Monday, 28 May 2012

Print Clash - British Design at the V&A

This dazzling booklet, Britain in Brussels, (Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture- JMR1177) from 1958 features an array of clashing patterns and colours. 

Britain in Brussels, drawings by Barbara Jones, London; Central Office of Information, 1958. Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, JMR1177.

The current exhibition at the V&A British Design 1948-2012 showcases 60 years of British design including many exciting patterns and prints like the ones featured here. The V&A exhibition shows that designers have constantly reacted to, and resurrected, older styles to inspire new ones. This continues today as current fashion designers have been looking to the past for ideas.  

Bold patterns and prints are big news in the fashion world, with clashing prints a major trend at Miu Miu, and Dior and Prada using retro Hawaiian shirts in both their men’s and women’s collections.

Blogs like patternbank and contemporary designers like Mary Katrantzou show that pattern is a vital part of design today. What could you make out of these retro designs?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Modernist Icons at MoDA

At MoDA we have two Faber and Faber books related to Ben Nicholson (1894-1982).; Circle, which he co-edited, and Art Now, which features his work on the cover.

Herbert Read, Art Now, Faber & Faber, 1960, Museum  of Domestic Design &  Architecture, JMR 596.
Circle, Co-edited by Ben Nicholson, Faber & Faber, 1971, Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, JMR199.
Faber are well known for their strong branding. Both of these covers are from re-printed books from the 1960s and 1970s when Faber and Faber were using a black strip down the sides of their covers to denote cheaper paper back editions.

A simple design done well can go a long way. The classic Albertus font, made by in-house designer, Berthold Wolpe, makes Faber books instantly recognisable and has been in use since 1932, and continues to be used today. What other branding icons of the twentieth century can you think of?

To see more of Nicholson's work visit the Mondrian Nicholson in Parallel exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery, London until the 20th May.