Book Review: Visionary Cities

Title: Visionary Cities: The Arcology of Paolo Soleri
Author: Paolo Soleri
Publisher: Praeger Publishers, New York, 1971
Paolo Soleri's radical aethetic and philosophy for urban man are presented in this great matte black book. It's typography meets town planning. Swivel your head sideways and try to read it if you can. For me it's a visual treat which can be enjoyed just by flipping through it and enjoying huge type and beautiful imagery. Enjoy the slice of utube above.


Letraset Catalogue

In the late 80's Letraset discontinued their rubdown sheets and converted to computer technology. I was reading the AIGA nostalgia trip by Nick Currie and thought about how as a student everyone would inspect each others catalogues and comment on whether it was a good year or not. As each catalogue was produced year after year, the space for each typeface became smaller making it hard to take the student path of merely photocopying, trace or cut and paste instead of buying the real sheet. Mine in a 1976 vintage I inherited from my sister which I have always treasured. I think it also marks a line in the design world between design dinosaur and the new computer kids. I ask Kuchar if he has a catalogue and he looks blank and asks me what I am on about. I am a dinosaur.

The rules of typography

Design: Alan Kitching and students from the RCA

I thought the appearance of this poster is well overdue on this blog.
This poster was for the letterpress exhibition at the RCA in 2005.
It appears in this months issue of Baseline in an article by David Jury about typographers becoming printers.


New Naturalist

Publisher: Collins

The origins of the New Naturalists go back to the second world war, when a simple plan was devised to publish a series of hardback books to provide practical guidance for nature-lovers in their quest to discover Britain's wildlife.
The cover design template was conceived by the husband-and-wife design team of Clifford and Rosemary Ellis. It is hard to pic up these books and not admire artist Robert Gillmor's superb dust-jacket design.
Today, the New Naturalists are still highly collectable - a full set of first editions, if it ever came onto the market, might reach £20,000 at auction.


Luigi Colani

The Design Museum is currently showing a dark exhibition of Luigi Colani's work. Born in 1928, Colani really does offer a glimpse into a 1960's vision of the future. Just walking around the huge model cars in this matt black space makes you feel as if you're on the set of a science fiction film. I really enjoyed it.