Professor Phil Baines
My design practice includes high profile, one-off commissions; general graphic design for arts organisations; and type design. Underlying themes include an interest in history & experimentation, and in the relationship between form & content.
History & experimentation are most obvious in the award-winning Great Ideas cover designs for Penguin Books. Two series of these have been published (2004 & 2005) with a third is being prepared.
Ideas about form and content inform my approach to book and publication design and vary according to the requirements of a particular client. For some, my hand is almost invisible and the design arises out of careful collaborative discussions between myself, the gallery, and the artist or curator as appropriate; on other occasions, a more subjective approach is taken. Current work includes a books by Richard Layzell (for ResCen); about Alan Aldridge (for Thames & Hudson); and about Alison Turnbull's installation Vinus vitera L. at One Vine Street (for Matt's Gallery).
A commission by Neville Brody for his Fuse project in 1991 led me into type design, and that first font gained considerable notoriety, and subsequent wider exposure as a 'Fuse Classic' when released by Fontshop International. In 2003 Linotype released Vere Dignum. Other fonts are in various stages of production or feature in my own design.
My 'research' interests are of two main kinds. One strand is closely related to my practice and includes aspects of graphic design history. Penguin by design has become central to this research into different aspects of the company's design continues.
The other strand is an on-going photographic documentation of aspects of public lettering and signing. Much of this is a collaboration with Catherine Dixon and has resulted in articles, a book, website and many presentations. Current work includes documentation of the King's Cross railway lands.
- 2008: ‘Germano Facetti at Penguin Books’. In Germano Facetti: dalla rappresentazione del Lager alla storia del XX secolo (ex.cat.) Turin: Istituto piemontese per la storia della Resistenza e della società contemporanea 'Giorgio Agosti'.
- 2007: ‘From the Motor Car Act to Motorways, the design of British road signs 1903-58’. Presentation at ATypI conference, Brighton. Currently being prepared for publication.
- 2007: ‘Penguin bogomslag’, In Bogvennen 2006, pp.56-77, Denmark: Aalborg, Forening for Boghaandvaerk (ISBN 978 87 7442 041 5)
- 2006: ‘Introduction’, In Phil Baines & Steve Hare (eds) Penguin by designers, London: Penguin Collectors' Society.
- 2005: ‘Cover Designs for Penguin Books' Great Ideas series. Books: Seneca, On the shortness of life; Marcus Aurelius, Meditations; Edward Gibbon, The Christians and the fall of Rome; Thomas Paine, Common Sense; Friedrich Nietzsche.
- 2005: ‘Letter of Distinction’. In Crafts 186, Jan/Feb, pp.50-3.
- 2005: ‘Letter Rich Lisbon'. In Eye 56, pp.52-61
- 2005: Penguin by design: a cover story 1935-2005, (ISBN - 0-713-99839-3), London: Allen Lane The Penguin Press
- 2005: ‘Sheffield: A sense of place’. In Eye 58, pp.56-64
- 2003: Signs, lettering in the environment, Authored book (ISBN - 1-85669-337-6), London: Laurence King