30 June 2010

A farewell to Grafik

Even though it seems print is alive and well, still we hear about magazine after magazine folding. The latest is phenomenal design magazine Grafik. The notice came on 22 June, a sad day in the design world. Click here to see the amazing cover gallery though the years. Grafik, you will be very much missed.

Photo from Grafik website.

28 June 2010

Photo of the week

Little Havana, Miami, FL. Everything can be interesting, even trash. Like this discarded Competidora Cuban cigarette packaging. I found the larger curve of the 'C' interesting, as if hand drawn to create the allure of carefully hand wrapped and made, authentic smokes inside... one package at a time. Certainly not the Philip-Morris kind. I just love vintage ephemera like cigar boxes and fruit and vegetable crate labels. There are some great examples here. Lunes feliz!

27 June 2010

Spot the cliché

Want to critique some design students? Simply download the 'Spot the Cliché' iPhone app here, stop by any art and design degree show and critique away! Whew, thankfully I did not succumb to any of the clichés listed myself back in art school. Okay, maybe the grid systems...

Don't have an iPhone? Download a PDF here.

Photo from Art School Cliché website.

Architecture for the birds

For the past several weeks, I've spotted the most incredible bright yellow bird in my backyard, which I suspect is a Hooded Oriole. I've even started to hang outside on the patio a bit more in the afternoon, when I know he'll likely make a showing. One of these times I'll snap a few photos, hopefully, he's pretty quick and doesn't stay in one place too long. So of course he got me thinking about putting up a birdhouse (and feeders)... and I found just the one! It's not everyday you see a colorful, modernistic home for birds. But Loll, an environmentally conscious outdoor furniture designer and manufacturer, came up with the Pitch Birdhouse, a clean modern approach to the traditional birdhouse. Made with 100% recycled plastic and maintenance free, each birdhouse is made from 24 reclaimed milk jugs and available in a variety of colors.

Check out their Cube Birdhouse for those who want to attract German & Swiss birds only…

Photo from the Loll website.

Cookie dough monster strikes

Love cookies, but not the processed kind? Then you must seek out this cookie dough! Not only will you be able to make yummy cookies, the delightful typographic packaging will surely make you pick up more than one package. The San Diego-based all natural, 100% vegan line of Eat Pastry products contain no eggs, no dairy, no preservatives, no processing, no fillers, no GMOs and use organic and Fair Trade Sugar. No guilt and no cruelty.

Their goal is simple; produce the best and most irresistible vegan cookie dough recipe known to man... and the best cookie dough packaging in the freezer section (if I do say so myself). As they say... Dip In!

Photos from Eat Pastry website.

26 June 2010

Cider cheers mates

Is this not the best some of the best beverage packaging you've ever seen? I Love Dust created this amazing packaging for Sea Cider, a product of local cider company Hearts Cider makers. It really makes you want to pick one up and swill one down! And there's no mistaking which flavor you have in your hand with the label shapes. Do be sure check out the Dust office on the website... sweet office quarters! I originally spotted this on the Ghostly Ferns blog.

Photos from I Love Dust website.

On the edge of architecture

There's nothing like a beautiful coastal view and if you're lucky enough to have one on the West coast, you know all about the wonders of living so close to the sea. And you might even enjoy those views from some of the coasts most unique modernist architecture. But alas, most of us don't have such views or homes. Never fear however, filmmakers Michael Bernard and Gavin Froome will take you on a journey from Los Angeles to Vancouver; from 1922 up to the present exploring all the great modernist architecture on the West Coast in their new upcoming film Coast Modern from TwoFold Films (a maker of independent films and documentaries produced in Vancouver).

What originally caught my eye about the film was the beautiful screening poster designed by Build of London. Minimalist and understated, the design is perfectly tailored to the movie. AND one of my all time favorite legendary photographers, Julius Shulman, will be featured along with his collection of architectural photographs from the past 70 years. He is known for steadily creating one of the most comprehensive visual chronologies of Modernist Architecture.

The trailers can be viewed here. Where's my popcorn?

Photos from Coast Modern website.

25 June 2010

Do you know the way to San Jose?

Maybe it was the puzzle map of the United States I received as a gift when I was little, but ever since I can remember, I have loved maps. So much so that when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said a travel agent, just so I could look at maps all day. It doesn't matter where I am... hiking, on a road trip or in a plane seat, I want to see a map of where I'm headed. I love the intricacies of maps, the topographical lines, the roads, the names, every little detail! Perhaps it's not so much the route I want to see before me, but the knowledge I'm destined for an adventure, I'm off to a different place, a new setting, a change of pace. I truly enjoy the journey and the destination equally. You can imagine how my heart skipped a beat when I came across these gorgeous contemporary maps from The Future Mapping Company of London. Strikingly beautiful color printed maps of the world, London and the British Isles, use an equal-area projection to represent countries in their correct proportional size. Some even use metallic inks! I'm in love!

Photo from Future Mapping Company website.

24 June 2010

Today I will...

Couldn't resist this lovely poster. A little motivation and inspiration today. Happy Thursday! Found at All Things Lovely and made by Studio Mela (or at @dazeychic).

Photo from All Things Lovely website.

23 June 2010

Please do not step on the art

I'm the type of person who looks up, down and all around. In doing so, I've found the most interesting things while looking down (no surprise right?) And great looking rugs are no exception! But I have to admit, I was looking forward (at my computer) and not down when I found this stunning area rug by Swedish illustrator and street artist Jonathan Josefsson on Dylan Haigh's Hard Feelings blog. Moreover, these rugs definitely deserve to be hung and not stepped on. Who wouldn't want such a beautiful rug as wall art? And who would have thought such beautiful rug design could come from the hands of a street artist? Well, that shows you just how free and unbarred the creative mind can be. See more of Jonathan's amazing tufted rugs here. I may never look up again.

Photo from Jonathan Josefsson website.

22 June 2010

Saving city (type)face

Are you curious how your city looks to designers? Well, now you can thanks to CitID, an ambitious community project aiming to gain global consciousness by giving a (type)face to every city worldwide; big or small, rich or poor, famous or infamous. Designers worldwide are invited to design a logo for their city. CitID hopes to collect a unique set of inspiring logos, displaying the various styles and trends throughout the world. It's easy to get involved; simply design and upload (and it's free!) Get more information here. The hope is that creatives from around the globe will make a logo or a visual interpretation of the city closest to their heart. The universal goal is that every city ultimately gets their own identity on CitID, and that both the city and it’s aesthetic contributor gets recognition through the online library... AND selected work will be published in the forthcoming CitID book. Time to submit!

Photo from CitID website.

21 June 2010

Photo of the week

Huntington Beach, CA. Hooray! Welcome Summer Solstice! The good news, the summer is officially here. The bad news, the days start getting shorter after today. One place you might enjoy getting some summer sizzle on, is none other than Huntington Beach, the one and only Surf City USA. Nothing says summer more than surf and sand, so get out and enjoy!

19 June 2010

Ode to Node

When I first saw these uber modern classroom chairs from Steelcase I have to admit, I was very skeptical. The thought of someone reinventing the classic school desk as part of the sleek furniture design scene? Well, that just made me want to go back to school to find out about how comfortable and functional they could really be. Because as far as I know, the classic chair has worked just fine for generations upon generations right? Perhaps not.

Steelcase went back to school and 'found classrooms that were static, allowing only for passive, one-way learning. We met educators with a desire to implement multiple pedagogies to support multiple learning styles. But today's classrooms are still unresponsive and unsupportive.'

Working along with top innovation design firm IDEO, the Steelcase node chair is mobile and flexible and designed for quick, easy transitions between one mode to the next. With node, a classroom can flex from a lecture-based mode to a team-based mode, and back again, without interruption. It's the first product from Steelcase Education Solutions, a dedicated group within Steelcase that partners with educational institutions to design products that meet the needs of today’s students and educators. You can see more photos here on the Contemporist site.

But the most amazing part? The node chair is shipped in three simple parts (base, seat shell and worksurface-if ordered) that assemble in 30 seconds without tools. Definitely too cool for school! I really don't want to go back to school, but can I get one for my office instead?

Photo from Steelcase website.

America the beautiful in print

From Sea to Shining Sea is how The Heads of State describe their beautiful brand new travel poster series! The gorgeous limited edition screenprints measure 14" x 24" and are available via their website. Currently, there are eight cities to choose from including Miami, New York, Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix and DC, with more to come. And one, the Save the Gulf poster, is specific to the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and they'll be donating half of the sale price of each Oil Drop poster sold (that's $20 per poster) to Oceana, the largest organization solely focused on protecting the world's oceans. A poster for us and help for the ocean, bravo!

Photos from The Heads of State website.

18 June 2010

School's out for summer

Wow, where did the week go? I've missed blogging and can't wait to catch up this weekend on lots of interesting and fun things I found this week, but didn't have time to post. In fact, since today just sort of feels like the first day of summer for some reason (perhaps because I'm grilling up turkey burgers and making homemade french fries tonight and feeling like I should invite a bunch of friends over for an impromptu cookout), I'm posting the cutest summer picnic invitation I found on Design*Sponge. Nothing says summer more than a popsicle! Although this popsicle invite was in lieu of a formal wedding reception, the tone sets the mood for a perfect lazy, relaxing summer afternoon under a big shady oak tree. Ahh... my grill is calling.

Photo from DesignSponge website.

14 June 2010

Photo of the week

Singapore. Mondays can always be a bit of a drag. So I'm posting one of my favorite photos from Singapore.... you can't help but to smile looking at the upbeat happy face on this guy taken at the Sri Mariamman Temple. His lively demeanor is infectious!

12 June 2010

World Cup fever

In honor of World Cup fever, I'm posting a fabulous poster design from David Watson of Treble Seven I found on one of my favorite blogs, Visual Culture. The double-sided design allows you to follow along and write in scores and comments. The piece was designed with charity in mind too, always lovely! Poster sales benefit Soccer Aid, a British charity that raises money for UNICEF and you can purchase a copy on the Treble Seven website. Go USA!

Photos from Treble Seven website.

11 June 2010

Letters and numbers and signs oh my!

Recently I've been reading and seeing a lot about the lost art of hand lettering. I even spotted a blog about a new movie currently in production called 'The Sign Painter', a documentary about sign painters in America. It's such a shame to call it a 'lost art.' Where would we be without the amazing work of such talented illustrators and hand lettering phenoms, gracing the signage of our beloved windows, sandwich-boards, boats, cars, billboards, boutiques, businesses, playgrounds, farmers markets and theme parks? Or the numerous magazines, ads, music, fashion, textiles, home decor, merchandise, posters and newspapers? I couldn't imagine. So here's a toast to those who give personality to so many things we take for granted; Nate Williams; Chris Piascik; Frank Smith; Dmitry Pankov and Angel Saemai; Forrest Wozniak; New Bohemia Signs; Jeff Canham; Sean Barton; Vince Ryland; Ernie Gosnell; Mack Benek and numerous others. You guys rock!

Photos from the websites mentioned above.

10 June 2010

One of a kind

Since I'm on a food kick and hungry from my last post, why not add a little whimsy to your table, picnic or beach day with these adorable hand stenciled linens from EmersonMade. The ever cute Emerson (who looks funny, adorable, friendly, creative, and energetic in all her photos... like someone you could randomly meet on the street and feel like you've known forever!) makes these 100% natural linens for your home straight from a farm in New Hampshire. She even does custom monogramed table runners to match your napkins. Emerson is also is known for her one-of-a-kind beautiful hand stitched and dyed flower blooms as necklaces, on clutch purses, as hair pieces, a belt accessory, for wedding dresses and so much more! Don't forget to check out her lovely blog too.

Photos from EmersonMade website.

08 June 2010

Delizioso packaging

Playful, emotional, authentic. I love, love, love, this rebrand of the Via Roma logo and packaging designed by United for A&P. I cannot put into words how refreshing it is to see a brand completely embrace who and what they really are: “Food with Personality.” Fantastic b&w photography combine with contemporary layouts makes a great statement on the retail shelf and in print. United was the lead design team in re-creating a one-of-a-kind imported Italian foods brand. They used unique portrait photography, shot on location in Tuscany to ensure that the brand maintained true authenticity and to show their true character, expression and emotion. If this doesn't just make you want to go out, buy the product, get some great friends together, open a bottle of wine and eat, drink, talk and laugh the day and evening away, I don't know what would. See more at The Dieline blog and read the challenge and strategy writeup at the Rebrand site, as well as seeing the 'before' look. Bon appétit!

Photos from Rebrand website.

Sweet design from Swen

Where I live in Southern California, the community is world renowned for its surfing. The community is replete with sun, shops, surfers and shapers. I've lived here for 9 years now and I've seen my fair share of surf board art... the good, the bad and the ugly. But when I laid eyes on Swen Wagner's board art, I was immediately drawn to his bold and colorful geometric patterns. I've never seen anything like it around here. Swen is based in Germany, but if he ever decided to sell his board designs in California, I have a feeling he would find a home away from home here in San Clemente!

Photos from Swen Wagner Behance website.

Weiner-rific packaging

Adorable! I couldn't help but to post this package design by Subconscious Co. of Bangkok Thailand for TrueCoffee, that I spotted on Lovely Packaging. Being a duel Dachshund owner myself, anything weiner related stops me in my tracks, literally. The logo even works well as a pattern (see the notebook) and transfers well to other products, as well as in black and white. Here's more about the packaging design from the Subconscious website;

'TrueCoffee, a coffee shop that serves coffee and bakery with high-speed internet in a cozy and modern atmosphere. In 2009, TrueCoffee expanded their food range to a quick bites like hot dogs. They wanted hot dog packaging that would attract teenagers. We reinterpreted the word ‘hot dog’ and created a lovely dachshund character. Its unique characteristic was that it's hot all the time. Our clients were very satisfied with the character and asked us to expand the 'Hot Dog' character on other merchandising.'

Photos from Subconscious website.

07 June 2010

Super stamps

I have fallen madly in love, head over heels... with a rubber stamp. Yes, I've completely lost it for these magnificent hand calligraphy rubber stamps made by Yates, New York artist Patricia Mumau of Primele. I ran out of my favorite return address labels some time ago and have been meaning to order more, but now that I've found these great stamps, I'll be ordering one, or two, immediately. No waste of paper, labels or time. A rubber stamp seems so much more eco-friendly doesn't it? And how lovely would it be to get a letter, note, card or even a bill, with a personalized, old school, fun stamp! Thanks to Ms. Mumau's extraordinary talent, my mail will look so adorable.

I originally found Patricia's stamps over at Oh So Beautiful Paper and Swiss Miss. Thank you so much for sharing!

Photos from Primele website.

Photo of the week

Rome, Italy. I'm feeling rather Roman today... so why not a little La Dolce Vita to start the week. Happy Monday!

05 June 2010

Soup's on

Seeing London-based illustrator Paul Thurlby's Alphabet Soup prints, makes me wish I was kid again! No matter your age however, collecting his wonderfully retro 1950s style posters would be so much fun. How great does this entire wall filled with all the prints look? Paul has an impressive log of work with commissions for The Bank of England, The Guardian, Reader's Digest and more. Do stop by his site to peruse all the letters site. And since I know you won't be able to resist, you can even order 12" x 9" Giclee signed and numbered prints for that wall space you've been wondering what to do with.

Photos from Paul Thurlby and India Knight websites.

An office to love

So... I'm one of the lucky individuals who get to work from home. My daily work commute is less than 60 seconds. No complaints here! But I have to say, sometimes my office can get a little, well... boring. Uninspiring and bland really. I know where everything is and it's quite organized, but every now and then I feel like it needs a shot of energy... a new lamp? A pretty plant? A cool calendar? More colorful walls? Thankfully I came across a great link for some beautiful and inspiring work spaces on PSD-Tutorial. Although I'll be damned if I can find the source of the photo I posted above. I pride myself on giving credit always (my apologies to the photographer and source of this photo). The one thing I really like about this office setup is the large wall used as an inspiration board. The cork background provides an endless area for posting photos, samples and swatches of whatever you find just great. Time to start thinking about a new wall for my office.

UPDATE: 8 June 2010 - Yes! Found the source of the photo above; Hello Deer by Sara Cowley

Slipping into summer

Not too long ago I was saying spring was in the air. But for some reason, the little signs of summer have been creeping up on me, making me feel like summer bumped spring out of the way fast this year. I'm okay with that though! And when I saw these fun summer vintage travel posters, specifically the New England versions, I couldn't help but to think of all the great things that make summer great... lakes, canoes, lawn chairs, croquet, horseshoes, barbecues, checkered tablecloths and bare feet. Do check out some of the other great travel posters here, the are just fantastic. Let the summer begin!

Photos from the Laboiteverte website.
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