this is a private blog for my design students and assorted other survivors. Tro blemakers all
this is a private blog for my design students and assorted other survivors. Tro blemakers all.
this is a private blog for my design students and assorted other survivors. Tro blemakers all.
this is a private blog for my design students and assorted other survivors. Tro blemakers all.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A is for Aardvark, obscure from the start ....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

East London designers
Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby will design the London
2012 Olympic Torch, it has been announced.

The studio will also
create the celebration cauldrons to be used when the Torch Relay stops for lunchtime and evening celebrations. The Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK from Greece on Friday 18 May, 2012. ( today ! )

It's definitely from the department of - " hmmn.., that's never occurred to me".

Someone does after all - have to design the Olympic torch, and it's a huge honor and a harrowing responsibility both. Imagine if your design fails mid - relay or at the cauldron during the opening ceremonies ....

What are the principal concerns ? Functionality, aesthetics, politics ? Can the torch reflect it's time and place stylistically, or does it merely perform as propaganda ? A subtle yet powerful visual extension of the host state ? Can it faithfully articulate the vaunted Olympic values or the more earthly politics of the hosts ?

Shouldn't it as an Olympic symbol, be above the often crude insinuations of national vanity ? It's a seemingly labyrinthine brief, one that promises to extend well beyond the dictum - of form following function.

Read the fascinating, interactive
BBC article

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

grazie al mio buon amico Mohammed

The Lost Type Co-Op is a Pay-What-You-Want Type foundry, founded by Riley Cran and Tyler Galpin.

What originally was meant to be a 24-hour adventure to distribute a single typeface, has blossomed into a full-fledged foundry, distributing fonts from designers all over the world. Users have the opportunity to pay whatever they like for a font, you can even type in ‘$0′ for a free download.

found bottle on wooden stand containing instructions on how to build a ship in a bottle

Il mio cari studenti , hanno una grande vacanza e
ricordare per giocare bello!

Here's another installment in the "See, nothing ever really changes"

Once upon a time in Venice, we chanced upon a traditional typographer in the center of Arezzo. At 76 years old he’s been working in this same place for the past
60 years. The shop has been functioning since 1900 and much of the
original equipment and type remain there.

The poster was for a current exhibit, using old type forms and technology
that still can totally do it ! If you can identify the typeface and type style
you'll win a new Dodge Charger ! ( I don't really know what that is, nor
will you win one, whatever it may be, I think its a car...)

for ten extra points can you guess who's the cat in the hat ?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's genius, Martha Graham's 117th birthday. Graham worked as an American dancer and choreographer from the 1920s up until her passing in 1991.

I suspect that she did for dance, what Matisse did for painting - as her ideas went about re-defining the form, and certainly as a result, she redirected its trajectory - away from the staid, classical cannon, common to dance at the time, towards a much more modern, immediate and and occasionaly improvised expression of movement and space.

But, ... I don't really know - what I actually know about dance - you could easily fit in the outside ring of an atom. But when I look at her work, that's been my impression.

I wonder therefore, if Ms. Graham endured the same opprobrium that Henri Matisse did ?

Matisse was
pilloried as crude, his Fauvist interpretations were not at all universally popular during his lifetime and he endured the vigorous and often unfair criticism of his contemporaries. Doesn't the photograph of Graham's dancers remind you of Matisse's drawing?

I wonder if she drew inspiration from his work ?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Monday, May 02, 2011

the reason I've included this poem, which may seem totally out of context for this blog - was that I recently dreamt about a wonderful bronze statue of the author and poet John Betjeman - which was or is, in ( I think ) the Saint Pancras Train station in London.

It's a life size bronze full body portrait of the Poet, social critic, activist and art historian.

He's looking up at the sky, as if looking at a cloud, or a plane, or something off far in the distance thats caught his eye... in a kind of quizzical and relaxed manner he peers.

I remember walking by the statue in a hurry, but drawing up short and being immediately, deeply struck by the beauty of the sculpture and by the extraordinary brilliance of the sculptor. It was actually breathtaking.

He'd caught a single moment so eloquently, a man innocent and unawares, as if real, a small, normally private, incidental fragment of a life.

It was really, truly beautiful, and to my jaded, ubercooly cynical hipster mind, it was a real good lesson in just shutting up and having a look.

And so it thus occurred to me, rather sadly I must admit, that you guys would probably never ever read his poems unless forced to by a berating Englishman. That the wonderful ironic wit and genuine sadness of his words would never be noticed by you, in just the same way, that the beautiful statue had gone unnoticed by me. So I'm trying to set that right. Read it. Think of it as a coin you've found in your pocket.

It's meant to be both ironic and true at the same time, an exercise in contradiction, one rarely appreciated or even seemingly allowed these days. enjoy

Slough - by John Betjeman (1906 - 1984)

"Slough", as in now, is a ten-stanza poem by Sir John Betjeman, first published in the 1937 collection Continual Dew. It was written in protest against 850 factories that were to be built in the English town of Slough. The poem caused an uproar when first published. Slough was becoming increasingly industrial and housing conditions were truly terrible. In willing the destruction of Slough, Betjeman urges the bombs to pick out the vulgar profiteers but to spare the bald young clerks.


Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town-
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown
For twenty years.

And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women's tears:

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It's not their fault that they are mad,
They've tasted Hell.

It's not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It's not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sport and makes of cars
In various bogus-Tudor bars
And daren't look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.

In My Heart is an Idiot, filmmaker David Meiklejohn --of Portland, Maine!--follows FOUND magazine's Davy Rothbart on a North American promotional tour. Along the way, Rothbart seeks advice on his love life from various celebrities (including Zooey Deschanel and Ira Glass). I definitely recommend that you check it out!