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Friday, September 25, 2009

Eleven O graphics from the Urban_Archaeology collection for Eric Baker in NYC

I started collecting image graphics way before I realised that design was a powerful tool. It must have been stamps that first held my image interest, they had number elements, sublime images and they also seemed powerful and then they were thrown away . . . to be found and used again, re-purchased even in little lucky-draw packets from Seven Seas Stamps and finally prepared and pasted into albums. Learning the finer elements like light postage marks, corner sets, first day covers - these all came later on. But this activity started me looking at circles, ovals, squares, numbers, crowns etc.
Now after a thoroughly absorbing 40 year design career, I have a bulging resource library and an enormous archive of ephemera which has been used successfully as design fodder. I mused with the idea of scanning and selling all this visual flotsam in the mid 1980s to other designers but issues of copyright dogged that venture. Then came the re-configured eye - the digital design solution - now we have this delightfully (massive) blogging culture that sees fit to beg, borrow, download, re-use, upload images, reconstitute meaning, take our own small elements to a greater audience . . . (but hey! this is not stealing because its all low-res).
Everything on ephemeral-mal is high-res, 300 dpi at 500 pixels wide and made available for fun-not-profit.

1959 I bought my first air rifle from a gun shop in West End, Brisbane when I was 10 years old. The firm was called Kingston Brothers and now in 2009 its an eatery called The Gun Shop. So you see I've even kept my own used targets, thinking that one day I'll use them in a design solution.

Robinson's Sports store was the up-market shop in the city.

Envelope, Hypnodisc and complete directions inside with Van Lowe's business card. Priced at 3/- you can hypnotise yourself and others.

© Jos Lambregs 1992. I purchased this post card at Ken Harris' shop in NYC called Untitled - the best post card shop in the whole world.

Press clipping - An asteroid slips silently by the Earth (this time), this shows the positions of thousands of asteroids circling the earth as mapped by astronomers.

First trip to NYC in 1974 I visited Tender Buttons, met the lovely Diana Epstein and went crazy in that shop. I believe the logo was by Push Pin Graphics as Milton Glazer was her friend & an avid button collector also. Ms Epstein has since passed away, we have all her button books - Barbara & I visited the store in 2007 but sadly engraved Tombac's ( from c1720) are now US$1,500.00 each to buy.

Wasabi wrapper - Tokyo, a terrific design solution with the seismic eruption emanating from the centre of your being.

1940s cutouts I found and kept in a huge shoebox find from the dealer, Naomi Berry - Fernberg Road, Milton in the mid 1970s.

another one . . .

another one.

Finally, a coaster from The Residents Australian tour - mid 1980s.


  1. Mal I saw an old dart board in one of our two bricolage shops here, as soon as I saw this blog I thought of it again.And at the time wondered if I should buy it and turn it into a clock or something useful. I have a real dartboard in the garage.Bring some darts, we don't have those.

  2. Darts it is, in fact our township of Tunbridge has a darts team that has won championships . . . I have one of their shirts!