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

Archive for the {design} category


The Chronicle of the Cursed Sleeve


A copy of the cover art that I attempted to colour-correct some years ago to compensate for the poor print reproduction. This month I’m in Record Collector magazine talking in a sidebar feature about my work on the Hawkwind album The Chronicle of the Black Sword. The issue is Hawkwind-heavy, with a Nik Turner interview, […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {magazines}, {music}, {work} | 1 comment »


Weekend links 278


El Hotel Satina (2006) by Oscar Sanmartin. • Andrew Kötting’s By Our Selves is “a melancholy, maverick film” says David Jays. With Toby Jones following in the footsteps of poet John Clare, Iain Sinclair in a goat mask, and Alan Moore warning about the “vision sump” of Northampton. • “Shunga means ‘spring pictures’. They depict […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {photography}, {science fiction} | 1 comment »


Weekend links 277


Sunday by Amanda Elledge. • Coming from Strange Attractor this November: The Moons at Your Door, an anthology of strange tales selected by David Tibet. “The Moons At Your Door collects over 30 tales, both familiar and unknown from: Robert Aickman, Algernon Blackwood,  DK Broster, AM Burrage, RW Chambers,  Aleister Crowley, Sheridan Le Fanu, Elizabeth […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics}, {psychedelia} | No comments »


Weird metal


Weird metal isn’t A Thing, is it? I reckon it ought to be A Thing, especially when so much black/death/doom/drone metal intersects with The Weird. I mentioned last month that British doomsters The Wounded Kings had used my De Profundis piece for the gatefold and poster insert in their reissue of The Shadow Over Atlantis. […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {horror}, {music}, {work} | 7 comments »


Liénard’s grotesques


Yesterday’s book was from the Internet Archive scans of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library. The majority of the books in the collection are related to textiles or crafts but the archive has a few design books of which this is one example. Spécimens de la Décoration et de l’Ornementation au XIXe Siècle […]

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The Book of Delightful and Strange Designs


As is evident, the designs in question are Japanese stencils from a book of 100 stunning examples published in 1893. Author Andrew White Tuer adopts a surprisingly disingenuous tone in his explanatory introduction which is ”dedicated to that most capricious, never-to-be-understood, weathercocky, provokingly incorruptible, and absolutely necessary person, the gentle reader”. Leaving aside such eccentricity, the […]

Posted in {books}, {design} | 2 comments »


The original Gandharva


Cover art by Wilfried Sätty. Lettering by David Singer. Collage artist Wilfried Sätty has been in my thoughts this month, it being ten years ago that Jay Babcock, Richard Pleuger and I drove up to San Francisco and Petaluma to talk to Walter Medeiros and David Singer about Sätty’s life and work. Looking today at […]

Posted in {art}, {collage}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {music} | 2 comments »


Weekend links 276


Beautiful Void: Holy Void II (2015) by Andy Diaz Hope. • “Feeling like a woman. Looking like a man.” Rick Poynor on the cover art for Nightclubbing by Grace Jones. Related: A One Man Show, Jean-Paul Goude’s essential film of Jones’ 1982 tour where many of the songs are better than their album versions. • […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {science}, {sculpture} | 4 comments »


Of cards and calendars


Ex-calendars. Last weekend I was preparing to upload a set of new calendar pages to CafePress when I discovered that the wall calendar option I’ve been using there for years is no longer available. In place of the portrait calendar with square artwork pages there’s now a landscape-oriented calendar with artwork pages that are wider […]

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Avalon cowboys


And speaking of The Charlatans, these three posters by Rick Griffin stand out for me for the way they show the name of the headline group running across the set when placed together. Serial prints weren’t unusual among the San Francisco artists but this is the only example I’ve seen that works in this manner. […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {music}, {photography}, {psychedelia} | 1 comment »


The Seed


I was so overworked during the summer months that late in June I missed the 50th anniversary of the birth of the psychedelic poster, something of a regrettable oversight considering I had an article about psychedelic art in print throughout that month. This weathered item from June 1965 is generally credited as the first example […]

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Weekend links 275


A painting from the Projekt Babelturm series by Wessi. • “The first thing I would say is that I have no idea what authentic psych music is, and I have no wish to pursue that either. To me the idea of real psych is a paradox. I can’t see how you can have such a […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction} | 4 comments »


Christopher Dresser’s Studies in Design


The previous post about Christopher Dresser’s design studies proved popular so here’s another discovery from the same source. A surprise this time was seeing the middle motif on the page above; I have this separated from its neighbours in a collection of Art Nouveau graphics, and used it on the slipcase of a Cradle of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {work} | 1 comment »


Christopher Dresser’s Art of Decorative Design


Studies of decorative design are numerous but this one stands out for the quality of its colour plates, all of which show a variety of designs derived from plants and flowers. The Art of Decorative Design (1862) is one of a number of design books published in the wake of the Great Exhibition of 1851, […]

Posted in {books}, {design} | 2 comments »


Fleurs by Serge Gladky


More from the Glasgow School of Art book collection at the Internet Archive. Fleurs (1929) by Serge Gladky might be described as flowers à la mode, with the mode being Art Deco on the one hand and late Cubism on the other. Twenty-six plates present a variety of floral motifs and designs with some very […]

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Kunstgewerbliche Schmuckformen für die Fläche


Kunstgewerbliche Schmuckformen für die Fläche is another collection of decorative plates intended as a reference book for designers, and it’s proved its usefulness by providing me with a motif I can use in one of the things I’ve been working on this week. This book differs from others by being the first in a series […]

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The building from street level. Since returning from Providence I’ve found the imposing bulk of the Industrial Trust Building increasingly occupying my thoughts. It doesn’t take much to get me fixating on a particular building, especially if it’s big and old and sufficiently distinctive in its styling. The Industrial Trust Building fulfils these criteria with […]

Posted in {architecture}, {design}, {photography} | 4 comments »


The Cramps at the Haçienda


At last: something that has no connection with HP Lovecraft… This was one of several design jobs during a very busy summer, a long-delayed DVD release by Savoy of the Cramps playing Manchester’s trendiest club of the 1980s, the Haçienda. The posthumous reputation of the Hac (as it was locally known) has been inflated in […]

Posted in {design}, {film}, {music}, {work} | 4 comments »




As should be evident by now, I’m off to Providence for NecronomiCon 2015 so the blog will be taking a break for a few days. The archive feature will be in operation during this time to pull up random posts from the past. In a previous post about NecronomiCon I mentioned having designed a cover for […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {events}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {work} | 3 comments »


The Shadow Over Atlantis by The Wounded Kings


Van Records and British Doom-metal band The Wounded Kings couldn’t have chosen a better week to announce the reissue of The Shadow Over Atlantis. This is a limited repressing of an album first released in 2010, and for the new edition the vinyl is packaged in a foil-embossed gatefold sleeve whose interior features my Cthulhoid […]

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