The truth about horses and dogs

Birmingham Design Festival – This week sees the return of the excellent BDF, liberally scattering wonderfulness across the second city for three days. There’s lots to choose from, but I’m rather excited about Friday’s talks on design for film and television, featuring Erica Dorn discussing her work on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs and Aardman’s Gavin Strange on “graft, craft and being daft”. Plus Nick Asbury’s “the truth about what writers think of designers” should be good.

Zhurnalnaya Roublennaya – Fonts In Use explores the history of the “poor man’s Futura”, an unusual geometric sans born out of necessity in a Soviet Union of limited type choices. It’s not the delicious (and divisive) type used throughout Chernobyl – that’s a custom face designed specifically for the series – but it’s in the same haunting abandoned ballpark.

How to draw a horse – I don’t want to give anything away, so just trust me, Emma Hunsinger’s New Yorker comic is well worth your time, even if you couldn’t care less about the intricacies of equine portraiture.

Chongqing Zhongshuge – Like the idea of Heatherwick’s Vessel but think it could do with just a few more books? With it’s Escheresque use of stairs, mirrors and more stairs, this stunning new bookstore in China should see you right.

Game on – You can’t go far wrong with a delve into the blog of obsessive graphic hoarder and stationery maven Present & Correct. These old game instructions are particularly lovely.

Poster House – Opening in New York this month, a new museum devoted entirely to the art of the poster. Tempted to take a flight over for the opening exhibition of work by art nouveau designer Alphonse Mucha.

Visions – New from Mathieu Triay, “a science fiction magazine where writers, designers and researchers of the past and present come together to explore the future”. Stack recently listed it as one of the top literary magazines in the world right now, so definitely worth a look. Also it looks like it smells nice.

Jack Smyth – 4th Estate’s Smyth talks to It’s Nice That about what makes a successful book jacket design. He’s churning out beauties at an infuriating rate right now – his recent Matchbook Classics series is especially tasty.

Choose Your Own Email-venture – Jessica Hische’s client email helper is a handy tool that will help you to politely but assertively deal with a variety of tricky enquiries, and will help you say no to free, low-budget and mates-rates work.

Kubism – Neil Alcock, of blogalongabond fame, is working his way through the films of Stanley Kubrick. His analysis of Spartacus is worth reading if only for the line “our titular hero, his perfect white teeth standing out from his mahogany tan and his broad chest glistening like tectonic plates fresh out of the tectonic dishwasher”.

That is all.