I recently completed an interview with Oliver Klimpel—one of the best thinkers and people I have met in a long time. Check it out over at the VCFA MFA in Graphic Design blog Perpetual Beta!
So, some vaguely breaking news: I have taken a full-time position teaching in the Art Department at Temple University Japan after nearly eight years as adjunct faculty. As an adjunct faculty member, I already taught a full course load, so this means (in essence) very little change. I will be continuing in my role as Co-Chair at VCFA and this graphic design studio will roll on as always. Thanks to my colleagues at TUJ for inviting me deeper into the fold. I am both happy and excited to be more involved at our institution.
I just contributed a fair amount of writing to the latest issue of IDEA, notably an interview with Jon Sueda and a whole section on the Brno Biennial Study Room. #376 is largely about graphic designers and exhibitions yesterday, today and tomorrow. Within, writers like Tetsuya Goto, IDEA editor-in-chief Kiyonori Muroga and myself explore the meaning of exhibitions to graphic designers today with a focus on the 27th Brno Biennial 2016, the world’s longest running design biennial. Strikingly designed by LABORATORIES, this issue is chock full of amazing bilingual examinations of curation, cultural attitudes, and speculations by some of the leading design curators today. This issue includes multiple inserts and is printed on a variety of paper stocks using assorted printing methods. You can check it out or obtain a copy here.
Graphic designers and exhibitions
The 27th Brno Biennial 2016 and the State of the Graphic Design Exhibition Today
Direction: Tetsuya Goto and IDEA
Part:1 The 27th Brno Biennial 2016
– Interview: Radim Peško, Tomáš Celizna, Adam Macháček
– International Exhibition
– Interview: Shin Akiyama
– A Body of Work
– Zdeněk Ziegler
– Study Room
– Which Mirror Do You Want to Lick?
Which Mirror Do You Want to Lick? insert by Åbäke
Off Program Report: Tetsuya Goto
Part:2 The State of the Graphic Design Exhibition Today
– United States of America
Interview: Jon Sueda
– Poland│International Poster Biennale, Warsaw
Interview: David Crowley
– South Korea│Graphic Design, 2005-2015, Seoul
Interview: Min Choi, Hyungjin Kim
Part:3 Japanese Graphic Design and the History of Exhibitions and Collections
Chronology of the Japanese Exhibitions
Exhibitions and Collections
Text: Tatsuya Kuji
– A door must be either shut or open?
Exhibition as an attitude expression
– post obitum of Japanese Graphic Design
– Design Shamanism by Tetsuya Goto
Part:4 Study Room
Tabula Rasa: Worlds Connecting or Design Mannerism
Text: Kiyonori Muroga and Ian Lynam
Study Room: 38 Book on 11 Thematic and Metaphoric Islands:
– Ordering the World
– Connecting Cultures
– Configuration of Space
– Gesture, Symbolism & Culture-building
– Space & Texture
– Organizing Contemporary Culture
– Visualizing Language
Contributors to this section include: Aaron Nieh / Åbäke / Kyungsun Kymn / Yah-Leng Yu: Foreign Policy Design Group / Yukimasa Matsuda / Kiyonori Muroga / Javin Mo / Leonard Koren / Philippe Egger / Daijiro Ohara / Caryn Aono / Shutaro Mukai / Yoshihisa Shirai / Fumio Tachibana / Guang Yu / Kohei Sugiura / Kenya Hara / Helmut Schmid / Nobuhiro Yamaguchi / heiQuiti Harata / Jens Müller / Shin Akiyama / Xiao Mage & Cheng Zi / Wang Zhi-Hong / Tetsuya Goto / John Warwicker / so+ba: Alex Sonderegger+Susanna Baer / Peter Bil’ak / Ryan Hageman / Kazunari Hattori / Na Kim / Kirti Trivedi / Ian Lynam / Lu Jingren / Santi Lawrachawee / Chris Ro / Randy Nakamura / Sulki and Min Choi
Special Feature: Arrangement of Objects
– Kazunari Hattori
– Uta Eisenreich
– Leonard Koren, Arranging Things
Language Without Place
No. 1: Walking a Technology
Text: Scott Joseph
Translation: Takamitsu Yamamoto
The final installment of Barbora and Nonaka’s thrilling examination of Japanese small press history is also included, as is the beautiful supplementary publication BETWEEN A AND B by Kazunari Hattori.
You can pick up a copy of IDEA #376 here.
Kimbo, our plug-in for Adobe Illustrator was just updated for CC2017. Check it out here! Kimbo adds 13 new tools in 2 tool groups to Illustrator’s tool palette. These tools permit the creation of artwork that would otherwise be difficult or time-consuming to create. A license is only $20—cheap! Get in touch if you’re interested in obtaining licenses for teams or institutions. We’re happy to discount.
I have a number of logo designs in the new book Art Marks from Counter-Print.
I have an essay in the latest issue of Slanted called “Letter to an Ex-Girlfriend in Warsaw”. The most brief of excerpts:
The rat and I watch a man amble into the park and splay on a bench. He takes out what looks like a tampon and begins vaping hungrily. The rat and I look at one another and arch our eyebrows in unison.
Supplement: Tokyo Edition One went swimmingly! Packed house and four excellent presentations! Stay tuned for Edition Two!
The United Designs exhibition opened and closed. Good stuff.
I have a series of posters in the United Designs biennial in Jeju, Korea — a biennial exhibition of poster designs dedicated to environmental awareness.
My statement for the show:
“The series of posters included in the 8th United Designs are the second installment of story-sketches that I have written about mythology gone astray. Society has created a conscious divide between humanity and nature, just as it has created a theoretical divide between most things, e.g. gender, sexuality, morals, spirituality, ad nauseum. These half-wrought stories in poster form are the embodiment of the fuzziness of actual human experience and help bridge the divide. The problem with posters, and with poster exhibitions, is that they leave little lasting impression with an audience other than catchy copy, refined form, or tweaking the format.
The “GODS 2: REVENGERS” series of posters offers the audience the chance to read at length about things they wouldn’t expect in a typical graphic design show written in a way they wouldn’t expect in a typical graphic design show. Plus, there’s a minotaur. Everybody loves minotaurs. The problem is that minotaurs don’t know that people love them.”
“The series of posters operate akin to society or the environment—if one part is taken away, it destabilizes the entire theme and narrative, yet can still be understood in part and continues to move forward.
Also, these story-sketches were written in part in Seogwipo in Jeju in August of 2016. Part of Jeju’s spirit resides within them.”
Things have been insanely busy—Yuki, Renna and I had a table at the Tokyo Art Book Fair and it went really well, as per usual. The bestseller of our time at the fair was Doko Demo Design, our Japanese/English design term phrasebook. DDD is about to go into its third printing, which is pretty nuts.
Some other big news: I have started a new series of design-related talks called Supplement: Tokyo. It will occur twice a year, I imagine. There is a website devoted to the series here. You can find out about the first event on October 4th there.
The first edition will feature talks by Chris Palmieri, Taro Nettleton, Jen McKnight and W. David Marx. It is free and open to the public. Check it out.
I’ll be giving a lecture at the Type Directors Club in New York on October 6 at 6:30pm. It is called “I Blame the Sun: The Emergence of Modernism in Japanese Graphic Design”. It is a talk about Japanese graphic design and typographic history from 1854 to 1965 that will explore Japan’s first type foundries, propaganda, speculative labor, and how one Japanese designer disrupts our understanding of design history. You can buy a ticket here.
After that, I’ll be in Montpelier, Vermont at VCFA for our fall residency. We’re going to be joined by guests Jon Sueda and Aaris Sherin alongside our latest faculty: David Schatz and Sereina Rothenberger of the Swiss design studio HAMMER. It is going to be good!