LogoArchive Issue 7 explores textile symbols alongside a critical take on modernism from Jack Self
The seventh issue of Richard Baird’s LogoArchive zine features 24 symbols designed for textile-related businesses, including the story behind Franco Grignani’s now-iconic Woolmark logo. Its construction celebrates the industry through a silkweave emboss applied to G . F Smith’s Colorplan Ebony.
LogoArchive continues to reconfigure itself with each new issue, this time exploring the self-published zine as a platform for those who inspired it. One such individual is architect, writer and Real Review founder Jack Self. Baird reveals that his writing “has been instrumental in reshaping the way I write about design. Its materiality and content seemed to perfectly synergise, thanks to a collaboration with design studio OK-RM. It manifested, with great ease, its central enquiry ‘What does it mean to live today’ through an exquisite corpse of type and image facilitated by a vertical fold. It also changed the way I understood the potential of the review to say something more than what was apparent on the surface, and drawing me towards the notion of a ‘total project’, that is to say, designer as author, designer as producer, publisher and distributor”.
Through his contribution, Self looks back, casting a critical eye over modernism, an era in which many of the logos on show originated, before proposing an idea for the future. As his piece does not relate directly to the theme, designer Maria Elges came up with the concept of typesetting it like frayed fabric. “It was such a beautiful gesture for three reasons”, Baird explains. “Firstly, it has an abstract reading, that of the modernist project being unravelled, particularly the rather dated notion of the ‘universal man’. Secondly, the shortness of some lines serves to emphasise keywords or statements. And finally, it provides something of a visual delight that works as an image online, and hopefully, delivers an ‘aha’ moment. I introduced the material element of a single-sided silkweave surface emboss to augment this, as though the paper was a single sheet of fabric exiting a loom.”
Speaking on Self’s contribution, Baird details that “LogoArchive is not just logos, but an active surface for enquiry. It’s a self-initiated, post-university pedagogical challenge to see what design writing could be. The introduction of other writers, voices and styles is a natural evolution of that. Having met Jack, I was fascinated by the way he articulated his ideas. There was a precision, an intentionality and elegance to his proposals. I had published an interview with him in LogoArchive Issue 4 but wanted to take that further with a commissioned piece. This is one of the joys of publishing; you get to take a voice from the field of architecture and share it with graphic designers; there’s always an applicability at its core. LogoArchive as a zine always intended to use the joy and allure of mid-century logos as a vehicle to migrate ideas, and Jack’s ideas and way of expressing these were interesting to me. When I find something that is insightful and beautifully put, I have a strong inner-will to share it.”
Issue 7 also features text from Elges and Baird, with both choosing to relate back to the subject of textiles. Elges “uses the analogy of losing the thread to urge designers to get lost in the creative process”, while Baird “uses metaphor, specifically those related to textiles and war, to propose that designers make metaphor a more intentioned practice”.