Coloring Inside the Lines/Coloring Outside the Lines

My buddy Ian Lynam is simply one of the smartest people I know on this planet, and when he writes something, you should pay attention. His latest zine — which you can order online from his Wordshape webstore — acts as a guide to new graphic design graduates. I also highly recommend his Start Somewhere zine, which sorta inspired me to get writing again (which led to the rebirth of this here blog).

Idea 375

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Idea is a fantastic magazine about typography and graphic design, and it’s one of the rare Japanese publications that is entirely bilingual (English/Japanese). The latest issue covers the work of graphic designer Koichi Sato. Lucky for you, my buddy Ian‘s Wordshape webstore sells copies. It may sound pricey ($50, including shipping), but each issue of Idea is massive, and features beautiful paper stock. Think of it like getting a beautiful new book.

Supplement: Tokyo

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Oh how I’d love to attend the first edition of the new talk/lecture series called Supplement: Tokyo. The first edition (on October 4) will have a list of speakers that includes two friends I think are smart as fuck (W. David Marx and Chris Palmieri), and will be moderated by one of the best dudes, period (Ian Lynam). Produced by Temple University Japan (where Ian also teaches design classes), each edition will be made up of “four short talks about the relationship of design, art, fashion, visual culture and writing followed by a Q&A panel session.” Love seeing something like this happen, and even the tagline: Supp: Tokyo.

That’s Entertainment!

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Ian Lynam is a Tokyo-based dude I love so much, and embarrassingly it’s just now that I’m catching up on the fantastic essay/exhibition he produced earlier this year called “That’s Entertainment!” Get some background through this TypeThursday interview, and then get online and read through the project’s main essay — and that’s also where you can download plenty of digital material to take in the rest of the project, like all of the posters that were part of the exhibition.

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Ametora

W. David Marx’s upcoming book on the popularity of the American Ivy League fashion style in Japan in the 60s, Ametora (short for “American Traditional”), comes out on December 1, and you can pre-order it from Amazon.

This is a project that David has been slowly cooking – let’s call it a crock-pot of a project – for quite a while, and seeing it finally get to a point where it’s almost out and already getting some great coverage – like a recommendation in the latest issue of Monocle, pictured in this post, and an excerpt in Lapham’s Quarterly – is really fantastic. There’s no one I know who is more knowledgeable about this topic – and to be honest, the history of modern fashion in Japan – than him (he even wrote a thesis on A Bathing Ape).

This all gets me feeling quite nostalgic. David is one of the very first friends I made when I first moved to Tokyo over 15 years ago. We became acquainted slightly before my arrival, through a Pizzicato Five mailing list, which is how I made all of my first friends in Japan.

Yes, even back then, electronic communications were a thing, imagine that.

Over the years we’ve each had our own entertaining journeys, and his involved producing some excellent music (under the Marxy monicker), and before launching the Néojaponisme website with Ian Lynam, he was quite well known for some epic online essays about Japanese culture that evolved into some of the most pointed and heated discussions, usually with Momus playing the role of foil.

So yeah, Ametora, can’t wait to read it.

Kirimomi

My good friend Ian Lynam recently created a typeface family called Kirimomi for Onitsuka Tiger, based on the company’s history, and available as free downloads. It appears that there have already been over 10,000 downloads of the fonts, and in celebration I’ve decided to change the logo on this site to what you see now, which uses Kirimomi Swash.

Go and do something with them too — “just do it” (oops, that’s another company I think).

Tightening the Belt

Maybe “Tightening the Belt” is not really the best way to describe what I’ve been doing of late, but I am on a trajectory to make my online presence a bit leaner (and maybe even a bit meaner). As I announced a week ago, I’ve put SNOW Magazine on indefinite hiatus, and I’ve done the same with my little GAME site

Yes, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I just can’t handle all of the things that I’d like to be doing online, at least in terms of my personal projects (i.e. the stuff that doesn’t bring in income). It was getting to the point where I’d feel guilty about not updating these various sites, and I finally figured that enough was enough.

For now, and for the foreseeable future, expect me to stick to just The Magaziner, new episodes of the Codex, the monthly editions of PauseTalk, and the odd scribblings here — there’s another podcast project that I’d like to get off the ground too. 

As for the day job — I’m Executive Director of the PechaKucha organization — things have never been more exciting, and we have a lot of very cool things in the works. It’s also been a pleasure to be working more closely with my good friend Ian Lynam, who has taken on the big task of refreshing our visual identity and online presence.