I think I’ve discovered the secret of life – you just hang around until you get used to it.
Sally Brown, Peanuts.
Charles Monroe Schulz (November 26, 1922 – February 12, 2000) was an American cartoonist. His wonderful comic strip Peanuts proved one of the most popular and influential in the history of the medium. Still reprinted today it remains a benchmark in cartooning.
I’ve been a huge fan of the Peanuts characters since picking up the Coronet paperback reprints of the daily strips back in the late 1960s. The world of Charlie Brown, Linus, Sally, Lucy, Woodstock and of course Snoopy was and remains today a wonderful place full of warm humour and sardonic wit.
For the love of Peanuts
Schultz’s skilled drawing fascinated me. Brilliantly simple lines and yet so full of character and expression.
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It has been over a year since I began this blog (September 2009 in fact), and I felt that the time had come for a little make over and so I’ve opted for a new look. The clever folks at WordPress make this sort of thing a breeze, so I can’t take the credit for the design. This ‘theme’ is by mg12
Filed under Blogging, Design
El lissitzky self portrait
I was sorting out the studio as things had recently reached a tipping point, and rediscovered a number of older books on typography, design and photography. Foto-Auge was a particular pleasure to thumb through again. I found it years ago in a book sale a the late and lamented Philip Son & Nephew in Liverpool. More about that bookshop another time maybe.
Two books were published to accompany the 1929 “Film und Foto” exhibition in Stuttgart organized by the Deutscher Werkbund — Foto-Auge, edited by Franz Roh and Jan Tschichold, and Es kommt der neue Fotograf!, edited by Werner Gräff (Art Locked Stacks).
The cover design for Foto-Auge
My copy of Foto-Auge is a 1974 facsimile edition published by Thames and Hudson.
The cover depicts El Lissitzky’s now famous “Self Portrait” of the artist as a hand in service to the eye celebrating photography and the book features work from the world’s leading modernist photographers, as well as anonymous news and bureau photos. Tschichold ensures a clean design with the text entirely in lower case.
Foto-Auge served as the catalog of the work exhibited in the exhibition in 1929.
Spread showing pages 24 and 25
Spread showing pages 28 and 29
This spread shows Photograms by Man Ray – see my previous post on Man Ray.
Film und Foto poster 1929
It is most important that the workman should not have to watch his instrument, that his whole attention should be given to the work. A sculptor does not see his hammer and chisel when he is carving, but only the stone in front of him. Similarly the hand press printer can give his whole attention to inking & printing, and hardly sees his press.
An essay on typography. 1931
What remains of the Futurist cinema
The Futurist Cinema was very popular and managed to retain its hold even after competition from the huge Paramount (Odeon) and Forum (ABC) opened which sometimes forced the Futurist into taking off-circuit films.
Not much of a future here these days. I can’t remember the films I’ve watched in the Futurist over the years, but I always loved the name. I’m sad to see it in such a bad shape. The font looks like Futura, very apt in an ironic way.
Design for the real world
As socially and morally involved designers, we must address ourselves to the needs of the world with its back to the wall while the hands on the clock point perpetually to one minute before twelve.
Helsinki – Singaradja (Bali) – Stockholm 1963-71
Design for the real world.
iMac desktop computer
“… on the other hand, the introduction of mechanical methods into small workshops has an immediate effect on the workmen. Inevitably they tend to take more interest in the machine and less in the work…”
From An essay on typography by Eric Gill, 1936.
I read this passage a few days ago and I felt it to be a pertinent reminder that the ‘work’ has to come first. It’s all too easy to allow the machine to help you make shortcuts when you know damn well there’s a better solution to be had. Sometimes a designer has to pull back from the technology (brilliant though it has become) and concentrate on the work itself. Before it’s too late.