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Lagom Magazine Launches

I’m pleased to announce that the long-awaited Lagom magazine has finally launched. Many of the team from 8 Faces magazine have been involved in the creation of this new title and it’s been lovingly put together by Sam and Elliot Jay Stocks. 

Lagom is a publication about people making a living from their passions, and pastime activities that offer inspiration Borrowing the Swedish word that represents having just the right amount of something, our bi-annual magazine features those who achieve a sense of balance in their everyday and professional lives.

I’m proud to have written and article in this first edition (about type and lettering, would you believe), and also featured in the debut issue is Erik Spiekermann and a plethora of other people telling their stories of how they earn a living by doing what they love.

Lagom is printed on thick, uncoated stock, with a foil-blocked cover — 128 pages of inspiration that you’ll want to keep on your bookshelf.

Where to buy: You can buy Lagom directly from the website (they ship internationally) and it is stocked in shops all over the world. See the stockists.

Coming soon…
I’m looking forward to my copy of Lagom magazine #1.  Pretty much the whole team from 8 Faces magazine has been involved, including myself, Erik and of course Sam and Elliot Jay Stocks as editors.
readlagom:
Erik Spiekermann might have recently retired from running Edenspiekermann and FontShop, but his version of retirement is somewhat different to most sixty-seven year-olds: he’s decided to go back to his roots and has founded the letterpress workshop P98a in Berlin. In our debut issue, which will be available to buy on Wednesday 24th September, Erik shared some thoughts about his new venture. Here’s an excerpt:

Thirty years ago, the message and the medium were identical. You set letters into words by touching them. The body of a metal letter is an object that compositors can read, from left to right, albeit upside-down. In order to read it comfortably, however, the surface of that object is covered in ink and pressed against paper. That’s what we call printing. We still print today, although the process of converting data into little blobs of ink is all but invisible. The marks on paper show up as ‘printed’ letters and are perfectly readable, but there is no indication of what happened inside that printer. The substrate itself is not supposed to be noticed; it is just a receptacle for the message.

And why did return to printing now?

First and foremost this is an attempt to go back to where type and typography come from: an ingenious system of pre-fabricated elements that we assemble into words and pages.

Wise words, indeed. You can read the full piece in Lagom #1 (the photo above is our proof copy), and to get notified about the issue’s release, sign up to our newsletter. High-res

Coming soon…

I’m looking forward to my copy of Lagom magazine #1.  Pretty much the whole team from 8 Faces magazine has been involved, including myselfErik and of course Sam and Elliot Jay Stocks as editors.

readlagom:

Erik Spiekermann might have recently retired from running Edenspiekermann and FontShop, but his version of retirement is somewhat different to most sixty-seven year-olds: he’s decided to go back to his roots and has founded the letterpress workshop P98a in Berlin. In our debut issue, which will be available to buy on Wednesday 24th September, Erik shared some thoughts about his new venture. Here’s an excerpt:

Thirty years ago, the message and the medium were identical. You set letters into words by touching them. The body of a metal letter is an object that compositors can read, from left to right, albeit upside-down. In order to read it comfortably, however, the surface of that object is covered in ink and pressed against paper. That’s what we call printing. We still print today, although the process of converting data into little blobs of ink is all but invisible. The marks on paper show up as ‘printed’ letters and are perfectly readable, but there is no indication of what happened inside that printer. The substrate itself is not supposed to be noticed; it is just a receptacle for the message.

And why did return to printing now?

First and foremost this is an attempt to go back to where type and typography come from: an ingenious system of pre-fabricated elements that we assemble into words and pages.

Wise words, indeed. You can read the full piece in Lagom #1 (the photo above is our proof copy), and to get notified about the issue’s release, sign up to our newsletter.

Make a note: Work Hard and Be Nice to People

I saw these colourful notebooks were released yesterday. Printed in with Anthony Burrill’s now famous slogans, in collaboration with Rubberband.

In a recent conversation with Anthony we discussed the differences between his work and the clichéd derivative ‘quote posters’ that you see so many of—though not on this blog [Keep Calm and Don’t Design One].

His original Work Hard and Be Nice to People poster (see the bottom image) developed from an overheard statement from an elderly lady in a supermarket, passing on some wisdom she’d learnt in her life.
Quite taken with the words, he then composed the statement with visual reference to the powerful civil rights poster, I am a man (1968), and the subsequent War is over John Lennon poster (1971).
By using whatever large wooden type was available at the printers, Anthony’s design consciously achieves the same sense of typographical freedom and naïvety that the reference posters have. 

Now Anthony’s poster has in turn been mimicked many times but it’s unlikely to have been done with the same creativity or reverence to the original inspiration. 

Peckham Alphabet

These striking letters make up a large typographic artwork produced in celebration of Peckham, an area of Southeast London. The linocut alphabet has been created by Menna Jenkins, a graduate of Camberwell College of Art’s Printmaking MA.

The reduction linocuts1 were hand-printed with oil–based inks, using a platen press. Only a limited edition of 10 of each letter were made.

The urban landscape and typography of Peckham (which has been undergoing a slow regeneration since the 1990s) provides an unusual source of inspiration for the letters which reference the people, cultures, and architecture of the area, mixed with a warm sense of humor.

The signage of Peckham is not subtle, and nor are my letters.  I have used celebratory carnival colours and patterns, which include the familiar reds and yellow of burger and fried chicken shops.”

Menna has produced some follow-on prints from her alphabet, including ‘You is well fit’ which won a graduate prize and has subsequently been accepted into the V&A permanent print collection. 

The alphabet is available to any Peckham business that would like to use the typeface as signage.

1. Essentially, using the same piece of linoleum and progressively cutting more of the design away before each printing

Typographic Time Capsule: Exmouth Market Print

The final letterpress version of my print is now available, capturing the colourful history and present-day character of Exmouth Market. This vibrant little street is one of Central London’s hidden gems, packed with independent shops, restaurants, cafés and market stalls.

Researched over several months, this snapshot aims to preserve the street’s unique identity, recording each of the street’s current ‘establishments of note’ and regular market stalls. It also delves into its shady 400-year history, that includes blood sports, a disreputable Victorian tea garden and an atrocious graveyard now buried under the adjacent park.

The decorated initials, spelling ‘Exmouth’, have been inspired by the rich assortment of lettering found on the street or designed to represent its past. (you can read more about them here) The text is also full of little typographic details, such as historical and ornamental characters, which were great fun to add.

  • Letterpress in silver, turquoise and black
  • Individually signed, limited edition of 250
  • Printed on Crane’s Lettra 300gsm paper
  • Size: 660 x 464 mm (25.9” x 18.2”) allowing the body text to be easily read from a couple of feet away
  • Set in Minion Pro (Robert Slimbach, 1990) and printed by Hand & Eye letterpress, London

Establishments Noted:
North side: Caravan, Gulshan Tandoori, The Exmouth Arms, Space EC1, Brill, Farringdon Locksmith & Tool Shop, G N Furniture, Gail’s Bakery, EC One, Café Kick, Bagman and Robin, Family Tree, Potato Merchant & Santoré.
South side: Paesan, East Central Cycles, The Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer, Big Wheel Theatre Company, The Klinik, Clerkenwell Tales, Morito, Moro, Medcalf, Clark’s Pie & Mash, EXM Hair & Beauty, Pride of Siam, Nécco, McCaul Goldsmiths, Family Business, Hummus Bros, Sweet Boulangerie & Patisserie & Book Ends.

Buy one of these limited edition prints here:

Alphabet and Image Magazine

A few hastily taken snaps of this 1940s publication shown at the St. Brides ‘Type Tuesday’ event this week. They were picked from Reading University’s type and print archive by eye magazine’s Art Director, Simon Esterson, to show on the night.

Apart from the frayed, yellowed paper (which simply adds to their beauty) they could have been designed yesterday. I love them.

There are more photos of this post-war typography and visual arts publication over on Mike Dempsey’s Graphic Journey.

Typographic time capsule

Here is a sneak-peek of a typographic print I’ve been working on. It’s a snapshot of Exmouth Market, a vibrant commercial street, full of independent shops, restaurants and cafés, close to me in Central London. The aim is to capture its colourful history and present day character for posterity.

Historical research was conducted over a couple of months, to uncover the location’s 400-year-old story that includes; vineyards, duck hunting, a Victorian tea garden and an atrocious graveyard now buried under the adjacent park. The print also lists over 40 of the street’s venues, in an ‘establishments of note’ section, that includes the weekly market stalls that set-up along the street.

To evoke the feel of the market, each of the illuminated capitals, spelling ‘Exmouth’, has been inspired by the rich assortment of lettering found on the street, or its story. The typography has been arranged to create a formal structure that includes the use of ornaments, pilcrows and other interesting characters.

A limited edition is being letterpressed next week in silver, turquoise and black on 300gsm Crane’s Lettra paper. I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.