Design Observer

About
Books
Job Board
Newsletters
Archive
Contact



Observatory

About
Resources
Submissions
Contact


Featured Writers

Michael Bierut
William Drenttel
John Foster
Jessica Helfand
Alexandra Lange
Mark Lamster
Paul Polak
Rick Poynor
John Thackara
Rob Walker


Departments

Advertisement
Audio
Books
Collections
Dear Bonnie
Dialogues
Essays
Events
Foster Column
From Our Archive
Gallery
Interviews
Miscellaneous
Opinions
Partner News
Photos
Poetry
Primary Sources
Projects
Report
Reviews
Slideshows
The Academy
Today Column
Unusual Suspects
Video


Topics

Advertising
Architecture
Art
Books
Branding
Business
Cities / Places
Community
Craft
Culture
Design History
Design Practice
Development
Disaster Relief
Ecology
Economy
Education
Energy
Environment
Fashion
Film / Video
Food/Agriculture
Geography
Global / Local
Graphic Design
Health / Safety
History
Housing
Ideas
Illustration
India
Industry
Info Design
Infrastructure
Interaction Design
Internet / Blogs
Journalism
Landscape
Literature
Magazines
Media
Museums
Music
Nature
Obituary
Other
Peace
Philanthropy
Photography
Planning
Poetry
Politics / Policy
Popular Culture
Poverty
Preservation
Product Design
Public / Private
Public Art
Religion
Reputations
Science
Shelter
Social Enterprise
Sports
Sustainability
Technology
Theory/Criticism
Transportation
TV / Radio
Typography
Urbanism
Water


Rick Poynor
Recent Essays | Biography | About | Books | Other Essays | Public Speaking | Uncanny | Other Exhibitions | Contact

Archive: December 2011


How We Learned to Live with Zombies

Are the tasteful precincts of Design Observer, where most writers’ thoughts usually run to saving the planet, the place to admit to an interest in zombie films? Perhaps we can see these grotesque fantasies of a world on the brink of collapse as the dark, unmentionable flipside of the same philanthropic coin. Who could have predicted 20 years ago that The Walking Dead, a TV series about survival after the zombie apocalypse, would become such a hit?

READ MORE | COMMENTS (4)

Saul Leiter and the Typographic Fragment

Saul Leiter’s early color photographs must surely rank as one of the great photographic rediscoveries of the last decade. These are pictures that have you instantly reaching for words like epiphanic, rhapsodic and elegiac to describe their poetic intimations and delicate painterly effects. What kind of preternaturally hyper-trained eye does it take to find and resolve in a picture, in an instant, compositions of such visual complexity and internal harmony?

READ MORE | COMMENTS (1)

Another Design Voice Falls Silent

I was planning to write a post responding to a special feature about design criticism published in Grafik when the news broke that the magazine had abruptly ceased publishing — its second demise after closing in 2010 and then rising from the ashes in February this year. Nothing could highlight more glaringly the precarious position of design publishing and criticism today.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (23)

Man in a Bowler: Illustration after Magritte

It’s not that I dislike Magritte, though I much prefer his darker pictures and word paintings from the 1920s and 1930s to the summery palette of the later paintings for which he is perhaps better known. But the countless “witty” copies by later illustrators of his conceptual conundrums and deadpan style have always grated. By appropriating his subject matter and method, they ended up making a great artist look hackneyed.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (4)
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 >>


Design Observer Archive


2013
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2012
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2011
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2010
December
November

2008
December
June
February

2007
April

2005
November
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2004
November
October
July
June
April
March
February
January

2003
December
November





DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS






RICK POYNOR: RECOMMENDATIONS


Eduardo Paolozzi: Collaging Culture
Simon Martin

The Flame Alphabet
Ben Marcus

Vivian Maier: Street Photographer
John Maloof

Why Art Photography?
Lucy Soutter

Les Revenants
Mogwai

Antiviral
Brandon Cronenberg

The Ballad of Narayama (1958)
Keisuke Kinoshita

The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
Shohei Imamura

McCullin
Jacqui Morris & David Morris

You, the Living
Roy Andersson