Editor’s column

The main personal achievement of the senior editor last summer was not the issue of the next Projector, and even not the completion of several serious design projects. The point is that Ive lost ten kilos for the past two months and Im not going to stop! I need to lose a doxen more, and then Ill turn back into a well-built handsome guy, but not the fat frail Id become by the beginning of the summer. Actually, Ive experienced a lot of wonderful hings since my extra kilos left me. For eaxmple, the boiling hot weather in the city this summer didnt bring any negative emotions and was dealt with quite easily. Ive started moving easier, and my efficiency has grown, which has finally lead to the new issue, published fast and just in time.

The secret is: drink less! The only business is to remove out of your ration a bottlre of wine drunk every evening. When you get rid of it, youll also say goodbye to baguettes, fat cheeses, hamones, spreads and other gastronomic joys, so pleasing my heart. Of course, its not easy to change all your ration at a time and switch to light salads, but the aim to become heavenly handsome works wonders. Two months of unburdensome drinking white wine withiout bread and candies, and my old jeans start to fit me again, not mentioning the cost avoidance of eating out.

Sure, I miss tasty unhealthy food. However, limitation also has its joys, culinary as well. This summer Ive successfully performed several times in my own and my friendskitchens (Vovka, Im heading for Moscow, get the rabbits=)). And, in connection with this old passion of mine, Im thinking of launching a column of food-design in Projector. This is where Ill be able to go wild and unite the two activities I love the duties of a senior editor and a chef! I absolutely agree with Massimo Vignelli: «Design is one», so my cooking and laying the table for the dear friends has not less creativity and design than design itself, while working on another issue or a customers corporate style. I sometimes consider what I could do except graphic design and publishing projects,, and theres the only answer: Id cook professionally. Actually, these processes have a lot in common, thats why it may happen that Id get another position some time: the chef for Projector. We even estimate these two fields similarly: «a tasty project», «beautiful food». For me, making a magazine is tasty, and Im trying to design every «dish» creatively. The point is to enjoy what youre doing. Bon appetit, my friends! 

    Projector № 3(12) 2010

    The fresh, twelfth Projector has been issued. The magazine has turned three years old. During this time, we outlived the global crisis, but never shifted the release date. The magazine didn’t lose weight and did never apply lifesaving publishing tricks - double issue production. Of course, now I look at the first issues in different eyes. I see a lot of imperfections and sufficient reasons for severe criticism, but this means Projector is evolving and growing. At the same time, looking at the future, in a couple of years I would like to look through this year’s issues in the same critical way.

    «Doctor, thank you for having cured me of megalomania! How many millions of dollars do I owe you?» So, I decided to put a photo of me on the cover. And let everybody say that Kharshak has gone crazy. I established this magazine, I am publishing it, and I’m here as the senior editor, so my face is really supposed to decorate the magazine. And if someone doesn’t see self-irony in this cover, it’s not a problem of ours.

    The issue opens with the publication about Jan van Toorn. Vladimir Krichevsky — a lexicographer, an authority and an expert in graphic design, has written a wonderful text and provided unique illustrations from his archive. «The influential Amsterdam designer (born in 1932) shows himself in a lot of ways: he prepares and illustrates any kind of issue, designs exhibitions, does not deal with logos and generally avoids all the identity, acts as an art director, gives lectures at the universities of different countries, writes articles and composes visual books (of course, coming out in the author’s design), and finally, he headed (in the 1990s) Jan van Eyck Academy in Mastrihte».

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    The real hero-troublemaker of this issue is Anna Naumova, who has imposed her own ruffian publication. The column «Self-service», where invited guests design their spreads on their own, has become the focal point of the magazine. Besides, I, as the senior editor, have set myself severe restrictions — I have no influence on the layout. It is entirely the author’s work. Anna is the third protagonist of Projector, after Boris Trofimov and Vladimir Chaika, who has designed their publication. And the text part of the article was the interview we took from Anna, when she came to Saint-Petersburg to perform in the I CAN SEE! program.

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    The project City of N is represented in the section «Russian Design» by Olga and Alexander Florensky. The project includes: a palace, an observatory, a post office, a lighthouse, a water tower and other unique design objects.

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    In the project №3 «Lettering» Alexey Dombrovsky continues his series with the second part of the story about Sergey Chekhonine. «Almost the first graphic work, conceived and prepared for printing by Sergey Chekhonine, was the type. More exactly, the ABC — a very imaginatively decorated alphabet. There’s nothing to estimate now: the circulation in the end did not take place, the original has not been preserved. There’s only a brief mention of it in the long article by Vladimir Botsyanovsky, but the author mostly admired the civil courage of Chekhonine’s first letters, rather than the manner of their execution. However, it is not surprising: after all, the artist drew not a usual, but the «revolutionary» ABC — caustic satire about the ruling system.

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    We’re also going on publishing the «beautiful postcards» from the collection of Vitaly Tratyakov.This time three magnificent examples of decorative lettering and the investigative report onf where they stem from: «In the lower right corner of the cards with the signs «S» and «K» (which probably can be attributed to the Latin rather than the Cyrillic alphabet) there’s the stamp Mustershutz — a kind of of protection against forgery. In translation from German this just means «protection of the sample». At the same time on the card with the letter «L» (Cyrillic grapheme uncompromisingly!) there isn’t such a sign. This allows me to assume that the original is just a card with the Latin letters, and some Russian publisher ordered local designers to adapt the series for the Cyrillic alphabet.

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    The project № 4 «Subject» is opened with our traditional column, coming out with the support of Vitra. Here we talk about the outstanding design objects of the twentieth century. This time it’s the couch «Freeform» by Isamu Noguchi. «Isamu Noguchi is the author of the «Freeform» sofa, and perhaps he’s to a greater extent a sculptor rather than a designer in the traditional understanding of the profession. Nevertheless, since the 1950s furniture, light, buildings and scenery decorations have been constructed to his designs. In all his projects, he implemented a sculptural and artistic approach. His objects, even running in circulation, preserved their sculptural formation and recognizability of the author’s style».

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    The following publication gives me an opportunity to congratulate my friends — Vladimir Samoilov and Alexander Matveyev on their next significant achievement. Their development has been awarded with Red Dot. «Industrial design does exist. Although it sometimes seems that this culture does not spread root in these latitudes. It is gratifying to see our people among the winners of the most prestigious international professional competition. Designet Studio has taken Red Dot for a series of objects designed for Erich Krause. The website designet.ru has been the leader among information resources on industrial design in Russia for ages. And now the irreplaceable undisputed «Designet people» Vladimir Samoilov and Alexander Matveev have once again confirmed their professional skills of the highest standard, what I congratulate them on. Hooray!

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    The project number 5 «Environment» features amazing constructions by the bureau BIG. This is what our author Ivan Kulikov writes about them: «If you carefully look at the project solutions of BIG, you’ll have no doubt that new Danish architecture is conceptual and circumspect, which the residential complex VM with an unusual building called The Mountain is a distinct confirmation of. The futurist shape of the buildings is the result of the synthesis between the concepts of sustainability, simplicity, clarity and uniformity of urban housing. Danish idyllic suburban life takes on a new development in the urban environment. And the idea of ​​greening the human activity is getting increasingly relevant as a source of inspiration and formation of new architecture for Danish designers».

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    Perhaps the most consistent and solid within the magazine, Project № 7 «Photography» shows magic and romantic nudity by Andrey Medvedev. The text of the article was written by Alexander Florensky, who knew the author: «Andrey, like many artists, used to be taking pictures of something now and then, but seriously took up photography in the last ten years of his life. His favorite technique became incredibly laborious acacia gum printing, using which you can spend a few days creating of a single print. «Unfortunately, this is a posthumous publication of Andrey’s works. He died July 27, 2010, when we were still working on this issue».

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    Generally, this edition has turned out to to be the ontinuation of the previous one to some extent. So, project №8, «School», continues displaying the works by the students of Konstantin Startsev. «The works of Startsev’s students have always featured these two amazing qualities — emotionality and sensationism. Such a «thick» stream of energy pours onto the audience out of them, that it becomes clear: in front of us there are the works of art of the highest standard. These lettering and beauty-of-the-letter studying, as well as its embodiment in a variety of materials and techniques, don’t bear any functionality at all. It’s pure spiritual practice, akin to meditation».

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    The book project №9: our regular writer, the expert on book history Mikhail Karasik explores the phenomenon of the Kiss in the design of the books of 1930s: «On the cover of the main visual propaganda magazine The USSR in Construction, issue 2-3 of the year 1940, dedicated to the Soviet military expansion and dividing Eastern Europe in collaboration with Nazi Germany, we can see the photomontage by El Lissitzky, showing how the warrior-liberator is being received. The plot is reminiscent of already familiar photos, its symbolic meaning and sexually-political essence are obvious. The soldier with a full combat outfit is the Red Army; the farmer wearing a national shirt in the picture stands for the «liberated» peoples of Western Ukraine and Belarus. The Red Army soldier, as well as Chkalov, has his eyes closed, as he’s in the heart of passion, as he’s brought here «cultural and prosperous life», as they said, and has sealed onto the lips of the peasant, but that one has only pressed his tightly closed lips against the «liberator».

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    In previous issues of Projector we have already covered the stories of the magazines [kAk), Yes!, Greatis. Today is the turn of Guild of Designers. We continue to study the recent history of design periodicals in Russia. Read the story of the issue’s protagonist and the father of Russian graphic design Sergey Serov about the history of the magazine. «Our country is rich in talent, as well as paradoxes. So if you run a magazine, it is not so much about the design, as about the designers. Of those who achieve success not because of, but in spite of everything. And so it is in all areas of design: graphic, industrial, environmental design, fashion design, and … The magazine could be a joint between different genres, types and forms of project work. I suggested the name Guild of Designers, attributing its meaning primarily to intraprofessional communication rather than the Union as an organization of designers. Oddly to say, I was given carte blanche».

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    Vladimir Krichevsky not only opens the issue with his publication about Jan van Toorn, but also, kind of closes it. Under the heading «Projector recommends», Vladimir Yefimov and Anna Shmeleva detail and meticulously examine the new edition of the famous diptych by Vladimir Krichevsky «Typography in terms and images». «Of course, any review is inconceivable without its critics. And now, paying tribute to this tradition, let’s just say that this is a very good book. It’s great that it’s come out, and even greater that it continues to evolve and live. In short, we recommend it to you».

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    Projector № 3(12) 2010

    Read the full e-version on issuu.com