It is always nice to see people following their passion. Design for Today is a new imprint making very nice things indeed and making them with passion. First off the press was a Bawden and Ravilious Brick House by Alice Pattullo, full of detail for the spotter and aesthetic presence for the collector. Next is this Up My Street concertina book by Louise Lockhart AKA The Printed Peanut. Louise has many nice illustrations in her catalogue but this is for sure my new favourite.
Drawing or engraving shops harks back to 19th century trade cards engraved with an illustration of the establishment in question. Often with crinolined ladies mooching in front of nice big Georgian glass windows before going in to purchase. Through to 1938 and Eric Ravilous’s High Street, the most wanted item on many a book & illustration fetishist’s list. Including mine.
Up My Street nods and winks to the shops in those older works. But it has it’s own story to tell. From the David Hockney-esque chap at the beginning of the street, past the (handy) Ironmongers, the Monte Carlo café serving ice cream to a stripy-jumpered customer, stopping to gaze in the sweet shop window, collect washing and to pat the dog in the Launderette and finally dodging pigeons outside the Bakers to get cakes for tea. On the reverse are the shopkeepers themselves, rosy cheeked and accompanied by odes to their trades.
So much thought and love and Printed in England care has gone in to this production. Design For Today suggests you can read this as a book, put it on the mantelpiece or frame it up. I am putting mine on the shelf.