BPO


Speculations On Anonymous Materials by Zak Group

Opinion by Richard Baird

Catalogue by Zak Group for a trilogy of exhibitions that explore the theoretical lines separating the natural from and the artificial at Fridericianum

Speculations on Anonymous Materials (2013), nature after nature (2014) and Inhuman (2015) is a trilogy of exhibitions, curated by Susanne Pfeffer, that took place at Fridericianum, Europe’s oldest public museum, located in the German city of Kessel. The exhibitions, which mark the institution’s turn towards post-humanist thinking, intended to demonstrate how current artistic practices shift the theoretical boundaries separating the natural from the artificial. London-based design studio Zak Group was recently commissioned to catalogue the trilogy of exhibitions, which was then published by Koenig Books. The catalogue is set in German and English, has 220 pages and features three metallic spot colours.

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LogoArchive Issue 3 by BP&O (Preview)

The first issue of LogoArchive in print was conceived, designed and sent to the printers (for quotation) within a day. It was inspired by a panel discussion that took place the day before at Somerset House as part of the exhibition Print! Tearing It Up. Following a successful launch and a sold-out first issue LogoArchive returns in November with its third release.

LogoArchive is founded on a long-standing enthusiasm for a well-crafted mid-century logo; a convivial metaphor, a communicative immediacy and smart use of form language. However, in print, it was never imagined as a document with just a singular intention; the simple documentation of logos, rather a mode in which to build a story and migrate ideas. This project also intends to explore the potential of the zine to reconfigure itself regularly over time. Issue 3 tackles this theme more directly through the collation of found science symbols, three original texts and the recycled materiality of an insert. The passage of time is marked by each new issue through volume, with a further page added, taking the zine up to twenty pages, this includes front and back as a critical part of content and total experience.

LogoArchive Issue 3 will be printed by WithPrint on Colorplan Ebony 135gsm with multiple passes of white ink on an HP Indigo press. It features an eight-page Cyclus 100gsm insert printed with black. These are bound with black staples. As the zine moves into its third issue, it begins to find its feet, moving closer towards its ambition of sharing ideas and the joy of mid-century symbols. An early release of LogoArchive Issue 3 will be available online from counter-print.co.uk at the beginning of November. Sign up for release notifications here.


Hands On: MacGuffin Magazine. No.6

Opinion by Richard Baird

Hands On: MacGuffin Magazine. No.6 by Sandra Kassenaar

MacGuffin is a biannual design, art and crafts magazine that commissions stories on, around or jumping off from ordinary things, uncovering personal and curious relationships with the objects that surround us. Issues 1 to 5 explored The Bed, The Window, The Robe, The Sink and The Cabinet. The Ball, MacGuffin Magazine No.6 Autumn/Winter 2018, the one BP&O has its hands-on, takes a look those related to the spherical; from the ballpoint pen to the disco ball, Harvey Ball (the designer of the smiley face), to the Biosphere and the sphere as the building block in which to shape a Japanese future.

The magazine mixes writing styles and lengths with documentary and cinematic stills, still life and artworks, the diagrammatic, illustrative and iconographic. Featured writers include Danish artist Nicolai Howalt, graphic designer Paul Gangloff and Real Review’s Jack Self who reflects on Bisosphere 2, an eco-futurist experiment.

MacGuffin, in its content, manages to draw beauty from the banal, the hidden and the utilitarian, elevating the every using a plethora of interesting and revealing philosophical, historical and socio-cultural insights. These moves from the micro, macro and abstract, viewed through an architectural or art and design lens. There is, occasionally, a form of meta-criticism at play which is a nice observation on the spherical type element of the Selectric Typewriter, nicknamed the golf ball, doing the hitting, rather than being hit. However, the publication largely leans towards the simple joy of revealing the idiosyncrasies and legacies of the commonplace or the overlooked. The spirit of this is expressed graphically, typographically and materially by editors Kirsten Algera and Ernst van der Hoeven working with Dutch Designer Sandra Kassenaar. MacGuffin Magazine No.6 is 210 x 218mm, 232 pages and features five Pantone inks. It is supported by adverts, these come in the form of a fold-out cover, back page and the first five pages. It costs 14GBP / 16EUR / 20USD, and is also available as a yearly subscription.

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