As an editorial resident here at AIGA, I spend my time nosing around for interesting design-related goings on each week (so you don’t have to). Follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesign, Facebook and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.
A charming if somewhat cryptically named new platform has just launched, A Curate’s Egg, which aims to demystify the design industry by “asking some brilliant people some very basic questions.” The site was founded by strategist and designer Silas Amos and JKR Singapore senior planner Katie Ewer. “The idea is the answers will be plain English gems of wit and wisdom in an industry somewhat over catered for in jargon and clichés,” says Amos. “We hope it will build to education for students, inspiration for us all, and a bit of pay-dirt for fellow strategists digging for gold.” Site design and lovely illustrations, courtesy of artist David Shillinglaw.
“My bugbear is when these things get called ‘side projects’. Why would you call your own creative output a side project?” —Nick Asbury, via A Curate’s Egg
Heralding the reopening of London’s Curious Duke Gallery is Once upon a Tomorrow, a show by collage-crazy artist Steven Quinn. Much like the work of Manchester-based duo DR:ME, Quinn’s images combine the female forms of archive imagery with apocalyptic visions that make for odd and unexpected visual narratives.
Pentagram’s Michel Bierut offers some prescient if rather worrying insights on the Doomsday Clock, “a simple piece of information design that represents a group of scientists and policy experts’ assessment of the existential dangers the world faces.” (via Fast Co.) Apparently we’re very close—the closest we’ve ever been, in fact, to the end of human civilization as we know it. Cheery stuff.
Lovely feature over on Grafik going behind the scenes of east London letterpress studio New North Press. Founder Graham Bignell opened the enterprise back in 1986, and it’s amazing to pore over images of the mechanics of it all. It seems that recent years’ fetishization of all things hand-crafted and “authentic” has been a boon for Bigness. “We’ve taught corporate letterpress workshops for companies like Apple and Random House and done printing demonstrations at the BBC and Museum of London,” he reveals. Long live letterpress!
Don’t know about you, but I’ve been going cockahoop about the return of Trainspotting in the form of T2, the long-awaited sequel to director Danny Boyle’s 1996 adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s painfully, filthily, squalidly brilliant book of the same name. If ever we needed another excuse to gaze at Ewan McGregor at his absolute zenith of beauty (covered in sweat and all vulnerable-looking), Creative Review has kindly revisited a 2011 interview with Stylorouge about the now iconic campaign it created for the original film.
Photography behemoth Format is back next month in northern England’s Derby. This year’s event, organized around the theme of “Habitat,” will show work by more than 200 international artists and photographers alongside a photo book market, portfolio reviews, and a series of events and performances. There’s a sub theme, too: the Anthropocene, “the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment,” which includes the exhibition, Ahead still lies our future, a beautiful yet poignant series of photographs that aim to “encourage the viewer to speculate on imagined futures on a global scale.”
Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but if people tell me they’re into street art I immediately picture an (un)hip dad with a Banksy book on his coffee table. The sort of guy who gets excited about anything described as a “pop up,” voraciously reads Time Out, that kind of thing. But then I realized my smug dismissal was a bit stupid when I was reminded of the cultural importance of early graffiti and how it acted as a rebelliously scrawled mirror to other aspects of cultural and societal change. Looking back over the past 40 years of graffiti writing, Masters of Invention is a new show in what’s possibly one of England’s least edgy counties, Suffolk, at the Lettering Arts Trust. Without a shadow of a doubt, the show’s highlights are 1970’s photos like the one above, showing the artists and work that invented the graffiti phenomenon as we understand it today.