Monthly Archives: July 2011

The hand written letter project

Hand written letter

Hand written letter example

When did you last receive a hand written letter through the post? When did you last write a hand written letter? With all the means at our disposal thanks to technology, letter writing in the ‘traditional’ sense has all but vanished. I know the state of my handwriting is so poor that I would always use any other means at my disposal from a typewriter and more recently a computer to produce my written communications. But I have always enjoyed reading letters and postcards from the past and due to the nature of the work we have done for libraries, museums and the National Trust many examples have passed through the studio.

When I came across ‘The hand written letter project’ via swissmiss, I was intrigued. This is from their website:

DEAR READER.

The HAND.WRITTEN.LETTER.PROJECT was after a conversation about how personal a letter can be:
a fact that is currently drowning in a tide of depersonalisation, with junk mail and automated correspondence.

There is always something nice about receiving a letter, especially these days when email, text, status updates, and tweets, dominate our communication, leaving many to lose sight of the things that have been around for a while (like
ink and paper). However, it is important that they do not.

The project extends an invites leading designers and creative thinkers to write and share their thoughts in handwritten form and on their own letterhead. The finished examples can be viewed on the website.

The hand-written letter project exhibition runs from 5 – 27 August at the KK Outlet 42 Hoxton Square, London,N1


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Comics Letterheads

Batman letterhead

Bob Kane, Batman letterhead

Being a comics fan and a designer, it was interesting to take a look at how identity design meets comic books via their company letterheads. All is revealed at the Comics Alliance where you can see 24 (mainly vintage) letterhead designs featuring characters and companies such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Marvel Comics, Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbs.

Wonder Woman letterhead

Wonder Woman letterhead

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Thought for Friday

Selling Air?

Marchel Duchamp once exhibited a small glass ampoule as a readymade titled 50 cc of Paris Air. The object is now in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which reports that Duchamp “purchased this ‘empty’ ampoule from a pharmacist in Paris as a souvenir,” in 1919 – and adds that the thing was broken in 1949, “thus begging the question: Is the air [in the repaired version] even from Paris anymore?”

50 cc of Paris Air, Marcel Duchamp

50 cc of Paris Air, Marcel Duchamp

Over on Design Observer I found a very interesting post on selling air. Yes, the stuff we breath. I guess if you can sell old rope on e-bay (it has been done), you can sell virtually anything at all.

Just in case you don’t believe me…

Canned air from Prague

Canned air from Prague

If you want some go here.

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Thought for Friday

“We have a home up there, and we’re destined to be up there and we’re destined to go beyond low-Earth orbit, perhaps set up a colony on the Moon and go on to Mars.”
Chris Ferguson, commander of STS-135, ‘Final Space Shuttle Crew Profiled,’ NASA TV, 24 June 20

Shuttle Atlantis

Shuttle Atlantis

From the BBC:
The 135th and final space shuttle mission has lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Space shuttle Atlantis was launched into history at 1129 local time (1529 GMT; 1629 BST) on Friday.
The 12-day mission will ferry 3.5 tonnes of supplies to the International Space Station.
Upon its return, the 30-year space shuttle programme will come to a close, with Atlantis and the other two shuttles retired to museums.

A few stats about the Shuttle missions:

135 missions (33 for Atlantis)
355 astronauts taken into space 1981
870000000km flown by the fleet
2.5 million moving parts on the shuttle and its boosters

The mission patch:

Atlantis mission patch

Atlantis mission patch

Whatever your views on the space programme, I hope you will join me in wishing the crew of the Atlantis well on their mission and above all else a safe return to earth.

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Farewell Everyman – for now…

Everyman theatre

Everyman theatre at 10.00pm 2 July 2011

I gathered with others last Saturday evening to watch the end of an era as the Liverpool Everyman theatre closed for a two-year refurbishment.

The lettering appears on the roof

The lettering appears on the roof

One by one letters appear on the roof of the building…

With a flash of fire the letters ignite

With a flash of fire the letters ignite

The Everyman says farewell in a blaze of light…

See you in a couple of years! Goodbye for now…

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Thought for Friday

Many of the current generation of students seem to be motivated by social concerns. Where once their energies might have gone into designing CD covers and identities for cultural institutions, it is now commonplace to find students investigating ways in which design can drive social change. For me, this is the biggest single difference between today’s graduates and those from past years.
Adrian Shaughnessy 

Adrian Shaughnessy

Adrian-Shaughnessy

The above quote by Adrian Shaughnessy comes from his post over on Design Week as guest blogger. I urge you to read it.

Coincidentally, I’m Adrian’s book, How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul at the moment. An excellent book and one I would recommend to any designer or student of design.

Adrian's book

Adrian's book

Speaking of Design Week. I noticed it’s demise as a printed publication was mention over on David’s blog and I hope he doesn’t mind me quoting him when he says: I’m surprised that the demise of Design Week as a printed publication appears to have attracted so little comment out here in the blogosphere. Though I must admit that it’s a publication that it’s hard to feel any real affection for. But it was, nevertheless, a core component of being a designer these past 30 years.

I couldn’t agree more. There was something ‘detached’ and possibly aloof about Design Week. Nonetheless, it is a pity that there is no real substitute and in many ways I will miss it. I don’t believe it can survive in electronic form for long but I could be wrong. I will certainly read the free material on offer but I’m reluctant to pay for on-line content, especially when the likes of Design Observer exist.

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