126 COMPUTER ARTS REDESIGNS
Stepping back from its eclectic style, Computer Arts redesigns in 2009 with a cleaner, subtler layout approach driven by the Akkurat typeface. Artist Rik Oostenbroek’s graphic art adorns the front cover and the focus inside turns to inspiration, technique and great design.
127 TRANSATLANTIC TYPE TRIUMPH
Paul Barnes and Christian Schwartz are each formidable type designers on their own, but put them together as Commercial Type and they’re unstoppable. With Barnes in London and Schwartz in New York, they form a creative partnership in 2004, and continue to create fonts for publications and corporations that want something unique to use in their branding work. They are named two of the 40 most influential young designers in 2006 by Wallpaper* and have created fonts like Guardian Sans, Stag and FF Bau (a digitisation of the font used by the Bauhaus movement). Their latest is the sans serif Zizou, which began life as an attempt by Schwartz to draw Antique Olive from memory.
128 THE MUSHROOM GIRLS VIRUS BOOK
Released by Die Gestalten Verlag in 2005, Deanne Cheuk’s book of illustration – purporting to be a book about identifying edible fungi – was a sensation. It led the way in the illustration industry with Cheuk’s mixed-media approach and adept sense of colour. Now it changes hands for between £150 and £300 a copy. We interviewed her in issue 148 in 2008.
129 YOUNG CREATIVE NETWORK SPRINGS INTO LIFE
When it first starts off in 2001, London-based YCN holds events and arranges educational programmes to help young creatives start their careers on the right foot. The initiative grows and grows and, in addition to supporting designers and illustrators, YCN forms its own fully fledged agency with an internal team and a network of contributors. In effect, it can show young creatives how to find jobs, help improve their skills, and actually give them work. There are still YCN exhibitions, it publishes its own quarterly magazine, and has a library full of creative books and DVDs.
130 PAULA SCHER AND PENTAGRAM FOR WINDOWS 8
Apple might be the choice of designers, but Microsoft is a Pentagram client and Paula Scher’s latest major piece of design work is the Windows 8 identity. “Your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?” she asks early in the process according to the Pentagram blog, and the waving, four-coloured flag design has given way to a flat, blue, four-pane window tilted into perspective, alongside the sans serif Windows text. It’s simpler, with no shading, gradients or drop shadows, and no gel or chrome look. It’s a bold step, but one that fits with the ‘Metro’ design vision for Windows Phone with its extremely slick interface. A classic piece of design, as ever, from Scher.
131 HOSS SPANKS A MONKEY
In 1995, designer Hoss Gifford’s Flammable Jam launches a Flash game called Spank the Monkey – in which you hit an inflatable ape as fast as you possibly can with a giant cursor hand. It’s a massive success and a viral hit for the agency.
132 CARSON MAGAZINE OR A HOAX?
Followers of leading American designer David Carson grow very excited late in 2010 when rumours begin circulating that he is designing a brand new magazine called Carson. One issue did arrive, receiving a splattering of somewhat negative reviews, and it later transpires that Carson is denying all involvement in the project. Soon after a dispute breaks out on Twitter and on certain design blogs, amplified by anxious fans who quote the unedifying argument between publisher Alex Storch and Carson via all sorts of social media channels. The same magazine is now called Untitled, and continues to publish.
133 FORM AND DEPECHE MODE
One of the many fine music packaging projects undertaken by London studio Form is the cover of Depeche Mode’s 2001 album Exciter, featuring a photo of an exotic and suggestive green flower, and hand-rendered text. The album itself is raw and minimal in comparison to others released by the band, and the design seems to reflect this. Form has worked with an array of other acts including Pendulum, Pixie Lott and Girls Aloud, and has done plenty of non-music work, such as the brochure for space tourism agency Virgin Galactic.
134 PICK ME UP
Supporting a new wave of designer/ makers and artist/illustrators, the Pick Me Up festival holds its first annual event at Somerset House in 2010. Creatives are invited to make and sell imagery at the exhibition, and Rob Ryan sets up a studio in residence at the first event. Later participants include McBess, Jules Julien, Revenge is Sweet and Sarah Arnett.
135 THE TIMES REDESIGN
The multitalented Luke Prowse proves his genius working with Neville Brody at Research Studios on the 2006 redesign of The Times. After studying the development of Times Roman over the centuries, he refines the font and creates the newspaper’s masthead. This helps one of the world’s leading newspapers find its feet again following its shift to tabloid format.
136 BY DESIGNERS FOR DESIGNERS
After the dotcom bomb, digital creatives Ryan Carson and Ryan Shelton found BD4D in 2001 as a way for designers to share skills and ideas. They find inspirational speakers, a venue and a sponsor for free beers. Soon they have events in London, New York and San Francisco. Carson now runs Treehouse, and Shelton founded The Noble Union.
137 SUDTIPOS FOR SCRIPT FONTS
2006: When it comes to script fonts, Sudtipos foundry seems to have it covered. Each of the fonts found in the Bluemlein collection is a digitised version of the calligraphic work of Charles Bluemlein originally created in the 1940s. Of course, you can get some fine display, serif, sans serif and slab fonts from Sudtipos as well. It’s the first foundry of its kind in Argentina.
138 DESIGN MUSEUM SHOP REBRAND
There aren’t many more prestigious design briefs than being asked to create an identity for the Design Museum – the veritable Mecca of design. Spin was given the honour of rebranding the institution’s shop, unveiling its work early in 2012. The previous identity was created by Build in 2007, with the logotype created by Graphic Thought Facility in 2003.
139 SIGGI’S SCANDINAVIAN STYLE
Icelandic illustrator Siggi Eggertsson catapults onto the scene in 2003 with a unique way of building images from triangles and other basic shapes. Mixing modernism with Nordic traditional creativity, a raft of Scandinavian illustrators follow him into the mainstream, such as Edvard Scott (Sweden), Sanna Annukka (UK/Finland) and Janine Rewell (Finland).
140 CINEMA 4D FOR 3D
Version three of Cinema 4D launches on the Commodore Amiga in 1995 – but capable though it is, the home computer is on the way out. A year later, C4D is ported to Windows and later arrives on the Mac. Since then it has become the tool of choice for illustrators wanting to add 3D elements.
141 PROJECTION MAPPING IS SUPER GOOD
Sometimes the simplest solutions create the most appealing visual effects. Using powerful LED projectors, French studio Superbien has been illuminating 3D geometric structures with stunning motion graphics and imagery since 2010. Incorporating some of the shapes into the graphics and using strong colours makes the effect even more intriguing to view.
142 HANDMADE COVER FOR WALLPAPER*
In 2010 James Joyce, Hort, Kam Tang, Anthony Burrill and Nigel Robinson all create elements for an app distributed for Wallpaper*’s handmade issue. Subscribers send in their designs created using the app, and when their mag arrives it has the bespoke image on front.
143 THE SE7EN TITLE SEQUENCE
Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow may have been the stars of 1995’s Se7en, but Kyle Cooper who directs its astounding title sequence sees his actors as the 26 letters of the alphabet. He and his team hand-draw each letter and direct them through all sorts of motions, digitally and in camera, in a style that later becomes known as kinetic typography.
144 THE ART OF LOOKING SIDEWAYS
One of Britain’s greatest designers, Alan Fletcher passes away in September 2006. He worked with Colin Forbes and Bob Gill in the 1960s, founding the practice that would evolve into Pentagram in 1972. His logos for Reuters and the V&A are still in use today. His 2001 book The Art of Looking Sideways analyses a huge collection of influential graphic design projects over the years.
145 FREEHAND 7 RELEASED
Officially called FreeHand Graphics Studio 7, Macromedia’s vector graphics application is at the top of its game in 1996. Fontographer 4.1, Extreme 3D 2 and xRes come in the bundle, and clean, vector graphics become the in-look for the next decade.
146 BUILDING BUILD
After nine years with tDR , Michael C. Place decides to plough his own design, illustration and typographic furrow, and sets up Build in 2001. Nokia, Sony, Getty Images and many more A-list clients have come to the studio for its instinctive approach to design.
147 V&A GOES RETAIL
Since 2008, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s brand has become nearly as important as the museum itself. Its retail identity can now be seen in giftshops around the country, with a logotype designed through the merging of characters by Why Not Associates.
148 MODERN CULTURE WITH PIXELSURGEON
Providing online commentary before the word ‘blogging’ has really come into the vernacular, Richard May, Jason Arber and Rina Cheung cater to digital designers’ tastes in art, music, film and more via their website Pixelsurgeon in 2001. The site closes in 2007.
149 THE LAST THING YOU SEE IN DÜSSELDORF
Arguably typographer Erik Spiekermann’s most functional yet beautiful (in a modernist way) font, Info is created for use in Düsseldorf Airport’s wayfinding system in 1997. The designer is effectively your guide when you arrive or depart from the city.
150 BRIAN CANNON, HERE, NOW
The cover art for 1997’s Be Here Now, possibly the record cover that best sums up the 1990s, is designed by Brian Cannon of Microdot. He’d originally met Noel Gallagher of Oasis pre-record-deal in a lift when the guitarist had admired his Adidas trainers.