Claude Garamond, Type Designer.

garamond_portrait
I first fell in love with the Garamond typeface in my first year of apprenticeship because the Ludlow Company put out a very passable version of this  wonderful typeface  for their typesetting machine.
Here is a short article on Claude Garamond.
Born in Paris, France in 1490, Garamond started his career out as an apprentice for the Parisian punch-cutter and printer, Antoine Augereau in 1510 . It was during this early part of the 16th century that Garamond and his peers found that the typography industry required unique multi-talented people.
This way they could produce fine books. Many of the printers during that time period were able to master all or most of the artistic and technical skills of book production from type design to bookbinding. Claude Garamond was first to specialise in type design, punch cutting, and type-founding in Paris as a service to many famous publishers.
After a decade of success with his types all over Europe, King Francois I of France demanded that Garamond produce a Greek typeface, which later became known as “Grecs du Roi”.
The three fonts were modeled after the handwriting of Angelos Vergetios, and cut the largest size first, on a 16 point body. All three original sets of Royal Greek punches are preserved at the Imprimerie Nationale in Paris, France.
In 1545 Garamond became his own publisher, featuring his own types including a new italic. His first book published was Pia et religiosa Meditatio of David Chambellan. As publisher, Claude Garamond relied on his creativity harnessed by reasoned discipline to produce superbly well crafted products.
He modeled his book publishing style after the classic works of the Venetian printers who catered to the absolute elites of high society.
He admired and emulated the works of Aldus Manutius. Garamond insisted on clarity in design, generous page margins, quality composition, paper and printing , which was always accentuated with superb binding.
garamond
 
Because of the soundness of Garamond’s designs his typefaces have historical staying power, and they are likely to remain the day-to-day tools of professional typographers, as long as western civilization survives.
Reading a well set Garamond text page is almost effortless, a fact that has been well known to book designers for over 450 years.
Claude Garamond’s contribution to typography was vast, a true renaissance man.
Creating perfection in the type that he crafted his life will live on through his contribution to typography.
via The Biography of Claude Garamond.

Great Cover Design for Exide Catalog,1940.

6a00d83542d51e69e201b7c7134f14970b-500wi

This is another quick stop to appreciate a job-well-done, a wonderful illustration for a largish catalog (12×9 inches) for Exide Electric Storage Battery Company (Philadelphia), which was printed in 1940.
It would be simple to have a plain text cover for this sort of thing, being batteries and all, but Exide went the extra step and had designed for them this wonderful cover.
It seems to transfer the reliance of their battery in the dark and cold environment via the working trains, their lights working, safe and secure.
It is understated and very effective.
via JF Ptak Science Books: Superior Cover Design: Battery Catalog, 1940.

“The Hollywood Hand House”.

handhouse1A woman’s hand juts of the earth holding an exposed glass house.
What exactly could this mean?
Architect Andreas Angelidakis created this crazy cool concept.
When the rain falls, the giant hand appears to be coming out of the water, elegantly holding the glass house.
“The Glass box represents the moment when the celebrity exposes herself to the paparazzi,” Angelidakis says. It “sits on the concrete platform as a forgotten piece of infrastructure.”

1082060740

The staircase leads down into the cave section of the house where a normal life is taking place. “Behind the boulders are doors to excavated bedrooms, places of total isolation and darkness.”
Ultimately, the house shows us the dichotomy of Hollywood.
“The residents enjoy total privacy together with total exposure, a day on the beach and a night in the cave, the entire city of Los Angeles abbreviated like a Twitter post inside the limits of their property.”
How strangely fascinating.
See more images via The Hollywood Hand House  – My Modern Met.

“The House of Tomorrow.”

gedhb9wfvxizjyn6tmxzThe 12-sided House of Tomorrow in 1933 (Photo by Kaufmann-Farby)
When the House of Tomorrow was completed in 1933 it gave visitors a sneak peek at the shiny, optimistic future that was to come—all twelve sides of it.
Today, this relic of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair sits in disrepair. But preservationists are hoping to change that with the announcement of a new campaign to restore the house to its former glory.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has declared the House of Tomorrow a “National Treasure,” and the Indiana Landmarks organization plans to raise $2 million to preserve the house.
Technically, the house is now property of the National Park Service and has been since the 1960s, but budget cuts for maintenance of historic buildings have left the House of Tomorrow neglected.
“By declaring it a National Treasure, we have the opportunity to save the House of Tomorrow while also honoring its legacy of innovation,” David J. Brown of the National Trust for Historic Preservation said in a statement.
Read on via House of Tomorrow From 1933 Declared National Treasure, Will Be Restored

“The Pathe Headquarters”.

Pathe-Foundation-Renzo-Piano-1_zpsbdba763bFor the last 8 years the Pathe Foundation in Paris has worked with Pritzker-winning architect Renzo Piano to design and construct their new headquarters.
Slated for a grand opening, photos have emerged that reveal, in the architect’s own words, “an unexpected presence”: a curved bulbous structure that looks like it’s been squeezed into an opening within a historic Parisian city block. “
The art of inserting a new building into an historic city block,” says Piano, “means engaging in an open, physical dialogue with the existing city buildings.” In other words, it’s an exercise in reclaiming space.
Hidden mostly behind buildings, the new headquarters, which will promote the Pathe’s heritage in cinematography with office spaces, film archives and a screening room, pokes its head out above the neighbors, looking like a giant armadillo.
Walking by, an unsuspecting visitor would have no idea was behind that street-side facade.
(via Designboom)
See more via The New Pathe Foundation Headquarters by Renzo Piano Squeezed Into a City Block in Paris | Colossal.

“When Buildings Attack”.

image

20 Fenchurch Street, aka “The Fryscraper” (photo by Luc Mercelis / Flickr)
Last September, Londoners experienced a pretty unusual architectural phenomenon: One of the city’s newest luxury towers, the half-finished 525-foot-tall skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch St., began inexplicably shooting a “parabolic death ray” hot enough to melt cars.
The massive building’s glass façade with its unusually wide top was concentrating sunlight to the point that it created a reflected hotspot of up to 230ºF — much higher than the boiling point of water. In addition to the roasted Jaguar, the “Fryscraper” set a barber shop’s carpet on fire and shattered a restaurant’s slate floor tiles.
It also, naturally, became a tourist attraction, with people gathering in the unseasonably warm afternoons to fry eggs and toast baguettes in the glare.
Surely the building’s designer was mortified by the results of his creation, right? Well, no. When architect Rafael Viñoly was questioned about his flawed design, he heartily deflected, blaming consultants, global warming, cost-cutting developers, and the sun’s elevation.
This was an especially galling disavowal of responsibility because the science of solar reflectivity analysis has been gaining traction for several years. There are many tools, firms, and even apps available to architects and developers to help avoid just this problem.
Especially damning for Viñoly is that the “death ray” issue was not actually unprecedented.
And the last time a high-profile building had had problems of this nature, it was also one he’d designed.
Read on via When Buildings Attack: Melted Cars, Ruined Art, and Other Troubles With Solar Convergence | Atlas Obscura.