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Written by Nicole

Curiosities: Examples of Penmanship & Typography from the BHL

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A consortium of botanical and natural history libraries, the Biodiviersity Heritage Library is working towards digitizing their collections of public domain journals and books. It is an endless resource of images and information that can be used freely, depending on its copyright status. Delving through the collection led to an unexpected discovery of many beautiful examples of penmanship and typography.

※ The images above were edited for DC, originals are below.

Purple Magnolia
Melanocephalis
Flabellatus
Gemellata
Vesicatoria
Xyridaceae
Penguin
Der Penguin
Le Penguin

Biol. bentr.Am
Wild Sweet Pea
Field Museum
The Sea
The Goosebeek’d Whale
Dahlias
Pigeon Blondinette Noir
Noir Pigeon Satinette

Observed: Eric Lacombe

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Graphic designer and artist Eric Lacombe’s work focuses on the melancholy that goes along with feelings of fear, anxiety and sadness. Something about his style reminds me of Stephen Gammell’s illustrations for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, but Lacombe’s work is decidedly different. His portraits are dark and rich, and have depth and feel dimensional. The dour-looking subjects of his latest exhibition, The Weight of Silence, are tormented hybrids and creatures dealing with the, ” indefinable perceptions anticipating death.” It is currently on view at the Last Rites Gallery in NYC until the 16th of April.

Observed: Noémie Goudal

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Noémie Goudal has created a strange mix of fiction and reality in her photographs. Some are hand-made objects while others are digitally manipulated structures from real photographs that she prints. Goudal doesn’t hide these fabrications, and on study and inspection they stare at you. Even though you can see the deceptions, they are based in reality. Perception is a funny thing sometimes.

Experiments and Curiosities I

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Analog Distortion

Fifty Weeks of Work: Machines in Space

Growing up in a suburb of Houston, so close to Space Ceneter and Ellington Field, it was nearly impossible not to have an interest in space and NASA. To go from watching shuttle launches on TV to being connected to astronauts on Instagram and other online platforms has been such a curious and wonderful thing.

Steven has done these kinds of typologies before, but this series of illustrated NASA satellites feels fitting…machines in space. You can follow along here, or on his Instagram.

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Week II
Cygnus Orbital-1
NASA / Oribital Sciences

Marking the first private spacecraft to resupply ISS, Cygnus Oribital-1 launched on the Antares rocket from a facility in Virginia. It delivered 1,300 lbs. of non-critical gear, was loaded with trash and was relaunched and burned up over the Pacific Ocean.

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Week I
Voyager I & II
NASA / JPL

Voyager I and II were twin spacecraft whose primary mission was the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn. Among other discoveries, they found active volcanoes on a moon of Jupiter, and the details of Saturn’s rings. Voyager II continued on to Uranus and Neptune, the only craft to visit those planets. (NASA)