29 March 2010

Photo of the week

Paris, France. Ahhh.... viewing just a small piece of the Eiffel Tower makes you feel like having a crossiant and a café au lait in a cozy boulangerie with the newspaper. Good morning Monday!

27 March 2010

Nederlandse stijl

Being half Dutch and half Italian, there's no question I love design and food. Not necessarily in that order either. But when I'm craving design over food, I head to DutchFDA. I get my fill of design, fashion and architecture and then some, plus dessert!

Photo from DutchFDA website.

Not as easy as it looks



Since we're on the subject of things looking easier than they are, here's another for you... combing typefaces. Wait... don't stop reading, I promise this will be interesting. Seriously, typefaces are a serious business and it's part of a designers job to find and combine typefaces accordingly. Whether the combination evokes energy, poise or dignity, the combination of fonts can make or break a design. Just take a look at the Four Ways to Mix Fonts from Hoefler & Frere-Jones and see for yourself.

Photos from H&FJ website.

Killer design from Killeen


Leonardo da Vinci once said, 'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.' Ever since I read that quote, I have always tried to put simplicity into my design. Why? Because simplicity means you've done your research and taken only the elements that will translate the best (which may not be so interesting) and arranged them in such a way that the design is simple, visually stimulating and highly communicative. Ask any designer, the more simple a design appears, the harder it was to achieve. That's the beauty of design.

When I came across the work of Chris Killeen from Ireland recently, da Vinci's quote came right to my mind. His work embodies simplicity and sophistication in the highest form. Simply beautiful! Check out more of his work here. I think you'll be as blown away as I was.

Photos from Chris Killeen website.

24 March 2010

Too cool for school







Upon seeing the latest endeavour from Pentagram, the first question I asked myself was... now why didn't my school look like that?

With a little paint and a few typographic statements, the Achievement First Endeavor Middle School in Brooklyn has a new bright, bold existence. Spearheaded by Paula Scher of Pentagram, the schools interior has been updated to provide a vibrant space for learning with with slogans like "Sweat the small stuff," "Excellence is a habit," and "Many minds, one mission." The transformation was a relatively simple process, no major construction was undertaken and the project mostly consisted of big, vivid graphics all over the school, from the walls to the cafeteria, the gym to the stairwells. The painted graphics appear as a series of equations in the halls, quotations running around the perimeter of the gymnasium, and most noticeably, climbing the main staircase at a front of the school, where they are visible through windows to the street. The original slogans came from colorful stickers that were initially produced for students to affix to their books and lockers for inspiration. The project was completed in collaboration with Rogers Marvel Architects, who designed the school as a refurbishment and expansion of an existing building. See more photos and learn more at the Pentagram website.

Knowing how environments effect our mentality and behavior, it seems only natural to enhance a schools interior to encourage a better, more positive environment for students of any age. I truly hope more schools see the advantages of creating such a visual environment for their students. I sure could have used some color to keep from falling asleep in Mrs. Forbes' history class in 7th grade! Forget tired beige lockers, walls, and brick. This is now one school that rocks!

Photos from Pentagram website.

23 March 2010

Cockle-doodle-doo


How wonderful is this adorable print from Caitlin Keegan? Not only is it for a great cause, but it's been digitally printed with soy inks on acid-free recycled paper. In association with The Working Proof (a great resource linking artists and charities to promote art and social responsibility) Ms. Keegan's print was made especially for Farm Sanctuary, a non-profit that focuses on farm animal protection and was inspired by old engravings of farm animals.

Read about Farm Sanctuary here to learn about the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization that has helped worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the “food animal” industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Sure sounds like something from 'Food, Inc.', which I'll be Netflix-ing soon.

The print has a limited edition of only 50. You can purchase the print here and read an interview with Caitlin here.

Photos from Sub-Studio design blog.

22 March 2010

The cosmic tweeters

Like many others last year, I blogged about Information Architects (IA) very cool Web Tend Map (see post here). So this year, instead of mapping the web, IA decided to map Twitter. I myself was a skeptic on Twitter for some time, but yes it's true, I am now a Twitter addict.

IA decided to make an info graphic that shows how and through whom Twitter developed into what it is now, close to its 4th birthday. And you can even take part by making suggestions/deletions on IA's chosen list of the top 140 'cosmic' tweeters through GoogleDocs. Read the details here and stay close, they'll be launching the poster soon!

Image from Information Architects website.

Photo of the week








On the road from Orange County to Scottsdale. I've been lagging in the blogging department, not good. I really do enjoy blogging and miss when I don't have time to poke around at sites and find some interesting stuff to post. Mission this week; at least one post per day!

Here are a round of photos from last weekends desert road trip. Not my best shots, I have to say. We actually didn't spend much time out and about sightseeing, more time was spent hanging out with family eating and laughing. But I think the photos capture just what the weekend was about... simply enjoying life where ever the road led. I especially like the Real Estate School photo. Definitely a top notch program.

We did visit the Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale on Saturday, which is going on through the end of the month. Lots of amazing talent was present. I'll be posting later on some I thought were pretty incredible. Stay tuned!

18 March 2010

Everywhere I go

It happens everywhere I go. The grocery store, restaurants, the mailbox... there's not a place I go, a street I travel, a magazine I read, that I'm not looking at typography. I'm not just picking up that Hummus on sale at the market, I'm looking deep into the label (and not just at the nutrition facts). I'm surveying the placement and curve of the logo, the choice of font for the 'Roasted Garlic' tag, the 'No Artificial Preservatives' call out placed a tad off center, slightly larger than the '50 calories per serving', but not bigger than the words 'Roasted Garlic.' I like to examine why designers place things where they do and whether the choice of font(s) are good ones. Really, does anyone else do this I wonder? At the very least, I sure look like someone who can't make up their mind which Hummus to buy!

One thing I've noticed over the years is the amount of times the ever classic Helvetica shows up. I mean, there was a movie about the font, so I'm not just blowing smoke here for the non-typophiles out there. Recently, I was delighted to come across the work of Toby Ng. The London-based designer put it together for me and showcases all the brands that use the Helvetica typeface worldwide in a poster dedicated to the Swiss classic. Just look at the list of major corporations from various industries. Helvetica transcends age, formality and expectations. Thanks Toby, great idea!

In his own words;
These brands distinct themselves in their respective fields, but they differ not in one pick – Helvetica. So popularly chosen to be the logo font, Helvetica should perhaps carry with it a trademark (and is awarded one on the poster!). The red and white of the poster serves as a clue on the home country of Helvetica, the font for logos. (Answer: Switzerland)

Photo from Toby Ng website.

15 March 2010

Photo of the week

Somewhere near Palm Springs, CA. Good to be back blogging after the road trip this weekend! Had a great time in AZ visiting with family, but unfortunately when you spend more time in the car getting to and from, than you do at your actual destination, you don't have too many photo opts. So, you work with what you've got!

I'll be posting some interesting finds from AZ soon!

10 March 2010

Flying ye old skies


I just can't get enough of great posters... and if they're vintage... well, I'm pretty much a goner. So it's no surprise when I stumbled on to these great vintage TWA travel posters (remember TWA?) from David Klein, I got goosebumps. Enough said. See more here on Grain Edit.

PS - In 1957, the MOMA honored Klein by including his TWA poster advertising New York’s Time Square into its permanent collection.

Images from Grain Edit website.

08 March 2010

Photo of the week

San Juan Capistrano, CA. The San Juan Capistrano Mission has a beautiful rich history and I would have to believe it is one of the most visited places in Southern California (short of Disneyland of course). Made popular with the American people by the returning swallows and accompanying song, 'When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano' back in 1940, it's also a place to take amazing photography. If you catch the sunlight just right, around every corner is a textured delight. If you ever have a chance to visit, don't forget your camera!

06 March 2010

A calendar good enough to eat


Okay, a little more typographic goodness today! I love hand lettering (no surprises there). It's humble, unique and has oh so much character. Just look at this 2010 Seasonal Food calendar I found from Joel Richardson on Behance. It's simply delicious! The letters perfectly capture the authenticity of rustic home cooking.

Images from Joel Richardson portfolio.

Another use for google


Artist Lehel Kovács has found another way to use Google, and very creatively I might add. The Budapest Hungry illustrator has put forth beautiful compositions with simplicity and personality, using Google maps as his muse. His alphabet line of drawings, all of which can be found on his Flickr site here, depict a different city for each letter and using Google map street view. So if you're craving a little travel and art, Lehel will take you from Arezzo, to Detroit, Lisbon, Paris, Upsala, and Zenia... no ticket required! Check out his portfolio site for more of his work. (The Google photo directly above matches his Arezzo illustration).

I originally found his great work on The Whiteboard, a blog from the creatives of Hong Kong based design consultancy firm Whitespace.

Photos from Lehel Kovacs website.

04 March 2010

Could I get a cocktail, er... napkin?

I had to post these great napkins from Avril Loretti at Supermarket. They would pose some great conversation at your next party. They are a set of 4 handmade cloth cocktail napkins and each napkin has a different print of a wine ring stain. You can purchase them here. I originally spotted them at Art at Heart.

Image from Supermarket website.

01 March 2010

In the house

If you're in the LA area next week, keep your calendar open on Thursday! You'll want to be sure to hit the Eames Gallery in Santa Monica when House Industries hosts the opening reception for the House Industries Eames Exhibition from 7-11 pm.

• Meet & greet with the Eames family and House Industries designers
• Presentation about the Eames Century Modern Collection
• Live music from
The Mattson 2
• Screen printing on site with David Dodde and
Fresh Pressed

via House Industries; Please join us as we introduce the illustrative beauty and cumulative functionality of Eames Century Modern with a three-dimensional tactile typographic experience at the Eames Office Gallery in Santa Monica. A cornucopia of free-standing dimensional letterforms and hand-printed installations celebrate the intricate curves and stunning stroke contrast that are the building blocks of this new font collection.

The exhibition runs from 12 March through 01 April 2010. Don't miss it!

Photo from House Industries website.

Photo of the week

Bali, Indonesia. I couldn't help but to post another image of Bali. The charm and openness of the Indonesian people is infectious. Not only is the country itself beautiful, so are the people. These music men were very funny and really enjoyed being photographed. Just look at that smile!
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