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  • For Richard Hollis "design is a verb as much as a noun"

    "Richard Hollis designs for the Whitechapel has two main characters: the "British graphic designer Richard Hollis and the Whitechapel Art Gallery in East London" writes Rick Poynor on Christopher Wilson’s monograph which is an exemplary examination of a very British body of graphic design. "The opening two chapters of the book introduce each of them. Then – in chapters that form its centre – the interaction of Hollis and the Whitechapel is presented. The book reproduces much of what was printed for the Whitechapel during the two periods in which Hollis worked for the gallery: 1969–73 and 1978–85. There are extended critical captions on the work reproduced. These two phases of the gallery’s life were in several respects formative, both for the institution itself and for the wider cultural and social life of Britain. Coverage is completed with considerations of the ‘interregnum’ period (1973–78) and the years after 1985, when Peter Saville became the gallery’s designer. Hollis’s Whitechapel years were a time of radical change in the methods of print production: the book documents and explains the technical shifts from specification for hot-metal composition and letterpress printing, through photocomposition, rub-down lettering, paste-up, and on to desktop publishing. Wilson’s discussion is illuminated by his extended interviews with Hollis, with those who worked at the Whitechapel, and with others involved in these events. Quotations from these interviews enliven the narrative. And by looking closely at one period of the designer’s work, Wilson finds the model for Hollis’s whole production. So the book functions partly as a history of one of the essential components of the London art world in that time, and as a survey of the work of ‘one of the finest British graphic designers of the past 50 years’".

    Richard Hollis was the graphic designer for London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery in the years 1969–73 and 1978–85. In this second period, under the directorship of Nicholas Serota, the gallery came to the forefront of the London art scene, with pioneering exhibitions of work by Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Joseph Cornell, Philip Guston, Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti, among others. 

    Hollis’s posters, catalogues, and leaflets, conveyed this sense of discovery, as well as being models of practical graphic design. The pressures of time and a small budget enhanced the urgency and richness of their effects. Christopher Wilson’s book matches the spirit of the work it describes: active, passionate, aesthetically refined, and committed to getting things right. As in Hollis’s work, ‘design’ here is a verb as much as a noun.

  • A badminton match with Tor Weibull’s Bad Mono typeface

    Swedish Tor Weibull is currently studying a Masters in Type Design at ECAL/Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne. This playful graphic designer entered the game of type whilst creating the visual identity for photographer's Carl Anders exhibition ‘A Game of Badminton’ at Galleri Monitor in Gothenburg, Sweden. 

    “The exhibition displays several photos from a badminton match. That's also where the inspiration for the identity came from. As the game includes a square patterned net it felt obvious to work with a clear grid in the identity. The Game also includes movement, high and low. So that became a big part in the inspiration of developing and drawing the typefaces that’s in use, Bad Mono” says Weibull.

    Play the field here.

  • With Fedrigoni 365 typographic calendar TM makes a wish

    Fedrigoni 365 is a project by design studio TM. Danny McNeil, Creative Director, decided to commemorate the year 2018 by asking leading UK-based creatives to contribute a piece of work to a design compendium, which takes the form of the Fedrigoni annual Calendar.

    The result of this process is a striking black tome that holds 365 single-colour designs within. Each design was created as an interpretation of a date that was provided at random to each participant. Confines were established to challenge each designer’s creativity by restricting the book to one paper and one colour print, which forced their pieces to focus strictly on concept, shape and form.

    The brief was created to be deliberately restrictive, although there were slight concerns that it may be too limiting and could result in designs that were much of a muchness. It turned out that these worries were unfounded. The Calendar has organically shaped into a beautiful visual story whose pace varies from page to page, and spread to spread.

    All proceeds will be going directly to the Make-A-Wish charity. Be part of the project here.

  • 16 designers, one vision: Across Borders is typography with a cause

    An exhibition, an online shop and a set of conferences organized by Mayúscula (a branding and design studio in Barcelona), originally celebrated under the frame of the Barcelona Design Week 2017, Across Borders is typography with a cause. With its core idea being design as a tool to break down borders and transform society for the better, exploring the boundaries of the world we live in though design and visual communication AB is a cross-cultural and multilingual dialogue among 16 designers of different origins which aims to stir thoughts.

    “Ideas, curiosity and dreams need no passports, papers or travel permits. Ideas born in one place can have massive impact on the other side of the planet. One person’s curiosity can have the power to change the course of millions of other people’s lives, globally” says AB. “This fluid transmission of culture and knowledge builds the world we live in. And, for the creative community, it drives our work. So, if we support and welcome the free circulation of ideas, how can we stand back and ignore the rights and needs for greater movement of people in times of need? With Across Borders, by showing the power of blending and transforming ideas, we want to demonstrate our commitment to those now seeking integration into other cultures, refugees”.

    Mayúscula invited 16 design studios and graphic artists to donate a black ink artwork with the theme “Design that breaks borders”, which were later overlayed with color in a cross-cultural limited edition silkscreen print. It is surprising the complementarity of some posters, which seem to have been thought out together.

    Hopefully Across Borders will travel around the world spreading its humane message.

    The sale’s benefits of prints and books will go to displaced refugee kids through Save The Children. Buy the posters here.

  • From Helvetica Neue to Plex: IBM's latest corporate type family

    IBM knows that "typography is the atomic element of good interface design. It colors the words in our language and shapes their meaning". Replacing Helvetica Neue IBM introduced it's new corporate type family, IBM Plex. This open source type family "should be used by IBMers for all typographical situations, replacing Helvetica Neue, whenever possible".

    Designed by Bold Monday in collaboration with Mike Abbink (Executive Creative Director, Brand Experience and Design, IBM Studios) Plex reflects "IBM’s brand spirit, beliefs and design principles. The new design of the typeface is rooted in the idea of man and machine, and borrows influences from sources such as the IBM logotype and historical typewriter typefaces. The balance of engineering versus design set the principles from which this design was born" reports FormFiftyFive' s Luke Tonge.

    "At this moment the IBM Plex family comprises sans-serif, serif and monospace styles to serve a variety of needs across communications and digital experiences. The sans and the serif are the workhorse families and the monospaced is great for informal communication and for developers to code with. Each branch of the IBM Plex family comes in eight weights with italics. In the future, condensed and several non-Latin script versions will be added to the family".

    Check more here