31 May 2011

Bombs away

Sadly, gardening is not my strong suit. I'm not sure what it is, but growing anything in the ground or in a container finds its imminent demise if I've touched it. Try as I may, I just cannot grow greenery like Martha and it's normally a waste of my time. But... these little wildflower sack seed bombs just might do me a favor and actually grow! And I can throw them on my neglected slope from my chaise lounge chair while I sip sangria. Now that's what I call gardening! Get your beautiful bombs by region at Uncommon Goods.

Image from Uncommon Goods website.

30 May 2011

Pixelated profile

If you're not one of those people who like to see themselves plastered on the wall in a huge painting (a little narcissistic perhaps) and would rather be a bit more subtle, then this ixxi modular connecting system is just what you need. You can make your own photo enlargement or photo collage in any format possible and keeping your guests guessing just who really is on your wall!

Photos from ixxi website.

Handy work from Anna Garforth

After perusing one of my many favorite blogs this morning, this time Remnants by Sharon McMullen, I came across the most incredible handy work by UK-based installation artist Anna Garforth. Moss, paper, trash, cookie dough, dried pressed flowers, leaves... Anna makes wondrous pieces from the most unusual materials.

From the Garforth site; Anna Garforth works with a diverse range of materials and skills to create unique and experimental work. So far her artworks have been used for public events, community projects, workshops, campaigns,publications and exhibitions. With a strong background in design and illustration, her nifty fingers work moss into beautiful lettering, cookie dough into edible posters and rubbish into typographic wonder.

Images from Remnants blog.

29 May 2011

Mercedes-Benz leans right

Beautifully done and well crafted advertising of right brain vs. the left brain, courtesy of... Mercedes-Benz? Read more about this interesting ad approach here.

Image from Fuel Your Creativity.

Watercolors of epic proportions

The stunning watercolors of Poland-based Grzegorz Wrobel put you in the perfect frame of mind. His work is so beautifully realistic, I could easily imagine sitting at the corner cafe above, sipping a crisp white, watching the world slowly pass by.

Image from Grzegorz Wrobel website.

Typographic memory

Playing memory as a kid was fun, however this typographic version surely would have been my game of choice had it been around during my childhood!

From the BIS Publishers website; This very attractively finished typographic memory game includes 25 variations of the letter ‘A’, each in a different letter type. As you play, you increasingly recognize what are often very subtle differences between the letters and more about the details of the letter types. Among the letter types included in the game are Akzidenz Grotesk, Baskerville, Centaur, Garamond, Helvetica Rockwell, Times New Roman, Univers and many more. The game was assembled and designed by the Brazilian design studio, ps.2 arquitetura + design.

Get your memory on here for only $18.25 on Amazon.

Image from BIS Publishers website.

100% creative juice

You can't get more refreshing than the new packaging for Fruita Blanch! Fruita Blanch has been growing fruit, producing jam, preserving products and making organic juices for generations. So it's no surprise they needed a look that embodied their new product line of low-sugar, chemical free preserved products, produced from 100% organic, self-harvested fruit.

And Barcelona-based Atipus made it come to fruition (no pun intended, okay maybe). Atipus designed the packaging and created a versatile set of multi-sized jars and the labels to fit them, revealing as much of the products as possible and emphasize its artisanal nature. The end result is perfectly clean, smart and delicious.

Images from the Dieline website.

Stunning and self-taught

Takeshi Ohgushi is a self-taught Japanese artist of extraordinary talents! I am completely breathless looking at his sweeping fashion illustrations, which he creates with sumi ink on traditional Japanese paper. His creations look effortless. Bold strokes of color and shape somehow form the delicate details of a woman's face and clothing and are utterly beautiful. See more of his incredible work at MONOmoda.

Images from MONOmoda website.

The hottest spot in Vegas

The next time I visit Vegas, The Strip will not be my first stop. Ho no, I'll be heading to a rambling, dusty, two acre industrial junkyard in the desert. Oh yeah! But it's not just any junkyard, it's the Neon Boneyard, a typographic oasis of ascenders, ampersands, and slab serifs that once announced the rat-pack era with glitz and glam of performers like Sammy Davis Jr. and Sinatra. Someone pinch me! Boasting over 150 donated and rescued signs dating back to the late 1930s from motels, local businesses and casino resorts, the boneyard houses carefully crafted letterforms and the delicate curves of swashed signatures pounded into sheet metal. The Neon Boneyard is a part of The Neon Museum Las Vegas, a non-profit entity dedicated to preserving the rich history of Las Vegas’ iconic art form, the neon sign, and has been saving signs since 1996. Read more about this fascinating place here at the idsgn blog. Road trip!

Images from The Neon Museum and idsgn website.

We like Mike

Mike Finch of 1sixty Design is a man after my heart (and you know how much I love infographics!) His User Experience poster has hit a cord with coders. He's a firm believer that "UX" is a verb- not a noun. It's a process, and he believes that if documented correctly, it's a process that anyone can have success with. As professionals, we need to shout these ideas from the rooftops- not keep them as guarded secrets. To that end, Mike has outlined his personal process when designing for user experiences and compiled it as a poster for your viewing pleasure. Download your wall copy here.

Image from 1sixty website.

Running for a real cause

The idea behind these posters is simply brilliant! Read on...

via CommArts website; The Goodwill Inn is Traverse City, Michigan’s largest homeless shelter. Over 50 percent of those who participate in its fund-raising run register on the day of the race, which means that people won’ t attend if the weather conditions aren’t favorable (Spring in Northern Michigan can either mean snow or 70-degree temperatures). So local Traverse City agency Greenlight Marketing created a poster series that speaks directly to those who think twice about running when the weather isn’t perfect or if they’re feeling too lazy to get out of bed. To accomplish the task, they wanted people to know who the run benefited—the area’s homeless who have to live outside and who, unlike runners, have no choice about being exposed to the elements. The posters generated a lot of buzz and, despite a cold downpour, drew a sizable number of participants... including many who registered on the day of the event.

Here's to brilliant ideas that work!

Images from CommArts website.

28 May 2011

Monet in the shower

Let's face it, we never think about shower curtains. But if you do, here's a customizable option from Ty. A machine washable, PVC free vinyl that reduces the growth of mildew and mold and can be recycled after use. Get it here at Grain and get channel inner your Monet.

Images from MONOmoda website.

A Modern Approach

I'm loving the cover of the latest book from Gestalten, The Modernist. It's an elegant and intriguing approach to the subject matter at hand.

From the Gestalten website; Today’s designers and illustrators are synthesizing the best elements from past eras of graphic design to create a new visual language with a reduced and rational approach. The Modernist documents this uniquely contemporary, yet timeless aesthetic that is built upon the rediscovery and seamless melding of classical type elements and collage of the 1950s, the geometric patterns and graphic elements of the 1960s and 1970s, and the vector graphics and computer-aided montage of the 1990s. With its fresh perspective on the legacy of past craftsmanship and quality in outstanding current work, The Modernist expands our understanding of what modern graphic design can be.

Image from Swiss Legacy website.

Hopper of a seat

Ah, the picnic table. One of the many quintessential items for summer. But are you tired of the splinters? Does it look a little too weathered these days? Can't find the right tablecloth? Well the folks at Extremis in Belgium have just what you are looking for. The Hopper, a galvanized steel table (and shade if you desire) is a compact, minimalist design that will stand the test of time. All we need is some beer, sausage and an accordion playing Belgian!

Images from Extremis wesbite.

23 May 2011

Photo of the week

San Clemente, CA. Bloody tired of being in front of my computer.... thankfully I've got some good things to look forward to very soon!

21 May 2011

Pure lust

When it comes to interior spaces, I see places I'd love to experience on a daily basis. Like this cozy, eclectic hotel lobby of the Wanderlust Hotel in Singapore. Designed by Asylum, the boutique hotel is 'hidden amidst the myriad of industrial shops, alongside flower sellers and street-side newspaper vendors in the vicinity of Little India." The building was originally an old school in the 1920's and imbues the concepts of "Industrial Glam" (anachronistic industrial elements that were found within a stone's throw of the hotel), giving it an unexpected twist. Counters constructed by raw oxidized steel, neon signs set against tinted mirrors and re-constructed supermarket carts, make for a pretty quirky character. I'll be back Singapore, and when I do you'll find me in Wanderlust!

Images from Asylum website.

17 May 2011

Photo of the week

Holland, MI. I love coming across old vintage signs in my most unlikely places. Nothing Photoshopped, no gradients... pure design worn beautifully with age.

14 May 2011

Start your crochet

This is a huge weekend. I'm finally going to start and learn how to crochet! Sounds so minor, but it's something I've been wanting to do for long time. Years ago (yes years), I came across this amazing Grannysquare blanket by artist Sandra Juto. I was absolutely smitten with the colors and beauty of her crochet work. I even emailed to asked her if there was a pattern she followed and she kindly replied saying that unfortunately she did not have a pattern and her mother (or was it grandmother?) had taught her the pattern.

Pattern or no pattern, that's okay. I'm using her beautiful work as inspiration to learn myself. So tomorrow, I'm headed to Strands Knitting Studio in SC to get my crochet on. I just hope it doesn't take me as long to finish the blanket as it did to finally start in on it!

Sandra is also an amazing illustrator and photographer, you must take a look at her most talented work here!

Photos from Sandra Juto website.

All's design in love and war

Forget the food. Ever wonder what a James Beard Award for top restaurant branding would look like? For this award, it's all about the designers who make the entire restaurant experience pleasurable and memorable through the overall concept, visual identity, website, promotions, menus, tableware and staff uniforms.

Congratulations are in order for Love and War, the NYC-based ad agency who won this years Outstanding Graphics award for their spectacular work on Midtown Manhattan’s National Bar & Dining Rooms, an all-occasion “grand café” inspired by London cafés and French bistros, but with a unique, New York City hipster twist. As far as I can see, it fits perfectly into the Midtown scene.

Here's to the other James Beard Outstanding Restaurant Graphics Nominees;

Design Firm: Katie Barcelona
Designer: Katie Barcelona
Project: L’Artusi, NYC

Design Firm: JNL Graphic Design
Designers: Donald Madia and Jason Pickleman
Project: The Publican, Chicago

For a complete list of nominees and winners, click here.

Images from FastCompany and Love and War websites.

13 May 2011

Get on your bikes and ride

Nashville would be a great city to visit. Great music, fabulous restored bikes, friendly people... wait... restored bikes? Yup. Not something you immediately think of when you hear the word Nashville, but Halcyon wants to change that. The Nashville based bike shop recycles and restores custom used bikes from parts found at yard sales, estate sales and even the trash. I absolutely love this idea!

via the Halcyon website: Americans throw away used bicycles and spend thousands of dollars on new bicycles, so why not find these bikes, restore and customize them and sell them at a fraction of the price?

That's exactly what Halcyon thought. To get the word out, local ad agency Bohan created a poster campaign that would make anyone want to get out and ride recycled. The photos and taglines are beautiful and memorable!

It gets better, in addition to selling the restored bikes, the shop also partners with the Oasis Center in Nashville to sponsor a program in which they teach inner-city children how to make new bikes from discarded parts. How's that for giving back in more ways than one! Here's to Halcyon!

Images from Communications Arts website.

09 May 2011

Photo of the week

Holland, MI. This photo reminds me of when I used to run through the corn stalks in my Godmothers backyard playing hide and seek with my cousins growing up in New England. Good times.

08 May 2011

Marigny and Burgundy

I'm a HUGE fan of installation artist Candy Chang. I'm intrigued how each and every project she develops, makes us engage in a new way and get even more profound and meaningful along the way. She is the founder of Civic Center, whose mission it is to 'make thoughtful public spaces and communication tools for everyday issues of city life.'

One of her latest installations, called 'Before I Die', centers on neglected buildings in New Orleans that invite passers-by to finish a sentence and remember what is important to them. The installation hopes to transform 'neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us.'

Candy projects really make us think about existence and how we related to all those we live among. You can read more about the project and its progression here.

Images from Candy Chang website.
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