Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daily Book Graphics #8 / Design in Scandinavia

back cover

This is a catalogue for a travelling exhibit of Scandinavian Design. I can't find a date anywhere on it, judging from the contents it probably wasn't published any later than 1960. The cover design design and interior layout is by Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Daily Book Graphics #7 / That's Life!

This is from A Grosset All-Color Guide: The Animal Kingdom published in 1971. This illustration accompanies the introduction and is, of course, meant to represent the diversity of the organisms included in the animal kingdom. It's a wonderfully strange collection of examples. I don't know why the human and monkey both appear as skeletons. And mammals are really over represented, so are vertebrates, Where are the arthropods!?!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Daily Book Graphics #6 / Travel Tips... New York

Colette gave me this little (4.25"x5.75") Trans World Airlines guide to New York City several years ago. I think she bought it in an antique store. There aren't many illustrations on the inside. I couldn't find a design credit.

The guide was published in 1962, the same year that TWA opened the Eero Saarinen designed Terminal 5.

This illustration is not in the book.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Daily Book Graphics #5 / Color and Field

This is a catalogue for a group painting show at the Albright-Knox in 1970. I bought it at a house cleaning sale at the Gallery a couple years ago. As with most catalogues from the era, the interior pages are mostly black and white. I love the die-cut cover, I wish I had a less worn copy.

Design: David Battle, Vie Design, Yellow Springs, Ohio

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Daily Book Graphics #4 / Computers at Work

These images come from Computers At Work, A Grosset All-Color Guide, by John O.E. Clark, ©1971, Grosset and Dunlap, Inc., The illustrations are by Whitecroft Designs. This book has tons of interestingly dated illustrations explaining primitive computer networks. I found a Flickr set of illustrations from a slightly earlier edition of the book here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wrong Number

I got a fantastic wrong number text message the other night:
stop fuckingg texting mel she
doesn't care about you .

Daily Book Graphics #3 / Modernist Book Covers

The first two of these mid-century modern book covers come from the library of my great Uncle John, who died in 1993 in his 80s. He was an architect and a lot of other things. He had an amazing life that spanned the 20th century in really interesting ways (he used to carpool to work at Harvard with Walter Gropius). But I won't get in to all that now. I have been digging through his books, which are at my parent's house, to look for the kind of modernist book covers I like, I have not been disappointed. I bought the third book just the other day at a book sale. I have no intention of reading any of these, but that probably goes without saying.

©1953, McGraw-Hill Paperbacks / Cover design: Rudolph de Harak, 5.25" x 7.75"
Because the receipt is still in it, I know that Uncle John purchased this book for $3.45 at the Harvard Book Store on the 27th of February 1968.

©1963, Science Editions, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. / Cover design: Davis/Aviles, 5.5" x 8.25"
No receipt in this one but "John S. Nickols, Jan 1967" is written on the inside cover. There are also several pages of hand written notes stuck between the pages.

©1961, A Clarion Book, Published by Simon & Shuster, Cover design: John+Mary Condon, 5.25" x 8"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Daily Book Graphic #2

I bought this at a used book store in Buffalo a couple of years ago. It was first published in Denmark in 1974 with the English language version appearing in 1975. It's a beautifully illustrated book. As I have mentioned on this blog before, I'm a collector of nature guides from the 1960s and 70s, that use sans serif fonts on the cover. Here is a Flickr set of some of them.

©1974, Macmillian Color Series, W 4.75" H 7.25

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A New Blog Project: Daily Book Graphics (#1)

So today, (the first day of the rest of my blog), I'm starting a new project where I mine my own personal library for interesting visual material on a daily basis. I was inspired by the numerous projects where people take and post a photograph everyday for a year, and by my friend Mike Kelleher's blog Pearlblossom Highway, where he writes about a book from his collection everyday. I buy a lot of books just for the covers or visual content, unfortunately once they go on the shelf it can be years before I revisit them. This project is going to make me dig into my library in a new way and give me a chance to think about, and curate a collection of visual information. Once I get rolling I'll be setting up a Flickr set to accompany this project.

Book Graphics Daily #1
I bought these dirty (they are pretty tame by today's standards) pulp novels at a garage sale some years ago. They were published in the mid 1960's and are all from different imprints from the same publisher. I'm not as interested in kitsch as I used to be, but boy do I love these smarmy covers! The tag lines are great too, you can't do better than "They hunted for sin in passion country!"

This may be the most brilliant book cover I've ever seen.

Shepard Fairey's New Yorker Review

Peter Schjeldahl reviews Shepard Fairy's show at ICA Boston in this week's New Yorker. I'm pretty tired of Shepard Fairy at this point and I wasn't a huge fan of his work to begin with. I'm particularly annoyed by his pseudo revolutionary political pretensions. I think Schjedahl accurately identifies some of the problems with this aspect of his work in the following two excerpts from the review:
Fairey has said that the real message behind his work is “Question everything.” I question the I.C.A. director Jill Medvedow’s claim, in the show’s catalogue, that Fairey pursues a “quest to challenge the status quo and disrupt our sense of complacency through his art.” What isn’t status quo about political rage? And have you met anyone not heavily medicated who strikes you as complacent lately? The retrospective is dated on arrival.


Fairey’s stylistic borrowings from Russian Revolutionary, Soviet, and W.P.A. propaganda are often remarked upon, but borrowedness itself—studied anachronism—is his mode of seduction. His style’s old-timey charm, however, is not inexhaustible. That leaves the inherent attraction of his subjects and of his selection of ready-made images to represent them. These include, besides mainstream heroes like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Muhammad Ali, Che, Fidel, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, generic freedom fighters, and “revolutionary women.” Punks abound: Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious, Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop. Let George W. Bush pictured as a vampire exemplify the calibre of Fairey’s many satirical japes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Montague Projects Blog's First Anniversary

As of today I have been doing this blog for a year. That adds up to 223 entries with probably 500+ images. I can't say I have a whole lot of readers, but at least a few people (that might mean you) seem to be interested. Thanks!

This photograph of an eclipse was the first image I posted on the blog February 20th 2008.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Design for Comedy

Last week I did a favor for a friend and designed the logo and promotional card for his improv comedy group. The above image is the first and best version of the 4x6 card, the final version had to be horizontally oriented which I liked a lot less. Luckily the original can live on, on this blog. Photo credit: Emily Bryan

Urban Detritus Blogs You Should Know

I recently became "blog link friends" with Al Hoff, of City of Sad Toys. Her blog specializes in documenting abandoned toys. Obviously, we have something in common as Stray Shopping carts and abandoned toys operate in the same kind of peripheral urban space. She describes her interest in the subject this way:
I walk a lot in the city and few things catch my eye more than the forlorn toy lying in the gutter or some other sad spot. I am haunted by a dirty, fuzzy stuffed rabbit wedged into the tiny space surrounding a pay phone; by the legs of a plastic creature bursting out from beneath a car wheel; by the headless action figure lying prone in an oily puddle.
Al Hoff is also famous as the author of the awesome 1990's zine Thrift Score, which chronicled the (pre-Ebay) thrift life.

Another recently acquired "Link Friend" is Found Clothing:
A Web site dedicated to all of the clothing items and accessories originally abandoned to the waste stream, but saved from the landfills by me and other finders.

Some WInter Pics from the Last Couple Weeks

I took these pictures on the coldest morning of the year, I think it was only a couple degrees. The unfrozen part of the lake, between the mouth of the Niagara River and the ice boom, was creating a freezing fog that led to the trees being coated in a layer of ice.

View of Fort Erie, Canada from Lasalle Park, Buffalo, through freezing mist

The Connecticut Street Armory, Prospect Hill

Labatt USA Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament, Erie Basin Marina, Buffalo
Unfortunately after a month of below average temperatures it went up to 40 degrees on the day of the tournament. The ice quality was terrible, huge cracks were starting to appear everywhere. I didn't hang around too long.

Testing the thickness of the ice.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Flight 3407

The last few days have been pretty depressing in Western NY. The crash of Flight 3407 has effected a lot of people. I watched it unfold on the local news on Thursday night. The NBC affiliate couldn't get a real crew to the scene for a couple of hours so they were broadcasting these weird out of focus images via Skype. I took a couple of pictures of the screen. When I heard that 49 people had died, I knew there was a good chance that I would have some kind of connection to someone on board (within a couple of degrees of separation). That turned out to be right. I had only met Allison Des Forges a couple of times, but Colette and I know a number of people who were close to her (including her son). When they started to publish pictures of the victims, Colette recognized a regular customer of hers (from waitressing years earlier), and my mother found out that a former student, that she knew well, had also died in the crash. It's all so incredibly sad.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Kitsune Noir Desktop Wallpaper Project

Kitsune Noir is the blog of designer Bobby Solomon. In 2007 he started The Desktop Wallpaper Project by asking his designer and artist friends to contribute wallpaper designs to his blog. He releases a new one each Wednesday in a wide variety of screen sizes (inculding iPhone). I really like this idea, I think I'm going to start my own Wallpaper series as an outlet for the design/art ideas I have that fall outside of my projects and client work. That may launch tonight or tomorrow, we'll see.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Illustrator Cristiana Couceiro

Thanks to It's Nice That, I just discovered the illustration/collage work of Cristiana Couceiro. It's kind of strange stuff. She draws from some fairly counter-intuitive sources (Like title graphics form Blue Note albums), but somehow it works for me.

A Poster Link

A friend tipped me off to The site has huge variety of European (and other) film posters. The navigation is a little frustrating, but it's worth it.