Monday 23 May 2011

Next batch

Final year UCS Graphic Design students launch their website in the run up to the School of Arts & Humanities Degree Show 2011.

Link: Next Batch

Saturday 14 May 2011

No surprises

Luckily my King Of Limbs package, the latest physical release from Radiohead, wasn't damaged by being left in the sun all day by our local postie. I had to resist ripping the wrapping off to see if the vinyl was warped as soon as I rescued it from my doorstep and got it through the door. I resisted because I wanted to get some photographs of the unveiling, as I had avoided reading any blog posts about it and I didn't know what to expect.

Thankfully the 10" discs weren't warped, but the packaging was pretty conventional, so overall, no major surprises. That said, the artwork generally didn't disappoint. But then Stanley Donwood rarely does in my opinion. From the paintings and drawings that adorn the record sleeves themselves, along with the screen printed CD sleeve on uncoated cardboard, to the newspaper accompaniment filled with more drawings, paintings, random text and photographs (newspaper not pictured), it is a package to be pored over. And like all great album art, one that needs to be pored over while listening to the album as an accompaniment to the music. In fact, you have to play the record several times through in order to do the artwork justice, considering that King Of Limbs is a relatively short recording, and the artwork is pretty extensive. The promise of the first ever 'newspaper album' in press releases many months ago, long before the physical release was available, unfortunately proves to be a let down, or rather it doesn't live up to what my imagination conjured up of what that could have truly meant. But that is a minor point, and that was marketing after all, (sucker).

That said, there is one disappointing aspect of the whole, and that is the inclusion of the acid tab style sheet of icons.

The reason this feels like such a let down is not because of the item itself, but because it is so incongruous to the rest of the concept. It feels like a last minute idea. One that someone felt just had to be included regardless of whether it aesthetically worked with the rest of the package. Unfortunately it breaks the tone of voice of the whole. It is rare that Stanley Donwood appears to have a moment of insecurity about what he does, either in his own work or for his Radiohead commissions. However, that is exactly what this feels like, a last minute addition, included incase people felt they weren't getting their monies worth. Personally I think it would have been better to keep it for its own purpose rather than for it to be shoehorned into another. Otherwise, why not throw in a pack of stickers as well, a few badges, and how about a Radiohead patch to sew onto denim jackets?

Thursday 12 May 2011

Where's Wally?

While I try to find the time to write a post about the Graphic Design: History In The Making conference I attended last week, you can find a brief summary of the event on the Eye blog. And in a 'Where's Wally?' kind of way, see if you can spot me doing a bit of chin stroking while you are there.

Link: Eye at Graphic Design: History In The Making.

Friday 6 May 2011

History story

I've just returned from a very enjoyable and thought provoking day at St Bride, 'The World's Foremost Printing and Graphic Arts Library' in London. I was attending the Graphic Design: History In The Making conference. Speeches by Rick Poyner, David Reinfurt, Catherine de Smet, Christopher Burke and Sonia de Puineuf, and the panel discussions afterwards, will be feeding future posts here as I reflect on issues raised, and after I've trawled through the 28 pages of notes in my Moleskine!

Shamefully, this was my first visit to St Bride, and I will certainly be heading back there. However, I was disappointed to find that the soap dispensers in the toilets didn't have Swarfega in them!

St Bride

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Remix, everything everything

This is part 1 of Everything Is A Remix by GoodieBag, and focusses on music. Well researched, argued and produced. Part 2, focusses on films and part 3 is currently in production. Head on over to their website to watch part 2 and find out more about the project.


Monday 2 May 2011

McJunk submissions

In order to open up submissions to McJunk, I've created a Tumblr account. If you come across any McJunk on your travels, please feel free to snap away, and then email the results to me. I'll post them to Tumblr once I've optimised shots of online viewing, with full credit and copyright displayed.

McJunk on Facebook will still operate, so feel free to 'like', if you haven't done so already.

McJunk submissions
McJunk on Facebook