july 2, 2017. alter.


Hours of rolling through rural New England countryside. Overgrown field after disused barn after collapsed cemetery, all silent in summer still air.  Power lines crackle and zing overhead.   The barn and the dirt below are slowly becoming more like each other.

Perhaps a deep placid spell has fallen over this place.  Its possessions have been suspended in an blurry past – that old shed, the old barn, the old jeep.  The spell works into us in the white noise of tires on asphalt, bird calls, the sound of crickets in the afternoon at the edge of the woods – woods that deepen down to dark well before sundown, the heavy leaves concealing something pre-colonial and mythic just beyond where the sun stops.

And here, something built and bewitched rises in the grass…

Sons of the Silent Age

Re-reading Madame Bovary:

They had the pale, very white skin that goes so well with the diaphanous tints of porcelain, the luster of satin, the patina of old wood, and is kept flawless by simple, exquisite fare.”

-Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary


otl aicher


It’s important I suppose to write about one’s design inspirations.  Sometimes, it can feel like I’ve completely absorbed them and don’t need to revisit them, and then, I do and discover something completely new. Or, more often, I realize that I’ve creatively drifted without realizing it, and spend a long night staring at design books, trying to find my equilibrium.

Otl Aicher was someone I came to both early and late.   Later when I knew his work as a designer, I became mildly obsessed with him, as though having his Munich ’72 Olympic iconography as my bedroom wallpaper as a kid somehow connected us across the vast spans of time.  I invested more relevance in his than perhaps is necessary, but every time, his graphics still represent an ideal I aspire to.