Hello, and welcome to this week’s Design Diary, a collection of five projects from across the world that have impressed us this week.
Legendary typographer and art director Herb Lubalin turns 100 this year, giving reason for a flurry of centennial celebrations from The Herb Lubalin Center at Cooper Hewitt. Now, Unit Editions has joined the party with a reissue of its popular Herb Lubalin book, first published in 2012, which has since “become the standard work on Lubalin,” according to the publisher (we agree). The book sold out within a year of being published, but with the launch of a new Kickstarter campaign, the plan is to bring the book back into print. It’s not often that the small, independent publisher goes for a reprint—“All our energies (and cash!) go into making new books”—but this is a noteworthy exception.
In April, we reviewed the latest show up at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, entitled The Senses: Design Beyond Vision. Calling for a more multi-sensory way of making, viewing, and thinking about design, the show displayed works that ranged from artist Kat McLean’s “smell maps” to Synesthetic Calculus, a film about the personification of numbers by David Genco. An art director and graphic designer, Genco also worked with curators Andrea Lipps and Ellen Lupton to design the exhibition catalog and exhibition graphics, which feature clean, somewhat austere design peppered with lively jolts of white and yellow that serve to awaken the senses. The book is especially nice, with essays from the likes of Bruce Mau and Lupton herself on the ways that other senses besides sight can enrich the graphic design experience and enliven the form.
The Swiss exhibition platform and archive Print Program strives to curate exhibitions that show contemporary works both relevant and original, that revolve around issues like the role of graphics in society and the future of printing. From its space in Carouge, near Geneva, Switzerland, Print Program is presenting its latest exhibition on contemporary graphic design and typography from Prague. The show features 20 designers, including Zuzana Burgrová, Anežka Ciglerová, type foundries Displaay and Heavyweight, and design studio Laboratoř, with designers Petr Babák and Richard Wilde.
Short Box is a quarterly subscription box of curated comics and art goodies from contemporary artists and cartoonists the world over—and an intriguing premise for those who love “receiving bookish post.” The initiative tends toward self-published, small press, and independent comics, with a goal of promoting discovery and supporting artists all the while. The latest work published by Short Box—which you can also order as a one-off, should you not want the whole box—sees “some of the finest contemporary artists working today” come together for an indisputably noble purpose: a zine solely for paying homage to Pingu, the beloved Swiss claymation penguin. Contributors range from Luke Pearson to Jessi Zabarksy, Rosie Brand, Molly Fairhurst, Disa Wallander, Nicolas Delort, and many more.
Lastly, Seattle and Portland-based studio Turnstyle sent over some nice work for the new brand identity for the Nordic Museum, located, confusingly, in Seattle, Washington. “The museum celebrates… the strong ties between the Nordic countries and North America,” the studio explains. “20th century Seattle was built on the Nordic-heavy timber and fishing industries, and was the unofficial Nordic capital of the United States.” The museum opened on May 5 and is housed within a building designed by Seattle architect Mithun that alludes to the shape of an abstracted fjord.
In turn, Turnstyle’s design for the museum’s logo reflects the striking building, with a stylized “N” that symbolizes a fjord as well. “The simple, bold geometry of the mark informs a series of geometric shapes that are used to create a flexible system for creating patterns and cropping devices in the museum’s marketing materials,” say Turnstyle.