Albanian Letters by Arthur Evans

 

Arthur Evans Albanian Letters

Design for Albanian Letters, a compilation of letters and reports on Albania in the 1870s by archaeologist and journalist Sir Arthur Evans, the latest book from the Centre for Albanian Studies now in print.

From the blurb:

In Albanian Letters Evans not only explores the implications of the key political events of this period but also paints a vivid picture of the country’s complex social and cultural make-up. Albanian Letters looks at how Albanians’ views of their homeland were affected by developments taking place at the time, including increasing awareness of ethnic differences, population migration, and changes to its distinctive culture and tradition.

and the back cover testimonials:

‘These fascinating letters and reports – never previously collected – cast fresh light on one of the most vital periods of Albanian history. The crisis which began in the late 1870s would lead, eventually, to the creation of an independent Albania. But while the end-point of that process was a relatively simple solution, the starting-point was a complex problem, with many different interests competing for power. Arthur Evans was both an opinionated young man and a brilliant journalist, with a vivid pen and a keen appetite for information; his accounts of these tensions and conflicts, both internal and international, make him a very valuable witness – and a very good read.’

Sir Noel Malcolm, Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford

‘Despite their biases as pointed out by the editors, Evans’ journalistic reports provide an impressive depth of detail as well as insightful analyses of events, personalities and intrigue within their cultural and historical context.’

George W. Gawrych, Professor of History, Baylor University 

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Vogue at Burlington Arcade

There’s an exhibition of Vogue covers along Burlington Arcade in Piccadilly at the moment that’s worth catching if you are in the area.

sdr

My favourite (of course) is the black and white Irving Penn cover for June 1950. Look at those eyes. Fantastic.

 

The Balkan Wars

Balkan Wars Running Sheets

Today received the running sheets for ‘The Balkan Wars’, my latest book design project. Always slight trepidation mixed in with the excitement of seeing the printed book for the first time. Happily all in order.

This is my first book project with versions being published in three languages (almost) simultaneously – English, Macedonian and Albanian. Being published in the UK by I.B.Tauris in association with The Centre for Albanian Studies. Looking forward to the book launch in Macedonia in a couple of weeks.

Balkan Wars Cover

David Bowie and George Orwell meet in blank space

Blank space is the central theme in the design for two iconic works released this month.

The album cover for the thrilling and unexpected release of new music by David Bowie, with strong allusions to his Berlin period, is presented in a blanked out cover of Heroes:

Album cover for 'The Next Day' by David Bowie

Album cover for ‘The Next Day’ by David Bowie

In his post on the design, Jonathan Barnbrook writes

The obscuring of an image from the past is also about the wider human condition; we move on relentlessly in our lives to the next day, leaving the past because we have no choice but to. [read full text here]

In the new edition of George Orwell’s 1984 released to commemorate the inaugural ‘Orwell Day’ (today! 21 Jan 2013), the text is blacked out using matt black foil over debossed type, leaving just enough of an imprint for the reader to make out the words – and subtly communicating the idea that censorship and authoritarianism will never fully succeed in eradicating memory or possibility.

Cover for 1984 by George Orwell by David Pearson

Cover for 1984 by George Orwell by David Pearson

We can be heroes, for more than one day …

Nymphette, I think I love you

It’s getting close to the day I see a printed copy of the Biographical Dictionary back from the printers. As ever, excitement mixed with some trepidation, especially since I have not seen the proof.

I was looking for typographic adornments or glyphs to use in the design and found Nymphette. Perfectly named and perfectly shaped. Can’t wait to see it in print – for real.

Nymphette

Launch of ‘Birth of Albania’

It’s always good to see a project come to fruition, especially one that you – and many others – have put a lot of work into: in my case, the design and production of the book. So it was great to attend the launch party for The Birth of Albania at the Albanian Embassy in London last week.

Written by Nicola Guy, the book explores how an independent Albania first came into existence, and how later actions during and after the first World War by the Great Powers in partitioning ethnic Albanian territory gave rise to problems that are still unresolved.

Fittingly the book is published, by IB Tauris in association with The Centre For Albanian Studies, in the centenary year of the declaration of the Independence of Albania (from the Ottoman Empire), in Valona on November 28th 1912.

The book is set in Adobe Caslon Pro, a font that I think works really well for books. The front cover features a detail of an illustration originally used on the front cover of the Italian journal La Tribuna in 1914, and depicts the 1914 uprising.

In the photo above Noel Malcolm, Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, is speaking, with His Excellency Mal Berisha, Charge d’Affaires at the Albanian Embassy in London, at left and the author, Nicola Guy, to the right of the picture.