Justus Oehler and his team have designed posters, invitations, flyers and advertising for four recent exhibitions at the Deutsche Kinemathek Museum für Film und Fernsehen (the German Film and Television Museum) including the current exhibition about German filmmaker and photographer Ulrike Ottinger. Oehler also designed the museum’s identity and its bi-annual journal, Recherche Film und Fernsehen (RFF).
Ulrike Ottinger is internationally known as an experimental female filmmaker whose work is characterized by surrealistic-theatrical and stylized-artificial elements as well as by ethnological depictions of foreign places and people taken from her many travels through Europe, North America and particularly China and Mongolia. The exhibition is the first in a series that will highlight extraordinary German speaking filmmakers.
Michael Bierut’s Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design has been recommended by Very Short List. “If your main exposure to the world of graphic design consists of swapping between Arial and Helvetica in Microsoft Word, then you need to read Michael Bierut,” says VSL.
Michael Bierut’s Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design charts on the Approval Matrix in this week’s issue of New York magazine, sharing space—somewhere between “Highbrow” and “Brilliant”—with David Lynch’s Inland Empire, a Malcolm Lowry compendium and videos of artists’ Moleskine sketchbooks.
Michael Johnson finds his summer reading.
Today marks the publication of Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design, a collection of writings by Michael Bierut from Princeton Architectural Press.
The 272-page hardcover book brings together twenty years of essays on subjects that range from New York’s faulty “Push for Walk Signal” buttons, to the disappearance of the AT&T logo, to the implications of Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire for interaction designers. Many of the pieces first appeared on Design Observer, the popular blog that Michael edits with Jessica Helfand and Bill Drenttel, including favorites like “Designing Under the Influence,” “I Hate ITC Garamond,” and “The Road to Hell: Now Paved with Innovation!” Seventy-nine Essays also includes pieces that appeared elsewhere and pieces that have never been published in other collections, like “Waiting for Permission,” “How to Become Famous” and “Ten Footnotes on a Manifesto.”
Michael’s writing is marked by its accessibility, its wit and its almost maniacal eclecticism. For instance, a survey of the entries under the letter “D” in the book’s index turns up, among others, Jacques Derrida, Stuart Davis, design by committee, Cameron Diaz, Walt Disney, Dr. Strangelove, Mort Drucker, Marguerite Duras and W.A. Dwiggins. If you seek a design book that navigates with aplomb between French semioticians, typographers, movie stars and Mad magazine cartoonists, Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design is the one for you.
While the book has no pictures, Abbott Miller’s design provides its own form of visual interest. Each essay is set in a different typeface, and readers can attempt to make real or imaginary connections between essay subject and font selection. We can guess why the essay on AT&T is set in C.H. Griffith’s Bell Gothic (it was designed in 1938 for the Bell Telephone Directory) or why the essay about Stanley Kubrick is set in Paul Renner’s Futura (it was reportedly the director’s favorite typeface); the rationale behind other selections may be a bit more obscure, or even completely nonexistent.
Michael points out that the list cover price of $24.95 works out to less than 32 cents per essay. “Design books are luxuries, especially for students,” he says. “I hope that this one provides something for everyone, at a price that anyone can afford.”
The Pentagram Papers is featured in Metropolis.
Pentagram Papers 35, “Tin Tabernacles and Other Buildings,” looks at the unusual corrugated-iron structures that served as expeditious architecture in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and that still dot the landscape in Britain, Australia and other parts of the world. The paper features the photography of Alasdair Ogilvie, who has been documenting the structures for 25 years. It was designed by David Hillman.
Check out a slideshow of the paper here.
The Pentagram Papers has been recommended by Very Short List.
Since 1975 Pentagram has issued the Pentagram Papers, our limited edition series of booklets that examine “curious, entertaining, stimulating, provocative, and occasionally controversial points of view” related to design. Published once or twice a year, the Papers have been distributed exclusively to our friends and clients. Now, just in time for Pentagram’s 35th anniversary, the Papers have been collected and make their public debut in a new book, The Pentagram Papers, out now from Chronicle Books in the US and coming in February from Thames and Hudson in the UK.
Each Pentagram Paper explores a unique topic of interest—from the lights of London’s famed Savoy hotel to the pop architecture of Wildwood, New Jersey; from the mailboxes of rural Australia to the classroom aids of Mexico. The Pentagram Papers includes a detailed discussion of the series’ origins, reproductions of the 35 entries so far, and tucked in the back, a complete new paper, Marks of Africa, number 36 in the series.
Continue reading “The Pentagram Papers Book”
Feedback is “the ultimate guidebook,” says the Materialist.