Ottobiography – Otto Preminger talking to Roger Ebert about his memoirs in 1977: “You know you are really missing the best part of the book. The cover. It was designed by Saul Bass, who came to me and said, ‘Otto, do you mind if we run the back of your head on the front of the book, and the front of your head on the back? You know you really look much better from behind.’” I’d never seen this Bass design before, but I love the simplicity and wit of it – especially the way both images are framed to favour the back of his head, making the face-on shot weirdly cropped. Trying to think of other books that use the reverse angle of the cover on the back, but coming up blank.
#CopySafari – Copywriter Vikki Ross goes on regular jaunts around London, spotting/celebrating/critiquing the copy she comes across. Always an entertaining read, especially if you’re the sort of person who enjoys screaming WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME at shop windows.
Very Short Introductions – From 2002, Rick Poynor examines the design of Oxford University Press’ still-ongoing series; each edition using that distinctive combination of Carol Twombly’s Lithos and Philip Atkins’ abstract art. A recent addition is Paul Luna’s Typography, which looks rather nice.
Book covers of note – The latest collection from The Casual Optimist, including some absolute stunners by Na Kim and Joan Wong.
Jack Kirby – Fascinating article looking at Kirby’s use of collage, putting it in the context of his pop art influences. Collage is going through something of a Moment right now, so it’d be nice to see more of it in modern comics.
Tom Hovey – “A mate worked in TV and suggested that I apply for a job in the edit of this new cookery show. With no real experience I got the job and started two days later. I was in an edit suite with the series director and editor but within a couple of days I had told them about my lack of ambition for a career in TV, and that I was really an aspiring illustrator.” Ten years later, and Hovey has illustrated every single bake for The Great British Bake Off.
Klekshops – Rent too high? Why not do what the Bulgarians do and put your shop in the basement and serve through a floor-level hatch? A great way to maximise that window display! Just spare a thought for your customers’ knees though.
Farnsworth House – Rather lovely single-page site celebrating the history of Mies van der Rohe’s iconic building. For all the swishy-scrolling effects, massive type and lovely photography, I think my favourite bit is that it starts by telling you how long it takes to read. Little things make all the difference.
Odeon Relics – Photographer Philip Butlers new book, currently on Kickstarter, charts the history and fate of the UK’s distinctive Odeon cinemas. There’s something rather melancholy about it – a lot of these bizarre and beautiful buildings have been turned into shops and bingo halls. Still, it’s nice to see that the Bromley Odeon, beloved fleapit of my youth, has been rescued and restored by Picturehouse.
That is all.