Friday, May 30, 2014

Iowa Insect Series: Attention to Detail

Cicada © David Versluis and Roy R. Behrens
Above In the late 1980s, driving a U-Haul from the Deep South to Cincinnati, as we neared our destination, we began to hear a deafening buzz—and soon we ran into a boundless cloud of the seventeen-year locust, the cicada. They were everywhere—everywhere. What an indelible welcome.

Another batch of the seventeen-year cicada will soon arrive in Iowa (in another week or so, I think). Be not alarmed or overwhelmed. They're actually quite wonderful. Enjoy them while you can—they may soon go the way of the monarch, the hummingbird, the garter snake.

Long live corn and ethanol in the land of hulk and money.

And guns.

In the meantime, my good friend David Versluis has anticipated the emergence of the cicada by installing an exhibition of his and my collaborative digital montages (collages made on computer), called Insects of Iowa: Attention to Detail. See exhibit installation below.

•••

David Plowden, from "Conversation with David Plowden" in Christopher R. Rossi, ed., David Plowden's Iowa. Iowa City IA: Humanities Iowa, 2012—

When you get to Iowa, the land may be gentle and the land may be very subtle, but the sky isn't. You live out here under the weather and at your own risk, for god's sake. You may have all of the most up-to-date equipment, all the pesticides and chemicals you need—everything. But you have no control over the weather. And I think that's one of the most important things about living in this part of the world—that you could be wiped out by the weather, or you could be blessed by the weather, but you live by the weather.…

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mad Dog Poster | Sara Peters

Wrestling poster © Sara Peters (2014)
Above One of sixty-plus "Mad Dog" Vachon posters designed In the spring of 2014 by graphic design students in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, to promote the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo IA. Produced as a community project in a beginning graphic design course (as taught by Roy R. Behrens), this is one of three posters designed by undergraduate student Sara Peters (©2014).

•••

B.F. Skinner, Particulars of My Life. New York: New York University Press, 1984, p. 44—

She [his mother] had one ability about which there was no doubt: she could find four-leaf clovers. If she saw a patch of clover on someone's lawn, she would bend down and almost immediately come up with a stem with four leaves.  She would frequently find two or three while the rest of us searched in vain. Her satisfaction was intense, and she never overlooked an opportunity to demonstrate her skill.

Mad Dog Poster | Alexa Weilein

Wrestling poster © Alexa Weilein (2014)
Above One of sixty-plus "Mad Dog" Vachon posters designed In the spring of 2014 by graphic design students in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, to promote the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo IA. Produced as a community project in a beginning graphic design course (as taught by Roy R. Behrens), this is one of three posters designed by undergraduate student Alexa Weilein (©2014).

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Allan Sly, "Excerpts from Taped Reminiscences of Black Mountain" in Mervin Lane, ed., Black Mountain College: Sprouted Seeds: An Anthology of Personal Accounts. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1990, p. 66—

[Bauhaus artist Josef] Albers was amongst those who came [to a Black Mountain College picnic in 1935]. When it came to toasting the hot dogs over the open fire, most speared their dogs with unbent coat hangers, but Albers preferred to bend his coat hanger into a letter S—laying his hot dog on top of it, which he then held over the fire. We pointed out to him the advantage of spearing it with the prong. But he said, "I like very much the S-form." His dog fell off into the fire.

Mad Dog Poster | Emily Thompson

Wrestling poster © Emily Thompson (2014)
Above One of sixty "Mad Dog" Vachon posters designed In the spring of 2014 by graphic design students in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, to promote the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo IA. Produced as a community project in a beginning graphic design course (as taught by Roy R. Behrens), this is one of three posters designed by undergraduate student Emily Thompson (©2014).

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Edward Marsh, A Number of People: A Book of Reminiscences. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1939, p. 138—

The only drawback to her [Lady Wenlock's] companionship was her extreme deafness, which caused her to carry about a peculiar silver ear-trumpet [a horn-like hearing aid], looking like an entrée dish, or anything rather than what it was…At a luncheon in Florence she suddenly presented it to her neighbor, an Italian Duke, who gallantly filled it with green peas from a dish which a footman was handing to him at the same moment; and at one of her balls in London she left it on the piano, where it was mistaken for an ashtray, so that when the Prince of Wales took her in to supper and addressed an opening remark to her, she immediately covered him all over with cigarette ends.

Mad Dog Poster | Ekaterina Korzh

Wrestling poster © Katie Korzh (2014)
Above One of sixty "Mad Dog" Vachon posters designed In the spring of 2014 by graphic design students in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, to promote the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo IA. Produced as a community project in a beginning graphic design course (as taught by Roy R. Behrens), this is one of two posters designed by design student Ekaterina (Katie) Korzh (©2014).

•••

Joyce Cary, The Horse's Mouth. New York: Harper and Row, 1965—

"B-but, Mr. Jimson, I w-want to be an artist."

"Of course you do," I said, "everybody does once. But they get over it, thank God, like the measles and the chickenpox. Go home and go to bed and take some hot lemonade and put on three blankets and sweat it out."

"But Mr. Jimson, there must be artists."

"Yes, and lunatics and lepers, but why go and live in an asylum before you're sent for? If you find life a bit dull at home," I said, "and want to amuse yourself, put a stick of dynamite in the kitchen fire, or shoot a policeman. Volunteer for a test pilot, or dive off Tower Bridge with five bob's worth of roman candles in each pocket. You'd get twice the fun at about one-tenth the risk."

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Collections & Recollections | Mackenzie Pape

Collections Poster © Mackenzie Pape (2014)
Above Design for a poster for a hypothetical exhibition called Collections and Recollections: Arrangements of Related Forms: Thoughts on the odd things that people collect as well as the visual patterns that come from arranging things, designed by Mackenzie Pape (2014), undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design 2, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

Julian Bigelow, quoted by Ed Regis, Who Got Einstein's Office? New York: Basic Books, 1988—

[John] von Neumann [Hungarian-born American mathematician] lived in this elegant house in Princeton [NJ]. As I parked my car and walked in [for a job interview] there was this very large Great Dane bouncing around on the front lawn. I knocked on the door and von Neumann, who was a small, quiet, modest kind of a man, came to the door and bowed to me and said, "Bigelow, won't you come in," and so forth, and this dog brushed between our legs and went into the living room. He proceeded to lie down on the rug in front of everybody, and we had the entire interview—and this lasted maybe forty minutes, with the dog wandering all around the house. Towards the end of it, von Neumann asked me if I always traveled with the dog. But of course it wasn't my dog, and it wasn't his either, but von Neumann, being a diplomatic, middle-European type of person—he kindly avoided mentioning it until the end.

Collections & Recollections | Andy Snitker

Collections Poster © Andy Snitker (2014)
Above Design for a poster for a hypothetical exhibition called Collections and Recollections: Arrangements of Related Forms: Thoughts on the odd things that people collect as well as the visual patterns that come from arranging things, designed by Andy Snitker (2014), undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design 2, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

Edward Marsh, Ambrosia and Small Beer. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1965—

A soldier up for medical exam proved to have been wearing a truss for the past six years, and was classified as P.E. or Permanently Exempt. On his way out he gave this news to his pal, who immediately asked for the loan of the truss, which was granted. The examiner asked how long he had been wearing it, and he said, "Six years," whereupon he was classified as M.E. "What's that?" he asked. "Middle East." "How can I go to the Middle East when I've been wearing a truss for six years?" "If you can wear a truss for six years upside-down, you can jolly well ride a camel for six months."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Collections & Recollections | Kathryn Ryherd

Collections Poster © Kathryn Ryherd
Above Design for a poster for a hypothetical exhibition called Collections and Recollections: Arrangements of Related Forms: Thoughts on the odd things that people collect as well as the visual patterns that come from arranging things, designed by Kathryn Ryherd (2014), undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design 2, as taught by Roy R. Behrens. Below CD-ROM label for her final portfolio package.

•••

Christopher Morley [seeing two hair pieces of the same small size in a store window]—

They're alike as toupées.

•••

James Joyce

Come forth, Lazarus! And he came fifth, and lost the job.

•••

Stephen Leacock

Writing? Writing's easy. All you have to do is to put down whatever occurs to you. But the occurring, now that's hard.

© Kathryn Ryherd (2014)

Collections Posters | Rhiannon Rasmussen



Collections Posters © Rhiannon Rasmussen (2014)
Above Designs for a set of three posters for a hypothetical exhibition called Collections and Recollections: Arrangements of Related Forms: Thoughts on the odd things that people collect as well as the visual patterns that come from arranging things, designed by Rhiannon Rasmussen (2014), undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design 2, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

Eric Morecambe

Would you like to hear how I asked for his daughter's hand in marriage?…I said, "I would like your daughter for my wife." And he said, "But I've never met your wife. Bring her round and we'll talk about it." 

•••

Edward Marsh

[Ned Lutyens] thought as a little boy that the Lord's Prayer began with "Our Father Charles in heaven, Harold be thy name."

Collections & Recollections | Kate Green

Collections Poster © Kate Green (2014)
Above Design for a poster for a hypothetical exhibition called Collections and Recollections: Arrangements of Related Forms: Thoughts on the odd things that people collect as well as the visual patterns that come from arranging things, designed by Kate Green (2014), undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design 2, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

Cedric Hardwicke, The Irreverent Memoirs of Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Garden City NY: Doubleday, 1961—

He [his father, a physician] could seldom get anyone's name right, including those of people he treated, and in later years, when I was enlarging my circle of friends, he was not above telling me, "you had a telephone call from a Mr. Vaseline"—and I could interpret that as meaning Mr. Basil Dean, the producer. And my father had a most distinctive rechristening for Tallulah Bankhead; she was known to him as Tarara Buncombe in later years.

The Grand Piano | Aaron Van Fossen

Grand Piano Timeline © Aaron Van Fossen (2014)
Above Proposal for an infographic timeline about the development of the grand piano, designed by Aaron Van Fossen, undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design 2, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

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Louis Agassiz, in Lane Cooper, ed., Louis Agassiz as a Teacher (1917)—

In 1847 I gave an address at Newton, Massachusetts, before a Teachers' Institute conducted by Horace Mann. My subject was grasshoppers. I passed around a large jar of these insects, and made every teacher take one and hold it while I was speaking. If any one dropped the insect, I stopped till he picked it up. This was at that time a great innovation, and excited much laughter and derision. There can be no true progress in the teaching of natural science until such methods become general.

Collections & Recollections 3 | Riley Place

Collections Poster © Riley Place (2014)
Above Design for a poster for a hypothetical exhibition called Collections and Recollections: Arrangements of Related Forms: Thoughts on the odd things that people collect as well as the visual patterns that come from arranging things, designed by Riley Place (2014), undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design 2, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

Anthony Burgess, Little Wilson and Big God. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1987, p. 69—

Mr. Magoo bids the normally sighted, or the smug spectacle-wearers, laugh at uncorrected myopia. He shakes hands with a bear he takes to be Dr. Milmoss, thinks a skyscraper scaffolding a restaurant, believes the seabed to be a motorway, but he always comes through unscathed and disabused. My adventures have been less sensational. I once entered a bank in Stratford-on-Avon and ordered a drink. I have waved back at people waving at someone else. There was an electric sky sign in All Saints, Manchester, which read UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE and I read as UPROARIOUSLY FUNNY. In the army I failed to salute officers and, fiercely rebuked, then saluted privates. I have spoken to women in the streets I thought I knew and thus got to know them…The myopic eye is not lazy; it is too busy creating meanings out of vague données. Compensation for lifelong myopia comes in old age; presbyopia supervenes on the condition and cancels it. I am forced now into perfect sight and I am not sure like it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Collections & Recollections 2 | Riley Place

Collections Poster © Riley Place (2014)
Above Design for a poster for a hypothetical exhibition called Collections and Recollections: Arrangements of Related Forms: Thoughts on the odd things that people collect as well as the visual patterns that come from arranging things, designed by Riley Place (2014), undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design 2, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

Colin M. Turbayne, in The Myth of Metaphor. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1971—

Naming, numbering, or sorting things is not just noticing what is out there fixed and settled. Nevertheless, there are arguments about sorting. These are mainly verbal. There are few about tigers and lions. There may be some about "tigers" and "lions." We do not remain in disagreement for long about the marks of the tiger, and that lion-like animal. Is it a sort of tiger or a sort of lion? Or is it a new sort? The convenient way chosen for the tigron was the last. We can make new sorts as we please. But those that we have grown accustomed to, we tend to think are determined and set out by nature. These also were grouped and named in an arbitrary manner. They might have been sorted in a different way.

Collections & Recollections | Riley Place

Collections Poster © Riley Place (2014)
Above Design for a poster for a hypothetical exhibition called Collections and Recollections: Arrangements of Related Forms: Thoughts on the odd things that people collect as well as the visual patterns that come from arranging things, designed by Riley Place (2014), undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design 2, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

Mark Van Doren, in The Autobiography of Mark Van Doren. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968—

A boy named Eddie Shell came one afternoon to play with Frank [his brother] and me, and at the hour of going home did not know how to do so. This is a malady that afflicts all children, but my mother was not sure how she should handle it in Eddie's case. She consulted us secretly as to whether he should be asked to stay for supper; we thought not, so she hinted to him that his mother might be expecting him. He was so slow in acting upon the hint that we were all in despair and began to feel guilty because we had not pressed him to stay. What I remember now is Eddie standing at last on the other side of the screen door and trying to say goodbye as if he meant it. My mother said warmly: "Well, Eddie, come and see us again." Whereupon he opened the door and walked in.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Illustrated Calendar | Winston Kearney

Illustrated calendar © Winston Kearney (2014)
Above Proposal for a page from an illustrated calendar, using digital montages in response to poignant quotes, designed by Winston Kearney, undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design 1, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

From H.G. Barnett, Innovation: The Basis of Cultural Change. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1953—

They [artists and designers] strive deliberately to transcend the commonplace—that is to say, the habitual—configurations rather than to conform to them. In this, artists do not differ from inventors; and they are similarly constrained by the number of available configurations within their cultural tradition and the degree to which the internal cohesion of these habitual configurations resists their efforts to break them down and reintegrate them into new units.

Russian Space Program | Austin Montelius

Timeline © Austin Montelius (2014)
Above Proposal for an infographic timeline about the Russian space program, designed by Austin Montelius, undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design 2, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

Arthur Koestler in The Act of Creation. NY: Macmillan, 1964—

…Einstein's space is no closer to reality than Van Gogh's sky.…The scientist's discoveries impose his own order on chaos, as the composer or painter imposes his; an order that always refers to limited aspects of reality, and is biased by the observer's frame of reference, which differs from period to period, as a Rembrandt nude differs from a nude by Manet.

Friday, April 11, 2014

UNI Graphic Design Portfolio Night | 2014

Poster © Sara Heffernen 2014
Above Poster and information about this year's annual Graphic Design Portfolio Night at the University of Northern Iowa.

•••

Abraham Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: Van Nostrand, 1968—

I learned from her and others like her that a first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting, and that, generally, cooking or parenting or making a home could be creative while poetry need not be; it could be uncreative.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Block of Postage Stamps | Tanner Heinrichs

Block of postage stamps © Tanner Heinrichs
Above and below Proposal for a block of postage stamps for an imaginary country called the Republic of Villanella, designed by Tanner Heinrichs, graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design I, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

Leslie Hall, quoted in Steven J. Zeitlin, et al., eds., A Celebration of American Family Folklore (NYC: Pantheon Books, 1982), p. 88—

About a year after my grandfather died I took a trip across the country and stopped in St Louis to see my grandmother. It turned out that they had a lot of money tucked away here and there—money under the mattress, in different banks, fifties here and there. It all added up to close to one hundred thousand dollars. When I stopped again on the way back, I went into the house and my grandmother says, "Oh, Leslie, I have something for you, upstairs. I had thought about giving it to you on your way across the country." And here I was, old greedy me thinking that maybe she had found a hundred dollar bill under the mattress and was thinking of giving it to me. So I followed her upstairs, toward the bedroom where she all of a sudden makes a cut into the bathroom, and she opens the cabinet and pulls out these two huge bottles of mouthwash and she says, "Your grandfather was going to use these but he didn't get a chance."

Labels, Stamps, Currency | Blake Schlawin

Luggage labels © Blake Schlawin 2014
Above and below Proposals for luggage labels, postage stamps and currency for an imaginary country called Sequitur, designed by Blake Schlawin, graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design I, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

William H. Gass, interviewed in Tom LeClair and Larry McGaffery, eds., Anything Can Happen (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983), p. 158—

I think contemporary fiction is divided between those who are still writing performatively and those who are not. Writing for voice, in which you imagine a performance in the auditory sense going on, is traditional and dying. The new mode is not performative and  not auditory. It's destined for the printed page, and you are really supposed to read it the way they teach you to read in speed reading. You are supposed to crisscross the page with your eye, getting references and gists; you are supposed to see it flowing on the page, and not sound it in the head. If you do sound it, it is so bad you can hardly proceed… By the mouth for the ear: that's the way I like to write. I can still admire the other—the way I admire surgeons, broncobusters, and tight ends. As writing, it is that foreign to me.

Block of stamps © Blake Schlawin 2014
Currency © Blake Schlawin 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Postage & Currency | Andrew Struik

Block of stamps © Andrew Struik (2014)
Above and below Proposals for postage stamps and currency for an imaginary country called Fiasco, designed by Andrew Struik, graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a class called Graphic Design I, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

Thomas Berger, "Touring Western Europe, 1956: Excerpts from a Journal" in an issue of Antaeus devoted to journals, notebooks and diaries. No 61, Autumn 1988, p. 43—

Taken by Dr. Haas to find [Sigmund] Freud's house. He was not sure of the number and stopped at one point on the Berggasse to ask a woman who is sweeping the sidewalk, "Could you tell us which of these houses was Freud's?" She had no idea. "Doctor Freud?" No, sorry. She went on sweeping. "I'm sure it's along here somewhere," Dr. Haas told me. We were about to return to the car when he had a bright idea. "Actually," he said to the woman, "it was Professor Freud." "Ja!" said she. "Professor Freud lived just there," pointing.

Currency © Andrew Struik (2014)

Postage & Currency | Tony McDermott

Block of stamps © Tony McDermott (2014)
Above and below Proposals for postage stamps and currency for an imaginary country called Sfumato, designed by Tony McDermott, graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a class called Graphic Design I, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

Polly Gardner, quoted in Elizabeth Stone, Black Sheep and Kissing Cousins: How Our Family Stories Shape Us. New York: Times Books, 1988, p. 61—

In town, they called my grandfather Applejack. Do you known what applejack is? It's before moonshine becomes moonshine. If you won't wait for it to ferment, it's applejack. My grandfather just drank a whole lot of applejack. And dated other women. Finally my grandmother said, "Enough is enough," and she left him, which was pretty strange for the 1920s. She raised her six children herself. She did people's laundry by night and was waitress at the Greyhound bus station in the day. The one poignant note: even though she'd thrown him out, she did his laundry for him until the day he died.

Currency © Tony McDermott (2014)

Postage & Currency | Abby Michael

Block of stamps © Abby Michael (2014)
Above and below Proposals for postage stamps and currency for an imaginary country called the Republic of Lustspiel, designed by Abby Michael, graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, in a course called Graphic Design I, as taught by Roy R. Behrens.

•••

John Updike, The Centaur (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963), pp. 80-81—

"The Founding Fathers," he explained, "in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents. So they provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called an education. School is where you go between when your parents can't take you and industry can't keep you. [As a teacher] I am a paid keeper of Society's unusables—the lame, the halt, the insane, and the ignorant. The only incentive I can give you, kid, to behave yourself is this: If you don't buckle down and learn something, you'll be as dumb as I am, and you'll have to teach school to earn a living."

Currency © Abby Michael (2014)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Art History Symposium | Alex Rogers

Poster © Alex Rogers (2014)
Above Poster designed by graphic design student Alex Rogers for the 2014 Art History Symposium, hosted by the Art History faculty at the University of Northern Iowa.

Art History Symposium | Rhiannon Rasmussen

Poster © Rhiannon Rasmussen (2014)
Above Poster designed by graphic design student Rhiannon Rasmussen for the 2014 Art History Symposium, hosted by the Art History faculty at the University of Northern Iowa.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Collections Poster | Evan Seuren

Poster © Evan Seuren, UNI graphic design student (2014)
Frances Kilvert in William Plomer, ed., Kilvert's Diary. London: Jonathan Cape, 1960, p. 298—

One evening she [Dame Matthews] saw one of the farm men [named John] steal a pound of butter out of the dairy and put it into his hat, at the same moment clapping his hat upon his head.

"John," called the Dame. "John, come here. I want to speak to you." John came, carefully keeping his hat on his head. The Dame ordered some ale to be heated for him and bade him sit down in front of the roaring fire. John thanked his mistress and said he would have the ale another time, as he wanted to go home at once.

"No, John. Sit you down by the fire and drink some hot ale. 'Tis a cold night and I want to speak to you about the kine [cows]."

The miserable John, daring neither to take off his hat nor go without his mistress's leave, sat before the scorching fire drinking his hot ale til the melting butter in his hat began to run down all over his face. The Dame eyed him with malicious fun. "Now, John," she said, "you may go. I won't charge you anything for the butter."

Collections Poster | Rachael Bair

Poster © Rachael Bair, UNI graphic design student (2014)
Marvin Bell in "Pages" in A Marvin Bell Reader: Selected Poetry and Prose. NH: Middlebury College Press / University Press of New England, 1994, p. 88—

Arriving at the dentist's office, he is only two minutes late, so he is surprised to see two others in the waiting room and several coats hung from the hat tree. He takes a magazine and sits down to wait. When the receptionists appears, she greets him as if they were merely passing on the street. As if she expects him to explain himself for lingering. He only says hello and returns to his reading. But she says he must have made a mistake, his appointment is for later that day. That makes no sense to him. He has the appointment written down in three places. Suddenly he remembers. I know what it is, he says, I have a haircut appointment! He leaves the waiting room in a good humor and runs to his barber. When he explains why he is late, the barber says, Well, you knew it was something above the neck.

Collections Poster | Travis Tjelmeland

Poster © Travis Tjelmeland, UNI graphic design student (2014)
Flower shop owner, quoted in Abraham Pais, Einstein Lived Here. NY: Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 26—

When he [Albert Einstein] would pay his bill [at a flower shop in Princeton NJ] with his check I would save them. I thought the autograph was worth more than the check. When I had accumulated quite a few, Dr. Einstein telephoned and asked if I would cash the checks, so he could balance his check book.

He also offered to provide us with as many of his autographs as I wished.

Collections Poster | Aaron Van Fossen

Poster © Aaron Van Fossen, UNI student designer (2014)
John Hersey (recalling his summer as a secretarial assistant to American novelist Sinclair Lewis) in "My Summer with Sinclair Lewis" in Kai Erikson, ed., Encounters. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989, p. 51—

Lewis's life was in a mess. But I was to have a marvelous summer, oblivious of his suffering. He never took a single drink while I worked for him; I remained in total ignorance of his history [of alcoholism]. I saw a surface that was gentle, kindly, boyish, and vividly entertaining. He treated me as a young friend, insisting that I call him Red. My work was fun. Taking his rapid dictation and reading it back to type it was like doing a crossword puzzle: I caught every fourth word with a squiggle of Gregg [shorthand] and had to figure out what went between. "If you want my autograph," he would dictate in a note to a fan, "you must send me a self-addressed envelope with a postage stamp on it"—chuckling at the idea that I would have to address an envelope and put a stamp on it to send the note.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

UNI Art History Symposium | Zach Bird

Art History Symposium Poster © Zach Bird 2014
Above In a graphic design course this semester (in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa), students were invited to design a "call for submissions" of art history research papers. The winning papers will be read at the department's annual Art History Symposium on Friday, April 4, 2014. The top three posters were chosen by the university's Art History faculty, including this one, designed by Zach Bird.

UNI Art History Symposium | Alex Rogers

Art History Symposium Poster © Alex Rogers 2014
Above In a graphic design course this semester (in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa), students were invited to design a "call for submissions" of art history research papers. The winning papers will be read at the department's annual Art History Symposium on Friday, April 4, 2014. The top three posters were chosen by the university's Art History faculty, including this one, designed by Alex Rogers.

UNI Art History Symposium | Jake Earp


Art History Symposium Poster © Jake Earp 2014
Above In a graphic design course this semester (in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa), students were invited to design a "call for submissions" of art history research papers. The winning papers will be read at the department's annual Art History Symposium on Friday, April 4, 2014. The top three posters were chosen by the university's Art History faculty, including this one, designed by Jake Earp.

•••

Alan Coren, The Sanity Inspector

Apart from cheese and tulips, the main product of the country [Holland] is advocaat, a drink made from lawyers.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Iowa Snowstorms and Beyond

Conference program booklet © 2005
Above It was fun to run across this recently, a reminder of a wonderful weekend from almost ten years ago. It's the program booklet (with an exquisite parody logo designed by Argentine architect Maria Buteler Tilliard, who was a student at the time) for the graphic design faculty's first non-funded conference at the University of Northern Iowa. It was an exhausting delightful success, so much that the following year it prompted us to improvise the first international conference on art and camouflage in 2006 (non-funded as well), which was as much or more a success.

•••

Alfredo Veiravé (Argentine poet), "Memories of Iowa City and the international Writing Program" in Paul Engle, et al., The World Comes to Iowa. Ames IA: Iowa State University Press, 1987, pp. 195-196—

Starting in September, I already began thinking about what snow in Iowa would be like. As autumn wore on and winter came, that promise was approaching…until one morning when I woke up I heard a noise at the bedroom window. It sounded like a bird lightly touching the glass. While I was coming fully awake I had memories of similar sounds, such as that of some strange animal rubbing against the glass. And suddenly I remembered the snow, and I jumped out of bed and went to the window. There it was: snow. During the night the whole countryside had changed to white as if by magic. I was so excited that we had to get dressed and run out into the street to feel the light, magical Iowa snow.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Long Midwestern Winters

Story Illustration © Kim Behm
Above Short story illustration by Iowa-based artist Kim Behm, who teaches at Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo IA.

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Richard Critchfield, Those Days: An American Album (New York: Dell, 1986), p. 156—

But the snow, the unchanging blackness and whiteness of it, the bitter cold, the ceaseless wind—it could give you a really bad case of "cabin fever" if you let it. Father [a country doctor] used to tell about finding patients in remote farmhouses, most of them women, who'd made themselves ill with depression and loneliness over the long winter. All the early settlers had tales of women on isolated homesteads going mad. Even our farm, just a half mile south and two miles west of Hunter, could get pretty lonely. In the dead of night the sound of a coyote—three short yelps and a long howling wail—can be just about the most desolate sound there is.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Theatre Poster | Michelle Watson

Theatre poster © Michelle Watson 2011
Above Theatre poster designed by Michelle Watson, completed while an undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa.

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Stanley Elkin, Early Elkin (Flint MI: Bamberger Books, 1985)—

We read, I've told my classes, to die, not entirely certain what I mean but sure it has something to do with being alone, shutting the world out, doing books like beads, a mantra, the flu. Some perfect, hermetic concentration sealed as canned goods or pharmaceuticals. It is, I think, not so much a way of forgetting ourselves as engaging the totality of our attentions, as racing-car drivers or mountain climbers engage them, as surgeons and chess masters do. It's fine, precise, detailed work, the infinitely small motor management of diamond cutters and safecrackers that we do in our heads…I haven't said it here, am almost ashamed to own up, but once I opened books slowly, stately, plump imaginary orchestras going off in my head like overtures, like music behind the opening credits in films, humming the title page, whistling the copyright, turning myself into producer and pit band, usher and audience.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Theatre Poster | Erich Bollmann

Theatre poster © Erich Bollmann
Above Theatre poster designed by Erich Bollmann (Los Angeles), completed in an undergraduate graphic design course at the University of Northern Iowa.

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Mary McCarthy, Memories of a Catholic Girlhood (NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1957), p. 5—

It is our parents, normally, who not only teach us our family history but who set us straight on our own childhood recollections, telling us that this cannot have happened the way we think it did and that that, on the other hand, did occur, just as we remember it, in such and such a summer when So-and-So was our nurse. My own son, Reuel, for instance, used to be convinced that Mussolini had been thrown off a bus in North Truro, on Cape Cod, during the war. This memory goes back to one morning in 1943 when, as a young child, he was waiting with his father and me beside the road in Wellfleet to put a departing guest on the bus to Hyannis. The bus came through, and the bus driver leaned down to shout the latest piece of news: "They've thrown Mussolini out." Today, Reuel knows that Mussolini was never ejected from a Massachusetts bus, and he also knows how he got that impression.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Theatre Poster | Amanda Wallace

Theatre poster © Amanda Wallace (2010)
Above Theatre poster design by Amanda Wallace (Golwitzer), completed as an undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa.

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Ludwig Börne, The Art of Becoming An Original Writer in Three Days (said to be one of the factors that influenced Sigmund Freud in his adoption of free association)—

Take a few sheets of paper and for three days on end write down, without fabrication or hypocrisy, everything that comes into your head. Write down what you think of yourself, of your wife, of the Turkish War, of Goethe…and when three days have passed you will be quite out of your senses with astonishment at the new and unheard of thoughts you have had. This is the art of becoming an original writer in three days.

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George Ellis (the twelve months of the year)—

Snowy, Flowy, Blowy,
Showery, Flowery, Bowery,
Hoppy, Croppy, Droppy,
Breezy, Sneezy, Freezy.

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Alan Bennett (Beyond the Fringe)—

We started out trying to set up a small anarchist community, but people wouldn't obey the rules.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Digital Illustration | John Vorwald

Story illustration © John Vorwald
Above Digital short story illustration by John Vorwald, completed as an undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa.

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Melvin Fishman—

The holes in your Swiss cheese are somebody else's Swiss cheese [cf. figure-ground].

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Norah Phillips

On the subject of confused people, I liked the store detective who said he'd seen a lot of people so confused that they'd stolen things, but never one so confused that they'd paid twice.

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D.H. Lawrence (The Later DHL)—

No absolute is going to make the lion lie down with the lamb unless the lamb is inside.

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Woody Allen (Without Feathers)—

The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won't get much sleep.

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Herbert Berbohm Tree (BT)—

The only man who wasn't spoilt by being lionized was Daniel.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Self-Portrait Parody | Evan Seuren

Self-portrait parody © Evan Seuren
Above Digital self-portrait by Evan Seuren (a parody of Triple Self-Portrait by American illustrator Norman Rockwell (1960)), completed in an undergraduate graphic design course at the University of Northern Iowa.

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Guy Browning (The Guardian 1999)—

A shoal of a million fish might not be able to write Romeo and Juliet but they can change direction as one in the blink of an eye. Using language a human team leader can give an order to a team of six and have it interpreted in six completely different ways.

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Tony Benn (The Independent 1997)—

We should put spin-doctors in spin clinics, where they can meet other spin patients and be treated by spin consultants. The rest of us can get on with the proper democratic process.

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Stuart Davis (1940)—

An artist who has travelled on a steam train, driven an automobile, or flown in an airplane doesn't feel the same way about form and space as one who has not.

Fillm Poster | Kenny Meisner

Film poster © Kenny Meisner
Above Proposed film poster by Kenny Meisner, completed as an undergraduate graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa.

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Charles Dickens (Nicholas Nickleby)—

"What's the water in French, sir?" "L'eau," replied Nicholas. "Ah!" said Mr. Lillyvick, shaking his head mournfully, "I thought as much. Lo, eh? I don't think anything of that language—nothing at all."

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Billy Wilder (Avanti)—

I don't object to foreigners speaking a foreign language: I just wish they'd all speak the same foreign language.

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G.K. Chesterton

I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Promotional Poster | Kellie Heath

Promotional poster © Kellie Heath (2013)
Above Proposal for a promotional poster for the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences (CHAS) at the University of Northern Iowa. Designed by undergraduate graphic design student Kellie Heath (2013).

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Mae West (I'm No Angel)—

When I'm good I'm very good, but when I'm bad I'm better.

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Anthony Powell (Hearing Secret Harmonies)—

One of the worst things about life is not how nasty the nasty people are. You know that already. It is how nasty the nice people can be.

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Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay (Yes, Prime Minister) [cf. Donald Rumsfeld]—

So that means you need to know things even when you don't need to know them. You need to know them not because you need to know them but because you need to know whether or not you need to know. And if you don't need to know you still need to know so that you know that there was no need to know.

Synergistic Postage | Morgan Moe

Above (and below) Proposal for a synergistic postage stamp (2012) designed by Morgan Moe, in an undergraduate graphic design course at the University of Northern Iowa.

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French poet Gérard de Nerval, when asked about his habit of taking his pet lobster (named Thibault) for a walk in the royal gardens—

Why is a lobster any more ridiculous than a dog…or any other creature one chooses to take for a walk? I have a liking for lobsters: they are peaceful and solemn, they know the secrets of the sea, they do not bark, and they do not eat into the essential privacy of ones soul the way dogs do…Goethe had an aversion to dogs, and he was not mad.

Postage stamp © Morgan Moe (2012)
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Frank Muir (You Can't Have Your Kayak and Heat It)—

Dogs, like horses, are quadrupeds. That is to say, they have four rupeds, one at each corner, on which they walk.

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J.B. Morton (By the Way)—

Dr Strabismus (Whom God Preserve) of Utrecht is carrying out research work with a view to crossing salmon with mosquitoes. He says it will mean a bite every time for fishermen.