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Archive for the Design Icons Category

Honda Motorcycle Design: Illustrations

Posted by Rory

So Tycho just got back from the amazing Taico Festival [yes, really] in Nagano, and on our off day in Tokyo I had the pleasure of visiting the Tower Records book store in Shibuya. I cannot stress enough, this place was coffeetable book PARADISE, I walked out of there with slight buyers remorse, that is, until the flight back when the “in flight entertainment” consisted of endless episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond. I digress. Although they didn’t have the one i’ve been looking for for years, Part 1, they did have this second volume of Honda Design drawings from the mid eighties throughout the 2000′s. In this post I featured just a few of the exquisite hand-drawn mockups of some timeless Honda machines.

Just got my CB360 on the road yesterday [with rebuilt Mikuni carbs and CB750 forks], so this seemed like a fitting post for the weekend as I gear up to blast around the Berkshires. Enjoy!

[Published by Dainippon Kaiga, ISBN 978-4-499-32107-7]

620 Reading room at Vitsoe

Posted by Rob

In celebration of their comprehensive re-engineering of Dieter Rams’s 620 Chair Program, the Vitsoe shop in New York will be launching the ’620 Reading Room’ with a party tonight. This will continue through Monday, with books curated by neighbor Dashwood Books, and free Intelligentsia coffee pour-overs by Gasoline Alley Coffee.

If you are in New York for ICFF this week, this will offer quite a contrast to the usual ICFF grind and noise.

Enter through the gift shop




I’ve just returned returned from a trip to both Munich and London, where I spent time with colleagues in both locations. Cosmic timing really, considering the London 2012 Olympics are on the horizon, and I’ve had Otl Aicher on the mind recently.

Much has been said in recent years about the shortcomings of the London 2012 graphic identity, but I hadn’t really been paying close attention to all the outrage, and had all but forgotten the design work – so I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of Olympic schwag that greeted me at the official London 2012 shop at the St. Pancras Station in London. It’s borderline seizure inducing. Having just stepped off the train from Munich, where I spent time in Olympiapark and was exposed to Aichers work throughout the city, this London 2012 noise was especially jarring. And that mascot! Sigh. I took quite a few pictures, and had originally thought I’d post about Waldi vs Wenlock, but I decided I wouldn’t subject you to any of that madness. After all, this blog is here to celebrate beautiful things.

Scott has extensively covered Aicher’s work for Munich ’72 here before (in fact it’s where I was first exposed to it), but I thought the timing was right for us to be reminded just how amazing a coherent Olympic graphic identity and subsequent merchandising campaign can be.

Creative Review recently posted the above scans of the official Munich ’72 merchandise catalogue, and there are a few images of what look to be the official gift shops as well. While Waldi was the only souvenir that was actually designed by Aichlers studio directly, I find it really impressive how cohesive the entire output of the “Olympic Souvenir” department was. This is most likely due to the fact that Aicher dictated a very strict set of rules as to how the logotype and symbols could be used.

It’s easy to pick apart London 2012 when stacked up against the extremely high bar set by Aicher’s work for Munich, but let’s be real here, remember Izzy from Atlanta? NOTHING is as bad as that. What. Is. That. Thing.

I’m not sure if they entered the competition, but if they did I’d be real curious to see what Bibliotheque came up with for the London 2012 graphic identity. After all, they know a thing or two about Aicher’s legacy, having put together an exhibition of his Munich ’72 work over at the Vitsoe shop in 2007, comprised entirely of posters and print from their their own collection. This unofficial Olympic torch poster they did is pretty amazing as well.

Bonus link: While googling around, I found this site that offers up the official Olympic report books as PDFs. The Munich 72′ books span 3 Volumes, upwards of 1200 pages. For the true Munich ’72 geeks.

Posted by: Rob Fissmer

Bertone Design

Originally an Italian coach builder and manufacturer, Gruppo Bertone ultimately became renowned for their progressive automotive design. Starting with the legendary Lamborghini Miura in the late 1960′s, Bertone’s designers were commissioned by many Italian carmakers of the day for both concept and production based cars. The late 70′s and early 80′s brought critical success and some of what I feel were their best designs, known for their distinct wedge profile and futuristic accents. Pictured above are some examples of work they did for Lancia, Fiat, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and BMW.

-Rory

The 300SL (or: Homologation & You)

In sports car racing, there is a wonderful thing called ‘homologation’. Manufacturers hate it, car collectors love it. It means that in order to enter a car in sanctioned sports car races, it has to be based on a production model. Without going into a lengthy explanation, just appreciate the fact that it has brought the world some of it’s most prized street-legal race cars. The 300SL is undeniably one of the most iconic. In 1952, Mercedes Benz was feeling ambitious and decided they wanted to win alot of races. So they built an incredibly streamlined, lightweight, and reliable race car using some of the most exotic materials at the time – the homologated street version that was sold to the public a complete afterthought. It was then entered it into many of the most prestigious, and difficult, endurance races of the day. They succeeded, taking 1-2 victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana to name a few. Above are a few photos of the 300SL in action at the aforementioned races (the 2nd of which is the variant used in the trans-mexican rally, where the windshield had to be reinforced with wrought iron bars due to ‘buzzard collisions’). The second group of photos are of the oldest 300SL in existence, serial number zwei. It never saw any racing, rather it was used as a training car for the very capable Hermann Lang & Fritz Reiss (along with the rest of the Silver Arrows) who went on to take many checkered flags. Dragged out of the broom closet by Mercedes, it underwent an extensive 9 month restoration for it’s 60th birthday, and in celebration of the new SLS AMG. What a timeless example of German design – both in form & function.