Though we're all out of wall space, I'm still thinking these dozen polygons should look well framed up for the kid. Let's just hope he never asks me to solve any of 'em, it's tough enough orientating the bits back in the box!   


Farrar, Straus & Cudahy 1959

Idling through an advertising annual from 1959, I was struck by this Leonard Baskin (1922-2000) carving, its downbeat countenance and the similarity to the countless characters of Barry McGee. If you've not seen McGee's work or that of his late wife, Margaret Kilgallen, you could always watch this or this. My hipster tolerance is set way too low to watch Beautiful Losers though.

• from 38th Annual of Advertising/Editorial Art/Design, Farrar, Straus & Cudahy


Most Eksellent

Olle Eksell Pencil Alphabet Letters

Olle Eksell Pencil Alphabet Letters

Sköna Skämt is an international survey of cartoonists and, while its contents are broadly mired in the politics of the period (1985), the alphabetised chapter headings by Swedish designer, Olle Eksell, have aged with exceptional grace. I know it's wrong to destroy a book, but they'll make the greatest children's wall frieze. And how did I choose which letters to scan here? They all appear in Lisa Jones Studio, of course. Yep, I really am that childish!

Olle Eksell Pencil Alphabet Letters



The centennial birthday of 20th century giant of no-music (and mycology), John Cage, is a good reason to re-post this picture I've had sitting on my desktop for who-knows-how-long. As unassuming as ever, I'm guessing that carrier bag's just full of fungi.



We've been selling this card for over a year now, but every time it went onto screen some aspect of the artwork was missing; once the heart, then the poodle's bow! Finally printing off a few hundred, I got to thinking about the telephone box (the K2 in particular) and how the curve of the roof is based on Sir John Soane's family tomb. Part of his own architectural vernacular, you can see the domed-square especially clearly on The Dulwich Picture Gallery. This seemed like the kind of trivia you might pick up watching The London Nobody Knows (1969) or, even better, Patrick Kellior's elegiac London (1994).

John Soane K2 telephone kiosk

Of all paeans to London though, Patrick Hamilton's Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky (1935) steals the best title, suggesting the manifold intertwining narratives of millions, humbled by the city's scale. But then I accidentally read Wordsworth's Upon Westminster Bridge (1802) while searching for something in an entirely different emotional key. Just beautiful.

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear

The beauty of the morning: silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!