Robert L. Peters

31 May 2011

The Book Surgeon

Atlanta, Georgia (from My Modern Met)

Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian Dettmer carves one page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books, or dictionaries is relocated or implanted, only removed. Dettmer manipulates the pages and spines to form the shape of his sculptures. He also folds, bends, rolls, and stacks multiple books to create completely original sculptural forms.

“My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception,” he says. “The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge.”

Dettmer is originally from Chicago, where he studied at Columbia College. He currently lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia.

View more of his incredible works here and an in-depth interview (with more images) here.

30 May 2011

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.

—Kahlil Gibran

29 May 2011

On mother earth…


A colleague just reminded me of some (long-forgotten) environmental writing I was involved in while working on a book project about 20 years ago…

27 May 2011

A salute | Fredric W. Goudy

Bloomington, Illinois

Fredric W. Goudy (sometimes also written as ‘Frederic’) was a master craftsman and an “American legend of type design,” a man of humble beginnings who started his career at the late age of almost 40. At the time of his death at the age of 82 (in 1947) he had 127 typeface designs to his credit—a list of typefaces designed by Goudy is available here. Read an interesting, in-depth magazine article about Goudy in the April, 1942 issue of Popular Science here.

The graphic above is from a promotion piece published by International Papers that’s been kicking around our design studio for quite a few years (illustrator/designer unknown).

26 May 2011

Mehdi Saeedi… in Stuttgart

Stuttgart, Germany

My Iranian friend Mehdi Saeedi (extraordinary calligrapher/designer) will be presenting at the Akademie Schloss Solitude next week… had it been last week, I might have been able to attend.

25 May 2011

Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world, and never will.

—Mark Twain

24 May 2011

Peace Puzzle

London, UK

My friend Paul Derrick has submitted this poster to the 2011 Busan International Design Festival in Korea, in response to an invitation to contribute to the exhibition themed ‘Expression of Peace through Design’ that will show from 1 – 12 June at the Busan Design Center and the Busan Metropolitan City Hall. In Paul’s words, the poster is “a graphic representation of new and different perspectives needed to build steps towards peace and disarmament.”

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of re-connecting with Paul and his wife Cathy in Vilnius, Lithuania… we had become friends a few years back in Havana during the Icograda congress in Cuba.

23 May 2011

Zur Farbenlehre

Dornach, Switzerland

This past week I had the pleasure of re-visiting a childhood haunt a few km from where I used to live… the Götheanum designed by Rudolf Steiner. While there, I picked up a reprint of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s colour-wheel graphic from his Farbenkreis (Theory of Colurs), written 200 years ago.

Should your glance on mornings lovely
Lift to drink the heaven’s blue
Or when sun, veiled by sirocco,
Royal red sinks out of view—
Give to Nature praise and honor.
Blithe of heart and sound of eye,
Knowing for the world of colour
Where its broad foundations lie.


14 May 2011

Icograda Design Week, Vilnius | Welcome Change

Vilnius, Lithuania

I’ve spent the better part of the past week in Vilnius, capital city of the Baltic state of Lithuania (accompanied by Ev), as an invited speaker and active participant in the Spring: Icograda Design Week. Official activities included attendance of the Icograda Regional Meeting, delivery of a lecture entitle Welcome Change at the International Conference held at the Vilnius Academy of Arts, and acting as a presenter at the European Design Awards 2011.

Highlights of the week included numerous design exhibitions that ran in the old city (concurrent to the Design Week), meeting with old and new designer colleagues from some 20 different countries, and spending time in some excellent art galleries and historic cultural venues. A big thanks goes out to the organizers and to Gediminas Lasas and his colleagues at the Lithuanian Graphic Design Association in particular…

Photos (top three by Ines Subtil): participants of the Icograda Regional Meeting outside the Vilnius Academy of Arts; an on-stage group shot of all of the winners and presenters of the European Design Awards 2011; MTV hostess Ugne Skonsmanaite and I presenting a silver award to Beetroot Design Group from Greece for their packaging work “Konva;” Ev with some of the posters on exhibit at the conference venue.


12 May 2011

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb…

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.

—Robert Fulghum

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