modernism

A century of good coverage

An exhibition on the history of the Radio Times reveals much about the changing state of the magazine industry

Type Only

Type Only, the forthcoming book from Unit Editions, looks at contemporary graphic design that relies solely on typography, unsupported by illustration or photography, to get its message across. In his essay for the book, CR’s Mark Sinclair explores the roots of a design technique which has been reinvigorated by a new generation of practitioners. Here, alongside an edited version of his text, we feature some of the radical type-based projects selected for inclusion in the book

Talent Spotters: Liverpool John Moores Graphic Arts

This year Liverpool’s Graphic Arts graduates shunned the traditional gallery space in favour of a bar – London’s Social, just off Oxford Street. Here wall space was unavailable, so work was projected in a slideshow onto a screen. The course is multidisciplinary, and output falls broadly into the categories of graphic design and illustration. Here are some of the highlights:

Safety is Their Concern

Health and safety may currently have a bad reputation, but for almost 100 years The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has helped combat risk on the roads, in the workplace and at home using images, type and illustration. The recent rediscovery of its archive reveals a rich design history

NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual

For lovers of American modernism, Pentagram sent forth a tweet on Valentine’s day that no doubt got some pulses racing. “Found in Pentagram NY’s basement, here is every last page of Unimark’s 1970 NYC Transit Authority Standards Manual”

Grant aids Guardian attempt to ‘own’ weekends

‘Hugh Grant to star in Guardian ad’ ran a story on the paper’s website. Turns out the actor doesn’t so much ‘star’ in as ‘briefly introduce’ a strangely disjointed movie trailer spoof puffing the Guardian and Observer’s weekend editions

Board, Brush & Bucket

The prevalence of plastic street signage has brought an increasing sense of sameness to the American visual landscape. However, traditional sign painters and hand-letterers are fighting back and their craft skills are being sought out across the country. A new book, Sign Painters, introduced by the V&A’s Glenn Adamson below, looks at the people keeping this art alive

When work became play

The Barbican’s new Bauhaus show reveals a more playful side to the serious minded German design school

Pretty Ugly or plain ugly?

Skewed, stretched type, clashing colours, too little or too much spacing – across Europe a new generation of designers and art directors is breaking every rule. But is their work rebellion for rebellion’s sake or does it have wider implications for visual communications?

A partial history. British Design 1948-2012

Design history never quite knows what to do with graphics, a fact, says Rick Poynor, made all too obvious by the V&A’s Olympic tie-in show, British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age

To vectorise or squeegee?

The modern gig poster is in the midst of a digital rebirth, but demand is still driven by the appeal of analogue craft