As an editorial resident here at AIGA, I spend heaps of time on the internet scouring social media and websites for the choicest design news. You’re too busy with your life to do this each week, so I’ve brought all my findings here—consider it my weekly gift to you (you’re welcome). Follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesign, Facebook and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.
If you were passing through Las Vegas in October 2016, you’d have found us loitering around a giant conference room on the ground floor of The Mirage, hawking the very finest independent magazines to an unsuspecting public. To do that we teamed up with London-based mag specialist magCulture, which has just launched a brand new service to get magazines out to a whole different audience. The magCulture boxset is a quarterly selection of five magazines sent out to businesses with the intention of having them share them with customers. magCulture founder Jeremy Leslie and his team have been helping brands and businesses source magazines for their offices and stores for ages, so the logical next step was to formalize that a little more.
magCulture says: “Whether you’re running a coffee shop, a hair salon or a design studio, your customers, clients, and/or colleagues will appreciate the care you’ve taken in providing a selection of good-looking, informative and inspiring magazines. Demonstrate your creative creds with the printed company you keep.”
We say:“If you’re a business based in the UK, U.S., or Europe, why haven’t you signed up yet?”
At this point in my career I’ve more or less accepted that a daily dose of human flesh is par for the course if you spend time working online. You can’t move on social media for the proliferation of toned legs, bums, tums, and basically everything else that our sharing culture encourages. It barely registers anymore. Which is why I’m so excited to visit Flesh, an exhibition at York Art Gallery (in the UK sadly) that explores artistic representations of human tissue—bare, meaty, alluring, repellant, and in all cases visceral—taking viewers back to a time when exposed skin still carried a potency that has since been eradicated.
Coffee is a billion dollar industry in the U.S., and pretty much every other nation in the western world. Unless we’re consuming it at home, that means billions of disposable cups being thrown away every year: in the UK, 7 million are thrown away every day. So what are we going to do about it? In a feature this week on Creative Review, Sophie Thomas argues that design needs to play a large part in finding the solution—not least because the design industry is drinking so much of the black stuff. Could it be that luxury print materials form part of the answer? I’m going to keep that question rhetorical. Read the article.
I’d be lying if I told you that I don’t lust after print products on an almost daily basis. One of the great perks of this job is that publishers send me free comics, books, posters, and all manner of other printed ephemera each week, but a terrifying amount of my own money is also used to acquire that which I can’t hustle for free. My next extravagant print purchase (and perhaps you’d like to join me on this) is Edwin Abbott’s Flatland, as reimagined by Chris Lauritzen’s Epilogue Press. The novella explores notions of alternate realities from a mathematical and moralistic standpoint, offset beautifully by Epilogue Press’ precise digital design and illustrations. To read an in-depth review of the volume, head over to Eye, or just cut out the middle-man and buy it here, now.
I like Iceland a lot. There’s masses of wide open wilderness, fleeting amounts of sunlight for 50% of the year, and in recent years Reykjavik has turned itself into a hub of cosmopolitan cool—at least that’s what the travel agents are telling us. Personally, I just think the people are just the right balance of awkward and friendly. I’m also pretty partial to the design community there, which is much more sprawling and diverse than you’d imagine possible on such a small mass of land.
The proof? Design March is a pretty good place to start—an annual event that sees Reykjavik transformed into a bustling creative hub, packed full of graphic designers, architects, product and furniture designers, artists, and makers. As with all of these global design festivals the emphasis tends to be on product over and above the graphic arts, but what graphic design there is always surpasses expectation. Worth checking out.
If you weren’t already aware, Britain’s NHS is currently being torn limb from limb and quietly sold off for private gains. If you grew up in the UK, this runs pretty counter to the fundamental values held by our nation. So it’s a little galling to discover that in the midst of all this overt skulduggery, the public body has taken the liberty of indulging in a rebrand, drawing up brand new identity guidelines. More or less all rebrands encourage tirades of criticism from the general public and design community at large, but in this instance I’d be up for hearing more outrage. Sometimes it just isn’t the right time for design.
And in more distressing news, Bob Mankoff is to step down as cartoon editor of The New Yorker, following a 20 year tenure that’s seen him establish one of the most relentlessly hilarious stables of cartoonists working today. Is there no justice left in the world? Mankoff will be replaced by current staffer Emma Allen, and thought we’re sad to see him go, we’re secretly very excited to see what she will bring to the role.
Speaking of The New Yorker, did you know that Jack White, of White Stripes fame, was a trained upholsterer? You do now, thanks to, er, The New Yorker.
That’s all folks!