Seven Questions for Peter Buchanan-Smith

Laduree macaroons.
Freshly-sharpened Dixon Ticonderogas.
The overheard conversations of young children.
Night swimming.
Publications designed by Peter Buchanan-Smith.

These are just a few of the things that we think make life worth living, so we knew who to seek out as the inaugural subject of our newest UnBeige feature, “Seven Questions for…”

Peter.jpgBuchanan-Smith, the creative director of Paper, spent the last year working with Maira Kalman on the design of her just-published book, The Principles of Uncertainty, a second Kalman/PBS book collaboration after the Elements of Style Illustrated. And we’re happy to confirm that, as we had hoped/speculated, he is now at work on Isaac Mizrahi‘s imminent “illustrated guide to looking fabulous for all occasions.” So, without further ado, we proudly present Buchanan-Smith’s answers to our seven questions:

1. What’s the first thing(s) you read in the morning?
Spring, Summer, Fall: The New York Times sports section for the baseball. Winter: The New York Times front page for pictures. But now I am thinking of giving up the Times forever as I fear it makes me overwhelmed.

2. Last movie you saw?
On the plane from London to New York I watched the last half of The Simpsons Movie, the first 5 minutes, and last 15 minutes of Live Free or Die Hard, 100% of a movie I thoroughly hated and forgot the name of, a smidgen of The Talented Mr. Ripley, the first half of The Simpsons Movie, and a smattering of Hairspray: The Musical. When I’m 3,000 feet high, airplane movies and airplane food are my greatest pleasures in life.

3. Last book you read?
Species of Spaces and other Places by George Perec

4. Best/most memorable design/designer-related encounter?
Most recent memory was from Krakow: the architectural gem of Poland’s crown, that for the most part escaped the Nazi and Allied bombs, but sadly not the clumsy hands of modern Polish signmakers. On a walk I happened to spot one buliding that had absolutely perfect old signs, hand lettered, a gem in a sea of signage depravity. I asked my guide how this one could have possibly made it with such flying colors, and she said that it was a prop from Schindler’s List.

5. Proudest design moment?
Designing the cover of my own book.

6. This holiday season, I’m giving…
Eats and treats

7. This holiday season, I’m hoping to get…
A meet and greet