Things this week includes an epic tome of illustration called Le Gun (one, two and three), and Toska – “a sensation of great spiritual anguish often without any specific cause…” Also, the legacy of the Arden Projects has been documented, and some concreted lyrics/typographic conceptuals have been typeset. Lastly, Things includes an alternative way to contemplate “bright white cornish pasty” or “bright white snow drop” paper stocks, for those who order paper samples, which is perhaps a lot of you…
Eternal Source of Light Devine YCN, Nick Ballon, Nelly Ben Hayoun
A pleasing and original stock sample book from Fedrigoni. A brilliant, if not surreally conceived book by YCN together with the ace stylist Nelly Ben Hayoun and photographer Nick Ballon. Some of it gets a bit Blue Velvet – a man smelling stock, a sexy ink close up, a woman lying on chair wrapping herself in paper etc. – but that’s good, I love that film.
Toska Lizzy Stewart
From a quote by Vladimir Nabokov, the word “toska” translates from Russian to something like “melancholia”. Here, the word has been interpreted with a deft quality in tone and line, firstly land-bound and grey, and then with people who are beginning to take the forms of their own wistful evocations. I like the pace here, and in so few pages it has a genuine feeling that pulls you through even though there is no narrative to speak of.
Wild Weeds Composed by J. Maizlish. Design by Emma Williams
A set of type that echoes the rhythm and structure of a songs lyrics, “set on the page according to how and where they fall in their original musical settings.” Bars of music are broken as lines in text, the beats per line cited in the left. It’s a wonderfully simple, temporally concrete book, written by J. Maizlish and designed by Emma Williams (overseen by Fraser Muggeridge).
Legacy: The Arden Projects Zelda Malan, Jack Llewellyn, Doug Stewart and Scott Taylor
Legacy, a collection of loose images and a book – which we are informed contains a pig’s innards and a gun, plus an imaginable spectrum in-between – is a document and celebration of Paul Arden, Toni Arden, the Arden Gallery itself, and the mutable, talented and “something you’d never seen before” students of Kingston University. It is also, and we totally agree, full of “clever ideas, great poignant images and passion.”
Le Gun 1, 2, 3 Le Gun
“Welcome to a planet created by tireless fantasists built with ink-stained hands and common ground,” so starts this epic book, a collection of the first three cult illustration publications, Le Gun. The artists who formed it, all ex-RCA students, have a pretty cool story as to its survival involving hangovers and a financier from Madness. But bigger than that of course is the content. A hefty dose of narrative, predominantly in shades of grey, iconic imagery and ideas, so many ideas it hurts. A very special object indeed.