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.
- Steph Wilson, DR. ME, Women Who and Benedict Redgrove at Nicer Tuesdays August
- Artist Emily Mae Smith’s pop motifs and witty compositions
- Meet the prop-maker building imaginary boyfriends
- Graphic designer Biba Košmerl takes on organised disorder and what it means to be a true modernist
- Bjenny Montero, an underground hero of melancholic comics
- Animator Hoji Tsuchiya's patchwork video for Japanese singer Uri Nakayama
- Sagmeister & Walsh rebrands fashion label Milly to reflect its "edgy" new personality
- Dominic Wilcox designs art exhibition for dogs (plus exclusive artist sketches)
- Jaemin Lee’s gloriously retro exhibition identities and poster designs
- James Jean’s phantasmagorical world of technicolour fever dreams
- The Refugee Nation Olympic flag was inspired by a lifejacket
- Things: the inspiring post that got us through the long hot summer nights of August