31 October 2012

Halloween Greetings...

Ellen Leonard

Arthur Rackham

                   The Haunted Chamber 
                 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

                    Each heart has its haunted chamber,
                   Where the silent moonlight falls!
                    On the floor are mysterious footsteps,
                    There are whispers along the walls!

                  And mine at times is haunted
                  By phantoms of the Past
                 As motionless as shadows
                By the silent moonlight cast.

                A form sits by the window,
                                That is not seen by day,                 
                    For as soon as the dawn approaches
             It vanishes away.

                It sits there in the moonlight
              Itself as pale and still,
                 And points with its airy finger
              Across the window-sill.

                Without before the window,
                 There stands a gloomy pine,
                  Whose boughs wave upward and downward
                   As wave these thoughts of mine.

             And underneath its branches
             Is the grave of a little child,
             Who died upon life's threshold,
             And never wept nor smiled.

             What are ye, O pallid phantoms!
             That haunt my troubled brain?
             That vanish when day approaches,
           And at night return again?

              What are ye, O pallid phantoms!
              But the statues without breath,
             That stand on the bridge overarching
             The silent river of death?

07 October 2012


Gerd Arntz was the German artist and graphic designer responsible for creating the pictograms of Isotype, The International System of TYpographic Picture Education developed by Viennese social scientist and philosopher Otto Neurath.  Isotype was a means of visually representing complex statistical information - the generic pictograms were typically used to illustrate stylized charts explaining economic and political data.   Isotype marked the inception of modern visual statistics, establishing a clear means of communicating to ordinary people esoteric information that was often difficult to understand.  In addition to the uniform human symbols, Arntz created pictograms for ships, automobiles, food, plants and factories.   Among the over 4000 symbols Arntz designed were these, my favorites, unsurprisingly: images of animals wild and domestic. 

These are wonderful images, and, quite unlike the majority of human figures he created, vivid and dynamic.  Not only are they examples of good design but they're cheerful and deserve to be seen.  With a little cardstock and some thread, I fashioned this mobile of woodland creatures - Rabbit, Squirrel, Frog, Mouse.  




If you're interested in seeing more of Arntz's work, the Gerd Arntz Web Archive is the place to start. There, you can also download the Gerd Arntz Memory App which is indeed a very pleasant brain-enhancing distraction.   And do spend some time meandering around the Gerd Arntz Archive from the Museum of the Hague.  Here are a few images to tempt you...