Robert L. Peters

8 November 2010

To Panama… and back.

Steinbach, Manitoba

Earlier this year, my recently-retired, older brother Ernest James Peters (Jim, aka Ernesto for the duration of the trip) went on a 13,000+ km, 45-day road trip with his brother-in-law Bob Banman (aka Roberto), driving down through 7 Central-American countries to the Panama Canal, where they were joined by their wives for the return trip. Jim has posted a click-through trip photo-album (produced in Picaboo, here) that I thought some of our far-flung relatives might enjoy.

I had posted several times about bro Jim’s road-trip exploits earlier—here, here, here, and here.

Happy Birthday, Guy!

Jinan, China

Best “61st” wishes to longtime friend and former Icograda president Guy Schockaert. Thanks to another longtime friend and former Icograda board colleague Ahn Sang-Soo for the photo of Guy, taken this past weekend… sooo apropos.

7 November 2010

On state-of-the-art publishing,

Quite engaging, humorous, and telling, this.

(Thanks to Nola for the link).

6 November 2010

U&lc… available once again.


ITC began publishing U&lc, The International Journal of Typographics in 1974. Herb Lubalin was the editorial and art director of the first issue and his seminal design set the stage for future issues of trendsetting and award-winning editorial creations.

The modest 24-page first issue declared, “U&lc will provide a panoramic window, a show case for the world of graphic arts – a clearing house for the international exchange of ideas and information.” Over the 26 years that the large format tabloid-size quarterly was published, U&lc gathered a following of thousands of avid readers (including me) that eagerly anticipated each issue—arguably, it became the most important typographic publication of its time.

The blog has scanned a complete set of the publication as high and low resolution files and will be making these scans available as down-loadable, searchable PDF files—you can access Volume 1 here, and the plan is to make another volume (a year’s worth of the publication) available every month.

Thanks to Miles Harrison for the link.

To self-publish… or not.

Vancouver, Canada

Eric Karjaluoto, a well-spoken thought-leader in our field, published a book entitled Speak Human earlier this year. Now he reflects on lessons learned… here.

(Previous posts by, from, or about Eric on this blog appear here).

5 November 2010

Mother Tongue… 3 weeks left to contribute.

Montreal, Canada

INDIGO’s Mother Tongue project has been drawing in some excellent contributions from the far corners of the planet (of which a small sampling are shown above).

(Sorry… links are broken).


Advertising… nothing but clean air!

On the U.S.-Canada border (just south of Vancouver)

“A provocative new sculpture has opened at the U.S.-Canada border crossing near Vancouver, BC. It’s a billboard advertising… well, nothing.

So instead of your usual glimpse of cheeseburgers and red-faced car salesmen, you’ve got a snarl of stainless steel rods vaguely reminiscent of TV static, but surrounding only the clean air of Blaine, Washington.

Clearly it’s some kind of pinko Canadian stunt, right? A passive-aggressive commentary on Americans’ conspicuous consumption? Wrong! Non-Sign II is the brainchild of the Seattle art and architecture firm Lead Pencil Studio. Even crazier: It was commissioned by the U.S. federal government, which usually regards high art the way one would a dead rat.

Lead Pencil Studio’s Daniel Mihalyo sheds light on the concept:

Borrowing the effectiveness of billboards to redirect attention away from the landscape… this permanently open aperture between nations works to frame nothing more than a clear view of the changing atmospheric conditions beyond.

Which sounds nice and poetic and non-threatening, but clearly, this thing is a monument to everything America’s not. Hey, Tea Partiers: The commie conspiracy has arrived at last, and it looks like a big ol’ pile of hair clippings!

How the installation came about: Lead Pencil Studio was shortlisted for a project to design public art at a new northern-border control station through the GSA’s Design Excellence program. The concept had to go through two rounds of approval, and Mihalyo insists the jury was “excited about the proposal from the start and the second round involved only small refinements and pragmatic issues.”

Well, we think it is awesome, and we’re elated that the government’s supporting Lead Pencil Studio. Headed by Mihalyo and Annie Han, they’ve built a career on blurring the divide between architecture and art; questioning the idea of consumer culture has been a recurring theme. They’ve produced a raft of evocative installations: outdoor scaffolding in the middle of the Oregon grasslands, full-scale shops (without any merch) in an old shop, and so on. Think of them as a sort of Christo in the age of Christine O’Donnell.”

Images by Ian Gill courtesy of Lead Pencil Studio. (Re-blogged from an original post here)… with thanks to friend ‘Segun Olude for the link.

4 November 2010

Natural-born climbers…

The mountains of Piemonte, Italy

“The ibex of Northern Italy don’t need to worry about equipment malfunctions, difficult-to-obtain life insurance, or their peers calling them foolhardy. They just do what they do, without ropes or inhibitions…” (from a link in today’s Alpine Club of Canada e-letter).

I’ve long marveled at the genetically hard-wired abilities of sheep and goats when it comes to rock climbing (and I’ve posted on this before, e.g. here and here). Don’t underestimate the sure-footedness, balance, and sheer gumption of the mystical Ibex either (stambecco in Italian, Steinbock in German). These pictures speak for themselves (yes, the tiny specs in the lower photo are what you think)…

2 November 2010

Cross-cultural rasterization…

Origins unknown—if you find out, let me know?

(Thanks to a tip by “Jay,” this may the source)?


America, america, america…

All across the Excited States of America…

Let me start by saying… I love you guys (and gals, goes without saying), I hate you guys, and I’m increasingly ambivalent about all you good-ole guys and gals and your overly-polarized, ever-narrowing worldview…

As an animated fraction(!) of the USA’s three-hundred-and-ten million citizens head out to vote today, please be aware that the “rest of the world” watches your amnesic roll to the right and political shenanigans with equal measures of concern, disbelief, and revulsion. It seems that crass, opportunist partisanship has trumped the very basic premise of engaged citizenship and shared civility that your great (OK, formerly great) nation was based and built upon… sad, very sad indeed. I’m sure I’m not alone in remembering an America of the past that seemed worth celebrating in aspirational song...

Images: an assortment of placards, signs, and shirts shown out and about the U.S. in recent days… 



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