The Mystery of Mysterious Fragments

Posted inThe Daily Heller
Thumbnail for The Mystery of Mysterious Fragments

I don’t know what this is, but I know that I like touching, feeling and seeing it. Someone had fun doing it. Someone went to a lot of work to make it so random.

Hidden away in a designer’s archive, uncovered after his death, was this absurd curio of popular art and printing playfulness. Around 100 double-sided square pages in a ragged cardboard sleeve, dateless, nameless—anonymous—with only the mailing stamp below from Holland. It could have been an experiment or something more formal. It could have been a collection of random newsprint make-readies for a printer or a deliberate curatorial decision by an artist to make a statement about the state of art. It is fragile but intact. It is alluring but forbidding. It is vernacular yet something more than innocent happenstance. It is serendipity on yellowing paper stock, a few years away from crumbling to newsprint dust. For now, it is a mysterious collection of fragmentary fragments. Maybe someone reading this can illuminate the darkness and solve this mystery.


Print’s Type & Lettering Awards are Back!

All too often, typography gets overlooked in larger design competitions—which is why we developed one that gives the artforms their full due and recognizes the best designers in each category. Whether you design your own typefaces, design type-centric pieces or create gorgeous handlettered projects, we want to see your work—and share it with our readers.

Enter today for a chance to be featured in Print magazine, receive a prize pack from, and more.

RELATED POSTSMy Favorite DummyBrooklyn Street ArtThe Dean of DesignThe Bernini Of Cardboard SculpturesNarrative Of Things

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →