On Friday I wrote a post about buttons I liked quite a bit from the Decorative and Promotional chapters in Badge Button Pin, and today I continue this profile, discussing the remaining sections in the book Packs, Websites and Art. I’ve added a few artists to supplement the book in this post, but don’t think this means I’ll be making any button aficionado claims. Mostly, I just enjoy the medium.
Admittedly OpArt on buttons doesn’t quite work the way artists such as Bridget Riley had intended, but I like them anyway. The patterning remains compelling, and it’s the kind of thing I’d be happy wearing on my shirt. By contrast, food is the last thing I want on cloths, and yet I still like the sushi buttons. Part of this affinity comes from unexpected subject matter no doubt. I’m still not convinced I’d want to wear these pins, but I still like the idea of owning them. I see a custom made button display device for my mantel in my future.
The ipod button above receives props for graphic allure, but I’ve mainly posted it because I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing an accessory who’s only purpose is to advertise said product. As far as I’m concerned, if I’m going to sport a brand logo or identity I should be paid to do so — why help a company sell goods for free? Other than this gripe, the buttons found on this site, though wildly expensive are quite nice. They also happen to be an American company, so unlike the majority of button artists profiled here who are from the UK, these people will be able to ship to most of my readers.
ProjectButton, Kirk Weppler, Explorations in ASCII Art.
I suspect other artists have also made ascii art buttons, but these are the first I’ve seen. I found the work on ProjectButton, a great online gallery featuring the designs of Internet users. Basically, those who wish to participate submit artwork to the site, which will then be made into buttons and posted on the website. No fee or judging takes place, but artists can send a buck in to cover the cost of their button, and to randomly receive from the collection.
Ian Wright, Peace Bear, buttons, Image via Ian Wright
I have no real clarity on why those listed in the art section have been placed there (with the exception of Ian Wright[pictured above], who actually has gallery representation,) since the only distinction I can see lies in the fact that even fewer of these people actually have functioning websites. As a supplement to this section, I encourage you to take a look at Michael Bell-Smith’s digital pog collection — not quite buttons, since they are meant to be traded and never become objects — but they at least mimic the shape. Also Paper Rod/Retard Riot has been known to make a button or two. I’m not 100% sold on their art yet, since it gives the outward appearance of being poorly considered but we’ll see how it develops. I really can’t say anything entirely negative about a collective that came up with the button “I hate clocks”. According to previous posts, I obviously don’t wholly agree, but it does hold some resonance with me anytime I’m late.
UPDATE: See also Coudal’s Pinsetter feature. Spell your name or anything else you might want to see in buttons!