Two Things

Posted by jdg | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

1. Design*Sponge Detroit Design Guide- Right now at Design*Sponge, Grace has posted a guide to the city of Detroit that I have been working on writing for months. It's been a real pleasure driving around the city, talking to business owners and meeting a lot of cool new people. The guide isn't just about shopping, but nearly everything in the city of Detroit that would be of interest to those who love design (particularly modern design). It's even more detailed than the piece I wrote about San Francisco before we left, so if you ever find yourself planning a trip to Detroit, I hope this guide will help you plan some interesting things to see and do here.

2. Status of Graffiti Alphabet Books- I get a ton of e-mail about what happened to the two graffiti alphabet books that were available for purchase on lulu (the one with urban characters ("personae urbana") and the one with mythological characters ("fabulae urbana")). Last summer I was contacted by a publisher who wanted to release the books, and as we entered contract negotiations they asked me to stop selling the books on lulu, and I obliged. Initially, the publisher wanted to publish the books as they were, but I refused for the same reason I refused to sell the books for any sort of profit: the graffiti art in those books was crated by anonymous artists for the enjoyment of all, and whether or not I could, I did not want to profit by their work. So I started doing my own art (mostly wheatpastes) for a new book that would include both my work and some of the art that was in the original book. After I'd spent several months putting up art for 18 or so letters of the alphabet, contract negotiations fell through for boring legal reasons related to my sensitivity to the copyright of those six original works not created by me that we wanted to include in the book. So I am left with a nearly-complete new alphabet book that I spent a ton of time on that isn't going to be published any time soon. After being so close to getting these published in a bound hardcover format, I'm too unsatisfied with the quality of the lulu books to allow the old ones to remain on sale. So if you were one of those folks still interested in these books, eventually I hope to either find another publisher or self-publish these in a format that meets my satisfaction. Trust me though, the new one will be so much cooler than the first two.