Kurt Vonnegut on castles

“Henry David Thoreau said, ‘I have traveled extensively in Concord.’ That quotation was probably first brought to my attention by one of my magnificent teachers in high school. Thoreau, I now feel, wrote in the voice of a child, as do I. And what he said about Concord is what every child feels, what every child seemingly must feel, about the place where he or she was born. There is surely more than enough to marvel at for a lifetime, no matter where the child is born.

Castles? Indianapolis was full of them.”

— Kurt Vonnegut (via Palm Sunday)

Anne Morrow Lindbergh on change

“We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity — in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.”

— Anne Morrow Lindbergh (via)

Huey Lewis in 2024

“Zen Buddhists say you need three things: Something to love, something to hope for and something to do. I got plenty to love, so this is my hope-for and my to-do. It keeps me from reflecting on my [expletive] hearing.”

— Huey Lewis on making a musical after losing his hearing (via)

The TCM Mantra

The Turner Classic Movies Mantra

The Business
TCM is in the business of keeping classic movies alive. Our role is not only to shore the wealth of classic movies, but also to preserve it, and create a new and growing audience. Our mission is to turn fans into zealots, casual viewers into fans, and newcomers into the classic movie lovers of the future.

The Aspiration
TCM is proud to play a unique role in American culture. We will defy categorization and advocate risk-taking as we meet the challenge of expanding the relevance of classic movies transcending the limitations of television. TCM will be the leading source of new perspectives on classic movies.

The Experience
The TCM experience will express unconditional love of classic movies and provide unrivaled pleasure and satisfaction. TCM will always be fun, smart. cinematic and trend setting. TCM understands why we need movies, and the importance of classic movies as the intersection of entertainment, culture and history. Our commercial-free programming and our unmistakable style produce a special and intimate dynamic with our audience, and a unique TCM state of mind.

The Bottom Line
TCM believes that movies matter. TCM is dedicated to the art of film, the value of movies and the intelligence of our audience. We accept the responsibility of advancing the art and commerce of classic movies. Without TCM, classic movies will die and with them, part of our culture. TCM is the guardian of classic movies, the keeper of a cultural flame.

Milton Glaser on clichés

“Because design deals with familiar forms, much of it depends on the cliché. In fact, the study of cliché as a mode of expression is fundamental to an understanding of design. Clichés are symbols or devices that have lost their power and magic; yet they persist because of some kind of essential truth. Clichés are fundamental sources of information, debased sources waiting to receive new energy. In design, as in so many other things – from human relationships to logotypes – frequent contact often produces immunity to the experience. Two things can help here: an attempt to maintain an innocent vision and the capacity to respond to internal and external changes.”

— Milton Glaser (via Graphic Design)

James Victore in 2016

Excerpts from a 2016 interview with James Victore from Please Make This Look Nice: The Graphic Design Process:

“The designer Henryk Tomaszewski would spend hours arranging and cutting and juggling on a page, to make it feel like it was just born there. You look at his work and wow. You can look at these pieces today, and they’re timeless, completely appropriate today. But I know that it took a lot of work to make that.

On the other hand you have Massimo Vignelli who was all about perfection, ‘This is perfect, that isn’t.’ I can’t believe how people get all wet in the pants for his shit since perfect assumes a number of things. It assumes that you are right, that you have the answer, and that you’re smarter than your audience because you have the rules. This is Massimo’s work since it leaves no room for the audience to be involved. It’s empirical.

I’m much more of the bloody, hairy Grapus-ian, Tomaszewski, Ungerer school. Where there’s a level of humanity, not business. With that said, someday I will be 90 years old – it’ll happen – and I hope I won’t be like two of my heroes – Sam Peckinpah and A. M. Cassandre, who both died penniless.”

“People say they have a love-hate relationship with technology. I definitely do. I really don’t trust it… I did a talk recently with Bonnie Siegler and Ellen Lupton. They asked me to pick a project and show and talk about it. So I picked this project that was done for Mudac in Switzerland – an exhibition that we did all the stuff for – banners outside, posters, catalog. It was big Swiss-style silkscreen in fluorescent orange and black so you could see where the black went over and where the white showed through. I started the talk and I was showing the poster and I said, ‘Listen, technology sucks, because this poster, there’s a pentimento, there’s a feeling.’ And someone said, ‘Aw, technology doesn’t suck!’ And I’m like, ‘No, technology sucks because this, in real life, has an otherness to it, a beauty to it that you can’t see. It’s fluorescent orange, which you can’t see on your fucking screen.’

I’m not satisfied looking at stuff on a screen. I don’t understand the headlong diving into the Kindle or whatever. I don’t think it’s because I’m 50. I think it’s because I love what we do and I love touching things and using my hands. I also don’t believe in having all of our eggs in one basket – and not a sturdy basket at that.”

“These days I don’t do as many iterations physically, because you do something long enough, you get good at it. There’s so much of it that just happens in my head, that doesn’t come out on paper. Or it’s literally a sketchbook full of words, explaining to myself what it means.

One of the things I learned from Pierre Bernard and the Grapus guys a bunch of years ago – I asked him, ‘When you’re doing your lettering, do you write it fifty times and then cut? Take the ‘E’ from here and put it here and fix it up?’ He said, ‘No, we usually do it about two or three times, and we always choose the first.’ I know that’s a lie, but it’s a lie to illustrate the truth. And the truth is, the first one is always best because you’re not thinking about it. If you start thinking about it too much, it just becomes a mess.”

“In Zen archery, it’s all [exhale]. It’s all large beautiful sweeping movements you make with the bow. And hitting the target? Who the fuck cares? That’s not important. That informs my work – it informs everything I do.

I never cared about the reward. I never cared about the target. I didn’t do things for money. I turned Pentagram down twice. I made decisions because I wanted a life, and I wanted to make and have choices in my life.

It’s not just about the work. It’s a life thing. That’s how it manifests itself in my work and life. I’ve said a million times, I’d rather die with the reputation I have now than fifty bucks more in my pocket.”

“I hope you got good stuff from me. I hope you’re getting the stuff you want from other people. I hope they’re being as honest and forthcoming as I tried to be.

I know that there are successful design studios that are basically run by MBAs who figure the business out. They add this ‘pentimento’ of color and typography on top of their work and they can all rot in hell.”

Emily Dickinson on love

“Unable are the Loved – to die –
For Love is immortality –
Nay – it is Deity – ”

— Emily Dickinson (letter to Susan Gilbert Dickinson)

Barney Bubbles in 1981

A few short quotes from a 1981 interview with designer and album cover artist Barney Bubbles in The Face magazine:

“I feel really strongly about what I do, that it is for other people, that’s why I don’t really like crediting myself on people’s albums – like you’ve got a Nick Lowe album, it’s Nick Lowe’s album not a Barney Bubbles’ album!”

“I find it’s a big racket. I think everybody should own up, first of all they’re doing it for money and the art definitely comes second. All it is is rock and roll and it’s no big shakes. But at the same time I think commercial design is the highest art form. Painting’s not dead, but it’s struggling to make a comeback.”

“I love rock and roll…I can’t get enough of it! But I’m really sad the way it’s gone. I find all the young designers…and I’ve talked to a lot of them…they think they’re doing Art, and they talk about record covers as Art. They do one sleeve and they are already talking about what they are going to do for the next album cover. All that to me is highly suspect because you’ve got to wait, hear the music and meet the guys, and they tell you what they want and then it’s up to you to deliver that.”

“They’re so creative – the kids that do the sleeves – it makes me feel so staid and boring, and I think: I’ve got to get out, it’s time for me to go.”

— (via)

Peter Ahlberg on Carin Goldberg

“One of the most illuminating conversations I had about graphic design and drawing was with Carin Goldberg. She pointed out that considering the graphic design process through the lens of drawing allows you to see it as a practice, a way of training your mind and muscles to gain strength, knowledge, and clarity. One doesn’t draw just in order to become a better renderer, but rather to become a better seer, a better thinker, and as Milton Glaser eloquently put it, ‘to understand what is real.'”

— Peter Ahlberg on Carin Goldberg (via Please Make This Look Nice)

Dave Gibbons on talent

“I think everyone is born with artistic talent, but it’s like a war of attrition – how far you can go until you give up or become discouraged. And I think I was lucky in the sense that I didn’t become discouraged. I was always getting somewhere.”

— Dave Gibbons