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No. 206: ModMag is Back, A Witchy New Tarot Deck, the Aesthetics of Resistance + More

Hello, and welcome to Design Diary, a collection of five projects from across the world that have impressed us this week. 

For more along these lines (and so many others) follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

1
ModMag London announced

Our friends at MagCulture have just announced its sixth ModMag London conference, which we dig into with interest every year. Last year, we loved hearing from Nicholas Blechman, creative director at the New Yorker, who led an illustrated tour inside the mag’s offices (and revealed that the mailroom man who’s been in the job 35 years offers up design criticism on the regular). This year, there’s a lot to look forward to from the conference celebrating indie mags and the publishing industry—among them, talks from Emmet Smith, who oversaw the National Geographic redesign, and Dan Sandison of gorgeous indie football mag Mundial. It’s enough to make the New Yorkers on the EoD staff jealous of our London counterparts… or at least eager for ModMag to return to our side of the ocean for a second edition of its U.S. conference (hint, hint).

2
Karlssonwilker’s new website

Fresh out of the tucked-away Ridgewood neighborhood of Brooklyn, design studio Karlssonwilker has launched its new website, to much fanfare. The entirety of the press release, verbatim, is as follows:

“karlssonwilker, a NY design studio, launched their new website, karlssonwilker.com. karlssonwilker.com was just re-launched by karlssonwilker, a NY design studio. The NY design studio karlssonwilker just re-launched their website, at karlssonwilker.com.”

After visiting the site, we appreciate the lack of description, so we’ll try not to ruin the fun for you either. Let’s just say it gives us a whole new perspective on some of our favorite work from Karlssonwilker, including the Reykjavík Art Museum identity and branding for the electronic music collective GusGus. A little man hula hoops, or opens up Matryoshka doll-style, on the loading screen. We would call the delirious homepage kaleidoscopic but that would be… a little too on the nose.

3
Christoph Niemann at TED

We recently discovered that illustrator Christoph Niemann has very specific taste in pencils (not that we were at all surprised) and look what else is new: a video of his talk at the official TED conference this year. Niemann speaks about our innate fluency in the language of pictures, and as per usual, he does it very well. Peep those “witty, whimsical” drawings punctuating his points. 12 minutes well spent.

4
The Sabat Major Arcana Tarot Deck, by Elisa Seitzinger

We’ve been very into tarot lately, and we won’t tell you why (hint: keep an eye out of the big reveal of new magazine issue). But we will tell you about a project that recently landed in our inbox by Turin-based illustrator Elisa Seitzinger, along with art direction by Pentagram designer Cleber de Campos, and the writer Elisabeth Krohn. On commission for the fabulous Sabat Magazine is a deck of 22 tarot cards, inspired by the Tarot de Marseille, Le Tarot de L’étoile Cachée, which “echoes ancient divination practices as well as the instant nature of millennial witchcraft, encouraging you to follow your inner star.” We’ve long been fans of the classic Rider-Waite deck ourselves, but this one is giving it a run for its money. Beautiful work.

5
Protest: The Aesthetics of Resistance

And finally, if you’re in need of some light reading for the weekend, may we recommend Protest: The Aesthetics of Resistance from Lars Müller Publishers. The book gives a look at “present and past forms of protest and looks at marginalized communities’ practices of resistance from a wide variety of perspectives,” from “Make Love Not War,” to “Soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible,” “Keine Macht für Niemanden,” and “We are the 99%.” 

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