Editor’s column

And let it be a shame to those who think bad about it! Because the ordinal is actually the tenth. You should be aware of Roman numerals.

But actually, I’m speaking not about the index number of the magazine, but about the signs of the urban environment. The color of the season is a protecting tape, the shoes of the season — rubber boots. Ugh, evil spirits! This still isn’t a trendy magazine’editor’s column. But it’s also impossible to ignore the fact that the streets are knee-deep slush, and another icicle might, bang against your head any time. We’re flowing into the spring. The city is cheerfully decorated with striped ribbons — like on a holiday!

As ubiquitous scaffolding at the eve of the third centenary of St. Petersburg, as the giant banners printed with false facades, covering numerous construction sites in the city center during the fat years of 2007-2008, the current protective tape is an essential feature of the time. I am sure that such undress, mundane functional stories, partly changing our perception of city life, are very important for the sense of time. It’s they that sometimes sticks into the memory sharper and broader than something unusual. This is how we’ll remember the spring of 2010: the time when everything was surrounded with striped ribbons, and the habit to mind your stepgot replaced with the one of looking up, not to get an occasional batch of snow or an ice shell.

    Projector № 1(10) 2010

    Being in naughty and cheerful mood, we’ve made the first in the new year and the tenth altogether issue of Projector.

    To appeal to the readers, the senior editor Mitya Kharshak has put on the most typical outfit of the season — he’s rolled up to the head into protective tape. This is, in fact, the feature of the epoch. The same thing is on the cover of the magazine, too. This is how we’ll be recalling the spring’10 — as the time when everything was surrounded with striped ribbons, and the habit to mind your step gave way to craning your neck, not to get a random batch of snow or an ice shell.


    Project № 1 «Personification» opens with the publication about László Moholy-Nagy, who was very unlucky with the Cyrillic transcription. Making the way through the wilds of Hungarian phonetics, translators called him Laszlo, then Lazslo. The double surname existed in a variety of options from Moholy-Nagy to Moholy-Nady. In Soviet art history the option «Mohoy-Nady» became customary, but I see Laszlo Moholy-Nagy likelier to be the truth, (yes, having the stress on the first syllable, his name is still pronounced in the Bauhaus, where he spent some of the most exciting years of his life). By the way, this is what Moholy-Nagy wrote for our magazine: «The reality of our time is technology, inventions, design. The spirit of our time is the widespread use of machinery. It replaced the transcendental spiritualism of the past. Technology lackы tradition and class consciousness … This is our century: technologies, machines, Socialism … Art crystallizes emotions of the epoch. Art is the mirror and the voice of the time. The art of nowadays must be fundamental, accurate, inclusive. This is the art of constructivism. Constructivism can not be proletarian or capitalist. It expresses the pure natural form, clear color, spatial rhythm and balance. Constructivism does not require a frame or a pedestal — it penetrates the industry and architecture, objects and their interrelation …»


    Since this issue we’re modifuing the column «Name», but the change is so significant that it is more suitable to say we’re starting a new section under the old name. So, with the first issue of 2010, all publications about the wonderful people of the profession will be designed and typeset by the protagonists themselves. Sergei Serov, the member of Projector’s editorial board, has kindly agreed to be responsible for their ideological and text guidance in this «magazine in the magazine». From now on I’ll just inform our protagonists of the cut size and the number of pages, but the publication design is given headlong at the complete disposal of the masters, who the article is about. The pioneer of the new section has become our favorite and bright Boris Trofimov. Meet him on pages 20-27!

    «BV, as his adoring students call him behind his back, generously, unselfishly shares his invaluable creative experience with them. Not only does he immerse the students into the atmosphere of high style and genuine professionalism, but also human attention, sincere care and true love. And love, as you know, «is patient and kind, it does not provoke, does not rejoice at iniquity, but rejoices at the truth, bears everything, endures everything …» A student of him once remarked one day: «Boris teaches with the soul». Trofimov never sees red. «OK, OK, — he says softly about someone not very fast — he’ll do it step by step». And then you see the student does it»,- Sergey Serov about Boris Trofimov.


    «Russian design» by Olga and Alexander Florensky presents the project Russian Trophy, featuring a submarine and a helicopter, and a triumphul arch, and a variety of smaller military objects.


    Заканчивается эпическая сага Юрия Гордона о создании шрифта «21 цент», занявшая в нашем журнале Проект № 3 «Буквы» на целых три номера. Впрочем, масштаб работ объясняет и объем, и продолжительность всей истории, которая стала самой большой публикацией за все время существования «Проектора». Впрочем, с окончанием публикации не заканчивается работа над самим шрифтом. Как пишет Юрий: «Когда я посчитал, что хочу сделать примерно двести начертаний Цента, я понял, что обычными средствами мне эту задачу не то чтобы не решить, но придется убить на нее столько времени, сколько не может себе позволить человек моего темперамента и моих интересов». А вот какими средствами можно решить задачу подобных масштабов — об этом в следующих номерах «Проектора». Интрига? Да!


    Here is the end of the epic saga by George Gordon about the creation of the type 21 cents, which has taken three issues of the project № 3 «Lettering». However, the work scale explains both the size and duration of the whole story, which has been the ever-largest publication Projector. However, the work on the type doesn’t stop with the end of the article. Yuri: «When I decided that I wanted to make about two hundred faces of Cent, I realized that using customary means I’d surely do the task, but I’d have as much time as I couldn’t not afford, being a person of my temperament my interests». But which tools do help to solve this problem, you’ll be able to read in next issues of Projector. An intrigue? Sure!


    The project №4 «Subject» this time has only one publication — the story of ceramic clock by George Nelson. In addition to a large number of wall clocks, he also contributed to a small series of ceramic desktop ones. Designed in the early 1950s, they were never mass produced for unknown reasons. And only now, when it has been over half a century since their invention, they’ve been again put into production.


    The project №5 «Environment», instead, boasts of quite large-scale publications this time. Projector could not ignore the unique materials about a home for the collection of Vitra furniture, just opened in February. The stunning building Vitra Haus was designed by the architectural bureau Herzog & de Meuron. We must go and see it alive!

    We’ve managed to find one more unique material, but of a different kind, in the archives of Iosif Vaks. This is the project of a comprehensive design of illuminated signs in the main streets of Leningrad. The best features of the old regime pre-computer design culture are now considered as an almost pure art. Not only artistic skills and elegance of execution, but also in attitude to the overall project content.


    Project № 7 «Photography» introduces the photos and self-assembled cameras of a Saint-Petersburg photographer Alexander Lyashko. Knowing about Alexander Lyashko’s passion to construct and upgrade cameras, friends and friends of friends bring him an old photo equipment, to store which storage Alexander has a whole fridge. And should representatives of design departments of bug companies know that, they might employ Alexander as a consultant on ergonomics. For example, Hasselblad, in these cases takes professional photographers’ advice. However, Alexander hasn’t given any to his own Hasselblad, well, maybe just a little.


    Project № 9 «Books» has turned most voluminous this time. Here we have the traditional article by Mikhail Karasik on book history of the 1920-30s. In this issue, Mikhail observes the whole layer of the books «Of paper and steel».


    Another historical publication is the interview given by Vladimir Krichevsky to Mitya Kharshak. In January, the member of the editorial board Alexander Florensky made Projector a royal gift — he donated really a bibliographic rarity, all five issues of the magazine Yes!, published in Moscow in 1994-1996. Sasha then said that once we had found a place for the fifty-six [kAk) magazine covers, we’d also be able to it for Yes! ones. Yes!, of course, is situated in its own epoch, representing a part of the early modern history of the profession development, and on the other hand, the magazine is timeless, as many spreads of it seem to be relevant until now. Mitya Harshak asked Vladimir Krichevsky, the ideological inspirer and — the editor of Yes!, the questions of «how it was».


    And Yuri Gordon again, this time in a book incarnation. His work Strong gods has been published, and our regular contributor Alexey Boyko has had the opportunity to be one of the first to hold in his hands the rare edition: «Most of all, it’s surprising, that it’s not just the Siamese symbiosis of an «artist’s book» with a high quality design product, but a literary phenomenon — neither a letter one, nor language, but a verbal phenomenon. Design community historically has always been eloquent; at least, to a greater extent than artists’ subculture. A designer’s word programs an arising shape, conjures the very target audience which Yuri wrote, draws the horizons of utopias. And rarely becomes literature. Yuri Gordon, with his usual assertive, strong-willed thinking and a perfectionit’s performance has constructed a literary and imagery world».


    Also, due to Alexey Boyko this issue has a publication about the new book by Alexander Borovsky — the godfather of all modern art of Saint-Petersburg. Why did the pages of Projector, the magazine, focused exclusively on the visuality in all its forms, all of a sudden have a book «Practically not fine arts», without any illustrations (the cover doesn’t count, does it?). At first sight, the book doesn’t fit us — the actual art is not what we specialize in. Where is the Design? But the reason why the article has been published here lies just beneath the surface. Designers and artists are the people of very different professions, but there are some features (besides the work with visuals) that unite us. For example, the breadth of seeing. And to expand the understanding of the context of contemporary visuality, which is on of the most essential points for a designer, the book by Alexander Borovsky is the first effective read!


    Projector № 1(10) 2010

    Read the full e-version on issuu.com