Fear and Loathing in Pen and Ink
Ralph Steadman, Drawing from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson, 1971
When I learned last week of the death by suicide of journalist Hunter S. Thompson
, the first thing that came to mind wasn't a piece of writing, book title, or turn of phrase. It was the work of his longtime collaborator Ralph Steadman.
I'm sure I wasn't alone...
Designing Under the Influence
Untitled, Barbara Kruger, 1987
The other day I was interviewing a young designer, just nine months out of school. The best piece in her portfolio was a packaging program for an imaginary cd release: packaging, advertising, posters. All of it was Futura Bold Italic, knocked out in white in bright red bands, set on top of black and white halftones. Naturally, it looked great...
Authenticity: A User's Guide
Packaging for Classico Pasta Sauce, Duffy Design Group, 1986
I've always considered radio the most verite
of news sources, but a recent piece on the weekly National Public Radio show On the Media, "Pulling Back the Curtain"
, exposed how much work goes into making NPR's reporting sound so, well, real. "The public is far less aware of editing on radio than on television or in print," said reporter John Solomon. "For example, to eliminate words, a TV producer has to use more visible means, such as a cutaway shot or jump cut. Newspaper reporters by form must put a break between non-consecutive quotations, among other constraints." Solomon then demonstrated how a radio producer, in contrast, could digitally alter a recording to tighten awkward pauses, eliminate words, restructure sentences, all to create a new, improved, seamless and utterly convincing version of reality.
The show's host, Brooke Gladstone, suggested in her introduction to the piece that some listeners might be shocked by these revelations...
The Comfort of Style
Anonymous proposal for rebuilding of the World Trade Center, circa September 17, 2001
You probably got one emailed to you back in the fall of 2001. I bet I got at least ten. It was a brutally unsubtle joke, but in those early aching days when I first saw it it gave me a little satisfaction: the World Trade Center rebuilt as a blunt, defiant gesture. Philip Nobel saw it too...