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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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Korea International Art Fair 2018 by Studio fnt

Opinion by Richard Baird

Visual identity of posters, catalogues, programmes, tickets and banners by Studio fnt for Korea International Art Fair 2018

Each year KIAF plays host to and brings to the Korea domestic market the artworks of international artists and galleries. This year, the 17th Korea International Art Fair took place between the 4–7 October in the city of Seoul.

With a desire to become the pre-eminent art platform of South Korea, serve as a conduit between the Asian and international art scene, and function as a tool in which to introduce vibrant new Korean art to a global audience of curators and collectors KIAF seeks out, collates and presents the groundbreaking and thought-provoking.

Studio fnt worked with KIAF to develop a new visual identity for the fair. With such a wide variety of works on display; those of different origins, techniques, physicalities and modes of expression, the confluence of spot colour, proportionality and abundance serve as a unifying visual language that links posters, catalogues, tickets, banners and tote bags.

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Rimowa by Commission

Opinion by Richard Baird

Poster designed by Commission studio for functional luxury luggage manufacturer Rimowa

Rimowa is a Cologne-based manufacturer of luxury luggage. It has a significant history, beginning in 1898 as a travel and leather goods maker known for its innovative approach, and growing to become an international brand with a line of polycarbonate and aluminium products with a distincive ribbed relief.

Commission worked with Chief Executive Alexandre Arnault and Chief Brand Officer Hector Muelas to create a timeless and stylish graphic identity to help support the company’s future activities and deliver a considered and cohesive brand experience for Rimowa customers. Commission introduce a monogram, new typographic style, colour palette and pattern motif alongside a wordmark designed by Munich-based Bureau Borsche. And through graphic identity, material language and mechanism link a variety of touch points. These include packaging, retail experience and in-luggage items, as well as giftboxes, retail bags, owner manuals, guarantee cards, luggage tags, dust bags and liquids bags.

Rimowa’s new graphic identity was launched at the beginning of 2018. Since then, Commission has continued to work with the company, integrating the graphic identity across its ranges but also in the introduction of posters, stickers and illustration by Japenese illustrator Yu Nagaba. These begin to layer in a playful component, to create an interesting dialogue between tangible craftsmanship and utility and the more intangible and visceral components of travel, family and lifestyle.

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