From romantic getaways for one to foil blocking, typographic dating to London’s punk history, last night’s Nicer Tuesdays was very nice indeed. The crowd was charming as ever, packing out the venue for a show that sold out in record time.
First to the lectern was self-portrait princess and It’s Nice That One to Watch 2016 Juno Calypso. She ran us through her cheeky, quirky and intricately staged images, which see her trawling through unusual locations and strange character designs. She explained that the person she photographs is “a character,” but still very much her. Interestingly, she detailed how she doesn’t work well in collaboration with others, instead choosing to plan, style and shoot everything herself. In early projects, she chose to use her gran’s house as a location – “because grandma’s houses are great” – shooting surreptitiously as her elderly relative popped out to the shops. Later on, after some odd dalliances with AirBnB, she found herself packing to leave for Pennsylvania’s couples-only Honeymoon Hotel, creating her most widely celebrated work to date. The driver of the resort’s “love machine” (a shuttle bus) took her to an abandoned resort from the 1960s, uncovering the fascinating ephemera of romances past.
From pink bathtubs to punk, the next speaker was Paul Gorman, a cultural commentator who sure knows a thing or two about that angry, gung-ho, politically-charged movement we call punk. He told us about the map that’s been created for this year’s celebrations of the 40th anniversary of punk.; and in turn, revealed just how much the capital’s cultural landscape has changed in those four decades. Turns out that fusty, wealthy old west London was once not just the set of Made in Chelsea, but a visceral hotbed of young punk talent: back then, it was all about Chelsea, French exchange student pot-head haunt Camden and Soho, rather than today’s trendy east London. He showed a wonderful film of Malcolm McLaren extolling the virtues of his errant charges the Sex Pistols: “People are sick and fed up of being told wha to do.” In response, the government deemed them dangerous, “unbelievably nauseating” and “the antithesis of humankind.” He reeled through some iconic punk graphic design and fanzines from the likes of Jamie Reid and Neville Brody (who designed the Punk London identity), and brought us back to the present through an exploration of the influence of the Hipgnosis designers and Linder on designers today in publications like Mushpit, and even in contemporary jewellery design.
After a break and a beer, designer Fraser Muggeridge took to the stage and delivered an impassioned talk about why being a good graphic designer is a lot like being a “private detective.” Turns out Fraser’s just crazy about foil: specifically, a technique that he painstakingly revived that involves a lot of hand engraving. “We got to the point where we thought we can’t use foil block any more, we’ve got to use something else. How brilliant would it be to design your own foil?” The work was inspired by a record sleeve he fell in love with, which led on a long and loving journey into print techniques. After challenging the audience to a typography conundrum, he went a bit Columbo on us with his “just one more thing,” a wonderful picture of a running sheet that went down very well indeed.
Eschewing the usual talk format, Sarah Hyndman’s closing number about why fonts matter was very much about audience participation, inviting the room to join in with a two-team typographic karaoke challenge. There was no I Will Survive here though: it was all about shouting “hello” in a way that each team felt was befitting of the typography the word was written in. A simple, but very effective demonstration of how type design affects the way we read, the way we respond to commands and even our moods. Challenging how typography can be believable, cheeky and funny through online surveys and years spent workshopping and researching, her presentation was a fun, insightful and participatory round-off to the evening.
Event partner: Revue
Revue is a tool that enables you to easily create an email digest that helps you to communicate with your network. The platform provides a sleek landing page where people can subscribe, allowing you to decide where and with whom you share it. With a click of a button, you can compile your tweets, stories, or interesting articles you’ve read that week to share with your subscribers. Attendees at Nicer Tuesdays will are offered a special discount for the service.
Visit www.getrevue.co to get started.
Supported by Park Communications
Nicer Tuesdays is also supported by Park Communications one of London’s eminent, most friendly and approachable printers.