They sell! We buy!

The Designers Republic, one of the most influential graphic design studios of the past 20 years, has closed its doors. Rick Poynor looks back at the studio’s work and assesses its lasting influence

Posters of the Cold War

Supermen poster by Roman Cieslewicz, Paris, 1968 (used on the cover of
Posters of the Cold War by David Crowley)
To coincide with the forthcoming Cold War Modern show at the V&A museum in London, V&A Publishing are set to release a book of posters from the period later this month. Edited by David Crowley (co-curator of the exhibition) Posters of the Cold War includes a selection of posters produced between 1945 and 1970. In our next issue, Crowley examines the role of the World’s Fairs and Expos that enabled nations to pit their cultural capital against each other during the post-war years. As a taster, we’ve picked a few of the most interesting posters from his new book, alongside his detailed description of each…

Design Conferences: Isn’t it time we demanded more? asks Rick Poynor

For anyone who loves going to design conferences, we live in remarkable times. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of them. A design conference always seems to be just starting or finishing somewhere in the world. It would be quite possible to make going to conferences into a full-time job and some of the more in-demand and tireless design conference speakers appear to be doing just that. When do they get their real work done, you might wonder? The answer is that they do a lot of their thinking in transit, at 30,000 feet, or in the away-from-it-all, vacation atmosphere of distant hotel rooms paid for by conference organisers who are thrilled they are willing to appear.

The Shell Guides: a very British surrealism

Front cover of the Shell County Guide to Rutland by WG Hoskins, 1963
The Shell County Guides to England and Wales were, in their own unique way, part of the British avant garde. Dedicated to a subject matter that was quite the reverse, the Guides in fact became a platform for new forms of photographic expression and surrealism. A new exhibition that opens at the University of Middlesex’s Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture on March 4 aims to show just how supportive of the graphic arts these rather stuffy sounding guides to the jewels of the British countryside actually were.

Work in Progress, Europa

Europa is a design studio formed this year by four RCA graduates. Here, we track the first stages of their debut Tate commission

Subway Sect: Peter Saville and Dan Fox in conversation

Dan Fox and Peter Saville in conversation
Subway Sect is a new radio series, produced by Maria Bartolo and CR’s Eliza Williams, which is airing on Resonance FM, London’s art/experimental radio station, over the next six weeks. The shows aim to explore the complex relationship between art and music and take the form of a series of conversations between artists, musicians, writers, designers, djs and music video directors.
The shows go out each Wednesday at 1pm on Resonance (104.4 FM or online at and we’ll also be bringing you transcripts of highlights from the shows each week on the CR blog.
Today on Subway Sect, designer Peter Saville is in conversation with Frieze magazine critic and writer, Dan Fox. The two discuss Saville’s design work for Factory Records, including his sleeves for Joy Division and New Order, as well as his more recent experiences in the contemporary art world. The show was recorded at Frieze’s offices in London earlier this year.

A Master of Form and Colour

Hélio Oiticica may not be a household name in the UK but a Tate Modern retrospective looks set to bring his rich artistic output to a much wider audience

Wim Crouwel: From Groningen to Gridnik

“If I don’t know what to do, I use blue.” Just one of several nuggets delivered deadpan by the charming Wim Crouwel at last night’s D&AD President’s Lecture.

An Evening With Peter Saville

“I should not have studied graphic design, I shouldn’t even be a graphic designer but I learned the language. Then I spent the next ten years learning how to lie.”
Just before Christmas, Peter Saville gave a talk at the Architectural Association in London.
Here are a few highlights:

A World Without Design?

On the 26 September, as part of the London Design Festival, design consultancy The Partners hosted a panel discussion on the theme of a world without design, tying in with an exhibition on the same theme at their studio. The panellists were designer Paul Priestman of Priestman Goode; Dejan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum and CR editor Patrick Burgoyne. The following is an edited transcript of the discussion.