28 November 2011

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree

Great Christmas infographic from Bill Shrink. And no, that's not a person, it's a company.

Image from Design Crush blog.

27 November 2011

It's all about Saul

Finally, a book on one of the greatest American designers of the 20th century, and just in time for Christmas! Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design is the first full retrospective on Bass' enormous contribution to design. Best known for his unforgettable posters and title sequences for films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder, he's also created some of the most recognizable corporate identities in history; Alcoa, AT&T, Avery, Continental Airlines, Dixie, Girls Scouts of America, Kleenex, Lawry's Foods, Minolta, Quaker Oats, United Airlines, United Way, Warner Communications... just to name a few.

via Grain Edit: Designed by Saul Bass’s daughter Jennifer and written by distinguished design historian Pat Kirkham, who knew Saul Bass, this book contains more than 1,400 illustrations, many from the Bass archive and never published before, providing an in-depth account of one of the leading graphic artists of the 20th century.

This is definitely going on my wish list!

Image from Grain Edit website and Wikipedia.

Holiday on the vine

My Thanksgiving holiday has been largely spent doing nothing at all really, yet doing all the things I enjoy most. I decided a few weeks ago, I would not work on Friday or through the holiday weekend, like I tend to do pretty often. Short of being with family for the holiday, it has been one of the most relaxing, satisfying down times I have ever had. After spending the first few days cooking, eating and napping, it was time to get out and enjoy the magnificent fall weather. So we decided to head to Europa Village in Temecula yesterday. It was chosen specifically because, well, I'm proud of the logo that adorns this absolutely lovely establishment. In collaboration with Damion Hickman Design, the Europa Village logo and wine labels were designed to showcase the three styles of architecture that reflect not only the regions of France, Italy and Spain and wines they produce, but the future resort and estates. It was such a pleasure to see our logo come to great fruition. The winery is spectacular and the wines are too! (I highly recommend the 2007 Tempranillo, it's magnificent!)

We picked a perfect weekend to go too... it's all decked out for the holidays with great gift baskets and beautiful custom painted wine bottles. Had we gone on Friday, we would have been serenaded by Christmas carolers and gobbled freshly roasted chestnuts, over a real open fire no less! It's no surprise I'm now a Société Europa member and plan on returning soon again.

If you have some time and are looking for a great place to get in the holiday spirit, Europa Village is THE place! It's a beautiful, relaxing setting, with a wonderful view to enjoy tastings either inside or out (I won't tell you about the cool wine cave, you'll need to experience it for yourself!) and the most friendly, gracious staff in all of wine country! Cheers to Melody, Denis and Laura for all the warm hospitality!

25 November 2011

The Effect of the Camry

I need to share this very cool site; The Camry Effect. It's a collaboration between Saatchi & Saatchi LA and Resn and Qube Konstrukt, of New Zealand and Australia respectively, and it's built around a series of rapid-fire questions that create personalized car experiences from the data culled from answers. Cool idea, amazing graphics and fun! Ford, take notice!

Image from The Camry Effect website.

Pacific Standard Time

Back in late October, the Getty-backed initiative Pacific Standard Time (PST) opened to rave reviews. It's an 'unprecedented collaboration of cultural institutions across Southern California coming together to celebrate the birth of the L.A. art scene' from 1945 to 1980 in Los Angeles. Over 60 cultural exhibitions are contributing from San Diego to Santa Barbara, not including the multitude of private galleries showing work.

One of the more popular exhibits has to be the LACMA 'California Design: Living in a Modern Way.' With more than 300 objects—furniture, ceramics, metalwork, fashion and textiles, and industrial and graphic design–the exhibition is the first major study of California mid-century modern design, an era that certainly continues to inspire the world. This one is definitely on my list of to-do's, anything mid-century gives me great goosebumps!

Check out the PST website, it's incredibly user friendly and really well executed. If you're anywhere in SoCal, it'll be easy to find something of interest somewhere.

Images from Herman Miller website.

24 November 2011

It wasn't always a Macy's Day Parade

Back in the day, it was a pretty scary parade! Part rat, part Tyrannosaurus rex, part Alien. Yikes!

via Daily Heller: One Creepy Float - Decades before KidRobot unleashed its vinyl monsters, there was the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons, a tradition since 1924. One of the 1938 crop was a harbinger of the current crop of vinyl beasts - before commercial brand characters ruled the skies. Imagine this floating past your bedroom window.

Thanks to Steven Heller for sharing!

Image from Daily Heller website.

18 November 2011

A fresh as it gets

It must be tough to open an Italian restaurant without succumbing to all the same old Italian cliches; checkered tablecloths, romantic pastel murals, Chianti bottles dripping with candle wax. But the branding for Italian restaurant and bakery Basilico Mozzarella Pomodori is the freshest take I've seen yet! It was designed by the Russian design firm (yes, Russian), Hattomonkey. Shocking right? Well, I guess sometimes it really is best to step away and get outside of your subject. What I admire about the BMP style is the elements are all there; the Italian flag, the tomato, but they're cleverly done. And the tomato, basil, mozzarella textile... bellissimo!

Images from Hattomonkey Behance website.

A creative walk

Every now and then you need a spark to get the creativity kick-started again, but where to find one you ask? Look no further than branding guru Robin Landa's new creativity journal, Take a Line for a Walk. The jour­nal fea­tur­es all sorts of cre­ative prompts and exercises from well-known and respected design­ers, archi­tects and experts (like Stefan Sagmeister for example). Designed by none other than Modern Dog Design Co., the journal reminds me a little of Caffeine for the Creative Mind, only these exercises have the stamp of approval from our most beloved creatives, so they better work! Go ahead and get your creativity flowing again, walk on over here for your copy.

Images from DesignWorkLife website.

14 November 2011

Photo of the week

La Jolla, CA. There's something incredibly magical about the colors within the sea.

13 November 2011

The best issue ever

In the age of the iPad, magazines come and go like fashion, but it's nice to know that even with social media and internet access, magazines and catalogs even (read here from the LA Times) are still in demand. And when you take a magazine to the next level, like Paperlux just did for the graphic design magazine Novum, print is alive and well. But what they did is just extraordinary!

Novum commissioned Hamburg-based design studio Paperlux to design 'a faceted magazine cover that looks and feels like a flattened geodesic dome' inspired by Buckminster Fuller and wanted to play up the tactility of paper by cutting into it. Each cover has 140 die cuts, allowing it to bend any which way and the designers patiently oversaw the production of each of the 15,000 covers, which had to be die-cut with the utmost precision. The results are utterly amazing and captivating!

And I love what Paperlux’s Soraya Kuehne had to say about the project...

via FastCoDesign: The goal, Kuehne says, is to underscore the importance of print media as the publishing industry goes digital: “Don't get me wrong: We feel totally at home in the digital world. But it will never substitute the feeling and smell of a new book, a magazine or a handwritten letter. We believe that projects such as these can bring this back into our minds.”

Watch a video on the amazing cover creation here. It doesn't disappoint! And you can purchase a copy of Novum here from Stiebner if you like.

Images from Paperlux website.

12 November 2011

A is for Apron

Who would have thought vintage aprons could look so cool! Thanks to Austin-based design stu­dio Make & Matter they do! Check out the full line at Apron Allure.

Images from designworklife website.

Stationery to eat for

These are good enough to eat! Casa Rex, a Brazilian design agency, recently launched the Emporium Collection, a grouping of stationery and notebook items featuring simple and minimalistic food-inspired designs for the Livraria Cultura bookstore. The line is available at Livaria Cultura stores and online here. The meat and cheese are my favorites!

Images from Casa Rex website.

Antler art

Milwaukee-based artist Cassandra Smith is a genius. Really. She transforms one magnificent piece of artwork into another. Deer and elk shed their antlers naturally every year and Cassandra paints them into beautifully colored art. And the price... very reasonable from $68 to $91. Cassandra's giving wildlife art a whole new look for your wall. Taxidermy professionals beware!

She'll be adding more antlers soon at her Etsy shop, so stop by and do some hunting.

Images from Honestly WTF.

11 November 2011

Hot and spicy good

Buffalo Wild Wings has a new poster campaign that's just fabulous! Unfortunately, I'm not a big wing fan, but the new campaign, created by 22squared, to promote their signature sauces and seasonings just might convert me. The series of fun digital posters allows guests to guess their favorite flavors like Hot BBQ, Honey BBQ, Desert Heat and Asian Zing. While each poster has its own unique personality, the photography and art is fun and clever.

Images from CommArts website.

08 November 2011

Photo of the week

San Francisco, CA. When I first saw this sculpture at Pier 14 near the Ferry Building, I just thought it was pretty damn cool. I had no idea what it symbolized, its meaning or why this particular spot was significant. After a little research, turns out it's called The Raygun Gothic Rocketship and has made more than one landing. It's a temporary public art installation that made its debut at Burning Man in 2009 and also appeared at NASA Ames for Yuri's Night and at Maker Faire.

The artists, Sean Orlando, Nathaniel Taylor and David Shulman (and members of the Five Ton Crane Arts Group) describe the Rocketship as a 'rococo retro-futurist future-rustic vernacular between yesterday’s tomorrow and the future that never was, a critical kitsch somewhere between The Moons of Mongo & Manga Nouveau.'

The Rocketship offers a Buck Rogers Baroque retro-futuristic, highly-stylized vision of space travel circa 1930’3-1940’s science fiction and is the latest in a series of temporary public art exhibitions sponsored by Black Rock Arts Foundation with the aim of enlivening and activating public spaces. Read more about it on the BRAF website here.

It was only in San Francisco for about 14 months (from August 2010 until September 2011) and glad I got the chance to see it. It's pretty retro cool if I do say!

06 November 2011

Patchwork festival

Come rain or shine, the Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Festival is coming this month with three locales in Southern California; Long Beach, Santa Ana and Culver City. So much good stuff will be available from local emerging artists, crafts & designers! Clothing for men, women & kids, handbags, accessories, art, ceramics, home goods, garden finds, plushies, jewelry, paper goods, edible treats, pet gear, crochet & knit goods, kits & patterns, bath & body goodies and more. Hope you can come out and support our local crafters!

Image from Patchwork website.

Sharp seating

The mission of twin brothers Sam and Will Boex is simple, "To create well designed products or interiors which influence, engage and benefit their audiences." Their Cornwall England-based firm Boex, produces award-winning interiors for healthcare, bar/restaurants, retail, product and exhibition sectors. I recently came across their fabulous, and can I say... sharp looking Pencil Bench on Brain Pickings, which won the Best at Show at the Cornwall Design Week 2007. It's so cool looking and creative, I don't think I would care how uncomfortable sitting on erasers might be. D&AD even asked them to supply a bench for their offices, so it can't be all that uncomfortable right? And hey, it doubles as a great looking pencil holder.

via Boex site: Stemming from a single conversation to see if we could incorporate an everyday office object into a piece of furniture, we designed this quirky bench. It ended up causing quite a stir across the design world, scooping two awards for Boex and being featured in a number of national design journals. The seat is made up of 1,600 pencils which are individually sprung. Each pencil can be removed and used.

Images from Boex website.

Wetsuits for websites

If you're looking for a little surf to go with your surfing, then check out the Looptworks iPad sleeve. It's made from 100% upcycled neoprene from excess wetsuit material rescued from a wetsuit factory. At only $26.00, you can purchase one knowing you're doing the environment real good. Get yours here. And they don't come in just black, orange and red are available too!

Via Looptworks website: Launched in September 2009, Looptworks is a ground-breaking business that repurposes abandoned materials into meaningful, long-lasting and limited-edition products. By re-using the world’s pre-consumer excess, the U.S.-based company aims to rid the world of waste while inspiring a generation to reduce their impact on the planet. The inaugural line includes jackets hoodies, skirts, shirts and graphic t-shirts for both men and women The Portland, Oregon-based start-up is led by apparel industry veterans with extensive experience from Nike, Adidas and Royal Robbins.

Learn more about their new way of making clothing.

Image from Looptworks website.
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