eyeondesign

A Radical Examination of Homoeroticism in Communist Propaganda Posters

We’re all familiar with the “Communist aesthetic”—its bold graphics, hyperrealism, and often stark color schemes. Less familiar is the tender side of this ideology. In The Gay Agenda: Homoeroticism in Communist Propaganda, a provocative online discussion last month between film historian Bader AlAwadhi, Chinese-born designer Zipeng Zhu, and Angelina Lippert, Chief Curator at the Poster House museum, an interesting question...

eyeondesign

Making Public Information Actually Accessible to the Public is the Responsibility of Designers

Parsing dense government reports that are hundreds of pages in length, set in 12pt Times New Roman, and full of legal jargon and footnotes may be the stuff of a designer’s nightmares. Yet it’s difficult to imagine a clearer example of bureaucratic thinking, or what might be termed an “administrative aesthetic”—a favorite of lawyers, policy makers, and the committees tasked...

eyeondesign

The Typeface for Moscow’s Oldest Cinema Was Inspired by the “Elusive Soviet Art Deco”

Name: CoFo Cinema1909 Designer: Liza Rasskazova Foundry: Contrast Foundry Release Date: Autumn 2020, for exclusive use by Moscow’s Khudozhestvenny Cinema until Autumn 2022 Back Story: Design challenge: create a wordmark for the more than 20-character long name of a cherished cultural institution. In 2019, Anna Kulachek, art director of Moscow’s Strelka Institute, commissioned Contrast Foundry to do just that for the landmark Khudozhestvenny Cinema....

eyeondesign

Glowy, Gauzy Diagrams Are the Self-help Books of the Instagram Age

A deceptively simple question: How are you feeling right now? It’s simple because you’re probably sentient and awake; deceptive because the web of human emotion is always undulating, twitching and warping in response to events—real, perceived, micro, and otherwise—in real time.    In 1980, to help people answer that question, the psychologist Robert Plutchik published a paper about the eight core...

eyeondesign

Achieving Carbon Neutrality Takes More Than a Great Label and Good Intentions

If you’ve been worried about your carbon footprint, you can now rest easy—an extensive and growing list of companies, cities, states, nations, and continents have declared they have it under control. Companies like Shell, Dunkin’, United Airlines,  H&M, Taco Bell, GM, Nestle, Monsanto, and plenty of other recognizable brands, have been trotting out plans to go “net zero” and neutralize...

eyeondesign

A Familiar System Font Goes Global with Monotype’s Avenir Next World

Name: Avenir Next World Foundry: Monotype Designers: Adrian Frutiger, Akira Kobayashi, Yanek Iontef, Nadine Chahine, Toshi Omagari, Akaki Razmadze, Elena Papassissa and Anuthin Wongsunkakon. Release Date: January 2021 Monotype, Avenir New World Back Story: Essentially, Avenir Next World is an expansion of Avenir, a system font that needs little in the way of introduction. Adrian Frutiger designed the original in 1988,...

eyeondesign

When Did Generic Grocery Brands Get So Good Looking?

Imagine, if you will, that you’re in a grocery aisle looking for flour. Your eyes scan bags upon bags for something familiar, but the brand you normally buy is out of stock. There’s this other one, though…lowest price (that’s good). Nice packaging, too. Chunky serif lettering, rich colors (that’s unexpected). Less expected: it’s Target brand? Add to cart.  This is...

eyeondesign

Designer, Educator, and Filmmaker Briar Levit on Uncovering Untold Stories From Design History

Briar Levit is an Assistant Professor at Portland State University and graduate of Central St. Martins College of Art & Design. Originally from the California Bay Area, she was previously the Art Director of Bitch magazine as well as an independent book designer. Levit’s feature-length film, Graphic Means, is a documentary about graphic design production methods between the eras of...

eyeondesign

“Raw, Massive, With Very Little Curve”—Benoît Bodhuin’s Latest Font Balances Brutality + Harmony

Name: Gikit Designer: Benoît Bodhuin Foundry: BB Bureau Release Date:  December 2020 Back Story: Benoît Bodhuin, founder of BB Bureau, started working on what eventually became Gikit in August last year, when he was briefed by a client to create “very raw and quirky glyphs” for a typeface. That aspect of the client project fell through in the end, and so...

eyeondesign

A History of the Moaist Propaganda Poster + Depicting a China That Never Was

At first glance, you might think the Maoist era artwork at the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre in Shanghai, China, was a collection of mid-20th-century travel posters. Vibrant colors, seemingly happy people, and almost aggressively cheerful backdrops offer a vision of an ostensibly functioning, even thriving, China, but look a little closer—literally and historically—and it’s clear the picture is often...