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graphic design

"Form is the condition through which a common life becomes possible: through which a relationship between people comes about. Design determines the quality of our common life." Hardly anyone experiments more passionately and playfully with the relation of forms as Karel Martens himself has - for over half a century to date. For the Dutch graphic Designer Martens, working with grids, geometrical shapes and colours was at no time a mere accessory, a final appealing touch under the spell of advertising. Studying fine arts in Arnhem, at a time, when graphic design was not even considered as a career path worth following, Karel was fully drawn into the material (paper) world. 'Karel Martens Re-Printed Matter' pays tribute to Martens' mathematical, kinetic approach when it comes to setting the grid, arranging the types, designing books and posters, or the Dutch architectural magazine OASE. Buy...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wallowing in the past. But when this imaginary state of mind is instrumentalized for political purposes, nostalgia turns into an ambiguous, dangerous weapon. Safar, the bi-lingual Libanese magazine for graphic design and visual culture, does not make a fuss of illuminating the abysses of nostalgia. Far from fetishizing willingly selected histographies - which not seldom turn into superficial trends while promoting reductive interpretations - the latest issue brings a radical honest and critical perspective into play when it comes to the new hype of brutalism, symbolic practices which are primarily used to manipulate cultural identities or, how Beirut-based drag queen RuPaul finally found cultural belonging thanks to the affects of nostalgia. Thinking back, we really missed something on our shelves before Safar #4 dropped in! Buy...

Bi-Scriptual celebrates the growing interest in the field of multiscript design. Eight scripts are selected for this purpose based on the number of people who use them around the world and on historical and political factors. The scripts are Arabic, Chinese (Hansi), Cyrillic, Devanagari, Korean (Hangul), Hebrew, Greek and Japanese (Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana). Using hundreds of illustrations and prototypes by numerous designers and studios, and featuring lengthy texts by international experts, Bi-Scriptual reveals the charms of working simultaneously with two writing systems, which we occasionally come across in city posters, signage, lettering and type design. Being particularly sensitive to the the world’s socio-cultural diversities makes this volume one of a kind in the realms of typography. Buy...

What a beautiful magazine! Dazzling with a range of wildly saturated colours, fluorescent inks and oozing visuals, the second issue of Eye on Design presents a variety of designers and their works from different times and cultural backgrounds. A laborious attempt to capture in one title the plurality of experiences and the common associations between graphic design, sensorial and drug-induced, mind-bending experiments. In addition to touching on topics of mental health and substance abuse, Eye on Design speaks about the lesser known stories of the women who contributed to the explosive visual creativity of the post 1960s psychedelia and today’s equivalent to these years of kaleidoscopic posters, maddening patterns and healthy doses of optical illusion. Buy...

Published by ByDesign Conference in Bratislava, Slovakia, Backstage Talks celebrates dialogue within the design community about “the big questions”. Frank, critical and engaging this magazine is an essential supplement to the everyday small talk conversations among design practitioners which tend to be more about lifestyles or the practical concerns of some upcoming project rather than about the complex issues that affect the quality and purpose of design. Through a one-question section and ten interviews, Backstage Talks investigates how design can improve business (and vice versa) by focusing on creating a balance between product utility and beauty. Buy...