Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘design’

29 MAY, 2012

Get Dressed: Celebrated Graphic Designer Seymour Chwast Makes the Mundane Magical

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Because the mundane can be magical, whatever your age.

On the heels of last month’s omnibus of children’s books by famous graphic designers comes the charming Get Dressed! (public library) by celebrated graphic designer Seymour Chwast (who happens to be married to another design icon, the great Paula Scher).

The playful and unusual book infuses the daily routine of getting dressed with whimsy, exploring not how to get dressed, but why: “Get dressed to hide,” “Get dressed to make believe,” “Get dressed to build a castle,” “Get dressed to sing.”

On their blog, the folks at Abrams Books offer a tongue-in-cheek “outtake” — Seymour Chwast in his own work attire, “Get dressed to illustrate!”:

With its clever die-cut magnetic cover closure and its half and full gatefolds, Get Dressed! belongs with the kind of books that remind us of the beautiful, playful physicality of the analog.

Thanks, Tina

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28 MAY, 2012

Alice in Wonderland, in 24 Vintage Magic Lantern Slides

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“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

As a lover of all things Alice in Wonderland, I was so taken with these glass lantern slides originally found in 100 Ideas That Changed Film that I thought they deserved individual attention. Created as a set of 24 slides based on Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations for the Lewis Carroll classic but altered to avoid copyright conflicts, these gems were meant for viewing on a magic lantern, or Laterna Magica — a primitive projector dating back to the 17th century, consisting of a concave mirror in front of a light source. Though the exact year is unknown, the slides were created sometime between 1910 and 1925.

For a modern contrast, see Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama’s psychedelic recent illustrated adaptation of Alice.

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25 MAY, 2012

Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson

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Fear and loathing in six panels.

The past few years have given us some stellar graphic nonfiction, lending the comic book genre to “grown-up” storytelling ranging from photojournalism to media history to biography. Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson offers exactly what it says on the tin, and does so brilliantly — an uncommon biography of legendary iconoclastic author (and garden fence expert) Hunter S. Thompson, revered as the father of Gonzo journalism and reviled as an addict, a bum, a liar, a thief, a sociopath, a hedonistic outlaw. In bold black-and-white graphics and a few well-chosen words, author Will Bingley and illustrator Anthony Hope-Smith tell the story of how a disillusioned troublemaker kid from Louisville became a global literary icon, exploring in the process the most uncomfortable nooks and crannies of social order, individual liberty, and American culture.

Hope-Smith tells The Wall Street Journal:

Visually, the trick was to not shy away from the ‘Fear and Loathing Hunter.’ Rather we could have fun playing with him but then be ready to dial it right back in order to show his humanity through subtlety of expression and body language. We tried to create a balance between the man and his performance.

Thanks, Kirstin

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