My Swipe File

Back in art school my teachers advised me to create a swipe file — a collection of magazine clippings and paper ephemera depicting anything visual — stuff I liked, stuff that inspired me, samples of good design, bad design… I filled a filing cabinet with reference for everything. The only problem was that I never looked at it. A few years ago I started gluing it all into scrapbooks. I’ve managed to reduce that filing cabinet’s contents into two books. I find my swipe file much more accessible now and I look at it all the time. I’ve stopped taking them with me everywhere I go, though—security at SFO didn’t like them and they took me aside to slowly scrutinize every single page. Here is some of what they saw:


About Ian Phillips Illustration

I am an illustrator and book designer. View all posts by Ian Phillips Illustration

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