work blog about search
 
 

Great Ideas V

Well heck, it seems like only yesterday we were sitting down to design the cover for Why I Write for the first Great Ideas Series, but it was actually five years ago...

The latest series is just about to be published, and we were asked to design a cover for a collection of essays by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, under the title The Perpetual Race of Achilles and the Tortoise (above). The essays discuss, amongst other things, the existence of hell and the philosophy of contradictions.

We did a bit of research into Borges' writings, and learnt that he'd been one of the founding contributors to the Argentine literary journal Sur, which was published regularly from 1931 until around 1966.

The covers of the earlier issues of the magazine are a single colour decorated with a just a white arrow, the issue number and the masthead, while the later issues also feature a full list of contributors.

The magazine has a very distinctive (and typographically bonkers) masthead, and fortunately the name 'Sur' isn't a million miles from the name 'Borges', so basing our design on it felt like a rather tasty solution.

We managed to pick up a couple of copies of the magazine from Lirolay Books in the USA; and set to work drawing the new title. We also scanned in a blank page of the magazine to use as a tonal background for the cover, emphasising the ephemeral nature of the source.

The rest of the covers, as with all the previous series, are principally designed by David Pearson, with additional designs by Phil Baines and Catherine Dixon.

We're entirely biased, but we think they're one of the best sets yet. David has uploaded most of the covers to this Great Ideas Volume V Flickr set, and will be posting the final few imminently.

posted: 23 July 2010
categories: Uncategorized
 
recommended reading

Ace Jet 170
One of the finest individual design blogs (it’s been going as long as we have!) from Irish designer Richard Weston. Covering found type, print and stuff.

Casual Optimist
If you want to know what’s happening in the world of book cover design, keep an eye on this excellent blog by Dan Wagstaff.

Creative Review
Covering design and advertising, CR has been running since 1981, under the editorship of Patrick Burgoyne since 1999. Essential reading.

Daniel Gray
Dan writes a column in Creative Review, and this is his consistently entertaining blog about design and suchlike.

Eye Magazine
The best graphic design magazine out there, from editor John L. Walters and art director Simon Esterson.

Flat File
A fantastic collection of online publications based on pieces from the Herb Lubalin Study Centre.

Grafik
Grafik is the brilliant online magazine about all things graphic design, from writers Caroline Roberts and Angharad Lewis.

Justin’s Amazing World
Justin Hobson, of Fenner Paper, is a bona fide expert on paper & print, and a charming chap to boot. His blog features in-depth analysis of the projects he’s worked on, including a few of our own.

Kottke.org
One of the oldest blogs on the web. And one of the best.

Lecture in Progress
An invaluable collection of wisdom from a range of graphic designers, illustrators, photographers et al. From the team that brought you It’s Nice That.

Spitalfields Life
The anonymous Gentle Author of this wonderful blog has promised to write 10,000 stories about the life & culture of Spitalfields in east London, writing one story each and every day.

St Bride Library
The St Bride Library houses one of the world’s finest collection of books (& related objects) about printing and design. It also hosts unmissable design talks and events.

Styling and Salvage
Rupert Blanchard is a mate of ours, and makes great furniture. This blog covers his projects, interests, and life in Margate.

Subtraction.com
Brooklyn-based designer Khoi Vinh has been writing insightfully about design, technology and culture since the turn of the millennium.

The Ride Journal
A glorious mix of the very best writing and illustration about all types of cycling. On an indefinite break now, but you can download past issues for free.