dreaming of a life after cubicles

Vintage Chinese pamphlet: How To Shoot an Airplane
December 6, 2006, 8:43 am
Filed under: graphic design, print, retro

David Pescovitz:  At Institute for the Future‘s Virtual China blog, Jason Li points to scans of a 1965 pamphlet titled 怎样打飞机 (“How to Shoot an Airplane”).

 Photos Uncategorized 20061205 Hitairplane


The Art of the Soviet Montage
November 23, 2006, 9:45 am
Filed under: art, graphic design, print, retro

0lepremiermaiWe Make Money Not Art has posted a great review of a current exhibit at Paris’ Passage de Retz,A Visual Weapon: Soviet Photomontages 1917-1953. When 70% of the country can’t read, photomontages became a powerful form of propaganda… so powerful that even the Nazis took notice.

During the WWII, the photomontage becomes the main propaganda weapon inside the country but also outside of it to demoralize the enemy. Jitomirski, for example, designed thousands of propaganda leaflets during the war. So many of them were thrown to German troops that Joseph Goebbels put the name of the artist on the list of the “Ennemies of the State” with a commentary that said “Find him and hang him!”

A hell of a thing, to end up on a Nazi murder squad list just because you’re good and cutting and pasting pictures onto pieces of construction paper. Despite the fact that these photomontages were used to propagate a political system that led to tens of millions of deaths in the Twentieth Century, some of the work is truly beautiful in a way both industrial and dystopian. Maybe one will come to a coffee shop near you!

Soviet Montages 1917-1953 [We Make Money Not Art]

Old engravings of animals are charmingly strange
November 23, 2006, 9:13 am
Filed under: art, graphic design, print, retro

Mark Frauenfelder: Bibliodyssey has an excellent gallery of 18th century engravings from ‘Die Saugthiere in Abbildungen’ at Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon (named as ‘Histoire naturelle des quadrupèdes’.

The absurd rendering of many of the animals comes about because the engravers/artists working on the project did not actually see the animals. They had to rely on descriptions and their imagination and, as was the fashion of the time, the animals were placed in contrived settings and often given human facial qualities, which only serves to heighten the sense of bizarre. And thankful we are too.


clip art zine
November 22, 2006, 1:50 pm
Filed under: art, graphic design, print

Crap Hound No. 6 – clip art magnificence

Cory Doctorow:

Chloe from Reading Frenzy (Portland’s astounding zine store) just handed me a copy of Crap Hound No. 6, the latest installment in her press’s steady reissuance of the seminal clip-art zine. Created by Sean Tejaratchi, Crap Hound issues each featured a grand, disjointed theme — issue six’s is Death, Telephone and Scissors. Each page is a kind of collage of stark, black-and-white imagery of these things, laid out with a lot of wit and yet with a solemn appreciation for the subject.