This weekend I went to my local public library in search of lettering, typography, religion, and psychology books, and none that I wrote down from the catalogs were on the shelf. The librarian did not care, and did not help. It was depressing. Later on I went to the funded-by-life-ruining-debt™ art school library and found a bunch of books that I was not able to check out since I never enrolled. No books for you, insignificant citizen! Then I went home and browsed the internet because books are stupid.
It wasn’t a total waste, I happened upon this gem of a publication: アイデア | IDEA
I love alternate official English/Japanese titles! There’s so much room for linguistic feedback loops, multiplied meanings and degradation of oppositions. In katakana, the title of the magazine actually reads “a-i-di-a” and creates a pun when said out loud, roughly translating to “love dare” … an apt description what an idea is!
Issue No. 356 of IDEA contains the feature story “Lettering Mannerism: Logotypes and New Typefaces in the 60s & 70s in Japan” — It is a gorgeous display of haute-modernist editorial and display type design. I especially love how the composition directly plays off of subcompositions, turning otherwise invisible, unnoticed works of layout art into showstopping elements. (The saddest part of editorial design: the more invisible your hand, the less likely you are to be thanked.)
There is a perfect ratio of highly structured Japanese grid sensibilities to capricious electric yellow funkiness, shedding light on the purpose of the book. Through plastic hyper-reality lenses we look back lovingly on the age of the dull-mustard-tinge, reworking its effect on the modern audience, over-saturated with enthusiasm.