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No Relevance - For Lovers of Visual Junk

No Relevance - For Lovers of Visual Junk
NoRelevance is an online museum of sorts dedicated to graphic ephemera. It's an obsession with the discarded, overlooked and otherwise passed-over. The site features exhibits of hand-painted signs, 45rpm record labels, bock beer labels, political pro
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Enter World War 3 at Exit Art ? via Print Mag
2010-12-03 20:12:00
I wish I could fly to New York to see this exhibit more than is possible to describe here. I’ve been a fan of World War 3 Illustrated since I first landed in NYC in the summer of 1988. It wasn’t more than a week before I had seen a striking hand-drawn poster plastered to ...
More About: World War , Drawing , Print
Vintage Beer Bottle Labels via Collectors Weekly
2010-11-19 23:32:00
As much a gallery as it is an one-stop-shop for lovers of Visual Junk, Collectors Weekly has an impressive interface which pulls relevant auctions from eBay of just the stuff you’re looking for. Take, for example, their Vintage Beer Bottle Labels page, which lists several external websites that exhibit vintage beer labels from around the ...
45 RPM Record Label Designs ? Facebook album
2010-11-10 01:25:00
This is a cross-post between Crate Digger?s Gold and, the original repository for my collection of scanned 45 RPM Record Label Designs, for now at least, residing on Facebook . There?s still plenty of work I need to get done to make the complete collection live here on, so I thought I?d post these ...
More About: Album
Iconic Branding of a Bunny Kind ? via The Selvedge Yard
2010-09-15 23:23:00
From the waaaaay-back machine comes this post from July of 2009 on The Selvedge Yard blog featuring some vintage looks at the various incarnations of one of the most recognizable logos in the history of brand I.D.: the Playboy “bunny.” The images immediately brought back a vivid memory from my childhood: my mom and dad ...
More About: Branding
Newspaper Blackout Poems
2010-09-01 02:08:00
I’m just getting around to this aptly named Austinite’s clever manipulation of trash into treasure. Newspaper Blackout is the creation of Austin Kleon, “a writer and artist living in Austin, Texas” who has presented his Sharpie-saturated works at such notable events as Pecha Kucha Night, TEDx and SXSW 2010, the latter I most likely missed ...
More About: Poems
Cover Browser ? 450,000+ Covers of Comics, Books & More
2010-08-31 01:40:00
Does this really require any more clarification or editorialization? Seriously, any link on the Cover Browser home page could be its own entry here. Well, when you’re done drooling over the cover art wishing you’d saved every mint issue of your childhood, click the “Labs” link in the upper-right-hand corner of the page. This will ...
More About: Books , Comics , Covers
Record Envelope ? The little library of factory sleeves
2010-08-24 20:30:00
Those of you familiar with and perhaps my other blog,, know of my love, er- lust for 45 RPM records and their label art. Well, I’ve had to practically be medicated to prevent myself from starting another collection: 45 RPM factory sleeves. I thank Ms Kavel Rafferty for taking on this task and ...
More About: Library , Factory , Record
The Label Man ? Fruit Crate Labels & More
2010-08-14 00:46:00
Firstly, no, I am not affiliated in any way with The Label Man, but I do LOVE the original vintage labels featured (and for sale) on this website. The collections are broken down into several categories for your browsing pleasure and the website also features plenty of info on the history of crate labels as ...
More About: Fruit , Labels
Successful Move..Again!
2010-08-13 00:48:00
So, I’ve been a rather quiet these past several months while I tried to figure out the best solution for hosting and I’ve finally arrived at our current home, which will hopefully serve my needs for several years to come. Along with the previous switch to WordPress as a blogging platform we’re now all ...
More About: Move
Vanishing Austin
2010-02-09 21:37:00
Has that beautifully beat-up old sign you’ve driven past for years suddenly disappeared with a cold, glass and steel tower rising in its place? Obviously, if you’re here at you’re not alone. But if you’re also in Austin , TX then you’ve got a last chance to see some of those lost treasures and can ...
Record Store Day 2008
2008-04-18 20:17:00
Though I'm still mourning the loss of Final Vinyl in the East Village, that won't stop me from seeking out and patronizing my local record store this Saturday, April 19th, on Record Store Day. Get out there and support your local music retailer--more specifically, the ones selling vinyl!
More About: 2008
Design and the Elastic Mind
2008-04-07 03:48:00
If you're in the NYC area and you haven't made it to MoMA in a while, now would be the time to do so. Design and the Elastic Mind is a new exhibit which examines how designers of all kinds are exploring advances in science and technology—not to mention the changes in how we both view and relate to the world around us—in order to rethink who we are and how we spend our limited time here on spaceship Earth. This exhibit, which takes a few hours to really soak in, makes it clear that we are on the verge of, if not deeply immersed in, a fundamental leap in our thinking, doing and being. There are sublime examples of how data sources such as internet traffic and prison incarceration-vs.-spending can be visualized in new ways and for new means. The innovative concept of "thinkering" is often evoked in the demonstration of how everyday objects can have uses and lives beyond their original purpose. In many of the projects on display the roles of scientist, inventor and designer are vi...
Publikum Calendar
2008-03-29 21:39:00
Okay, so I'm a few months late posting this, but here it is nonetheless. The 2008 version of TheBrainDesign's Publikum Calendar is a socialist nightmare of graphic design and visual anarchy somehow corralled into a website, downloadable calendar and video documentary--just to name a few of the outlets for this inspiring international effort. The designers and artist represented hail from all over Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. If nothing else, it's visually interesting stuff. And, yes, these images to the right are each different months of the Publikum Calendar.
Moo: We love to print.
2008-03-29 21:02:00
By now you've surely been handed one of those sleek, satin-finished mini-cards with full-bleed photos or graphics on one side and contact info on the other. And, surely, you've wondered where they come from and have yet to attempt to Google "narrow business cards" for fear of the 600,000 search results you would receive. Well, here's the skinny on those slim biz cards: Moo. I've made a slew of these for and was pleased by the idiot-proof step-by-step process it took to produce 100 cards from a Flickr set. Oh, did I mention that? You can access your photos and sets from such popular sites as Flickr, Facebook, LiveJournal and more. All this for $19.99 plus shipping. Surely there's a better deal on the web, no? Perhaps, but the ability to spread those 100 cards over several different photos was the hook for me. I upload ten different photos and get ten cards each. You can only have one version of the flip-side, but that's hardly a down-side.
More About: Love , Print
Dreams of Space
2008-03-29 18:19:00
Dubbed "Space Art in Children's Books," this very simply presented website is a treasure trove of pre-space era through post-Apollo mission illustrations which appeared in astronomy and science books beginning as far back as 1883 with Agnes Giberne's romantic visions in Sun, Moon and Stars : A Book for Beginners. As a child of the Apollo era, just barely old enough to remember the famous lunar touchdown, I'm thrilled to see such a collection of wondrous images available online. To the moon...and beyond!
More About: Dreams
2008-03-29 17:55:00
Ever been read the Riot Act? Now you can make that dream a reality with the help of LibriVox, a massive online archive of public domain literary works made available as free downloadable audio books. The site, which claims to be "open source" and completely volunteer-run, contains a plethora of audible classics such as the likes of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Jack London's White Fang, and Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. If you can deal with the occasional changing of reader voices (sometimes male, sometimes female) and varying audio quality (all pretty much good enough), there are numerous audio formats to choose from, feeds for podcasts, links to text versions of most books, and material available in nine different languages. Time to catch up on those classics!
Do You Know What it Means?
2007-11-21 17:22:00
Do you? I'm not sure you do, unless of course you start browsing the many family photos in this online memory project. hopes to avoid the type of catastrophic loss of visual history as which happened with the floodwaters of Katrina. Many photos seem to have survived a hurricane or flood or two, which would not be beyond the realm of possibilities for residents of New Orleans who seem to suffer a major "natural" disaster every generation or so. The snapshots instantly bring me back to my childhood. I have fond memories of "hurricane parties," where several families on a street would convene to one house with the kids all running around the back yard and the dads setting up a giant cauldron atop a propane stove to boil crawfish, crabs and shrimp. Once the rains and heavy winds began the party would move indoors where the moms played Bourré under hurricane lamps, the men tweaked their transistor radios and the kids pulled out their Nash Roberts hurricane trac...
Demon Fuzz Records - Singles Bar & More
2007-11-11 04:03:00
While I do own a lot of the 45s in this collection, NONE of my singles have their original picture sleeves. This is where my jealousy of Michael, Erwin & Alex begins. These guys are the proprietors of Demon Fuzz Records , what appears from their photos to be quite the vinyl record store located in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. I've never been there in person (unless it was unknowingly in 1991), but I have been on their website, which sports such wonderful record cover and picture sleeve galleries as "Mysterious Ladies" (Ritual), "Products" (Steinski), and "Singles Bar" (Nina Simmone) among others. Join me as I gaze in the greenest of envies at the seven-inch picture sleeves of Ray Barretto's Soul Drummer or Willie Henderson's Funky Chicken...
More About: Cord
Bicycle Paintings
2007-11-11 03:44:00
Pedal on over to Taliah Lempert's unique collection of bicycle "portraits" and see if you can find your own...model that is. The bikes in her artwork belong people she knows and, she claims, represent an extension of their personalities. She has a loose painterly style that fits the portraiture concept and clearly has developed a mastery of capturing her subjects' likeness. Oh, and check out her coloring book, while you're there.
More About: Paintings , Bicycle
Bush Condoms
2007-09-29 18:36:00
If you're wondering what I do when I'm not collecting visual junk...see the package I designed for Bush Condoms . Created by the same folks that brought us the Bush Cards and the Slanted Bush Cards - Second Term decks, Bush Condoms aim to make this election season a lot of fun. Check 'em out!
The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora
2007-09-26 17:54:00
If you've ever been crate-digging and stumbled upon an LP or 7-inch with Jim Flor a 's cover art, you most likely bought it regardless of the music the record contained. At least, that's been my experience. These covers are truly works of art and often outshine the music therein. Long the stuff of record geeks' collections, Flora's art has managed to slowly infiltrate the public's consciousness largely by the efforts of one man. Irwin Chusid, a long-time WFMU DJ and Jim Flora archivist coined the term "Outsider Music" and was responsible for bringing to light such important, but previously overlooked artists as Esquivel, The Langley Schools Music Project and Raymond Scott just to name a few. The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora is the second book on the artist by Chusid, who is by now considered the authority on the subject and even co-maintains the official Jim Flora blog. As the title suggests, Flora's normally playful graphic style is taken for a more sinister ride in the...
45 RPM - The Book
2007-09-21 09:19:00
I've now received as gifts both the paperback and hardcover versions of 45 RPM: A Visual History of the Seven-Inch Record, an interesting and amusing survey of 45 RPM record sleeves from the 1950s through the 1990s. And while my preference is (obviously) for label art, I can't help but to pull these books out from time to time and flip through the actual-size reproductions of such visually interesting covers as the Plastic Ono Band's "Give Peace a Chance" donning a photo of one of Yoko Ono's installations or a Jackie Gleason "Lonesome Echo" single with a custom Salvador Dali painting on the cover or the Rat Fink-inspired Man... or Astro-Man? seven-inch. Quite possibly the main selling point for me is the index in the back of the book that lists all of the meta data on each record including, whenever possible, designer and illustrator. Turns out I have a couple of Burt Goldblatts in my collection.
More About: Book
Reinventing the Wheel
2007-09-14 06:19:00
Once again, digging through my library I find a book I meant to write about a while ago but got passed over: Reinventing the Wheel , by designer, critic and Paul Rand biographer Jessica Helfand, is a wonderful reference of pre-HTML, interactive information design. Whether they were meant to assist in determining the crop yields of hybrid corn or to help identify the branch and rank of a person in military attire, the information wheels (or volvelles as they're formally known) featured in Helfand's book so often demonstrate the perfect balance of form and function that so many of us strive to achieve in even our simplest of design projects. Circular designs in general (see: 45 RPM record labels) present unique design and typographic challenges. But Reinventing the Wheel's examples weren't merely round canvases that needed to be adorned with type and color, they were born out of the necessity to solve sometimes complex data-mining tasks with a simple twist of a disc. If you've e...
More About: Heel
Faded Signage & Signpaintr
2007-08-31 20:37:00
I once again bow in humble submission, this time to two Flickr groups, Signpaintr and Faded Signage, the latter sporting over 7,000 photos of hand-painted/hand-made signs taken by over a thousand members from all over the world. There are active discussion boards within each group as well as RSS feeds to keep up with all the latest additions.
Michael Jackson, R.I.P.
2007-08-31 19:30:00
No, not that Michael Jackson . He was known as "The Beer Hunter" and his knowledge on the subject of our fermented beverage of choice was so sublime that no one would seem to challenge it. Mr. Jackson's influence in elevating beer out of its game-day, six-pack abyss and into a level of sophistication once reserved for wines is incalculable. He was a founding voice and staunch lobbyist for the craft beer movement in in Europe and indirectly helped spawn the microbrewery industry in the United States. He was also quite the connoisseur of distilled spirits authoring definitive books on whiskey and single-malts among other subjects. His books probably had the most influence on expanding my love for great beers of the world and led, ultimately, to my fascination with a style of beer that has a unique history and lore: bock.
Forgotten NY
2007-08-11 00:34:00
Think you've seen it all in NYC? Think again. The folks at Forgotten NY have made a habit of uncovering the less-covered parts of the city for the past eight years. Especially interesting are the lost cemeteries like Mount Zion a Jewish cemetery established in the 1890s in Queens, with its plethora of tombstones containing inlaid enameled photographs of the deceased. Good stuff.
Sketch Swap
2007-08-11 00:19:00
Can't afford an over-priced masterpiece? Then get a virtual drawing by a potential art star in exchange for one of your own at Sketch Swap , where it's "Draw 1 to get 1." As the site's description reads: "you draw something on the screen, and when you're finished, you hit "Submit drawing"... to receive a random drawing from someone else." All submitted drawings require approval before being added to the pool of available drawings to be swapped, so get those dirty thoughts out of your head.
More About: Etch
Vinyl Record Day
2007-08-10 23:38:00
Join "black crack" addicts worldwide on August 12th as we celebrate Vinyl Record Day commemorating the anniversary of the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison. Go crate-digging at yard sales, flea markets and thrift shops, support your local vinyl record store, shop for new and used vinyl online at such great stores as Dusty Groove and Gemm, or finally get a replacement stylus for that used turntable you bought off Craig's List.
More About: Cord
USB Turntablist Unite
2007-07-30 06:08:00
If, like me, you have lots of rare, out-of-print vinyl records that just don't exist digitally, the Numark TTUSB Turntable with USB may just cure your ills. This is a true plug-and-play solution for importing 33 1/3 & 45 RPM vinyl records into your computer via a standard USB 2.0 interface. The bundled Audacity software allows you to save songs as MP3s (or virtually any other digital music file format) and has a filter that allows you to easily remove scratches and pops from older records without compromising sound quality. You can use the turntable to play records through your computer speakers via USB or connect it to a home stereo system using the included RCA cable. I recently set one of these up for a friend and was amazed at how utterly convenient it was to both install and use. And while it's not as heavy duty as my Technics 1200s, the belt-drive Numark TTUSB Turntable still produces a respectable sound considering what an amazing value it is. At under $125 bucks, I give it...
More About: Unit
Envisioning Information
2007-07-05 16:39:00
From the AIGA Archives: Election maps, The New York Times is a nice recap of The New York Times' information design take on the 2000 elections, which yielded a much divided view of the country, but not necessarily the red states vs. blue states image most of us expected. The map-based charts showed dark blue urban centers surrounded by expanses of pink and red rural areas, which dotted the geographic majority of the country.
More About: Information , Envision , Envi
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