The Poster Remediated – installation shots and press

These installation shots in Poster Museum at Wilanów were provided by Podpunkt, the excellent studio which designed the show and the accompanying book. They were photographed by Michał Drabik. Podpunkt did much more than design the show: they worked closely with me to shape its conceptualisation. Much of the intellectual drive of the show comes from Podpunkt’s design. The … Continue reading

The Poster Remediated

Extracts from a longer essay exploring the future of the poster which will be published in Warsaw in June 2016   In 1971 the Swiss graphic designer Josef Müller-Brockmann and the artist Shizuko Yoshikawa published a book surveying the history of the poster. Committed modernists, they concluded their catalogue of past designs with some reflections … Continue reading

All Power to the People

This is a draft version of a short essay which will appear in a book accompanying ‘The Sixties: A Worldwide Happening’, an exhibition being organised by the Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen in the Netherlands. A new global consciousness infused the political poster in the 1960s. The fight for Civil Rights in the United States, decolonization … Continue reading

Poster maths

This short text appears in the catalogue of the International Poster Biennale which opened in Warsaw in June 2014. I was one of the jurors. The jury of the 24th International Poster Biennale used a website gallery to make their first assessment of the 3814 entries in this year’s competition. Each poster was viewed on-screen as … Continue reading

Singing with Beck

This review was published in Eye magazine in summer 2013 ♦  Just over a hundred years ago the music business experienced its first major crisis. The success of new gramophone records played on a hand-cranked turntable with an overbearing horn, sounded the beginning of the end of popular sheet music, the business’s most profitable product at … Continue reading

Tomaszewski’s ‘Historia’ (occasional notes on posters)

In Eastern Europe before 1989, the state held a near-monopoly on all forms of public expression. Censors wielding red pencils checked every message that went into print. Fearful of the spread of free opinion, the authorities controlled the use of even the most basic office printing equipment. In Ceausescu’s Romania all typewriters, for instance, had … Continue reading

Zamecznik’s Silent Star (occasional notes on posters)

In many science fiction films of the Cold War period the cosmos is represented as an extra-terrestrial space in which international rivalries have been overcome. ‘Der Schweigende Stern’ (The Silent Star) depicted a world in which communism had swept the planet and mankind now enjoyed the benefits of nuclear technology, social equality and international fraternity. … Continue reading

Autonomy. The cover designs of Anarchy 1961-1970

The political philosophy of Anarchism attracted some extraordinary and perhaps unlikely British adherents. They included Alex Comfort, an expert on the science of aging and author of the bestselling The Joy of Sex;  Herbert Read, the poet and critic who wrote incisively about modern art; and Colin Ward, an architect whose ideas about the importance … Continue reading

The Quiet American

This piece appeared in the September 2012 issue of Creative Review. It discusses Unit Editions’ new book on Lubalin – spreads below and details here. ♦ Herb Lubalin did not like talking. A young designer working in his studio would receive a grunt of approval when a design met his standards. Nothing more. And one … Continue reading

Writing Design: The History of Design Criticism in the UK since the 1960s

This essay appeared in the book published to accompany Communicate! British Independent Graphic Design since the 1960s, an exhibition curated by Rick Poynor at the Barbican Art Gallery in London in 2005. ♦ The history of journalism about graphic design in Britain is, in large part, the history of specialist design journals. Unlike other spheres … Continue reading