is a fabulous collection of artwork from instruction
manuals and airplane evacuation cards. It includes
examples that span the evolution of printed instructions
over the last century or so. See how the look of desktop
radios has changed from having no knobs, to dozens of
knobs, back to no knobs. Read quaint condescending
instructions addressed to the proud new (female) owners
of a frost free freezer. This is not a book for scholars;
it's one for those who have ever stared at a
twice-translated IKEA instruction sheet and wondered
whether it was really for some other product.
Mijksenaar, Piet Westendorp
What: Open Here: The Art of
Where: Nicholas Hoare, Front Street,
When: Early January 2000
Why: It was the weekend, some time after
Christmas. I was wandering up and down Front Street,
trying to take a decent picture of the St. Lawrence
Market (failed. Ended up taking mysteriously arty
pictures of an old fire escape. Whoopie.) Nicholas Hoare
is a very comfortable bookstore with lots of books on
display. That's important. If you can't see the books'
covers, how are you supposed to judge them? I found Open
Here near an information desk, and at first mistook
it for a collection of Tintin art by Hergé.
Flipped it open. Cool. Put it down. Did a lap of the rest
of the store. Picked it up on the way out.