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  • Craig Black’s Pissed Modernism is an art-infused activism in type

    The idea is to engage with people and create an environment that encourages debate and maintains an awareness and interest in socio-political issues. Pissed Modernism wants to encourage voter registration and participation in local activism within local communities through creating inspiring events that showcase a diverse range of artistic work and opinions that different groups can relate to” says Craig Black of his latest endeavor in type.

    “Furthermore, so many illustrators and designers have a voice that far too often is never heard.

    By allowing these creatives to showcase their work in an exhibition space out with the constraints of everyday commissioned work, Pissed Modernism want to allow them the creative freedom to make work that they care about on issues that are important to them. Another key aim of Pissed Modernism, is to help promote young artists and their work giving them a platform to showcase their talents. As one of the leading artists, Craig Black was tasked with creating a typographic mural within the exhibition space based at The Patriothall Gallery in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

     ‘Triumph ≠ Trump’ is based upon the potential success and triumph that the United States and the world for that matter should be celebrating about when a new President is elected. Unfortunately with today’s climate and political issues worldwide, judgement calls have been quite diluted and the United States have ended up with ‘Trump’ and not a ‘Triumph’ which they should be celebrating about. The design was first created in digital format and then hand painted on to wall.

    “Through knowing Craig, I am aware that he is passionate about championing students and their work and helping them into the industry. I am also aware that he has incredible work” says Marco Bevilacqua (Want Some Studio), Curator of Pissed Modernism. “When I saw the event space, I knew that Craig was right for and could be relied upon to deliver a centre piece for the show. One that not only aesthetically captured the imagination, but also tackled an issue within the current socio-political climate and would inspire the audiences that came to see it” he adds.

    “The typographic element created a strong and relatable image that allowed people to instantly understand the event and its aims as a whole; gaining instant appreciation from all event goers. Within the exhibition the piece also stood out metaphorically to me and the visitors, reflecting the preoccupation of political debates with the ongoings in America. As the piece was so visually striking, it also mirrored the overbearing nature and domination of the Trump administration within the current political landscape and discussions in the UK.”

    Art Direction / Design & Typography | Craig Black
    Creative Team | Craig Adams and Nicola Roberts
    Photography | Nicola Roberts

  • The legendary portfolio of Hipgnosis is a chart-topper in graphic design

    The complete catalogue of design collective Hipgnosis, showcasing groundbreaking cover art created for iconic rock ’n’ roll giants, including the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd is available to own.

    This definitive, never-before-published catalogue of album covers created by the legendary design agency Hipgnosis, this volume finally does justice to the work of the most important design collective in music history.

    Founded in 1967 by Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey “Po" Powell, and Peter Christopherson, Hipgnosis gained a legendary status in graphic design, transforming the look of album art forever and winning five Grammy nominations for package design.

    Their revolutionary cover art departed from the conventional group shots favored by record companies of the day, resulting in groundbreaking, often surreal designs inextricable from the major albums of many of the biggest names in the history of popular music: AC/DC, Black Sabbath, The Police, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Syd Barrett, The Who, Wings, Yes, and XTC, to name but a few.

    Arranged chronologically, Hipgnosis: The Complete Album Covers features stunning reproductions of every single Hipgnosis cover―more than 300 in total―for the first time, along with pertinent insights from the rock ’n’ roll legends, whose albums are showcased with all inclusive behind-the-scenes photography.

    The text, written by Powell, and with contributions by Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, and Nick Mason, brims with information that illuminates the album art and the compelling stories behind each cover’s creation.

    Invest in your own piece of graphic design when the legends ruled the world here

  • Make the world a better place with Sharp Type’s Earth Day type release

    Inspired by Spanish and English models from the 15th and 16th centuries Respira is a contemporary blackletter typeface designed by Sharp Type for good reason. “From its release on Earth Day, 2017, ALL proceeds from the sale of this typeface will be donated to the NRDC” says the graphic design studio of Respira which wants to make our world a better, blacklettered place.

    “Respira is inspired by a particular style of Spanish blackletter often found in illuminated manuscripts of Andalusia. We first came across this unique style in the breathtaking Santa Iglesia Catedral Metropolitana de la Encarnación in Granada, Spain. For designer Lucas Sharp, it was love at first sight” writes Sharp Type, the renowned digital type foundry based in New York City and Granada, Spain.

    “While blackletter was originally used for text settings, from the 11th century through much of the 16th and 17th, it’s modern use is almost exclusively for display, leading the current models to be much more decorative than their original text versions. This miniscule was like nothing we had ever seen – the more complex letters were strikingly beautiful, constructed ingeniously and inventively with skillful calligraphic strokes, but the foundational vertical strokes were simple and plain. While other blackletter in use today commonly employs a complex system of serifs and flourishes with varied hairlines and endstrokes, this miniscule contained none of that noise.”

    “Its vertical stems were simple and austere, containing only a modest implication of serifs. This tension between simplicity and complexity present in the word shape is magnified by the tight spacing afforded by the subtlety of the serifs.”

    “The design of Respira is also influenced by the physical deterioration of the ancient manuscripts. Due to poor lighting conditions behind the alter of the Catedral de la Encarnación, we were unaware that some of the more stylized forms like the “a” and the “k” were not actually “stenciled”, but were so high contrast and old that the hairlines had gradually faded from view. We discovered the existence of the hairlines when we came across the style in the 16th century Spanish master Juan de Ycíar’s Arte Subtilissima (1553, Zaragoza) - and later noticed a super fine and faded hairline when we were lucky enough to come across an original manuscript page for our own library while antiquing in Sevilla”.

    “The uppercase of Respira is not based on the Spanish model at all. The design is original, but bears a closer resemblance to English Textura than to the capitals of the Spanish style. We suspect that many Spanish monks had a similar preference for the miniscule over the majiscule, as we found that quite often illustrated uncials are used in place of the standard capitals” they add.

    Respira’s proceeds will be donated to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit organization that fights for environmental preservation and policy change to help save the planet and everything living on it. To promote its release Sharp Type  worked with two guest designers on a 'Respira' poster series about climate change. Eric Carter’s ‘Oilmen’ and Justin Sloane’s graphic visualization of NASA's regional climate-change report, these posters remind us of the importance of climate change and the world we live in.

  • For Tadas Karpavicius everything is type and (operatic) art

    Between self-initiated projects and commissions, Tadas Karpavicius works with a variety of clients from different fields, maintaining a strong focus on the cultural sphere and collaborating with visual artists, designers, curators, galleries, institutions, commerce, businesses and individuals.

    Across the design spectrum, Karpavicius practice includes visual identity, editorial design, set design, books and publications as well as web design.

    In one of his latest projects Lithuanian art director and graphic designer Tadas Karpavicius took an unusual approach to layout Charles Gounod’s Faust production for the Vilnius City Opera.

    With a distinctive “Matisse-like vibe” his work is inspiring and full of shapes and colors that bring the elements of type in full bloom. Needless to say that his Instagram profile demands your attention.

    Check his impressive portfolio of work here 

  • Anna Haas is the multi-awarded graphic designer to remember

    Having awarded the Grand Prix of the 27th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno in 2016 is not the only highlight in the career of Anna Haas, a graphic designer who settled down in the country where graphic design rules, Switzerland to explore more adventures made of type.

    Anna Haas has been dealing with letterforms and graphic design having already spent some time in Germany and The Netherlands. The Zürich based creative has an impressive portfolio which ranges from editorial design to visual identities, digital applications, illustrations and poster design in the fields of art, culture and commerce.

    Between 2011 and 2014 she was occasionally collaborating with Krispin Heé under the name of Heé Haas and in 2014 Haas co-founded and since presides the association Illustratoren Schweiz.

    Since 2014 she teaches at Lucerne University of Applied Science and Arts (HSLU), department of visual communication. 

    Her work was awarded with the Swiss Design Award and the Grand Prix of the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno and her publications where selected by Photo-Eye—Best Photobook and the Most Beautiful Swiss Books.

    A lover of paper -“I mostly do everything on paper, so if I do a layout I print out everything to get a sense of the materials. I really have to be able to put it on the table or the wall, and if I do illustrations I cut everything out of colored paper. Working with my hands is super important for me—I’m very tactile. That’s why I work a lot with book design, as it’s creating something you can hold in your hands” she says to AIGA- Anna Haas is a name to remember and a master of type to admire.

    Check her work here