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Rick Poynor
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Archive: November 2010


Rethinking Conceptual Type Design

Where are the idealistic fonts, the artsy fonts, the non fonts, the political fonts, the funny fonts, the difficult fonts, the fonts that do not look like fonts, fonts that are frontiers of new belief?

That’s a very good question. The organizers of “Conceptual Type — Type Led by Ideas” posed it at a conference held in Copenhagen last week.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (3)

What Does H. P. Lovecraft Look Like?

We live in a gilded age of adaptations: films, TV series, theatrical productions (often with added songs) and most recently, graphic novels. People are much more likely now to have experienced an interpretation of the original than they are to have read the actual book. Literary classics don’t come much trickier to re-envision for a new generation than H. P. Lovecraft’s short novel At the Mountains of Madness.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (9)

Adventures in the Image World

This is a blog about visual culture. It reflects my interests, enthusiasms, concerns and bêtes noires across the spectrum of visual phenomena. Naturally, I’ll be observing design here, but the blog won’t be held hostage by that task. It can’t be. The area of design that preoccupies me most ― communication design ― is usually a means to an end. It exists in relation to something else. It’s a communicative surface, a connective tissue: the visible part of an object or experience that pulls in the viewer or reader.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (5)

Danzig Baldaev’s Prison House of Flesh

Fuel’s Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia, which appeared in 2004, was a shrewdly judged piece of publishing. The meticulous ink drawings of tattoos made by Danzig Baldaev, a prison guard from 1948 to 1986, had a horrible fascination for viewers safe in the knowledge that they would never have to endure anything as harsh, perilous and sadistic as the Soviet penal system.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (1)

Design Writing from Down Under

A new issue of The National Grid arrives in the mail. You’ve never seen it? You are missing a treat. I would probably never have come across this design journal from New Zealand either, if I hadn’t met one of its editors, Luke Wood, at a design conference in London a few years ago.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

On My Shelf: Surrealism Permanent Revelation

This post is the first in an occasional series. The idea is to revisit a book from my bookshelf. Some will be books I use often. Some might have been gathering dust. Sometimes they’ll be about visual subjects, sometimes they’ll be visually notable and sometimes they’ll be both. It could be a publication of intense relevance to me, it could have obvious wider significance, or it could work both ways.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (2)

An App for the Self-Replacing Book

British artist Tom Phillips’ A Humument, based on an old Victorian novel, must be one of the most successful artist’s books ever published. Well before digital culture accustomed us to the idea that a project need never be finished and that it was mentally limiting to think in those terms, Phillips was creating a labyrinth of artfully altered, obscured and recast pages that seemed capable of indefinite revision.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (1)
Rick Poynor is a writer, critic, lecturer and curator, specialising in design, media, photography and visual culture. He founded Eye, co-founded Design Observer, and contributes columns to Eye and Print. His latest book is Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design.


Recent Book


Uncanny Surrealism and Graphic Design
Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design
Rick Poynor
Moravian Gallery, 2010
More books by Rick Poynor >>


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