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Rick Poynor
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Archive: January 2012


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.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (9)

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 MORE | COMMENTS (4)

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.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (8)

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.

READ MORE | COMMENTS
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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