We all know who this is. Right?

And we all think this is a jolly nice bit of design. Right?

from Grain Edit

SAME GUY! Apparently when Dick Bruna the well loved Dutch author/illustrator of Miffy (top picture in case you were wondering) wasn’t drawing rabbits in dresses and Poppy the Kind Pig Lady he was illustrating book jackets for the family firm A.W.Bruna and Zoon.

Between 1957 and 1970 he created over 2000 illustrations for Black Bear books. Inspired by Mattisse, Leger and Mondrian his striking imagery was very indicative of the time. Surely he and Saul Bass (my other design hero) were great friends … or maybe great rivals?

If you want to own your own little bit of Dick Bruna art (and Miffy skipping doesn’t quite cut it for you) then Retrobook.com is selling original and second hand books for the princely sum of 5 euros each.

I have bought these five and will be framing and hanging them in pride of place in one of my many new rooms in my Brand New House which I have actually found now and am moving into next week! HURRAH!

PS. One thing about the Retrobook site is that the preview images are ver ver small (on my browser anyway) but I guess that just means it’ll be an extra treat when I get my parcel delivered and I can see the typography properly.

copyright Paul Thurlby

copyright Paul Thurlby

Today’s post is bought to you by the letter A. To be fair this letter A isn’t part of my letter collection (yet) but I’m slowly running out of letters I actually own, so I’m branching out into Other Things That Have Letters On Them But Aren’t Actually An Actual Letter! I first saw this A is for Awesome print at the Tate Modern Last year. It is by illustrator Paul Thurlby, is part of a whole illustrated alphabet and is beautiful. I didn’t buy it then and there but I should have done as it was part of a limited edition run of 200 and now they are all sold out. Boo. He has done a second edition but it is in a red and green colourway that I don’t like so much… I do like these letter combinations though …

or

or

If you want to own a print then head over to his website now and if you buy two then you’ll get one free! BARGAIN.

Long before The Devil Wears Prada there was another film documenting the cut throat world of women’s magazines and it’s one of my favourite films of all time. Funny Face was released in 1957 staring the wonderful Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson. A 1950’s musical set in a magazine that goes to Paris for a fashion shoot, what’s not to love? The opening song to the film Think Pink pretty much sums up everything that I love about magazine design. Not only did it give me my love of strong typography (just look at those massive numbers), it also gave me a brilliant mantra to design magazines by … A magazine must be like a human being. If it comes into the home it must contribute, it just can’t lie around. A magazine must have blood and brains and pizzazz. The way the song is directed and filmed is perfect. Strong, dynamic and beautiful; just how all magazines should be. Click the below picture to watch the video. you’ll be glad you did. go watch the vidoe If I ever get a little stuck for ideas I give it a watch. One of the things I love most is how though the Editor is dictating that every woman in America must wear pink, she stays in classic black. Some things never change!

Now I know we’ve only just started enjoying the summer but may I turn your attention to the season of beautiful coats and crazy fur, massive hats and embellished bags as today the new issue of Marie Claire Runway is out. Showcasing the latest trends hot from the catwalks of New York, Milan, London and Paris, we’re showing you what you (and the highstreet) will be inspired by when the days turn chilly (hopefully not next week). Giving you all the backstage news and gossip and interviewing design greats including Frida Giannini, Alber Elbaz and we also snuck backstage at Vuitton …

Hung out with some Fraggles …

Got a new font …

Did some more patterns that make your eyes go bonkers …

Found a new illustrator. The amazing Nina Cosford who drew my favourite thing in the whole magazine …

Got slightly freaked out by some of the beauty looks

And also got a cover that not only had a beautiful foil title but also a super shiny bit and a matter than matt black bit.. you really need to buy it to appreciate it, it’s soooooo strokable (and smells good too)

For inspiration when designing the magazine I created this strange story about a eccentric Victorian who traveled the world collecting and cataloging the peculiar people he met, curiosities he found and experiences he encountered. I visited the great Horniman Museum in South London for inspiration and trawled car boot sales for odd artifacts (the camera used in our photo diaries is one such car boot booty). Lots of the Victoriana references were left out of the final design as it was tricky to stop it turning into a bad pastiche or something you’d buy from ‘Ye Olde Victorian Tourist Shoppe’ (est.2010). The final design is much slicker but still has little nods to my crazy Victorian anthropologist.

This was my Pinterest inspiration board. Click the image to see more …

All in all it was a joy to work on and you should probably go Buy. It. Now.