Meanwhile …

Asbury on Asbury. For my latest SuperHi interview, I chatted to writer Nick Asbury about Sideways Dictionary, how to make jargon understandable again, and the value of a good analogy.

— Sneezecount. Peter has been logging his sneezes for ten years. Because … why wouldn't you? Strangely fascinating.

— What is a fantasy map? The new season of Game of Thrones looks like it's going to be particularly cartographic – a good excuse to read this British Library article on the design of fantasy maps. See also: Fantasy City Generator

— Shelf Heroes. Fargo, Fight Club, The French Connection, Fantasia, Festen, First Blood, Frances Ha – the new issue of the fantastic film mag looks fabulous.

— Micro Machines. Designer Tim Smith has created an online museum showcasing his collection of the tiny toy cars. Used to love these (and the Playstation game) so darn much.

— 50 Books | 50 Covers. Design Observer's annual round up of the best book cover designs from the past year. So much fantastic work. Weirdly presented as tiny thumbnails for some reason.

— Loud quiet loud. A group of bored developers and designers compete to design the worst volume control interface in the world. Hilarity, as the universe dictates, ensues.

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

Jaws by Zdenek Ziegler

I've been getting a bit obsessed with film posters recently. Like, more so than usual. I'm fascinated by the overlap of book cover and film poster design conventions, by the shifting purpose and nature of them. This basically involves a lot of pensive beard-stroking while scrolling through Pinterest. Anyway, please excuse me while I stare relentlessly at this Czech poster for Jaws by designer Zdenek Ziegler. It's just so very wonderful. 


"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

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

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.