Just started to process all the photos from this summer’s Barcelona trip where I was speaking at the OFFF design conference. Unfortunately, my third Lomo LCA has broken so I lost half the shots (the film was not advancing properly half of the time). If you’re not familiar with the Lomo LCA, it’s a small Russian-made camera famous for it’s lofi vibe and heavy color saturation. It also has this really cool vignette effect that sort of pulls all the attention to the center of the photo. But as my three dead cameras will atest, they are very temperamental and prone to breakage. I treat all my equipment with almost obsessive care, yet these still fell victim to their own shoddy construction. This wouldn’t be such a big deal, they use to be only $99 a pop. But since they gained popularity and became a cult favorite around the turn of the century, Lomo has jacked up the price to $250 usd. In a side note, I owe my name in part to this camera and French designer Arnaud Mercier. Arnaud taught me a lot about photography and first suggested that I try the LCA with Fuji’s “ISO50″ speed slide film, hence the moniker. After all that talk of the Lomo, I have to admit, the image above was not taken with it. This is a digital photo taken with a Nikon D80 or a CP8800 (can’t remember which I was carrying that day). Since I lost the film shots of this scene, I tried to make these digital shots appear as much like the output of the Lomo as possible. You can be the judge of how successful I was (Hint: Not very..). As I get these together and scan the remaining slides I will post them here and to my Flickr.
One of the original posters from the 64 Tokyo olympics. Simple and effective, the gold/red color scheme is perfect. Love the grain of the photo, yet another beautifully organic phenomena we have lost to the digital revolution.
Design magazine Issue 239. Very nice color combo, similar to the Mexico Olympics cover. The cover story reads “Perspex and the transparent look”. Perspex is a transparent glass alternative heavily used in 1970’s interior design. They utilized fluorescent colored Perspex for all sorts of furniture and installations. My neighbor had a lot in his old SF Victorian until they remodeled. Should have snagged a picture before they tore it out. The colors featured in the illustration on the cover of this magazine must have been the common choices, as I recall his were all in these tones as well.
Avant Garde Magazine #8 next to the Command Print. Thought they made a nice pair. Avant Garde was a short lived art/culture magazine in the late 60’s-early 70’s. The magazine itself always had great art direction and layout, but it’s main contribution was, of course, Herb Lubalin’s logo which was the basis for the ITC Avant Garde typeface. This has always been a very controversial font in the design world, many claim it is overused and abused. Lubalin himself thought the face was misunderstood and overused, rendering it something of a 70’s cliché. Whatever the case may be, I have found it to be a striking and versatile font in my own work. The Madrone print is a good example of how I like to use Avant Garde, it’s strict forms and tight angles make perfect building blocks for large scale use.
Update: Some great scans from the book and more info are here.
Here’s a nice example of the Fillmore West style by Wes Wilson. This style is a conglomeration of many of the early 20th century design themes. While a bit less than legible, the illustrative lettering indicative of this style is a work of art in itself. The psychedelic and Art Nouveau themes associated with the Fillmore movement have always been a great inspiration to me but I have always felt them to be a little overstated. When I do explore these themes in my own work I tend to temper them with a more minimalist slant.