I will be the guest critic, lecturer and workshop leader for the April residency at the Vermont College for the Arts MFA in Graphic Design Program. The program “allows students to earn a 60-credit degree over a period of two years through a combination of weeklong, campus-based residencies followed by six-month semesters of student centered study, supported and guided by faculty advisors and peers.” My lecture will be the presentation “Singing the Surface,” and the workshop, “Music for Metaphors,” will lead students to the crafting of a 10–12 track design album, through processes inspired by and taken from contemporary popular music production. In advance of my visit, the program’s blog, Perpetual Beta, featured an interview with me.
An expanded version of my essay “I Believe in Design” was published in Volume #29: The Urban Conspiracy. The article is included in a special insert to the magazine produced by the Trust Design project of Premsela, Netherlands Institute for Design and Fashion. Trust Design “explores the relationship between trust and design through various publishing, research and discussion platforms.” The original version of the article was published at Design Observer and can be found here.
As part of my application for promotion to full professor at ODU, to accompany copies of Volume, I made a limited-edition book of additional writings for internal and external reviewers. The writings are a selection of articles, essays, and miscellany that were either written after receiving tenure and not included in Volume, or written after that book was compiled. Usually, faculty in this circumstance simply photocopy or print out their articles. As a graphic design professor, and, more importantly, someone who likes to make design artifacts, I thought it necessary to design and produce a book. Of course, I also like to think it makes the writing more accessible and places it in a more favorable context. The book was printed by the on-demand service Blurb, is 6 x 9, and 162 pages. The title, Untitled, was devised (like Volume) by my title Muse, Ellen Hutta-FitzGerald. Thanks to Jiwon Lee for the photographs.
To celebrate the release of my major label book Volume: Writings on Graphic Design, Music, Art, and Culture, I have produced a new hand-made letter-pressed 12-page artist book, Six Secrets of the Hexahexaflexagon. The chapbook is meant as a “bonus single” to Volume, and features alternate origin stories for the hexahexaflexagon, emblem of Ephemeral States. The book is also offered as a fundraiser for the Robert McCullough Endowed Prize to benefit Old Dominion University graphic design students. The chapbook price is $12 (postage and handling included) with all proceeds going to the Scholarship. To purchase a copy, go here.
Six Secrets of the Hexahexaflexagon is an edition of 36 (each signed and numbered), set by hand in Garamond type, with text pages printed on Mohawk Superfine paper by a hand-cranked Vandercook SP-20 Test Press. Binding is hand-sewn with double-stitched florescent (green, orange, pink) fabric thread. Each wrap-around cover is unique to the book, taken from offset-lithographed make-ready sheets with six hand-die-cut circles in different patterns. Each booklet comes with three unique hexahexaflexagons made from a variety of repurposed papers sporting original and offset-printed graphics. Pix of printing in process can be seen here. Pix of sample booklets and hexas can be found here.
Thanks to Gale Flax (bookmaking artist extraordinaire) for her guidance and assistance with all steps in the process, and to Nikki Webb and Ken Daley for further proofreading and printing help.