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Designers pick their favourite Letraset typeface

In its heyday, the sheer variety of Letraset type available was one of the reasons the lettering system became an important tool in many a designer’s practice. We asked several friends of Unit Editions for their favourite Letraset typeface, or the one that means the most to them – the majority of which feature in Letraset: The DIY Typography Revolution, which is now available from the Unit shop for just £25 (for one month only). Read about their choices, from Sunshine to Frankfurter, Clarendon to Compacta, below. Paula Scher, PentagramMy favourite Letraset typeface was Helvetica Medium, which seemed to be the only one they had at the Tyler School of Art art supply store, where I sometimes worked.Since I could never rub down the type without it...

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Unit/10 book list – Adrian Shaughnessy, Unit Editions

For the third in our series of Unit/10 book lists, posted as part of our ten year anniversary celebrations, Unit Editions co-founder Adrian Shaughnessy picks ten of his favourite design and visual culture books.These are not the only design and visual culture books I hold in high regard. There are dozens of others. But these represent a cross section of the books I turn to for research, for inspiration, and for the sheer joy of looking at images, reading good texts and handling well-made and well-designed books. Tadao Ando: Complete Works – Francesco Dal Co (Phaidon, 1997)My favourite architect. His use of natural light is a design triumph, likewise his use of concrete. His buildings should be enjoyed in person – but if you can’t...

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Manuals 2 case study: IBM

There are, in fact, four IBM design manuals featured in Manuals 2: Design & Identity Guidelines. Images from three are shown here, as part of our final case study on some of the outstanding projects in the M2 collection, posted to coincide with our Kickstarter campaign to republish the book – which is live now. With your help we can bring this important title back into print!In the IBM chapter in Manuals 2, alongside images from the documents that focused on the graphic identity for the corporation’s Product Center and its Sign Standards, two manuals – from 1978 and 1990 – concern themselves specifically with the classic Paul Rand-design logo and its usage. IBM’s understanding of the role of design in business had begun...

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Manuals 2 case study: First Direct

North’s 2008 design manual for First Direct is featured in our book, Manuals 2: Design & Identity Guidelines. It is presented here as our second case study on some of the outstanding projects in the collection (the first, on Reuters, is here), posted to coincide with our Kickstarter campaign to republish the book – which is live now. With your help we can bring this important title back into print! The 224-page document that North created for telephone- and internet-bank First Direct in 2008 is a little different to most design manuals. ‘Black & White: A Conversation’ introduced a branding overhaul for the bank (founded in 1989 by Midland Bank), which included a new vertical logo and minimalist black and white colour palette. But in addition to...

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Manuals 2 case study: Reuters

Alan Fletcher’s 1965 identity system for Reuters is featured in our book, Manuals 2: Design & Identity Guidelines. It is presented here as our first case study that examines some of the outstanding projects in the book, to coincide with our Kickstarter campaign to republish it, which is live now. With your help we can bring this important title back into print!In 1965, with the formation of the Pentagram studio still seven years away, Alan Fletcher was part of Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes, the new design group formed after Bob Gill had departed Fletcher/Forbes/Gill that same year. The international news agency Reuters presented the team with a multidisciplinary project to overhaul the company’s identity. Fletcher’s ‘dot-matrix’ design idea was born out of the holes punched out of the ‘teleprinter’ tape which was used in...

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Manuals 2 – interview with Liza Enebeis

The following is an edited version of the interview between Studio Dumbar’s Liza Enebeis and Adrian Shaughnessy that appears in Manuals 2: Design & Identity Guidelines. Our Kickstarter campaign to republish Manuals 2 is live now! With your help we can bring this important book back into print. Liza Enebeis has been at Studio Dumbar since 2008 and is now a partner and Creative Director. After graduating from the Parsons School of Design in New York and the Royal College of Art she began her career at Pentagram in London, remaining there for several years. In 2003 she relocated to the Netherlands. Enebeis also co-founded the typography and design podcast channel, Typeradio, and regularly posts work to Instagram via Books Love Liza. The images shown here...

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Book of the Month: Impact – interview with Teal Triggs

Over the last few weeks we’ve been posting to Instagram some of the great cover designs that feature in Impact 1.0: Design magazines, journals and periodicals [1922–73] and its sister volume Impact 2.0 [1974–2016]. As our Book of the Month, we’re happy to share Adrian Shaughnessy’s interview with academic and writer Teal Triggs, which appears in volume 1.0. Here, Teal discusses the differences between UK and US design magazines, the impact of online on design journalism and how the design press has represented the work of female designers. Adrian Shaughnessy: What was the first design publication that caught your eye? Teal Triggs: It would have been Domus (1928–present, Italy) in the late 1960s when I couldn’t have been more than ten years old. My...

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Unit/10 top ten – Krautrock!

Our latest Top Ten post in celebration of our decade in publishing turns to music, specifically the cosmic sounds of Krautrock. As a lifelong fan of the genre, Adrian Shaughnessy picks ten of his favourite records – from releases by Can and NEU!, to Harmonia and Cluster. If you are a fan of John Lydon, The Fall, Julian Cope, Boards of Canada, Stereolab or Berlin-era Bowie, you’ll already be a fan of Krautrock. I prefer the name Cosmische Musik, but I’m talking about the school of music that flourished in Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was music made with guitars, drums and keyboards, but it wasn’t pop music. It was much closer to the 20th-century classical avant...

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Unit/10 book list – Matt Pyke, Universal Everything

As part of our Unit/10 anniversary celebrations, we’re running a series of book lists here on the site. For our second list we asked Matt Pyke, founder of art and design studio Universal Everything, to pick a selection of his favourite books that have helped shape his life and work. The ground-breaking projects that Pyke and his various collaborators have created over 15 years is the subject of our forthcoming book, What is Universal Everything?, more details of which will be revealed very soon. For now, enjoy Matt’s own list of inspirational and thought-provoking books. The Object Stares Back – On the Nature of Seeing by James Elkins The book which taught me the fundamentals of seeing, our primal perception of movement...

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Unit/10 book list – Mark Sinclair, Unit Editions

For our first Unit/10 book list – collections of favourite books on visual culture as selected by the Unit team, our friends and collaborators – Unit’s senior editor Mark Sinclair shares some highlights from his bookshelves. As well as we think we know them, favourite books are always ready to give up their secrets again, from long-forgotten sentences, thoughts and ideas, to sequences of images or design decisions we previously might have missed. Some of the books I’ve chosen here are ones I’ve not opened for a while, but, in going back to them over the past few days, I’ve both recognised – and been surprised by – what they contain. Peter Mendelsund had already established himself as one of the world’s most talented book cover...

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