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The Hate Issue

By Design

Throw your Mac Book up a tree, you need nature.
December 1, 2003, 12:00am

Deanne Cheuk: NORAD brought to its knees by cute Russkie kittens.

Antonio Riello: If Michaelangelo saw that, he'd whup you good, hippie.

Elizabeth Arkhipoff: Girls can't just can't get enough of horses.

Karen and Donnachie: That's not watercolor, it's her bush.

Nicola Pecoraro: Lay off the peyote, son

Naruki Oshima: Japanese spy influenced by the Germans—"I raiku gayharudo rikutaa."

Ifzan + Dzurina, The Clickproject: An ideal hippie universe.

Nature is invading graphic design. Artisans everywhere are busting out Grateful Dead CDs, growing their hair long, and reeking of patchouli oil. Possibly instigated by America's latest war, a.k.a Vietnam II, people are rebelling against "square" society by revisiting 60s visuals and techniques. Formerly rigid designs are randomly sprouting flowers and curlicues faster than a Monty Python animation. Logical, clean lines are being overrun by chickadees, cuddly animals, and even bits of visible tape. Unlike their forebears, these neo-barefoot designers have computers and are eager to use them. Adding a daisy here and there is a lot easier when it's a matter of copy and paste. Hot on the granola revival is the latest issue of Neomu, a series of wee design magazines published without any discernible schedule (as is the hippie's perplexing way). A collection of international superstar designers joining hands in a great, big orgy of nonviolent creativity, Neomu is the brainchild of Australian-born, Chinese New York subversive Deanne Cheuk (who is also an admitted 60s poster-art lover). In a devastating move against capitalism, this full-color book sells for only a single dollar in most civilized nation's respective currencies. Check out if you don't believe me. Curbing Neomu's love shenanigans and more politically dangerous, the nature boys and girls at This Is a Magazine ( have published the second print compilation of their online design zine. No doubt the fruit of guilt over both Mussolini and the punishment of tourists with the world's worst dance music, this Italian herbal-tea table book is working hard to spread the message of peace in yet another high-quality, nonprofit publication. This Is a Magazine includes silk-screened overlays and collages reminiscent of John Heartfield. There's even a nubile topless beauty in there for good measure. Like me, you can lament the changing standards of beauty that have morphed the 60s' voluptuous mountain girls into the starved beanpoles of today. The notoriously slightly left Swiss have been up to some nature pushing of their own. Die Gestalten Verlag's Übersee 3 unabashedly utilizes horses, water, and trees all as design elements, and offers no explanation as to how they plan on fitting these values into a functioning, money-based society. Are we all supposed to go around peddling our telecom logos cut out of cardboard? Are we supposed to barter design skills for fruits and vegetables? I suggest our no-questions-when-banking friends do some soul-searching and imagine the horrors of an economy based on design and collage. Food for thought. See 3EIGE
_Send your portfolios, zines, show catalogues, and tormented left ears to Dave Girard, 4200 St-Laurent Blvd. Suite 1005 Montreal, QC, H2W 2R2, or email me at [ ](