Robert L. Peters

24 June 2009

How to Build an Igloo…


Nunavut, Canada (1949)

An inspiring 60-year-old flashback for the ultimate lesson in (Northern) sustainable architecture… from Canada’s National Film Board. (Note that the term ‘Eskimo’ used by narrator Douglas Wilkinson is today considered pejorative and has been replaced by ‘Inuit,’ which is the indigenous plural term for ‘Inuk’ [‘man’ or ‘person’]).

23 June 2009

Where there is smoke…



Austin, Texas

Yesterday President Obama signed new legislation that will heavily restrict the nicotine content and marketing of cigarettes, including the requirement that colorful ads and displays be replaced with black-and-white-only text. For a piece in its Sunday Perspectives section, the St. Petersburg Times asked DJ Stout (of Pentagram’s Austin office) what cigarette manufacturers like Marlboro might do to follow the new marketing rules… Stout suggests that to comply with the crackdown, tobacco companies should embrace the restrictions and make cigarettes look truly dangerous. This, of course, will still appeal to a core group of smokers.

“Over the years there has been an onslaught of public awareness messaging about the evils of smoking,” says Stout. “Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last 50 years you are very aware that smoking is not only bad for you, it could very likely kill you. All smokers know this for sure but it doesn’t deter them.

“Our marketing advice to cigarette companies in the new heavily regulated era is to fully accept the new aggressive anti-smoking restrictions and wallow in the government’s apocalyptic health warnings. Don’t make excuses or dance around the stepped-up marketing regulations, just transform the whole cigarette pack into a three dimensional warning label.”

Images above: Some of DJ Stout’s cigarette packages for an exercise in the St. Petersburg Times.

(Thanks Adrian for the link).

A verdant, living portrait…





New York, New York

An inspiring eco-portrait by Edina Tokodi (the piece is made entirely of living plants) is currently hanging on a rooftop wall of Green Spaces NY in Brooklyn…

22 June 2009



Mill Valley, California

Craig Frazier has decided to “post a new drawing every week in desperate need of a caption.” He invites anyone so inclined to write the words you think belong to that drawing, and to submit a line of no more than 30 words in length by Friday at 5:00 pm. The week’s submissions are then judged by “an editorial review board of one” with the winner announced the following week… and then appearing forever in the Drawords book.

Here’s how @Issue (where I came across this project) describes the gig… “For illustrator Craig Frazier, Drawords started as a welcome “relief from a day job where I’m given copy and am supposed to draw to it. Every stroke has to communicate something.”

“This is the reverse,” he says. Instead, as a way to keep his head and his drawing skills sharp, Frazier gave himself the assignment of producing a whimsical sketch a week, which he decided to email to contacts with an invitation to give it their own captions. “It was a way to connect with clients and give them a peek at the way I work and the way I see,” he explains.

The drawings were outside of Frazier’s commercial illustrations, experimental and surreal. He says that he discovered if he put enough “silly elements” in, then people let their imaginations take over from there. “They have come back with things that I would never have seen in the drawing. There is a collaboration going on that is very innocent and satisfying.”

@Issue: Journal of Business & Design

Peaceable works by Parisa Tashakori…




Tehran, Iran

An exhibition of posters and other works by the talented Iranian graphic designer (and mother) Parisa Tashakori is currently on display at VitrinRooz. Keep up the good work…

Images: Untitled; Peace; Khoramshahr.

21 June 2009

Happy (Summer) Solstice, and Father’s Day


Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

Best wishes to dear friends around the world on this momentous date—those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are celebrating the longest day of the year (as measured by how long the sun graces our position). Best wishes for Father’s Day as well—Dad, and all others in that paternal demographic…

20 June 2009

Legendary climbers…




New York, New York

Some great photographs of legendary U.S. climbers in a flickr set, shot by Jim Herrington. Shown above: Doug Robinson on a first ascent on Temple Crag in the Sierra Nevada, California; Glenn Exum strums in Colorado.

(Thanks to Winnipeg photographer friend Ian McCausland for the link).

Don’t play with your food…



Hartford, Connecticut

That’s a parental dictate that Kevin Van Aelst obviously never took to heart… see more of the man’s quirky (and often edible) oeuvre here. Shown above: Apple Globe (2007); Oreo Yin Yang (2005).

(Thanks for the link, Gerald).

Sue Colberg… a jolly good Fellow.


Edmonton, Alberta

I’m delighted to share the news that good friend, award-winning* designer, and dedicated educator Sue Colberg has been honoured by the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada as a GDC Fellow—she’s the 13th Canadian woman and 63rd individual to be so bestowed. Fellowship is awarded by the National Society to a professional graphic designer who, by accomplishment or influence, has made a major contribution to graphic design in Canada—it is the highest honour that can be awarded by the Society.

Susan Colberg’s dedication to her students and her expertise in the field of graphic design has contributed to the influence and education of many generations of designers. An Associate Professor at the University of Alberta in the Art and Graphic Design Department, Susan teaches advanced typography, information design and the practice of graphic design. Her dedication to the GDC and its mission has been long and extensive. She has been involved since she was a design student and is a past president of the Alberta North Chapter. She also continues to serve on the board and is a Professional member in good standing. She is currently the National representative for GDC/ABN and has been the GDC’s Icograda Representative since 2003.

* News also arrived this week that Sue is once again a top winner in the 2008 Alcuin Book Design Awards. Congratulations, Sue!



19 June 2009

Character Study…




Portland, Oregon

I’ve seen a number of these memetic cartoon character depictions in the past and finally stumbled across the source—Michael Paulus. View the rest on his website here. Following is what Michael says about his “character study” of 22 present and past cartoon characters…

Animation was the format of choice for children’s television in the 1960s, a decade in which children’s programming became almost entirely animated. Growing up in that period, I tended to take for granted the distortions and strange bodies of these entities. These Icons are usually grotesquely distorted from the human form from which they derive.

I decided to take a select few of these popular characters and render their skeletal systems as I imagine they might resemble if one truly had eye sockets half the size of its head, or fingerless-hands, or feet comprising 60% of its body mass.

These characters have become conventions that are set, defined, and well-known personas in our culture. Being that they are so commonplace and accepted as existing I thought I would dissect them like science does to all living objects—trying to come to an understanding as to their origins and true physiological make up. Possibly to better understand them and see them in a new light for what they are in the most basic of terms.


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