Life has taken me to many parts of England, and I have it in mind that there aren't many large towns or cities that I haven't visited at one time or another. Blackpool, perhaps surprisingly, is one. Hereford is another. Oh, and Ludlow. And you can understand why those particular places when I tell you that I'm based down here in the south. It's not that I have anything against northerners or westeners, it's just that you're a little bit off my beaten tracks.
But the one place that passed me by until very recently - or vice versa - was Leicester. Quite why, I don't know. But I was there last week to have a look at Chien-Wei Chang's exhibition - the one I told you about yesterday. And with 40 minutes or so to spare, I also had time to have a quick scoot around the city centre. Or what, to judge by the signposting, was presenting itself as the city centre. I must admit it didn't seem like a centre to me, but perhaps I'd just managed not to turn the right corners, as it were. But I was left with two very distinct impressions: one, that a certain section of Leicester folk are on more than nodding terms with the concept of heavy alcohol consumption at the cheapest possible price; and two, that Leicester isn't quite certain which century it really wants to belong to (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).
It's about time I updated you with what I've been up to recently. And top of the list at the moment is my continuing work on designing for the shape of things, and the catalogue that I've just completed for Chien-Wei Chang's exhibition, Don't Look Back! I Told You So. It's on now until 25 March at Leicester's New Walk Museum & Art Gallery.
If you're not familiar with Chien-Wei's work, then you might recall the image on the cover of the current issue of Crafts Magazine. Chien-Wei's work is wonderful and the exhibition is both beautiful and thought provoking. If you can get yourself to Leicester, then you should make every effort to go and see it. Because you'll be missing a real treat if you don't. And if you want a sneak preview of the catalogue, you'll find it over on my Issuu link.
I hope they won't mind me mentioning it, but Phaidon have been very busy over the past few years compiling the Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design, to be published later this year (we all hope). And I've had a very, very small part to play in it by describing a few groundbreaking pieces of design, including the Alexander Rodchenko poster above, designed in 1924. Now you all know this poster, don't you? Or maybe you only know about the recycled Franz Ferdinand cover? And if that's the case, deduct marks for skipping your design history classes.
Anyway, I've had to spend today doing a little bit more research and I came across this: