The John Moores Painting Prize is nearly here. Today is the closing date for entries and in a few months time, all the successful entries will be on show at Liverpool’s prestigious Walker Art Gallery for the world to see. A visit to this exhibition has been on my bi-annual agenda since I was a teenager developing an interest in art and design.
Write here, right now
With so many fonts to choose from, one often forgets about the simplest of them all – your own. We all have our own unique font, and just like our fingerprints, it’s unique. It’s also perfect for many jobs. Before the design industry became computerised and while I was studying design in the 1980s, I used my handwriting for a lot of design work. This continued when I was employed as a graphic designer and the only alternative was transfer lettering, Letraset etc. My first major public health campaign for HIV/AIDS awareness was all written by hand and can be seen in a previous blog entry.
Sprechen sie Geek?
I’m just back from a trip to Hamburg. I went to see a show called “Stylectrical” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. This interesting exhibition explored the complex process of industrial product design in the context of cultural studies. It focused primarily on the industrial design of products by Apple and Braun, mainly by Jonathan Ive and Dieter Rams respectively.
World AIDS Day
Today is World AIDS Day, not that you would know from the TV coverage, have you seen any mention of it? World AIDS Day was observed for the first time on 1 December, 1988. So much has changed since the early days of HIV/AIDS or GRID or HTLVIII as it’s been called over the years, but so many things remain the same.
So, COMME des GARCONS are about to release a new fragrance on the world. I like the way this company works. I admire their approach and aesthetic. I like that they have always done their own thing, regularly working with artists and musicians to cut against the grain of fashion trends, and I like that they have prevailed as a result.
Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011
I woke today to the sad news that Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple inc. had died. He’d been ill for a while and had had major surgery as a result of pancreatic cancer but it was still a shock. I never met him and by all accounts he was tricky to work with; a ferocious attention to detail and demand for perfection made him as feared as he was respected. I think on balance, I respected him. Immensely.
Own a colour
UNICEF has come up with a clever and creative way for us to ‘own’ our favourite colour based on the fact that the average computer/smartphone/tablet can display 16.7 million colours. If everyone picked a colour and paid even the minimum amount (0f just £1) that would be £16.7 million. That’s a lot of funds to help transform children’s lives.
The Pleasure Principle
Yesterday I visited Tate Liverpool to see the much publicised René Magritte exhibition – ‘The Pleasure Principle’. Very pleasurable it was too. The show focuses on the less explored aspects of Magritte’s life and artistic practice, and on themes including the artist’s use of pattern and artifice, ideas and revelation, and visual fracture and eroticism. The exhibition also investigates the relationship between Magritte’s painterly work and commercial design, and the inspiration he drew from mass market literature and popular culture.
The old and the new
In 1993 someone suggested The Landmark Trust’s historic holiday properties to me, time out in the countryside with no TV and only the sounds of nature and my friends for company, a lovely idea. I did this and became hooked. I love living in a city and couldn’t live without my technology and the things that being in a city provides. Equally, I can’t imagine not having such wonderful places to escape to. I try to head off at least twice a year to a Landmark Trust or Vivat Trust property with select friends for some fun and time away from work.