Monday, 24 November 2008

quote of the day

"beauty without depth is just decoration."

another rainbow

roy oppenheim shot these cool rainbow doors at ghent. i love the contrast between the optimistic vertical graphic stripes and the strict horizontal bricks layout.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

quote of the day

"in design sometimes one plus one equals three."
[josef albers german-born american artist, mathematician and educator]

rainbow yarmulke

this rainbow yarmulke was created by ron from a design student in shenkar college. the unique yarmulke was knitted as an answer to a design brief in a visual communication studio that i teach in the industrial design department for the last five years.
the brief asked the students to integrate a found graphic symbol (icon, logo, pictogram etc.) with a found object or environment in order to give both a new meaning (political, ironic, personal, humorist). in this case, the synthesis of the rainbow flag as a graphic symbol, and the jewish yarmulke as a found object, drew attention to the tension between sexual identity and conservative judaism.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

quote of the day

"i don't think that design needs theory, but i think designers need theory."
[johanna drucker designer and theorist]

tokyo zoo

this is a great sign from tokyo zoo that kindly asks the visitors to refrain from feeding the animals. the busy and expressive illustration explains that the monkeys can get a severe stomach ache if they consume the visitors' food. the picture was sent to me by na'ama hofman, a young graduate from the industrial design department in shenkar. na'ama is
now in tokyo studying japanese, and i'm looking forward for more samples of local infographics, signs and pictograms. 

Friday, 31 October 2008

quote of the day

"all art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography."
[federico fellini italian film director]

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

quote of the day

"the poster starts where words end."
[peter pocs hungarian poster designer]

Monday, 20 October 2008

on the road cover gallery

while searching on jack kerouac and on the road i ran into this hidden treasure - a cover gallery that presents all of on the road covers. the site holds an updated collection of all the different editions' covers (including the cool eighties hebrew version). when put together, they seem like a great opportunity for a visual study, some kind of an international design etude on the rather narrow and predicted imagery associated with the topic - american roads and highways, road signs, open cars, neon motel signs, and the few remaining portraits of kerouac himself. the cover that was chosen to illustrate this post is one of my favourites, a german edition that was published by 'rowholt' in 1959.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

quote of the day

"i consider myself responsible for a whole new school of pretensions."
[david bowie on the rise and fall of ziggy stardust and the spiders from mars]

Monday, 29 September 2008

on the road

i'm posting the end of the first chapter in jack kerouac's on the road to celebrate the begining of a new year. this autobiographical novel, chronicling the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across America, was published fifty years ago and established kerouac as the voice of the beat generation. i wish us all that somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to us:
''I was a young writer and I wanted to take off.
Somewhere along the line I knew there'd be girls, visions, everything; somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me.''

Saturday, 27 September 2008

graffiti heart from barcelona - fresh delivery!

here is another great graffiti heart from the gothic quarter in barcelona. thanks to omri perez for his contribution to my growing hearts-on-the-streets collection.

specialisation within the specialty

"The words graphic designer, architect, or industrial designer stick in my throat, giving me a sense of limitation, of specialisation within the specialty, of a relationship to society and form itself that is unsatisfactory and incomplete. This inadequate set of terms to describe an active life reveals only partially the still undefined nature of the designer."
[alvin lustig american graphic designer]

Thursday, 18 September 2008

eighties chique

this is another great image that roy oppenheim shot in ghent. it really made me smile, as i have lived in brussels and saw those cool eighties numbers all over. they might look tacky and outdated in any other context, but in a city that the prominent design and architecture styles are art-nouveau and art-deco, this is quite an hilarious combination. you can see those eighties chubby 'barbapapa' letterings all over, usually they are offered for sale in basic bold colours such as red and yellow.
the appetite for mixing the old and the rather new can be found everywhere. i used to live in a great 'parisien chique' apartment from the twenties with original wood floor. however, when the landlord renovated some of the rooms, he choose vinyl carpets decorated with geometric patterns. every here and there, i found myself staring at the design combinations, admiring the freedom to mix styles and materials. this could only happen in a place that has such a design legacy that it is almost taken for granted.

in another place, some of those items would be exhibited in a design museum.

Friday, 12 September 2008

quote of the day

"i have no complaints, except for the world."
[barbara kruger american conceptual artist]

Thursday, 11 September 2008

great graffitti from ghent

a very colorful contribution from my friend, roy oppenheim, who just came back from a week of work in ghent. i guess that the great color palette must be some kind of creative reaction to the poor grayish belguim weather. anyway, roy says that he had fries (frites) for lunch every day and although they are supposed to be a staple of local cuisine, he didn't find them any special. no complains on the beers, though.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

quote of the day

"The age of the book is almost gone."
[george steiner French–born-U.S. critic, novelist]

tel aviv university - outdoor typography

Saturday, 23 August 2008

vacation - if it feels good..

this blog is going on vacation! it will be back with all the schools at the 1st of september! in the meantime a really fun vintage budge for all of you - hope you see it in an internet cafe during your vacations and not in the office... 

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

underground library

i took these photos a while ago in my primary school in jerusalem. when i was a pupil the school's library was situated in a labirynth-like empty underground bomb shelter. if i close my eyes i can still smell the dump and feel the touch of the always-slightely-wet bean bags in the reading corner. as a child this impossible mixture seemed natural and reasonabe. this might be understood if i think of the shopping mall in my neighbourhood which included a black concrete
and steal memorial to the holocaust. this dark sculpture was the meeting point for all the girl scouts around - climbing and sliding on it while waiting for the activity to begin. i guess this all sounds quite depressing as a childhood landscape but it really did seem natural in the realm of the brutal concrete architecture of the time.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

found typo-graffiti

in the spirit of neuromancer and cyberpunk - some graffiti fragments from barcelona.

quote of the day

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."
the opening line from william gibson's neuromancer, a novel who introduced the world to cyberspace and became the bible for the cyberpunk movement. when i was a design student in an art academy (early nineties) i found great inspiration in this book, and even used this quote in my graduation project - a sub-and-club culture magazine named guerrilla.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

retro badge

in the nonsensical illogical zen mood that rests on this blog lately, here is a really elusive retro badge. i've found this image a year ago and i still find it very amusing [still no idea regarding its hidden intention].

Sunday, 10 August 2008

quote of the day

"it is not the answer that enlightens, but the question."
[eugene ionesco french playwright]

kōan of the day

for those of you who have gladly met the zen kōan from salinger's '9 stories' opening page - here are some clues to come close to this one.

the lucid explanations are cited from d.t. suzuki's an introduction to zen buddhism. i warmly recommend this little book and its great and surprising foreword by carl jung.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

quote of the day

"typography is what language looks like"
[ellen lupton director at the mfa program at the maryland institute college of art]

Monday, 4 August 2008

kōan of the day

for all salinger lovers - one of the best opening pages to a book ever. never stopped to intrigue me - always proves as a great source for creative and intuitive thinking.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

quote of the day

"The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution."

[hannah arendt political philosopher]

miflat - étude of local under-ground shelters

these great sketches were contributed to my blog by a great friend, designer and artist - eitan sharif. they are part of a larger study of the unique silhouette of israeli concrete bomb-shelters.
we all know them - lurking around playgrounds, parks, street corners. some are deserted and empty, some host local libraries. this is were i find interest in this étude, as i'm documenting this israeli phenomena - under-ground local libraries. the personal connection to this subject matter began long time ago when i realized that my first ever library was situated in an intricate under-ground labyrinth.
eitan and myself would be glad to know if any of you live next to an under-ground library. please send us information about under-ground shelters in your neighborhood, this can be the ground for further research and creation.

Friday, 1 August 2008

quote of the day - special morrissey

"And if you have five seconds to spare
Then I'll tell you the story of my life:
Sixteen, clumsy and shy
I went to London and I
I booked myself in at the Y...W.C.A
I said: "I like it here...can I stay?
I like it here can I stay?
And, do you have a vacancy
For a Back-scrubber?"
[half a person the smiths]

i was first introduced to The Smiths' music in 1987 when my big brother, Tomer, gave me the world wont listen as my 21 birthday gift. this means i was still a soldier, after the teenage years. the memory of removing the plastic cover and playing this cd for the first time in my kibbutz room was a sensation i will never forget. it took me a few years to find my way back to the Smiths first albums, but when i discovered them at my late twenties, it was definitely the beginning of my journey to the brit-pop and the indie music. through the gate opened by the smiths i later discovered all my other favorite british bands - Radiohead, Blur and other.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

quote of the day

"When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships."
[andy warhol]

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

hand-painted typography on ceramic tiles

this post is an homage to a great friend of mine, yanek iontef, who is working on a typographic project that is going to be printed on ceramic tiles. these hand-painted broken ones were photoed at the lovely park guell in barcelona. i love the way that outdoor typographic signs and tiles tend to age and better, much like wine or cheese.

Monday, 28 July 2008

quote of the day

"i don't believe in art. i believe in artists."
[marcel duchamp artist and cubist]

guerrilla girls

strong message and bold design in a postcard issued by the feminist activists group guerrilla girls [conscience of the artworld], new york, 1995.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

quote of the day

"the good is not a category that interests me."
[rem koolhaas architect]

Thursday, 24 July 2008

quote of the day

"whenever i draw a circle, i immediately want to step out of it."
[richard buckminster fuller engineer, theorist, and mathematician]

another graffiti heart from my collection

i found this expressive graffiti heart in the gothic quartier in barcelona.

the elementary particles - special guest post

a guest post quoting and commenting on the elemntary particles by michel houellebecq from my younger brother, omri perez, who just got back from a month of reserve duty in the west bank.
i think that even houellebecq himself couldn't envision or concoct this scenario - a reserve soldeir in a west bank check-post reading, quoting and text-messaging his conterversial novel. in more than one way you can call it the updated '08 version to meir ariel's song "islands in the stream', where he quoted ernest hamingway while standing on guard in the suez canal during the war of attrition:

“As a teenager, Michel believed that suffering conferred dignity on a person. Now he had to admit he had been wrong. What conferred dignity on people was television.” Michel Houellebecq, The Elementary Particles.
I just got back from a month of reserve duty near the west bank. We did check posts in major junctions, guarded jewish settlements and in general tried to uphold the law and the order in this lawless land, certainly, it is no country for old men.
During this month I read the excellent book by Michel Houellebecq, The Elementary Particles. As my dear sister says, the man knows the truth. He looks at our modern society and sees through all the bullshit (It turns out that bullshit is a legitimate philosophical term these days). He describes the rise of personal gain and narcissism over relationships and families. Love and intimacy, as Houellebecq would say, are nothing but a means to achieve narcissist confirmation and gratification. Depressing stuff.
Back to the west bank. It wasn't long during the last tour of duty before I noticed that my fellow soldiers had a compelling urge to take photos and put them on facebook and every other web 2.0 outlet they could put their greedy little mouse pointers on. It's not the service to their country or their care for their brothers in arms, nor for their valiance, that dignity is conferred on them, But their exposure to the world. And damn, if the t.v. crew isn't coming, well that's what web 2.0 is all about.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

bouquet of very early-blooming parentheses (((())))

a quote from j.d. salinger's seymour: an introduction, combining witty writing and [what i call] punctuation-marks art. when i last read the book i suddenly understood what salinger was doing in this text: he was actually writing down the mind of a genius, while it's a well known fact that a character cannot be any smarter or sharper than its author. 
a good friend solved this conflict for me today in an elevator [going down, if you must know], by mentioning the fact that salinger himself was quite a genius, although somewhat on the troubling side.
anyway, since i've scanned the quote from my hebrew copy, i'm copying here the same lines in english for those of you who can't read hebrew:
"please accept from me this unpretentious bouquet of very early-blooming parentheses: (((())))."

typing machines for sale

a great black and white postcard from my private collection. the image of the typing machines for sale was taken in laos, vietnam, in 2001 by the photographer isabelle mertens. the typing machines image is a prologue for the next quote from salinger's seymour: an introduction.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

quote of the day

"letters are things, not pictures of things."
[eric gill type designer and essayist]

Monday, 21 July 2008

a perfect day for bananafish

special post celebrating an old classic by salinger that i've managed to track down and return to my library. this is the cover of my copy of  'nine stories', published by 'bantam books' in 1986 in the united states and canada. the cover design is based on typography to answer salinger's explicit demand to avoid the usage of any image or illustration on his book covers.
i bought this copy at the age of 14, and i used it for numerous high school tasks [including book reports]. the highlight task was an audition for the school theater group - me and my best friend at the time prepared a sketch from 'a perfect day for bananafish', spending our afternoons in rehearsals.
my friend used to lie down on the carpet in his parents living room playing the part of seymour, while i was unfortunately playing the part of the innocent three years old Sybil. my role was a bit limited, as all i had to do was to jump around and listen to seymour's famous monologue on the tragic life of the bananafish.
sadly enough, after performing our little interpretation, he was chosen to play in the group, and i had to move on to another school creative activity. though it was an early ending to my career on stage, i've remained a faithful salinger reader. my favorite novel is 'seymour: an introduction' [which undoubtedly deserves {and will get} another post or two].
so, in this steaming july evening i'm copying here some lines from seymour's famous metaphorical tale of the bananafish:

"miss carpenter. please. i know my business," the young man said. "you just keep your eyes open for any bananafish. this is a perfect day for bananafish."
"i don't see any," sybil said.
"that's understandable. their habits are very peculiar." he kept pushing the float. the water was not quite up to his chest. "they lead a very tragic life," he said. "you know what they do, sybil?"
she shook her head.
"well, they swim into a hole where there's a lot of bananas. they're very ordinary-looking fish when they swim in. but once they get in, they behave like pigs. why, i've seen some bananfish to swim into a banana hole and eat as many as seventy-eight bananas." he edged the float and its passenger a foot closer to the horizon. "naturally, after that they're so fat they can't get out of the hole again. can't fit through the door."
"not too far out," sybil said. "what happens to them?"
"what happens to who?"
"the bananafish".
"oh, you mean after they eat so many bananas they can't get out of the banana hole?"
"yes," said sybil.
"well, i hate to tell you, sybil. they die."
"why?" asked sybil.
"well, they get banana fever. it's a terrible disease."

Saturday, 19 July 2008

quote of the day

"ideally a book would have no order to it and the reader would have to discover their own"
(raoul van eigem)

black and white found typography

some black and white outdoor typography from barcelona.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

quote of the day

"when in rome, use times roman"
(marty neumeier, neutron llc)

heart and circles - street found typo graffiti

street found typo-graffiti

some great typo-graffiti i found in spain

diary research images

part of a research on how we integrate all the bits and pieces into our hard cover agendas.