Tag: graphic design

Writing Prize 2020: Figures of War

Writing Prize 2020: Figures of War

By Francesco Marullo

Niccolò Machiavelli concludes his treatise on the art of war (Dell’Arte della Guerra, 1521) with a series of diagrammatic ‘figures’ illustrating the arrangements of troops known as ordinanze. Rather than using human silhouettes, the ordinanza links alphabetical signs to specific roles and positions of the soldiers, reducing the army to… Read More

W.E.B. Du Bois’ visionary infographics

W.E.B. Du Bois’ visionary infographics

By Sarah Handelman

In 1900 W.E.B. Du Bois travelled to the Exposition Universelle in Paris to present the ‘American Negro’, an exhibition that sought ‘to give, in as systematic and compact a form as possible, the history and present condition of a large group of human beings’. In addition to Du Bois, then… Read More

Architectural Typefaces

Architectural Typefaces

By Adrien Vasquez

It is a drawing of a C. A rather normal looking C, a bit condensed perhaps. Its thick and thin parts are distributed along a vertical axis, rather than a diagonal one, so in typographic terms it is a modern C. To me it also looks a bit British, because it only… Read More

Haiku

Haiku

By John Cage

Here John Cage is writing in November 1950 to Cecil Smith, the Editor of Musical America, in passionate defence of Eric Satie, who had been attacked in the journal in an article by Abraham Skulsky. In 1948, Cage had delivered a controversial talk at Black Mountain College, titled ‘Defense of Satie,’… Read More

Daria’s Aria

Daria’s Aria

By Sarah Handelman

Between 1939 and 1941 the French-born, Milan-based editor Daria Guarnati published seven volumes of a series called Aria d’Italia. Each issue formed a substantial monograph on a distinct facet of Italian life and culture. The inaugural Christmas edition was followed by the evocatively titled issues ‘Italy through Colour’, ‘Mediterranean Summer’, ‘The… Read More

Origins in Translation

Origins in Translation

By Mari Lending

Broken bits of ancient architecture piled up in the foreground of a printed page is a topos in the canon of architectural publications. An early example takes place in the frontispiece of Sebastiano Serlio’s book on antiquities. Produced for the first edition of the third book, written in Italian and published in… Read More

Watkin on Milizia: Frontispiece to The Lives of the Celebrated Architects, Ancient and Modern

Watkin on Milizia: Frontispiece to The Lives of the Celebrated Architects, Ancient and Modern

By David Watkin

The illustration on the title page to the Vite is striking and can be seen as a preparation for that of Pugin’s Contrasts (Sailsbury 1836). Milizia depicts a crowded scene in which, on the left hand side, a Corinthian portico and Laugier’s primitive hut, fashioned from trees and branches, represent Antiquity and Nature. Pallas,… Read More

Other Lives: Charles Eisen and Laugier’s Essai sur l’Architecture

Other Lives: Charles Eisen and Laugier’s Essai sur l’Architecture

By Rebecca Williamson

One of the best-known drawings related to the discipline is the ‘allegory of architecture’, drawn by Charles-Dominique-Joseph Eisen and engraved by Jean-Jacques Aliamet. [1] The original is now in the collection of Drawing Matter. Aliamet’s engraving serves as the frontispiece to the second edition of Marc-Antoine Laugier’s Essai sur l’architecture, and was included… Read More

Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid

By Desley Luscombe

When in January 1983, Peter Cook reviewed a recently held exhibition for Zaha Hadid’s 59 Eaton Place, he spoke of the resonance between the individual and their education in developing an architectural identity. [1] He pondered on the development of Hadid over that period, ‘What if fate had led her to… Read More

Herbert Matter

Herbert Matter

By Nicholas Olsberg

This is the work of the Swiss photographer and designer Herbert Matter, who after a short career in New York had moved to California in 1943 with his wife, the American painter and art critic Mercedes Carles. Both were friends and associates of Fernand Leger, with whom Herbert had been… Read More

USSR in Construction No. 9, 1931

USSR in Construction No. 9, 1931

By Marie Collier

Constructing a Fantasy of the New Moscow through Architectural Photographs In June 1931 Lazar Kaganovich, the Secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee gave a speech to the Moscow plenum entitled, Za sotsialisticheskuiu rekonstruktsiyu Moskvy i gorodov SSSR (On the Socialist Reconstruction of Moscow and other Socialist Cities of the USSR). The… Read More

San Rocco

San Rocco

By Helen Thomas

This beautiful and black glossy image lies on top of the contrasting ground of a thick, white and matt-surfaced magazine binding. The substance of the drawing is not composed of lines but rather made of solid fields that recoil from each other, very neatly, to leave spaces. These slivers where… Read More