29 February 2008
Cerysmatic Factory Desktop Wallpapers 
Sorry it's been a bit quiet here all week but here's something to spruce up your desktops - some brand new Cerysmatic Factory 10th Anniversary Wallpapers.

With thanks to Steven for multi-sized multi-tasking.
22 February 2008
Tephra 
Developed with Dalton Maag, Tephra is a new font family based on the lower-case typeface designed by 8vo in 1994, for interact, a special issue of the American Center for Design Journal and later used for the 1997 Flux New Music Festival poster series.

Previously unavailable commercially, the original type has been extended and updated to include full upper- and lower-case character sets, numerals, punctuation and European accents. Available in OpenType Format, as a family of six fonts – solid and five related outline versions – Tephra was released by Dalton Maag on 15 January 2008.

Hamish Muir (ex-8vo) tells Cerysmatic Factory about the new font Tephra which he has designed with Bruno Maag and which was released last month:

"Tephra began life as 'interact' which was designed by 8vo as a screen font for an invited submission to 'Interact' a special issue of 'The American Center for Design Journal' in 1994.

This was later developed by us into a font for print use and was used on a couple of 8vo jobs, including the type in an outline version for the 1997 Flux New Music Festival publicity.

The initial development is fully described in '8vo On the Outside' pp 438-473.

'Interact' was lowercase only + numerals and a limited set of punctuation but no European accents. Bruno Maag made the original fonts from our drawings.

'Interact' was never released commercially or distributed.

I have always been fascinated by geometrically constructed letterforms, and as the original screen-based version of 'Interact' was designed to overcome certain problems with on-screen font rendering, it was natural that one looked to Wim Crouwel's modular letterform designs for inspiration in terms of both process and form, and in particular his 'New Alphabet' and the modular lettering he designed for the 1968 'vormgevers' poster. The original version of interact is in some ways like a much bolder version of the latter.

A couple of years ago I started experimenting with 'outline' versions of the 'interact' print font, carrying on from where I left off with the Flux posters. I wanted to explore the possiblity of developing a series of outline weights of the font which could relate together based on the internal 'design grid' of the letterforms.

The idea was to create a set of related display fonts that could be used together in specific size combinations so that letter size and stroke weights could all 'sit' on an invisible grid underlying the whole page or format. A system for modular, geometric typography, where all the elements are measureable. Why? To limit the range of choice and remove arbitary decision making from the design process. At least that's how I will use it. It's part of the 'job's which design themselves' quest. To find systems and approaches that limit on-the-fly 'push graphics' decision making and more importantly the awkwardness of traditional letterforms when used big on posters. I like the notion of a font that doesn't need letterspacing (as all the characters touch in the solid version) and as well that, as the stroke weights increase in the outline versions, the letterforms merge into each other

The initial sketches were based on setting 'interact' at 50mm body height and subdividing this into 160 units of 0.3125mm. (The original design grid was 19 units for the construction of the lower case letters + ascenders and descenders, I added one unit for space top and bottom; 20 units in the original design became 160).
Starting with the contour of the letterforms as the 'centre' for the outline the strokes, I tested a range of stroke thicknesses as multiples of the 160 unit grid, the thinnest being 2 grid units (1 either side of the contour 'outline') in 2 unit steps, up to 40 units.

Of these, I chose 5 stroke weights (in addition to the solid version, making 6 variants in total) to develop as full fonts based on the following criteria:

a) 2 units - the minimum possible based on the grid
b) 8 units - the point at which the counters on the lowercase 'e' and 'a' fill in and the dot on the lowercase i touches the x-height
c) 16 units - ratio of stroke to inline = 2:1 and inline = same thickness as stroke in b)
d) 22 units - inline = stroke thickness in a)
e) 40 units - the point at which all the counters fill-in

The next stage was to try and re-set the grid to accommodate the range of outlines I wanted within the same body height at any given font size so that for example,'50mm' 'Interact' would be interchangeable across the six versions that would all share the same central contour but of course the stroke thickness would determine the overall real 'height' for each variant. An after-work chat over a beer with Paulus Dreibholz (who knows a lot more about this stuff than me) revealed I would need to convert my grid to 1000 unit height to work with font design technology.

And that's about as far as I got before I met up with Bruno Maag to discuss the development of the font as a live project.

Bruno took my sketches and the original lowercase of the solid version of the font (which he had digitised 12 years ago) and developed the production versions of the six variants, including the design of the entire upper case letterforms, foreign accents, glyphs and other elements required for a complete OpenType character set. My role in the development phase was to comment on the designs as they were being developed by DM. Along the way, and because of the way font software actually works, it was necessary to make minor stroke thickness adjustments to the first and fourth outline weights to get them to fit 'on grid' in the font design software.
I don't know what other designers will make of Tephra, it will be very interesting to see it in use."

An edited version of this article first appeared in the February 2008 edition of Grafik Magazine to coincide with the font's release.

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In addition, Hamish has designed visuals using Tephra for a series of six limited edition screen prints (each 100x70 cm) and which are going to be published by Dalton Maag (www.daltonmaag.com) and will be for sale.

Each of the prints has the same base design, with a different metallic colour overprint - one for each of the fonts in the family.

According to Hamish, they are "anti-content, and are only 'specimen sheets'. I didn't want to invent worthy content (like once again, graphic design saves the whale / world / cosmos / by inventing an excuse for another piece of print). They are only about form."

There will also be an exhibition of the prints at Leagas Delaney in London. Details to follow on hamishmuir.com and here.

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Art Vinyl presents Factory Records 
ArtVinyl.com announces a one-off exhibition as Peter Hook curates the Art Vinyl Gallery with some classic art and design from the Factory Records vaults from 17-30 April 2008.

This will also be a one-off opportunity to purchase a limited edition Fac 51 T-Shirt Flip Frame designed specifically for the exhibition. Only 501 have been produced so to reserve yours now, please email us at info@artvinyl.com.

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Solo dates for Paul Haig 
Paul Haig has announced a few rare live dates in London and Scotland:

13 Apr - Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, 20:00
19 Apr - Borderline, London, 20:00
4 May - King Tut's, Glasgow, 20:30
18 May - Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, 19:30

Tickets available from Ticketweb and Ticketmaster.
Signal, Magnetar and Resonance 
A limited edition Joy Division / Ian Curtis triptych print by Rob Jones (art guy for The White Stripes) is available now from the Richard Goodall gallery for GBP 215.

Commenting on his work Rob Jones said "Probably the hardest project I've had to work on. Joy Division is so visually dominated by Peter Saville's work that my usual way of going about things felt improper (like an Iron Maiden cover without Eddie)."

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21 February 2008
Muscular and atmospheric 
The Joy Division film documentary directed by Grant Gee screens at the Bradford International Film Festival on Friday 14 March.

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With thanks to Fausto for spotting.

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17 February 2008
International Orange 
International Orange marks the first exhibition of the solo work and new collaborative projects of Ben Kelly. Award-winning founder of Ben Kelly Design (BKD) London, he designed FAC 51 The Haçienda and continues to produce high-profile and innovative spaces including flagship fashion stores, hotels and a new chain of fitness clubs.

The exhibition is at the Stanley Picker Gallery at the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at Kingston University and runs from 5 March – 26 April 2008.

International Orange features works inspired by The Haçienda; a training shoe commissioned by Adidas, a collaborative poster with Peter Saville depicting Factory Records head Anthony H Wilson, and a virtual rendering of the club's interior designed in collaboration with Morph.

The use of already existing objects, designs, techniques, and approaches from his past, and that of others, can be seen at play in this new exhibition. Kelly and his collaborators have come together on various projects ranging from craft to consumer product, the ready-made to the virtual. Common to most of these collaborative processes, is an implicit interest in design, colour and form; something evident in the work of Warhol and Duchamp, to whom Kelly pays homage in the use of images and objects pertinent to his own creative processes.

And as for why the exhibition is called International Orange? Well, it is one of the colours used for the palette of the original Haçienda design and, as anyone who has seen Ben Kelly will attest, he can more often than not be seen wearing outfits featuring said colour!

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International Orange
Ben Kelly
In Collaboration

Graphic Thought Facility, Michael Marriot, Morph, Peter Saville and DJ Simpson
5 March - 26 April 2008

Stanley Picker Gallery
Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture
Kingston University
Knights Park
Kingston upon Thames
KT1 2QJ

Opening hours:

Tue - Fri 12 - 6pm
Sat 12 - 4pm
Mon - by appointment
Entry: free

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Haçienda investment opportunities 
It would appear that the Haçienda still retains the capacity to lose money.

According to Miles Brignall in The Guardian, such is the state of negative equity in the Manchester City Centre new-build market that "professional investors [are] clamouring to get out of properties in a desperate attempt to cap their losses".

This exodus is causing a significant drop in the values of the thousands of apartments ('flats for tw@ts' as one piece of Hulme graffitti puts it) that have been, and are still being built, as part of Manchester's 'new urban renaissance'.

"At the landmark development, The Haçienda, flat 213 is being offered for sale for GBP 205,000. The same apartment was bought for GBP 261,000 in April 2004."

The same apartment was initially sold by the developers Crosby Homes ("You can see the Haçienda - it does exist") at GBP 236,000 as new in 2002.

As the original marketing brochure put it: "now the party's over'.
14 February 2008
She's Lost Control 
Femme Fatale on MySpace put their own inimitable stamp on 'She's Lost Control' by Joy Division.

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12 February 2008
Angel Galore 
Haçienda-goers and Factory collectors watching the new E4 series of teen drama Skins are permitted a double-take: Maxxie's mum (and Bill Bailey's wife!) Jackie Oliver is played by former Haçienda Maître D' - and proprietor of Factory Merchandising emporium FAC281: The Area - Fiona Allen.

Five minutes to satellite!
11 February 2008
Thunderbirds theme 
Heads Up for the last two weeks of the excellent Haçienda 25 The Exhibition: FAC 491.

The exhibition at Manchester's URBIS ends on 24 February 2008, leaving only two weekends left to see it.

Be warned.
GRAFTA 
Congratulations to Matt Greenhalgh on winning "The Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in their First Feature Film" BAFTA award for his Control screenplay.

On accepting the award Matt said: "I want to dedicate this to a guy that should be here tonight but obviously isn't. Tony Wilson - crucial to this whole story and crucial to me."

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Nun that got away 
Apologies for letting something this important slip under the cerysmatic Factory-dar, but it would appear that ex-Vanilla Sound Corps, ex-Happy Monday, X-Factor Rowetta Satchell has just completed a UK tour of The Songs Of Sister Act.

The Juxtaposed Production featured Rowetta (dressed in full nun regalia) starring alongside Three Degree Sheila Ferguson and had "the audience dancing in the aisles to songs including ‘Oh Happy Day’, ‘Joyful Joyful’, ‘Shout’ and ‘Aint No Mountain High Enough’."

Those dates in full:
Friday 1st February - Grand Theatre York
Saturday 2nd February - The Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow
Monday 4th February - Bristol Hippodrome
Wednesday 6th February - Alexandra Theatre Birmingham
Friday 8th February - Palace Theatre, Manchester
Saturday 9th February - The Grimsby Auditorium
Sunday 10th February - Sunderland Empire

"I can't remember the last time I was this excited about touring," Rowetta tells the Manchester Evening News, "I've decided to proper tour bus it with the choir, because I've not done that since the Happy Mondays."

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08 February 2008
MOJO Indie Top 50 
MOJO #172 (March 2008) features an Indie Top 50 of the Greatest UK Indie Records of All-Time. Factory Records is well represented with four entries as follows:

48 - James FAC 138 James 'Village Fire'
28 - New Order FAC 63 'Temptation'
22 - Happy Mondays FAC 222 'Lazyitis (One Armed Boxer)'
6 - Joy Division FAC 13 'Transmission'

And the #1 UK Indie record of all-time is... 'This Charming Man' by The Smiths.

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06 February 2008
10 Year Cerysmatic Factory Party People 
On Friday 21 March, at South in Manchester, come and celebrate 10 years of Cerysmatic Factory. Yes, it's the Cerysmatic Factory 10th Birthday Party! Dave Haslam (XFM) and DJ Shred from NYC are your DJs for this very special night on Another Planet. Contact me for £3 guest list entry up until 20 March.

Looking back, the site has changed in so many ways over the years...

- there have been 4 major designs (the first one was pretty crap to be honest!)
- the blog started in 2003 and there have been 1703 posts (including this one)
- cerysmaticfactory.info was born as a domain in 2004
- the news feed started in 2004 and since 2006 has been enhanced by FeedBurner
- the Message Board started in 2004 and before that there was the Guestbook (RIP)
- the front page and other pages were enhanced by del.icio.us in 2006
- the current design launched on 24 January 2008, the 30th Anniversary of Factory itself

The site's gone from strength to strength from the dim dark days of the late nineties (as evidenced by many webstats I could bore you with) but throughout it has been the support of you, the readers and contributors, which has made it what it is. Cheers to everyone and extra special thanks to OMNY and moist. Without whom, etc...

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Cerysmatic Factory
10th Birthday Party
Friday 21 March 2008
10pm - Late

DJs
Dave Haslam (XFM)
DJ Shred (NYC)

South
4a South King Street
Manchester
M2 6DQ

£5 / £4 / Contact Cerysmatic for £3 guestlist entry

www.cerysmaticfactory.info
www.southnightclub.com
www.davehaslam.com
www.myspace.com/shreddie

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05 February 2008
From Sunlight to Blue... Blue to tracklist 
The tracklisting of the new album by The Durutti Column, 'Sunlight to Blue... Blue to Blackness' has been confirmed on www.kookydisc.co.uk as follows:

1. Glimpse
2. Contact
3. Messages
4. So Many Crumbs And Monkeys!
5. Ged
6. Never Known Version
7. Anada
8. Head Glue
9. Demo For Gathering Dust
10. Wordless
11. Grief

The album will be released around May/June of 2008 with the possibility of some advance copies.

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04 February 2008
... and it's Happy Birthday from him 
It's also Kevin Hewick's birthday today. Happy Birthday Kevin!

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Haçienda @ The Warehouse Project, Manchester 
Haçienda Warehouse Party
The Warehouse Project
Manchester

Bank Holiday Sunday 23 March 2008

808 State (Live)
Shaun Ryder (Live PA)
Mike Pickering and Graeme Park
Peter Hook (New Order)
A Guy Called Gerald (Live)
More TBA

Early bird tickets GBP 15 from www.ticketline.co.uk

www.thewarehouseproject.com

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51 201 50 
Happy Birthday Leroy Richardson - 'king' of both Haçienda and Dry - who reaches a half century today.
02 February 2008
Transmission: the sound of Joy Division 
Transmission play their first date of 2008 next Friday at the Manchester Academy supporting The Other Smiths. Stage time will be 8pm.

Other dates have also been added recently, including a date in Luneburg, Germany.

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Control special features 
The UK dvd release of Control on 11 February is fast approaching and fuller

DVD Special Features include:

- Making of Control - 25 minute featurette includes interviews with Director Anton Corbijn, star Sam Riley and BAFTA-nominated writer Matt Greenhalgh
- Commentary with Director Anton Corbijn - covering his experiences making Control, from the casting process to on-set stories to filmmaking techniques
- Extended performance scenes featuring Sam Riley, James Anthony Pearson, Joe Anderson and Harry Treadaway as Joy Division perform the songs 'Transmission', 'Leaders of Men' and 'Candidate' in full
- Joy Division's Atmosphere '88 video as directed by Anton Corbijn

Amazon.co.uk also has a special offer whereby you get a free copy of 'Touching From A Distance' by Deborah Curtis with the dvd while stocks last.

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THE ARTIST MAY CONSTRUCT THE WORK 
Lisson Gallery hosts an exhibition of new work by Lawrence Weiner, one of the most significant and influential artists of his generation. This will be Weiner’s second solo show at the Lisson Gallery (the first was in 2005) and will coincide with the artist's first major US retrospective AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, from November 2007 to February 2008, traveling to MOCA, Los Angeles, in spring 2008 (13 April to 14 July 2008).

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Lawrence Weiner
6 February – 15 March 2008
Lisson Gallery
29 Bell Street
LONDON
NW1 5DA

Opening hours: Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm, Saturday 11am - 5pm
Keep Your Flipped Wigs On 
Kevin Hewick's new album is out on Pink Box Records on Monday 11 February 2008 and is called 'Keep Your Flipped Wigs On'. It features 11 original, specially-written Hewick songs for the Hathi Productions musical 'School of Hard Rocks'. The book and direction of the show is by Jez Simons.

The album features Flash of ist on drums and Kevin Hewick on guitars, basses and vocals and guest appearances from Vikash Patel and The Gannet Girls. There are also bonus instrumental versions for karaoke purposes (full lyrics are included in the CD insert) and a couple of spot the difference remixes for the sonic anoraks.

The show itself is on again under the title of 'High School of Rock the Musical' at The Shed on Yeoman Street in Leicester on successive Fridays 8 & 15 February as part of Leicester Comedy Festival. The production will also be staged for a week at the Edinburgh Festival in August.

Further insight/info including a "South Bank Show" track-by-track commentary* will be up on www.kevinhewick.co.uk early next week.

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FAC 51 The Hacienda
The Names

Post punk cult band The Names emerged in the winter of 1977-1978 as The Passengers, gathering immediate attention on the local Brussels scene. In 1979, after a series of successful gigs and a crucial step forward opening for Magazine, they recorded their first E.P. ("Spectators Of Life") and attracted the interest of prominent label Factory Records in Manchester.

Their first British studio session (at Stockport's Strawberry Studio) produced the single "Nightshift" / "I Wish I Could Speak Your Language (Fac 29). Receiving enthusiastic reviews in the UK and abroad, it marked the start of a long and fruitful collaboration with producer Martin Hannett. The album "Swimming" followed as well as more singles, including "Calcutta" and "The Astronaut".

- extract from the official website biography

Factory Records Catalogue

The Durutti Column