10 May 2016
As you know, I’ve always been really interested in calligraphy, so when I was in Morocco a few weeks ago now, I took a course for a couple hours. Not enough time, but was great to just sit in a lovely cafe in Fes and chat with the calligrapher while he explained things and answered my questions.
His ink jars had so much string in them, that if you turned them upside down, no ink would come out, which was pretty clever. Most of his pens were wood with wood nibs. He said his favourite pen was made from bamboo in the traditional way, to fit his hand perfectly. It is something that lasts a lifetime.
You can see him above writing around the word “Allah.” It is the largest on the paper, as He is the most important, and must always appear so in written form. After that, he added other words/sentences (but I forget what they say!)
Not only is size important, but so is position. For example, one would not position Allah on the far left side. Which, depending on what you would like to write, can be tricky to fit everything in. I reckon it may be a little like if you tried to fill a space with beautiful written text containing the lyrics to “hey jude,” but “jude” could never appear on the right.
From listening to him, and watching him write, it seems that with Arabic you can arrange words horizontally all on one line or stacked, as we do. But in Arabic, you play with different sizes and embed letterforms within other letterforms a bit more often. To my eye, it seems that there is so much more variety in styles and ornamentation.
For example, I was at the V&A last week and I found some gorgeous examples of calligraphy on ceramics from the middle east, all dating from around 1000. The variety is incredible.
13 May 2015
I must have had this saved for ages and just found it again: beautiful letterheads designed by the Austrian designer Herbert Bayer (I love this image of him above), I assume sometime in the 30's, before he had to flee Berlin where he was working.
It is hard to believe that these are about 80 years old. It's hard to imagine that many people I know have never experienced what it is like to use a typewriter. And well it's hard to admit that when I first started work as a designer, stationery sets were so common.
You can see more here.
28 January 2015
Bring on 2015! As you know we are hatching so many lovely projects at the moment... Can't wait to have them all online and documented. On top of all this, we also have a new MOTHandRUST site on the way (God Willing we can find the time of course).
To start, we have launched a new site for Michael Levine, a well-known award winning set and costume designer who works widely with all of the best stages of the world including La Scala Milan, The Metropolitan Opera NYC, Vienna State Opera, The Netherlands Opera, English National Opera, Opera Nomori Tokyo, London's West End, the USA's Broadway, and many many others.
He has collaborated with Complicite Theatre on several creations including the opera "A Dog's Heart" we saw together in London a few years ago that was absolutely INCREDIBLE.
Michael wanted a site that would eventually contain his entire body of work, that spans over forty years, and this would be easy to explore, navigate and access. He also wanted a minimal, non-fussy site that would showcase his beautiful imagery, whether on a phone or a desktop.
A visual overview of every project is featured on the "work" page. It is easy (and quite fun) to zoom into a project, learn more, then zoom right back out to explore other work. Though there is so much content, one never loses her place in it, nor gets frustrated waiting for content to load.
A shout out to the great London designer Mr Josiah Jones and the Serbian dev agency Halo, who collaborated with us on this project...
7 March 2014
21 March 2013
I am thinking of you with envy today, knowing you're probably sitting out in the Mexican sunshine right this minute, eating tropical fruit and probably getting drunk with your parents. Here in Stockholm it is an unacceptable -5C with snow on the ground. Gruesome!
Anyway, take a look at this Japanese artist, Hiroaki Ohya. I first saw his T-shirt alphabet and was intrigued, as although we come across people doing alphabets out of all sorts of objects on a regular basis, I think this is the first time I've seen one done out of clothing, quite like this. So of course I checked out some of his other stuff and found out that he's a protege of Issey Miyake, doing interesting conceptual fashion-art type projects. Like his Wizard of Jeans collection – a series of 21 books that transform into clothing when unfolded, title inspired by the Wizard of Oz, of course. Apparently he is "not really interested in the people who wear his clothes" - which isn't that surprising!
Looking forward to having you back next week!