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No. 209: A Hip Sports Club Identity, Obscenity and the Arts, a New Podcast from Jon Contino + 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.

La Montgolfière identity, by Brand Brothers

A recent project from Brand Brothers, a studio based across Paris and Toulouse, France, caught our eye this week for its fun type and innovative use of collage-based pattern. The project in question is the identity design for The Montgolfière, a “social sports club” set to open in fall 2018 that also involves music, art, and food. The club’s new logo incorporates “subtle graphic accidents, revealing a bold state of mind,” according to the studio. With the wordmark, the “o” letters become monograms that take on the appearance of a hot air balloon.

“Supported by a simple graphic system, based on a fir green (the initial hue of the beams forming the framework of the facade) and the Panamera character, we have developed… a visual language based on multiple typographical and photographic compositions and the production of strong verbal hooks,” Brand Brothers says.

Hayward Gallery Touring presents Hand Drawn Action Packed

Hand Drawn Action Packed is a new UK touring show from the Hayward Gallery featuring 10 international artists working in drawing. It aims to reveal “the medium’s infinite possibilities for narrative invention,” according to its press materials. Among the artists involved are Marcel Dzama, Nalini Malani, Otobong Nkanga, Raymond Pettibon, and Amy Sillman.

“The exhibition explores narrative in drawing and its many forms: from stories unfolding through a sequence, to single images combined with words and animation,” says the Hayward. This means it’s not just about pencils and crayons—even a smartphone gets a look-in as one of the tools used to create work for the show. 

Nalini Malani Part Object, 2007-8
Marcel Dzama, A Time Will Come or Delilah and Goliath, 2017

The show begins on September 2 at Museum + Art Gallery, St Albans before moving to  Wolverhampton Art Gallery,  The Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, and Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated zine-style publication, designed by Stinsensqueeze, with texts by exhibition curator Roger Malbert.


Foxall Studio, Fade Repeat

Our chums at Foxall Studios have created a beguiling new project based around printers that run out of ink. The project “turns a laser printer into a monotype press by using toner that’s about to run out,” Foxall explains. The whole thing came about when photographer Dominic Haydn Rawle met up with a fella called Tom Godfrey in Nottingham, and sent him a parcel of nine sheets of A4 paper sellotaped together, “with the same photograph printed on each page as the laserjet ran out of ink”, the studio explains. “Since then we have been collecting our almost-finished laserjet toner cartridges with which we made the new posters.” The source images were taken by Rawle from a recent road trip through the U.S. and Cuba. Lovely stuff!

Obscenity and the Arts, Anthony Burgess

UK indie publisher Pariah Press is set to release a beautiful little tome (it’s as gorgeous IRL as it is in pics), Obscenity & the Arts, by Anthony Burgess. The first new work from Burgess in more than two decades, the book deals with themes around state censorship and the semantics of obscenity and pornography. As well as Burgess’ writing, the volume features an essay by his biographer Andrew Biswell and an interview with Marie Said, as well as a speech that was previously available only to the public in Malta for a limited period in the 1970s.

The book was designed by Manchester-based Adam Griffiths (of Ra-Bear Design). “My brief to him was simply to use the colors of the Maltese flag and work around the subject matter of state censorship,” says Pariah Press co-founder Jonny Walsh. “The pocket-book (A-format) size paperback and the back cover design (sparse, no author quotes, etc.) are in-house decisions, and we’ll continue to make each book in that style so long as it is appropriate for the project.”

The main body text of the book is typeset in Monotype Plantin, a “precursor and prime influencer of the later Times New Roman”, says Pariah Press. “During the period covered by this work, a great many of Anthony Burgess’ books were set in MT Plantin.” The titles are set in Monotype Sabon.

Griffiths was also responsible for the cover design. “I wanted the cover design to utilize the semiotics of both the setting and the clear underpinning subject matter of the publication,” he says. “A simple device such as the use of the two distinct and recognizable crosses allowed me to create a dual identity for the book. I also wanted to conceal some information on the cover, masking the sub-information with thick redaction bars and blind debossing, making the full extent of the cover and information only truly visible in physical form to eye and touch.”

Obscenity & the Arts, designed by Adam Griffiths
Obscenity & the Arts, designed by Adam Griffiths

The Nose Knows, a new podcast from Jon Contino

The Nose Knows is a new podcast from Jon Contino, founder of graphic design and branding agency Contino, hosted by the man himself and intern Brent Bates. “Jon answers user-submitted questions about design and the life of a creative person and also shares a lot of behind the scenes, personal stories about his honest experiences building a creative business over the years,” Bates explains.

The third episode has just gone live, in which they pair discuss “how to avoid inspiration from becoming plagiarism,” and how the DIY attitude of the hardcore music scene fuelled Contino’s creative career, among other things. What did we learn? That despite Contino not being a big fan of Black Flag (we hear ya!), he’s naturally very much into the band’s iconic logo (designed by none other than Raymond Pettibon). There’s a lot of little gems among the rambling, and it’s well worth a listen.

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