Also in this week’s Design Diary, our roundup of projects, events, and general design world news, we bring you a new and very broad-ranging book about women in design, a podcast for students from D&AD, and more. For more along these lines (and so many others) you can follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesign, Facebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.
Amnioverse, Brainfeeder’s Lapalux (Stuart Howard), with single designs by Dan Medhurst and Owen Gildersleeve
Musician Lapalux (Stuart Howard to the taxman and his aunties) is releasing a new album, Amnioverse today, bearing artwork painstakingly crafted by Dan Medhurst and Owen Gildersleeve using miniature 3D sets to create a strangely sci-fi like world, largely with analogue tools. The kind people at record label Brainfeeder, which is putting the release out, have sent over a ton of fascinating behind-the-scenes pics showing how it was all done. Creative director and photographer Medhurst says he aimed to create something that “took on an otherworldly feel that was vast in scale, warm, and encapsulating, as well as being alien and futuristic… Not necessarily attributes that go together.” Broadly speaking, it looks to reflect the title, Amnioverse, a portmanteau of “amniotic” (as in the sac we all live in before birth) combined with “universe.” Medhurst was looking to create a spaceship for the video, and “thought shooting a miniature set or scaled model would be the best way to achieve something grand in scale that would normally require a Hollywood sized set build,” he says.
That’s why he brought in papercut wizard Gildersleeve, who created a regressive set of octagonal apertures that would decrease in size to give the illusion of a large scale spaceship or portal. “To give the sense of scale, I felt that we really needed to have a person inhabiting this alien space, so I spent a day photographing our model, Sarah Hare, in a studio with a lighting setup that would mirror the miniature lighting setup we had planned for Owen’s set [design],” Medhurst explains.
The LP also contains a 28-page booklet designed by Gildersleeve, along with a series of symbols that were visually interpreted from each track. “The booklet takes you through the album visually and contains a series of abstract macro photographs of the Eurorack synthesizer modules that Lapalux built to write the album,” adds Medhurst. For the vinyl nerds: it’s printed on translucent magenta with white splatter.
The Malee Scholarship, funded by Sharp Type
We all know by now that the type industry has a gender inclusivity problem: you only need to take a glance at the Alphabette blog to see the stats. It’s also clear that the type industry has a huge diversity problem in general. For women of color at the intersection of more than one historically marginalized group, it can be additionally difficult to get a foothold in the field. That’s why we were excited to see Sharp Type launch The Malee Scholarship, which grants $6,000 USD annually to one woman of color between the ages of 16 and 29. As well as the funds, Sharp Type offers an optional four-week mentorship program—available either at the Sharp Type office or via video chat.
“Our intention with this scholarship is to provide those with a strong and serious interest in type design with the financial assistance for anything that will support their progression as type-designers,” says the Sharp Type team, “from paying rent while they finish designing their typeface, to attending a type-design program where they can hone their typography skills.” The deadline is April 15, 2020, but there’s no time like the present—so better get submitting.
Women in Design: From Aino Aalto to Eva Zeisel, by Charlotte Fiell and Clementine Fiell
Not only are we an all-woman team here at EoD, we’re also big fans of championing female designers, so were chuffed when Laurence King released its new book Women in Design. According to LK, it aims to to “uncover an alternative female history of design,” and “provide a much-needed inspirational focus for all women currently studying or practicing design.” The book, written by Charlotte Fiell and Clementine Fiell, ranges broadly in its focus when it comes to both disciplines and eras. From one perspective, this of course is a good thing since it offers a great intro, but it’s also slightly depressing when you consider how hard it would be to fit a design history of men designers from the last 100 years into a single volume. Every kind of design from fashion and textiles to architecture, graphic, product, industrial, and transportation design from the last century are included.
“Our intention is to contextualize the role of women in design over the last one hundred years or so in order to trace how the status of female designers has evolved, while at the same time assessing where it stands today,” say the authors. “In the past, all too often the work of female designers was overlooked in the literature on design, while also being woefully under-represented in exhibitions and museum collections. This book seeks to redress these outstanding omissions. The primary reasons for this paucity of representation are that—as in other male-dominated professions—women were often either largely excluded from certain areas of endeavor or had no option but to take on subordinate roles.
“Women designers and their work have, also, all too often been assessed through the lens of the patriarchy, meaning they have either been entirely defined by their gender or their contributions have been subsumed under that of their ‘more famous’ husbands, brothers, fathers, or lovers.”
Galapagos font typeface tiles, by Felix Salut
Hey type lovers! We know you’ve a little bit of a rep for being slightly on the geeky side, so likely you’ll be happy to know you can now tile your bathroom in typography. Specifically, Galapagos by Felix Salut, which was released by Dinamo in December 2016. (You might also recognize it, were you one of the more usual ones, from our Which Typeface Are You, Really? quiz.) The font is a modular typeface system that got its start as a physical board game made up of nine separate line segments—curved, straight, and circular—printed on square 15 x 15 cm cards that can be combined in an almost infinite number of ways to make letterforms. So naturally, it makes for pretty good tiles—Salut has applied the lettering to 3D porcelain stoneware tiles in nine geometric shapes that can be used on walls and floors to create tactile interiors. Decorators are entrusted to lay them out in any form they chose, be that to form combinations of letters, words, or more abstract artistic expressions.
D&AD Make & Break podcast
Along with the release of the 2020 briefs for the D&AD New Blood Awards, in which design students can win a spot on the D&AD New Blood Academy, the organization has just launched the second series of its podcast Make & Break. The six-episode series produced in partnership with WPP provides tips, advice, and hacks for students, graduates, or “anyone who is looking to kickstart a creative career,” we’re told. Designer Caterina Bianchini appears as a guest on episode two for instance, discussing how fan art can be a gateway into the design industry. Other guests include Leyya Sattar, co-founder of The Other Box organization, which champions creatives from underrepresented backgrounds, and Stuart Radford, executive creative director at brand agency Superunion. “With themes including ‘How to Get Your Foot in the Door’ and ‘Defining What Success Looks Like,’ [the show sees] each guest sharing their thoughts and perspectives on each topic, as well a giving listeners tangible, real-life career lessons —covering everything from how to make the most out of your networks to handling microaggressions within the workplace and what it takes to develop a personal brand,” says D&AD.
All episodes of Make and Break are now available to download and listen for free on the D&AD website, Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Listen here.