• _dsc9907

    Ark issues #45 and #46 © Royal College of Art

  • _dsc9910

    Ark Issue #45 © Royal College of Art

  • _dsc9914

    Ark Issue #45 © Royal College of Art

  • _dsc9915

    Ark Issue #45 © Royal College of Art

  • _dsc9917

    Ark Issue #45 © Royal College of Art

  • _dsc9913

    Ark Issue #45 © Royal College of Art Alan Rickman’s Child’s Play

  • _dsc9920

    Ark Issue #45 © Royal College of Art

  • _dsc9912

    Ark Issue #46 © Royal College of Art

  • _dsc9921

    Ark Issue #46 © Royal College of Art

  • _dsc9923

    Ark Issue #46 © Royal College of Art

  • _dsc9926

    Ark Issue #46 © Royal College of Art

  • _dsc9927

    Ark Issue #46 © Royal College of Art

  • _dsc9928

    Ark Issue #46 © Royal College of Art – Alan Rickman’s interview with Jim Haynes

  • _dsc9930

    Ark Issue #46 © Royal College of Art – Alan Rickman’s interview with Jim Haynes

  • _dsc9931

    Ark Issue #46 © Royal College of Art – Alan Rickman’s interview with Jim Haynes

  • _dsc9932

    Ark Issue #46 © Royal College of Art – Alan Rickman’s interview with Jim Haynes

  • _dsc9934

    Ark Issue #46 © Royal College of Art

Graphic Design

The RCA Journal: The Alan Rickman Issues

Posted by Rob Alderson,

You might know him as the snarling Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series, the wandering-eyed husband in Love Actually or even the spoon-wielding maniacal Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, but you may be less familiar with Alan Rickman, graphic design student. So let us introduce you, thanks to these exclusively released images of two issues of the RCA journal Ark (now called ARC) on which he worked. They’ve come to light again after Michael Crowe unknowingly selected one of Rickman’s issues to use as the basis for a fundraising poster.

The man with the most expressive face in showbusiness (not counting Jim Carey, but nobody counts Jim Carey) was a post graduate graphic design student at the RCA in the late 1960s and worked on issues #45 and #46 (1969 and 1970) of the journal as the copy editor. He also wrote articles in each one – an interview with Jim Haynes and a piece called Child’s Play where he spent a day as a supervisor in a children’s play park.

That piece is impossible to read not in his famously dulcet tones: “Your successes will be smaller than your failures. For every child you can reason into submission there will be dozens who you will submit to for no other reason than maybe they can string together a greater variety of obscenities and deliver them with a more truly eloquent arrogance than you could ever hope for.”

Ark stopped being published just a few years later in 1978 but was relaunched in 2004 and now the current editorial team are using Kickstarter to raise funds for its next issue. The middle rewards for supporters will be one of Michael’s limited edition posters created using three issues from the archives, one of which just so happened to be one Rickman had helped oversee.

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. List-motherdesign_sundancefilmfestival_2

    “It’s been funny seeing ‘Robert Redford to sign off’ on our work plans in recent months," Mark Aver, Mother Design New York design director tells us, revealing the new identity for the 2015 edition of the Sundance Film Festival. The independent film festival, which started in 1978 in Utah, is chaired by Redford, who from the sounds of it, takes quite a hands-on approach.

  2. _llisr-meteor

    French design duo My Name is Wendy caught our eye earlier this year with the innovative D/I/M/E/N/S/I/O/N typographic poster series. The studio recently launched a new site showcasing some great new projects that suggest the pair’s Bauhaus-esque graphic approach is going from strength to strength. Two projects particularly intrigued us – the first being a poster series which acts as a part of a wider project in which the studio creates the fictional land of Meteor.

  3. List-tumblr_ncojdd7pid1tap5jeo1_1280

    Taiwan-born graphic designer Wang Zhi-Hong claims the place that most stimulates his imagination most is one with “no one but me”. In a somewhat reluctant-sounding chat with French magazine Post IM, he paints a careful picture of himself as a man of solitude and precision. Whether or not this makes for a happy life, it certainly makes for some superb graphic design work. From his impressive portfolio we were most drawn to his book design, which takes this idea of a simple, uncluttered existence and turns it into beautiful pared back, precise creations. We were particularly seduced by the monochrome Yohji Yamamoto book designs, with the glorious curved forms of Japanese kanji characters given space to breathe against this restrained aesthetic.

  4. List-dhub_brochures_inside

    Pitching for a design museum identity that will act as the platform for some of the most celebrated designers the world over can’t be an easy task. How to merge tradition and modernity? To create something beautiful, that doesn’t detract from the work itself? So when Mallorcan agency Atlas put forward their proposals for the new Barcelona Design Museum’s identity, it’s perhaps little surprise they worried their ideas were “too modern and risky.”

  5. List00_mitml_posters

    Pentagram partner Michael Bierut and designer Aron Fay have designed a new identity for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, creating this striking, labyrinth-like look that brilliantly communicates the faculty’s “anti-disciplinary” approach.

  6. List-2

    When it comes to psychedelic album artwork, it sometimes feels like the very best might already be behind us – Wes Wilson, Mouse & Kelly and Rick Griffin already having worked through the golden era. There’s something reassuring about the knowledge that graphic designers are still looking for ways to incorporate psychedelic elements into their designs though, and French graphic artist Lucas Donaud is foremost amongst them.

  7. Stationary

    Hotel branding can so often be a dowdy affair, as if the design nods to the temporary nature of the building’s inhabitants – something to move on from, rather than to dwell on. So it’s wonderful to see a brave, opulent new identity for the Connaught in London’s Mayfair, designed by The Partners around a stunning new artwork by Kristjana S Williams which now hangs in the hotel.

  8. List

    I was surprised to learn that Amsterdam’s HOAX studio don’t seem to have been on the site before, and faced with their wide-ranging portfolio it was a challenge to focus in on a narrative that made sense. Founders Bram Buijs, Sven Gerhardt and Steven van der Kaaij joined forces based on their “shared love for typography, material and experimentation” and this passion for fresh creative thinking runs throughout their work.

  9. List

    Creating a cohesive identity for a design conference might not seem like such a tall order, but the reality of producing flyers, bags, programmes and that all-important logo mark for an international event isn’t as simple as you might think. For starters there’s an abundance of conferences out there, each with it’s own unique look and feel, so creating visuals that present a point of difference will always pose a challenge; secondly how on earth do you make a talks timetable look exciting?

  10. List

    Boasting PVC-clad bottoms, surreal jazz photography and beautifully-rendered risograph prints of basketball hoops, Shabazz Projects’ homepage certainly offers a well-curated and striking experience. The LA-based publishing platform was founded by Hassan Rahim and Brian Okarski, releasing art, photography and design-focused books and objects, all with a run of 200 or fewer editions. Stand-out pieces include the Various Basketball Hoops risographs, which put a whimsical spin on these often weary-looking monoliths; and Eric Wrenn and Antje Peters’ Jazz photographs, which place instruments against a dramatic plume of smoke. Hassan and Brian say their aim is to “provoke and surprise,” and from the images on their site alone, they’re certainly not letting themselves down.

  11. Hellotalja_kit-list-image

    Many a blue-sky-thinker and envelope-pusher has been extolling the virtues of meditation and mindfulness to pseudo-spiritually swell their business jargon lately. So it’s refreshing when a beautifully branded, creatively-minded product emerges that promises to offer that lucrative “pause from modern life.”

  12. List

    If all the magazines and small publications that used the internet as their subject matter were dumped on your head it’d be curtains for you – there’s bloody loads of them. Some, like Offscreen, deal with the people that make digital culture happen and try to bring these unsung heroes out from behind their screens into the RGB limelight, others, like French publication Nichons – Nous Dans l’Internet (Tits – We In The Internet) are more conceptually-minded, analysing and assessing the social and cultural phenomena brought about by the ubiquity of technology.

  13. Main

    Setting up a design studio and changing your name to a cool pseudonym is a good two-fingers-up to life on the quiet side. Parisian designer Julien Ducourthial decided to make this leap, and now overseas The Jazzist, offering bold, fluoro design work “serving in fields of graphic design, illustration and art direction in digital & printed media.” When Julien emailed us he told us he was inspired by 8-bit imagery and cartoons, which gave us an immediate inkling that we were going to like his work. Anyone looking to commission a great French designer any time soon? Julien is your man.