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.
You’re probably already aware that it’s a busy week here at AIGA on the Standards Manual front. We’re fresh from launching a reissue of the 1977 EPA Graphic Standards System thanks to former Pentagram designers Hamish Smyth and Jesse Reed (which, if you’re so inclined, you can support). But there’s another standards manual on the block that, while nothing whatsoever to do with us, is probably worth supporting too. Sheffield-based designer Alessandro Rinaudo has taken the entirety of Otl Aicher’s work for the 1972 Olympics in Munich, and turned it into a beautiful hardback volume for you to pore over at your leisure—or to just pop on your coffee table and show what a discerning slave to graphic detail you really are.
Reassuringly, it seems that now is the time for design and activism to join forces. Following the death last month of Gilbert Baker, creator of the Rainbow Flag, NewFest and NYC Pride have partnered with Fontself to produce a free font inspired by his multicolored creation. Gilbert—the font, not the man—was designed “for striking headlines and statements that could live on banners for rallies and protests,” says Ogilvy&Mather, and it’s encouraging designers to keep using it to champion causes of their own.
“Gilbert Baker was both an LGBTQ activist and artist, and was known for helping friends create banners for protests and marches. In the spirit of Mr. Baker’s creative and collaborative nature, we’ve created free downloadable art intended to be printed and held high at pride events, protests, and rallies.” If public displays aren’t really your thing, then the font can be used discreetly in your own work as a sign of solidarity.
Any designer worth their salt will probably have had a crack at coding, and if so, has realized what a bitch of a job it is to master. Right now I’m in the middle of trying to pick up the basics, aided only by an entire team of dedicated tutors, a specialized editing program, and a massive new book that marries HTML, CSS, and jQuery into one manageable (but still fairly intimidating) program of education. Previously I’ve tried to learn HTML and CSS as separate entities, and built some terrible, ugly websites as a result. But the guys at SuperHi—where I’m receiving this tuition—are doing a pretty great job of getting things into my thick skull.
All of which is to say, if you’re a budding coder, then their new book, Learn to Code Now, might be just the thing for you, covering all the basics and then some, packaged up with some super sleek design from international superstar Simon Whybray.
When I’ve not been immersed in the language of the web this week, I’ve mostly been hanging out at this year’s D&AD festival in the Old Truman Brewery—the beating heart of London’s trendy Shoreditch. You can expect some more detail on what I’ve discovered there over the coming week, but in the meantime you can get up to speed on the scope of this year’s awards over on their site, where you’ll also find a pretty solid swath of editorial dedicated to some of their exciting initiatives. A whole day of sustainability in design anyone? Yes please.
Some light relief now in the form of Kendrick Lamar’s latest album, Damn, and the furor surrounding its design. Designer Vlad Sepetov has come under serious fire for the minimal type treatment adorning the album cover, and even the placement of the parental advisory sticker. But Sepetov has spoken proudly of his work for Lamar, breaking down the process on Pitchfork, The Fader, and Stereogum. He says that while the work may break with perceived wisdom about how album art should be designed it is nevertheless iconic, and he’s pleased to have got people talking about “bad” design. Perhaps this is just one more step in the memeification (not yet a dictionary word) of design.
And in the spirit of keeping things light, here’s a new website for agency HAWRAF, which invites you to scrawl all over it with an interactive pencil. I absolutely, definitely, have not been using it for penis drawings. And neither will you.
Hey Barcelona—or people traveling to Barcelona today—what are you up to this evening? One thing you could and should be doing is heading down to the studios of Vasava to enjoy a new exhibition by 36 Days of Type. Designers Nina Sans, Rafa Goicoechea, and Irem Erkin are hosting “a celebration of typography and lettering, with over 200 national and international participants from different disciplines, through printed artworks, video projection, objects, talks, and workshops.” If you can’t make it down this week, the show’s on until May 22, with workshops and talks happening throughout. Nice!
That’s your lot!