Feb 21, 2011

2011 02 21 Icon Adventures

Monday Feb 21: The project's just been written up in the Boston Globe! How to get stickers: Use the contact form to the right to send me your address; I'll send you 5 for free while they last.

And it's been sighted in the Chicago suburbs:

(If you're new to Abler, you can read about this project here.)

When talking about this work, I've been asking people to look closely at the icons in the everyday environment—the stick figures on signs everywhere—and notice how energetically they're engaging their surroundings. They're simple line drawings with a whole lot packed into the gestures: signs for pedestrian crossings, signs indicating leisure activities, and signs warning of dangers. This last category is especially compelling and so dramatic, like slapstick comedy. I laugh every time I go through the Flickr set devoted to Stick Figures in Peril:

Lean Back, Lose a Shoe




Bzzwhap! Thud!



[Leo Reynolds]

So why, if there's so much design attention to figures like these—why not more considered graphics when human values are at stake? Re-design is everywhere, far beyond signage. High-end fashion designers partnering with Target to better the lines on our toothbrushes and toilet-bowl cleaners. So why not for something more politically vital?

Pleased to announce that an article on the project is appearing in the March issue of MONU—the Magazine on Urbanism, out of Rotterdam. Not sure where/whether it'll be available in the States, but I'll post what I find out.

Sticker collaborators, keep these photos coming!

(I'm struck by how much more opaque the image is when photographed—its transparency on the street makes it harder to spot from further away. Somehow the documentation enhances the project. I imagine there's a lesson there.)