Milton Glaser, legendary graphic designer, RIP

Milton Glaser, the graphic designer who defined the visual style of the 1960s and 1970s, has died at age 91 of a stroke. Thanks for all the color, Mr. Glaser. You've seen his work everywhere, from the iconic "I ♥ NY" graphic for a 1977 tourism campaign to the incredible poster included in Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits album in 1967. He was also co-founder of New York magazine. From the New York Times:

“We were excited by the very idea that we could use anything in the visual history of humankind as influence,” Mr. Glaser, who designed more than 400 posters over the course of his career, said in an interview for the book “The Push Pin Graphic: A Quarter Century of Innovative Design and Illustration” (2004). “Art Nouveau, Chinese wash drawing, German woodcuts, American primitive paintings, the Viennese secession and cartoons of the ’30s were an endless source of inspiration,” he added. “All the things that the doctrine of orthodox modernism seemed to have contempt for — ornamentation, narrative illustration, visual ambiguity — attracted us.”

Mr. Glaser delighted in combining visual elements and stylistic motifs from far-flung sources. For a 1968 ad for Olivetti, he modified a 15th-century painting by Piero di Cosimo showing a mourning dog and inserted the Italian company’s latest portable typewriter at the feet of the dead nymph in the original artwork.

For the Dylan poster, a promotional piece included in the 1967 album “Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits,” he created a simple outline of the singer’s head, based on a black-and-white self-portrait silhouette by Marcel Duchamp, and added thick, wavy bands of color for the hair, forms he imported from Islamic art.

Read the rest

Artist reimagines classic horror films as vintage Disney children's books

Swedish artist Daniel Björk is the mad mind behind these wonderfully evil visions of classic horror films reimagined as Disney's Wonderful World of Reading vintage children's books. My wish upon a star is that they were real! See more at Björk's Instagram.

Read the rest

Video: Behind the scenes of the Astro Boy anime (1963)

Osamu Tezuka's iconic Astro Boy TV series premiered on New Year's Day, 1963. (First episode below.) By some accounts, the cartoon was watched at its most popular point by 40% of Japanese people with a TV. I love watching cartoonists draw familiar characters and the above behind-the-scenes footage from the Astro Boy production is a real delight.

(via r/ObscureMedia)

Read the rest

150,000 nature illustrations from around the world enter the public domain thanks to the the Biodiversity Heritage Library

A huge collection of flora and fauna illustrations have just entered the public domain. Hyperalleric writes:

Had he lived in our time, Thoreau would’ve been thrilled to know that the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the world’s largest open-access digital archive dedicated to the natural world, is now offering more than 150,000 high-resolution illustrations for copyright-free download.

These public domain images belong to an archive of more than 55 million pages of literature about earth’s species of flora and fauna. They include animal sketches, historical diagrams, botanical studies, and scientific research collected from hundreds of thousands of journals and libraries across the world. Some of the illustrations date back to the 15th century.

The library sees the sharing of these documents as part of combating the climate crisis:

“To document Earth’s species and understand the complexities of swiftly-changing ecosystems in the midst of a major extinction crisis and widespread climate change, researchers need something that no single library can provide — access to the world’s collective knowledge about biodiversity,” the library says on its website.

Read the rest

Artist surgically removes Xenomorph from his drawing of a man

View this post on Instagram

"Xenomorph Extraction Video Tutorial" Here's an updated version of this animation because it's always good to remember how to extract a xenomorph. • • • • • #scifi #darkartist #alienmovie #darkart #jamescameron #ridleyscott #handdrawn #dark #prometheus #traditionalart #xenomorph #darkartwork #blackwork #animation #instagood #alien #blackandwhite #alienart #animated

A post shared by Jf Lemay (@lemay.jf) on Oct 13, 2019 at 11:14am PDT

It takes a very steady hand. See more of Jf Lemay's work on Instagram and purchase his t-shirts and pins here.

(via Laughing Squid)

Read the rest

Closeness lines

Kottke spotted Olivia de Recat's curiously affecting illustrations of how relationships change over time and I can't help but signal boost. Hopefully she'll be taking orders for prints again soon: "In the meantime, you can take a look at some of her other cartoons (mostly for the New Yorker), peruse her shop, or follow her stuff on Insta." Read the rest

Pop culture characters organized by color

French illustrator Linda Bouderbala did a fun exercise where she gathered some of her favorite characters from geek and pop culture and organized them by color. Read the rest

Simple way to draw a 3D optical illusion of cubes falling through the paper

Circle Line Art School explains how to draw this simple but effective anamorphic illusion of cubes falling into a hole in the page.

(via The Kid Should See This)

Read the rest

Designer creates stylized illustrations of real-life Flint heroes

Brazilian artist Butcher Billy was commissioned by STATE bags to create #FlintsFantasticFive, a series of images depicting several key voices in addressing the Flint water crisis. Read the rest

Absolutely killer 1970s funky fashion illustrations of the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, etc.

Boyd Clopton was a clothing designer and illustrator who created funktastic fashions in the early 1970s for Stevie Wonder and Syreeta Wright (above), The Jackson 5, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, and many more soul and rock stars of the era. See more of his incredible illustrations over at Dangerous Minds.

Read the rest

Hot Cockles and other weird medieval party games

Claire Voon takes a fascinating look at engraver Joseph Strutt's illustrations of strange medieval party games, many of which involve beating the hell out of other guests. Read the rest

Beautiful infographic crib notes for immunology concepts

Nerdcore Medical and Tabletop Whale created this handy and informative graphic of all the important concepts in immunology. It's part of a series of one-pagers on topics of interest to medical students and the terminally curious layperson. Read the rest

Medical student makes biology illustrations out of candy

Mike McCormick is a 2nd year medical student at Glasgow University. His Instagram account has illustrations of organ, microbes, molecules, and other biological structures that he's made out of candy. It reminds me of illustrations from the Time Life Science Series.

[via] Read the rest

17th century illustrations of butterflies

They're the work of Maria Sibylla Merian, a scientist and artist whose meticulous illustrations of wildlife were mostly forgotten until a late 20th century reappraisal.

Hyperallergic's Allison Meier writes on an authority—and master artist—whose recognition was long in coming:

…to Merian “the metamorphosis of the butterfly, which emerges from a lifeless hull and joyfully flies heavenward, is a hope-giving symbol for the resurrection of the soul from the dead physical shell of the Christian’s body.” Yet by the time she published the 1705 Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensum on her research in Suriname, where long-haired caterpillars in the rainforest sometimes swelled her hands up with poison for days and she had to cultivate exotic plants herself to keep caterpillars alive through their life-cycles, there’s no mention of God. Rather, she starts by confidently describing her own life and personal journey, concluding that she has “kept simply to my observations.”

Despite her long career, her influence on contemporary natural knowledge, her vivid descriptions of distant Suriname, and her intrepid spirit, when she died in 1717 the city of Amsterdam’s register of deaths described her simply as a woman “without means.”

[via Metafilter] Read the rest

British Library releases over a million public domain images

The British Library uploaded over one million scanned images to Flickr, designating them as public domain for all to share and use. Quartz has an article about the project.

I like this image from an 1890 copy of The Aldine “O'er Land and Sea Library. It shows a man being attacked by a "school of hungry dog fish." It is exactly the kind of sensationalistic illustration that was used countless times on the covers of men's "adventure" magazines of the 1950s and 1960s. Take a gander at the examples below.

"Spider attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Monkey attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Weasle attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Scorpion attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Monkey attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Hyena attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Bear attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Giant otter attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Monkey attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Rhino attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Flying squirrel attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Bobcat attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Crab attack! How the fuck did I get myself into this situation?"

"Bat attack! Read the rest

18th century book of satanic illustrations

At The Paris Review, Dan Piepenbring looks at the Ouija board-style "Charlie Charlie" teen fad-cum-hoax and finds it lacking in artistic verve. In comparison, he points to the awesome Compendium rarissimum totius Artis Magicae sistematisatae per celeberrimos Artis hujus Magistros, a book of "Satanic" illustrations from the 18th century (slyly-presented, at that time, as something much older), devised with similar adolescent titillations in mind: "DO NOT TOUCH!" Read the rest

1922 cutaway drawing of the Washington Evening Star Building

Seen at full size, this hand-drawn cutaway of the Historic Landmark building is a wonderful way to visualize how the building was designed to convert people, information, power and water into newspapers.

This building is an organism for making newspapers [Kottke] Read the rest

More posts