I organized an exhibition at VCFA called “Plenty For All: Recent Work from CalArts” in April. The exhibition consisted of printed matter and posters from CalArts including both printed posters from the past few years and the printed booklets and ephemera that comprised the results of my and Kiyonori Muroga’s recent workshop with the BFA4 and MFA students at CalArts.
The exhibition was very well-received. The students, faculty, administration and general public truly enjoyed the exhibition.
MFA2: Izaak Berenson Nate Blowers Kat Dickinson Christine Do Amanda Gartman Stefano Giustiniani Sarah Faith Gottesdiener Tom Kracauer Catherine Lee Thea Lorentzen Alex Pines Tara Tannenbaum Ben Woodlock
MFA1: Edwin Alvarenga Kat Catmur SoYun Cho Colomba Cruz Ryan Hines Juyoung Kim David Robinson Calvin Rye Sajad Salehi Sarah Shoemake
PMFA: Cassandra Cisneros Jacob Halpern Sarah Honeth Jessica Kao Dili Osuhor Jenny Song
BFA4: Pierre Nguyen Sally Alvarado Dasom Kim Jenee Jernigan Dawoon Jeung Nikki Lee Edvin Lynch Christina Rodriguez Chris Burnett Hyunsoo Kim Bijan Berahimi Pedro Lavin Armando Martinez Celis David M. Davis Taylor Giali Mitch Cox Crystal Yi Nathalie Sehee Kim Hyoseon Kim
Faculty member Ed Fella also contributed a large number of his legendary posters to the exhibition.
Thanks to all of the workshop participants who donated posters and printed ephemera to the exhibition, as well as the workshop participants. Special thanks to Aaron Winters, Silas Munro, Rachel Ramsay, Troy Patterson, Randy Nakamura, Thea Lorentzen, David Matthew Davis, Michael Worthington, Lorraine Wild, Jeff Keedy, Ed Fella, Gail Swanlund and Caryn Aono.
Simultaneously, I put together a mini-book exhibition titled “Small Books from Small Countries: A Vaguely Impromptu Exhibition” at VCFA. The criteria for work included was that the books were small in scale and that the countries that the books were from was fairly small in terms of land mass. Each book was accompanied by a text description, as many of the books were not in English. The term “book” is used loosely in the exhibition, as the corpus of works included design journals, magazines, type specimens alongisde actual bound books.
Descriptions of the books:
文字のカ | The Persistence of Letterforms
平野甲 | Kouga Hirano
Kouga Hirano is a Japanese graphic designer who is known for creating book designs using his unique handwritten letters. Since the 1960s, he has designed more than 6,000 books and worked consistently and closely with an assortment of publishers. This book is an overview of his highly unique approach to creating custom lettering.
円盤物語 | Hi-story of the Flying Objects
松田行正 | Matsuda Yukimasa
Matsuda’s Yukimasa is a graphic designer, publisher and writer. He runs the small publishing house Ushiwakamaru, dedicated to publishing his own editorial initiatives. This book is a document of assorted shapes of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) from individual sightings, group sightings and popular culture.
眼球譚 | 月球譚 | Tales of omniscient eyes and moonshining
松田行正 | Matsuda Yukimasa
An index of all-seeing eyes from works of art from history.
松田行正 | Matsuda Yukimasa
An examination of assorted symbols, analphabetic characters and alphabetic characters. Includes physical and historical analyses.
松田行正 | Matsuda Yukimasa
A compendium of dead languages, mythic languages, ciphers, attempts at orthographic reform, codes and utopian symbologies. (Incidentally, my favorite book in the world.)
千社札 | Senjyafuda
Senjyafuda are stickers or scraps of paper posted on the gates of shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. The stickers bear the name of the worshipper, and can be purchased pre-printed with common names at temples and shrines throughout Japan, as well as at stationery stores and video game centres. Senjyafuda were originally made from wooden slats, but have been made of paper since the Edo period. Senjyafuda are made from printed paper and are rarely made traditional by wood block prints or ukiyo-e.
This book is an excellent overview of senjyafuda from history, notably the use of color (contemporary ones tends to be monochromatic).
白井敬尚 | Yoshihisa Shirai
Acting art directors and designers of Idea Magazine, Shirai Yoshihisa’s studio team are typographically rigorous, formally evocative, and gentle in treatment of ornament. Projects for Robundo, Ryobi, Seibundo Shinkosha and many other private concerns make up their body of work, celebrated in the recent booklet Typography Suite and the accompanying exhibition of the past two decades of graphic design work. Shirai is faculty at Musashino Art University.
바른지원체 | The Making of a Hangul Typeface: Barun Jiwon
이지원 | Jiwon Lee
Korean design educator Jiwon Lee published this booklet about Barun Jiwon, his attempt at resolving the relationship between Korean Myung Jo structural typefaces and Western humanist typefaces. The resulting type specimen book shows Lee’s adventurous spirit in attempting to infuse the Korean visual orthography with increased readability and legibility, simultaneously creating the world’s first truly humanist Korean typeface.
Eiichi Kono & Hilary Knight
Eiichi Kono is the designer of Johnston Underground Sans, the official typeface used for the iconic identity of London Transport. Within the CCArt Sans project, Kono extends his years of study of the lettering and typefaces and Edward Johnston and Eric Gill and balances them with the formal weight and poise of Meiryo, a typeface designed by Kono for Microsoft in conjunction with Matthew Carter. This specimen book shows the full range of Latin characters for CCArt Sans, the house typeface of the Center for Contemporary Art in Kitakyushu, Japan.
The Working Practices of Barney Bubbles
A look into the pre-digital design realm of Barney Bubbles (nee Colin Fulcher), one of the graphic designers who helped craft the aesthetic of British psychedelia, pub rock, proto-punk, punk and post-punk. A look into Bubbles’ melancholy world.
The National Grid #6, 7 & 8
Luke Wood & Jonty Valentine
Three issues of the self-published contemporary New Zealand graphic design journal The National Grid. Within, issues of Modernism, sovereignty, national identity, design history, design criticism and graphic design education research are neatly examined and discussed from a personal point of view. The National Grid is writing the history of New Zealand graphic design and is an immensely important publication.
UIデザインの手引 | University Identity Design Guide
東京農業大学(農大) | Tokyo University of Agriculture (Nodai)
A goofy booklet showing the wildly disparate identity of the renowned Tokyo University of Agriculture. Wonky, yet charming.
If It Could Love
A self-published exhibition catalog/poetic text that examines the culture of self using expressive typography and an exploration space. Within are two double-sided posters that explore these notions further. Vital, sad and ruminating, Ro, a Korean American graphic designer and design educator, examines our collective obsession with representation in society today.
Typographics Ti: #263 | Type Trip to Seoul
A small independent publication from Tokyo, this issue is an overview of typographic work from Seoul, Korea.
온돌 | A Few Warm Stones (Ondol) #1 & #2
Better Days Institute
Led by Chris Ro, Ondol is a contemporary examination of Korean graphic design culture in journal form. The writers, designer and editors are students of Kookmin University in Seoul. The Ondol team is helping to write the history of Korean graphic design, as well as how contemporary Korean design practice is taking form.
Too Much: Magazine of Romantic Geography #2
Yoshi Tsujimura, Audrey Fondecave & Cameron McKean
Too Much is a publication dedicated to exploring contemporary notions of fine art, design and architecture. It is odd, as it is a small-run magazine from Tokyo published in English.
The text descriptions were accompanied by a number of essays by and about assorted publications included in the exhibition.