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.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

You must click on this image, which will take you to the artists site. Then, make sure you click on his images, something extraordinary will happen if you do.

" Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month.

This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. Employing themes such as the near versus the far, and the one versus the many, I hope to raise some questions about the roles and responsibilities we each play as individuals in a collective that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming."
~cj, Seattle, 2008
from the department of "Wow, like totally brilliant" are these innovative
prints by Berlin based designer Sarah Illenberger.

She covered some cars with finger-paint (really !) and then made these
huge prints with them, what a fantastic yet simple idea. Low tech for
the win !

Back in the days of yore when a computer’s interface was, well, less than “friendly” and only understood by the most entrenched computer programmers, a young Steve Jobs took a tour of Xerox PARC.

The company was developing a new graphical user interface (GUI) for computers marketed for corporations, but Jobs saw the future: user-friendly, personal computers that used GUI. He quickly licensed the technology so he could create a “democratic” personal computer.

Eventually, a young woman with a Ph.D. in fine arts came along and helped to create the fonts and icons that made people fall in love with the Apple interface.

That woman was Susan Kare. Back in the early 1980s, Kare was a recent graduate of New York University who had just moved to California’s Bay Area. But even securing a job as a curator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the young artist felt like there was more she could be doing.

Specifically, her own art. So, while she was sculpting a steel razorback hog, a friend of hers, Hertzfeld, who was a lead software architect for Macintosh computers, told her that some computer guys were interested in her talent.

Not exactly what she had in mind, but sure. Kare started out designing fonts for the Mac OS, including the first ever proportionally spaced font

Jobs was satisfied with the literary-looking font, and Kare stuck around to start sketching ideas — on graph paper — for the navigational icons that first helped regular people use real, solid and fluent technology. You know the rest of the story .....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Isaac Cruickshank

British Social critic and artist circa 1777
Published by S.W. Fores, 50 Piccadilly corner of Sachville St., London 1799 March 18.

This remarkable hand coloured political cartoon print shows Miss Hibernia seated at right wearing dress decorated with Irish harps; seated around the table are members of John Bull's family, identified as various taxes which are likely to be imposed on the Irish as a result of William Pitt's proposed Irish union.

A grotesque figure seated center and labeled "Isacc Income!!" is taking more than his share "Pr. An." He is admonished by "Abraham Hat Stamp" who says, "Dont be so boiseterous, there is enough for us all" and by Polly Powder Tax, "Really Brother I am quite ashamed of you." John Bull, raising a knife, adds, "Cant you take what comes to your share like the rest of the Family, why you swallow more than all the rest put togeather. Miss Hibernia will be frightened at your prodigious stomach and break off the connection!!" Miss Hibernia states, "Really Mr. Bull ... I fear I must decline all thoughts of the intended Union - your family is so very large...."

To better put this in context - Scot artist Cruickshank was working perilously close to the edge of civil survival. Whilst "the people" loved his work, Royalty, political radicals and those in power did not, and he was often threatened with violence or imprisonment.

He mercilessly skewered the Ruling Class, Napoleon et al. with his direct, scathing, and occasionally wonderful but quite crude illustrations. Those depicting the Royals "en flagrente delicto" were particularly popular for obvious reasons, and he was, along with contemporary Gillray - one of only a few now well known dissident cartoonists. He had an extraordinary wit and a relatively long career, dying at 55 of far too much dancing.
click on the image to enlarge it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sinead O'Connor
Fred Woodward, 1992 Editorial design
Magazine, Type design
Art director: Fred Woodward
Director of photography: Laurie Kratochvil
Photographer: Andrew Macpherson
Publisher: Straight Arrow Publishers
Client: Rolling Stone Magazine

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fontalicious !

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the official end of World War I on that date in 1918; hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice ("at the 11th hour" refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 a.m.)

The day was specifically dedicated by King George V as a day of remembrance of members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I.

It was called, rather optimistically as " the war to end all wars". Ask me about it, my great grandfather told me many stories about it when I was a child, and so it became an object of imagination for me.

The soldiers who went and never came back, or came back and carried the terrible memories for life were called "the lost generation".

Perhaps, more than any other war earlier, largely due to advancements in weapons technologies and the way the war was reported daily to the home front - WW1 poignantly illustrated, the indifferent cruelty and ultimate pointlessness of war.

" I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another. I see that the keenest brains of the world invent weapons and words to make it yet more refined and enduring. And all men of my age, here and over there, throughout the whole world see these things; all my generation is experiencing these things with me. What would our fathers do if we suddenly stood up and came before them and proffered our account? What do they expect of us if a time ever comes when the war is over? Through the years our business has been killing; -- it was our first calling in life. Our knowledge of life is limited to death. What will happen afterwards? And what shall come out of us? "

(Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front, 1929)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On June 10th, 1947, SAAB showed the world the prototype, but the first run of 20 cars did not leave the Trollhättan factory until Summer 1949 and full scale production wasn't until December of that year.

The car was available in only one color - green !

Directional arrows standard, lights optional!

The 92 had a two cylinder, two stroke, 764 cm3, 25/28 hp engine based on a DKW design.

The aerodynamic shape gave the car a drag coefficient of 0.35. One odd thing was the absence of a boot lid. Access to the luggage compartment (which also contained the battery) was via the back seat. An improved model, the 92B was introduced in Autumn 1952. This is what I want for Christmas, so start saving now !

Vienna at the turn of the 20th century witnessed a great surge
in scientific and artistic innovation, just a few years shy of the
collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Art Nouveau was prevalent throughout European art and
design and took a particularly strong hold in Germany,
where it was known as Jugendstil (youth-style). The
ubiquitous movement was epitomized at Munich, but took
on a unique form in Austria. The Union of Austrian Artists
was founded by the painter Gustav Klimt out of the coffeehouse
bohemian culture of Vienna and spurred by rebellion against
what was called “historicism”: the proclivity of the Vienna
Künstlerhaus towards conservative, classical forms.

Klimt and his followers considered the prevailing art of their
contemporaries as grievously out-dated, and unfit for
the changing social needs of a new machine age.

Monday, November 07, 2011

way too cool for school,

From the department of - " See Nothing Ever Really Changes" ... these shoes which were a huge hit at this seasons fashion week in Milan and NYC, are identical to shoes which I used to "sell" out of the back door of my very first real job at Crocket and Jones Shoes for the then princely sum of 4 Guineas - hundreds of years ago. What's next, bellbottoms ? you just watch, me boyo ...

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Alexey Brodovitch was a photographer, designer and teacher. However, he was most famous for his art direction, primarily for the magazine Harper's Bazaar, in which he re-invented magazine layout & page design. He spent his early life in and out of the military before spending time in Paris, which is where he began his career in the graphic arts. His first major success came after winning a poster competition for a local theater, the 2nd place poster was created by a short, little known Spanish guy named Picasso.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A recent image (large poster) by former student Mohamed Thiam.
Mo's doing graduate studies in design at the Cranbrook Institute

William Morris
was born in Walthamstow, Essex, on 24 March 1834. The son of a wealthy businessman, he enjoyed a comfortable childhood before going to Marlborough and Exeter College, Oxford.

He originally intended to take holy orders, but his reading of the social criticism of Carlyle, Kingsley and Ruskin led him to reconsider the Church and devote his life to art.

After leaving Oxford, Morris was briefly articled to G. E. Street, the Gothic Revival architect, but he soon left, having determined to become a painter. His admiration for the Pre-Raphaelites led him to be introduced to Dante Gabriel Rossetti whose influence can be seen on Morris's only surviving painting La Belle Iseult.

Arts and Crafts Movement

In the 1860s Morris decided that his creative future lay in the field of the decorative arts. His career as a designer began when he decorated the Red House, Bexleyheath, which had been built for him by Philip Webb.

The success of this venture led to the formation of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. in 1861. The 'Firm' (later renamed Morris & Co) was particularly well-known for its stained glass, examples of which can be seen in churches throughout Britain. Morris produced some 150 designs which are often characterised by their delightful foliage patterns.

Among his many other works were Icelandic and classical translations, Sigurd the Volsung, The Pilgrims of Hope, and a series of prose romances which included A Dream of John Ball, News from Nowhere, and The Well at the World's End.


Morris entered national politics in 1876 as treasurer of the Eastern Question Association. This was a post he was to occupy in two further radical organisations: the National Liberal League and the Radical Union.

He soon became disillusioned with the Liberals and in 1883 joined the socialist Democratic Federation. After disagreements with the Federation's leader, H. M. Hyndman, he formed the Socialist League, and later the Hammersmith Socialist Society.

During the 1880s he was probably the most active propagandist for the socialist cause, giving hundreds of lectures and speeches throughout the country.

The Kelmscott Press

In 1890 Morris founded the Kelmscott Press in premises near his last home at Kelmscott House in Hammersmith (now the headquarters of the William Morris Society). Morris designed three typefaces for the Press: Golden, Chaucer, and Troy. These were inspired respectively by fifteenth-century Italian and German typography. In all, sixty-six volumes were printed by the Kelmscott Press, the most impressive of which was its magnificent edition of Chaucer which was published in 1896. Morris died at Kelmscott House on 3 October 1896.

Classic "moderne" watch design, the first - circa 1910, the other a WW2 pilots watch, circa 1938. Notice if you will in the first, the round robust case and bezel and as well, the wonderful over sized winder, the Art Nouveau numbers, and in the second, the groovy glow in the dark Radium all black face dial.

In such an interesting way, the stylistic differences immediately obvious between the two watches, echos the similar distinctions found between the two so very different worlds of pre & post war Europe itself.

The former was enthusiastically decorative, rather benign and likely hand made, the latter watch - simple, formal and much more utilitarian, and mass produced. just like Lady Gaga