I have before me a copy of the 1981 D&AD Annual (the one that put me on to Ko Sliggers). It's a sign of its time that it has a complete section (and separate jury) devoted to record sleeves and record promotion (we're obviously talking serious vinyl here). It was also, it seems, the breakthrough year for Peter Saville - of the 30 prizes awarded he scooped no less than 11, including the Silver Award for the most outstanding album sleeve range.
But following close behind with five awards was George Rowbottom - one was this for The Korgis. Of course, we all (or most of us) know what happened to Peter Saville - but whatever happened to George Rowbottom?
I thought Ko's career path was interesting (see below) - after winning a D&AD Silver Award at the tender age of 29, he spent the next 25 years switching between design and food. I asked him whether this was by accident or (appropriately for a designer) by design. Ko's reply was "My career path intentionally happened by accident or with other words was an accidently intention. Beware: I'm switching back to food in the future, therefore I raised (as a test case) two wonderful pigs and I was really impressed by the 'profondeur' in knowing so well both the outsides and insides of this wonderful creature. 100% biological of course. I'm preparing a book about the whole project which will be released October 2007."
It reminds me of that saying: 'a dog looks up to you, a cat looks down on you, but a pig treats you as an equal'.
I've asked Ko to keep me updated on the project - and I'll let you know as soon as there's any further news. I'm a vegetarian though, so my interest will be purely academic.
If you're in any way interested in design - particularly typography - then you should spend some time over at Ace Jet 170. Don't just check the last few posts, but have a good root around in the archives - they're full of fascinating and lovely stuff (and the bonus is that Richard obviously takes a great pride in the quality of his photography).
I particularly like this, this and this. And you should also check out quite what Richard was doing with Erik Spiekermann in a Belfast men's room.
Richard runs Found Type Friday, an opportunity for anyone to submit 'found' type - good, bad or ugly - and have it published on the Ace Jet 170 blog. Go on - give it a go (and that includes you Ben - you know you want to.)
Well, it's week number two in the calendar sense - although this blog is in fact only a few days old. It took several months to get around to it, but the final act of naming it and setting it up was done on the spur of the moment over not much more than a couple of hours. In fact the name came out of trying to set up a user account on YouTube (you know, you start out with David and then it gradually dawns on you that another David got there first). So here we are - davidthedesigner.
And in my wildest dreams I never imagined that I'd be writing about, and communicating with, Ko Sliggers. Who knows, maybe even Milton Glaser is emailing me at this very moment?
So, if you've ever thought about starting a blog but haven't got round to it, just make the leap - as Ben says, it's fun.
But I've got to week number two and it's beginning to dawn on me that I haven't got a strategy, or a declared intent, to guide me in what I'm going to write about. I know that it's going to be about design, and about design in its broadest sense. But I don't want it to be about the design business - there are, after all, plenty of places you can go to find out about that, about who's 'hot' at the moment, and that sort of thing. No, this is going to be a more 'sidways' look - and hopefully a more 'eclectic' collection of observations on what inspires designers to design.
Perhaps then it's easier to describe what this blog will NOT be about: it won't be about my awful journey to work; it won't be about my wonderful kids; it won't be about the weather; it won't be about my 'trip of a lifetime'; and it won't be about 'how came they got a D&AD award and we didn't?'. And it won't just be a collection of stuff that I've picked up from other blogs.
So, I'll just think of it as a journey and see where it takes me.
Ko Sliggers has been in touch (see comment on 'Ko Sliggers - still breaking boundaries') to point out that his current website was in fact developed by a former student of his, Ariënne Boelens. She also designed the site that showcases the fonts designed by Klo, dutchfonts.com.
Many thanks Klo, and, if I may say so, they display everything I've come to admire about Dutch design - perhaps best summed up in the opening statement on the font site: "typically Dutch in the sense that it combines precision and rationality with a dada-like anarchism and irreverence".
The answer to Friday's question was Milton Glaser - from a speech he gave to the 2005 national conference of the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts). If you'd like to know more about Milton Glaser you can read about him on his company website here.
It's especially worth reading his '10 things I have learned' - and there's nothing truer than the first: "You can only work for people that you like".
(Ben, I'm afraid, was a mile wide on this one; Richard - let us know if your 'cheat' gave you the right answer.)
For those of you who might not know who Milton Glaser is (and if you're a design student there's absolutely no excuse), he's the man who designed this:-
I can hardly remember what I spoke about at our first conference 20 years ago, but I do recall repeating my mother’s spaghetti recipe, which for those of you who weren’t there, was the most appreciated piece of information I presented.
First, put a 1 pound package of Mueller's spaghetti in a large pot of rapidly boiling water. Allow to cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until most of the water has evaporated. Add half a bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup, and a half pound of Velveeta cheese. Continue cooking until all the contents have amalgamated. Allow to cool and de-mold from the pot. Divide into 1 inch slices and fry in chicken-fat.
When I was in my early teens, I went to a neighborhood Italian restaurant in the Bronx, and ordered spaghetti. The waiter brought me a bowl of strange-looking stringy things covered with tomato sauce. "No, no," I said, "I ordered Spaghetti, SPAGHETTI!"
Studio Dumbar won a D&AD Silver Award for the most outstanding stationery range back in 1981. It was an astounding collection of material - totally unlike anything else at the time. And it still looks just as great 25 years later.
The design was by Ko Sliggers - and he was breaking boundaries. He was one of the iconoclastic young designers who contributed to what has become known as the 'Dumbar style'. After two years at Studio Dumbar (1979-1981), Sliggers worked as an independent designer, became a professional cook in Rotterdam, Italy and France (1992-1995), switched back from food to design, producing challenging visuals at Studio Anthon Beeke (1996-1999), and in 2002 set up a one-man studio and foundry in Lalleweer, in the northern Dutch province of Groningen.
I haven't yet worked out how post YouTube videos onto the blog (YouTube doesn't yet support TypePad). Russell seems to have managed it, so I guess there must be a way (any clues for the rest of us Russell?). Anyway, you must see this:-
Typography is the very foundation of graphic design - it's the one skill that no decent designer can do without. This wonderful little film explains exactly what typography's all about. As David Dabner says: "an analogy can be someone playing jazz - you've got to learn the instrument first". Mind you, when you're a 19 year-old design student and hot with hormones, it can be as boring as watching paint dry.