The very first line of Adrian Shaughnessy’s new collection of essays reads: “Why would anyone want to read about graphic design?” It’s a bullish opening gambit to introduce 400 pages of graphic design writing, but of course the answer is fairly obvious – when it’s this darn good. Scratching the Surface is the latest release from the Unit Editions publishers and brings together articles from the past 18 years split up into sections including profiles, education, music and reviews as well as graphic design and illustration.
From pieces on Vaughan Oliver and Neville Brody to The Apprentice and the Royal Family, Adrian’s trademark sharp, erudite and witty style is present on every page and it’s not hard to see why he is widely considered one of the best design writers working today. His pieces are constructed in a way both designers and civilians can enjoy and engage with, reflecting his ongoing battle against the ghettoisation of the craft. It’s also – as one would expect – very well-designed with liberal use of hot pink and a good image section to contextualise some of his thoughts.
- Creative director David Lane tells us about redesigning frieze and creating campaigns for Hermés and Ally Capellino
- Photographer Zuza Krajewska's fragile portraits of Polish young offenders
- Anibal Bley’s Risograph zine experiments with glitchy patterns and illustrations
- CG Watkins’ narratively driven photography conveys mystery and escapism
- Sharp Type creates punchy typeface inspired by Swiss designer Adrian Frutiger
- Illustrator Susa Monteiro’s lonely figures battle the elements
- Grope Sans: a very rude typeface by Bompas & Parr
- Japanese graphic designer Ryu Mieno creates type-heavy works fizzing with energy
- The reductive and exacting work of graphic designer Laura Prim
- Why creative education for advertising is stuck in the dark ages
- Leipzig-based graphic designer Anja Kaiser takes us through her portfolio
- Nicolas Jaar releases Network, a book inspired by radio