Alexander Winkelmann, Death and Design

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.

At Eye on Design, we always strive to look at design in wider contexts, hence our Design + Sexuality, Design + Mental Health, and Design + Politics series. Berlin-based designer Alexander Winkelmann seems to share our mission, and fondness for the “design +” thing, and has shared a recent project called Design and Death with us. “Death and Design is a book about death and design in the broadest sense,” he says, adding that the project was inspired by  Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death.

Winkelmann’s little tome aims to  introduce readers to Becker’s theories, and help them “become more aware and accepting of the reality of your mortality,” strengthen “your sense of death transcendence in nondestructive ways,” and “start a dialogue in regards to our denials of death.” It’s also free to download, should you be in need of a little light summer reading.

Ah, lovely Nieves, you never disappoint. One of a raft of great new zines from the Swiss publisher caught our eye this week, thanks to its lurid green, dazzling patterns, and strange cast of characters. East London-based graphic artist Will Sweeney’s War on Dust is described as “a collection of reduced portraits, a gallery of heroes, villains and slaves,” in which “veterans of microscopic conflict and mythic figures from a parallel dimension, [are] bleached, warped and presented for inspection.” What’s not to love eh?

Pentagram has long been behind the identity for London Design Festival each year, and 2017 is no exception. For the latest edition of the event this September, the agency went for a neon-led approach. The red and white color palette remains, but this is a bold new move that seems to focus on typography in situ rather than in the usual two dimensions. We’ll be interested to see how the new look will work across print collateral, and dig the bordello vibes it has as an installation.

“In wake of Trump’s announcement [of a trans military ban] I put the call out to any trans or gender-non conforming folks who are interested in learning about graphic design and the business behind it,” explains LA-based designer Charlie Poulson, founder of studio Americano and a trans designer himself. “This is really important because a.) most trans folks are marginalized and don’t get jobs based on how we look, let alone into fancy design schools or featured in any design publications, and b.) when Trump announcements/events like this happen, we only ever see visuals that highlight the negative aspect of the announcement which psychologically creates a negative idea about ourselves. As a result, those who aren’t directly affected send well wishes, and move on; I’d like to actually do something about this.” Great shout Charlie, and dear readers, spread the word!

If you like your art performative and your installations bonkers, as I do, and you happen to be in the UK’s midlands, you could do far worse than to head to this year’s Fierce Festival, which has just announced its 2017 lineup. One of the happiest times of my life was at its Holy Mountainthemed party back in the heady days of 2012, and this year looks to be just as ace.

Among the highlights are dance piece i ride in colour and soft focus no longer anywhere by Last Yearz Interesting Negro (aka artist Jamila Johnson-Small); a show  drawing on myths of Medusa and Nicki Minaj by The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein; Owen G Parry’s installation, exploring fan culture; and Steve Lambert’s public installation Capitalism Works For Me! If that’s not enough, Double Pussy Clit F*ck are on the bill for the opening party.

The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times since its creation in 1789 to meet the changing needs of the nation, and its most recent amendment is to its branding, from New York studio ThoughtMatter. ThoughtMatter’s work came from a place of wondering how many Americans have actually read and understood a document so often quoted and misquoted, and wanted to apply some design savvy to the text to deliver the content in a more digestible manner. Riso printed using soy-based ink, this Kickstarter-funded book aims to make the historic document more aesthetically pleasing, as well as to clarify and elevate its message.