Overlooked is the 45th Pentagram Paper, the self-published series shining a spotlight on quirky or vernacular design, produced by design studio Pentagram. In it, London partner Marina Willer wanted to “celebrate the gatekeepers” to the subterranean world beneath London’s streets – the street or ‘manhole’ cover.
Willer and her team took rubbings of various forms of this type of street furniture, from coal hole covers, to the cast iron discs covering access points to sewers, conduits and gas mains.
Their often intricate surface patterns are rendered in fluoro colours, reproduced as a series of life-size prints with the location and name of the foundry that produced them.
“Our hope is that this collection of street covers can serve as a reminder that a city’ beauty isn’t limited to art galleries or grand architecture, and that intricate design is everywhere,” say Pentagram.
The result is a lovely piece of print, which Pentagram will distribute to ‘friends’ and clients.
It’s not the first time the humble manhole cover has been celebrated in print, of course. In 2010, we wrote about Remo Camerota’s book on Japanese manhole covers here And Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a notable collector