grafik May 2009

the latest events for your diary:


Talent-spotting, Alex Ostrowsk:


The May show-case includes, daValence, cover art by H5 (shown below left)and BB Saunders British Ceramics Biennale, (shown below right)


A new typeface for Volt Magazine, designed by Studio Julia (shown below left) and Studio8 Design and Applied Works rebrand for Dealerward (shown below right)


The next feature literally had my jaw dangling down in wonder…an interview with Mirko Borsche, who runs his own studio, Bureau Mirko Borsche and Zeit Magazin shown below:


Profile/interview with Danny Sangra, shown below:



The Design Renegades feature is fantastic, shown below:





Book review section includes: Paper Edited by Paul Sloman, Published Black Dog £24.95, Tag Town by Martha Cooper Published by Dokument £13.99, Airside by Airside Published by Gestalten £35.00, Play All Day – Design for Children Published by Gestalten £40.00, We Make Magazines Edited by Andrew Losowsky Published by Mike Koedinger £32.50, Creative Space by Fancesca Gavin Published by Laurence King £19.95.


>EDIT: such a muppet, thought I’d posted this over a week ago!!! Wah….:(



IdN – International designers Network


IdN Vol 16, No.1

I don’t know why, but IdN is not a magazine I’ve bought before, the only excuse that I can think of is, accessibility, as I no longer live/work in the ‘big smoke’ I often find literal access or availability to various magazines a problem…and also, if I am honest, in the past I’ve been somewhat shy to spend £10 on one magazine, whereas now I have a greater understanding as to what you’re actually getting for your monies worth, and in regards to IdN it really is worth everydamnedpenny.

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Sublime – another random find.

sublimeissue14_fc1Sublime, Issue 14 2009

Sublime has an interesting tag line: “The first international sustainable lifestyle magazine” – eh, wow, that’s rather a lot to live up to, right there.  I have to say it starts off strong, or I should say, shiny, as the pages are just amazing (Hhhhhmmmm, now I’m curious, if that means its ethically printed / sourced paper and if one can recycle it, or not? – nah, it must be…) The first feature is on the Earth Awards, to be honest, I’d not heard of the Earth Awards before reading this piece, however, after seeing some of the innovative products out there, such as, the stunning ‘Illuma’ light (by Andrew Neal and Timothy Porter) is a lovely design and and clever product, I’m definitely a fan, in brief the Illuma is described as:

“A net zero-energy, zero carbon footprint light system that employs LED technology. It is deployable via solar, wind, or grid.”

The topic is really interesting…

“We were able to explore the possibilities before us from a spectrum of work covering design solutions for sustainable buildings, packaging, emergency housing and city infrastructures…”

…and the photography, though, big, is sort of jammed-in, however, with that said, I’m sure there were probably many many more images that could have also been included, that didn’t make the cut, makes me think it was a shame this topic wasn’t given more pages:


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I was recommended Qvest magazine by a Flickr buddy, when I first thumbed through, I admit, I wasn’t sure. I thought it was too fashion-orientated and as such, perhaps it not quite ‘me’ – however, I went back to it and spent time reading the features and really looking at the photography and I think my first impressions where a tad too hasty…so I thought I’d better give it a bit of a mention:


Qvest March/April 09

Primarily, it is a dedicated fashion magazine for people who really want to read about fashion, there are little newsy gossips, (Kanye West designing trainers for Louis Vuitton) then there are lots and lots of other little tid-bits, a new line here and there (‘Correct’ from G-Star…) and then there are really good full-length features with a surprisingly good mix of interviews: Art/artists, film stars and fashion features all side-by-side…. how odd….

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It’s Nice That

Another utterly random find! “It’s Nice That” magazine (…and I have to admit, its LOVE at first-sight…)


“It’s Nice That” is absolutely jam-packed with superbly interesting features on artists from a variety of disciplines and at various stages of their career trajectory (from student to seasoned.) The magazine is beautifully printed, on thick thick textured/recycled(?) paper. The features range from a highlight, to full-on interview, each are fascinating…. Love it…

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Another utterly random find, Esopus magazine:

esopus-boom-fc1Esopus, #11

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Magazines Galore!

Current issues of Monocle, Wired (UK), Elle Decoration (UK) and Little White Lies, to name but a few magazines that are strewn across my room…

I know I’ve gushed about Monocle before, so I should try not to, however,. its really very hard for me to not want to go on and on about this magazine, its just perfect in every way imaginable…

The current issue (May ’09) has a special report coverline, which reads; “Vikings vs Pirates” this, coupled with the stunning “model” good-looks of two Danish Navy personnel, with their faces bathed in a warm sunset glow, the sea and sky filling the horizon level… its like the beginning of an amazing epic war movie… (I keep on waiting for a pumping soundtrack to kick in!!)

monocle-fcMonocle, May 09

…all joking aside, its a serious and powerful feature on Somali pirates, stating that:

“…pirates attacked over 120 ships last year and netted an estimated $40m (€29.2m) in ransoms…”

The feature portrays the Danish Navy with the utmost respect for what they are doing, for their skills, professionalism and modern approaches.



Reading about a more modern approach, is so completely the opposite to what I’ve seen portrayed in (American military) movies whereby the hierarchy rules are absolutely rigid, it just seems sort of shocking…. however, the beauty of the feature is you read and see people as being people, not just a uniform.

…and yet there they are, in with over 10,000 square miles to patrol, one sailor is quoted as saying:

“Its like policing the US with a scooter”

One distress signal that they pick up is from a Chinese ship, under attack, but given its distance it would take a full 24hours to get to them, by which time the pirates would be long-gone. The frustration must be agonizing. The sheer scale of this, to me, is just amazing, incomprehensible even..

Also consider these “pirates” they are such desperate people, armed with:

“Rusting Soviet-era weaponry and handmade ladders…”

– however the Danes take the human rights of these individuals very seriously and rigidly follow legislation, the feature continues to say that the pirates are so well treated, in regards to being well looked after and well-fed they often gain a little weight…and even given access to cigarettes should they so wish…



I know that there has been a lot of coverage over this, the UK launch issue of Wired magazine, so I guess I don’t need to go on about it!

And well, apart from the absolutely stunning cover artwork, (below)


I wanted to highlight the fantastic feature “Cowboys of the Deep”, which had me completely riveted whilst I was reading it, honestly it read like a movie staring Bruce Willis (circa 1988) it just oozes maleness and testosterone, you half expect someone to cry out “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker” – and I’m really not kidding, these guys are risking life and limb (quite literally as it happens) to “right” a capsizing freighter packed full of cargo.

wired-feature1Couger Ace

Using a lot of computer-wizardry and a lot of machomusclepower and experienced know-how a small team set to put the troubled freighter right. Its an really intensely frightening ordeal. I gathered that these men are handsomely paid, but I still cannot comprehend why on earth people choose to risk absolutely everything, (and are so cavalier about it…) and yet, the potential ‘greater disater’ if the ship flips, or flip flops, or sinks,. is also hard to imagine as a good outcome… so hurray for these crazy bunch of misfits.

The round-up sections were also a treat and I enjoyed reading about the current crop of fantastic commuter bikes and high-performance laptops:



Elle Decoration


Elle Decoration, May 09

With a lot of blossom and a little sunshine, it seems Spring has arrived… and the current issue of Elle Decoration, is, indeed very bright and Spring-like… I still have a weakness for all things bright and beautiful and in the current issue, the glimpses of beautiful private homes, as ever, a treat, from the coverstory, Fresh & Wild of a designer New York pad, to a hidden gem home in Barcelona to the modernist Californian home… plus all the usual extra round-ups…


Dumbo living…

elle-decoration118thC-apartment, Barcelona

elle-decoration2Californian, retro-chic,.

elle-decoration5Best of the best…


Little White Lies

lwl-fc-vampireLittle White Lies, the “Let The Right One In” issue, April 2009

I bought the – hopefully still – current issue of Little White Lies as I love movies, I love reading about them, however, I usually shun horror movies, (I am such a wuss) but once you start reading about “Let The Right One In” there’s something about this small, quirky, Swedish film, that according to the buzz surrounding it, is set to be modern-cult-classic… tempting…now I just need the courage to actually go see it…

lwl-feature1Tomas Alfredson, director “Let The Right One In”

A really interesting interview with the director of “Let The Right One In” and as you can see, above, a fantastically designed spread, to me, this is the exact reason why Little White Lies is such a fantastic magazine, as it really enjoys what it is doing and as you get the impression that they’re enjoying it, I, in turn, enjoy it all the more too…Still on the vampire topic and another example of Little White Lies beautiful layout, Lawrence Pearce, writer and director “Night Junkies” shown, below:


Little White Lies, also comes packed with reviews of upcoming or current released movies: sample below of reviews:


The layout for reviews is very simple and clear, again exactly what a reader wants…

In this current issue, covering all things-vampire, “blood” obviously rates quite high as a visual theme, however, there is an amazing and incredibly serious feature about the illegal blood trade in China, entitled “Blood of the Dragon”, pictured below, and is one of the most horrific HIV/AIDs features I’ve read. I have to commend Little White Lies for including this feature, ballsy move…


I was quite overwhelmed, when reading journalist, Pierre Haski detailing his horrible dilemma when faced with the problem of how to answer a woman and her husband, who have just returned from hospital, she has a fever and no one has told her what she has, no help, no information – her husband innocently questions, is it contagious? – what do you say…? OK so, I am not the most politically-thinking person in the world, and don’t really know that much about China, but when I read this and the following:

“…This was June 2001. This woman was HIV-positive, but had no idea about the nature of her illness. She and her family knew nothing of a virus that had been known in the rest of the world for the previous two decades. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, China pretended AIDS didn’t exist. The government didn’t inform its citizens about the disease’s transmission modes, and covered up cases like this one, due to official negligence…”

…it makes me very sad and very angry. The feature cites the selling of bloody by people living in poverty, from isolated/rural areas, it was seen as a great means for literally making money. This was back in the 90’s and through corruption, disorganization and a lack of basic sanitary/hygiene it all went horrifically wrong and when contaminated blood was discovered the blood drive just closed-up shop and left… no reasons given, no information, no warnings as to what was to come…the feature explains that given the economics of selling blood, in these areas, had created such a valuable source of income there were even riots over these closures…

It really is a powerfully written feature, I really urge people to go read it… also noted at the end of the feature: Pierre Haski’s book, “China’s Blood Trade” is published by Grasset (Paris) and Susanna Lea Associates.