Studio Culture: The Materialism of Matter
I visited this design studio in Denver last year. Studio is something of an understatement. Matter, founded by former hardcore punk and now typophile Rick Griffith, is more like a studio/print shop/dance club with a store selling funky self-printed material out front. As a space, the Matter studio has a thickness of texture that comes from leaving the shell battered, rough and unfinished, like a lovingly arrested ruin-in-progress.
Phil Sayer, Designer of Photo-Portraits
Like a lot of viewers, I first encountered Phil Sayer’s photographs in the pages of Blueprint
. Then I got a job on the magazine and met the man himself. Photography was absolutely central to Blueprint
and a whole cast of photographers did great work. For my money, Sayer was always the best, an image-maker whose way of shooting people helped to give the magazine a visual impact and presence that it has never equaled since.
The Closed Shop of Design Academia
The academic publisher Berg has just sent me its design catalogue for 2012. As I checked out recent and forthcoming titles, I felt exhilarated by these signs of industrious scholarship, serious thought and intellectual commitment to design, and regretful that so little of this material is likely to make it into the field’s everyday discourse, let alone the public realm. Shouldn’t it be part of an academic’s brief to communicate more widely?
The Enduring Influence of Richard Hollis
Design: Richard Hollis. Poster for Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1980
Outside of Britain, Richard Hollis
is probably best known for his books Graphic Design: A Concise History
(1994) and Swiss Graphic Design
(2006). Both volumes are indispensable components of any serious design library. The authority of these studies, their sense of intimate acquaintance with the development and practice of graphic design, comes from the less familiar side of Hollis’s activity: his long career as a designer since the late 1950s
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