Celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., known as “the father of landscape architecture”, the Cultural Landscape Foundation has created an ever-growing digital guide of Olmsted’s most notable works.
Of course, the building’s interesting, too, so there’s a good mix of architecture, gardens, architecture from the garden, and — you guessed it — garden architecture:
I enjoyed the visit, and as a result of that visit, added 32 new photographs to the Columbus gallery. (They’re grouped together: “Columbus Museum – Mar22.”) Peruse anytime; purchase if you’d like. Thank you!
Three completely unrelated items for you this time, ranging from the serious and interesting through the loony and interesting to something of a whole different stripe.
The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity
Update 2, 25 Apr:Brand New discusses this logo, with the usual catchy title: The Fast and the Curious: Counterspace Drift
Update, 8 Apr: It’s Nice That has more: The Eames Institute launches with a curious, “Eamesian” identity, and a logo that observes
Original post: Practically everyone has heard of an Eames Chair:
What you might not realize is that the legacy Charles and Ray Eames left behind enriches our lives to this day. It’s a shame, then, that while their house is a mid-century masterpiece (and museum), much of their lives have remained behind closed doors.
For almost three decades, a barn-like building in Petaluma, California, contained remnants of one of the most iconic design legacies of the twentieth century. […] We created the Eames Institute because we want you to examine the archive of what you know—the collection of your experiences, understanding, memories, and questions—and connect to the provocations that call to you. We want you to tap into that same fount of relentless curiosity, and its power to shift your perception and open you to innovations and discoveries.
Now, however, there’s the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity. Awesome name aside, it introduces us to the more personal side of one of design’s strongest partnerships.
Next time I treat myself to a Loony break, I’m going to make sure to spend some time looking beyond the action and appreciate the backgrounds. Nice.
Condor Airlines Rebrands
Most of you have probably never heard of Condor Airlines; they’re mainly a European thing, a “leisure” airline associated with Thomas Cook, formerly owned and run by Lufthansa. (Here’s some history.)
It doesn’t particularly matter. What does is the bravado exhibited by management. Before, a typical airline logo — dare I say, typically Germanic:
Then someone said yelled, “HEY. WE DO VACATIONS. LIKE BEACH TOWELS. LET’S DO STRIPES.” The result:
The new livery has zero fucks to give and just plasters every plane with thick vertical stripes that go against pretty much every single assumed tenet of what makes a good livery. It doesn’t look speedy, it doesn’t look nimble, it requires a lot of paint, and by all other standards it is just plain ugly and I love it.
The Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida has been a place I’ve been taking photographs since I lived in the area, almost twenty years ago now — and a place where I continue to enjoy taking photographs whenever possible.
The grounds have these amazing banyan trees, with root systems larger than many houses:
They’ve expanded over the years, adding buildings, a new entrance, and additions. This is the Chao Center for Asian Art:
The old Ca d’Zan gate is the new main entrance:
And, of course, the whole compound is right on Sarasota Bay:
New Zealand-based photographer Charles Brooks, who happens to have spent years as a professional cellist, brings us some astonishing inside-the-instrument shots, including this one:
The Colossal post, where I ran across this, is definitely worth a read. But let me just add one thing: He’s using an L-mount (yes!) Laowa probe lens, an insightful choice driven by curiosity. Well done, sir.
It has been, and continues to be, a rough time for a nature photographer who makes a living shooting around the world. This kind of time period sometimes makes we artists think about our life missions and convictions, and delve deeper into our beliefs and the way we view our art and what makes it worthwhile. While some people don’t see photography as art, I definitely do, and for that reason I feel that a discussion is needed about what makes photography an art form rather than technical labor.
It’s been a minute since I’ve been in London — 2011, to be exact — and I’d love to go back. The food, the parks, the museums, the Thames, the short train rides to more interesting places (Hello, Cambridge?), and even the Tube. (We’ll leave the anti-Americanism aside for right now — we’re post-Trump and post-Covid, so traveling is at least an option!) Yet even the cultural masterpiece that is London is showing some cracks; from the New Statesman:
Hockney’s Piccadilly Circus has also drawn criticism for its simplistic approach. Over on the cesspit of arts criticism that is Twitter, anonymous accounts that decry all art made post-1920 as an abomination have ridiculed Hockney’s scrawl as indicative of the death of art. Other critics have rightly argued that the work feels like a red flag to a bull: fuelling culture-war debates about the legitimacy of public art, rather than encouraging the public to get onside.
Speaking of It’s Nice That, an interesting new book from Gary Hustwit . . . on the debate over the New York City subway map. On the one side, the iconic Massimo Vignelli version, introduced in 1972, representing the less-is-more approach. On the other, the replacement version from John Tauranac, introduced in 1979, representing the more-accurate-is-more approach. (An updated version of the latter is still in use today.)
But back in 1978, the two got up on stage at Cooper Union’s Great Hall — home to debates of, among others, Abraham Lincoln — and pitched their case:
Nice new cookbook chock full o’ seventies-era design, “Violaine et Jérémy returns with a cookbook for Molly Baz, featuring three of the studio’s much-loved typefaces,” at — wait for it — It’s Nice That:
In “XXXX Swatchbook,” Evelin Kasikov explores all of the variables of CMYK printing without a single drop of ink. She catalogs primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, two-dozen combinations showing how rotation affects the final pigment, and a full spectrum of rich gradients. In total, the printing-focused book is comprised of four base tones, 16 elements, and 400 swatches of color entirely hand-embroidered in 219,647 stitches.
Five book design items that caught my attention recently.
First, from ArtNet News. Prior to basically everything, Andy Warhol did this:
“The whimsical book was a collaboration with interior decorator Suzie Frankfurt, who wrote the ridiculous recipes, and the artist’s mother, Julia Warhola, who provided the calligraphy, replete with charming misspellings. [It] was the last of a number of books Warhol designed in the 1950s, before he shot to fame in 1962 with Pop art compositions featuring Campbell’s soup and Coca-Cola. Book design offered him a valuable creative outlet during the years he worked as a commercial illustrator.” See more.
The rest are from the New Yorker‘s “Briefly Noted” reviews — which, I’ll admit, inspired the title of this post. They pick four titles weekly, and while I’m sure many are great, actually great book design is rare. So to have four in two weeks … well, just had to say, “noted.” (The New Yorker is, of course, subscription — but there is a free account with limited options if you’d like to read their review.)
From Bookshop.org’s description: “Why do some book covers instantly grab your attention, while others never get a second glance? Fusing word and image, as well as design thinking and literary criticism, this captivating investigation goes behind the scenes of the cover design process to answer this question and more.”
“As the outward face of the text, the book cover makes an all-important first impression. The Look of the Book examines art at the edges of literature through notable covers and the stories behind them, galleries of the many different jackets of bestselling books, an overview of book cover trends throughout history, and insights from dozens of literary and design luminaries.”
It goes without saying that one of the many reasons book design is so popular amongst designers is due to its versatility. It’s a specialty that the graphic designer Ana Resende knows well, having executed a myriad of book design projects ranging from books on film, architecture, design and art.
It took 850 days, 74 tubes of soy ink, fifteen colours, 660 masters, 690,000 sheets of paper, three fans, two digital Riso duplicators and four people to complete this 360-page book that focuses on one thing: the process of Risograph printing.
I have to admit: I hadn’t heard of risograph printing before — Wiki has a (very) brief intro — but the book looks like something very interesting indeed, along the lines of a Pantone catalog on steroids. Read more at Eye Magazine.
After reviewing hundreds of entries every year, the jury for AAM’s annual Museum Publications Design Competition awards only one publication with the Frances Smyth-Ravenel Prize for Excellence in Publication Design, recognizing it as the best submission overall. This year, the winner is David Levinthal: War, Myth, Desire, a publication of the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, designed by Design Monsters studio. We recently talked to the book’s designer, George Corsillo,to learn more about the concept behind his prizeworthy design: a four-volume retrospective of the artist David Levinthal’s photographs which took two years to complete.