Blog archive May 2010

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11.05.10 / 01 / new flickr group

i finally took the plunge and started a new flickr group: Mid-century Space Illustration. This collects the illustrations, diagrams, paintings that were produced for space projects from the 40s to the 70s, until the advent of CGI. The images are often gorgeous, and i've long wanted to have them in one place for viewing. until now they've been placed in groups such as Mid-century Illustrated or Mid-century Science which have a broader focus, and a realist rendering of saturn looks out of place among the kitsch 50s adverts. Space illustration is its own genre. Science fiction images are excluded, the group is for images produced to illustrate actual or potential science fact - no matter how visionary [those are the best!]. right now the group mostly consists of my own extensive and growing collection, but i'm hoping to harvest some choice stuff from others before long. i hope it'll pick up its own momentum and be the obvious place to put them.

03.05.10 / 01 / a book by its cover

can we judge a political party by the design of its manifesto, as well as the content? here are the manifestos of the three main parties in the UK general election this week.

labour gives us a rather corny socialist-realist cover. it's meant to be sunrise, but will probably be sunset. the contents page promises some design action, but this is as funky as it gets - the rest is text with a bit of colour. no photos. the general effect is of a public-sector information brochure, telling you your rights at the local hospital perhaps.

the lib dems manifesto is nicer, clean and informational, cheerful on-trend colours. but the helvetica overkill is a little wearying. it would have been cutting edge ten years ago.

The conservative manifesto is the most intriguing of the three. it appears to be an old book that has lost its dust jacket. inside, the serif text is both conservative and fashionable. the graphics have a midcentury look, photographs are full-page and slightly unexpected in subject matter, and there is clever use of information graphics. it's 2010 crossed with 1963.

so design-wise the conservatives are clear winners, with the lib dems in second place. none of the manifestos carry any design credits.

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