I’ve been browsing the blogs lately (and seeing how it’s really done!):
Beautiful and bookish ephemera
A good selection what’s good and quirky in design
The best darn design blog out there
More inspiration from around the world
A journal cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms
The fascinating world of book cover design
Great blog on the big boys website
http://www.johnsonbanks.co.uk/ and his blog
Just the best bookbinder I’ve seen so far
Antony Froshaug:Typography & Texts Robin Kinross
The Pesthouse Jim Crace (re-read)
An Area of Darkness V.S. Naipaul
By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design Drew/Sternberger
The Blue Manuscript Sabiha Al Khemir
A quiet month for reading. I’ve been a little preoccupied with a very detailed etching, more of which in a week or so, when it will be complete, printed, framed and presented…
In case you have been a bit busy of late, I thought I’d remind you that Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and the nation’s first African-American president. Blimey!
Now you too can celebrate the new American era, Obama style! Create your own Obama image based on the (by now, classic) Shepard Fairey poster here.
It does require the latest Flash player to operate and, of course, a lovely image of yourself. Once you have regerstered, you get the finished image as a smallish Gif file, but these can easily be converted to vectors – I tidied my image up a bit in Illustrator afterwards and will probably post a few larger posters up around the place!
Obamarise yourself and email me the gif – I’ll put up a mini gallery on the blog!
“Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.” Barack Obama, valediction from his inauguration speech, 20 January 2009
Well, here’s a thing. I’ve been teaching for nineteen years. That’s absolutely ages! I am still in touch with lots of ex-students (thanks, Facebook!) many of whom have gone one to work in the design industry. You know how I am always proud of your achievements and like to talk about you to new students, well I was thinking that I’d ask you to post a brief summary of what you are doing now – workwise and personally. Add links to your own portfolios, websites and blogs, as well as the companies you work for. I’d like to think this will be inspirational for all my current students (hi dudes!) and future ones, and an opportunity for some networking too. It doesn’t have to be a full autobiography, just a couple of sentences, but don’t forget to add your links!
Please forward this message to all the people you studied with that you are still in contact with. I look forward to reading your replies.
youtube. Of course I howled with laughter. The kids didn’t and just wanted to know where the monkey was. A classic, humbled.
The PG Tips ad is quite a good pastiche though, and a huge improvement on those painful rainforest alliance ads – remember them? I thought not.
Any ideas for other pastiche ads? Or ideal celebrities for advertising – how about Simon Cowell doing the voice over for Money Supermarket.com – “That is the worst car insurance quote I’ve seen all day. You couldn’t insure a car if your life depended on it.”Maybe not, but let’s hear your ideas…
I have enjoyed watching the new PG Tips ad with Johnny Vegas (and the monkey, yes) and have explained to my kids how it is based on an old comedy sketch. Having laughed out loud at the ad on TV again this evening (yes, I know, I should get out more…) I decided to show them the original on
Another booky entry this time – the last one for a while as I don’t want to bore you! I promise to add some more varied stuff next time. I just thought I’d share this with you. This casebound book measures 34 x 22mm, has 32 pages and is hand sewn and bound by the same method I use for my standard size books. I’ve simplified a couple of stages, but in essence, this is a perfectly formed miniature book.
Of course, it was much more fiddly than normal, but took just as long to make. I was thinking of making an entire library of tiny books for my little girls to play with. I might get in tough with toy giant Mattell to create a new range of dolls - Barbie Philospher™ perhaps. Or Bratz Librarianz™. I could go on, but I won’t.
I’ve just uploaded some more high resolution images to Flickr – this time of a page from a first edition King James Bible from 1611. This came to me from a colleague who found it tucked inside a victorian Bible and asked a technical question on the method that may have been used to creat the horizontal and vertical rules. I recognised it from an old transparency I had from lecture I did a few years ago.
This is page from one of the first books to be printed in roman and blackletter faces, and also with italics used for the marginalia. It’s about 400 years old and it’s hanging in a frame above my desk! A brief history of the King James Bible can be found here http://www.av1611.org/kjv/kjvhist.html and some typographical observations can be read here http://kingjamesbible.info/printing-in-the-king-james-bible.php.
Anyway, these are really good images – download and zoom in for a look at the quality of the printing…
Many thanks to Pete for the page itself, and to Guy for the fantastic images.
Here’s another book made over the christmas break. I’ve tried this a couple of times before, but have not managed to get the all the measurements exactly right so it closes squarely on both sides. It’s only a small book, just 92 x 90mm. Each book has 7 signatures (112 pages) and along with the three cover boards, measures 30mm deep. It’s covered in smooth black 200gsm card and has charcoal grey endpapers with a standard cartridge paper stock for the pages. The cover paper was a little too thick really, but with careful folding and a fair bit of pressure it works. It also adds a little firmness to the folds at the spine, which it needs as it’s easy to let one side ‘drop’ when handling it.
This one was made for the hell of it, and I doubt I’ll make any others, but I may challenge myself to a 3 or 5 volume book later in the year! I’ve been looking for other examples of this type of book recently, and haven’t found any on the web so far (I’ve found loads of other stuff that is fantastic though!) Maybe it’s that this is such an unpractical book, or that it’s such a bugger to get right! If any one finds anything similar, let me know.