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

Archive for the {design} category


Digging the Rubble


1: The Psychedelic Snarl. A few words in praise of Rubble, the 20-disc collection of (mostly) British psychedelic singles released by the Bam Caruso label from 1984 to 1991. A reader of Rob Chapman’s Psychedelia and Other Colours would find the Rubble series an indispensable companion to the second half of the book which explores […]

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


Weekend links 284


Les Hanel I by Pierre Molinier. There’s more at The Forbidden Photo-Collages of Pierre Molinier. • Western anti-hero Josiah Hedges, better known as Edge, was the creation of prolific British author Terry Harknett. The famously violent Edge novels, credited to “George G. Gilman”, were ubiquitous on bookstalls in the 1970s. They were Harknett’s most successful works, […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {collage}, {dance}, {design}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {photography}, {religion}, {science fiction}, {science}, {surrealism}, {television} | No comments »


Graft by Matt Hill


UK edition. This latest cover design has been made public much sooner than some of the other things I’ve been working on this year. Graft is another cover for Angry Robot, a novel set in near-future Manchester by local author Matt Hill. The title plays on the multiple meanings of the word “graft”, not only […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {photography}, {science fiction}, {work} | 1 comment »


Keiichi Tanaami record covers


After Bathing At Baxter’s (1968) by Jefferson Airplane (front). More psychedelia, although Ernst Fuchs could be considered psychedelic to some degree, and I did give him a mention in the piece I wrote for Communication Arts earlier this year. Keiichi Tanaami is less well-known in the west than Tadanori Yokoo despite the pair being contemporaries. […]

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Suspiria details


Wall decor based on MC Escher’s Study of Regular Division of the Plane with Fish and Birds (1938). A few screen grabs from the weekend’s viewing of a German Blu-ray disc of Suspiria (1977). My old DVD didn’t look too bad but this is one film where high-definition is required to do justice to the […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {film}, {horror} | 2 comments »


Papillons by EA Séguy


I’d seen a couple of these plates before—BibliOdyssey has a post about Séguy’s insect art—but not the book as a whole. In addition to the butterfly portraits there are also a number of suggestions for textile designs based on butterfly wings. Papillons was published in 1925. Five years later Séguy produced a collection of Art […]

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Spotted at Neatorama this week, Cédric Dequidt‘s Urbicande lamp, a cubic design which appears to be sinking into the table. The Neatorama people don’t seem aware that the name of the lamp refers to Fever in Urbicande (1985), a comic book by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters, and the second volume in the masterful Cités Obscures […]

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The Monstrous


One of the books I was working on over the summer is officially published this week. The Monstrous is a horror anthology edited by Ellen Datlow, and the third Datlow collection that I’ve designed for Tachyon Publications after Lovecraft’s Monsters (2014) and Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror (2010). My work on this new collection […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {horror}, {work} | 5 comments »


Elaine Hanelock’s Hollywood stars


The essay I wrote about psychedelic art for Communication Arts earlier this year had a word limit so there was little mention of the way the psychedelic style was swiftly co-opted by advertising and commercial art as a means of reaching a youthful audience. This is a really a subject in itself, the way in […]

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


George Barbier’s Le Bonheur du Jour


French artist and designer George Barbier was born on 16th October, 1882, so here’s a post for his birthday. Barbier’s work has appeared here in the past but there’s still more to be seen, especially his book illustrations. Le Bonheur du Jour; ou, Les Graces a la Mode is a series of prints from 1924, […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {drugs}, {fashion}, {gay} | 1 comment »


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} | 2 comments »


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} | Comments Off


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 »







“feed your head”