Archives for category: signs

I went to Murcia in Spain recently and found myself wandering around taking photos of typography and book covers. It’s dawned on me that since embarking on my Graphic Design degree I have, happily, turned into a type geek.

Shop sign

TipografiaShop sign

Neon signage

Car parkAlso, spent a lot of time in a great bookshop called antano that seemed to have the best book covers in Spain in one beautiful space. Love the illustration on this book cover below. Buy it here.

El Pajaro de Fuego

And I bought the lovely (and kind of pointless) book, Laberintos (Labyrinths or mazes) below. Buy that here.Laberintos


Soooo, the next brief for my Graphic Design degree. Play 2 Create: “create a visually dynamic web site that imaginatively interprets the narrative structure, spatial and temporal (time-based) experience and contextual meaning in a cinematic film.” Nice.

This is to be done using Flash and ActionScript. Never done anything with either of those in the past so technically this project may be a ball-ache but conceptually and visually very interesting.

After a little umming and aahing the movie I’ve chosen is going to be the stylish and controversial (at the time) A Clockwork Orange. In the movie of Anthony Burgess‘s novella of the same name Stanley Kubrick visualised a dystopian, near future England  where ultraviolent gangs roamed the streets high on Beethoven and milk, looking for their next victim. A little research reveals a dearth of info on Kubrick and the movie but here’s what I like about it:

A Clockwork Orange

The ‘Kubrick stare’. As performed by Malcolm McDowell here, Jack Nicholson in The Shining below and Vincent D’Onofrio in Full Metal Jacket below that. Face centre of the screen, head slightly tilted down, eyes looking up and they’re looking at YOU.

The Shining

Full Metal Jacket

Which brings me neatly to the centring of many scenes in Kubrick’s movies. The attention to detail and dramatic effect is amazing. As seen above and these lovely set ups in A Clockwork Orange:

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

Finally, the architecture in A Clockwork Orange really does it for me. In an era when modernist, brutalist projects and social housing developments were yet to fall from grace, these concrete beauties/monstrosities are a perfect backdrop. First is the Brunel University in Uxbridge AKA the Ludoviko Medical Centre followed by Southmere Lake on the Thamesmead Estate (between Greenwich and Bexley). Finally, Southmere as it is now.

Brunel University



There’s a great video here where Simon Baumann visits the locations in the movie while the narrator reads from Kubrick’s script notes. Interesting stuff.

More on all this later…

Typographical error

Gerd Arntz

I won’t go into a detail on the history of Gerd Arntz, it’s out there if you look for it. His pictograms and symbols for Isotype are the precursors to the infographic. Timeless. Archive here:

Gerd Arntz