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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

vintage book cover patterns - circa 1925 to the early1950's, reminiscent 
of the art work found on very early cool jazz records, and later mid-century upholstery, from the department of - see ...  everything is in style more than once ....

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A rare, authentic collection of 282 Vietnam era Zippo lighters went on the auction block last June 21st at Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati. The collection belongs to artist Bradford Edwards, whose collection was showcased in the book Vietnam Zippos: American Soldiers’ Engravings and Stories 1965-1973 (Sherry Buchanan, University of Chicago Press, 2010). Some of you hipsters may remember the collection, which received media attention by the New York Times, NPR, and others. The lighter collection had a starting price of $30,000 to $50,000 and was included in the book. Considering the years of search Mr. Bradford spent in Vietnam sourcing and assembling the collection, the starting price seems realistic.

Most Americans remember the Zippo, with its cool flip-top lid and unmistakable clicking sound, as the device used in the 1950s and 1960s by gentlemen to light a woman’s cigarette. Don Draper or James Bond would do it best. Two quick moves — flip, click. Smooth as silk.

The mechanics of a Zippo lighter has remained basically unchanged since it was first introduced in 1933. Just this month, Zippo celebrated the production of its 500 millionth Zippo lighter with an engraved and numbered edition of 10,000 lighters at $45 a pop. 

It’s the stainless steel case that users like to modify and personalize. In World War II, the Zippo was the soldier’s friend, providing dependability for fire whether lighting a cigarette or explosives. 

During the Vietnam War, the Zippo served the same utilitarian purpose, but was often personalized for soldiers by local street vendors in villages. GI’s could choose from any number of preset graphics and words, or they could design or write their own:

A common quote that resonated with soldiers and found on many Zippos spoke to complete disillusionment:

And then, there was the sentimental, loving message:


The engraved samples in Edward’s collection speak to patriotism, to hopelessness, to anger, and often to romantic longing for the girl back home. In a war where most soldiers served not by choice but by draft, these engraved lighters have a patina and voice that echoes still. According to Edwards, this is the reason he collected the lighters in the first place. 

If you are interested in the final auction price for this collection, check the hammer price at Cowan’s here VietNam Zippos
VietNam ZipposVietNam Zippos
VietNam ZipposVietNam Zippos
VietNam ZipposVietNam Zippos

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jason D'Aquino is a miniaturist. He creates his artwork on an incredibly small scale, many works not exceeding one inch-by-one inch in dimension.

D'Aquino chooses to work on found surfaces such as strike-on-front matchbooks, 18th century animal-skin vellum, and antique ledger pages. His search for these found "canvases" has led him to strange corners of the world and to some unique treasures. He recently unearthed a hand-quilled, illustrated whaling manuscript from St. Petersburg Russia, which made its way to Christies Auction House in New York City.

Jason's influences include H.P. Lovecraft, Henry Darger and Hans Bellmer. His drawings, often political in nature, have graced the pages of the New York Times, Juxtapoz, I.T.A., Rue Morgue, Hi-Fructose and Inked Magazine. His original works can be purchased at Art Basel and other international art festivals.

Matchbook Art
here's a recent picture of our class president

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Eye Creature from Invisible Creature on Vimeo.

from the department of stuff which was once just plain stuff, but has somehow become      
transformed into the capriciously kool - keep a wary eye out for it kids ... as this cool stuff 
reclines in basements and uncle's garages, as if innocent, innocuously hiding amongst the 
ordinary, obscured and hidden in the sameness of things, wary, it's just counting the days ..... 
waiting for just the right moment - when a hipsterdeep in an aria of self delusion, 
convince themselves, that the thing as been discovered by them, when in fact, the object 
has actually lain in wait like a predator, waiting for the hipsters gaze to set up on it .......  
eureka !

Friday, February 08, 2013

Portrait of Madame X

Portrait of Madame X is the informal title of a portrait painting by John Singer Sargent of a young socialite named Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau, wife of Pierre Gautreau. The model was an American expatriate who married a French banker, and became notorious in Parisian high society for her beauty and rumoured infidelities. She wore lavender powder and prided herself on her appearance. Madame X was painted not as a commission, but at the request of Sargent.

It is a study in opposition. 

Sargent shows a woman posing in a black satin dress with jeweled straps, a dress that reveals and hides at the same time. The portrait is characterized by the pale flesh tone of the subject contrasted against a dark coloured dress and background.

For Sargent, the scandal resulting from the painting's controversial reception at the Paris Salon of 1884 amounted to the failure of a strategy to build a long-term career as a portrait painter in France, though it may have helped him establish a successful career in Britain and America.

Renowned for her beauty, Gautreau represented the parisienne, a new type of Frenchwoman recognized for her sophistication. The English-language term "professional beauty", referring to a woman who uses personal skills to advance to elite status, was also used to describe her. Her unconventional beauty made her an object of fascination for artists; the American painter Edward Simmons claimed that he "could not stop stalking her as one does a deer." Sargent was also impressed, and anticipated that a portrait of Gautreau would garner much attention at the upcoming Paris Salon, and increase interest in portrait commissions. He wrote to a friend:

"I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. If you are 'bien avec elle' and will see her in Paris, you might tell her I am a man of prodigious talent."

Although she had refused numerous similar requests from artists, Gautreau accepted Sargent's offer in February 1883. Sargent was an expatriate like Gautreau, and their collaboration has been interpreted as motivated by a shared desire to attain high status in French society.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Design one, please peruse the I LoveTypography web site. During the next couple of weeks we will be discussing type, its history, design and contemporary uses. It may seem to you to be a relatively small part of design, but it is an essential aspect - as much as colour, line or concept is. Many interesting designs have failed due to the designers lack of type awareness. So check the site out, especially the popular and recent articles sections found on the right side of the page, and please read sections 1 to 4 of "History of Typography", it's a great site. the word typography is linked

tragically apt

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.

click on this link, watch the little movie, or I'll smack you and then take your phone...... thanx to NOX

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Tour de france. 22 Teams, each with 9 riders. Each rider gets a free helmet, free glasses, jerseys, bibs, socks, shoes and rides on a free bike with a frame, saddle, pedals, wheels and tubes, all of which is provided by sponsors. Each sponsor is hoping to get as much media attention as possible during the Tour de France, which is broadcasted in over 190 countries.

Each sponsor is represented by a logo, which appears on the riders’ jerseys and bicycles. The size of the logo depends on the amount of money provided by the sponsor.

Most of the teams during the Tour de France are UCI World Tour teams, which means they’re competing in de most important races on earth. Some of the major sponsors provide millions of Dollars and Euros. Do high budgets result in good design?

Some team jerseys are a mess, they’re just plastered with logos. Other teams, like AG2R La Mondiale, Garmin-Cervélo and Leopard Trek, managed to find a design agency that created a consistent corporate identity for the team.

We’ve seen high quality design in the Tour de France before, but only sporadically. I don’t know if it’s a trend, but graphic design appears to play a more important role than ever before. Last year’s peloton was possibly the best designed of all time.