Arabesque 2 – Graphic Design from the Arab World and Persia

Arabesque 2_Cover

Fall is here. The days are getting shorter, the wind is cold and the temperature is getting frosty. Just perfect to stay home, cuddle up on the sofa and grab a good book to read. Here’s my recommendation: Arabesque 2. It was published this year in September by Die Gestalten. The two editors Ben Wittner and Sascha Thoma take you to the arabic and persian world. Impressively they show us how cultural and modern influences mix into its own new style.

Die Gestalten Verlag: “Arabesque 2 is a collection of recent cutting-edge work by young designers and activists from the Arab world and Iran. The examples of typography, graphic design, logos, editorial design, and illustration presented here chart a compelling course between local visual convention and a modern international style that is emblematic of the increasing cultural emancipation of the entire Middle East. The book’s rich selection of groundbreaking visuals is supplemented by texts and interviews that describe the environments in which the featured designers and artists work. Arabesque 2 also includes a preface by John Martin, co-founder of Art Dubai, and a CD-ROM with 4 typefaces related to its themes.”

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Category: Books

Comedy Carpet – A remarkable homage to those who have made the nation laugh

A few days ago I stumbled across the website of the visual artist Gordon Young, where I found his current project, the Comedy Carpet in Blackpool. I don’t want you to miss out on this impressive art work: The Comedy Carpet is located at the foot of Blackpool Tower. It expands over an area of “2.200 square metre artwork made up of jokes, songs, and catchphrases from comedians and writers of British comedy“. You will find of over 1.000 quotations written with more then 160.000 granite letters “embedded into concrete”.
This project was developed by Gordon Young (design) in collaboration with Why Not Associates (design) and PACE (project management). On its official website the Comedy Carpet is described as “a remarkable homage to those who have made the nation laugh, it’s also a stage for popular entertainment that celebrates entertainment itself . The letters vary in size from a few centimeters to over a meter. Because the requirements for the project where so specific, the Comedy Carpet team had to take care of the production and purchase of many elements themselves. “After several months of research, with input from chemists and engineers, the Comedy Carpet team evolved new techniques and recipes for production including a special white face mix and the perfect blue that wouldn’t fade. They searched far and wide to find materials of the exact quality and consistency; from India, they sourced black and red granite; from China, stainless steel. Although constructed on an industrial scale and making use of new technology, the work also required craft skills of a very high standard. The process of making each of the 320 slabs involved many complex stages from cutting, sorting, fettling and laying out each of the letters to a three-stage casting process, curing, trimming, grinding and polishing.” Here are some more visual impressions:

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Category: Art

Kern Type – Enjoying typography

Kern Type has made it’s round through the world wide web and everyone is talking about it. Developer of this nice typography game is Mark MacKay. The Game is a part of the project Method of Action. It is a website about having fun while learning (just like with Kern Type). Here’s a short game description: The goal of the game is to get the best spacing between the letters. The player can move the letters with the mouse until he feels that he has found the perfect spacing. Then you can compare your result with the correct answer. Aside from learning as in any game it is about scoring points. You can then (and that’s the real funny part) publish your score on the internet and challenge your friends and colleagues! And now: Good luck with your score!

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Category: Typography