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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the {design} category

 

Invisible Cities: Miscellanea

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Cover art: The Castle in the Pyrenees (1961) by René Magritte. A final post for this week devoted to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, and it occurs to me that “Miscellanea” could easily be the name of one of Marco Polo’s cities. One thing that’s become apparent over the past few days is that this subject […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {fantasy}, {painting} | No comments »

 


Weekend links 265

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The White House, Washington DC, on the evening of June 26, 2015. I can remember that after the cops cleared us out of the bar we clustered in Christopher Street around the entrance to the Stonewall. The customers were not being arrested, but a paddy wagon had already hauled off several of the bartenders. Two […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {politics}, {science fiction}, {television}, {typography} | No comments »

 


English printers’ ornaments

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As a book designer you can never have too many printers’ ornaments, especially if you’re required to mimic period designs. These are from a historical overview, English Printers’ Ornaments (1924) by Henry Robert Plomer. Ideally I’d prefer several volumes gathering hundreds of these things from different periods but such a hoard seems a distant dream. […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {typography} | No comments »

 


Rock shirts

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Arriving in the post at the end of last week was this T-shirt for British Doom band The Wounded Kings. The Shadow Over Atlantis (2010) was the band’s second album, and they asked permission a while ago to use my Cthulhuesque De Profundis piece on this limited edition shirt. Permission was granted happily enough, my […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {music}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


The Cosmic Grill

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Design and illustration by Barney Bubbles. The past week’s music listening has alternated between the back catalogue of Seattle band, Earth (who I recommend highly), and the early recordings of my erstwhile employers, Hawkwind. The latter were reissued recently in a 10-CD box, This Is Your Captain Speaking…Your Captain Is Dead (The Albums And Singles […]

Posted in {architecture}, {design}, {music}, {science fiction}, {typography} | 3 comments »

 


The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl

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Three months after The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath I can reveal my cover design for Ishbelle Bee’s sequel, The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl. Here’s a summary, swiped once again from the Barnes & Noble SF & Fantasy blog: Two orphans, Pedrock and Boo Boo, are sent to live in […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {typography}, {work} | 4 comments »

 


Weekend links 261

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Salome (2013) by Lucie Hardie. • Aickmanesque, “A list of films that possess the same strange ambiguities, disturbing illogicalities, grim mundanities, psychological unpleasantness, narrative open-endedness, Freudian oddness and genuine disturbing moments of horror as the short stories of Robert Aickman.” One of those films, Symptoms (1974), has been out of circulation for a long time […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {design}, {electronica}, {fashion}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {psychedelia} | Comments Off

 


La Bibliothèque de Babel

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It was perhaps inevitable that this small collection of works of fantastic fiction was named after its director’s most famous creation, the Library of Babel. Jorge Luis Borges chose the titles, and also wrote introductions for each of the books. The series was published in France by Retz–Ricci, with 4000 numbered copies of each title […]

Posted in {books}, {borges}, {design}, {fantasy} | 6 comments »

 


Art that transcends

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Late last year, US design magazine Communication Arts asked me to write a piece about psychedelic art, past and present. The resulting feature has been out for a couple of weeks in the May/June issue (no. 56) but I hadn’t seen it in print until a copy turned up today. Attempting to wrangle discussion of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


Owls and flowers

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1: The pattern 2: A novel by Alan Garner The Owl Service (1967). Cover design by Kenneth Farnhill. 3: A Granada TV serial The Owl Service (1969). Eight episodes, written by Alan Garner, directed by Peter Plummer.

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Weekend links 258

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Simon Stålenhag‘s SF artwork will be published in book form if funding is secured. In the future everything will be crowdfunded for 15 minutes. • Mixes of the week: FACT Mix 494 is a fantastic dub selection by Colleen; Secret Thirteen Mix 151 is by Sally Dige; Stephen Mallinder‘s return to the doom-laden Industrial music […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {sculpture}, {television} | 3 comments »

 


The case of the fin de siècle fleuron

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I said yesterday that poppies are a common feature of the fin de siècle magazines for the convenient way they combine long-stemmed flowers—ideal for all those Art Nouveau flourishes—with narcotic connotations that signal Decadence. The spiralling fleuron above is one example that readers of Savoy books may recognise, an occasional company logo which has been […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {magazines}, {work} | Comments Off

 


Cocorico graphics

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A final visit to Cocorico, the French humour magazine of the fin de siècle. Where graphics are concerned I’ve ignored the cartoons to concentrate on the Art Nouveau decoration which is plentiful in the early issues. The star here is Louis Popineau, an artist I only knew from the excessively florid page above which is […]

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Cocorico covers

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Alphonse Mucha. For a while now I’ve been waiting for several French journals of the fin de siècle to turn up online but humour magazine Cocorico has never been among them. I knew that Alphonse Mucha had contributed a handful of covers and some other graphics to Cocorico, notably the frontispiece (below) which ran in […]

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Aubrey Beardsley’s Keynotes

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Promotional poster. Keynotes was a series of 34 novels and short story collections published by John Lane from 1893. Aubrey Beardsley produced cover designs and embellishments for 22 of the titles in 1895 while he was working on The Yellow Book which John Lane was also publishing. Beardsley’s designs comprised a title frame with illustration […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {horror} | 2 comments »

 


Weekend links 254

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Gatefold sleeve for Love, Death and the Lady (1970) by Shirley & Dolly Collins. Photo by Allan Willmoth. No designer credited. • “When you look at a lot of modern album covers, the art school obsession with the Helvetica kind of undermines it. So instead of looking at an artefact that comes from another place […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {books}, {cormac}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {psychedelia}, {pulp}, {science fiction}, {technology} | Comments Off

 


The Dracula Annual

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A comment by Modzilla in last month’s post about psychedelic comic book Saga de Xam is responsible for this recent book purchase. Dracula was a full-colour large-format comic book from notorious pulp imprint New English Library (later to be distributors for my colleagues at Savoy Books) that repackaged Spanish horror strips for a British audience. […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {horror}, {occult}, {psychedelia} | Comments Off

 


In the Key of Yellow

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My Easter weekend was profitably spent watching True Detective again, a series I enjoyed even more the second time around. For the past year I’ve been pondering off and on the connections the series makes with the suite of weird tales that Robert Chambers published in 1895 as The King in Yellow, and also the […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {books}, {design}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {pulp}, {television} | 4 comments »

 


Weekend links 253

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A painting by Stephen Mackey. • “Creativity is visual, not informed thought. Creativity is not polite. It barges in uninvited, unannounced—confusing, chaotic, demanding, deaf to reason or to common sense—and leaves the intellect to clear up the mess. Above all else, creativity is risk; heedful risk, but risk entire. Without risk we have the ability […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {surrealism}, {television} | 2 comments »

 


Cthulhu playing cards

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You know, there was a time when HP Lovecraft’s dreaming monster was a rare entity known only to aficionados. Cthulhu may not have achieved Hello Kitty-style ubiquity yet but it’s only a matter of time (or strange aeons). Adding some new products to my CafePress pages recently I noticed that the ever-expanding product line there […]

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