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Willy Fleckhaus

“The aim of my work is to illuminate words.”

Willy Fleckhaus is not exactly a household name, but every time you open a magazine today you are seeing the legacy of his graphic genius.

In the 1950s, all magazines looked like your old high school yearbook. Boring. In the 1960s Fleckhaus changed all that.

Born in Velbert, Germany in 1925, Willy Fleckhaus began his career as a journalist and editor, but Hitler drafted him into the armed forces and robbed him of his youth. According to a contemporary, “Fleckhaus used graphics to re-live the youth that he had been denied: protest, opposition, liberalism, sentimentality, pleasure.’”

As designer of Twen magazine from 1959 to 1970, the full-bearded Fleckhaus transformed the way magazines looked—forever.  Eye Magazine observed in 1991, that “No one ran pictures bigger, cropped them tighter or had a darker vision than Willy Fleckhaus, the art director’s art director.”

Fleckhaus died in 1983.

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Aiming for the Goal

by Bill Alley, Broadcast Host, Wordsmith and Beard Advocate

For a sport that reigns king by sheer size of audience, ‘Footy’ (Soccer for us North Americans) has had a decade-long fascination which grows whiskers as well as fans. The sportscaster has been as much an advertiser of such beards as the cameras fixated on some very impressive and inspiring facial hair.

If you’ve been wondering just what to grow, have begun your beard quest, and need a bit of a goal or some good coaching, the best advice comes straight from the lens, the fans and the beardsmen themselves for spawning facial hair fanatics. For Beardsley men, no better place in sport can compare on a worldly scale to the men singled out often for their individuality in expertise and bearded achievement.

I give kudos to an article recently discovered on “The 18”, a site dedicated to ‘round type’ football (just so we North Americans that we’re still talking ‘soccer’).

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Podcast: Máirtín de Cógáin

Reading The Beard Barometer: The Quest For Man To Return To Nature
by Bill Alley, Broadcast Host, Wordsmith and Beard Advocate


A part of my brain was rolling past a sea of information eager to find a bit of writing on historic times when beards flourished with abundance. There have been volumes of great books on the matter, and one in particular fell into place doing a search of articles at Esquire Magazine.

Two beards, Luke O’Neill, writing the article, and his guest, Christopher Oldstone-Moore, Senior Lecturer at Wright State University in Ohio, decided to divulge the book Of Beards And Men written by the lecturer. Written around the time of release of the popular pictorial project called “100 Beards, 100 Days” in the early parts of this decade, Oldstone-Moore headed down the literary path of history to study cycles of leaders when facial hair was king—in some cases, literally – and when such whiskers ebbed.

The book devotes 12 chapters on the subject with claims made early on that a definable Beard movement happened during the reign of Emperor Hadrian – one of the first detected eras that beards were ‘in fashion’. What was telling about Oldstone-Moore’s finding is the reason for Hadrian’s display of facial hair: he noted that a yearning grew a quest to ‘get back to nature’.

The Beard is first nature for the male, we know that. But have you questioned what it is about those lovable, unique whiskers that give you an air of confidence, comfort and manliness? Has it ever crossed your mind that Nature itself may have been the nudge? The authenticity of why the Beard movements past and present always cycle, typically at a time the author states is circumstantial to a male need to return to nature, makes complete sense.

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