Publication Archive

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    Books don’t come much more beautiful than a French, screen-printed publication about a tiny Japanese man and his adventures through the mystic, marigold-coloured world. This very special tome is the latest work of Icinori, a French publishing house who slowly churn out some of the most wonderfully made books we’ve ever laid our eyes upon. Personally, I think it’s safe to say this story of the Japanese equivalent of Tom Thumb is their best work yet, full of dream-like spreads depicting Issun Boshi hopping over lush vegetation and running through bustling markets of be-robed Japanese men and women. Informative, endearing and almost impossibly easy on the eye, this is a publication you’re going to have to be quick to snap up.

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    It was back in July that we first heard about intern magazine, a publication showcasing the best talent from this significant strata of the creative world pitched straight into what is an increasingly heated debate about these kinds of placements. From a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to huge press attention, Alec Dudson and his team clearly hit a nerve, and now we’ve seen the first issue we can confirm that they’ve executed their idea with real skill.

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    I’ve sung the praises of brilliant website Spitalfields Life before. Through its fantastic imagery and elegant writing, the blog celebrates London both as it was and as it is now, with no pejorative lens on either. Now the site’s enigmatic creator The Gentle Author has brought together some of the best of the site’s visual treasures in his new book The Gentle Author’s London Album.

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    “What does America taste like?” is the burning culinary question posed by Phaidon’s new title, Taste of America. Well, by the looks of things it’s all cured meats, thick, rich seafood dishes, various combinations of nuts, caramel and chocolate and dried cereals – which quite frankly everyone who’s been across the pond knows you can’t beat. In fact a few of us are recently returned from the US and have the bellies to prove it. Still, despite its intentions there are no flavours to be found in Colman Andrews’ book, (you can’t taste a damn thing!) but there are wonderfully nostalgic accounts of the author’s favourite food stuffs, histories of some of America’s best-loved brands and 125 sensational illustrations.

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    I’ve spent the best part of my early adolescent years bemoaning the departure of Smash Hits magazine from newsagents’ shelves nationwide. Sure, there was NME for my indie years, Rock Sound to cater to my brief but potent grunge phase and I think I bought an issue of Q once to impress my year ten boyfriend, but nobody does it like Smash Hits did. I went nuts for those pull out posters of J-Timbs in the ‘N Sync era. I gazed dreamily at them whilst reciting the Sean Paul lyrics I’d learnt from the centre spread to impress all my friends with in the playground.

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    For a studio whose serious design pedigree we’ve long admired, we were delighted to hear that Barcelona-based Folch are bringing out their own publication. Eldorado is described as “an editorial venture” in its promotional material and promises to take a different experience per issue based around “the observation of context.” The first one entitled Surf Morocco is a celebration of this sublimely aesthetic sport and Albert Folch sums up the ethos of the new magazine by saying "We’re not talking about a place but a sense of sensations you feel. " The task of communicating those sensations falls to photographer by Dizzy Dias and illustrator Angela Palacios and it looks they’ve pulled it off in some style; the short promo video below is also a thing of real beauty. Nice one Folch fellas!

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    “Art is not always things created by people who call themselves artists,” said writer Barry Schwabsky, an observation that sums up an interesting new book from Phaidon. As shifting cultural, social and technological contexts change the way we look at art and how we define what is or isn’t worthy of this appellation, authors David Carrier and Joachim Pissarro have put together a collection of work that explores this brave new world. It’s a celebration of the kind of imagery which blows up the blogosphere but which wouldn’t normally trouble the so-called art establishment.

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    Look, we all love Wes Anderson films, no one likes them more than somebody else it’s just a universal appreciation in a similar vein to popcorn or oxygen. With that in mind, this is the kind of publication for which the world’s been waiting for years, an in-depth, affectionate look at one of the world’s most infamous and consistently brilliant yet mysterious directors.

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    It’s rare that I get to write about a book that I’ve just ordered with my own cash money. Usually kind people send us all the comics and design books we could ever dream of to read and review, but I couldn’t take the gamble that Simon Hanselmann’s latest offering might sell out before I got a chance to see it, or that I’d have to shelve it in the office archive for good. So it’s on the pre-order and when it arrives I’ll set aside a weekend afternoon to read it from cover to cover, because Megg and Mogg deserve my undivided attention while they drop acid in their grubby little flat and throw up on each other. My GOD I’m excited!

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    What do you get when a comic book artist and psychoanalyst join forces for the greater creative good? (This isn’t a joke by the way.) You get a bloody brilliant graphic novel about Sigmund Freud, the most respected, revered psychoanalyst in the history of the discipline. Freud is a graphic novel written by economist, historian and psychoanalyst Corinne Maier with visuals provided by Anne Simon, one of France’s finest young cartoonists. The book strikes a fine balance between informative storytelling, charming imagery and witty dialogue to the point that even if you find psychoanalysis abhorrent, comic books a waste of time and Freud the greatest charlatan of the twentieth century you’ll be hard pushed not to crease your lips in wry amusement. Check it out! Education and entertainment rarely come in the same beautiful package.

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    There are many great things about the latest issue of Gratuitous Type, Elana Schlenker’s gorgeous printed publication celebrating this geekiest corner of the graphics world. The third instalment is the first based around a theme; kicking off with colour (or “color” as the Canadian publishers insist on having it…).

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    There must be something in the chilly October air because another day, another sumptuous book of astonishing graphics for us to pore over. William W. Crouse (always a fan of the middle initial used Samuel L. Jackson style) is a long-time poster collector particularly drawn to the Art Deco heyday of the interwar years, when post war optimism and technological advancement crested in an age of optimism, before it receded, giving way to a crippling economic depression and eventually another war.

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    In the Venn diagram of art and graphic design, Marian Bantjes has more reason than most to be placed smack in the middle of the all-important overlap. The Canadian’s intricate, unashamedly maximalist work sits proudly at the intersection of these sometimes uncomfortable bedfellows and her new monograph is a terrific celebration of what Rick Poynor in the book’s introduction calls her “explosive graphic invention.”

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    I’d love an alter ego; a character I could slip onto at the drop of a hat to fulfil creative and/or crime-fighting ambitions. Rob Lowe has a great creative alter ego as Supermundane (although I can’t vouch for his crime-fighting credentials) and he has just launched a brand spanking new website bringing together his terrific portfolio.

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    We’re always keen to see new publications and similarly we always take an interest in existing titles undergoing redesigns, but it’s rarer to see an established print brand producing a new product. But that’s exactly what Esquire did earlier this year when they launched The Big Black Book subtitled “The Style Manual For Successful Men.” With its big, bold typographic covers and slick stylish layouts it turned heads as soon as the inaugural issue landed in the studio. With the second one recently out, we decided it was the perfect time to catch up with Esquire creative director David McKendrick to find out more about the project.

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    It’s hard to resist the charms of a small independent company who have a firm grasp on their craft and Jane & Jeremy, a South London based studio who publish the work of their favourite upcoming and established creatives, are a perfect example.

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    It was just over a year ago that we joined the Kickstarter clamour to make Darren Wall’s history of iconic computer game developers Sensible Software a reality. We were delighted when Darren duly hit his target and excited to see the finished product, which dropped through our letterbox this week. And praise the heavens; Sensible Software 1986-1999 is a ruddy triumph.

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    A couple of weeks ago over on Creative Review, Jim Sutherland wrote a really interesting post about designers’ predilection for making children’s books. He suggested it was a way to let one’s visual imagination run wild in contrast with the daily grist of tightly prescribed identity work.

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    If you ever paused the video player at the bit where they show Cecilia Lisbon’s diary in The Virgin Suicides, or if you ever slept over at someone’s house with a belly full of Doritos, muffling laughter into a Care Bears pillow, or really if the dice of fate were rolled in your favour and you were born a girl then this book is for YOU. The second in a hopefully infinite series, this publication is the annual “best-of” from Tavi Gevinson’s hugely successful online magazine,Rookie.

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    I distinctly remember being absolutely horrified when first learning the alphabet, that “M” (for Maisie) was represented in Letterland by “Munching Mike”, who not only had a boy’s name, but was also a giant, mechanical monster who ate a lot. Naturally, I wanted to be “Talking Tess”. Alas, I didn’t have the very talented and super nice Anna Kövecses to create my very own alphabet book, customised so that each letter corresponded to something I liked.

    It’s a beautiful book, too. Designed and illustrated by Anna as a personal project to teach a four year old girl the 44 letters of the Hungarian alphabet on her summer holiday, it boasts a whole selection of sumptuous illustrations, in the kinds of colours which recall years at primary school as seen through a haze of warm nostalgia. Characters and landscapes alike are illustrated with bucket-loads of charm. Now then, to learning Hungarian…

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    This is Fantastic Man‘s naughty cousin, and he’s got a really fast car. But then, it’s not really surprising that the brainchild of Henrik Purienne, Rocholl and Neira Zahirovic is a weighty tome hiding some of the most beautiful and exciting objects and people who grace the earth. Mirage is a magazine that celebrates wild beauty and carefree hedonism through jaw dropping photography. Be it a car, a certain beach, a band or a muse, this is an archive of hedonism that fully encourages jetsetting, sunbathing, drinking, splurging cash and partying all night.

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    Everyone’s talking about going to visit Mars now that the option is now sort of available. To be honest, there are actually some people I would happily wave off as they careered off to an uninhabitable planet that can be up to 250 million miles away. For those of us who prefer a simple life on watery, flowery earth, here is a truly exciting book to be released this year by Aperture.

  23. Wilder-list

    Weirdly (because we’re green-fingered and like well-designed things) we’ve never featured Wilder Quarterly before and it’s already seven issues into its career. The premise is a simple one; take strolls around the gardens of the rich and famous, break bread with cutting edge chefs and drink fine liquors from the cellars of organic distilleries. Not for you? Well there’s recipes, entire features dedicated to wild mushrooms and the constant pursuit of the great outdoors in there too, so it’s both practical AND entertaining. Get hold of one and have a look for yourself.

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    Hooray for small press! Huzzah! Here’s a really super new issue of Library Paper, the opening party of which was held a few weeks back in the HQ of trendy clothes-curators Goodhood. A lot of magazines don’t get past issue one these days due to nasty things such as the economy and internet, so it’s encouraging to see something as fantastic as this make it to a whopping three issues with no sign of stopping. Perhaps it’s something to do with the incredible contents which, in this issue, includes work by Hort, HelloMe, Raphael Garnier, Bureau Mirko Borsche and many, many more. Grab yourself a copy on their site now before they go!

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    It was almost 12 months ago that we hailed Australian graphic design magazine Process Journal and so it was with great interest we received news that Issue Nine represented a complete re-design. In order to live up to its ambition to be a journal rather than a magazine each issue will now be themed and they’ve stripped back the number of features as well to provide more insight on their chosen subjects.

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    It’s a kind-of-funny and actually-quite-scary universal truth that modern society has become so desensitised to the appropriation of sexuality to endorse products that we scarcely even notice the scantilly-clad women excitedly clutching utensils in homeware ads anymore, not to mention commercials about bare-chested blokes driving enormous cars which seem to run on testosterone instead of fuel. Having sat back and observed the same sexually-charged undertones in advertising in mainstream lesbian magazines, queer arts and culture publication Muff Magazine decided it was high time somebody spoke up about the massive vibrating elephant in the room.

    The result? Creative director Bukanova and photographer Emma Ercolani teamed up to shoot Toy Story, an ironic take on this very idea, and a marvellous job they’ve done too! The shoot is a tongue in cheek parody of the eroticism which lies at every turn in contemporary culture, gently mocking the advertising industry without bringing it to its (carpet-burned) knees. Plus, it’s super funny. I’ll be damned if you can differentiate between the vibrator and the aubergine without a second glance.

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    It’s hard to process just how good this collaborative project between painter Elizabeth Peyton and joy-bringing publishing house Nieves is. Peyton has carved out a very comfortable niche for herself in the art world, with stark, romantic paintings of iconic figures of pop culture. Her works suggest late nights, frank discussions and hedonistic lifestyles of the kind of people that have fantastic dance moves and record collections as big as their drinking habits. Cool people. So with her work plus a generous spoonful of sincere loveliness on Nieves’ part, this publication is pretty much the best thing you can get your hands on in the world today. The book, entitled The Age of Innocence is a homage to Edith Wharton’s novel of the same name, and a reminder that whatever era you reside in there will always be love, and kissing.

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    It seems fitting that graphic designer FHK Henrion was born in 1914, the same year that war broke out between the two countries that would come to define his life. The German born creative moved to the UK in 1936 after a stint as a textile designer in Paris and initially found commercial success as a poster artist, but he also excelled in product, exhibition, publication, jewellery and interior design.

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    You can spot some pretty interesting things if, when walking around a museum, you take your eye off the exhibits for a moment and instead focus on the environment they’re shown in. Sometimes even the Mona Lisa or Michelangelo’s David can pale next to the semi-audible chatter of camera-clad tourists and locals, glances between invigilators, shopkeepers, waiters in museum cafés, ticket sellers…

  30. Nathalielist

    The lovely Nathalie du Pasquier (I say that like I know her, though tragically I don’t) has just released a new book through Nieves, collecting together a selection of her still life paintings made between 2001 and 2012. The aptly-titled Square Paintings demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt why so many people revere this magnificent woman; she founded Memphis, one of the most respected collectives of its day, then sacked it off to have an equally successful career in painting. There\s not many out there who can boast the same.

  31. Sigrid-list

    Inspired by the stitched patterns of embroidery, Sigrid Calon has created To The Extend Of / \ | & - a volume of 120 unique designs all based on the horizontals and diagonals of a piece of aida cloth. Using set of simple rules – lines can be repeated or combined to form a longer line, lines may be displayed with or without an outline, lines can be used both as a shape and form as rest, lines and residual shapes can be placed over each other as layers – she then introduces eight colours and complex gradients available in Risography to add depth and volume to these extraordinary grids.

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    Few things in life inspire as much obsession as typography and football. So surely designer Rick Banks’ decision to bring them together in his new book Football Type makes perfect sense. It’s a limited edition title which explores some of the weird and wonderful ways in which fonts and footy have intersected down the decades; from Gaudi’s influence on Barcelona’s shirt numbers to Maradona’s famous “10” (and all that it evokes in any still-bitter Englishman.) And with all the proceeds going to The Football Foundation charity, there’s simply no excuse not to make this the next addition to your bookshelf, in whichever of the five different covers you can get your mitts on. Football!

  33. Lwl-list

    You might have heard the rumours but unless you live next door to them, you might not know that The Church Of London, the guys responsible for _Huck _ and Little White Lies have undergone something of a reshuffle of late with a gang of them heading off to from a new creative studio, Human After All, and the rest staying behind to focus more completely on the publishing side of things. This means a new creative steer for Little White Lies, which for long term fans might be a little bit of a concern.

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    We all remember the first-day-at-big-school feeling. The chafingly starched collar, the intermingling of nerves and excitement, the slew of things to get your head round; the who, the where, the what, the why. You’d think this would go away as you get older but it doesn’t really and with that in mind, the famous cultural research centre Fabrica has produced a beautiful handbook for new arrivals, or “Fabricanti” as they are known.

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    Today’s offerings from The London Design Festival centre around the launch of the stunning new book celebrating Danish textile firm Kvadrat. Much respected among the creative community but sometimes little known in the wider world, the beautiful book designed by Graphic Thought Facility and overseen by the legendary Peter Saville shows just why the firm is so highly regarded, by dint of their excellent collaborations with the likes of Tord Boontje, the Bouroullec Brothers and Olafur Eliasson. Below you can here an extended interview with Peter Saville and with several of those who have contributed.

  36. Colophon-list

    You can always trust the guys at Colophon to produce a delicious piece of print each time they release a new typeface, and the launch of ARCHIVE is no exception. The Brighton-based font foundry have just produced this beautiful specimen package that brings together their timeless type in a set of books and posters that are as lovingly designed as the type itself. Stocks of this tasty package are good a the moment, but as with everything Colophon print on paper, we don’t think they’ll last long.

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    Now that summer’s done and dusted you probably need something to look forward that’s not Christmas. While we can’t offer you a beach break in the Antibes or a North American road trip, we do have the next best thing; the Autumn issue of Printed Pages! Actually, you don’t need to put a date in the diary either because it’s arrived this very minute and you can buy it in shops RIGHT NOW. We’re pretty excited about this little guy, not just because of the delicious cover stock and exemplary choice of spot colours within, but because of the brilliant people we got to work with and speak to while we were putting it together.

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    The world of work can be a minefield. What’s the acceptable number of kisses on a professional email? How many of your workmates are you obliged to make tea for at any given time? When do I have to wear trousers? Luckily though Sausalito-based ad agency Division of Labor are riding to their rescue with their series of, um, alternative advisory maxims. At first they used to hang the posters in the windows of their offices but now they have collected some of the best together in a handy little tome with the blunt but brilliant title Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t.

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    It’s September! The month of new school shoes, new stationery and, it would seem, new websites. Like the cool older brother it is, Fantastic Man today ushered its sister magazine, The Gentlewoman, into the spotlight. And to accompany the new issue of the magazine followed the launch of The Gentlewoman’s website, which has just been given an incredibly elegant makeover by designer Denny Backhaus.

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    Though it saddens us to say it, there’s not really a whole lot of satire going on in the world of graphic design. The design community tend to take themselves reasonably seriously, which means we don’t often get to have a good old laugh due to a designer’s witty observations or humorously-minded project.