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In the latest edition of “The End of Print” by David Carson there is a letter penned by Jessica Helfand, addressed to her daughter. In it, Helfand sets out to explain graphic design. “Print isn’t dead, sweetheart,” she writes. “It’s just sleeping.” The act of reading, she goes on, wakes up the letters that comprise print, regardless of how and where they appear—on paper, billboards, or screens. And while typography and design influence the act of reading, they are not the act of reading, which is something that “will never die,” Hefland writes. “Reading is your ticket to the world.” So true—and in delineating the difference between reading letters to form words, sentences, and paragraphs, and seeing them within the context of an overall design, Helfand admits that, ultimately, reading is more important than design.

The “End of Something” has been proclaimed in every generation - but it sure is used a bit inflationary these days, isn’t it? Print. Cinema. Music. Nuclear power. Gasoline engines. Borders. Capitalism. Mankind. Obviously it’s the topic with the biggest lobby - from both, professional twats and lobbyists - that’s the hottest ticket in town, regardless of its actual urgency. And while there certainly is a necessity for change in this wannabe global village we’re living in, you just can’t help but wonder how coexistence became an obsolete term. 

Speaking of which: there sure wasn’t one in Lodown’s early days. Design always had the upper hand because back then it felt foolish to not punk the shit out of the possibilities early DTP was offering. It was completely freestyle because we were actually doing things that made us feel free, things where you don’t compromise for an instant. We’ve found something we’re better at than the majority of people - well, we actually still are - and just did it. A couple of years later the layout of this publication still is an exciting one, and we even make sure you’re able to read the actual articles by now. As Helfand stated “ultimately, reading is more important than design” - well, depending on the size of your screen, that is. Originality seems to be another obsolete word, or at least its meaning got transformed by the uniformed and corrupted culture we’re living in, as it is more substantial to want to get a piece of exactly that cake the other guy is eating than coming up with your own recipe. Point is: we do what we love. Still. Let us know about the last time you’re able to say that with a clear conscious, and then we talk.

Yours truly, 

Lodown

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Features: Pressed Special FOG, Jun Yang Lit Corner, Karel Funk, Alexander Binder, Emerald Rose Whipple, Oskar Rozenberg Hallberg, Larry Gus, Ernest Pignon, Lucien Clarke, Nina Berman, Paul Yore, Sequioa, Superfly, Esther Stewart, Takashi Murakami, Film Essentials, Der Bunker, Lisa Roet