Ephemeral remains of Stephen Coles.
Writer, editor, typographer.
Oakland and Berlin.

Background image: BonBon Kakku
Title typeface: Times New Roman

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The Mid-Century Modernist Tumblr Digest:

“Sell your expertise and you have a limited repertoire. Sell your ignorance and you have an unlimited repertoire. He was selling his ignorance and his desire to learn about a subject. The journey of not knowing to knowing was his work.” — Richard Saul Wurman on Charles Eames

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On limited editions…

“I hate artists’ books. I hate it, I hate it. I think “artists’ books,” then I think of a print run of one or two. I think a book has to be industrially made, because that’s the whole idea of a book: to spread information. That’s what interesting about it. And artists’ books — to me that’s not a book. That’s a piece of art.” — Irma Boom, Print Interview, July 22, 2011

“Examining the attributes of limited editions — small production runs, special materials, designer or event editions — we created a notebook that synthesized these elements. Editions were produced for the professors involved in the workshop, us who made the product, and one other student in the class. This last edition was given away at random, in an attempt to inspire a special feeling in the recipient, and jealousy in those who did not receive it.” — Chris Hamamoto on his Spring 2012 project at RISD

Everything a cat is and does physically is to me beautiful, lovely, stimulating, soothing, attractive and an enchantment.
A writer takes earnest measures to secure his solitude and then finds endless ways to squander it.
The amazing thing about typography is that you can go your whole life never thinking about it (or so I’ve heard) yet once you begin to study it, you discover a vein of material so rich enough to mine for a lifetime. Typography is about the way we form language into pictures. It is where the literary and visual arts rub together and make sparks. And those sparks are visible to anyone who wants to see them.
There’s another advantage to having everyone devote two years of their lives to public service: It teaches and reminds us that we’re members of the same society, with obligations to one another. Citizenship, in my view, shouldn’t merely be a matter of paying taxes and doing jury duty once in a blue moon. It should be an active practice of civic engagement — and it can start early.

Q. I went to a talk recently where the speaker suggested that either we need to reform capitalism — or find something to replace it. Is there anything that can be done to make capitalism “liveable” or should we be looking for the next best thing?

A. Making capitalism more “liveable” is an ongoing challenge. Look back on the last century and you’ll see three periods during which America took it particularly seriously — the progressive era from 1901 to 1914, the Depression decade of the 1930s, and the late 1960s and early 1970s. In each of these eras, the nation essentially saved capitalism from its own excesses. I believe we’re coming up to another such period.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

Mark Twain

(via Sabine)

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Michael Azerrad in Feb 2010 Paste.

I like this thought. I wonder if it’s true.

… Down deep in every human heart there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. If people can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

Nelson Mandela

From the documentary; Madiba: The Life and Times of Nelson Mandela

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
Cicero, via Maira Kalman