28 July 2010

The American got it right

The very moment I laid eyes on the poster for the upcoming movie flick The American, it took me about 2 seconds (okay 1 second) to decide I was completely in love with it. It's a super sweet 70's retro inspired movie poster, clearly by way of James Bond and The French Connection, that has a cool, stylish, classic vibe to it, with a hint of a foreign film feel.

And Cinema Blend couldn't agree more; "In a world of floating heads and crappy Photoshop, it's nice when you see a poster that actually makes an attempt to look good. Decades ago, before the internet made advertising films the easiest job in the world, posters actually had some artistic merit. The first one-sheet for Anton Corbijn's The American hearkens back to that time."

Kudos to the designer(s) who created this phenomenal piece of poster art!

Image from Focus Features website.

26 July 2010

Photo of the week

Laguna Beach, CA. My old stomping grounds never get old. There's always something interesting around every corner.

24 July 2010

Grimm is good

While perusing the Processed Identity blog recently (a great blog run by Steve Zelle of idApostle that explores the creative processes designers use when defining and refining visual brands), I came across the amazing work of The Tenfold Collective based in Loveland Colorado. Wow! After I saw their step by step brand identity work for Grimm Brothers, a local brewhouse in Loveland, I just had to see more. Their portfolio contains striking, detailed, strategic, and just damn amazing design! So if you're impressed with Grimm Brothers above (and you should be), take a look at their other stuff, really. You'll be highly impressed, promise! And keep in touch with their blog too. Now, if I only lived a tad closer to try that Little Red Cap....

Images from Processed Identity blog.

Duel artist

I'm really digging the work of UK-based designer/illustrator Chris Thornley. His poster work can be both modern and contemporary, yet illustrative and whimsy, like his 'Bear Market' and 'Fight of the Red Squirrels' posters above. And you've got to love an artist who can easily switch from one mode to the other! Check out more of his other fabulous work here on Source Creative.

Images from Chris Thornley website.

22 July 2010

Czech these out

Every now and then I need to replenish my stamp supply. And every time I go to the post office, it's the same old song and dance when it comes to choices; the American flag, breast cancer awareness, and the latest person to be memorialized on a US stamp. Don't get me wrong, those are all wonderful subjects and buying the breast cancer stamps actually supports ongoing research. But where, I ask, has the fun in stamps gone? Where are interesting designs symbolizing our roots and history, our various cultures and architecture, parks and species, or just an interesting design for designs sake? I do remember a time when stamps were fun to collect because they were actually interesting, but I think somewhere down the line interest simply waned and stamps have been long forgotten as people email rather than send letters anymore. The essence of beautiful stamp design is in its simplicity because of the limited space. So when I saw these lovely floral decorated Czech stamps by Ivan Strnad, issued back in 1972, I was giddy. They are exactly what stamps are all about, refreshing, beautiful simplicity. While I wait patiently for the USPS to issue some newer interesting stamps, I've been inspired to create some of my own designs in the meantime, stay tuned.

Photos from Oilver Thomas website.

Time to cruise

I know I've said this recently... 'nothing says summer quite like'... but nothing really says summer quite like a beach cruiser and here in SoCal, it's the quintessential piece of summer coolness everyone has or should have. Who wouldn't want to spend countless hours rolling around town or the beach on a cool cruiser? It's great exercise, it's fun, and it gets you where you want to go, all while getting a little sun. And the best part, no feeding the parking meter! Just remember your lock chain. One of the best places for cruisers is Chubby's Cruisers in Culver City. They've got a cruiser for everyone and I posted my personal favorite above. Happy cruising!

Photos from Chubby's website.

19 July 2010

Photo of the week

Hollywood, CA. There's nothing like a hotel with old fashion glamour and a modern appeal. The Roosevelt Hotel is the epiphany of it all... oh what stories those walls could tell!

18 July 2010

Recipe redux

How do real foodies catalog all their recipes? I might have to phone and ask the great David Lebovitz or Bon Appetit Editor-in-Chief Barbara Fairchild on this one. Although I'm not quite at the echelon of Lebovitz or Fairchild, I do collect and make my fair share of recipes. Aside from those online recipe boxes (which I've never been into), my hefty cataloged collection of 3-ring binders serve the purpose just fine. But I remember the days when people used to share recipes on actual cards and collect them in (deep breath)... a recipe box! Yes, remember? As a budding young chef in my teens, I used to have the cutest little yellow, orange and white tin box covered with a flower motif where I kept my recipes. Sadly, it's been long gone and replaced by tagged binders, but I do have a pile of 50 or so recipe cards that are stuffed into a ziplock bag... and not a recipe box in sight. But here's a box worth collecting recipes in... this beautiful heirloom box from the Rifle Paper Co, is made by local craftsmen from locally salvaged hardwood, hand painted with either a floral motif or plain text. The price tag is pretty hefty for this frugal gal, but it's on my wish list anyway (especially the one with the knotted hole!)

Photos from Rifle Paper Co. website.

16 July 2010

Dog days of summer

My dogs are lapping up water left and right in the melting heat lately. How much more refreshing would they feel if they were lapping it up from these adorable personalized dishes from Sunshine Ceramics, all handmade in British Columbia. The super find came from one of my favorite pooch inspired blogs Phetched.

No worries cat lovers, Sunshine Ceramics makes the same adorable accents for your kitties too!

Photos from Etsy/Sunshine Ceramics website.

15 July 2010

Man + books = art

We're all good at recycling our magazines and newspapers. But what about those smelly old books that are sitting on your shelf collecting dust? Well, Jonathan Callan, who lives and works in London, sure found a magnificent way to recycle books. Books are meant to read, but to gaze at in an gallery setting as sculpture, who would have thought! Jonathan clearly has a downright inventive mind. I admire his desire to turn books into something just as beautiful as the literature itself, with bold color and abstract shape. In his artist statement, Callan describes his work as addressing, “the relationship of disembodied knowledge to embodied experience and materiality.”

Of course, if you're looking for a project a little less laborious, you might try creating a mini garden from that old copy of 'A Tale of Two Cities' you've got stashed in the back of your closet. An idea I spotted on Rag & Bone. In the meantime, do check out some other amazing sculpture from Jonathan here.

Photos from Rag and Bone and Mint Design Blog websites.

12 July 2010

Photo of the week

Palm Springs, CA. After I took this photo of a Milauskas Eye Institute office, I began thinking about what it would be like if instead of street numbers, visuals icons were used to pinpoint locations. Obviously it wouldn't work in today's world, but imagine if retail shops, homes and businesses used only pictographs. Not a new idea, but how much more interesting would it be to see amazing visual cues to signify physical presence.... my thought to ponder for today. Happy Monday!

10 July 2010

Ready, set, sketch

The Sketchbook Project: 2011
Have you ever wanted see your work in a gallery exhibit? Or even have it tour the country? Don't know where to start? Well, I've got just the thing for you! It's the Sketchbook Project 2011 from the fine folks at Art House Co-op. It's easy to participate... for a small fee ($25) you'll have a sketchbook mailed to you. If you like you may choose a theme yourself or they'll choose one for you, like 'Line and grids,' 'The view from up here,' 'Sleepless,' or 'Face in the crowd.' Then, sketch away and send it back by 15 January 2011. It will then travel in a cool show with everyone else’s scrapbooks. But the best part... it will be permanently catalogued at The Brooklyn Art Library. How cool is that! Get your sketchbook here... then you can tell everyone about your upcoming gallery show!

Image from SketchbookProject site.

Typeface, the program

Goosebumps, I've got goosebumps. If I lived anywhere in the vicinity of New York City, you can bet you'd find me at the new Typeface Design program at The Cooper Union this fall. The certificate course explores the foundation of typography in depth while students create typefaces via hands-on workshops, giving its graduates the ability to produce quality digital typefaces and lettering after just three short terms. I guess there really are days I wouldn't mind still being a student, just as long as it's related to design that is!

Photo from the CooperType website.

08 July 2010

As a Matter of fact...

It's been wonderful to see a plethora of design movies making it to the big screen over the last few years; Art School Confidential, Helvetica, Typeface, and Objectified to name a few. And now, due to hit theaters this summer, is a movie about the legendary Herbert Matter. The Visual Language of Herbert Matter documentary, produced by independent Swiss production company PiXiU films and directed by award-winning filmmaker Reto Caduff, is a revealing look at the fascinating life story of the highly influential mid-century modern design master.

The film was a finalist in the SXSW title design competition and the poster (shown above) designed by Lisbon-based Cristiana Couceiro, just won a Merit Award at the 3 x 3 Professional Illustration Show. Her modern collage work is a beautiful compilation of elements ranging from Swiss posters and vintage 1960's paperback books, with a touch of Bauhaus.

From herbertmatter.net;
'The Visual Language of Herbert Matter' is a revealing look at the fascinating life story of the highly influential mid-century modern design master. Known as a quintessential designer’s designer, Swiss born Herbert Matter is largely credited with expanding the use of photography as a design tool and bringing the semantics of fine art into the realm of applied arts.

With the help of historical footage, vintage photographs, never-before-seen film excerpts (some shot by Matter himself) and a broad overview of his extensive body of work, the feature length documentary helps in bringing the picture of an almost forgotten creative genius back into focus.

This is definitely another fantastic design film to put on your must-see list!

Photo from Cristiana Couceiro website.

07 July 2010

The sky's the limit

Give me a great view and I'm one happy gal! So here's to the latest and greatest view taking place at the moment, it's the SkyPark at the recently opened luxury hotel resort and casino Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Designed by visionary architect Moshe Safdie, the SkyPark floats atop the three soaring Sands hotel towers 200m in the sky. The SkyPark features a 150-meter infinity pool overlooking Singapore's city skyline and Marina Bay, a public observation deck and a restaurant run by celebrity chef Justin Quek.

The Sands SkyPark is truly an architectural masterpiece. The 1.2 hectare tropical oasis is longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall and large enough to park four-and-a-half A380 jumbo jets. It extends to form the one of the world’s largest public cantilevers.

Here are some other amazing details;
  • Landscaped gardens are home to 250 trees and 650 plants
  • 12,400 square meters of space big enough to fit three football fields
  • Exclusive restaurants including The Sky on 57, helmed by Singapore’s celebrity chef Justin Quek
  • A spectacular public observation deck that can host up to 3900 people
  • A 150-meter infinity swimming pool, the world’s largest outdoor pool at that height
A view to remember for sure!

Photos from Fubiz website.

05 July 2010

We Are Inspired

I'm a big fan of the work from local Orange County branding agency Mattson Creative and principal Ty Mattson is as creative as they come! Recently he's been garnering much acclaim for his poster artwork inspired by the hit television series Lost and had a chance to meet the cast and the producers of the show, lucky guy! (read it on his blog here). If you love Lost, you'll definitely need to get yourself one, or two, of his fantastic prints, available from the ABC.com website.

But the main reason I'm highlighting Ty is for his other latest poster design, We Are Nashville. What started out as a poster for a relief benefit concert in Nashville after the recent flooding, turned into a generous art donation. Mr. Mattson decided to donate the art (with a downloadable link on his website) to help with flood relief in the broadest possible way. Meaning, instead of working with one organization exclusively, anyone can download, print and use the art to raise money for Nashville with t-shirts, prints, stickers... you name it. But with one stipulation...

From Mr. Mattson: "If you have a print shop, make posters. If you can make t-shirts, make t-shirts. Feel free to use the art however you want. The only thing that I would ask is that 100% of all proceeds to any of the following charities: The Community Foundation, Hands on Nashville, Nashville Red Cross, Second Harvest Food Bank of Nashville, or Samaritan's Purse."

A phenomenal designer with a huge heart, now that's my kind of guy! May we all be inspired by such greatness and humility.

Photo from Mattson Creative website.

Photo of the week

San Clemente, CA. Nothing says summer more than the bright blossoms of sunflowers.... (well, I could think of many other things that signify summer, but that's another post altogether coming soon). For now, it's time to start enjoy summers delights... the colors, smells, sounds and activities that keep us longing for never-ending days. Here's to a long, endless summer!

04 July 2010

Happy Birthday America

02 July 2010

Spy wonders

Since Russian spies are all the rage at the moment, it's a must to peruse the phenomenal work of England-based illustration and animation student Matthew Lyons. I'm absolutely in love with his vintage, yet modern looking illustrations with muted colors, fantasy locales and geometric sensibilities. I just love the 007/Get Smart sense of appeal, with a hint of the Bullwinkle spies Boris and Natasha. Just fantastic! Don't miss his inspiration link.

Photos from Matthew Lyons website.

01 July 2010

Knitted form and function

I've been wanting to learn how to crochet for a while now, and would even like to try making a quilt. So while scoping out projects and fun things to make, I came across these wonderfully fun knitted Nikes. They are actually a submission for the NIKE78 challenge... Nike gave 78 pairs of shoes out to designers and creatives internationally and asked them to challenge the function of a pair of Nike shoes. Sounds interesting right? Well, you can see all the amazing entries here at the Nike78 gallery. The knitted pair were created by THIS IS Studio of London and here's what they had to say about their comfy submission...

From Barney Beech of THIS IS. "In the world cup spirit we've created these trainers for the discerning sofa athlete: hand knitted with a Cashmere/Merino mix. The comfiest way to watch the game!"

Now that's a knit job to aspire to! See more photos of the knitted pair on the CR blog.

Photos from CR website.
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