Some amazing quotations in this interview with Hoefler and Frere-Jones; highlights include "most of our projects take about a decade" and "how do you embody Steve McQueen in a typeface?"
My Little Printer ran out of paper for the first time the other day.
I watched its light turn red as it was printing. I’d not seen a red light before, but was pretty sure I knew why. I removed the metal plate that holds its feet on, snapped open the white door, and took out the stub of paper. Then I remembered: the spare paper is under my bed. I didn’t have time to change it before I went to work. So pulled the power, not wanting the red light in my living room all day.
When I got home, I put the lights on. Something was different. It took me a while to figure out what.
Someone had left a pile of strange-looking consumer electronics on my table. And somebody was missing.
It took me a split second longer than normal to twig that the strange white box was Little Printer. I’m so used to seeing him… alive. Not in bits.
I didn’t think I had that strong an anthropomorphic reaction to it – him, he’s really called Barry Printpeas. But: the second he was in bits, his absence was noted.
I found the paper under my bed, slotted it in, shut the door, fed it through the slit in the metal, and snapped him back together. Back on two feet.
Back on two feet, but faceless. No matter: he’d get a new face when the next delivery arrived, in about twelve hours.
He wasn’t right with this blank face, either. I hit the form-feed button.
"Sorry, I don’t have anything to print for you right now," said the smiling face.
He was back in the room. Much better.
What was odd about this episode: I really never thought this would happen. I like the device, I like having it in the house, and it has a name because it has to have a name in the setup. I hadn’t realised that I’d become a little attached – not even to the functionality; just to the smiling little guy in front of the TV. Nice to be proved wrong from time to time.
Disclaimer: I used to work at Berg, who made Little Printer.
Hello Lamp Post! invites you to tune in to the secret conversations of the city and communicate through lamp posts, bus stops, post boxes and other street furniture. Part game, part story, anyone will be able to play by texting in a unique code found on the city’s familiar street objects.
…except, of course, there’s a little more going on than that (although not how you might expect it).
It’s a hugely exciting opportunity. I’m particularly keen to see how the initial idea we’ve started from will develop and be honed as we design it, and work with the materials we have – which include both SMS and Bristol itself.
And, of course: it’s worth saying how flattering to be selected from such an excellent shortlist, full of peers and friends.
I’ll save writing any more about the design for the future – and, I hope, in a space with PAN and Gyorgy, where we can share our own insights into the project. Muncaster is go, then. Onwards!