From The Economist
ON DARK evenings in late 1916, a frail 76-year-old man could often be seen shuffling furtively between The Dove, a pub in west London, and the green and gold turrets of Hammersmith Bridge. Passers-by paid no attention, for there was nothing about Thomas Cobden-Sanderson’s nightly walks to suggest that he was undertaking a peculiar and criminal act of destruction.
Between August 1916 and January 1917 Cobden-Sanderson, a printer and bookbinder, dropped more than a tonne of metal printing type from the west side of the bridge. He made around 170 trips in all from his bindery beside the pub, a distance of about half a mile, and always after dusk. At the start he hurled whole pages of type into the river; later he threw it like bird seed from his pockets. Then he found a small wooden box with a sliding lid, for which he made a handle out of tape—perfect for sprinkling the pieces into the water, and not too suspicious to bystanders.
Those tiny metal slugs belonged to a font of type used exclusively by the Doves Press, a printer of fine books that Cobden-Sanderson had co-founded 16 years earlier. The type was not his to destroy, so he concealed his trips from his friends and family and dropped his packages only when passing traffic would drown out the splash. There were slip-ups, all the same. One evening he nearly struck a boatman, whose vessel shot out unexpectedly from under the bridge. Another night he threw two cases of type short of the water. They landed on the pier below, out of reach but in plain sight. After sleepless nights he determined to retrieve them by boat, but they eventually washed away. After that he was more careful. Continue reading
Done to Death has just published a recently discovered collection of photographs of 70s daredevil, Evel Knievel. For any boy who grew up in the 1970’s, there are few cultural icons who could inspire as much awe as this red, white and blue clad madman. He would jump over rows of flaming cars on his Harley, strap himself to a rocket and shoot himself over the Snake River Canyon, survive horrible crashes, break bones and endure third degree burns only to get up and do it again. What mind of a 10 year old boy wouldn’t be blown out of the stratosphere?
In his review of Evel Knievel Comes to Cooperville, Rob Alderson at itsnicethat.com:
At the height of his fame in 1972, Evel (real name Robert) was invited down to the Oklahoma State Fairground to wow the crowds by local businessman Jack Cooper, the owner of Cooperville Car Dealership. Four decades later Jack’s grandson Garrett Colton found a box of slides in his grandfather’s attic which captured that very special visit with vivid old school charm.
Once upon a time, before the we knew of of such things as .pdf, .jpg, InDesign or Illustrator, graphic design was an artistic discipline largely done by hand. All designers had to refer to a design manual to find the clear rules for safeguarding corporate or brand identities. Although design and identity guidelines continue to be published today, like everything else in the universe, they are now distributed digitally.
This month, Unit Editions releases Manuals 1: Design and Identity Guidelines – the first comprehensive study of corporate identity design manuals, and features 20 examples from the 1960s to early 1980s – the golden era of identity design. The book includes manuals created for institutions and corporations such as NASA, Lufthansa and British Steel.