Archive for the ‘Graphic Design’ Category

V.I. – Will Burtin

December 6, 2009

Not sure how this will fit in, but Will Burtin’s work is an incredible example of public scientific art. He also stressed the importance of design within science.

From an article in Creative Review, Rick Poyner wrote –

In 1957, after conducting some careful preliminary research, Burtin proposed to Upjohn that he build them a gigantic model of a human cell (above), then the focus of great scientific and public interest. Upjohn took a gamble and accepted his plan, and it was here, observe Remington and Fripp, “that the modern concept of scientific visualization was born”.

On the book Design as Science, The Life and Work of Will Burtin by Roger Remington and Robert S.P. Fripp –

It has been said that Will Burtin (1908–1972) was to graphic design what Albert Einstein was to physics.

Burtin pioneered important contributions to international typography and visual design. He is best known as the world leader in using design to interpret science; as a proponent of ‘clean’, uncluttered sans-serif typography; and for his large-scale three-dimensional models, which carried the craft and the art of display to new heights. His walk-through models included a human blood cell (1958) and brain functions (1960). His major achievement, his clarity and ingenuity with models and graphics made complex information easy to assimilate.

An extract from the book about the above image of Burtin’s “Brain” –

In order to represent time accurately, Burtin rapidly abandoned – or never considered – the possibility that the Upjohn Brain would resemble the human brain itself. The Cell was a scaled-up simulacrum of a cell – it resembled what it represented. But it was more important for the Brain to demonstrate mental function than to resemble the actual organ. Burtin wrote: “In studying the anatomy of the brain some years back, while working on a lead article of ‘Scope’ with Dr. Macleod, I found that the concern over anatomical details prevented or made very difficult an understanding of operational principles on which consciousness – the essential product of the brain – is based.” For that reason the present authors refrain from calling the Upjohn Brain a model. Better to use Burtin’s term, “exhibit sculpture”; or Remington’s, “The presentation was, in effect, a schematic of a functioning brain.”


Oh. Hello

October 8, 2009



Off the back of a BOOK CLUB edition of Francoise Sagan’s ‘Bonjour Tristesse’. God damn.

Savage Paris

October 8, 2009


Cover Design Richard Hollis


Cover Design is Hans Feurer!


VAGUE THEME- text on solid imagery, featured publishers mark, colour / negative text on image. Very like  the title sequence to The Royal Tenebaums… more on that later.

The obvious one out is Savage Paris – I guess I put it in as a future refrence to work that I hope to be included within the club, new interpretations of covers. Perhaps, like the Penguin editions, Monotype Bembo type-ones, I can have a template into which I / members insert their works. [See The Decameron editions in previous post, published a decade apart by Everyman Library so graphically different with the continuity in title to relate them]. Make for an interesting take on identity.

Faber paper covered Editions

October 8, 2009





Limited colour, block out, negative etc. Nice use of pattern and alignment on pattern. Also the banner on the right is a interesting variation on displaying the identity. Or whatever. Faber is classic design, they are immediatly appealable because the books give a timeless feel, which invites the audience to read older books under the pretext that they are reading something that is still relevant. I think to achieve this level of success, there has to be a formula of bold, graphic, iconic type and carefully selected colours. They are all intelligent in there construction. No name given to the designer. Boo.

Alice im Wunderland

October 8, 2009





VAGUE THEME- purely typographic, block colours (nice colours), strong alignment. The Observer editions have that nice bit of design, or is it a publishing mark – either way it’s another example of a monogram and something that I can apply to my editions.

The Decameron Type

October 8, 2009

CLUB BOOK, is about to leave it’s comfortable home in my head. Here is what I proposed at the end of last year-

From the start of the autumn /Winter Term [weeks 1 – 10] I will start a book club. It will be a club designed for picture makers in particular, with reviews and critiques being visual rather than verbal. The first things to be done would be to create an identity, promotional tools and club ephemera [Zine, manifesto, book marks etc]. Most importantly though, would be the archive in which to house each members response. At this stage I see the archive taking the form of a Blog-type website, where each person can add their responses to others interpretations from the book. So part of this initial stage in the project will be research into archival websites to see what works best – also to investigate identities and an appropriate design for the club to take. For this I will look at publishing marks, spines and covers of books, as well as the identity that other book clubs and libraries take that make them identifiable.
Once the fundamental aspects of the group are established, I will start adding to it. I’ll probably focus on 3 books, though likely read more. I will try and make them cross-genre and include essays as well as novels and poetry. This is to try and get a more varied response from each member.
The format that the responses will take as I said will be visual. By this I mean any imagery made, collected, found is relevant. It can be objects and landscapes and even people. Each visual piece of Matter will be representation of each interpretation, like an item of clothing collected and photographed that I believe would belong to the protagonist, or a sketch of a profile that I think looked like the villain, etc.
The result by week 10 will be the foundation material for my 2 other projects that I will pick up on later in the year.

The highlighted bit seems an obvious place to start, and so does my book shelf. SO, the following images and consequential posts will be some limited sourcing s of books with a particular typographic feel that I can see a good referencing point in which to draw out an identity for my own book club. I like scanning books. Also, each batch of books will be vaguely themed. GO-




VAGUE THEME – Block colours, some text as a negative, monograms*,  central alignment, nice lined borders. Type is clean – particularly like the spine of Boccaccio Vol 1. *Monograms is an interesting concept, one that will give an immediate identity to anything I print. Will definatly be turning publisher at some point during this. Hello photocopier. Hello screen print.

The Luxury of Protest

October 6, 2009

First day of the rest of my education, 28 weeks and dehydrating.

Group meet about summer work, personal work. Mumbled the way through my INT experience, talked about book club, Club Book. Positive response though no feedback. Decided to do a dissertation. Illustration within a scientific context. Or something more specific like – the requirement of illustration in proving/disproving scientific theory/phenomena when there is no literal, visible evidence. I.e. electron configuration, cross-sections of the sun/other planets, the carbon cycle, metereological forecasting. Or something more catchy.

As testement to this I will be posting daily a practitioner / studio / author / book / video / etc of something relevant to aforementioned bit o’ writing.

First up – The Luxury of Protest, studio of Peter Crnokrak, with his beautiful golden ratio which graces my mantle-piece.


““Maths Dreamed Universe” is a quantitative visualisation of the manner within which elemental forms in nature order themselves. The graph was created using generative Python code and maps numbers
0 to 100,001 arranged in a logarithmic spiral. The form of the spiral is determined by the Golden Angle subtension of a circle that distributes numbers from the centre (0) to the outer edge (100,001). The pattern that results is frequently found in nature, as in floral organs, and has been documented since Archimede’s time. The spiral reveals the visual relationships of elemental numbers and the aesthetic beauty of mathematical equations.

The project reflects the contemporary interest in the intersection of science and art – in particular the use of scientific methods to inform art practice. The primary motivation for creating the poster was to visualize the crossover of pure math with graphic aestheticism. The appreciation of what may be termed ‘purely aesthetic forms’ has a long tradition in art and design, but ornamentation is often derided as being little more than a fancy. But what if aesthetic appreciation was functional? What if beauty communicates and is thus open to analytical investigation? “Maths Dreamed Universe” is the first in a series of projects that examines meaning in aesthetics.”