Blog: July 2008

From the reference box #17

The Practical Householder, January 1961. This is great publication, packed full of adverts, and I mean packed full - the first article starts on page 25, before that it is just pages of mainly mono ads selling anything from sheds to chandeliers.

There is a 'test report' for a fast-boiling kettle - 'the latest edition to the housewife's time-saving equipment', a heat controlled iron and a multi-purpose tool for house and garden.

The illustrations, typography and graphics are fantastic reference, but the best things about this magazine are the many 'DIY/How to' pages. In this issue alone there are instructions on 'how to make'; a table for occasions (see above), a perspex fruit trough, a veneered light (see above), pelmets & curtains, a stow-away top for table tennis, a fold-away linen bin, a selection of children's wooden toys, a storm door, a cocktail bar, a wrought iron balustrade, lattice steps 'for the housewife', a birdcage suspension bar and a nursery chair. As well as how to re-cover a three-piece suite, prevent condensation, hide a waterpipe and hang a kitchen cupboard!

Did a 1960's man really have enough spare time in a month to make all those things? If so. where did all the time go, I don't think I have time to make even one of those things in a month - or is it a case of the women doing so much that the men really didn't have anything to do except play at DIY?

So quite a packed #17 - The Practical Householder, January 1961

Charley Harper 1922 - 2007

I came across the fabulous work of the late illustrator, Charley Harper today and I can't believe I haven't seen it before!

Harper was born on a farm in West Virginia, which is said to have been the true inspiration behind his work. He later moved to Cincinnati where he studied, and later taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Many of his illustrations are of wildlife, and in particular birds, so it's no surprise he worked with many nature related organisations throughout his career, including the Cincinnati Zoo and the Everglades National Park. He also illustrated many books and is especially well known for his illustrations in, 'The Golden Book of Biology' and in, 'Betty Crocker Dinner for Two'

His modernist style creates simplistic, graphic images, that are colourful and bold. Harper summed up his style by saying, "When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don't see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behaviour and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures".

To see more of Charley Harper's work, checkout the 'Charley Harper Illustrations Fanclub' Flickr group, or have a look at the selection of limited edition prints for sale at Gallery One.

Image copyright Charley Harper.

Jeremyville in Brighton

'My Summer in Brighton', Jeremyville's first Brighton show, kicks off on 5 August and runs until 7 September at Castor & Pollux.

Jeremyville is an Australian illustrator/artist/animator who splits his time between his homeland and NY. He wrote and produced, 'Vinyl Will Kill', the first designer toy book in the World and has featured in more recent titles including,'Kidrobot' and 'Pictoplamsa'.

His unique illustrations are quirky and intriguing, there is always lots to look at and much attention to detail. Jeremyville has worked with clients such as Converse, Adidas, Coca-cola and MTV to name but a few, so to see his work in Brighton will be fantastic.

More fantastic though, is that he has produced a limited edition A2 screenprint to celebrate this show and his time in Brighton (above right). There are only 50 signed copies available which will go on sale 1 August for £60 each. To reserve your copy, email

A selection of his prints and other merchandise are also available on his website.

Images copyright Jeremyville.

Transforming Tate Modern

Architects, Herzog & de Meuron have been working for the last 2 years on,'Transforming Tate Modern' - a project to develop the Tate Modern site and surrounding areas.

The pyramid-style extension will add over 5000m2 of extra gallery space, creating flexible exhibition spaces that will open into a large, column-free space to accommodate large-scale sculpture, seminar & learning space and areas of contemporary visual culture.

The development will also utilise the redundant oil tanks of the former Power Station by creating a unique environment for performance art, film and multi-media works.

Work will start mid 2009 and completion is scheduled in time for the 2012 London Olympics. I hope it's worth the wait! Tate Modern is one of my favourite London buildings and this development is going to make it even more spectacular.

Images copyright Hayes Davidson and Herzog & de Meuron. From Tate Modern website.
Via Mooch.

Mon 28 Jul 2008

Posted under: Design , Architecture

1 Comment

Bargain books!!

I always have a 'books I want' list on my computer, just in case someone wants to surprise me. Anyway, today I managed to buy 2 of them and for the grand total of £12.25!!

The first was, 'Leroy Grannis: Surf Photography of the 1960's and 1970's' by Steve Barilotti - reduced from £24.99 to £6.25, and the second was, 'Alison Jackson: Confidential' from Taschen - reduced from £24.99 to £6. The Grannis book has a small tear on the cover, but the Alison Jackson book was still sealed. So thanks to Pussy Home Boutique, Brighton for making my day smile

From the reference box #16

"Tour Holland by motor car" is a wonderful 1950's leaflet about touring this 'land of broad horizons'. It gives you the legal requirements for driving in their country, a low down of the road signs, a brief highway code, parking & car washing charges, touring routes, hotel & tourist information contacts and best of all it opens out into a map of the countries 2 main roads, in a kind of tube map style.

The map shows the towns and villages like tube stops along a simplified road and has places of interest; windmills, galleries, museums etc... marked on with simple icons. It's a superb piece of design and still looks really modern over 50 years later - the true test of good design!

#16 - 1950's travel leaflet - Holland.

Thu 24 Jul 2008

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box , Map

1 Comment

Matt Stuart: Street Photography

I came across the work of photographer, Matt Stuart today for the first time and these two images in particular really made me smile - I just love photography with a sense of humour, especially when it's a delightful, chance sighting and not a staged idea.

He works with only his trusty Leica to produce witty and clever imagery with an extra level of detail you don't always notice immediately, which makes them both beautiful and intriguing.

Images copyright Matt Stuart 2008.
Represented by Gill Turner.

Thu 24 Jul 2008

Posted under: Funny , Photography


Signage Polaroids

These great images are from Doug Wilson's, 'Vernacular Typography Polaroids' Flickr group. It's a huge collection of polaroids taken mainly of handpainted signage throughout the US.

Via Poppy Talk.

Tue 22 Jul 2008

Posted under: Typography , Photography


Found typography #3

I love Hoosier tyres - there is something very appealing about them - the giant type, the white on black and the sheer ballooniness. Come to think of it, most racing tyres sport great type, but these are my favourite.

Mon 21 Jul 2008

Posted under: Typography , Photography


Wish you were here…

According to figures released by the Royal Mail yesterday, the humble postcard is making a comeback after a 10 year decrease in popularity. Mobile phones and texting are thought to have caused the decline, as it's easier to send a text than buy, write and post a card, but it seems holiday makers are once again sending 'Wish you were here' messages back home in the traditional way.

I always send home postcards from my hols and find great enjoyment in picking out the tackiest, most inappropriate and sometimes the dullest ones possible, even if it only gives the postman a chuckle. Here are a couple of my favourites.

Fri 18 Jul 2008

Posted under: Design , Ephemera


From the reference box #15

Picked up this little beauty yesterday, a single Oxo cube box - I have only ever seen the Oxo tins before, but this little box is great.

So then, #15 - Oxo Cube packaging

Fri 18 Jul 2008

Posted under: Ephemera , Reference box


Blisters on my Fingers posters, now on-line!

As promised the very nice people over at Print Club have just put all the remaining posters from the weekends exhibition, 'Blisters on my Fingers' into their on-line shop for £35 each plus postage. There are some really nice ones left too including the ones above by Andy Smith, Seif Alhasani and Steve Wilson.

Pictures of Walls

Check out Pictures of Walls, a site devoted to photos of stuff written on walls - some are just genius!

Via our good friends at Sell! Sell!

Tue 15 Jul 2008

Posted under: Web , Funny , Photography


From the reference box #14

Lots of photography based ephemera from the 30s', 40's & 50's. The second red 'Kodak' one had images in it marked 1938 on the back, but I would say the first 2 are much older than that one. The last one is a really tiny, holiday souvenir photo card form 'Margate' - this is my personal favourite.

So quite a few items for #14 - Photograph/enlargement wallets and cards.

Sat 12 Jul 2008

Posted under: Photography , Ephemera , Reference box


Print Club presents 'Blisters on my Fingers'

35 Illustrators. 35 Edition and hand signed prints. 35 Pounds each.

Blisters on my fingers runs from the 11th to 13th July 2008
at MC Motors, Millers Avenue off Arcola Street, Dalston, E8 2DS.

Friday night opening 6 to 10pm (Please RSVP)
Saturday 12 to 5pm - Afternoon Print off
Sunday 12 to 5pm - Closing show BBQ

Print Club is a water-based, screen printing club providing it's members with the facilities to produce their own screen prints. They have some amazing illustrators and designers as members including one of our favourite illustrators, Andy Smith (remember the 'I Pretend to Work poster'?) so it really should be a cracking show. Fingers crossed there will be some prints left to go in their shop for those of us that can't go!

Via Dirty Mouse.


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