Congratulations USA

We Want Roosevelt keepsake
This Democrats' campaign handkerchief from the 1930s or 40s has hung on my wall—in one place or another—for as long as I can remember. I’d all but stopped noticing it until recently. 12 square inches like an LP cover, the palette of primary colours reminds me of airmail letters, time-bleached rosettes and tickertape parades.

Sufferage Flyer
Given the choice of political memorabilia, I’d pass even on Paris ’68 agitprop in favour of Womens‘ Suffrage. There’s something about those colours (purple, white and green) that seem utterly modern, eschewing the fusty heraldry of Trade Unionism like a gelato advert with an extra toppings of righteous indignation and bitter commitment.



still life with valentines cards and red things
The drying rack was creaking beneath the weight of pink card this week as we geared up for Valentines. Sometimes it’s easy to forget, but printing any design for the first time reminds me why I started doing all this in the first place.


Saul Steinberg

My mum tells me that Maggie Thatcher lives in Dulwich and there’s definitely the whiff of the conservative in how little the suburb’s altered in the last 150 years-or-so. My visit to the Picture Gallery was rushed, paying scant regard to the handful of great masters in the permanent collection and making instead for Illuminations, the retrospective of Romanian/American illustrator Saul Steinberg.

Illuminations should grab the attention of anyone with a passing interest in contemporary illustration. Moving, as it does, through the social and stylistic changes of the 20th century… though not necessarily in chronological order, esoteric themes seem to rise, recede or recur over decades. Photomontage; faux-naïf assemblage; dour Eastern Bloc surrealism; simple line drawings of hopelessly complex subjects, all eventually give way to a brand of post-modernity you’d expect from Raw Magazine or the Memphis Group.
It’s the quieter, more personal still life and interior studies that occasionally, affectingly cut through the clamour, though with its startling similarity to Audi’s excellent animated ad, it’s a pity this portrait in a box wasn’t also included. Here’s hoping this show inaugurates a new wave of timely and knowing exhibitions that ensure I’ll visit again… though next time I’ll check-out tea and cake in the café too.


Happy New Year!

Vintage menu for Royal Albert Hall
Nice graphics on this old New Year flyer found in a junk shop recently. Clever use of an economical two-colour process and the hand-rendered type is great. I also love the way somebody’s written the date a second time, like they only read their own writing.
Vintage menu for Royal Albert Hall
Not sure who’s the more odious character though, the guy for throwing over 1965 in an instant or 1966 for being so easily bought. Just wait ‘til he notices how her hand sometimes grows an extra digit, it’ll be out-with-the-old-and-in-with-new come 1967.
Vintage menu for Royal Albert Hall