Archive for September, 2007

Design #239

Posted by Scott

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 + ISO50

Posted by Scott

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.

Captain Beefheart

Posted by Scott

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.


Posted by Scott

PDP 8E - ISO50v
Whatever a “Minicomputer” is, this was the first one. It cost almost $15,000 in 1974 making it a pretty, but pricey machine. During this period Digital produced a lot of machines featuring interfaces similar to this. I love the color combos and the excellent grid based design. Those toggle switches complete this bold yet welcoming example of top-shelf 70’s industrial design. The color scheme could be construed as somewhat garish for a computer, but remember, this was the 70’s and they were probably trying to “break the design mold” of this particular class of devices. Unfortunately, soon after these became obsolete the industry veered right back into beige/grey tones and boring, toggle-less interfaces. The only standout enterprise-level computer hardware that comes to mind after this were the Silicon Graphics machines of the 90’s and the Sun Systems stuff around the turn of the century. More info on this particular model is here. I like the “digital” logo and it fits nicely up there in the corner. But I couldn’t resist tweaking the text in the upper right to make it look like a poster. You can click the image to see the original version. I have some examples of similar Digital equipment in blue and green I will be posting soon.
Wanted to add that I love the style of the photo. It’s almost as if it’s a drawing, one of those old product shots that sort of blurs the line between photo and illustration. Wonder how they achieved this? Was it an intended effect or a byproduct of the printing method?