Things is giddy because it’s the weekend so Things is feeling very playful indeed. It’s running madly through a field with a kite of dreams and tripping over long grasses of creativity along the way. Lighthearted, colourful publications, cheeky cards and even a children’s book are Things’ playmates this week and they’re all ready to get you in a footloose and fancy-free mood. And look, Things has just tagged you “It” so get chasing (reading), they’re waiting!
Peter Drinkell: The Bike-Owner’s Handbook
My dad is pretty bad with bicycles. For the past five years now he’s needed to repair the right pedal on his bike that continually falls off. Recently we both forgot this when we decided to go for a bike ride. While cycling up a hill, the pedal of course fell off making him lose momentum and begin travelling backwards with the pedal bouncing happily beside him. So perhaps The Bike-Owner’s Handbook has come out just in time for both my dad and anyone else in need of some simple bike-related help.
Written by Peter Drinkell this book is a manual of basic bicycle repair and upkeep with all the essentials covered from puncture repair, brake and gear adjustment to cleaning and maintenance. Compact and cleanly designed, hand-drawn diagrams are interspersed with lovely photographs and detailed but not unmanageable text. It’s a fun, labour of love made by someone who has a clear passion for this two-wheeled, well-oiled machine.
Ryan Todd: Greetings from Ryan Todd
I love a good greetings card and spend an inordinate amount of time in card shops choosing the perfect one for that particular someone. As a result I get peeved when people don’t share my appreciation for them or neglect to read the verse specially crafted for them. For my fellow card-lovers though, check out these simple, tongue-in-cheek and environmentally friendly greetings cards from Ryan Todd. With an array of cheeky designs, they’re the type of cards I’d like to make for people if I had the time and talent. Oh and they’re blank as well so that personal, epic love-poem you’ve been harbouring to share can be scribed onto the recycled stock with ease.
Eirik Traavik: Dank Magazine
The power of a well considered publication lies in convincing you it’s a good read even if you don’t have any direct affinities with the subject matter. Take Dank Magazine, an independent skateboard magazine based in Oslo, Norway. Yes I know, what are you doing reading a magazine about skateboarding? Well I didn’t believe it either, but the more I looked through, the more I was convinced. Full page photos, clean layouts and engaging content, Dank (a colloquial Norwegian term meaning “passing time doing nothing”) makes for a pleasurable read My favourite thing about it though? The fact that they’ve included a pamphlet of English translations for all the articles in the issue. If that isn’t thoughtfulness then I don’t know what is!
Sara Fanelli: The Onion’s Great Escape
While kids today are inundated with various technological toys and gadgets, i can be difficult to see through the mess of electronic beeps and touch-screen action and remember what else there is for children to enjoy. Books is the answer! And lucky with the ever-wonderful Sara Fanelli, her newest book, The Onion’s Great Escape, is a treat even for those who are waaay over the 5+ recommended reading age. Laid out as an activity book, Sara asks readers to help the onion break free by answering thought-provoking questions such as “How big are elephants’ thoughts?” and “What’s the longest minute you can remember?”
Every page is beautifully created and at the end they can the be pressed out into a 3D character for even more fun. It’s books like these that remind me why as a child reading is so exciting wonderful, much like Sara’s imagination.
Rob Ryan: S.P.Q.R newspaper
I have a special notebook of ideas, lines for poems, good sentences/words and very first drafts of things that few people will ever see because well, most of what plops out of my head first time round is usually abysmally embarrassing. At the moment I’m okay with this, but if this notebook were ever to fall open in front of important writerly people, it would probably be the end of me.
So to overcome this I vow to become more like Rob Ryan, who’s leftover, unused ideas and experiments that he’s put into a quarterly newspaper, seem just as accomplished as the work he releases to the masses. Called the Senateus Populusque Ryantown (Senate and People of Ryantown or S.P.Q.R), it’s an amalgamation of thoughts and feels like a lightweight scrapbook full of colour and lovely sentiments all in Rob’s signature paper-cut style. What a much-needed ray of sunshine it is!
- My First: Colophon and Sophie Mayanne talk about the themes of their book, Twenty-Two
- Patrick Kyle uses analogue and digital techniques in these pared-back illustrations
- Audrey Weber’s eccentrically enlarged figurative illustrations
- Hanne Berkaak’s deeply moving and sensitive animation tackling self-harm
- The Smudge: Clay Hickson and Liana Jegers launch publication in reaction to US presidential result
- Set designer Gary Card on the importance of being a chameleon
- 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