Diter Rot, Type, Image


Eduardo Paolozzi, Type, Image

From Eduardo Paolozzi's Metafisikal Transformations (1962)(via Tate).

Herb Lubalin


Japanese binding

An alternative to the 'case-bound, multi-sectioned binding' you've made in the workshop is a simple, classic Japanese binding (via). It works especially well with a landscape-format and with thin paper-stock.

The 'stab' technique to make holes in the book is traditional but we've found it works well to clamp the book between two pieces of mdf cut to the book size, then pin-drill in the workshop using the pillar drill.



Two spreads from Bruno Munari's 'Character Building' chapter in Design as Art (1966). He says, "the graphic designer works without set limits and without rejecting any possible technique. His (sic) experiments in the visual lead him to try out all possible combinations and methods in order to arrive at the precise image he needs for the job in hand and no other".

The argument for and against consistent 'style' versus a kind of imagery led by the 'concept' goes on. It's a criticism levelled against illustration- a lack of rigour or appropriateness- or style over content. Interesting here that Munari refers to the Graphic Designer; hard to tell but he may be trying to distance himself from the notion of an unthinking illustrator. For me the arguments, in their polarity, are fruitless. Anybody making imagery has to have a rhythm and a language. Inevitably the work, however applied, will be also somewhat self-referential. Without this the results can lack idiosyncrasy, locality and become corporate. Munari's imagemaking, even if it did follow the ethos described above, still has his hand on it all. A certain set of spatial, linear characteristics. Variety with identity is possible. There are a lot of crude distinctions also made between hand-drawn versus digital. Why is one at the expense of another? Is it not possible for someone to arrange objects in a space, or draw a line on paper, or assemble an image on-screen without having to nail their colours to one mast or another, or have to project a kind of obvious stylistic consistency for lazy eyes? Surely a practice can incorporate all of these with integrity.


Innate Creepiness of Stop-Motion

Excerpt from The Mascot by Ladislas Starewicz (1933). See the full animation, the array of characters and a full scope of the live action and stop-motion at the very useful Fantastic Animation.


Character and Abstraction and Typography

From English Medieval Graffiti.

Marks are limited by the implement and the ground. Pictographic: a synthesis of the figurative windmill with the idea of a windmill. Thingliness.

Oscar Schlemmer's Slatdance (via Multimedialab) synonymous with its environment or what it does, what it uses, what it represents.

Evan Holloway's Pas Des Deux (2005) (represented by The Approach gallery).

Bjork, by Jean-Paul Goude with Bernhard Willhelm (via Tira la Pirinola).

Classic Grace Jones, again by Jean-Paul Goude.

Herb Lubalin. Advanced understanding of Character, ornament, vernacular, form and counterform.

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey
(via Palantir).

Les Xipéhuz
(1887) written by J.H. Rosny (aîné) "are silicon-based, geometric-shaped alien beings, most in cone shape, nearly all cylindrical, but some tall and thin and others short and squat, some in cone shape and some rectangular slabs. Their shapes and colors can change, but they generally remain cylindrical and bluish green. They communicate by flashing lines in various shapes across their sides. They can kill by focusing rays from the “stars” at their base. They have individual personalities and are at least somewhat comprehensible by humans, but their purpose for coming to Earth, besides an apparent drive for expansion, is unknown, as is their culture and much else about them. They are truly alien, and only slightly comprehensible".

Cuneiform signs for 'King'.

Alexander Giraud's dolls.

Ubu, Miró, Commedia dell'Arte, Schlemmer

Alfred Jarry Ubu Roi (1888). Theatre of the Absurd.
"The central character is notorious for his infantile engagement with his world," wrote Jane Taylor. "Ubu inhabits a domain of greedy self-gratification." Jarry's metaphor for the modern man, he is an antihero- fat, ugly, vulgar, gluttonous, grandiose, dishonest, stupid, jejune, voracious, cruel, cowardly and evil."

See Jan Lenica's animation

Wookmark's trefoil knot.

Joan Miró's lithograph, Ubu Roi aux Baleares (c.1966)

Eric Campbell in The Count (1916) (via BFI).

Commedia dell'Arte (c.C16th) Pantalone

Jabba: over-rendered, over-realised but interesting character.

Blob Sculpin (via Things That Are Wrong).

Oskar Schlemmer's Das Triadische Ballett (1916-1932) (via Flickr).

Oskar Schlemmer's Das Triadische Ballett (1916-1932).

(via Mart)


Head Net

Net for a character head (from a French children's publication?) as seen on the wonderful An Ambitious Project Collapsing.


The Goblin Spider

An exquisite, one-eyed goblin character from The Goblin Spider, a Japanese fairy tale of 1899, printed from woodblock with characteristic colour gradient backgrounds. The translated version by Lafcadio Hearn. See the complete book at the New York Public Library's site.

Penny Dreadful Covers

Black Bess (1866), published by E. Harrison of London. Note the poor registration of the colour printing which has become an affectation, an effect, an option in our time.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870), Charles Dickens' last and unfinished novel, published in monthly instalments by Chapman & Hall of London.

An advertisment for a Spring Heeled Jack Penny Dreadful of 1886. The South East London Folklore Society give a comprehensive history of Jack.


Rogues' Gallery

Dick Tracy characters Pruneface and Flattop Sr., Chester Gould, 1943-44, Tribune Media Services (via LA Times). Note the hardboiled-economy of the character names. And that the appearance always had seemed to have catalyst, an past disfiguring event.


Two Colour Possibles

A detail from Andreas Samuelsson's limited-run screenprinted poster for If You Could, HudsonBec's ongoing publishing project. Always solely using red and black. Each illustrator takes on the constraint in a way that fits their method and aesthetic. Mr. Samuelsson is 100% on both colours, with a signature use of the paper-white as positive form.

A detail from Luke's poster shows him exploiting halftones in the black jutted up against 100% red to achieve something close to the gamut of marks he makes in other work.


Alberto Giacometti's Nose (1947) (via Peter Foerger).

Beautiful Monsieur Gainsbourg with Jane Birkin.

The elastic John Barrymore as Mr. Hyde (1920). Witness the wonderful, terrifying, pantomime-absurd, angular change.

Blinky Palermo's Schwarzes Quadrat und Grünes Dreieck (1970) (via Artnet).

Margaret Hamilton as The Wicked Witch of the West alongside a terrifying Judy Garland as Dorothy (1939).