For those traversing London in search of worthy, if lesser known, discoveries, British illustrator Tobias Hall has helpfully created a series of hand-illustrated posters pointing wanderers in the right direction. Created for Great Little Place, a site which seeks out hidden gems in the city’s vast landscape of pubs, restaurants, and galleries, Hall’s faux vintage posters are a handsome suite, each featuring a hefty, fittingly architectural drop cap, and showcasing his natural affinity for typography and finely detailed compositions—all skillfully and vividly rendered in pen and ink. Gems, indeed.
Ingo Maurer’s most famous lighting designs—be it the whimsical Birdie or astonishing Porca Miseria—are not for everyone, least of all those who like their objects with few extraneous details. But the German designer can just as easily take the reductive route, as evidenced in this early creation, manufactured under his Design M label. Maurer apprenticed as a typesetter and studied graphic design as a young man in Munich—training that clearly influenced this graceful lamp, comprised of bent tubing, and mounted on steel.
The Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury has amassed a body of work informed by the world of fashion, luxury goods, and consumerism, all of which are presumably referenced in this 2009 typographic piece—an installation in which neon has seldom been applied to such refined effect.
There’s something about the paper clip. Ask John Baldessari, who immortalized the innocuous little device in his 1997 Goya series—and the great Viennese designer Carl Auböck, who decades earlier (1960s) consigned the paper clip’s reductive form to an outsized (9″) solid brass, hand crafted version that corrals thick sheafs of paper, acts as paperweight, or just behaves like the poetic objet d’art that it is.
So much for print being dead. This recent two-page spread in Britain’s The Guardian newspaper featured a compelling ad by a green energy company. Noting the nil effect that a major power station fire had on households using wind power, two words managed to tell the whole story—proving that when it comes to the printed word, even nothing can be quite something.
The Columbia-born, France-based contemporary artist Ivan Argote works in a range of media that includes painting, photography, sculpture, and video. Little wonder I’d be partial to this recent poetic installation, “Excerpt: Tell me Lies”—which may look like a serendipitously fractured urban wall, but is, in fact, a carefully composed hybrid of architecture and text, realized in concrete, paint, polyurethane, and steel.
So much for design having the power to change the world—for the greater good. Turns out Marc Newson, Australian design god of benign accessories like the Dish Doctor dish rack and the Stavros Bottle Opener—and Apple’s most decorated recent hire—has a few more lethal things in his arsenal of talent. Rumor has it that Newson is about to show off a newfangled design for a double-barreled shotgun, of all things, created for Italian firearms manufacturer Beretta. The advance notice is, no doubt, intended to drum up press for the official unveiling of the shotgun on November 13th in London—as if the news wouldn’t intrinsically merit a big bang otherwise.