Typewriter ribbon tins

Some beautiful typewriter ribbon tins plucked from this Flickr set. Wonderful vintage design at work here with some killer type. Too bad these days are gone, and we’ll never see design like this in Staples or any other office supply place. Damn shame.

Thanks to Hydro74 for posting the link on his Twitter. Great find.

Illustration by Andrew Kolb

Let’s start off the week with the work of illustrator Andrew Kolb. I came across Andrew’s work via Laughing Squid a little while back, just after he released his genius Space Oddity picture book, seen above. Love the idea and would murder a murder of crows to get my hands on a physical copy of that thing. So damn good, fantastic colours and design.

I figured the time was right to also show his fan-based The Walking Dead posters since the season premiere was last night. Really dig Andrew’s overall style, very Cartoon Modern reminiscent of 1950s cartoons.

Check out Andrew’s portfolio, drop into his online store and say hello on Twitter.

Design by Bob Noorda

• Pirelli ads “Friend for your bicycle”, 1955 and “Millions of cyclists choose Pirelli”, 1957.

• Pirelli ad and poster for Rolle tires, 1959.

• Packaging for Pirelli products, 1957 and 1958.

• Pirelli ads “Walking soles”, 1959 and “Clothing and raincoats”, 1959.

• Ads for ACNA Montecatini, 1961 and 1962.

• Lanco Watches ad, 1956 (with Studio Boggeri) and cover for Pagina Magazine N.2, 1963.

• Eni logo 1972, COOP logo 1994 and pictograms for Touring Club Italiano 1978.

• New York City Subway Manual pages and examples of the sign system, c.1970.

• São Paulo Metro mark, above-ground sign, cross section of a station and wall decorations, 1964.

• Poster for Biennale di Venezia, 1966 and packaging for Pirelli, 1968.

Some wonderful design work by Bob Noorda (1927 – 2010). I came across this feature and this one on the Display website a few days ago, excellent reads and selection of Noorda’s work. Great typography at work, limited color palette and beautiful linework. Just look at those icons for Touring Club Italiano. Can’t get enough.

Mr. Noorda’s best-known work in the United States was for the New York City Transit Authority, which in 1966 commissioned his firm, Unimark International, to modernize and unify the look of the subway system’s signs. The firm had been recommended by Mildred Constantine, an influential design curator at the Museum of Modern Art.

The images and captions above were taken from Display, and I urge you to have a look at the features above for more information on Noorda and his life in design.

Identity design by Salih Kucukaga

Some wonderful identity work from Istanbul-based designer Salih Kucukaga. Really enjoy the minimalist, utilitarian approach mixed with some distressed effects. Really eludes to a history behind these brands. And just look at that Black Goat logo. Beautiful.

These are just a few samples. Check out Salih Kucukaga’s full portfolio, and say hello on Twitter.

1983 Apple Gift Catalog

1983 Apple Gift Catalog

1983 Apple Gift Catalog

1983 Apple Gift Catalog

1983 Apple Gift Catalog

1983 Apple Gift Catalog

1983 Apple Gift Catalog

1983 Apple Gift Catalog

1983 Apple Gift Catalog

1983 Apple Gift Catalog

1983 Apple Gift Catalog

One thing Apple has been overtly consciences about since Steve Jobs returned as CEO in 1997 was brand control. Jobs killed off the cheap Mac clone market and simplified the product lineup. Aside from that, officially licensed merchandise such as t-shirts, hats, mugs, etc. have only been made available directly from “the mothership” : Apple’s Company Store located on Apple’s Campus.

However, back in the early days while Apple was just beginning to mold their iconic brand, they sold Apple branded merchandise via mail order catalogs. Take this official Gift Catalog from 1983 for example, you could order everything from t-shirts and coffee mugs to a kite and tote bags. Man, I wish I could still order one of those tees…

I grabbed these photos from the awesome macmothership.com. Lots of great Apple history over there, worth a long look if you’re an Apple fan.

Burton Kramer

Presented here are some of the posters created by Canadian graphic designer, Burton Kramer. If you have lived in Canada for any length of time you will have certainly seen his influence, most importantly being his CBC “exploding pizza” identity design created back in the 70s. We’re real proud of that CBC logo, one of the best in the world.

In a nutshell, the RIT Graphic Design Archive states “Burton Kramer (1932- ) is a graphic designer who trained in the United States, pursued an influential career in Zurich, and then moved to Toronto, where he revitalized the design community with bold interpretations of the Swiss and International styles of typography and image.” That really sums it up. The guy learned from sources where it counts, then brought it to my country. His reach is long and he created the Canadian design culture for an entire era. The posters above are merely a sampling, and doesn’t even dive into his identity work.

A book was recently released of his work, titled Burton Kramer Identities, A Half Century of Graphic Design.

Design by Tom Muller

Back in 2002 or so I really got into the work of comic artist Ashley Wood. Sure, I liked Wood’s painting style at the time, the way he illustrated cool robots and good lookin’ ladies. But it didn’t stop there. In all of Ashley’s works he had his art coupled with a typographic and logo style that made his work incredibly unique, set him apart. I browsed his website all the time and finally came across the name of the person responsible for all that cool design. This guy named Tom Muller.

Over the years I’ve frequented Tom’s website, Hellomuller, to see what he’s been up to. He never ceases to amaze with precision type and identities, excellent book cover design and all the other stuff he’s done. There’s a certain level of professionalism in all he does, but his work is very much all over the map. Seems like he can do anything, including Nagasaki, a custom typeface.

After being a fan of Tom’s for almost a decade, I had the pleasure of meeting him when I was in London a couple of weeks back. Awesome guy. Heard some stories about the old days, discussed work and type, and discovered he uses a trackpad for all his work. Yeah … I know. After several drinks we managed to get a photo taken outside the pub, seen here are  (l to r) Ollie Judge, Franz Jeitz, myself, Tom Muller, and PJ Tierney in the front.

Don’t take my word for it, get yourself over to Hellomuller and check out the full extent of Tom’s work, and say hello on Twitter.

PS. Sorry Tom, I had to cut off your awesome Coenfographic. That thing would have crippled my blog!

Obsolete Computer Book Covers

I have some vivid memories of random computer books kicking around the local library around the time I was in High School. Most of them were about a decade old at that time, dating back to the early 80s. Many were obsolete, but for some reason they were all readily available to loan out, whereas more relevant material was nowhere to be found. I always wondered if computer nerds had donated these books to the library the minute they became useless to them. I also recall thinking how strange it was that these books looked both old and new to me at the same time.

There seemed to be no hard rules when it came to creating cover art for these kind of books: computer generated images, drawings, paintings, photography…they were all in play.

Back then, I knew nothing about computers at all, but the covers of these books always piqued my curiosity. Some were awesome, some were pretty awful, but they all rocked an 80’s vibe. The personal computer boom of the 80’s led to an enormous amount of published material on everything from basic learning to programming languages. The internet hadn’t even been invented yet, but there was a sense of “living in the future” that created a kind of innocent excitement I can’t quite explain.