Ian Lynam co-curated and co-edited Slanted’s 35th issue devoted to Los Angeles.
I have a complicated relationship with LA. I lived there for a few years and really didn’t like it when I was there, but in reality, I was just frustrated with life in general. Since that time, I have returned to LA frequently to lecture, work, and teach. My community in LA has deepened incredibly, as has my love for aspects of the city.
Los Angeles is the opposite of our old metropolises. The sprawling multi-dimensionality is alien, and for many, gets on our nerves: the tangled network of highways and the constant driving around, the emphasized nonchalance and never-ending optimism of everyone, the sunny weather, the ingenious modernist architecture, the film industry, the tourists and the shitty art museums … perhaps, just perhaps everything about this city gets on our nerves.
Despite, or maybe because of all of this, L.A. is an awesome city, both in the Biblical sense and the slang sense.
Lars Harmsen and I wanted to meet Ed Ruscha to talk about his mysteriously seductive and motionless-looking reductive paintings. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, but his piece “Hollywood is a verb” inspired the three different titles/cover variations of this issue.
We would also have liked to see David Hockney, who fled the austerity and gray oppression of England (an early Brexit) to Los Angeles to discover a sunny and hedonistic city. No dice there, either. But hey!, in a town like L.A. and on a production like Slanted’s, not everything has to work out. Often, the best things happen when they’re not planned, just as they did here.
We hung out with the wonderful actor Udo Kier and learned a lot about Hollywood and his life. We spent a superb evening with Sarah Lorenzen and her husband, photographer David Hartwell, who meticulously restored the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences, the home of architect Richard Neutra, and a number of other luminaries.
Our main goal for Slanted #35 was to feature tons of great designers, artists, and teachers. When asked where their allegiances lie, with New York or Los Angeles, each unflinchingly yelled “L.A.!!!”.
You can find their brilliant work in the new issue, and a deeper look at their opinions and views through video interviews that can be viewed online on the Slanted video platform for free: https://www.slanted.de/video/losangeles/
Illustrations, interviews, essays, and a huge appendix with many useful tips and the best Californian typefaces complement the issue thematically.
Slanted Magazine #35—L.A. comes along with contributions by Abstract Office, Another Human, Benjamin Critton Art Department, Caleb Boyles, Brand New School, BUCK, Burning Settlers Cabin, Kat Catmur, Counterspace, ELLA, Emigre, Raymundo T. Reynoso a.k.a. Eyeone, Ed Fella, Folder Studio, Forth + Back, Jens Gehlhaar, Shawn Ghassemitari, Ella Gold, Denise Gonzales Crisp, Green Dragon Office, Escher GuneWardena, Jamal Gunn Becker, Happening Studio, and David Hartwell.
It also features contributions from Headline Records, Hennessey + Ingalls, Inventory Form & Content, Bijou Karman, David Karwan, Mr. Keedy, Udo Kier, Kevin Kim, Knowledge Design Lab, Lux Typographic + Design, LSD, Ian Lynam, MCKL, Maria Menshikova, National Forest, Kali Nikitas, nohawk, Hyu Oh, OH no Type Co., OOG Creative, Ara Oshagan, Hrant H. Papazian, Alex Pines, poly-mode, Robo, Zack Rosebrugh, Brian Roettinger, SEEN, Justin Hunt Sloane, Some All None, Still Room, Stink Studios, Studio BLDG, Daniel Sulzberg, Gail Swanlund, TOLO Architecture, Use All Five, Dameon Waggoner, Jiaqi Wang, and Yours Truly Creative.
In addition to this exciting publication, a limited special edition has been published and is exclusively available in the Slanted shop. It contains an enamel pin showcasing your love for a good read, and a super glossy notebook to write down all your ideas: https://www.slanted.de/product/limited-special-edition-la/
Slanted Magazine #35—L.A.
Publisher: Slanted Publishers
Release: May 2020
Volume: 256 pages
Format: 16 × 24 × 2 cm
Offset Printing: Stober (https://www.stober.de/)
Silkscreen Printing: Seismografics (https://www.seismografics.de/)
Paper: PERGRAPHICA® by Mondi Group (https://www.mymondi.net/)
Price: € 18.- (DE) / € 21.- (International)
Single Issue: https://www.slanted.de/product/slanted-magazine-35-los-angeles/
Special Edition: https://www.slanted.de/product/limited-special-edition-la/
Video Interviews: https://www.slanted.de/video/losangeles/
I'm a graphic designer, design educator, design critic and design writer who has been based in Tokyo for 16 years.