Graphic Critique

“I hate graphic design,” says 41-year-old English artist Scott King. “It’s for people who want jobs—commercial decorators.” Nonetheless, design is what King studied, and he was the art director at i-D in the mid ’90s. “It’s my language, what I know how to do.” King’s new book, Art Works, is a collection of his work from 1992 all the way to the present in his use of fonts, posters, media, and mass reproduction as a political tool of popular semiotics. King’s particular targets for critique are the use of public space and the pompousness of art. Take for instance, the first cover of the magazine he founded in 1997, CRASH!, which self-defeatingly reads, “Death to the New!” The most recent work is a made-up quote from artist Antony Gormley, who has executed numerous recent public monuments. “It’s about the public nuisance of putting hundreds of thousands of pounds into a public artwork—and thinking that’s going to help anyone,” says King. More info at