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 superb raft of design talents have pooled their efforts into a suicide prevention fundraiser zine project, making this an all around very worthwhile use of everyone’s time. One One Nine was originally founded by New York-based graphic designer and creative director Justin Thomas Kay and Steve Green, and was published between 2005 and 2007 to raise funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He’s now resurrected it and drafted in the likes of HORT, Grotesk, Michael Cina, Braulio Amado, Chuck Anderson/NoPattern, Justin Fines/DEMO, Steven Harrington, and many more to help. Kay describes it as a “collection of different artists interpreting the theme ‘children of the grave’—a Black Sabbath reference that has some brevity to it with the current American political climate as well as the foundation we are donating towards.”
Ever wanted to get in on some protest action but hesitated about your banner-making skills? Well procrastinate no more, activism dabblers! London’s Imperial War Museum (IWM) is now stocking the Protest Stencil Toolkit, designed by British artist Patrick Thomas. The set, yours for only £17.95 (about $22!), has been created to coincide with IWM’s new People Power: Fighting for Peace exhibition, commemorating a century’s worth of activism. “Channel the impact of previous protests for the ultimate impact today,” they implore.
Great news, UFOlogists! There’s now a hassle-free way to contact extraterrestrials. The Partners has just created the branding for METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), “an interstellar organization dedicated to conducting scientific research into messaging extraterrestrial intelligence.” The agency was brought in to “develop a visual identity that would help establish METI in the sector, raise awareness of the organization’s work, and rally its audiences,” and created a system “inspired by the Arecibo message, the 1974 interstellar radio communication broadcast into space. Constructed using binary code to represent scientific and mathematical data, as well as simple graphic pictograms about life on Earth, the message was mankind’s first greeting to the universe.” We’re not quite sure if we’re being had or not, but there we go.
It’s a bit of a way off yet, but we love her so we’re already excited: artist Jenny Holzer is taking on the mighty Blenheim Palace this autumn. From September 28, 2017 until the end of the year, the American artist’s work will fill the Palace’s 18th century interiors and grounds. The all new site-specific work will be “directly addressing the Palace’s military and political history in relation to themes which have figured prominently in her practice since the 1980s: power, conflict, and activism,” we’re told. “My first visit to Blenheim Palace left me with too many ideas, on the complex past and its relevance to this knife-edge present,” Holzer says. Michael Frahm, director of Blenheim Art Foundation, adds, “Her vision for the show is extraordinary and this exhibition looks to push boundaries in terms of what visitors expect to see at contemporary art exhibitions.”
Ah Adam Higton, our love for you shows no bounds—at least not as long as you keep on making work this blummin’ great. One of Higton’s latest projects is the zine Make A Joyful Sound, a collection of recent line drawings documenting the “Cosmic Neighbourhood.” It’s a place that looks as trippy and joyful as it sounds—a weird suburban landscape where the trees talk and the witches twitch the curtains of their moss-laden windows.
For a gray-skinned, vitamin D-deficient Brit like me, just the word “California” makes me feel a bit warmer, conjuring up images of sun-dappled bronzed babes with eerily good teeth and abs. If a new exhibition at London’s Design Museum is anything to go by, it seems like my melatonin-infused daydreams aren’t too far off. California: Designing Freedom explores the design output of the state that brought us The Beach Boys, from skateboards to iPhones and start-up garages, as well as hand-drawn sketches of the Apple Macintosh’s icons, concept artwork for Blade Runner, and Waymo’s self-driving car, on display for the first time in the UK. The Design Museum says that the focus will be on Cali’s “drive to create tools of personal liberation… explored through a diverse landscape ranging from LSD blotting paper and political posters to portable technology.”
Beautiful work from Berlin-based Anna Bierler, Ben Blazy, Silvan Händeler, and Kathleen Raasch here in the form of this student project (yes really). The publication, entitled Reality & Utopia, is photographed by Händeler and based around the Berlin-Marzahn area and aims to tell its “past, present, and future” through visual questioning of stereotypes around the locale. “The reader is encouraged to develop his or her own idea about Marzahn and to pass the limits of prejudices by a system of codes,” Bierler explains. The team designed three formats, <V>, <G>, and the largest, <Z>, to represent movements between the past and the future in tactile printed form.