30 October 2010

The Waterproof City

If you're like me and have traveled to Europe during the rainy season, you would have done anything to pull out this handy map! Introducing the soft, waterproof, stuff-it-in-your-pocket Crumpled City Map from Milan-based industrial designer Emanuele Pizzolorusso. No more fussing with paper maps when it's raining cats and dogs and the wind is howling. It comes in a handy little pouch that will fit perfect in your carry-on or luggage. If you're headed to Paris, Berlin, Toyko, New York or London, go ahead... stuff it in! And it doubles as a scarf if you're a bit chilly while walking to the cafe for your morning latte and danish under those grey, cloudy skies.

Images from Emanuele Pizzolorusso website.

29 October 2010

Name That Brand

Here's a little quiz from @Issue to get your visual juices flowing. Good luck! Get the answers here.

Image from @Issue website.

28 October 2010

Heavenly Art

Like so many others who've blogged about this, I too just happened upon this magnificent installation piece. I can't believe I somehow missed it, but it's never too late to behold beautiful art... and this is simply beyond words!

Created in 2003 for the 50th Annual Venice Biennial, this utterly magical and breathtaking installation is titled 'The Falling Garden' and was conceived and executed by Swiss artists Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger. It uses a slew of products from plastic berries, cow pads, waste paper, baobab seeds, beech, thorns and nylon blossoms to cattail, celery roots, orange peels and rubber snakes, an impressive collection of finds from all over the world. It was housed in the Church of San Stae on the Grand Canal in Venice. Using the church interior as a backdrop, the sterile environment makes it even more grand. You simply get lost in the sheer beauty of the delicate, exquisite and mesmerizing piece. I could literally look at it all day, deciphering every detailed and intricate item.

via Neoaztlan; Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger create site-specific fantasias and interactive wonderlands which are an adaptation of nature through synthesis. Their work often deals with the unity of opposites, such as good and evil, life and death, hope and despair.

Read more about Falling Garden on their website here.

Photos from the Steiner and Lenzlinger website.

25 October 2010

Crazy for Coasters

Its been a while since I've blogged about letterpress (ooo... letterpress, I love letterpress. See my Paper and Letterpress sidebar). There's no better printer of letterpress than The Cranky Pressman (TCP). They produce high-quality, stunningly beautiful tactile items. So when I came across the great new line of ready-made coaster dies from TCP, I just had to share!

To launch their new letterpress imprintable die-cut coaster line, 'The Coasters,' the Pressman self-promotional designs were done in collaboration with the talented gal trio of Brooklyn-based Parliament of Owls, known for their old school designs with a modern twist. The design is quirky, fun, hilarious and... oh so clever!

via Parliament of Owls; Far less crotchety than they purport, Cranky and his crew crafted the copy and the concept: a series of seaside dwelling elderly folk called “The Coasters” with a penchant for booze and old timey hobbies. This fulfilled pretty much everything we love as a collective: letterpress, illustration, snappy copy, noodly details and octogenarians. The four coaster set is wrapped in a bellyband with additional verbose copy and detail.

View the self-promotion coaster series here, guaranteed to make you laugh. And while you're there, check out some of the other fantastic products The Cranky Pressman has to offer.

Images from Parliament of Owls website.

365 Day of Creativity

Here's an inspiring thought... make something creative every day. That's exactly what Brock Davis did for the 2009 calendar year. The extraordinary talented Minneapolis-based artist and musician dubbed his project 'Make Something Cool Every Day' and created one piece of creative work every day for 365 consecutive days. And they aren't just some cheesy pieces to get the job done, they are inspiring, clever, creative and yes... down right cool! I've posted some of my favorites, but have a look at the entire scope of work here.

Images from Brock Davis website.

Photo of the Week

Laguna Beach, CA. Looking for the perfect spot for sunset cocktails? Friday evening I found myself at the Montage Resort picnic area overlooking the Pacific. Stunning views, a quiet atmosphere and BYOB. There's even a set of stairs down to a quiet cove if you'd like to put your toes in the sand and watch the frolicking dolphins. It's simply the perfect place to unwind at the end of the week with good friends, a glass of vino and delicious munchies.

22 October 2010

Typomap Deux

I'm a map lover as you well know. It's all about that grid thing. Since I was a kid, maps have always fascinated me, whether I'm going somewhere or not, I just love looking at maps old and new. So since I'm on a map roll, let's add these global beauties to the list. Typomaps are created by German designer Dirk Schachter of the award-winning Bonn-based design studio DS nulldrei. Typomaps is an off shoot of the studio, and it's no wonder... the studios focus is the orchestration of information and does fabulous work! The posters typographically represent the countries of the world in words.

via Typomaps: Typomaps are handset and not automatically generated by computer program. Thereby we achieved an astonishing closeness to the conventional worldmap. For the type-interested people: we used the font Helvetica Neue Black Condensed.

The map measures 100cm x 70cm and fits in a standard frame like Ikea's Ribba (which I use and like very much). However, the surface has a matte finish, so you could go without a frame if you really wanted. AND you get two posters for the price of one! Typomaps are two-sided; blue on the front and white on the back, so you get two versions to display. But wait, there's more... free worldwide shipping. What a deal! If you're still not sold on this fabulously well-designed product, then get yourself an iPhone, iPad or desktop display of the posters here. But I just know you're going to want the real thing!

Images from Typomaps website.

20 October 2010

Are We There Yet?

If you haven't seen Axis Maps, you really need to take a moment and head on over to view the work of this Texas-based cartography firm. Now I know most people these days have a handy Garmin or GPS system, with a certain calmly female leading the way to your destination with ease (most of the time). But there are days when pulling out the old map is a good thing. Yes, most city maps are insufferably hard to read. Street names are never big enough, map keys are too complicated, and neighborhoods are rarely delineated. Not true with the maps from Axis.

Everything from streets and highways to parks and waterways are labeled with text. The bigger the thoroughfare or the landmark, the bigger the words. It’s a thoroughly intuitive way to visualize cities. People navigate a new place according to names, not symbols and grids... and neighborhoods get called out too. But the most amazing part, the maps are produced by hand! (read how they do it here on their blog). Boston and Chicago are available now (with San Francisco, New York and Washington DC on the way). For as little as $15 you can have one, so navigate yourself here for more info.

Images from Axis Maps website.

Sit on it Ralph

This chair is a must have for the typographic obsessed. And why not? It's the coolest chair going and can be completely customized to your liking both in color, text and language. Stand, forget, breathe, acknowledge, and observe are the words that currently adorn this limited-run piece from Palette Industries of Alberta Canada. (But they are seeking manufacturers to continue producing this wonderful design piece and bring it to a larger audience).

via Behance; The Dharma Lounge has come to fruition through the exploration of using text as both structure and decoration.The purpose of this chair is to create a situation where the participant is embraced by the possibilities of creating a relationship with the object based on personal and communal experiences and memories thus substantiating the lifespan of the product. Customizable colors, text and languages are an option Palette Industries offers as well.

In the words of the beloved Happy Days (RIP Mr. C), sit on it!

Images from Behance website.

18 October 2010

Photo of the Week

Singapore. While living in Singapore, the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) was a place I visited frequently. It's one of my favorite museums for its sheer beauty, simplicity and range of art. It's both elegant and understated in its layout and British Colonial architecture, with a classical grand façade, Corinthian columns, and a glass hall with a Persian glass installation by the renowned artist Dale Chihuly. Because of Singapore's location, diverse population and cosmopolitan climate, the SAM has amassed one of the world's largest public collections of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian artworks. The museum itself is a true work of art and one could easily spend days and weeks imbibing this wonderful national monument!

16 October 2010

Back in Berlin

I'm still obsessed with Berlin and the ongoing evolution of one of the most intriguing cities in the world. It's always interesting to see how other designers view the city through their art. A new online exhibit called Show Us Your Type from Neue magazine, showcases typographic posters of the city from contributors all over the world. Here are a few of my favorites...

Images from Show Us Your Type website.

As Nice As It Gets

The smell of a bakery cafe is heavenly. Who doesn't love the aroma of freshly baked bread, cinnamon rolls and apple danish? Just one look at San Francisco designer Sara Nicely's graphics for The Flour Pot Bakery and I immediately smell those rolls coming out of the oven. Her hand-drawn typographic prowess and wholesome, handmade design appeal make you want to sink your teeth into everything the bakery has to offer. It's downhome goodness!

via Sara Nicely website: The Flour Pot Bakery Pot strives for a healthy diet with high quality, natural ingredients and environmentally friendly practices. The bakery’s interior space is inviting and warm with natural lighting and eclectic funky displays advertising baked goods. This identity system was designed to convey the unique and handmade qualities of the bakery. The hand-drawn type was inspired by the wiry Christmas lights arranged throughout the dining area. I chose to design a menu that could be carried home without hassle. I placed all menu items on a baguette carry-out bag so that customers could carry the menu home easily while simultaneously being able to enjoy a Flour Pot baked good. An alternate menu for lunch is available for guests who dine in.

Sara also created the most fabulous annual report for Nathan's Famous hot dog company. While most annual reports are redundant, sterile and tend to lack creativity, Sara created a visual splendor using playful typography and icons to capture the essence of Nathan's. Visit her website and blog for more wonderful work!

Images from Sara Nicely website.

15 October 2010

Good Enough to Eat

Since I'm still on the subject of food from my last post, I just had to show some of the other fabulously clever work from Stockholm-based photographer Carl Kleiner. The series of photos was done for Cafe M in Beirut and I think they are just the most interesting characters I've ever seen created with food! I'd love to see them in marketing action. The zebra is my absolute favorite!

Photos from Carl Kleiner website.

13 October 2010

Børk! Børk! Børk!

A foodie at heart, I not only love to research, shop, prepare and eat a great meal, I also peruse countless cookbooks, reading them like novels and collecting them like a library. But I honestly can't say I know a whole lot about Swedish food except for the infamous smörgåsbord of herring and meatballs and the only Swedish Chef I've ever heard of. The Swedes are more known for their simple, functional design over their food anyway (aside from ABBA, Vikings and IKEA of course). So it's no surprise that IKEA has just released the most interesting and cleverly styled cookbook of ingredients ever, called Hembakat är Bäst (meaning Home Baked is Best). The cookbook is filled with delicious recipes for baked goods and are depicted with the ingredients all nicely lined up. It's just delightful to look at! The amazing styling was done by Evelina Bratell and the photography by the very talented Carl Kleiner.

When this volume hits the states (and hopefully it will), I'm sure it will find a cozy home in my cookbook library.

Images from JolieJolie Design blog.
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