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The New Ugly

Following all the debate generated by our interviews with Super Super’s Steve Slocombe and 032c art director Mike Meiré, here is the piece from the current issue of Creative Review which draws on those sources to set the work into a wider context
Stretched type, day-glo colours and a flagrant disregard for the rules: are we witnessing a knee-jerk reaction to the slick sameness of so much design or a genuine cultural shift?
In the early 90s, the mother of all rows blew up between, on the one hand, the traditionalist school of American designers led by Massimo Vignelli and, in defiant opposition, the avant garde of Emigre and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. The catalyst was an essay in Eye magazine by Steven Heller entitled Cult of the Ugly, in which the world’s most prolific design writer took Cranbrook and its students to task over, as he saw it, their gratuitously ugly output. Well now, it seems, ugly is back.

Callum Bain: Radio Gabba

In the calm of Nottingham Trent University’s superb graphic design show at the Business Design Centre in London a couple of months ago, the atmosphere was regularly disrupted by the work of fellow NTU student, Callum Bain. He’d made an advert for a digital radio station; it was on his reel and he eagerly showed it to visitors every few minutes. Bain could have chosen any mainstream music genre for his particular radio station – but, instead, he decided to terrify people with gabba…

Super Super: Like Nothing and Everything

“People said ‘what the f**k is that? It looks like a clown’s been sick’.” Not necessarily the response you might hope for when launching a new style magazine, but it didn’t worry Steve Slocombe. As creative director of the fiercely trendy Super Super, Slocombe is used to being, shall we say, “challenged” about his work…

Magma Branches Out

Magma, every creative’s favourite bookstore, has launched a new shop in London’s Covent Garden – just down the road from its existing Earlham Street branch

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