Douglas Wilson has amassed a collection of photographed hand dryers. The success of such an undertaking requires dedication and world travel. "This is a study in the banal. The boring. The completely uninteresting. The things we see everyday. The utilitarian objects that become invisible. But it is fascinating that the absolute banality of the objects is what makes them all so unique and interesting to me. These images are a culmination of my travels around the world - photographs of hand dryers in public bathrooms everywhere from Sydney to Beijing, Cairo to Vienna."
Some of the results of today's Custom Lunchbox Workshop. Everyone did an excellent job!
It's all fun and games until someone loses a shoe.
Our UPPERCASE impromptu game of hopscotch was inspired by Libby Clarke's playful series of polaroids. Her images capture the simple street beauty of this early childhood pastime.
An illustrated cultural history of old school games, including: What's the Time, Mr. Wolf?, London Bridge Is Falling Down, Musical Chairs, Pick-Up Sticks, Sardines, Nicky-Nicky Nine Doors, Spin the Bottle, Leap Frog and many more, the "Games of Wonder and Amusement" poster was a project I conceived while living in London last year. It wasn't until I moved back to Calgary and had the good fortune to discover Kim Smith's artwork, that the project became a reality. It was a great pleasure to collaborate with Kim and I hope to work with her again soon. Her concept and illustration work on the poster far exceeded my original vision. Thanks Kim!
Hat's off to Brooklyn-based artist Kiersten Essenpreis who contributed a stunning piece to the Old School exhibition and book. "Red Rover, Red Rover' captures the serious, and subtly menacing, side of private school girls at play. It is haunting and beautiful at the same time, quite like the darker memories I have of childhood games.
And, on the more romantic side, remember playing the game "He Loves Me..." when you were young? Blair Kelly's linocut print celebrates this traditional game of young hearts and wishes in a traditional artistic medium.
And on that note, don't forget to purchase your Old School art soon! Our exhibition is fast approaching its close and we hope that all these amazing artworks find a loving home. It has been a joy having them up in the gallery and I can personally attest to the unique sense of wonder and awe they inspire.
Although most of the artworks in Old School celebrate the joy of learning and the innocence of childhood, not everything is rosy when you're a child. Kim Scafuro, Kiersten Essenpreis and Jen Altman touch on the tougher side of growing up.
German photographer Loretta Lux (above) creates images of children captured in moments of forced stillness. Their big eyes in unusually large heads seeming to be on the verge of tears. Their proper clothes and poses are unsettling, perhaps masking darker secrets. Jill Greenberg (below) photographs children in the midst of raw emotion: "The honesty of a child's feelings is undeniable and draws you into the photograph. Perhaps because kids experience the kind of powerful emotions that we, as adults, have supressed in ourselves."
This weekend marks the last two days of the Principal's Office display,
next door to UPPERCASE in One Blue Wall Gallery. Please visit us for a lingering
look (art will be 20% off). On Saturday at 2pm, Deidre will be be presenting "Games of Wonder & Amusement." We promise not to make you cry.
Here's shot of my workspace taken while I was in the middle of designing the Old School book. I was also just setting up my new Mac Pro at that time and I needed all three computers going just to get my tasks done! My red and turquoise Royals were employed to type out all the artist names and captions for Old School.
Clack, clack, ding! Typewriters return (full article here)
For a generation raised with technologies that can be outdated within months, there's something impressively permanent about a typewriter. And for those used to computers that operate often mysteriously and practically in silence, it's refreshing to use a machine with visible working parts. "It's similar to teens and 20-somethings choosing the hiss and pop of vinyl records over the clarity of mp3s," said Robert Thompson, a Syracuse University professor and popular-culture expert.
"A lot of young people who only experienced in their early youth these types of digital, totally electronic experiences find the tactile, analog stuff very appealing," said Thompson, noting that a couple of his students have submitted typed papers. Young people who choose typewriters "are very careful about what they do" when they write, he said. "It doesn't seem as disposable and casual."
My typewriter tin collection is becoming quite famous on the internet — it has been viewed over 8000 times and I keep running across myself when I do typewriter research online. Today I found out via Love Made Visible that it is mentioned in the New York Times' T Magazine blog. In case you missed my original post about this collection, you can read more here and see it here.
"War effort made plastics industry boom. Many new materials developed just previous to war were fundamental in war effort like Nylon, Acrylic, Polyester and Synthetic Rubbers. After 1945 the market was flooded with plastic goods due to the inflated capacity of the industry. Plastics are the materials of choice for the Consumerist culture as it evolved from the 1940s on."
Jane Austen wrote her greatest literary works on this tiny 12-sided walnut pedestal table. It was placed strategically near the creaky door so that she could quickly conceal her writing pages if someone were to intrude upon her privacy. Talk about cramped working quarters! The table was passed on to one of the Austen's manservants and is held to represent the 'modesty of genius.' Janine has published three books at UPPERCASE headquarters all the while keeping the gallery, shop & design businesses flourishing so I think these two trailblazers have something in common.
Guardian's Writers' Rooms series.
Thanks to a mention and endorsement over at Swiss Miss, the anatomy class models have been flying off the shelves today. There are just a couple of each left, so if you want one, now's the time! I brought these in specifically for the Old School exhibition, so they aren't part of our usual inventory. Thanks, internet!
Natasha Mileshina (aka Bubbo Tubbo) makes bulldog clips adorned with typewriter keys which look quite nice. See more of her work on Etsy. You can also peek inside her workspace on Poppytalk. (Here at UPPERCASE we only condone ethical typewriter key harvests from inoperable, common models that cannot be repaired.)
It is not a surprise that small things found in the common office can cross-pollinate with typography. These bull dog clips become letterforms through Dave Wood's thoughtful perspectives.
These alphabetical paper clips by Stephen Reed can add order and style to your paper piles.
The paperclip's iconic lines and curves has inspired quite a few typefaces. The one above is a free font called Pageclips - it might be useful for a word or two, but the execution could have been more refined (on the E for example). The Australian type foundry Paragraph has a typeface inspired by bent paperclips.
One of my favourite typefaces that I employ on a fairly regular basis is Eric Olsen's Klavika. Although it does not overtly reference paperclips, the proportions and and angles really to make me think of bending wires. And unlike the two previous fonts, this one is an expertly designed typeface, suitable for typesetting and logo work.
Now that you've used up all your paperclips and papers are scattered across your desk, why not make letterforms out of folding simple photocopy paper like designer Daniella Spinat has done here:
Or Lala Ladcani's folded alphabet:
If you rip the paper, you can always use some tape: (Will Perrens via Sarah Fleming)
and Daniel Eatock:
Do you know of any more office-inspired alphabets? If so, leave your links and suggestions in the comments.