Guy Maddin’s The Forbidden Room (and its mad title sequence)

The Forbidden Room titles 1 The Forbidden Room titles 2The Forbidden Room titles AThe Forbidden Room titles 8The Forbidden Room titles 6The Forbidden Room titles 5The Forbidden Room titles 4The Forbidden Room titles 3

I just heard about Guy Maddin’s new film, The Forbidden Room; then watched the trailer, then watched an interview, and now I am ready to declare that Guy Maddin is one of my absolute favourite Canadians. Truly. I never use this word, but in this case it fits – he’s AWESOME.



causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear:

an awesome sight.


exhibiting or marked by awe; showing reverence, admiration, or fear.


Slang. very impressive:

That new white convertible is totally awesome.

See? Right!

I think I’ve now seen everything he’s created, at least what’s available for us all to see that he’s created. I’m sure there are some dark, secret projects that have never seen the light of day (imagine how dark!).

This post (my posts have almost become one every six months since Instagram stole my attention – gah) could not fit the theme of this blog better – madly creative typography.

Below is the teaser trailer that features nothing other than, yes, typography – a parade of strange and wonderful chemically burned, tuned for low attention spans, shifting and shifting again, referential but beautifully crafted title credits.
Maddin’s long time design collaborator Evan Johnson has achieved his Guy Maddin title masterpiece here.


If you haven’t discovered Guy Madden, hurry up and go discover him right now.

Here’s a very good Cinema Scope interview, with Madden and Evan Johnson together


And an interview with Evan Johnson alone, from the great Art of the Title site.

And here’s the full trailer for the film. Madcap!

Imitating paper history for The Imitation Game

MiniLima_Imitation Game props 1

MiniLima_Imitation Game props 8 MiniLima_Imitation Game props 2MiniLima_Imitation Game props 7

Great article I just found on FastCoDesign about the design company MinaLima that created all the prop documents for The Imitation Game, the excellent film about Alan Turing and the cracking of the Enigma Code. They also did all the paper props for the Harry Potter films, which are amazing.

As a designer who is rather obsessed with design/type/printing of the past, I really admire the skill and attention to detail that they bring to their work. It is very good.

One interesting point that’s raised in the interview relates to how audiences expect props in historical films to look aged, when in fact, they would not have looked aged back in the day. Somehow we only recognise these objects as artefacts – old and yellowed.

The same is true going further back in history, to ancient Roman wall murals, for example. We recognise them as worn and very subtle in colour. The truth is they were garishly bright and if we saw them that way today, we’d likely think they were fake! Interesting.

You can read the interview here:

Swissed: punk vs the swiss




Really liking the rather enormous body of work that designer mike joyce has generated with his “Swissed” project. His focus is an unlikely intersection of classic Swiss design from the 50s and 60s with punk rock, and he does it well.






Vintage Vector

red baron2





Loving all things vector (and poly) at the moment. I’ve always loved vintage vector video game graphics from the late 70s and early 80s, mainly from Atari. Games like Asteroids, Tempest, Lunar Lander, Battle Zone and Star Castle were amazing, and kept me pumping in quarters. I actually owned a table top Tempest arcade game around 1987 (last two images above). Kept it in my bedroom! I can’t believe I traded it for a crappy Sony Watchman. As way ahead of it’s time as it was…what was I thinking!

The games were great, but these days I also admire the linear typography that was a product of mathematics as much as design. Simple and uniform in their weights, the letterforms are reminiscent of mid-century stencil lettering used by draftsmen (and women). Amazingly, those things are still for sale!

For a nice, concise history of video games, enjoy this site.



star castle2

The Short history of video game title design

Donkey Kong

Bio shock title

Border Lands title

Nice little video history of video game tile design from Art of the Title – from vector to 8bit and upward. View the video here.

L.A. Noire title

Red Dead Redemption title

Grand Theft Auto title

Lantern – flip through historical film mags in glorious high res



Just got a great tip from No Film School about the amazing Lantern. It is essentially a search engine from Media History Digital Library, that allows access to an incredible wealth of vintage film & tv mags like Variety, The Film Daily, and Photoplay, with high resolution scans of each and every page. These are mags from as early as 1914, in the case of Photoplay, and as late as 1964, in the case of The Educational Screen.  This is a rare treat, and great resource for vintage type, ads, articles, images, and opinions from another era.

The repository is deep, but slightly tricky to navigate – here’s a tip: once you’ve clicked on a cover on the home page, you’ll be taken to a list of issues, that in most cases look like plain dark covers. Those seem to be the archive covers, but inside, is all the good stuff. The secret is to click on “Read in Context“. That takes you, inside the magazines, which you can flip through (really), page by page. Lovin’ it!




3D Printed “typographic toys” – Coming Soon

Type toys 1Type toys 3Type toys 2Type toys 4

I’m about to launch a new product into the world – fully customizable, typopgraphic car toys, based on the name of a child. The site where they will be for sale will allow all sorts of customization of the toys, starting with the child’s name, which will form the body of the car. But more than that, the wheels, “face” and car style (6 styles in total, including Monster Truck, Racing Car, and Pick-Up Truck, all made from typography) will all be options for each toy.

Featured above it my super cute nephew Finch, with the world’s first Finch-mobile.

If these customizable toys sound interesting to you let me know. I’m taking pre-orders now. The site will launch this summer, in time for Christmas 2013.


711 circa 1976 via 2013

Swedish 711 g Swedish 711 a Swedish 711 b

Loving the retro Swedish 7-11 coffee rebrand by Swedish design office BVD.

Swedish 711 c Swedish 711 d Swedish 711 e Swedish 711 f


Submarine Cable Map

Submarine Cable Map 2013 c

Submarine Cable Map 2013 b

Submarine Cable Map 2013 a

Incredible map of all the cables that run under our oceans to keep data flowing. Published by Telegeography.

You view the full map below. Inspect it’s details. Amazing.

Submarine Cable Map 2013


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