Archive for February, 2011


Friday, February 4th, 2011

Interior of Cortina's stationery shop in Amsterdam

Powerful surges of imagination, longing, memory. A kind of hypnotic, maybe even mild psychotic state in which the border between one’s self and the object of one’s desire seems to dissolve.

Where do we experience this? Cortina Papier, the shop in the ‘Nine Streets’ section of Amsterdam.

It’s always fun watching my girlfriend Zhenya lose self-control. Her gaze goes a little fuzzy, and then focuses on one object at a time, as much as to say: Odd, how could I have never noticed THESE?

Wooden and cardboard boxes in Cortina Papier stationery shop in A'dam.

We leave an hour later, with new, inspiring sketchbooks, pens, a clever eraser with its own shield to keep it clean, refills for our FAF memo blocks. Some new ink colors. Always something.

The images – hundreds of styles, characters, little graphic experiments, diagrams – flow right from Zhenya’s brain into the books. Mine stay empty, except for the FAF pad I make our editorial concept sketches on. I can never bring myself to deface the books with my drawings. I draw on recycled paper. I only use the sketchbooks after I’ve worked up a specific idea.

Zhenya selecting colored inks in Cortina Papier stationery shop.

Zhenya selecting colored inks.

Speaking of affordances…

Friday, February 4th, 2011
Odd-looking doorbell with square plastic panels - not clear which can be pushed to ring it.

The doorbell - which is the button to push to ring it?

A nice example of strange ‘affordances’ in a design. Does the metal triangle thingy look like a button you would push?