Herb Lester Associates

Guardian Guide creator Ben Olins’ latest project, in partnership with Jane Smillie, is the self-effacingly great Herb Lester Associates, who have produced a number of gorgeous, fold-up maps designed by Montana’s Michael Newhouse.

You Are Here is a pocket-sized guide to London’s best spots for freelancers to hold meetings and work, May We Help You? details the captial’s best specialist suppliers, and their latest, Wish You Were There, is a look at the city’s hottest shops and entertainments, circa 1960-1966. The maps are available for £3-4 each here.

Creativity test: what’s missing?

Beijing 1989

Fatescapes, a project by Czech artist Pavel Maria Smejkal, takes a number of the 20th C’s most iconic images as its base and taps into the collective cultural consciousness in a most striking manner. The project asks you to work out what’s missing – always the test of a true creative – and re-evalutate your relationship to the subject.

More after the jump…

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Still state of the (street) art

Filmmaker, author and photographer Henry Chalfant, the director of much-loved early-1980s hip hop street art documentary, Style Wars, has just launched a new website that is set to feature his astonishing Big Grafitti Archive. Henry’s portfolio features countless breathtaking shots that effectively helped to communicate grafitti art to the rest of the world, and he plans to make the Big Graffiti Archive available as a DVD set. That’s one for the OG Christmas list, then. Click on the image above to check the subway car in all of its glory.

Another ingredient in the crucible of hip hop, New York’s street gang culture, is explored in Rubble Kings, a new documentary from director Shan Nicholson that’s currently on the film festival circuit. Check the trailer below…

Ligature, Loop & Stem Poster

Every now and again someone sends me a link that literally makes my jaw drop. Check out this amazing letter press typography poster from Scott Boms, Grant Hutchinson and Luke Dorny, printed by Lunar Caustic Press. Want one? No chance. Limited edition of 100 must have sold out in minutes.

Ligature, Loop & Stem Poster

Ligature, Loop & Stem Poster 2

Ligature, Loop & Stem Poster 3

“Just My Type” of Christmas present

Slightly wayward but undeniably brilliant social chronicler Simon Garfield has got a new tome out, “Just My Type: A Book About Fonts” (Profile Books), which is a surefire Xmess winner for anyone with even a modicum of interest in design and the peeps behind it. If it’s a quarter as good as his masterful history of British grappling in the 1970s, “The Wrestling” (Faber), then “Just My Type” will be a hugely enjoyable read. Here’s the blurb:

“Just My Type is a book of stories. About how Helvetica and Comic Sans took over the world. About why Barack Obama opted for Gotham, while Amy Winehouse found her soul in 30s Art Deco. About the great originators of type, from Baskerville to Zapf, or people like Neville Brody who threw out the rulebook, or Margaret Calvert, who invented the motorway signs that are used from Watford Gap to Abu Dhabi. About the pivotal moment when fonts left the world of Letraset and were loaded onto computers … and typefaces became something we realized we all have an opinion about.”

The Nine Eyes of Google Street View

By Jon Rafman. More info here, and lots more examples on his Tumblr.