Rick Poynor

Recent articles by Rick Poynor

The retoucher’s accidental art

Issue 88, 2014

Feature

The reworked press photos now being discarded are unique objects and compellingly strange images.…

Readymade format

Issue 88, 2014

Opinion

An illustrated ‘gift book’ dictionary by Heretic brings Marcel Duchamp’s ideas to a wider audience…

Photographer as page maker

Opinion

David Campany’s examination of Walker Evans’ freewheeling magazine work – for Fortune…

Space for stories

Issue 87, Spring 2014

Opinion

Visual Editions’ box of literary maps challenges authors to think differently about the structures…

Occupation hazardous

Opinion

For ‘place hackers’, subversive and daredevil urban explorers, photography validates a search for…

Incisive vision

Issue 86, Autumn 2013

Opinion

Eduardo Paolozzi’s gifts as a collagist have been neglected by the worlds of both art and design.…

Empathy and doubt in Arles

Opinion

From the cool alienation of colour to the directness of black and white – Rick Poynor reflects on…

Screen prints

Issue 85, Spring 2013

Feature

Recently discovered posters for the RCA Film Society provide fresh perspective on the intimate…

Identity crisis

Issue 85, Spring 2013

Opinion

Rebranding ITV was meant to generate a warm glow – not the heated reaction it received from…

Cold-blooded runaways

Opinion

A third edition of Redheaded Peckerwood, Christian Patterson’s ravishing photobook, gives this…

An outlandish everyman

Issue 84, Autumn 2012

Opinion

These short films throw new light on the eccentric collaboration between 1960s film-maker /…

Look south

Opinion

In the first of a new series of Photo Critiques, Rick Poynor examines The Latin American Photobook…

American Gothic

Issue 6, Spring 1992

Feature

Barry Deck’s Template Gothic is vernacular in inspiration and futuristic in effect. Is it a…

A disappointing splash

Issue 83, 2012

Review

The archly titled Wet: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing has a semi-legendary…

The woman who took on the Wolf Man

Issue 83, 2012

Opinion

Sława Harasymowicz’s first foray into graphic novels illuminates a Freudian case history with…

The shape of a pocket

Issue 81, Autumn 2011

Feature

In 1960s France, Henry Cohen’s inventive photographic covers made Gallimard’s Idées series…

Documents of the marvellous

Issue 65, Autumn 2007

Feature

The authentic spirit of Surrealism lives on – in projects based on curious collections that…

One week in pictures

Issue 73, Autumn 2009

Feature

Now we are deluged with more images than ever, we have lost faith in the power of the photo to…

Borderline

Issue 71, Spring 2009

Feature

Metahaven makes visual proposals that suggest a new role for graphic design in public life

Metafisikal experiments

Issue 72, Summer 2009

Review

[This is an extract from Eye no. 72 vol. 18 Summer 2009. To order the full, printed…

Tour de flash [extract]

Issue 67, Spring 2008

Review

I find it hard to resist Mieke Gerritzen’s books: Everyone Is a Designer!…

Essential on every level

Issue 66, Winter 2007

Review

The title of Stephen Shore’s The Nature of Photographs promises to peel its…

Iran’s tantalising visual revolution [extract]

Issue 62, Winter 2006

Review

This survey of new Iranian design work is exciting and frustrating in roughly equal…

Missing Brits in Poland

Issue 61, Autumn 2006

Review

I have to confess that in twenty years of writing about design I have never, until…

Parr’s ambivalent obsessions

Issue 74, Winter 2009

Review

‘Parrworld’, the title of Martin Parr’s latest exhibition, is a bold if not…

Perfection of an empty page

Issue 13, Summer 1994

Review

The Japanese poster tradition has given us some of the most beautiful and, to…

The magazine as laboratory bench

Issue 12, Spring 1994

Review

Whatever else you might think about Emigre, for regular readers the arrival of a…

Protest minus the politics

Issue 12, Spring 1994

Review

The 1990s began ostensibly as the decade of ‘caring and sharing’, with…

Machine head

Issue 75, Spring 2010

Feature

Fritz Kahn commissioned illustrators to realise his surreal pedagogical vision – mechanical…

Poster boy for a lost Seattle

Issue 40, Summer 2001

Review

This book has a sad epilogue, though one that comes as no surprise after everything…

Reputations: Robin Kinross

Issue 80, Summer 2011

Feature

‘It’s to do with meaning, which forces its way up like a root growing under a pavement – it…

Andrzej Klimowski: Theatre of dreams

Issue 14, Autumn 1994

Feature

Andrzej Klimowski is obsessed with eyes, faces, hands, angels and devils. He is one of Britain’s…

Is anybody out there reading?

Issue 9, Summer 1993

Review

One of the features of Octavo magazine that made it so appealing to anyone who…

The World Made Visible

Issue 62, Winter 2006

Feature

Motif, edited by Ruari McLean, was a quirky mix of art and illustration, with its roots in graphic…

Running on empty

Issue 74, Winter 2009

Review

The work of artists such as Ed Ruscha, who base their art on language, raises…

Crash covers

Issue 52, Summer 2004

Feature

J. G. Ballard's novel resists attempts to summarise it with a single image

Dark tools of desire

Issue 63, Spring 2007

Feature

Surrealism’s relationship with graphic design is still strangely unfulfilled

Reg Mombassa (text in full)

Issue 46, Winter 2002

Feature

Mambo theology

Stephen Banham (extract)

Issue 46, Winter 2002

Feature

'Helvetica has become the generic default, a safe formula under the guise of Modernism. It's all…

Form follows purpose: Inkahoots (extract)

Issue 46, Winter 2002

Feature

Does this Brisbane studio offer a role model for socially concerned design? [EXTRACT]

Type as entertainment

Issue 7, Summer 1992

Feature

Why Not Associates are the wild boys of the British typographic scene … How do they get away with…

Both ends burning

Issue 11, Winter 1993

Feature

Fuel is a magazine, a design team, and a four letter word. Their style is tough, but ambiguous too

Reputations: Rick Vermeulen

Issue 21, Summer 1996

Feature

‘I don't think anything designed should be considered as art. It's not only about the…

This signifier is loaded

Issue 22, Autumn 1996

Feature

Zurich designer Cornel Windlin is a fluent graphic stylist and a playful manipulator of…

Fellapages

Issue 23, Winter 1996

Feature

In his many sketchbooks, Edward Fella makes hallucinogenic notations out of the commercial design he…

Knowing

Issue 24, Spring 1997

Feature

Mark Farrow’s minimalist graphics have won him a place in the profession’s mainstream usually…

Other spaces

Issue 25, Summer 1997

Feature

Paul Elliman tells his students that “everything you know is wrong”, embracing error to find…

Don’t buy this

Issue 27, Spring 1998

Feature

In a high street shop, an installation for Friends of the Earth questions the material obsessions of…

Surface wreckage

Issue 34, Winter 1999

Feature

Three books showing accidental collages of torn posters an other random marks revive interest in a…

23 Envelope: ambience and inner space

Issue 37, Autumn 2000

Feature

Operating undercover, using the enigmatic title of 23 Envelope, Nigel Grierson and his partner…

Typographica

Issue 31, Spring 1999

Feature

Herbert Spencer’s magazine, a fusion of Modernism and eclecticism, was one of the most remarkable…

Design is advertising #2: Nomadic resistance

Issue 30, Winter 1998

Feature

Faced by oppressive visual pollution, many designers feel powerless. yet the visual realm can be…

What is this thing called graphic design criticism?

Issue 16, Spring 1995

Feature

In the last ten years a substantial body of critical writing on graphic design has amassed. In this…

The designer as architect

Issue 32, Summer 1999

Feature

When Donald Wall made this book about Italian architect Paolo Soleri, he uncannily projected a…

Reputations: Alan Fletcher

Issue 2, Winter 1991

Feature

An interview with Pentagram’s ringmaster of paradox.

The Dictionary of Visual Language

Issue 11, Winter 1993

Feature

Philip Thompson and Peter Davenport’s visual analysis of the graphic cliche is a design classic

Malcolm, Peter . . . and Keith

Issue 49, Autumn 2003

Feature

The British New Wave was born at a boys' school near Manchester

Remove specifics and convert to ambiguities

Issue 20, Spring 1996

Feature

As designer, writer and educator, Jeffery Keedy is a committed proponent of postmodernism

Information sculpture

Issue 13, Summer 1994

Feature

Tomato are a group of friends, a physical space somewhere in Soho, a multimedia workshop…

Penguin crime

Issue 53, Autumn 2004

Feature

Romek Marber’s 1960s paperback identity is a landmark of independent British design

Reputations: Jon Barnbrook, Virus

Issue 15, Winter 1994

Feature

One of type design’s young stars talks about his new company and the pressures of early success.

Design is advertising, #1: The whispering intruder

Issue 29, Autumn 1998

Feature

Advertising soaks into everything. It has become the texture of contemporary life. Graphic design…

The celebrated Mr B

Issue 35, Spring 2000

Feature

The graphic output of one of Britain’s best loved artists, the originator of the iconic cover for…

Maps and dreams

Issue 2, Winter 1991

Feature

No printing method is too basic for Jake Tilson. Created with photocopiers, his books, magazines and…

A designer and a one-man band

Issue 45, Autumn 2002

Feature

Cranbrook’s song and dance man goes back to college with a bang

First Things First Manifesto 2000

Issue 33, Autumn 1999

Feature

Thirty-three visual communicators renew the 1964 call for a change of priorities

Reputations: Katherine McCoy

Issue 16, Spring 1995

Feature

After Cranbrook: Katherine McCoy on the way ahead

Reputations: Dan Fern

Issue 22, Autumn 1996

Feature

‘A lot of illustration sits very awkwardly alongside the contemporary digital typography scene. It…

Reputations: Peter Saville

Issue 17, Summer 1995

Feature

‘This is a post-design era. It’s deliberately going against all those things that were canonised…

Reputations: Malcolm Garrett

Issue 12, Spring 1994

Feature

‘I figure it’s my job to be this kind of blinkered believer. You know: I am the new futurist, I…

Reputations: Pierre Bernard

Issue 3, Spring 1991

Feature

‘We discovered semiology and it was very important to us. It allowed us to deconstruct images, so…

Look inward: graphic design in Australia

Issue 46, Winter 2002

Feature

Is Australia’s global cultural impact reflected in its graphic design?

Typotranslation

Issue 38, Winter 2000

Feature

In a typographic tour de force, Richard Hamilton has turned Duchamp’s notes for the Large Glass…

Reputations: Neville Brody

Issue 6, Spring 1992

Feature

‘People are using the computer in a very rigid, pseudo-religious way and we are trying to say that…

Love of lexicons

Issue 78, Winter 2010

Feature

The dictionary framework allows readers to find random nuggets of information, forging connections…

Looking for clues

Issue 55, Spring 2005

Feature

Notebook in hand, Paul Davis works like a journalist, trying to figure out what makes us tick

Graphic and grotesque

Opinion

Hidden Treasure, in its reflection of our bodies in all their pathos and horror, has a morbid but…

Brand madness 2

Issue 54, Winter 2004

Opinion

Letter from Rick Poynor

Regeneration X

Issue 82, Winter 2012

Opinion

Laura Oldfield Ford’s grainy Savage Messiah brings new urgency to an updated punk aesthetic. By…

Scarcity and silence: Amc2 Journal

Opinion

An image-led journal marries the serendipitous collisions of image-sharing sites with the…

The list goes on

Issue 81, Autumn 2011

Opinion

Umberto Eco’s book The Infinity of Lists is erudite, informative and beautifully crafted: a…

Love’s labour’s lost

Opinion

The Guardian has given up on its clear and elegant film rental site, redirecting its users to the…

Dark Magus

Issue 80, Summer 2011

Opinion

Designer John Coulthart’s daily blog on the fantastical is erudite, prescient and admirably…

Commitment to content

Opinion

Criterion’s DVD covers show that seduction by packaging remains a fiendishly irresistible (and…

Kiki in graphic detail

Issue 79, Spring 2011

Opinion

Catel’s quick-fire sketches illustrate the life of the young model who became a Surrealist icon…

French connections

Opinion

Slender and serious, Back Cover is emerging as a Gallic platform for a resolutely non-American view…

A soul drifting in neon limbo

Issue 78, Winter 2010

Opinion

The stroboscopic credits of Noé’s movie suck the viewer into an immersive maelstrom of lettering

Expression of faith

Opinion

Give the revered Irma Boom her head and what do you get? A catalogue like a truncated brick

California panorama

Issue 77, Autumn 2010

Opinion

Emigre’s latest type catalogue uses historical sources to display wildly varied fonts with…

Survivor

Opinion

Graphic designer Romek Marber bears witness to one of the great crimes of the past century

Left out of the frame

Issue 76, Summer 2010

Opinion

This collection of short COI films is full of fascinating details, but short on context

Poundtastic bombastic

Opinion

Is there is a graphic mismatch between Poundland’s presentation and its ambitions?

The future is ours to see

Issue 75, Spring 2010

Opinion

SpaceCollective’s innovative website, at once lucid and intoxicating, adds substance to…

Mining the graphic mother-lode

Opinion

Rochester Institute of Technology opens its American design archive to the online world

All mouth and trousers?

Issue 74, Winter 2009

Opinion

Challenged to design a poster celebrating London, British designers show mostly how little they care…

Clever chameleon

Opinion

Rick Poynor examines Mono-Kultur, a smart and ‘exquisitely scaled’ independent publication

Framing the evidence of war

Issue 73, Autumn 2009

Opinion

By incorporating reportage of Russia’s Afghan war, this hybrid takes the graphic novel and…

The pleasures of browsing

Opinion

Rick Poynor plays ‘hotel inspector’ to find a bookshop that understands its books and readers:…

Bad timing

Issue 72, Summer 2009

Opinion

In a new Obama-led world order, Omega’s lust for luxury seems as misplaced as a licence to kill.

The canon, aimed at your back

Opinion

GenPrag’s T-shirts celebrate the most emblematic of twentieth-century graphic design heroes. So…

Recent blog posts by Rick Poynor

Graphic and grotesque

29 June 2012

Hidden Treasure shows the human body in all its pathos and horror.
Hidden Treasure is a deceptively innocuous title for a book devoted to pictures of skin diseases, deformity, war wounds, experimental surgery and blood-chilling health warnings, writes Rick Poynor in his latest Critique.

In graphic detail – Critique on Kiki

15 April 2011

See Rick Poynor’s latest Critique – about Catel and Bocquet’s graphic biography of Surrealist icon Kiki de Montparnasse
I had some reservations about Kiki de Montparnasse, a new graphic biography of the artists’ model and muse, painter, singer of bawdy songs and celebrity, who came to fame in Paris in the 1920s, writes Rick Poynor in Eye 79.

Revelations in style

24 September 2008

New Critique by Rick Poynor – now published in Eye 69
In the early days of Eye, we ran an article about the New Horizons series of illustrated introductions to the arts, culture and science published by Thames & Hudson.