary concept artists can be corralled.
Virgin Records celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2013. Photographer and designer Brian Cooke was there at the very beginning, shooting everyone from Mike Oldfield to the Sex Pistols. I met him in his York studio to discuss his work for the label, and his part in the origins of that iconic logo.Read More