In Response to An Anatomy of Uncriticism
Alexandra Lange has an interesting piece in the latest issue of Print
about the sacred cows of graphic design. I was agog to hear what she would say about the field’s self-congratulatory ways and deep-seated reluctance to criticize sainted figures and celebrated institutions. Weirdly, though, she almost entirely sidesteps the issue. Most of the examples in her essay are peripheral to graphic design.
Ernst Haas and the Color Underground
As a visual journalist working for national news magazines, Ernst Haas needed to show intelligible scenes, to tell stories. In his more personal color pictures, he moves in much closer to his subjects in search of a new visual world. Untethered from its setting, form starts to become abstract, focus blurs and colors flare. A recent book, Color Correction, seeks to restore Haas to
“the vanguard of twentieth century photography.”
Read All That? You Must be Kidding Me
The issues surrounding reading and writing that Ellen Lupton raises in an essay for Graphic Design: Now in Production
have been with us for decades. From Amusing Ourselves to Death
to The Gutenberg Elegies
to The Shallows
cultural critics have clanged the alarm about the fate of reading in an electronic age. While these issues do possess a design dimension, addressing them largely from a designer’s perspective misses some central points.
On My Shelf: Jean-Luc Godard Anthologized
This collection of essays was one of the first books about Jean-Luc Godard to appear in English. Its one of a kind cover by the late Lawrence Ratzkin, almost an anti-cover, feels cerebral yet improvised, considered yet casual, just like one of Godard’s exhilarating, mold-breaking, unclassifiable films. The separate layers form a series of masks — who is
Godard? — that never quite resolve into an immediately legible image.