What Is Universal Everything? published by Unit Editions

Plus, Journal Safar comes out with a fantastic new Nostalgia-themed issue, Studio Last redesigns the Monopol website, and dating app Feeld offers a free font inspired by the Stonewall Riots. For more along these lines (and so many others) you can follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

Journal Safar issue 4, “Nostalgia”

Journal Safar’s Nostalgia issue 

We’ve been keeping a close eye on the always brilliant Journal Safar, Beirut’s “bilingual and biannual independent visual and design culture magazine” rooted in issues and ideas from the Middle East. Published by the graphic design agency Studio Safar, the magazine is now on issue four, still keeping alive its original promise to train a critical and thoughtful lens on experimental design and cultural production in the region. Each issue also revolves around a theme, and this time around they’re going deep on Nostalgia.

The design of this issue looks great, with a bright yellow and red color palette and cinematic play on serialized still images throughout. And the content is really exciting as well: cultural critic Paul Holdengräber, former director of the New York Public Library and maestro of the stellar public programming there, leads talks with Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares, Anya Kneez, and Haytham Nawar.

Stonewall 50 typeface by Feeld

Stonewall 50 by Feeld

The month of June was full of LGBTQI+ Pride per usual, but unlike years past this Pride Month had something extra to celebrate: the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the demonstrations attributed with leading the modern fight for gay rights in the U.S. The energy was high this year, but we also saw a lot of corporations (and pop stars) leveraging Pride and the anniversary for the express purpose of selling stuff. Our favorite projects to coincide with the celebrations have been those that prioritize access and sharing, which is one reason we like this Stonewall 50 Typeface by the dating app Feeld.

The typeface is free to download (though users are encouraged to make a donation to their local LGBTQI+ organization). It was designed by Bobby Tannam, who worked with the brand on the concept from the start. The other thing we like about this typeface is that the width and style varies per use, with the font generating a code to randomly select a variation of widths and styles, resulting in a hodgepodge of diverse characters. “The inspiration [for the font] came from the vernacular, handmade letterforms adorning the placards of the Stonewall protesters,” says Feeld. The result is a font that’s engaging in its variation, and legible enough to be used for all manner of materials for Pride and beyond. Keep it in mind for next year, or use it all year round.

Tweet History by Odd Publications 

Ever miss the incessant commentary and overwhelming time-suckiness of Twitter when you go offline? Ever wish you could bring the anxiety-inducing stupidity of @realDonaldTrump’s tweets with you when you’re in the calming envelopment of your reading chair, disconnected and finally, blissfully alone? Have we got a publication for you: Tweet History: @realDonaldTrump translates those tweets into hundreds and hundreds of (really nicely designed) pages, direct for your reading pleasure.

You can thank the intriguing Odd Publications for that, the brainchild of programmer Darien Brito and graphic designer Jaap Smit. The publishing house is dedicated to “projects driven by information and powered by code,” re-purposing internet data into printed form. All joking aside, the pair’s Tweet History project is an interesting one: they’ve developed software that scrapes content from Twitter accounts and automatically creates a book of the users’ tweets over a specific period of time.

The books are print-on-demand, with a sparse but lovely layout, blowing up tweets at times like pull quotes on full spreads, or placing them on the page with just a time stamp. While it could be argued that there’s not really a need to print Tweets into an actual, physical book, with all that paper, it is interesting to see how context changes the perception of content—and a good reminder of how much design plays a role in that. Does the printed page lend an air of authority to Trump’s tweets, or does it play up the absurdity?

What Is Universal Everything? by Unit Editions 

Unit Editions’ latest release has just graced our office shelves, this time with “digital art and design collective” Universal Everything as its subject. This is a good combination if we’ve ever heard one, and it’s resulted in a beautiful book, complete with black foil-blocked type and a unique, randomly generated tipped-in image on the cover. To create that image, Universal Everything developed software to generate random combinations of colors and shapes, meaning that “everyone owns a one-off,” as the collective’s founder Mike Pyke notes. It’s also printed with a special “Salmon fluoro” spot color mixed especially for this book. As always, this Unit Editions volume is edited by Adrian Shaughnessy and Spin designer Tony Brook, and it also features essays by Adrian Shaughnessy and Antonia Lee. It’s a beaut.

Monopol website by Studio Last

And finally, Studio Last sent over some new work in the form of a redesigned website for German art publication Monopol. It’s looking very good, with a wordmark that stretches and shrinks when you first hit the homepage, and an automatic scroll down to the content. “With the newly developed functions, starting with the everlasting, morphing Monopol logo, the extending pictures, the moving newsletter, the news ticker etc. and a clear structuring, the page enriches the user interaction and equally enhances the user-friendliness,” explains the studio. As per usual, this website is best appreciated when experiencing it for yourself.