Robert L. Peters

30 November 2008

Another poster for peace…


One of my favorites, by Marty Neumeier (smart consultant, great author, and talented designer). Download this copyright-free poster here… along with numerous others by American designers.

29 November 2008

Buy Nothing Day…



Today is International Buy Nothing Day (a day later than in the U.S., where BND coincides with the annual frenzy of Black Friday, described by the New York Times as: “A quintessentially American ritual at the altar of consumerism, Black Friday marks a day of 5 a.m. openings, 50 percent discounts and… lurid spectacle(s) of shopping as competitive sport.”)

Shopping truly is an ugly orgy of consumerism in the U.S., where (according to the National Retail Federation) more than 128 million are expected to shop this weekend. To wit—at 4:55 yesterday morning, a shrieking mob of thousands of Wal-Mart shoppers in Long Island broke through glass entrance doors and trampled 34-year-old worker Jdimytai Damour (Jimmy) to death in a blind stampede for holiday bargains. Other workers were also trampled as they tried to rescue Jimmy, and customers shouted angrily and kept shopping when store officials said they were closing because of the death, according to police and witnesses. There’s more wrong with that picture than I can begin to shake a stick at…

26 November 2008

Melvin, existentialist robot…



Wanganui, New Zealand

This great little animation (on YouTube) is by Kate Adams, one of the talented students graduating from the Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design program at Wanganui School of Design. I acted as Kate’s external moderator last week… hope you enjoy wee Melvin and his journey of self-determination as much as I did.

25 November 2008

Buy Nothing Christmas…


Winnipeg, Canada

Aiden Enns (founder of Buy Nothing Christmas) along with some merry minstrels and assorted anti-consumer activists are gathering in the ‘Peg tomorrow night for some pre-Christmas shopping mall mischief… as I’m not able to join the toqued troubadours, this poster is my contribution to the cause this season.

Learn more about Buy Nothing Christmas (alternative gift ideas, twisted carols, down-loadable posters, etc.) here. Listen to the song ‘Buy Nothing At All’ by Joel Kroeker here. Help to promote Buy Nothing Day (this Saturday, 29 November) and consider giving the gift of time (or a lovingly made gift you’ve created) instead of shopping this season. And, if you see anyone shopping aimlessly, give them a good hug… it may be all they really need.

22 November 2008

A nod to Victore…



Brooklyn, New York

I’ve only met James Victore once (we both gave talks in San Diego at the AIGA ‘Y8/Proximity’ Conference in February 2003, even as helicopters filled the air over the harbor and U.S. troops loaded onto carriers headed for the U.S. war on Iraq)—but I’ve long been an admirer of his work (some of which you can see here). Rock on, James!

Images: Racism poster (1993); Bush Pirate poster (2003). 

21 November 2008

A salute to Magritte…


Brussels, Belgium

Today’s the 110th birthday of René Magritte (time does fly, doesn’t it). Thanks M’sieur Magritte for your stimulating examination of the fickleness of images and all you left us with…

La Trahison des Images (The Treachery of Images) from 1928-1929—sometimes translated as “The Betrayal of Images.”

Auckland… city of sails.





Auckland, New Zealand

We’ve ended our trip to the land of the Kiwis with three sunny days in Auckland, New Zealand’s most populous urban area (1.3 million)—located on the narrow isthmus between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, it is one of the only cities on earth to have separate harbors on two major bodies of water. It’s been fun to walk the downtown streets, visit Parnell’s numerous galleries, ferry over to Devonport, and troll for unique fashions at the city’s numerous Op shops (Ev has a definite knack for this).

Desiring a few days of R&R to end this sortie, my only design-related activity was to meet with Cathy Veninga, CEO of DINZ, over tapas and some fine Spanish wine (Cathy was my host during last year’s visit, introducing me to many of New Zealand’s finest designers, and contributing greatly to my information-gathering re: the feature piece I wrote earlier this year on visual communication in New Zealand for Communication Arts magazine.

Images, from top: at 328 m in height, Auckland’s Sky Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere; the CBD from the top of Mt. Eden; the Devonport Ferry terminal building; Ev at Viaduct Harbour.

18 November 2008

Back in Wanganui…







Wanganui, New Zealand

Friends from W(h)anganui picked us up in Wellington last Friday (with an inspirational stop at The New Dowse along the way). It was great to re-connect with Vicki Campbell (thanks for the chauffeuring!), Andrès Salinas (and fiancee Claudia Borella), Hazel Gamec (recently retired) with hubby Harvey Coughlin, Riki Waitokia, and other Wanganuians I had met a year ago. It was also good to meet Betsy Berger, who has just taken over the reins from Hazel.

I’ve been busy for the past three days at the Whanganui School of Design as an external moderator for graduates in the Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design, Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design (Honours), and Master of Computer Graphic Design programs. As I’ve come to expect, I was rewarded by encountering some remarkable work and creative ingenuity (WSD has been at the forefront of graphic design in New Zealand for the past few decades)—my Bachelor students Joseph Salmon, Chet Leavai, Tom Lo, Regina Sadine, Kate Adams, Chan May-Yen (May), Mok Lew Luon (Calvin), Aaron Hunwick; and Masters students Chien Min Kee (Edwin), Wan Nor Raihan Wan Ramli, Kaye Davis, and Melissa Edmon. (Check out May Chan’s LMac Touch concept on YouTube here).

While I was in moderation sessions at the school, Ev was treated to gallery visits (Sarjeant Gallery, Chronicle Glass) and studio encounters with local artists Lynn Hurst, Andrea Gardner, and Ross Mitchell-Anyon. When it comes to creativity it’s safe to say that, pound for pound, Whanganui certainly does punch well above its weight.

Extracurricular highlights included a visit to the black sand beaches (where the Whanganui River empties into the ocean), and a delightful evening (and fantastic supper) at Hazel and Harvey’s sheep & deer station.

Images, from top: The Sarjeant Gallery, palms on the hill outside the Sarjeant, random wall typography at the WSD, the black sand beaches of the South Taranaki Bight, overlooking the endless green valleys en route to Okirae, and Harvey (along with trusty sheepdog ‘Girl’) rounding up a sheep for Ev to pet.

14 November 2008

Spring is sprung…




Wellington, New Zealand

After leaving Manitoba’s first dump of snow last weekend, Ev and I have relished Wellington’s warm (if windy) spring weather over the past days. Our activities have been both culturally voyeuristic and touristic… highlights have included lengthy walks about town (Cuba Street is great!), an extended visit to Te Papa (“Our Place” in Maori, New Zealand’s national museum), taking in the Leonardo da Vinci Machines Exhibition at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Art (60 working wooden models of da Vinci’s inventions, faithfully created from his drawings), visiting various other galleries, and attending an art opening with artist/designer/filmmaker Neil Pardington and his architect wife Amelia.

13 November 2008

Unlearning intollerance…




Wellington, New Zealand

While walking along the street here yesterday I chanced upon a compelling traveling exhibit—Cartooning for Peace. Conceived by the French cartoonist Plantu, Cartooning for Peace is an initiative born on 16 October 2006 at the UN Headquarters in New York. Twelve of the most renowned political cartoonists from all over the world participated in a two-day conference to help us “Unlearn intolerance”… the conference was accompanied by an exhibition… and a movement was born. Learn more about Cartooning for Peace here, and click on “gallery” to see a wide range of contributions from cartoonists around the world.

Cartoon images shown above: from New Zealand, Turkey, and France.

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