fight the ugly

“The life of a designer is a life of fight, to fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, visual disease is what we have all around, and what we try to do is to cure it somehow with design, by eliminating, as much as possible, the people who make it. Not physically, but at least limiting their possibility of polluting the world. It’s a mission. Is it arrogant? Perhaps. Is it pretension? Perhaps. But so is every other field. You find the same attitude in music; you find the same attitude in literature; you find it in any kind of art, and in architecture. There’s a continuous fight against ugliness, a continuous fight against noise instead of music.”

– Massimo Vignelli
from an interview with Gary Hustwit in Helvetica/Objectifed/Urbanized: The Complete Interviews, as posted on


spiekermann speaks

“For a designer it’s a good thing to have constraints: rules, clients, limited budgets, a specific audience. Because if you don’t have those, you stop being a designer. You’re an artist.”

– Erik Spiekermann, from My Fonts Creative Characters

a bit of both

I’m looking forward to seeing the documentary Art and Craft, about Mark Landis. His legacy as an artist is one as a forger… and the instigator of one of the most elaborate, longest-running hoaxes in the annals of Art. As one of filmmakers puts it, “I was immediately interested because of the potential to explore all sorts of fundamental questions about art itself: how we determine value, how we interpret originality, how we define and protect notions of creativity, authenticity and authorship.”


Read more here.

perspective drawing

Mad skillz is what I see:


Odeith knows how to write it. More here.

whose vermeer?

Obsession of the very best kind. Tim Jenison went to incredible lengths to recreate the exact room where Vermeer painted The Music Lesson, leaded glass windows, northern light and all. And then he spent how many hours actually painting the thing?! While looking through a special lens he created, in his belief that that was how Vermeer actually painted his works, ultra-realistic in a time before photography.

The result? Incredible, particularly when you learn that Jenison didn’t know how to paint at all. He’s an inventor. Some might dismiss his painting as nothing more than an elaborately conceived forgery, with no value beyond a kind of proof of concept of his optical device. If that is the only thing it is, the effort was worthwhile.

Vermeer lived and painted in 17th century Netherlands, but Tim approximates more closely a Renaissance man. He can now add Art to his list of accomplishments.

Check out the trailer for Tim’s Vermeer here.



art in your brain

“What you thought was your soul swooning at Starry Night is actually just a bunch of neurons firing away? Well, that’s how it is. But the transcendence and mystery of art shouldn’t be diminished by knowing what drives our particular thrills. If anything, these findings should inspire new and more wonder.”

I agree. Neuroscience will not be the end of art; more likely it will provide new avenues of expression for artists. Read more here.