25 February 2012

Having the travel bug

In less than a week, I'll be marveling Big Sky Country! I'm super excited about visiting my best gal pal in her new hometown of Bozeman, Montana and visiting a section of the country I have never been. For me, travel is exhilarating, inspiring and all about experiencing something new. I've got goosebumps just thinking about wandering around taking photographs and admiring a whole new view.

That's what the crew at Warfare think too, a new online travel magazine. But it's not just any magazine, it's about the art of the journey with a very design-centric approach to travel. It's beautifully designed putting the focus on celebrating the moments of detail in the everyday.

via Wayfare website: Wayfare is a brand new publication celebrating the art of the journey. Every element of Wayfare highlights what we feel travel should be: motivating, accessible, and delightful — whether you are in a faraway place, on a weekend getaway or simply exploring a new corner of your hometown.

We recognize that travel is not defined by how many miles you cover. It’s about finding inspiration along the way and celebrating the everyday moments. It’s about the spirit of discovery – breaking out of your routine to unwind, connect, and learn. It’s this desire to go, to celebrate and to experience that drives everything we do.

And that's exactly what I can't wait to do... break out of my routine to unwind, connect, and get inspired. Bozeman or bust!

Read more about the new Wayfare mag on Design*Sponge and from the Design Director/Editor of Wayfare, Anne Stark Ditmeyer (who is also the writer/editor of the fabulous Pret a Voyager blog).

Image from Wayfare website.

Mod living

I seem to be on an architecture kick this morning. For some reason I'm into spaces with personality, lots of it. Like this space I found on Design*Sponge. The mid-century living room is minimal and cozy, not an easy combination... it must be that great blue brick fireplace!

Image from Design*Sponge website.

Happy Hour

This seems like THE perfect setting for a happy hour drink.

The image is from the architecture and design firm of Steven Harris Architects. Brilliant and gorgeous work!

Image from Steven Harris Architects website.

23 February 2012

Daredevil tees

I'm totally digging these posters for Sack Wear created by 3Advertising based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I can't do justice in explaining these interesting shirts, so I'll let Communication Arts do it for me...

via CommArts website: The audience for this line of vintage cruiser T-shirts is off-road enthusiasts and vintage Land Cruiser lovers. Extremely passionate and vocal about their hobby, the group has very little to choose from in the form of cool apparel and ways to share their hobby with the outside world. Albuquerque, New Mexico-based 3 Advertising created a series of promotional posters that offer unique special care instructions to the wearer. Given to Land Cruiser clubs and as online giveaways through Sackwear.com, the humor reflects the risks of traveling through each geographic region and illustrates that the adventure (and danger) that goes into a Land Cruiser outing can also be applied to the use and care of the T-shirts.

And it gets better. The write-ups on the shirts read as follow:
Cruisers De PanAmerica - SPECIAL CARE. When washing by hand in the Amazon River, beware of the Candiru. Also known as the Toothpick Fish, it has been known to swim up male genitalia, painfully embedding itself in the urethra, requiring surgery to remove. Sackwear.com Shirts for People.

Broken Hill, NSW - SPECIAL CARE. When using shirt as a tourniquet, bear in mind that lack of blood flow may result in severe tissue damage and eventual loss of the limb. Immediate medical attention should be sought, rather than continuing your excursion. Sackwear.com Shirts for People.

Serengeti, Tanzania - SPECIAL CARE. When stranded in the Sahara Desert, this shirt may be fashioned into a makeshift turban, protecting its wearer from heat and sand. In non-life-threatening situations, this would likely be considered a fashion faux pas. Sackwear.com Shirts for People.

Awesome right?

Images from CommArts website.

22 February 2012

Axel is profit

This post might just intrigue the left brainers. That's right. If you live and breathe spreadsheets, this is exciting news. FontShop released a brand new typeface (well, it was released in 2009 at TYPO Berlin and I just discovered it), by master typographer Erik Spiekermann. The Axel font is an eco­nom­i­cal, highly leg­i­ble font family opti­mized for on-​screen use in office apps and none other than Microsoft Excel. Why a special font for spreadsheets? I'm glad you asked. Here's the answer...

via Font Shop website: Surveys have shown that multi-functional applications, such as Excel, are used for many more types of projects than just budgeting and bookkeeping. Users input words instead of numbers in over 90% of the cells. And the columns are usually too narrow for those words. Widely-used system fonts like Arial, Verdana and the likes either take up too much space or they are hard to read (i.e. Arial Narrow). With Axel, FontShop has created a typeface that is narrow without looking “condensed”.

And what's special about Axel is less its aesthetic refinement for the reader than its usefulness to people who work at monitors every day. And here's why;
  • Similar letters and numbers are clearly distinguishable (l, i, I, 1, 7; 0, O; e, c …).
  • Increased contrast between regular and bold.
  • Style set linking for Office applications (bold key).
  • Small caps instead of italics for emphasis.
  • High legibility on the monitor via “ClearType” support.
  • Good complement of numbers (superscript, subscript, fractions…).
  • Real WYSIWYG in Microsoft Excel.
  • Pleasing look on paper.
You can purchase Axel font family here at FontShop for only $79.90. That's a bargin comparative to what you might or might not see on those spreadsheets!

Images from FontShop website.

20 February 2012

Photo of the week

San Clemente, CA. At the dry cleaners I go to, the display of thread spools on the wall looks so cool. Thankfully, I don't go very often, working from home allows one not to dress up often and only for meetings. But when I do go for the occasional cleaning, tailoring or fix-it, I love how you can tell a lot from the spools that are used most what kind of fashionable colors we're all wearing. Hot pink? Not so much.

18 February 2012

Brand dieting

It comes as no surprise that brands are on a diet. New brands, including some old brands, are scaling back and getting even more minimal. The less is more concept has reached new heights and not just because it needed to, but because it had to out of necessity, quite possibly from the wrath of the Great Recession. People no longer want or need useless extras, which is a refreshing change if you ask me, and the way life should be. Isn't it amazing what we really can live without?

All of this carries into the packaging world. Simple, clean and functional are all the rage. Ah, Apple anyone? But the brand I'm currently admiring most, is the simple, two-tone identity from the U.K. co-op called The People's Supermarket. Opened in 2010 in London, the small volunteer-run supermarket is a communal, friendly, local, cheap and democratic market that has its own no-frills, no-spin packaging line in a bright cheery yellow and white palette. Local produce at fair and affordable prices and a community coming together and taking charge of the food they buy and eat? Brilliant!

Here's a little minimalist brand overview from the great folks at GOOD.

Image from The People's Supermarket website.

Dreaming of doors

This week I found myself dreaming of doors. Not just any doors though... the Dutch door. There is something so welcoming, cozy and functional about Dutch doors. How I would adore a small studio or cottage with a Dutch door!

Images from Content in a Cottage, Country Home, Shell and Seaglass, Solstice Home and Apartment Therapy websites.

15 February 2012

Edible typgraphy

Here's what I want to know... who does this stuff? I love to see when people create edible typography. Like these Helvetica cookies for example. And now, edible gelatin typography. But these are much too colorful and fun to eat!

Image from Morning website.

14 February 2012

A walk in the park

If you haven't heard of the amazing Saul Bass, then read this. Today, the highly anticipated reissue of his classic kid’s book was released and it's gorgeous! Henri's Walk to Paris is delightful and surely a book every kid, both young and old, will enjoy. Purchase a copy at Amazon or through the publisher Rizzoli/Universe.

Images from Grain Edit website.

Happy Hearts Day

As always, here's a great infographic of Valentine's Day from the team over at Column Five.

I'm actually not a big Valentine's Day gal, it's quite a waste of money in my mind. Here's the truth, if you have love to give, let the special people in your life know you love them each and every day! Life's too short not to!

Click the image for a larger view.

Image from Column Five website.

13 February 2012

Handmade hearts

For those of you looking for a cute, handmade (and very last minute) Valentine, here's an adorable project from Danyelle over at Dandee Designs. Hearts Stitched Together comes with an easy pattern, all you need is some paper, red thread and a needle. Get all the goods here. Your Valentine will love you for it!

Images from Dandee website.

12 February 2012

ZeBar dizzy

This is the coolest interior dar design I've seen in awhile. The ZeBar, a recently opened music bar in Shanghai with impressive interior space and a live music venue, was designed by 3gatti, led by Italian architect Francesco Gatti and has offices in both Rome and Shanghai.

Reminiscent of an op-art painting, the design of Zebar was inspired by 3D modelling and encompasses sequential parallel black-and-white plasterboard slices which have been meticulously cut by hand. So not only is the actual bar unique, but how it was installed is too. Read on...

via The Fox is Black site; The project is a pretty straightforward construction of a computer modeling operation. The designers made an amorphous shape, and subtracted that shape from a series of parallel solid walls that fill the project’s boundaries. The effect of the stripes is very graphic and bold. One curious fact about the bar’s construction highlights a difference between construction norms in Europe and China. According to Francesco: “In Europe the natural consequence of this kind of design will be giving the digital model to the factory and thanks to the numeric control machines cut easily the huge amount of sections all different from each other. But we were in China where the work of machines is replaced by the work of low paid humans. Using a projector they placed all the sections we drew on the plasterboards and then cut each of them by hand.”

I found this interesting too... via Daily Tonic website; From the architect: ‘This project was born in 2006 when a Singaporean movie director and an ex musician from south of China decided to open a live bar in Shanghai. The budget was very low but the client was incredibly good and open-minded to us. The schedule was very tight and fortunately they immediately liked one of the first concepts I proposed to them: a caved space formed from of a digital Boolean subtraction of hundreds of slices from an amorphic blob."

Fair warning, after a few drinks, this place could be disastrous when you get up to leave!

Photos by Daniele Mattioli from Daily Tonic and The Fox is Black websites.

11 February 2012

Appealing apparel?

A little shocking? Sure. Vulgar? Perhaps. Sexual? Umm.... okay, dumb question. I'm not sure these recent American Apparel ads would make me scurry out and buy their wares, but hey, I'm not really in their demographic anymore. I was however when Benetton was producing provocative ad campaigns and didn't buy anything back then even. Guess I'm just not a trampy gal hoping to be on my knees.

But American Apparel makes no bones about it and has this statement on their website, "For nearly a decade, American Apparel's provocative ads have been at the forefront of our worldwide success, always standing out from our peers." Standing? Shouldn't that say kneeling?

Thanks to Steven Heller and Mirko Ilic for the heads up.

Images from Daily Heller website.

Baseball heroes

The Bailey Lauerman design agency of Nebraska recently completed these extraordinary posters to promote Kansas City Missouri’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. As a baseball fan, I find them visually stunning and intelligent... and they have a profound message on the real heroes of baseball.

via CommArts website: Singing the praises of these unsung heroes, the messages turned a spotlight on the courageous athletes who played not for fame or money, but because they loved the game. The museum and this campaign ensure that their contribution to baseball, to civil rights, and to our country’s history will never be forgotten.

Images from CommArts website.

10 February 2012

Slate lunch

Wishing I was having this kind of lunch right now. Of course, it would be even better served on a very sleek piece of slate like the one in the photo from the Brooklyn Slate Company! Very cool products and story on how it all got started. Read it here.

Image from Brooklyn Slate Co. website.

09 February 2012

The new urban kiosk

This you've got to see and touch! The completely re-imaged kiosk is from New York City-based Urbanscale, who work to improve the quality of urban life and make "cities easier to understand, more pleasant to use and live in, and more responsive to the desires of their inhabitants."

Urbanscale teamed up with Helsinski-based Nordkapp, to create new kiosks called Urbanflow, which act like a giant iPad for the urban dweller and provide layers of wayfinding data. Not only can it map the way from point A to B, but you can find local services, "ambient" city data on air quality, traffic density, parking, cycling, public transport, and get feedback on faulty streetlights or even vandalism.

via CoExist website: Sami Niemelรค, Nordkapp’s creative director, says the system is not only designed to be useful, but also "playful," encouraging people to use it. He also wants to change behavior, making people more aware of their environment.

These amazing data centers might hit Chicago very soon, but I'm sure we'll find them in every major city around the world in no time. Read more about these incredible kiosks on Co.Exist here.

Images from Co.Exist website.

Moving Helvetica

Of the five posters designed by Brighten the Corners for the Faculty of Design in Darmstadt to promote various lectures, screenings and workshops, this is my absolute favorite! BTC is an independent, multi-disciplined design and strategy consultancy with offices in London and Stuttgart that produces smart, clean design. I believe this is a letterpress poster for the screening of Gary Hustwit’s documentary Helvetica and was awarded at the Art Directors Club Germany. And how about that pink? Just fabulous. See more of their spectacular work here.

Image from Brighten the Corners website.

06 February 2012

Photo of the week

Milan, Italy. Today's beautiful architectural shot is from Poland-based Piotr Kulczycki, who runs the web design firm Crafton, but who also spends a lot of time traveling about with his camera in hand documenting some of the worlds most exotic locales over at World In My Lens. The shot above taken in Milan is moody and elegant, and he's got more where that came from. Check out his gallery here, and click on 'Full Sets', you'll be amazed at the places he's taken his camera!

Image from Piotr Kulczycki website.

05 February 2012

Good beer, no shit

Super Bowl Sunday it is, and what better a post then something about beer. And yes, you read that title correct. It's actually the tagline of Maryland's largest brewery, Flying Dog Brewery and they recently rolled out new packaging to better reflect Gonzo artist Ralph Steadman's original work on Flying Dog package designs. Almost a year in the making, the redesign included crown caps, labels and six-pack carriers. They're pretty cool and eye-catching... you won't miss these in the beer section! Even if you don't actually buy the beer, the packaging is definitely worth a stop to admire.

via CommArts: The project began with a thorough examination of the original, chaotic, intricately-detailed art created for Flying Dog by Steadman—distracting from it would be an injustice. The redesign began with the labels because of their smaller surface area, which required more detail from a regulatory standpoint; from there, Steadman’s art was allowed to run wild on the bigger space of the six-pack carriers. A matte finish stock was chosen over the existing glossy finish, to provide the watercolor paper feel of the original art, and less saturated paper colors preserve more of the textured elements of the originals. The old caps were bright blue and purple and a fun pop of color, but totally detracted from the art; to complement the packaging, the new caps are gunmetal gray with black lettering and black with silver lettering.

In the words of Flying Dog, 'Good people drink good beer'.... and have good design!

Images from CommArts website.

Movie as type

These typographic movie posters by Stockholm Sweden-based Patrik Svensson are brilliant! He uses very little type to convey the plot quite cleverly. See more of his clever movie posters here.

Images from Patrick Svensson website.
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