Monday, March 31, 2014

art deco typography in the twin cities

Joseph Claude Sinel
New Zealander, 1889-1975
“Model S” scale, c. 1927 (closeup of the base)
International Ticket Scale Company, Manufacturer, New York City
From the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art
photograph by versluis

“You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Milton Glaser, Mahalia Jackson, and the round arch by Louis Sullivan

Pilgrim Baptist Church, 2014
3300 South Indiana Ave. Chicago, Illinois
A sad view—rebuilding after the 2006 fire.
photograph by versluis

Above is a current photograph of Pilgrim Baptist Church on the south side of Chicago. The building was initially designed by architects Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler in the early 1890s as a synagogue; in 1922 the building became home to the Pilgrim Baptist Church. By the 1930s the church became well-known for its gospel music with leading members such as Thomas A. Dorsey and Mahalia Jackson. In 2006 the building tragically burned and was mostly destroyed except for the massive stone walls.

Milton Glaser (American, born 1929).
Mahalia Jackson. 1967.
Offset lithograph, two sheets, each 38 x 24 inches

Apparently Glaser was mindful of the entry door and the very prominent and characteristically Sullivanesque large round arch doorway of the Church when he designed this poster in 1967 to promote the Mahalia Jackson Easter Sunday Concert at Lincoln Center in New York. Pilgrim Baptist Church was home base for Mahalia Jackson.

Source for the poster image:
Schreck, Audrey. “Designer Spotlight: Milton Glaser.” Typophile. N.p., 1 Mar. 2009. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Three-dimensional design à la Wucius Wong: prisms and cylinders

© Wade Vollink, 2014
Dordt College—Three-Dimensional Design Foundations
Prisms and Cylinder Structures
15.5" w x 10" h x 3" d
photograph by versluis

Pictured are examples of Dordt College student work from the Three-Dimensional Design course this semester. Artist / designer Wucius Wong writes about prisms and cylinders in his book, Principles of Form and Design: Three-Dimensional Design that: “A prism is a form with ends which are similar, equal, and parallel rectilinear figures, and with sides which are [perpendicular to the ends] rectangles or parallelograms.” In addition Wucius Wong goes on to explain, “From this basic prism many variation can be made.” (1)

© Kit Drennen, 2014
Dordt College—Three-Dimensional Design Foundations
Prisms and Cylinder Structures
Bristol Board
16" w x 12" h x 16" d
photograph by Kit Drennen

  1. Wong, Wucius. Principles of Form and Design. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1993. 271. Print.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

1958, Skyscraper of the Future: Hans Hollein

Hans Hollein
Skyscraper of the Future
City of Chicago—unspecified location
Photograph by versluis, 2012

Hans Hollein’s Skyscraper of the Future split the conventional tower into segments while integrating public space. 
Chicago’s skyscrapers impressed architect Hans Hollein when he visited the city in his twenties [during the 1950s]. But he found their design and function monotonous. Hollein wanted to design a dramatically different skyscraper. 
Hollein split the office tower into multiple sections and inserted public buildings and gardens, creating floating villages. 
Hollein’s tower, currently under construction in Shenzhen, China, is a testament to Chicago’s role as a catalyst of architectural innovation. (1)
Model courtesy DSM’s Somos® Materials Group.
  1. Text is taken from a 2012 display at the Chicago Architectural Foundation.

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