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Guest Post from Image Source
By John O’Reilly

The conversation around technology is already changing, slowly, discreetly, the network has become ‘pervasive’, ‘embedded’,’wearable’ – it’s in the ‘cloud’. You get a sense of the prevailing winds when in the UK the BBC’s The Apprentice features a task to design wearable technology, amid anxieties over privacy, and despite one of the products looking like a jacket with added gaffer tape one retailer ordered 250 because they “like to be early adopters of technology”.

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Guest Post by Image Source
By John O’Reilly

Couple holding hands and entering flowering garden
Container Plus / Ikon Images / IS09AJ8MM

The surge in popularity in illustration began in the mid 1990s, taking people to magical places. Here we explore some of the benchmark moments and look at the most popular ways illustration is used for effective communication.

It’s the month that Lawrence Zeegen and Caroline Roberts’ epic Fifty Years of Illustration gets published by Lawrence King, a book filled with illustration classics such as Klaus Voormann’s Revolver cover to Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster. But if we telescoped down to 15 years and some thumbnail sketches of drivers and moments here are five ideas as to why illustration has got so popular since the late 90s.

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 Alfred-E.-Neuman-milk

Guest Post from Image Source
By John O’Reilly

From the Gap Toothed Model, to highly designed leftover food products to Roland Barthes’ classic photo essay on the ‘punctum’,  looking ‘bad’ is looking good. It seems we are fascinated by the ‘imperfect’ or at last what’s socially judged as imperfect. From the fabricated  ‘oops!’ of lens flare, to eruptions against photo-shopping women in fashion, to gap-toothed models, the media is wrestling with the images of ‘imperfection’

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Guest Post by Image Source

As the world is getting craftier we look at three key moments in the emergence of Craft as a creative and commercial phenomenon. Consider these three pivotal moments in the emergence of Craft and the Handmade over the last 20 years, a Design moment, a production and retail moment, and a moment that merges sophisticated digital processes with a notion of the handmade.

1. Design: Stefan Sagmeister

During the mid to late 90s New York-based designer Stefan Sagmeister produced a series of works for clients that didn’t just go against the grain of modernist revivalism in design but chewed up the grain and spat it out, regurgitating design formulas as the playfully handcrafted. While designer David Carson unravelled the modern layout, Sagmeister took out his pen-knife and carved his initials in the tree.

Sagmeister’s handcrafted work feels both like a highly personal piece of communication but his Craft also attacks our conventional, common sense ideas of the kinds of materials Advertisers and Marketing people might use for messages. For example his poster for Lou Reed’s album Set the Twilight Reeling draws the the song titles over Reed’s face.

Stefan-Sagmeister-Set-the-Twilight-Reeling-1996-600x800
Stefan Sagmeister, Set the Twilight Reeling, 1996. From Sagmeister, by Peter Hall, Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2001

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