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  • Major custom typography spotlights “a minor state of flux”

    Back in March, a group exhibition with works that invite the idea of fluidity, rotation and mutation as part of their existence made headlines in Amsterdam. The exhibition “A minor state of flux” tested playfully the true scope of (human) perception. “What do we register, what passes us by and thus goes unnoticed? How do we determine what is valuable or useless when everything just moves forward in the same forward-motion? Is it physically possible to ever see the same painting twice when physiological, political and social conditions perpetually shift?” The works in the exhibition, seen through a scientific framework, echoed the questions in a philosophical manner.

    Emphasizing the fluidity of the theme the publication designed by Roosje Klap and Pauline Le Pape (Atelier Roosje Klap) brought spectacular typographic experiments into the concept of the exhibition which was generously made possible with the support of Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Stichting Niemeijer Fonds, Stichting Stokroos and Arti et Amicitiae. The custom typeface, designed by Le Pappe herself, Tacite Light is “the end result of a long process”.

    “I began to design Tacite when I was a type design student in Paris; started to put things into perspective as an intern in Amsterdam; actively worked on it again as a graphic design student at KABK in The Hague; and then returned to it again as a type design student back in Paris when I graduated last year. I finally released Tacite Light this year, as a graphic and type designer based in Amsterdam” she told Grafik. Check more of this sharp yet round, light yet strong type here.

  • The visual language of North Korea is as ambiguous as you expect

    "Leaving North Korea is not like leaving any other country. It is more like leaving another universe. I will never truly be free of its gravity, no matter how far I journey" says Hyeonseo Lee, a defector of the controversial nation.

    The relatively unknown country comes in full frame with Phaidon’s latest edition, Made in North Korea. In the pages of the book written by Nick Bonner who has produced three documentaries on North Korea and a feature film since 2001, North Korea is “uncensored and unfiltered”.

    Made in North Korea uncovers the fascinating and surprisingly beautiful graphic culture of North Korea - from packaging to hotel brochures, luggage tags to tickets for the world-famous mass games.

    From his base in Beijing, Bonner has been running tours into North Korea for over twenty years, and along the way collecting graphic ephemera. He has amassed thousands of items that, as a collection, provide an extraordinary and rare insight into North Korea's state-controlled graphic output, and the lives of ordinary North Koreans.

    Explore the land of the unknown here

  • Remembering Lucky Peach, the foodies most beloved magazine ever

    Lucky Peach, the six-year-old indie food media outfit from writer Peter Meehan and restaurant mogul and Momofuku founder Dave Chang is sadly a thing of the past.

    First envisioned as an iPad app, a “deconstructed, non-linear television show,” from Chang, Meehan, and the producers Zero Point Zero with a companion quarterly print journal published by McSweeney’s Lucky Peach released it’s first issue on June 22, 2011 –the magazine is still selling for over $100 on eBay and $85 on Amazon reports Eater.

    “Consisting of longform articles, essays, interviews, recipes, and illustrations, each issue tackled a new theme, from ramen (issue one) to breakfast (issue 17), gender (issue eight), the seashore (issue 12), and Los Angeles (issue 21). The publication which became known for its bold graphic design and creative take on food the Lucky Peach team split from McSweeney’s in 2013, launched a website in 2015, and branched out into a line of cookbooks, including the uber-popular 101 Easy Asian Recipes and, most recently, a vegetable book, a sausage book, and the upcoming egg book.

    The magazine won nine James Beard awards –including Publication of the Year in 2016- and a National Magazine Award for General Excellence.

    Peter Meehan confirmed Lucky Peach’s imminent shutter in a blog post last March. “I think it’s important for you to know that Lucky Peach loves you and REALLY values the time you’ve spent together” wrote Meehan. “Once it gets over its own internal grieving process, maybe it’ll even be able to manage an adult press release” he added.

    “The finale for Lucky Peach comes in the form of a double-issue: a 210-page celebration of Lucky Peach’s six year run featuring a selection of its best interviews, guides and recipes” reports It’s Nice That. As well as featuring Lucky Peach’s best articles, recipes and art from the last 24 issues, the final instalment does include a few new things which are ready to be served. A proper tribute to one of the industry’s most beloved publication that we wish we could feast on forever.  

  • SNL's ode to the overused #Papyrus font goes viral overnight

    This week Saturday Night Live entered the typographic realm with one of it's best sketches in ages. Host to SNL's season 43 premiere is a man haunted by Avatar's font of choice, the overused computer default font Papyrus. Psychotic Gosling is mad at James Cameron’s Papyrus font to his 2009 blockbuster Avatar movie - many graphic designers are still furious over the kind of random choice for one of Hollywood's most best-selling brands.

    "As far as fonts go, Papyrus isn’t quite as laughable as the beloved joke that is Comic Sans, but it’s pretty close. In this short but hilarious skit, Gosling’s character can’t stop obsessing over the laziness of Cameron’s decision to slap a slightly modified version of Papyrus onto a movie that cost $237 million to produce. After a failed attempt to explain the issue to his therapist, played by a baffled Kate McKinnon, we see him driving around and brooding, not unlike his character in Drive" reports VOX. James Cameron himself is just another reason to watch this hilarious typography infused skit.

    #Papyrus #SNLPremiere were the hashtags which quickly earned acclaim on Twitter.

    Speaking to CNBC, the font's creator Chris Costello, shared his enjoyment over SNL's acclaimed sketch. "I woke up this morning Sunday and my email was full. I had a lot of people telling me, 'Did you see this 'Saturday Night Live' thing?' I took a look at it and me and my wife were like cracking up, I mean we couldn't stop laughing. It was one of the best things I've seen". 

    "I designed the font when I was 23 years old. I was right out of college. I was kind of just struggling with some different life issues, I was studying the Bible, looking for God and this font came to mind, this idea of, thinking about the biblical times and Egypt and the Middle East. I just started scribbling this alphabet while I was at work and it kind of looked pretty cool. "I had no idea it would be on every computer in the world and used for probably every conceivable design idea. This is a big surprise to me as well" he added. CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano asked Costello why he thinks Papyrus became one of the most hated fonts by graphic designers.

    "I really think -- and again if I can take this time to apologize to my brother and sister graphic designers. I'm a graphic designer as well, I'm an illustrator ... I believe it's a well-designed font, it's well-thought out" he replied on the story of the font which he sold for a mere $750 and "very low royalty payments".  "It was sold to Microsoft, it was sold to Apple ... it came packaged with Mac OS. It ended up being a default font set on every computer since 2000. Since that point, it's been on every computer in the world ... anybody who has a Mac or Microsoft operating system. With that broad range, that broad appeal, anybody could use it, not just graphic designers," he said. "So that's when I began to see it turn up everywhere: mortgage ads, construction logos. It was kind of out of control. It was not my intent to be used for everything -- it's way overused" reports CBS News. 

    Papyrus - SNL

  • Zak Group makes history for the Chicago Architecture Biennial

    The second edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) is the largest architecture and design exhibition in North America, showcasing the transformative global impact of creativity and innovation in these fields. To celebrate the event Zak Group provided the art direction for this second edition of the biennial titled “Make New History”.

    “In addition to designing the catalogue, we designed the visual identity, campaign, signage and wayfinding system” says Zak Group who collaborated with with artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee.

    “The design of the jacket draws upon the visual language of contrasting colors and repetition that we developed for the biennial’s identity. The color pallet references Faber Birren’s industrial color code for DuPont while the typographic treatment draws upon the transformation of language into images by Chicago émigrés designers. Make New History, published by Lars Müller Publishers, is organised around four historical themes, signified by coral pink spreads, and two collective projects, denoted by cobalt blue spreads with contrasting typography” notes the studio on the accompanied publication which brings together an eminent collection of writers including Sarah Herda, Robert Somol, Philip Ursprung, Sarah Whiting and the biennial’s contributing architects and artists.

    This year’s Biennial features over 141 practitioners from more than 20 countries addressing the 2017 theme “Make New History.” Artistic Directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee have selected architects and artists whose eye-opening creations will invite the public to explore how the latest architecture can and will make new history in places around the world.

    The main exhibition is free and open to the public from September 16, 2017 through January 7, 2018 and it extends to off-site locations and is amplified through six community anchor exhibitions in the neighborhoods and two special project sites – plus installations, performances, talks, films, and more hosted by over 100 local and global cultural partners.

    The Chicago Architecture Biennial is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating an international forum on architecture and urbanism through the production of exhibitions and public programs.