Excuse my rant. I feel it’s important.

In the USA it seems there are two choices of mainstream news: biased or irrelevant.

Plainly put, the First Amendment of that double-edged sword known as the United States Constitution lets any media channel say anything they damned well please and label it truth, unbiased, fair, naziism—really whatever they want. A majority of the rest of the world thinks less of Americans because “they” voted in Bush Junior not once but twice, but it really wasn’t their fault. Blame Fox News, the dominant force in news broadcasting in the US, who disturbingly tagline themselves …read on

, 09 February 2011

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A few years ago, Nestlé, the Swiss chocolatiers, put their hand to making a coffee-makin’ wonder system under the name of Nespresso. I wouldn’t be wasting your precious time if it weren’t for the fact that the coffee these little pod-based machines produce is nothing far short of nectar from the coffee gods.

It exposes how mediocre and weak the stuff Starbucks et al charge you far too much for really is. It’s shocking. Shocking. (More so than European chocolate vs American chocolate—even the fancy stuff from Whole Foods. Honestly, yanks, go to Cost Plus and treat yourselves to some Dairy …read on

, 03 February 2011

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Call me sentimental

Maybe it’s because I have kids, or maybe it’s because I started at my craft before the ubiquitousness of computers and will always prefer hands-on work over computer-generated stuff—probably a bit of both—but I love these charming magazine covers from Romania.

They feature in a new 160-page book titled Graphics Without Computer–40 Years of Modest Achievements which, as well as these covers from children’s titles, features print work from packaging to propaganda.

, 26 January 2011

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You may have noticed the wealth of interchangeable-lens “enthusiast” compact cameras that have bundled onto the market a late. They have most of the bells and whistles of digi SLRs, including the possibility of a bag of lenses, the occasional quandary of which lens to use (occasionally resulting in missing the Kodak moment), and then the later possible considering if the photo wouldn’t have looked better at a different focal length.

Fuji are throwing all that dilemma crap out of the window, though, with their forthcoming X100. They’ve gone and stuck an 35mm (equivalent) lens on the front, which let …read on

, 19 January 2011

I can see David Bailey sneaking one into his bag come March: he’s probably got $1,200 lying around, and being sensible he’ll be buying one in the US to avoid the UK-taxed price of around £1,000

DP Review has a quick shufty at a prototype

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One of the most memorable scenes from 1986’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, you’ll remember, had Matthew Broderick’s character’s harebrained scheme for taking the miles off of cohort Cameron’s father’s Ferrari 250 GT California (actually a fiberglass-bodied, MG-based replica, sorry to burst that bubble) going, well, a tad wrong.

Now, you can own the location: the Highland Park, Illinois house. From the realtor’s website: “The Ben Rose Home—site of the famous movie ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’, cantilevered over the ravine, these two steel and glass buildings, which can never be duplicated, have incredible vistas of the surrounding woods. This is a unique …read on

, 13 January 2011

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chris noble photographer

If you can’t beat them

I’ve been tinkering with the site. I threw out my ideals and ideas of a clean and super-simple front page and gone with a more standard set-up. What’s new?
A blog layout. Bosh. All the wordy posts in one big pile, unless you want to browse a section: click on the tiny section-of-choice heading above posts to do that. As always, click on the logo to head home.
Comments. In the print mag, the letters page was called “comms”, short for “communications” so that’s what the comments are titled, short for “comments”. Handy, that. Until there are new things to make your mark on, go back and have your say about the entries that previously had you thinking without means …read on

, 11 January 2011

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… the last printed issue of Level was on the shelves in finer newsagents and the WH Smiths that we’d bribed.

Here’s a slideshow of that issue. Some of the ads are rough scans out of the mag, and some body text might be flowed slightly differently thanks to the Xpress-to-InDesign conversion, but it’s pretty well all there as was a decade ago.

Man, we had shitty scanners. (And even worse ad sales.)

, 22 October 2010

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goodstuff 031

Wheelie Good*

Emer is a BMX clothing brand that I remember from the 90s. I would occasionally see an Emer-clad Phil Dolan in his world-beating days or maybe spot the infamous Igo brothers sporting Emer during their reign of carnage. Turns out Level contributor—and man behind Emer—Johann Chan is firing up some new Emer products again.

There are a couple of nice t-shirts and, more interestingly, a prototype for a new bike, the very agile and tight-looking Emer Swift: “The Swift is designed with modern BMX geometry so it retains the same riding position as a modern BMX, but runs high-set gearing and big skinny wheels for greater speed,” says Johann. “It’s still nimble enough to ride as a …read on

Nick Murphy, 28 July 2010

Stunning.

, 23 July 2010

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Excuse my nostalgia, but if there’s one thing I miss about art directing the ol’ timey print versions of Level magazine, it’s designing the travel and style pages. They were the least document-style pages, the ones that I could really bear my white (space) teeth and do whatever the hell blew my skirt up. (You’ll understand that’s a metaphor.) It helped that I had amazing photographs to work with.

When Italian photographer Erica Fava submitted her shots last week, I wished I could lay them out for stochastically-screened, 420×265mm print. Instead, I get to present them to you as a simple online slideshow. Thanks, Erica.

, 15 July 2010

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