Which Mirror Do You Want to Lick?

30 or so Minor Objects: Japanese Graphic Design History is a new 130-page bilingual E/J book on pre-WW2 design history that I put together with the students in my Japanese Graphic Design History class at Temple University Japan for the exhibition “Which Mirror Do You Want to Lick?” at Geidai (Tokyo University of Fine Arts).

I participated in a panel discussion with fellow curators Kiyonori Muroga, Tezzo Suzuki, So Hashizume, and Tetsuya Goto on October 22 where we discussed the exhibition. The “talkshow” was broadcast online.

“Design & Consumerism of Modern Japan”

I gave a talk with Sakura Nomiyama called “Design & Consumerism of Modern Japan” at Hong Kong’s CHAT @mill6chat on Oct. 19. Within, we looked at the emergence of the department store as a site of consumption in Japan and offered up one particular narrative about the emergence of Westernization.

TypeCon 2021

I presented at TypeCon 2021 on October 21st. A bit about what I presented:

Ghost Story / Love Story (or How I Learned to Love the Dead)
We have all been told that there are things that we are “not supposed to do” regarding design. This is a story about denying that, and both a love story and a ghost story. Or rather, multiple love stories and multiple ghost stories … with surprising outcomes.

This hybrid presentation looks at rare, forgotten, lost, and deceased punctuation marks, then segues into a short jaunt in a time machine back to the 1990s, another hop back to the 1920s, and finishes in the present day in Tokyo.

This presentation will delight those interested in rarified typography, type/design history, the odd romantic, and anyone yearning for a cheeky mystery solved in front of them.

Unrealized Archive 4: Lost Olympics

In honor of the Tokyo 2020/21 Olympics, which are currently underway, Bay Area design educators Chris Hamamoto and Jon Sueda have curated the next iteration of the Unrealized Archive series – Unrealized Archive 4: Lost Olympics – a storefront window exhibition at IF/THEN Studio in Berkeley and an accompanying publication to come. The exhibition will be on view for the duration of the Olympic Games Jul 23 – Sun, Aug 8, 2021 and is viewable from the street.

Unrealized Archive 4: Lost Olympics
Jul 23, 2021 – Sun, Aug 8, 2021

Featuring works by: Betsy Bickle, Cyan, Daniel Eatock, Experimental Jetset, Ian Lynam, and Chris Ro


The Tokyo 2020 Olympics was postponed one year ago and is one of the most high-profile global events affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. On the occasion of the rescheduled games of the XXXII Olympiad set to open on July 23rd, the Unrealized Archive will focus on the unrealized Olympic design of the 20th and 21st centuries. Embodied as a storefront window exhibition and accompanying publication, UA4 will explore unrealized Olympics emblems from host cities not selected, Olympic design discourse, and speculative design for the Olympics. A transnational sporting event, the Olympics is a proxy for establishing countries on a world stage, confirming their status in the commercial world order via architecture, urban planning, and the construction of visual identity. Under the jurisdiction of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), a non-governmental sports organization based in Switzerland, countries compete for the right to host the games and navigate global politics for the right to visual representation within them. In UA4 the curators collected graphic artifacts that are the outcome of this tenuous process, symbiotic commercial endeavors, and fictitious responses to the Olympic games.

Unrealized Archive 4: Lost Olympics
IF/THEN Studio
1102 Gilman St.
Berkeley, CA, 94706

Pillow Lava

I recently gave a lecture in the disruptive and playful 24-hour art and design global lecture marathon Pillow Lava School.

D&AD Pencil

Ian Lynam and Iori Kikuchi picked up a D&AD Pencil for their contribution to the publication LogoArchive Akogare. Check it out here: https://www.dandad.org/awards/professional/2021/234247/logoarchive-akogare/

Art Platform Japan

I’ve had the extreme pleasure of working with an amazing team at Bunka-Cho, Japan’s Agency of Cultural Affairs over the past year to develop a series of multiplex typographic approaches to a large number of translations of seminal pieces of Japanese art, art history, theory, and criticism. You can check them all out here on the Art Platform Japan website: https://artplatform.go.jp/

VCFA Global Studio Sessions Asia

As part of the upcoming Spring 2021 Residency, VCFA MFA in Graphic Design is excited to announce our Global Studio Sessions event on April 6th, 7pm EST with featured guests designers!: James Chae, Kaitlin Chan, and Sakura Nomiyama, based in Seoul, Hong Kong, and Tokyo respectively. Ian Lynam moderated the event.

Asano Dental Clinic

New work: identity for Asano Dental Clinic in Kaminoge, Setagaya in Tokyo.

The identity was a labor of love with polymath producer David Guarino.

10th Anniversary Limited Edition bGeigie from Safecast

Just designed and released: the “10th Anniversary Limited Edition bGeigie” Geiger counter designed for Safecast’s now-decade-long adventures in citizen science.

The 10th Anniversary bGeige features a UV-printed and etched faceplate, as well as interior and rear plates.

Collage Club & Writing Roundtable

Some upcoming events courtesy of VCFA! Email danielle.dahline@vcfa.edu to RSVP!

Hebi Metal

Logo for Hebi Metal, a stationery startup here in Tokyo. “Hebi” means “snake” in Japanese, and snakes don’t have arms, so it is just extremely silly that a snake might try to be a shredder on electric guitar. Hebi Metal makes very silly greeting cards, hence this very silly logo.

Trip to Japan Graphics: Must-Visit Design Destinations in Tokyo

TRIP TO JAPAN GRAPHIC is the first in a series of bilingual guidebooks that allows readers to explore Japan’s visual culture with the help of art and design professionals. This 150-page, pocket-size book focuses on Tokyo, with design experts like Kenya HaraIan LynamKiyonori Muroga, and Sakura Nomiyama sharing the very top art and design spots in the capital of Japan!

Additionally, the cover folds out into a handy map of Tokyo with all of the locations within noted clearly in Japanese and English.

Get your copy here: http://wordshape.com/trip-to-japan-graphics-must-visit-design-destinations-in-tokyo

Logo Archive – Akogare 憧れ

I contributed an essay to the latest issue of Logo Archive, translated by my erstwhile colleague Iori Kikuchi.

Format A5 Booklet
Pages 24pp + 2pp Insert
Paper: Takeo Tela & Takeo Pachica
Ink: Process Black
Stitching: Unbound
Design: Hugh Miller
Editor: Richard Baird
Print: Identity Print

Wada Sanzō

I wrote an essay months ago now for Dain Blodorn Kim’s digital homage to Japanese color theorist Wada Sanzō: https://sanzo-wada.dmbk.io/

CalArts T-shirt Show 2020

I designed a highly referential tee shirt about CalArts-related publications, studios, adjacent musics, and other stuff for the upcoming CalArts t-shirt show.

Mystery Meat

I designed the flyer for the latest installment of Mystery Meat, Tokyo’s hottest punk DJ night. I was honored to get to play that night, as well.

Slanted 36

I have a new essay called “The Protagonist” in Slanted #36, which you can check out here: https://www.slanted.de/product/slanted-magazine-36-coexist/

This issue’s theme is coexistence. It’s a thick one!

Decolonizing Design

I have a new essay in Japanese up over at the JAGDA Graphic Design Review blog about the Design Decolonization movement. You can see it here: https://gdr.jagda.or.jp/articles/16/

Coloring Inside the Lines. Coloring Outside the Lines.

I wrote the zine Coloring Inside the Lines. Coloring Outside the Lines. a few years ago. It contains basics for the impending graphic design graduate, and with the current global pandemic, students poised to enter the workforce need more help than ever.

Our publishing unit Wordshape has released a digital version of Coloring Inside the Lines. Coloring Outside the Lines. for free over on Medium.com. You can check it out here:
https://medium.com/@ianlynam/coloring-inside-the-lines-coloring-outside-the-lines-9a95c0956213?source=friends_link&sk=989e6624420e818b28065ded24d4a5c6

The Graphic Design Review

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I’ve been invited by JAGDA (Japan Graphic Designers Association) to become one of the founders and board members of a new online publication called The Graphic Design Review. GDR is a site about graphic design centered on information and criticism published by the JAGDA Digital Media Committee. In addition to introducing contemporary aesthetics, we will explore contemporary graphic design from a wide array of cultural contexts and approaches.

Our board includes Editors Kiyonori Muroga and Tetsuya Goto, Ayumu Higuchi, and Yasushi Nagahara (Chairman of Digital Media Committee).

Check out GDR here: https://gdr.jagda.or.jp/

(GDR’s content is currently Japanese language only.)

Corinthians000.com

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New website for Corinthians, my collaborative research and curatorial practice with the inestimable Renna Okubo, developed by the unparalleled Maggie Barrett.

A New Dawn For All

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We designed a new identity and website for the Arizona 503(c) non-profit organization A New Dawn For All.

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The founders of A New Dawn for All recognize the growing need to support domestic violence victims and families to start anew. When someone is leaving a shelter or needing extra support, A New Dawn provides families with home goods (big or small) and resources so that they have one less stress for their new beginning. A New Dawn’s mission is to guide all towards positive, healthy home environments that will improve their lives as well as others in the community. A New Dawn provides mindful education and developmental opportunities for individuals to promote stable, supportive environments leading to happier, healthier lives.

Slanted #35 – LA

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I’m very excited to announce that the latest issue of Slanted is out now. Last summer, Slanted Publishers’ co-founder Lars Harmsen and I headed to LA to meet with a wide array of designers, design educators, design critics, architects, artists, signpainters, and illustrators to put together this issue. Check it out here: https://www.slanted.de/product/slanted-magazine-35-los-angeles/

Collage Club

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I led a free online lecture and workshop called “Collage Club” on April 26 for the VCFA MFA in Graphic Design.

Lecture description:

Due to the incredible reliance on digital tools today, let’s turn to making some visual work with our hands instead—both individually and collectively. Collage is both a method and a strategy that gets overlooked in regards to graphic design, despite being part and parcel of graphic design. Collage is one method for making work that exudes design authorship, stands out from the pack, and can help imbue your design work with visual authorship.

After a brief and very cursory look at influential collage from the 1970s through today (AKA Ian’s wildly subjective take on what he terms “The Collage Canon”), workshop members are invited to explore the catharsis of making analog collaged compositions together. While there is a relatively brief presentation component, this workshop is intended to allow us all to slow down, focus in ways we might not do normally, consider our aesthetic choices, chat, cut and paste, but most of all: be together.

More info: https://perpetualbeta.vcfa.edu/2020/04/21/vcfa-mfa-in-graphic-design-free-public-lecture-workshop/

Persist & Resist

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Logo design for Arizona-based grassroots Democratic political advocacy group.

Glot Round

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Glot Round is a ten-member flared terminal sans serif family of typefaces based on a mix of proportions of Roman square capitals and hyper-readable sans serifs with slightly rounded corners.

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Glot Round comes in five weights with matching true italics: Light, Regular, Medium, Bold and Black.

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The Glot family has a wide range and is incredibly functional, working well for longer texts as well as display typography.

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After designing the house typefaces for a handful of the most predominant multi-player online games out there, we decided that it was time to bring the battlefield to the people.

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Glot Round comes armed with ample language support (Central, Eastern, and Western European) and OpenType ornamental spiked alternate characters for when one needs a hint of danger.

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You can license Glot Round here: http://wordshape.com/font/glot-round/

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I’m A Design Student—What Happens Next?

I was interviewed along with my VCFA co-conspirator Silas Munro, pal Mitch Goldstein, and four other design educators about life for students after the current pandemic on the AIGA Eye on Design blog.

You can read it here: https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/im-a-design-student-what-happens-next/

Some of the interview questions that were not published, but for which I think I provided snappy answers:

Are there specific design jobs or design skills that are more likely to get through this crisis without much disruption, and others that will be hit harder?

Hands down, education. I have found that most realms of design are incredibly fickle during an economic downturn, and teaching is something that has relative stability. Sure, it is not glamorous, but you get to go into interesting, speculative situations every day and talk to really nice people who are smart.

For over a decade, there has been a “brain drain” on graduate education because the technology sector just paid *so much* more, so many folks who would have taught instead turned to tech. I imagine that the current crisis will make technology companies ask their workers to do much more for much less money. (That would be the rational business move.) I think that right now is really the time to get into design education if you are so inclined. If you have a terminal degree, you can teach while still doing your ‘fabulous’ tech work.

When this is all over, how do you think this will change the structure of the design industry or design education?

I feel like this is all a giant dry run for the future. This is a time in which companies and clients are seeing how much labor they can extract from people working from home so they don’t have to pay for real estate, pay annual salaries, pay benefits, or generally do the things that Fordist companies did for their employees once upon a time. I can literally envision in my mind hundreds of HR people on the high administration level in tech companies just rubbing their mitts right now in anticipation of the future and what this very moment means for tomorrow’s shareholder profits.

What can we learn from this experience of working and teaching remotely that will help to make our jobs and classrooms more flexible/adaptable to change and more accessible to designers from marginalized communities?

I would counter that with two rhetorical/not rhetorical questions for you:

1. Do you think that flexibility and adaptability are necessarily good traits?

2. Socioeconomically, we have seen that it drives down the amount of money that people make and increase labor exponentially. Is that what we want from the future?

IDEA #389

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Issue #389 of IDEA examines “the f-word”… That’s right: Feminism, the notion that all genders are equal. The first third of this issue of IDEA looks at the work and struggles of contemporary Japanese and Korean female graphic designers, exhibitions about their work, and so much more. It also includes histories of important global feminist graphic designers and helps to chart a course of feminist herstory throughout graphic design.

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I wrote two biographies for this issue: one of Yale’s Sheila Levrant de Bretteville and one of CalArts’ Lorraine Wild. I’m very excited to have been asked to write these, notably Lorraine’s.

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Lorraine has been a mentor and friend for many years and who is someone I find to be incredibly inspirational.

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My Corinthians partner Renna Okubo and I also put together a special Japanese and English supplement insert for this issue titled “The Global Style: Modernist Typography After Postmodernism”.

The primary text is by another mentor and friend, Mr. Keedy. It is about the style of graphic design after Postmodernism and is accompanied by two texts written by me that help to contextualize exactly what “The Global Style” is.

Contents:

The Global Style: Modernist Typography After Postmodernism
Text by Mr. Keedy, Ian Lynam
Design by Yuta Murao
Translation by Shu Kuge, Emma Okubo

Introduction: Understanding the Global Style
Text by Ian Lynam

The Global Style: Modernist Typography After Postmodernism
Text by Mr. Keedy

Commentary: Multiple Modernisms
Text by Ian Lynam

You can pick up IDEA #389 here: http://wordshape.com/idea-389-feminist-moments/

TUJ Media Lab

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Just finished: a new wall supergraphic for Temple University Japan Campus’ Communication Department Media Lab.

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The supergraphic will serve as the backdrop for TUJ broadcast projects.

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The supergraphic was sponsored by the Kal & Lucille Rudman Family Foundation of Philadelphia.

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Reindeer Games

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I have a new essay called “The Small Olympics” published in The Asia Pacific Journal’s Japan Focus online peer-reviewed journal.

Japan has a pervasive and problematic history based on design by consensus and speculative labor for the design of past Olympic Games as much as for the upcoming Games. The 2020 Games have been defined by design competitions, events where individuals volunteer to create visual graphic works without financial reward for the time and labor spent. This devaluation of creative work helps explain why Tokyo is swathed in mediocre Games-related visuals.

You can read it here: https://apjjf.org/2020/4/Lynam.html

AIGA Grow Conference Keynote!

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I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be giving the keynote lecture for AIGA Austin’s GROW Conference: http://growwithaiga.org/

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I’ll be speaking about methods and methodologies for constructing both design criticism and critically oriented graphic design.

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Friend and VCFA alumnx Shruthi Manjula Balakrishna will be presenting, as well as friend and fellow CalArts alum Tuan Phan will be leading a workshop.

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My lecture will be followed by activation workshops where participants will get to explore constructing critical design methods.

Ouzuri

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Another recent project: the identity design for Ouzuri, a line of contemporary variations on zori, traditional Japanese footwear that are worn with kimono.

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The project includes logo design, color palette and typographic palette development, the design of printed collateral, positioning strategy and copywriting. I am particularly happy with the tagline that we came up with for Ouzuri: “The Future of Tradition”.

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Visit the Ouzuri website here: https://ouzuri.stores.jp/

Eleven Arts logo design

I recently designed the logo for Los Angeles-based anime distribution and production company Eleven Arts.

Modes of Criticism #5 – Design Systems

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I have a new essay called “Anything With A Shape Cannot Be Broken” in Modes of Criticism no. 5. The theme for the issue is “Design Systems”. My essay explores the imperialist suprematist ideologies behind pre-WW2 Mingei crafts of Japan and how those ideologies are linked to culturally suprematist ideologies lurking beneath the seemingly anonymously designed surfaces of MUJI products.

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I also explore links between fascism in both European and Japanese Modernism, implicitly/explicitly exploring how “less is more” and “problem solving” are the rhetoric of genocide.

Thanks to Francisco Laranjo for inviting me to participate. One can obtain a copy of MOC5 here: https://www.onomatopee.net/exhibition/modes-of-criticism/#publication_10381

This is hardcore.

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I was interviewed over on the AIGA Eye on Design blog along with Kathleen Sleboda, Christopher Sleboda, and Kristian Henson about the DIY hardcore punk movement of the late 1980s and 1990s and about our collaborative book Hardcore Fanzine which came out this year. You can read the essay here: https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/this-is-hardcore-the-huge-impact-of-a-niche-movement-on-graphic-designers-today/

ServiceNow

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Just installed: a number of big supergraphics treatments for the interior design of ServiceNow’s new Tokyo offices.

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Walking into the ServiceNow (https://www.servicenow.com/) offices, staff and clients alike are greeted by giant graphic treatments that Pascal Santoso and I put together to encourage sales, support, and congeniality!

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Thanks to Jordan and Ben at AXES Partners for inviting us to work on this project, as well as thanks to Chris, Tonya, and the team at ServiceNow.

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Universal Lunch

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I was so lucky to be invited to participate in the livestreamed and recorded interview/conversation series Universal Lunch (Un)Common Hours curated by Design Inquiry and hosted by Gabrielle Esperdy and Jimmy Luu.

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I and Denise Gonzales Crisp got to chop it up with Gabrielle and Jimmy for an hour or so—you can check out the recorded video here shortly: https://www.youtube.com/user/DesignInquiry/videos

Visual Strategies for the Apocalypse wins STA 100!

Very excited to announce that my recent publication Visual Strategies for the Apocalypse won the STA 100 design competition — for 40 years, Chicago’s Society of Typographic Arts has held this competition which awards the top 100 pieces of typography in North America. Read more: https://100.sta-chicago.org/winners

2019/2020 Yearbook of Type

I have a new essay titled “A Futuring: Frugality, Online Dating, and Some Rain” in the 2019/2020 Yearbook of Type just released by Slanted Publishers in Germany. Check it out here: https://www.slanted.de/yearbook-of-type-2019-20-out-now/

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The Yearbook of Type is now in its 4th edition: 158 typefaces from 178 designers from around the world are presented in this 400-page, colorful, and gobsmackingly typographic book. The Yearbook of Type is both a practical guide that helps users navigate the diverse, ocean-like, typographical landscape, as well as a critical guide to the best type today.

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The highlights in short:

– Detailed presentation of 158 recent typefaces
– Ample background information
– Index of typeface classifications
– Index of all 176 type designers and 98 foundries from 36 countries
– Explanation of all OpenType features
– Essays, interviews, and tutorials by Pedro Amado, Massimiliano Audretsch, Bianca Berning, Ian Lynam, Lilo Schäfer, Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer, Mark van Wageningen, Amber Weaver, Stefan Willerstorfer, Anuthin Wongsunkakon, and Benjamin Wurster
Microsite online linking the typefaces directly to the foundries’ websites

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Radical Empathy

I just published “Radical Empathy“, a transcription of the welcome speech to the VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Fall 2019 Residency. You can read it here.

The Thing in DesignInquiry’s Futurespective

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The Thing is included in DesignInquiry’s Futurespective exhibition Readin Room at Maine College of Fine Arts presently.

More: https://designinquiry.net/projects/futurespective/

Temple University Japan Sangenjaya Campus

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I’m very excited to announce that the new TUJ campus in Sangenjaya is open!

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I worked with TUJ, James Lambiasi Architect and Gensler as a consultant for the interior design, identity, and signage for the university, an institution where I have taught for over a decade. I am very excited for this new phase and am looking forward to the future!

Hardcore Fanzine

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I have a new essay in the book Hardcore Fanzine out now from Draw Down:

Focused on seven issues of Good and Plenty fanzine produced in the late 1980s/early 1990s, Hardcore Fanzine looks at the series through the lens of graphic design and typography, as a project that reflected and embodied technology of the period. Contributions from graphic designers, graphic design educators, and hardcore enthusiasts trace the history of zines and photoduplication; the idea of the body in punk and hardcore; how zine-making created community and alternative social space in a pre-Internet era; key typefaces used in straight edge iconography; and the importance of zines to successive generations of designers.

Good and Plenty was published as a labor of love and fandom by Zion, Illinois’s Gabe Rodriguez. Originally produced as a collaboration with friend Mike Good, Rodriguez took over editing and production of the zine, assisted by a team of friends and helpers. With their assistance and a network of fans from around the country and the world, Good and Plenty featured original photography documenting shows by Gorilla Biscuits, Judge, Bold, and other hardcore bands of the period; band interviews; reviews of shows and record releases; and essays by Rodriguez and friends (including Alyssa “Blowing Chunx” Murray and Kim Nolan) on a range of topics beyond music—from vegetarianism, women’s rights, gender relations, and straight edge, to racism, pop culture, and the Iraq War.

A text by Walter Schreifels—American musician, member of Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Quicksand, and many other bands—places G&P in historical context, outlining the context for individual issues and highlighting specific moments in the cultural and sonic landscape.

Hardcore Fanzine includes the full reproduction of all seven issues of Good and Plenty plus reproductions of a selection of the zine’s original paste-ups and photography.

With text by Walter Schreifels
Preface by Gabe Rodriguez

Contributions from Kristian Henson, Briar Levit, Ian Lynam, Gabriel Melcher, Anthony Pappalardo, Nate Pyper, Ali Qadeer, and Gabe Rodriguez

Designed by Partition

Published by Draw Down Books, 2019

Softcover, 144 pages, 2-color offset printing, 6.5 × 9.5 inches

ISBN: 978-0-9857337-9-7

Get it here!

CRITIQUE: THE WAR OF DESIGN

At the printer now: a new 64-page zine about critique called CRITIQUE: THE WAR OF A̶R̶T̶ DESIGN, which is available for pre-order here: http://crit.wordshape.com.

A bit ago, a book about critique with the subtitle “A Student Manual” came out, but it sure didn’t feel like it was for students… or teachers, particularly of graphic design. I thought that the topic was deserving, so I wrote it, illustrated it, and designed it.

Edited by the intrepid Taro Nettleton and offset printed in 3 colors in Niigata, Japan with wraparound covers, CRITIQUE is an approachable and relatable guide to considering critique and criticism from a variety of viewpoints. Pre-orders receive bonus stickers and Risograph posters! Imagine: it’s like Kickstarter, but the project is already at the printer! You can’t lose! Also contains silly drawings of snakes playing saxophones! 🎷🐍 And a semiotics primer for the layperson! You too can ⚡️master⚡️the science of signs, symbols, and meaning! Order now! http://crit.wordshape.com

ATypI Tokyo 2019

I just gave a talk at ATypI Tokyo 2019 called “From Bijin-ga to Brutus”, which is derived from the latter part of my recent publication The Thing.

“From Bijin-ga to Brutus” is one of the least known stories in Japanese graphic design history is the emergence of Sun Studio / サン・スタジオ, one of Japan’s very first graphic design studios.

Sun Studio was run by poster designer Hokuu Tada / 多田北烏 (1889–1948), who influenced countless early graphic designers and typographers in Japan in the Taishō and Shōwa periods through his contributions to the literature of nascent commercial art. Posters designed by Tada for Kirin Beer festoon countless businesses in Japan today, intimating a sense of nostalgia and history in the bustling megalopolis—yet the story behind them is largely unknown.

Another important figure, one whose story has largely been disconnected from greater Japanese graphic design history, is Seiichi Horiuchi/ 堀内誠一 (1933–1987), whose design work for Japanese lifestyle magazines largely defines Japanese consumer-fashion culture today.

This heavily illustrated presentation will explore the direct historical connection between Tada and Horiuchi—from the birth of commercial art (商業美術) in Japan to the refinement of graphic design (グラフィックデザイン), helping to contextualize both historical and contemporary graphic design and typography.

Read more about the presentation here.

Arrow of Light

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I designed two logos for the Portland, Oregon supergroup Arrow of Light. This is one of them.

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This is the other.

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I also designed two new 24″ x 36″ fluorescent posters for them. Get them at their debut show!

 

DWPA!

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A recent logo design for the Democratic Women of the Prescott Area, as a feminist and an overseas voter in Arizona, it is a group that I am very proud to support.

Women have always been a key part of Arizona politics.  Jerry Emmett, the founder of the DWPA, who is now 104 years old, reminds us that in Arizona, women had the right to vote and hold office in 1912 as part of the state’s constitution eight years before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The DWPA seeks to encourage women to participate in all levels of service and government whether running for office, or assuming support roles and leadership positions in our community and in our state.

The Democratic Women of the Prescott Area’s mission is to engage, unite, and empower women to promote the principles of the Democratic Party and to attain public office and leadership positions in Arizona.

The cat’s out of the bag!

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I’ll be joining the CalArts MFA in Graphic Design Program as Visiting Critic this year, with 3 residencies working with MFA students on their thesis projects.

Portland Stamp Company with Mr. Keedy!

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Out now: a poster stamp design for The Portland Stamp Company designed with CalArts faculty member and longtme Emigre contributor Mr. Keedy.

Poster stamps are a design format that I include in lectures about some of Japan’s earliest graphic design publications in my Japanese Graphic Design History class. I am super-pumped that Josh Berger of Plazm/Portland Stamp Company (one of the first people to have ever given me a design-related job) invited us to create one—it is like living history all over again!

Keedy and I were interviewed about our poster stamp design here:

https://theportlandstampcompany.com/artist-series/ian-lynam-x-jeff-keedy/

(Soundtrack.)

Arts Excursions Unlimited reboot

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We just redesigned and relaunched Arts Exursions Unlimited’s website. Check it out here: http://www.artsexcursionsunlimited.com/

Arts Excursions Unlimited is a free, community-driven, monthly arts and cultural experience for residents in the Greater Hazelwood neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We are incredibly proud of our work with such a driven, socially engaged arts initiative.

Total Armageddon

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I am thrilled to announce that my newest book Total Armageddon is out now via Slanted Publishers.

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When the Slanted editorial team asked me if I might be interested in editing a book that pulled the best writing from the first 32 issues of their magazine, I leaped at the chance. I invited some of my favorite design writers to contribute, as well, because I wanted Total Armageddon to be much more than just an anthology. I wanted it to stand as a mile marker in design theory, and I think it does just that.

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Some of the best writing from the past decade-plus related to design is included, notably Randy Nakamura’s “On Equilibrium and Sottsass”, Natalia Ilyin’s “On Shooting Butterflies”, Kenneth FitzGerald’s “Singing the Surface” and Mr. Keedy’s “The Global Style”.

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Total Armageddon is available here. I hope that you like it.

The Thing & Visual Strategies for the Apocalypse

New-titles-Update

I am very excited to announce that I have two brand-new booklets that just came out: The Thing and Visual Strategies for the Apocalypse.

TheThingFront-Cover-Update

The Thing is about the problematics of design, designers, and design history. It is an 88-page zine that examines thorny aspects of design, designers, and design history.

Also, The Thing glows in the dark.

TheThingSpread3

Topics within:
– Vikings
– Netflix binge-watching as a metaphor for lived experience
– Problematic relationships with objects
– Earthquakes which turned into literal firestorms which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people
– Japanese graphic design history
– Picking locks
– Secrets behind how to edit
– Nostalgia
– Guilt and Shame

TheThingSpread4

You can see a microsite that I designed for The Thing here: http://thing.wordshape.com

VSFTAFront-Cover-Update

Visual Strategies for the Apocalypse is about overcoming what I term “Creative Constipation™”. It is a 112-page booklet with contributions from leading designers and design educators like Matthew Scott Barnes, Natalia Ilyin, Nikki Juen, Yoon Soo Lee, Matthew Monk, David Peacock, Michael Scaringe, and Lorena Howard-Sheridan, along with James Hultquist-Todd of JTD Type, James Edmondson of Oh No Type Co, visual artist Griffin McPartland, Adolf Loos and the late Koichi Sato.

VSFTASpread2

Topics within:

– The relationship between Big Tech and child labor
– The even more complicated relationship between Fast Fashion and Thor, God of Thunder
– Space, time and selfishness
– Contrast, cropping and partying
– Chance processes
– Imitation, flattery, history and desktop publishing
– Collage as strategy
– The function of drawing
– Ornament and making shit up

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More info about Visual Strategies for the Apocalypse is here in the micro-site that I designed for it: http://apocalypse.wordshape.com

Feature in IDEA/アイデア #385

I have a 32-page feature in the latest issue of IDEA magazine, Japan’s oldest and best graphic design magazine.

An excerpt from the essay that I wrote for the feature:

In Oregon, I discovered that graphic design was the formalized version of what I had been doing for the previous decade-plus making zines and went back to school to study graphic design, which I had previously called “layout”. I worked at a few design firms, and then was hired at small studio called Plazm where they had a massive collection of copies of IDEA, this very same magazine that you are holding in your hands. IDEA in the early 2000s was insane. Each issue was made with more love than any American graphic design magazine or book at that time—there were different papers, printing techniques, a lot of really weird content, tipped-in books, and posters folded in to the magazine. Seeing IDEA gave me an expanded notion of what graphic design could be, something that was very much missing from American design culture at that time.

It made me kind of hate American graphic design.

This magazine that you have in front of you changed my life. I am going to state this rather unequivocally: if I had not found IDEA, I think that my life would be very, very different, and I am quite sure that it would be an unsatisfactory version compared to the life that I have now.

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I mean what I wrote in IDEA #385. Being actually featured was something that I considered a total pipe dream for years, even having written for the magazine, designing many of the things I wrote, collaborating on curatorial and editorial projects with the former editor-in-chief Kiyonori Muroga, and maintaining friendships with the cast of characters that make IDEA happen four times a year for over a decade.

I am incredibly honored to be featured in the pages of IDEA. It was an invitation to the very last known dream that I have had of my career to date, and one that I dreamed of for twenty years.

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I would like to thank IDEA’s editor-in-chief Madoka Nishi for asking me to be included, and for allowing me to design and write the feature.

It is a very rare thing when one gets to curate their own content and to be trusted to do the right thing.

Randy Nakamura did a bang-up job of editing my essay, as he has always done, and Emma Okubo provided a faithful and accurate translation of my writing.

Martin Holtkamp shot beautiful portrait photography, something easier said than done.

Jeremy Lanig, Carly Diaz, David L. Reamer, Koichi Tomimura, Michael Holmes, Matthew Scott Barnes, Anthony Pagani, Mark/Naoki Rogers, Lars Harmsen, Hannah Smith, and Satoshi Aoyagi all provided amazing photography of assorted projects.

My dear VCFA alumni and friends Laura Rossi Garcia and Chad Miller graciously allowed their thesis work at VCFA’s MFA in Graphic Design program to be included, as well. (Their work meets at the critical juncture of feminism and hardcore—one of my favorite junctures.)

This feature, titled “Locality & Fracture” explains my practice that spans design research, design education, a commercial and cultural studio practice, and foray into type design exceedingly well. I am happy with how it turned out. I think you very well might enjoy reading it.

You can procure a copy here: http://wordshape.com/idea-385-locality/

Apparently I have to make up some new dreams now.

Total Armageddon

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I recently edited a new book titled Total Armageddon for Slanted Publishers. It is a book about design. And culture. And complexity, notably how we, as a global civilization, deal with science fiction, taste, social media, the cities we live in, aesthetics, PowerPoint, burkas, authenticity, monuments, HIV, screens, representation, Big Tech, full-contact sports, and other thorny topics.

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This book is full of essays culled from the first 32 issues of Slanted as well as new writing and writing from elsewhere, the leading international design journal, alongside a number of writings from elsewhere, all specifically chosen for this book. They include essays written by the most vital and vibrant global voices in writing on design and culture today from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East. Writers like Natalia Ilyin, Randy Nakamura, Steven Heller, Piotr Rypson, Silas Munro, Gerry Leonidas, Yoon Soo Lee, Kenneth FitzGerald, Kiyonori Muroga, and a host of others.

ta3

In a world that feels like it is bursting at the seams due to overpopulation, climate change, economic downturns, strife, selfies, discord, and all-out war, we need somewhere to turn. Our mobile devices tell us that the Apocalypse is just around the corner … perhaps we just need to look the future in the face by examining the present and all of it’s designed faults, fractures, beauties, luminosity, issues, complexities, and cracked screens.

ta4

Welcome, friends, to the end of the world.

ta5

Publisher: Slanted Publishers
Editor: Ian Lynam
Release: March 2019
Volume: 400 Pages
Dimensions: 16 × 24 cm
Language: English
Printing: LE-UV offset + white (Vogl)
Paper: Holmen BOOK Extra 2.0 (Holmen Paper)
Cover material: Invercote G Metalprint (Iggesund Paperboard)
Typefaces: Beatrice (Sharp Type) and Edit Serif (Atlas Font Foundry)

Total Armageddon is available for preorder via Kickstarter now.

PechaKucka Night Tokyo

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I was so happy to present at PechaKucka Night Tokyo—the very last one at SuperDeluxe in its current location.

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Giant thanks to Brian Scott Peterson for both the invitation and the amazing photos, Astrid and Mark for the warm welcome onstage, and to everyone who presented.

The Universal Moment

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Wandered across this project from 2011 today—the design for the debut album by The Universal Moment.

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TUM is a Tokyo-based band that is fronted by two brothers who are incredibly nice people.

Glot

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We recently launched a micro-site for Glot, a ten-member flared terminal sans serif family of typefaces based on a mix of proportions of Roman square capitals and hyper-readable sans serifs. Read the story of Glot here!

Taiwan Poster Design Association biennial

I have some work in this upcoming exhibition and the resultant catalog:

The Annual Poster Exhibition of TPDA Member, Designer Submission Invitation, Awarded Entries of International Taiwan Postar 2018 “Love. Peace”
The exhibition begins on Dec. 15, 2018 (Sat.) to Dec. 25, 2018 (Tue.) in Taiwan Academia Industry Consortium K² Square, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
The ceremony starts on Dec. 15, 2018 (Sat.) 2:00PM

Organizer: Taiwan Poster Design Association
The co-organizer: Kun Shan University Department of Visual Communication Design-Print Media Lab
Official Website: TPDA www.taiwanposter.com

Houston lecture

I will be lecturing in Houston, Texas at the University of Houston’s Katherine G. McGovern College of the Arts on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 1 pm. Free!

 

 

Inform interview

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I was interviewed a while ago by the inimitable Ella Gold for Inform, the CalArts design blog.

SuperSurfaces

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I and Kyle Lynam are participating in the new graphic design exhibition SuperSurfaces at In the Paper Gallery in Seoul.

Our contribution is Ggreg, a science fiction opera in the form of a printed case of paper and a promotional poster for our book-as-case of paper.

SuperSurfaces
On View: July 10 – July 17, 2018, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Opening: July 10, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Hours: Weekdays 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm / Closed Sunday

In the Paper Gallery
Doosung Paper Co., Ltd.
Seoul, South Korea
+82 2 3470 0001
http://www.inthepaper.co.kr/

Participants:
60603, Byung-hak Ahn, Mary Banas, Alexander Böhn, Erik Brandt, Mark Callahan, Alyssa Casey, James Chae, Amy Fortunato, David Gay & Moon Jang, Isaac Gertman, Golden Tree, Minjae Huh, Jae Jeon, Hwara Jo, Hoon Kim, Jinhee Kim, Minkyoung Kim, Yunim Kim, Minsu Kim, Minho Kwon, Ohyun Kwon, Ian Lynam, Kyle Lynam, Katherine Miller, Once-Future Office, Chaehee Park, Jangho Park, Michael Radyk, Pooroni Rhee, Chris Ro, The Rodina, David Smith, Chulmin Yi, and Sera Yong.

SuperSurfaces Committee
Moon Jang / Curator
Namoo Kim / Coordinator
Chris Ro / Coordinator
James Chae / Graphic Designer
Minkyoung Kim / Web Design and Development
Eunjung Paek / In the Paper Gallery Director

Sponsor / Doosung Paper

Poster Design / James Chae and Moon Jang

向竹堂合同会社

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I just finished up the identity for 向竹堂合同会社 / Kōchikudō GK, a new publishing, translation, writing and editing house based in Kanagawa.

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Kōchikudō is run by my Néojaponisme collaborator and friend Matt Treyvaud.

Wordshape relaunch!

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We’ve redesigned the website for Wordshape, our hybrid type foundry, publishing entity, distro and software venture. Check it out here.

The Syntax of Seeming Destruction

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I wrote this quick essay about the consideration of graffiti as a linguistic system over at Medium.

Slanted #31!

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We are really excited to announce the release of Slanted #31. Ian Lynam and Renna Okubo (partners in Corinthians) were invited to help edit and curate this issue alongside Slanted Publishers founder Lars Harmsen. Read all about the process here!

Canard!

CanardPDX

I just designed the identity for Canard, sister restaurant  to Portland’s Le Pigeon and Little Bird.

 

5 April 2018, Canard, Portland, OR Andrew Fortgang and Gabriel Rucker

I love working with Andrew Fortgang and Gabriel Rucker, with whom we have designed the identities for all of their restaurant ventures — excited to dine at Canard soon!

Supergraphics!

Ian Lynam in Sean Adams' Field Guide to Supergraphics

I was interviewed and our work is featured in the new book The Field Guide to Supergraphics by Sean Adams. Out now from Thames and Hudson!

CalArts + CAA + LGBT Media Group

CalArtsCAA

I will be lecturing and giving a workshop at CalArts in their MFA and BFA graphic design programs on February 20th, then participating in a panel at the College Art Association’s national conference in Los Angeles called “Decolonizing Design: Considering A Non-western Approach To Design Pedagogy” alongside Chair Pouya Jahansi (Oklahoma State University), Dori Tunstall (OCAD University), Kali Nikitas (Otis College of Art and Design), Steven McCarthy (University of Minnesota) and Elizabeth Chin (ArtCenter College of Design).

LGBTMediaGroup Ian Lynam

I also recently finished up the bilingual identity for Tokyo’s LGBT Media Group.

Schizotopia

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I will be participating in Schizotopia, an upcoming conference in Bremen, Germany.

The Schizotopia conference will take place January 18-21, 2018 and include the participation of 100 invited design students, fine art students, and teachers. Apart from that, external experts from the field of art, philosophy, and medicine are invited to open up different perspectives on the connection between Schizophrenia and creativity.

The conference is a collaboration between the art Universities in Bremen, Karlsruhe, Lyon, Bordeaux, Oslo, and Academie Rietveld in Amsterdam. Visitors from the outside are also welcome to visit the event and take part in the activities.

Read all about Schizotopia on the official website: http://schizotopia.com/

Details:
18th-21st January 2018
HfK, Am Speicher XI 8, Bremen

David Brill for Congress

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Recently designed the campaign logo for Arizona Congressional candidate David Brill. Check his platform out here.

A Death in the Family

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I just put together this essay about Print magazine ceasing publication.

Italic Strategies

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Just launched a new project: Italic Strategies. Inspired by Brian Eno’s project Oblique Strategies, this website offers instructions which can be used to break a deadlock or dilemma situation in regards to graphic design projects. If you are feeling stuck with a project, merely refresh the site to load a suggestion on how to proceed.

VCFA MFA in Graphic Design video

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I put together this profile video recently for the VCFA MFA in Graphic Design program. Michael Hanks did the camera work while my buddy E#Vax of Ratatat composed the music.

Kokusai Soushoku identity

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One of those projects I never had time to post—the logo from the identity for Kokusai Soushoku (国際装飾株式会社), a Tokyo-based display production company that has been in business since 1931. Check out their amazing interior works on Instagram here!

Biwa & Biwa Display

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I just released a new typeface family named Biwa and Biwa Display, the logical development of our bestselling typeface family Vaud, which is no longer commercially available. Biwa is here to fill that gap.

Biwa is a new straight-sided family of formally nuanced grotesk typefaces. Biwa’s lighter weights feel subdued, cool in tone, and neutral, while the heavier weights are more robust and full of personality.

Developed over the past few years by Ian Lynam and James Todd, the 14-member Biwa family and the accompanying 14-member Biwa Display family are paeans to the immediate moment when phototype arrived on the global scene — partially smooth and partially machined. Biwa and Biwa Display are neutral in tone, have enlarged x-heights, and look amazing on-screen and in print.

You can license Biwa here.

Slanted #30

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I have an essay in issue 30 of Slanted, this one devoted to design and art in Athens, Greece.

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This essay is titled “Faith/Void Split”, which is also the title of another essay that I wrote for Slanted #18 back in 2012. It has nothing to do with the other essay. I just like being contrarian sometimes.

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Here is an excerpt from the essay:

Talking about gods and goddesses brings up some big cultural and societal considerations—notably, ideas of belief and notions of faith. I didn’t think about faith or belief very much for many years. I was and continue to be agnostic (a hard act to pull off when you’ve consorted with the immortal). Additionally, I worked primarily alone for many years, so I didn’t have to worry about these kinds of things. But then I started teaching in two very different design schools where the students were Buddhist. Or Shinto. Or sometimes both. Or sometimes nothing. Or sometimes Muslim. Or Christian. Or Mormon. Or smaller, less-known religions, and I just had to learn to become tolerant of different flavors of religious folks really fast. I’d adhered to the old Amebix “No gods, no masters” credo a bit too well for years, and learning to be someone who is open-minded with people of other belief systems kind of takes a lot of work.

Ultimately, I was able to boil down my ideas about faith and belief, and distill them into how I thought about my students, instead of how I thought about my students’ spiritualities. Some of my students are so exceedingly promising, talented, intelligent, and kind that I have faith in them and their abilities. On the other hand, I have many students that I must actively believe in and devote much of my energy to, because they have potential, even if it is often unrealized. Faith is when people are so talented that you know that they will create amazing work no matter most situations. Belief is… well, the opposite. Belief is having to try.

You can pick up a copy of Slanted #30 here.

Between Two Strangers

Between 2 Stangers

Between Two Strangers is a collection of stories and interviews from artists and writers on the challenges of maintaining an artistic practice in another country. Featuring Dana Olarescu & Bojana Jankovic, Ian Lynam, Xiaolu Guo, Emily Hartley-Skudder, Sarah Stein Lubrano, Saleh Addonia, Nina Mangalanayagam, Jim Russell, Noma Bar, Brenda Wong, Annette Mees, and Peter & Lizzie Mandeno.

Between 2 Stangers

Edited, designed and printed by Katie Kerr. Photographs by Lizzie Mayson, Alice Connew, Charlie McKay and Robin Friend. Check it out here.

Cannibals!

Cannibals by イエン・ライナム

Cannibals is my new 92-page booklet — a handbook of dubious exercises, tips, and rants about becoming a designer who teaches… (but just as much a handbook for designers who happen to be being taught.) It is comprised of a handful of new essays about design, education, hope, dread, delight, misery, and of course, sex. Lovingly printed in three offset colors, Cannibals is part-innately relatable pop narrative, part-irreverent mythology, and part-searing critical analysis of design culture today.

You can read all about it over at the new Cannibals micro-site!

Design Issues

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I designed the cover for the latest issue of MIT Press’ long-running journal Design Issues. The first American academic journal to examine design history, theory, and criticism, Design Issues provokes inquiry into the cultural and intellectual issues surrounding design.

Regular features include theoretical and critical articles by professional and scholarly contributors, extensive book and exhibition reviews, and visual sequences. Special guest-edited issues concentrate on particular themes, such as design history, human-computer interface, service design, organization design, design for development, and product design methodology. Scholars, students, and professionals in all the design fields are readers of each issue. Design Issues is a peer reviewed journal.

Check out Volume 33, Issue 3 of Design Issues here.

Corinthians in Harper’s Bazaar Korea

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Corinthians, my new curatorial partnership with Renna Okubo are featured in an interview in the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar Korea.

New essay in Slanted #29

Slanted-Magazine-Helsinki_00

I have a new essay in Slanted #29 called “Type Design: Discipline, Medium, Practice, Tool, or Other?”

Let’s Color!

Zine for impending design graduates by Ian Lynam

This is a new zine that I wrote for folks who are about to graduate from design school.

Zine for impending design graduates by Ian Lynam

It is memoir-based and includes a ton of tips for job-hunting, letter-writing, and all of the stuff they don’t teach in a lot of schools.

Zine for impending design graduates by Ian Lynam

As usual, there is sex and crime within.

Zine for impending design graduates by Ian Lynam

I’ll have a chunk of copies with me when I visit the U.S. next week. In the meantime, it is available here. Orders will be fulfilled in two weeks.

Corinthians

Corinthians - Ian Lynam and Renna Okubo

Some big news: my dear friend Renna Okubo and I have started a new art and design curatorial and editorial practice called Corinthians. We have been plugging away on a number of high profile projects for folks like the Japanese government, assorted galleries, various publishers, and projects which we have initiated.

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Renna is a veteran of New York and Tokyo arts institutions, including long stints running Wako Works of Art and Blum and Poe’s Tokyo location. We have talked for years about extending our previously infrequent collaborative efforts, and recently decided to make the jump to making our vision for a collaborative practice a reality.

Renna has an incisive perspective on the contemporary art world—one that is as generous as it is critical. We are looking forward to teasing out previously unconsidered possibilities at the intersection of our individual disciplines. We invite you to get in touch with us via our new website, http://corinthians000.com to discuss projects related to:

  • curation
  • editorial direction
  • localization
  • strategy and positioning
  • research

Thanks to Gareth Hague of Alias for providing us with the amazing typefaces for our launch, as well as to Lars Harmsen of Slanted for our portrait photography.

Lecture and exhibition at Maine College of Art

Ian Lynam at MECA

I will be giving a lecture at Maine College of Art on April 6th, 2017 at 12:00pm. The lecture is called “Composition, Labor, Authenticity, Nostalgia, Technology, Art and Design in an Increasingly Indecipherable World”. Event details are here. I will also be exhibiting a new body of work at MECA called “Slouching Toward Delphi”. The exhibition is the third installment of my GODS series of installation works and will be accompanied by the release of a new booklet of writing that explores narrativity and the contemporary condition.

The installation will make a brief reprise at Vermont College of Fine Arts for our April residency, as will free copies of the new booklet and a variation on the lecture that I am going to give at MECA.

supp_heroine

The second edition of the Supplement:Tokyo series of lectures—four short talks about the relationship of design, art, fashion, visual culture and writing is coming up.

The Supplement:Tokyo series is brought to you by Temple University Japan.

Speakers:
Bill Daniel
Craig Mod
Tetsuya Goto
Eiko Nagase

Moderator:
Ian Lynam

Date & Time:
March 8, 2017  6:30PM—9:30PM

Location:
Temple University Japan, Azabu Hall, The Parliament
http://www.tuj.ac.jp/ | http://www.tuj.ac.jp/maps/tokyo.html

More: http://supplement-tokyo.tumblr.com/

PKapp

Also, PechaKucha just launched their new iOS app and my talk about lettering in Cuba is one of the first featured presentations.

Chomp!

Chomp by Scout Books - type direction by Ian Lynam

Sometimes projects we work on come out and we either forget to catalog them, or in this case, just plain forgot they existed. Chomp! is a pocket-sized interview/recipe books from Portland-based chefs John Gorham, Nong Poonsukwattana, and Pascal Sauton.

Chomp by Scout Books - type direction by Ian Lynam

Ian provided type direction for the series, which was published by Scout Books and designed by Taryn Cowart.

 

Chomp by Scout Books - type direction by Ian Lynam

 

You can pick up copies on Amazon here.

BONX

BONX_tradeshow-design by Ian Lynam

We are now working with BONX, a Tokyo-based technology company to design all of their booths and spatial design for global trade shows. Pictured here: the BONX booth at SIA.

Oliver Klimpel interview

huh32 interview with Oliver Klimpel

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!

TUJ

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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.

IDEA #376

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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.

Within:

Graphic designers and exhibitions
The 27th Brno Biennial 2016 and the State of the Graphic Design Exhibition Today
Direction: Tetsuya Goto and IDEA

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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

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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

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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

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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
– Modernity-building
– Poesis
– Organizing Contemporary Culture
– Visualizing Language
– Analysis

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

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Special Feature: Arrangement of Objects

Featuring:
– 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 updated!

kimbo updated for CC2017

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.

Art Marks

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I have a number of logo designs in the new book Art Marks from Counter-Print.

Slanted #28 – Warsaw

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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.

Back.

supplementtokyo001

Supplement: Tokyo Edition One went swimmingly! Packed house and four excellent presentations! Stay tuned for Edition Two!

jeju

The United Designs exhibition opened and closed. Good stuff.

United Designs

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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.

photo by Jen McKnight

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.”

Supplement: Tokyo Edition 1

supp_heroine

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.

ian_lynam_at_ny_tdc

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!

Temple University Japan’s new look

Ian Lynam Design rebranding of Temple University Japan - photo by http://michaelholmesphoto.com/

We finished up the new interior design and exterior branding for Temple University Japan. I got to work with one of my amazing students, Van Ha “Noah” Nguyen, who designed one of the walls in the space. I love Noah. She has a relentless work ethic, incredible energy, enthusiasm, and is just mega-fun. The space opened a week ago and we couldn’t be happier about the design, the execution, and the folks we got to work with along the way! Thanks, TUJ!

Things happened.

Promotional posters for VCFA's MFA in Graphic Design

I designed and printed a new series of posters for the VCFA MFA in Graphic Design program.

Promotional posters for VCFA's MFA in Graphic Design

They come in 3 different color variations.

Promotional posters for VCFA's MFA in Graphic Design

They have some witty copywriting.

Promotional posters for VCFA's MFA in Graphic Design

I designed 97% of the type on them, as well. You can scoop them up in Vegas at the AIGA National Conference, but I wholeheartedly recommend talking to my VCFA comrades Nikki Juen and David Markow while doing that scooping!

On the off chance that a human who will be reading this is actually going, seriously seek out Nikki—she is an amazing educator, the most warm of humans, and she will kick your ass around the block at any table you play at.

Custom type design for Vietnamese American artist Hong-An Truong

I designed a custom Vietnamese/English typeface for Vietnamese American artist Hong-An Truong in July for a recent show in Hanoi.

Custom type design for Vietnamese American artist Hong-An Truong

The font is called XJ Bold, named for Hong-An’s daughter.

Custom type design for Vietnamese American artist Hong-An Truong

The exhibition was called “Nói trong bóng tối / Speaking in the dark – triển lãm của hai nghệ sĩ Trương Hồng-Ân và Ngô Ngọc Hương“.

Custom type design for Vietnamese American artist Hong-An Truong

I am extremely pleased with how the collaboration turned out.

Custom type design for Vietnamese American artist Hong-An Truong

Hong-An is an artist whose work I devoutly believe in. It is powerful.

Custom type design for Vietnamese American artist Hong-An Truong

Giant thanks to Hong-An and the Nhà Sàn Collective

Custom type design for Vietnamese American artist Hong-An Truong

In a final bit of news that is utterly unrelated to the image above, my book Parting It Out just received a great review from the magazine Communication Arts.

STA 100

Ian Lynam wins STA 100

I was one of the winners of the Society of Typographic Arts’ STA100 design competition for the design of my book Parting It Out. I was in good company—VCFA alumni Jason Alejandro and Laura Rossi Garcia and current students Chad Miller and Luke Dorman were all selected by judges Neville Brody, Denise Gonzales Crisp and Martin Venezky as having created some of top 100 graphic design projects of 2016.

Surprise: new font releases and a logo design.

SmytheSoft Pro by Ian LynamSmytheSoft Pro by Ian Lynam

I just released two new typeface families. The first is SmytheSans Pro.

SmytheSoft Pro by Ian Lynam

SmytheSoft Pro is a contemporary workhorse sans serif family that is eminently readable on-screen and in print. It is an updated display version of our popular family Smythe Sans with custom rounded terminals, rigorously spaced and kerned. SmytheSoft Pro includes Western, Central and Eastern European and Vietnamese character sets and is offered in five Roman and Italic weights: thin, ultra light, light, regular and bold.

SmytheSoft Pro by Ian Lynam

SmythSoft Pro features a large x-height, ample yet economic spacing for capitals, and subtle ink traps for less-than-perfect printing conditions (which can be exploited as design features at large scale). All of the capitals from the old Smythe Sans Display family are folded in to SmytheSoft Pro as OpenType accessible stylistic alternates—NASA-inspired space age alternate caps galore! The original Smythe Sans family featured Italic and Oblique cuts—in SmytheSoft Pro, the more calligraphic italic characters are available via OpenType-accessible stylistic sets. Each weight of SmytheSoft Pro features a bespoke paragraph mark which varies from weight-to-weight and includes over 100 ornaments, kinetic rules, symbols and pattern-making glyphs so that one might use SmytheSoft Pro as a complete design kit.

SmytheSoft Pro by Ian Lynam

The members of the SmytheSoft Pro family:
SmytheSoft Pro Thin
SmytheSoft Pro Thin Italic
SmytheSoft Pro ExtraLight
SmytheSoft Pro ExtraLight Italic
SmytheSoft Pro Light
SmytheSoft Pro Light Italic
SmytheSoft Pro Regular
SmytheSoft Pro Italic
SmytheSoft Pro Bold
SmytheSoft Pro Bold Italic

SmytheSoft Pro by Ian Lynam

The lighter weights are slightly slimmer than the regular and bold weights to give the typeface more of a vertical feel, inviting readers’ to rapidly read typeset text with a maximum of contrast and a minimum of optical dazzle. All work well on-screen as webfonts and in print as book type. Each is hinted with accuracy and kerned with precision.

SmytheSoft Pro by Ian Lynam

SmytheSoft Pro is an eminently readable typeface, particularly at small sizes on-screen. The strokes throughout are modulated to enhance humanist expression, with high-contrast horizontal slices taken out of certain letterforms to keep readers’ eyes moving forward in text. The typeface’s tendency toward a tall x-height was carried through the single-storied font with more horizontal characteristics for enhanced readability while being super-friendly and bright in appearance.

SmytheSoft Pro by Ian Lynam

Features of SmytheSoft Pro:
– complete Western, Central and Eastern European characters sets optimized for text typesetting
– radically improved spacing guaranteeing beautiful results in print and on screen for the Czech, English, Hungarian, Croatian, Esperanto, Maltese, Romanian, Turkish, Albanian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Basque, Bulgarian, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Vietnamese languages

SmytheSoft Pro by Ian Lynam

– all lowercase characters have an enlarged x-height, creating less optical dazzle than typefaces like Futura, Neutra or Avant Garde
– ink traps to enhance smooth printing when using less-than-optimum production processes like Risograph or if a press is overloaded with ink
– retro-futuristic alternate characters for most capitals
– 100+ ornament, kinetic rules, forms, symbols and pattern-making glyphs

SmytheSoft Pro by Ian Lynam

SmytheSoft Pro is available most affordably from Wordshape—$100 for all ten weights. Check it out here.

SmytheSoft Pro by Ian Lynam

The family is also available from YouWorkForThem, Creative Market and soon, MyFonts.

SmytheSans Pro by Ian Lynam

The second family of type is SmytheSans Pro. Essentially, SmytheSoft Pro is SmytheSans Pro with rounded terminals.

SmytheSans Pro by Ian Lynam

SmytheSans Pro is an updated version of our popular family Smythe Sans — we extended the characters sets, redrew most of the characters, rigorously spaced and kerned the entire family, and added a bunch of new features.

SmytheSans Pro by Ian Lynam

Smythe Sans Pro includes Western, Central and Eastern European and Vietnamese character sets and is offered in five weights: thin, ultra light, light, regular and bold.

SmytheSans Pro by Ian Lynam

The members of the SmytheSans Pro family:
SmytheSans Pro Thin
SmytheSans Pro Thin Italic
SmytheSans Pro ExtraLight
SmytheSans Pro ExtraLight Italic
SmytheSans Pro Light
SmytheSans Pro Light Italic
SmytheSans Pro Regular
SmytheSans Pro Italic
SmytheSans Pro Bold
SmytheSans Pro Bold Italic

SmytheSans Pro by Ian Lynam

Features of Smythe Sans Pro:
– complete Western, Central and Eastern European characters sets optimized for text typesetting
– radically improved spacing guaranteeing beautiful results in print and on screen for the Czech, English, Hungarian, Croatian, Esperanto, Maltese, Romanian, Turkish, Albanian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Basque, Bulgarian, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Vietnamese languages
– all lowercase characters have an enlarged x-height, creating less optical dazzle than typefaces like Futura, Neutra or Avant Garde
– ink traps to enhance smooth printing when using less-than-optimum production processes like Risograph or if a press is overloaded with ink
– retro-futuristic alternate characters for most capitals
– 100+ ornament, kinetic rule, form, symbol and pattern-making glyphs

SmytheSans Pro by Ian Lynam

SmytheSans Pro is available directly from my type foundry Wordshape, as well as YouWorkForThem, Creative Market and MyFonts soon.

Hannah Smith Photo logo by Ian Lynam

Why the name “Smythe”, anyway? Here’s the backstory: my dear friend Hannah Smith lived in Tokyo for many years and we are insanely close. The Smythe families are named after her. “Smythe” is my annoying nickname for her. I just designed the logo for Hannah’s photo studio in Sydney, Australia. She does amazing work (like many of the photos on this website) and is one of the best humans on this planet.