I wrote a series of notes when I was in Finland last month:
birch trees, expensive trains, bright textiles, herrings and mashed potatoes, comfortable furniture, pragmatism, dodgy tracksuits, patriotic beer, romantic wooden houses and thoughtful apartments, stoicism
2:02 pm • 4 August 2012 • 1 note
In recognition of the upcoming London Olympics (and it’s dire branding and design) I’m going to award some highly subjective medals for outstanding Olympic design past:
1. GOLD: Munich 72’ - overshadowed by the massacre of Isreali athletes, the design for the Munich Olympics was impeccable Swiss modernism, Otl Aicher made clean, stunning and functional work, invented the sporting pictographs we take for granted today and heralded the mainstream adaption of modernist ideals.
2. SILVER: Montreal 76’ - This was possibly the most daring of any olympics in design terms, the posters and artwork for the games have almost nothing to do with sport, featuring jean jackets, acid twisted Olympics logos and post-expressionist artwork in lieu of the usual dynamic sportsmen, designers Georges Huel and Pierre-Yves Pelletier took chances that no Olympic identity had before or since.
3. BRONZE: Mexico city 68’ - If Munich was the Olympics where Swiss-style modernism reigned supreme then Mexico is the one that heralded the arrival of pop art, with the the bright, colourful sport icons, printed dresses and most recognizable the Bridget Riley-esque Logo itself with its op-art lines, designer Lance Wyman brought contemporary art into the heart of the games identity.
Notable mentions: 1. Rome 60’s richly classical postwar art. 2. Moscow 80’s utopian modernism 3. Tokyo 64 & Athens 2004: strikingly simple
6:51 am • 27 July 2012 • 4 notes
Sir Ian McKellen was sharp as a tack in his youth. Jean jacket with Belgian loafers? Oversized silk tie with huge floral collar? not a problem, he nails it.
3:36 am • 26 July 2012 • 65 notes
Far be it for me to big up the thoroughly terrible ‘McDonalds’ but credit where credit is due, whoever in their marketing department that convinced the higher ups to commission these ceramic coffee cups from designer Patrick Norguet deserves a raise.
12:33 pm • 24 July 2012 • 1 note
I took a long time to come around to Van Gogh, and I imagine I’m not alone? when somebody is such a towering figure in the arts there can be an instinct to avoid the universal reverence they evoke and look elsewhere, but like the Beatles, Van Gogh cannot be denied, his paintings are beautiful, richly coloured and emotional, they look better in person and they have great depth.
Lately I’ve been especially fond of his portraits of friends and workmen, the colours are gorgeous, and their simple utilitarian clothing is a great contrast to the elaborate texture of the paint technique and backdrops.
2:57 am • 22 July 2012 • 12 notes
“Plenty of people come to shop, but it’s expensive, and Bond street and Sloane street are pretty much what you’d find at home. It won’t have escaped your notice that the avaricious first world has become a branded and cloned airport lounge.”
— A.A. Gill, on London
2:15 am • 22 July 2012 • 1 note
Sylver Tongue - hook you up : Sylver Tongue is the newest project of the ever restless Charlotte Hatherley, once a journeywoman guitarist in 90’s indie prodigies Ash, she went solo in the early 00’s and hit home with second album ‘the deep blue’ a densely layered art rock classic that has been one of my most played albums of the last couple years, she followed this with 'New Worlds' which tightened the arrangements up with echoes of Bowie and Roxy Music and now brings us Sylver Tongue, another change in direction that hints at the synth-driven sophistication of Prefab Sprout, Prince and Japan (the band).
This is music for people who cherish music, melodies that work for the attention.
4:23 am • 6 July 2012