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  • Hot off the press! Slanted Magazine does Athens in its stunning new issue

    Back in the spring of 2017 Slanted editors embarked on their trip to Athens to take a close-up look at the city's contemporary design scene. Athens's documenta14 -in parallel to Kassel- offered the perfect canvas for the magazine's task. All the designers Slanted met, talked very positively about the event, bringing back art and life to Athens, suffering from draconian cuts in culture budgets. The list of designers Slanted met with boasts everyone from legends such as Michalis Katzourakis and established typographers such as Parachute's Panos Vasileiou to young, wild creatives such as Bend, The Birthdays Design, Blaqk, Bob Studio, Dylsectic, G Design Studio, Irini Gonou, Luminous Design Group, MAMA Silkscreen, Typical Organization, Urban Calligraphy and Ifigenia Vasiliou allowed a glimpse into their world expressing their exciting visual languages in their own right. On occasion of the release of Slanted Magazine #30—Athens, a limited special edition has been released which is exclusively available in the Slanted Shop. The edition contains a screen printed tote bag, designed by Blaqk, a photo essay by photographer Daniel Rupp and a risograph booklet, designed by Xenia Fastnacht, produced at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe.

    Discover an Athens in love with the letterform here and get a deeper look at the influencers of the graphic design scene through video interviews that can be watched online for free.

    Slanted Magazine #30 – Athens is available here

  • Barbara Kruger Futura revolution is taking NYC's Performa17 by storm

    The internationally acclaimed organization dedicated to live performance across disciplines is an ode to Barbara Kruger who is collaborating in major ways for the seventh edition of the Performa Biennial in New York.

    Running through the 19th of November at locations throughout New York City Kruger’s Performa Commission inserts the artist into the urban street culture that has absorbed, appropriated, and applied her provocative attitude and approach through a series of public art actions, performances, and installations. 
    Expanding upon her iconic photo-collages combining text and image, Kruger employs these signature effects and strategies to broadcast messages that engage issues of and ideas about power, desire, adoration, contempt, and capital. 

    Using her instantly recognizable white-on-red Futura typeface, the project includes an installation for the popular Lower East Side skate park located beneath the Manhattan Bridge, created in partnership with NYC Parks and skate park designer Steve Rodriguez; the design of a billboard on 17th Street and 10th Avenue in Chelsea; and a full wrap of a classic school bus that will serve as a mobile site for community engagement. These elements will take on New York City, unfolding throughout the duration of Performa 17 to immerse audiences in powerful messages grounded in activism, feminism, and community while exploring the role and power of mass media.

    “For more than four decades, Barbara Kruger has occupied a unique place between high art and popular culture, between histories, disciplines, and generations,” says RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Chief Curator of Performa. “With this commission, Kruger’s intention to make deeply informed work that is accessible and ‘in the world’ meshes seamlessly with Performa’s vision to use live performance as a platform to do both. It’s remarkable that she is as widely known to millennials as she is to the museum and collector worlds. Kruger’s work is ‘forever radical.’

    The visual identity for Performa 17 is designed by Kruger and adopted across the biennial’s logo, website, social media, and digital and printed marketing materials, created in collaboration with Project Projects. 
    Kruger’s iconic typography captures the intensity of life in the city, the impact of commercial branding on our daily lives, and the necessity of the critically resistant voice of the artist in the public domain. Kruger’s Performa Commission and Biennial visual identity interact and intertwine to blur the lines between branding, public art, performance, commerce, and appropriation.

    Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa is the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Since launching New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, the organization has solidified its identity as a commissioning and producing entity. As a “museum without walls,” Performa contributes important art historical heft to the field by showing the development of live art in all its forms from many different cultural perspectives, reaching back to the Renaissance.

    Celebrated worldwide as the first biennial to give special attention to this remarkable history, the Performa Biennial transforms the city of New York into the “world capital of artists’ performance” every other November, attracting a national and international audience of more than 200,000 and garnering more than five million website hits during its three-week run. In the last decade, Performa has presented nearly 600 performances, worked with more than 700 artists, and toured commissioned performances in nearly 20 countries around the world.

    The Performa curatorial team is led by Chief Curator RoseLee Goldberg, and includes Performa Curators Adrienne Edwards and Charles Aubin, with contributions from Job Piston (Special Projects), Lydia Brawner (Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow), Jens Hoffman (Curator), and Performa Consortium curators. Performa 17 is produced by Esa Nickle and Maaike Gouwenberg.

    Follow Performa 17 on Instagram @PerformaNYC and Facebook @PerformaBiennial with the hashtags #PerformaNYC  #Performa17

  • Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli: the rebranding

    Following the change of the University’s name from Seconda Università di Napoli (SUN) to Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, the Institution has decided to launch an international call for ideas to produce the graphic design of the mark and/or logotype and related visual identity system

    The call was created with the support, assistance, consultancy and patronage of Aiap - Italian Association of Visual Communication Design.

    The University was established in 1991 within a diffuse regional context, and since the very beginning it has been entirely autonomous from the other, older Universities for its history, culture, nature and organisation. 

    "More than twenty years later, the University can still boast the same levels of autonomy, a widely acknowledged reputation, and the ability to be a reference point in the region both in terms of courses offered and of its consolidated diffuse nature. Thanks to its relatively recent history and its inborn aptitude for innovation the University has become known as a competitive academic institution at the regional, national and international levels, enhancing the internal resources of excellence and setting up a repositioning strategic plan which may bring to light and value the results achieved over the years" says the University. "The reasons behind the decision to go through a rebranding process lie in the strong will to highlight the University’s modern, highly dynamic nature". 

    A small example of what the creatives have to offer is Milleunomiglia studio proposed identity.  “We decided to take part in the contest because it was an opportunity to demonstrate our skills as a design collective publicly” says the studio to It's Nice That explaining that the University's "poly-centric structure, characterised by the union of the three poles of knowledge (humanistic, scientific, polytechnic) and intentions to communicate itself as an inclusive, innovative, international and open institution" was an inspiration for the ultra dynamic and adaptable typeface.

  • Celebrating Cruz Novillo’s timeless Spanish graphic design revolution

    Cruz Novillo: Logos” provides a comprehensive guide to an important
facet of Pepe Cruz Novillo’s output, his logo design. The book from Counter-Print celebrates the work of Spain’s prolific graphic designer. Pepe Cruz Novillo, the graphic designer behind identities for Spain’s post office, police force and Socialist Party was born in 1936 and was a cartoonist, artist and sculptor before specialising in corporate identities. He went on to create logos and icons for art galleries, construction companies, schools, festivals, banks, laboratories and the Spanish Socialist Party as well as designing Peseta notes.

     “His work is now so ubiquitous, it has become part of the fabric of visual culture in [Spain],” says Counter-Print. “The influence of his use of geometric shapes, simple, strong line-work and a playful, illustrative aesthetic can be seen in the work of many contemporary designers and has helped in keeping his legacy alive” writes in the book’s introduction, Counter-Print’s Jon Dowling on the timeless aesthetic of Novillo’s work and his lasting influence on graphic design.

    “His studio Cruz más Cruz, that he now co-directs with his son Pepe Cruz Jnr … still garners praise and recognition globally…. Simultaneously, a new generation of designers are falling in love with the historical output of Cruz Novillo’s work and are beginning to appreciate its significance and importance to the visual landscape of Spain,” he writes.

    The book contains over 300 pages of logo designs. It also includes a Q&A with Novillo.

    “I strive to have a powerful semantic idea, I try to draw it in the best possible way … then I review it so that it acquires a pragmatic quality” says Novillo in this inspiring monograph.

    Get your own copy here.

  • Can you help Barry Spencer’s cryptic Clara typeface find its clarity?

    Legibilitator (yes, this is a word of fiction), speculator and doctor, Barry Spencer likes challenges - after all his is a speculative type designer who often makes letters that may or may not look like letters.Based in Melbourne, Australia, Spencer -currently a university lecturer and freelance designer- has thoroughly researched, explored and played with the Latin letterforms throughout his career. This task of his has allowed Spencer to reach a point where he has fundamentally altered the way that he creates, perceives and understands the shapes of the alphabet.

    Looking through Spencer’s portfolio we are welcome to follow the many visual avenues that he has taken over time with some leading to further exploration, some inducing confusion and some purely undertaken just for fun. Clara, his latest typographic challenge is pure joy. 

    Clara began life as a challenge from Spencer’s former student Riley McDonald to create something typographic for his magazine “PRJKTR” based in Geelong, Victoria. “With the issue revolving around ‘SIN’, I decided to create shapes that pushed my ‘sin’ of letterform speculation to a new level” says Spencer. 

    Utilising grid 17 from his own #100daysofspontaneous project, Spencer tried to compose shapes that elevated the obscurity of some of his typefaces and added an element of cryptography to them. He then put together a cryptic artwork using the letters for people to try and decipher -after all Clara is in search of “clarity”.

    This typeface of his goes “against the natural order of things” by twisting and pushing the constraints of the Latin alphabet. Looking to engage with the audience and challenge them further, Spencer provides subtle clues within the text that hinted at how he created the letter. So the question is, are you ready to decode this typographic challenge? Let Barry Spencer guide you though in the text below:

    "Within this text lies the key to decoding my cryptic artwork. A few subtle clues are riddled throughout the information, so attention to detail is important for decrypting the letterforms.The first person to decode the type and tell me how I created the letterforms will be rewarded. Good luck!

    The Natural Order…

    Clara is a typeface that is specifically designed to be challenging and against the natural order of things. However, from experience I know that it’s considered a great sin to sever the ties to the existing Latin alphabet in this way, even when born from twisted typographical fun and entertainment.

    Letterforms like these are prime to invite adverse reactions from those prone to more traditional perspectives of type design because making shapes that are intentionally hard (or near impossible) for people to read adds another level of abstraction onto the already abstract Latin forms that we have become familiar with in our daily lives. Essentially, this makes them lose their purpose — communication. However, what if this was the intention from the start? Does that re-imbue the shapes with an assigned purpose? The challenge of decipherment.

    See Artwork 1

    Divided Time…

    In my work I enjoy the challenge of pushing my perception and understanding of letterforms. I constantly to advance my knowledge (and appreciation) for the potential of letters every day, in each and every project I create. However, I did not arrive at this approach overnight.

    My letterforms started out as small experimental deviations away from the existing shapes and these small changes led to larger and more experimental trials, before finally moving into far removed speculations that explore what might happen if we follow more extreme and unusual ideas.

    This led to the completion my doctoral thesis “Speculatype” in 2014 and I have spent the years since divided time between a mixture of three things: creating, writing and teaching (with public speaking and workshops thrown in for good measure).

    See Artwork 2

    Out of Our Comfort Zone…

    My argument revolves around our ability as designers and creatives to explore our professions and outcomes more than what we might think possible. Creatively, we have the ability to question the status quo and the existing understanding of what we do and make.

    Asking, “what if I did it this way instead of this way?” is a simple question that leads us to try new things and allows us to potentially innovate. Removing ourselves from the comfort of doing things the same way as everyone else (which might be considered another “sin”), challenges us in new and interesting ways.

    See Artwork 3

    Because We Can…"