Out Now: Desktop Issue #298 — The Graphic Effect

Published:  October 3, 2013
Bonnie Abbott
Out Now: Desktop Issue #298 — The Graphic Effect

“Where the real potential for a greater public awareness of graphic design lies is in its archaeology — the unearthing of the layers of design within our environment and connecting it to the greater story of the city, place and its people.” —Stephen Banham

Issue #298 launches today! We have stripped out the pretty stuff and talked about the meat – the real heart of graphic design’s motivation. What’s going on below the surface, the innovation of creative thought, the seed and true potential of an idea before style and image come onto the scene. This is the type of design that can be accidental, or ingrained in ourselves. It can be all around us, and we neglect to notice it everyday. The basic design presence that structures our lives. This is the Graphic Effect.

Cover artist Victor Hachmang captures this sentiment perfectly. His illustration portrays two opposites, yet still there is a structure piercing through, holding the two sides together, keeping everything working. The cover illustration is complemented with a delicate emboss.

Viktor Hachmang’s cover illustration for Desktop #298.

If you have a big idea but need help, Esther Anatolitis gives designers a big heads up with how to make arts funding work for you. She helps designers begin to think about their work in a different way — is it for public good? Do you make it in a studio? Do you exhibit it? If you don’t, then why not? Editor Bonnie Abbott talks to Alice Rawsthorn — design critic and author currently here for the Melbourne Festival — who emphasises the need for design to engage human happiness and work with unquestionable excellence. Rawsthorn talks of design’s incredible future potential, but warns of the danger upon our lives if it goes awry.

Aimee Mullins wearing fantastical prosthetic legs, from Hello World.

In a celebration of a hard working little object that so often goes unnoticed, Leanne Prain shares the story of the lonely air freshener, told through an encounter with a friendly taxi driver. Michael Savona, graphic designer, and Thing Thing, plastics experimenters, join together in a project that sees graphic design and typography step away from the page and exist in 3D, an extraordinary collaboration of a project to create chairs inspired by the shredded styles of Bruno Munari.

Left: Illustration by Annu Kilpelåinen. Right: ‘M’ by Michael Savona and Thing Thing.

Legendary design thinker, writer, collector and commentator Stephen Banham writes a piece that encapsulates the issue. The Graphic Effect looks at the invisible design around us, and how that impacts upon the graphic design industry and the graphic designers themselves. In our exclusive feature of the month, Desktop talks to Patrick Bek and Oliver Fowles of watchmakers Uniform Wares, and fine art photographer Jim Naughten about their recent collaboration, 12 Details, that looks at individuals (some peculiar characters, of course!) who share an obsessive love of details, just as they do. And in a celebration of this collaboration, Uniform Wares have given us one of their new 104 series watches to giveaway!

12 Details by Jim Naughten, in collaboration with Uniform Wares.

Wrapping up the issue is the final instalment of the Create Awards shortlists! The Catalogue, Motion, Interactive, Signage & Display and Print Creative categories finish up the shortlisted entries, which of course leaves the winners — announced at the Create Design Awards Night (tickets still available) and in next month’s issue!

Shortlisted entry for Create Awards — Jonothan Zawada for The Presents

As you sit or stand reading the issue, take a moment to consider the design around you. The way the pages in your hands have been expertly bound together in an extremely efficient system — the magazine. The cuffs on your jumper or the doodads on your shoelaces. The design that functions without gimmicks or a launch party, that does its job day in and day out, the result of one great idea — to improve, however slightly, your daily life.


Desktop #298 — The Graphic Effect is available now from Mag Nation, Beautiful Pages and other fine stockists of magazines around the country.Prefer to have issues delivered to your door? Subscribe today!Get Desktop digitally via Zinio, Google Play, Nook (US), and Nook (UK).

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