29 June 2012

Fine tees from The Unrefinery

I can't pass up super cool tee shirts! These new shirts from The Unrefinery are created especially for us design geeks. They were created by designer Dan Horan and I can't decide which one I should get! You can find more styles here.

Photo: Design Work Life

28 June 2012

Clip it up

This is a fabulous idea for clipboards! I might just steal it. Found over at Swiss-Miss.

Photo: Swiss Miss

26 June 2012

Flett + fabric = fabulous

Erin Flett makes some of the most wonderful textiles! The Gorham, Maine designer is inspired by quirky objects like old sushi bowls, 19th-century coloring books and vintage scarves. Every single piece of her collection, which includes throw pillows and messenger bags, is hand screened and stitched in Maine on vintage reproduction bark cloth (originally from the 1940-50's) and recycled cotton poly fabric with water-based, solvent-free inks. Her designs feature cheerful pups, noshing squirrels, graphic florals and abstract ripples and patterns. I think the squirrel is my favorite! You can find all her fabulous pillows available on Etsy.

Photos: Erin Flett wesbite

25 June 2012

Photo of the week

Rome, Italy. The logo depicting the Colosseum on various visitor signage caught my eye for one reason, it was done with one simple line. Brilliant!

24 June 2012

Not so invisible

There are no words to describe the absolute enormous amount of stellar work Invisible Creature pumps out. Let's just say their name doesn't reflect their work! It's big, bold and very visible. I'm not joking, click here for their work page and scroll down, keep scrolling... scrolling. Unbelievable right? Brothers Don and Ryan Clark are just two super cool guys, putting out seriously good design and illustration work. Not to mention their impressive list of clients, which is like a Fortune 100 who's who. Yeah, I'm green with envy! And as for that name, they 'thought it was a nice mixture of anonymity and creativity.' Agreed. My kind of guys, they think absolutely every detail through!

Photos: Invisible Creature

23 June 2012

Stunning sketchbooks

Irina Vinnik from St. Petersburg Russia has some huge illustration chops! I'm in absolute awe of every single black pen illustration she creates. Although she was educated as an architect and worked as a web designer, Irina currently writes and illustrates children's books. Take a look at a few more of her masterpieces over at Inspiration Feed.

Photos: Inspiration Feed

22 June 2012

True craftsman style

I'm definitely an admirer of many styles. While I might be drawn to rustic and vintage one day, I go crazy when I see modern and sleek the next. And when I encounter both together seamlessly, whether in architecture or design, my mouth hangs open, drool included. Behold Costa Mesa-based craftsman Sean Woolsey. I love his one-of-a-kind, industrial pieces, that could easily fit in the most contemporary of homes or a cabin in the woods. A self-taught designer, Woolsey makes lighting fixtures, custom furniture, and sheet-metal art. All of his items are “multi-generational” heirlooms with a patinated beauty that grows with age, using reclaimed wood, salvaged metal, cans, vintage wire and found objects.

Not only that, I read on his website, his work is deeply influenced by Wabi-Sabi, a Japanese philosophy which recognizes the beauty of things imperfect and bear the imprint of time. Wabi-sabi also prizes the dented, scratched, bumpy, irregular, weathered and worn.

Sean's work is beautifully worn and crafted! See more of his art, furniture and lighting here.

Photos: Design Bureau and Sean Woolsey

20 June 2012

Japanese style garden home

This home gives living with nature a whole new meaning! The Kofunaki House designed by ALTS Design Office is... succulent, in every sense of the word! Taking a cue from ancient times when people lived with nature, the home, called "ecovillage" is filled with shrubs, succulents, and small trees that weave throughout the foyer, kitchen and bedroom. The wider windows and sliding doors make the 1,400-square-foot home very light and airy, perfect for cultivating the greenery, which adds a soothing quality to the minimalist design. It's also a fine example of how much we can really live without! See more photos and the original article over at FastCoDesign. 

Photo: Fast Co Design

19 June 2012

Now Open!

At the beginning of July, I'll have seven hours to wander about Chicago during a layover. So I did a little research to find out what I could explore in the art world during my quick visit. What I found was terrific! The Chicago Design Museum (CDM) is hosting limited engagement exhibitions that focus on design excellence from five of the most distinguished creative folks from local and international sources, like Debbie Millman, IBM, Ed Fella, even hand painted signage! Open Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month of June from 12-8:00pm, in a 6,000 sq./ft. location in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, the pop-up format promotes "intimate experiences that are less likely to be found in a brick-and-mortar institution."

Yes, that's correct, I'm going to miss it, dammit! It will be over at the end of June, which is really disappointing. But if you're in the area, please go and enjoy a little for me!

The CDM is a collaborative effort between Mark Dudlik and Tanner Woodford, and is part of Lost Creature: a non-profit 501(c)(3) that aims to bridge culture and creativity with community projects.

My search continues....

Photos: Chicago Design Museum

18 June 2012

Photo of the week

Venice, Italy. Piazza San Marco is beautifully geometric. What isn't in this world? So I like to re-imagine my grid photos in a new way. Here is St. Mark's Basilica at a different angle.

Stamp it up

There must be something in the air because the thoughts of custom rubber stamps are dancing in my head again. I'm a bona fide handmade loving gal, who just goes crazy for the printed word. But you already knew that right? Well, I came across some photos of rubber stamps this week. I knew for certain I would need to get myself a fun stamp, but this time with my logo. There's just no way to quell my need. I've already got a beautiful hand calligraphy return address stamp from Patricia Mumau of Primele, (check more here). But now it's time for something a little different to stamp on envelopes, tags, thank you cards, letters, business cards... heck, even on concepts for clients. Definitely found Jay Fletcher's new bizcard pretty inspiring, letterpress on one side, rubber stamp on the other. And Ann-Marie Morris of Ann-Marie Loves Paper, well what can I say, her homemade collection made me drool. She makes stamps (and many, many other things) for a living. How cool is that? Lastly, the Pinterest Stamp Collection of Igor Ovsyannykov from Inspiration Feed put me over the edge. He's also got a post and a few stamp resources here. Time for a cool stamp!

Photos: Jay Fletcher Design, Ann-Marie Loves Paper, Inspiration Feed.

17 June 2012

The multi-function font

If you're looking for a super new font for your library, I've got just the one for you! It's called Frontage and it's from the great guys over at You Work For Them. It's a layered type system with multitude of possibilities using a combination of regular, bold, 3D, bulb and shadow styles. Your headlines will never look so good! Here's a few more details...

via YouWorkForThem website: The typeface's design is based on a simple grid which creates the friendly, handcrafted look of facade signs. It is generously spaced for maximum impact of your message. As a display typeface Frontage loves color and is suitable for headlines and logotypes. Details include 224 characters in five styles and manually edited kerning. 

Buy it at YouWorkForThem for only $5 per weight or $55 for the complete family and it's available in both desktop and webfont.

Photos: YouWorkForThem

16 June 2012

Successful blogging

If there was ever a Queen of blogging, then hands down it would be Ms. Joy Cho of the super popular, award-winning Oh Joy! blog. Yes, there are a gazillion crafty, smart, design blogs out there, but Joy had (and still has) the atomic energy to take her passions to the next level. Aside from helping build brands for design clients like Cynthia Rowley, Target, Mattel, QVC and Urban Outfitters, Joy's talents of graphic design, textile design, packaging, branding and a love for food and fashion launched the Oh Joy! blog in 2005. The blog is updated 2-3 times a day, reaches over 20,000 readers a day on the main site, 43,000 readers via RSS, and an average of 825,000 page views per month. But she's never one to keep her success a secret!

Following her hugely successful Creative Inc., and Craft Inc. books (both of which are in my library!), this past week was the release of her newest book, Blog Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community. She offers expert advice on starting and growing a blog, from design and finance to overcoming blogger's block, attracting readers, and Oh... so much more! I'll definitely be adding her latest page turner to make my trio! Blog, Inc. is available from Amazon.

Congratulations to Joy on her latest book and for sharing all her creative expertise and knowledge with us!

Photo: Oh Joy!

15 June 2012

South Bund brilliance

You must see this! The Waterhouse at South Bund hotel in Shanghai, China.... the architecture is stunning. This is possibly the best example of how old architecture can blend with new. There are just too many gorgeous photos to post, so you really must click here for the rest. Little did I know (or remember rather), the hotel also houses the fabulous Table No. 1 restaurant that I blogged about early this year.

via archilovers: Located by the new Cool Docks development on the South Bund District of Shanghai, the Waterhouse is a four-story, 19-room boutique hotel built into an existing three-story Japanese Army headquarters building from the 1930’s. The boutique hotel fronts the Huangpu River and looks across at the gleaming Pudong skyline. The architectural concept behind NHDRO’s renovation rests on a clear contrast of what is old and new. The original concrete building has been restored while new additions built over the existing structure were made using Cor-Ten steel, reflecting the industrial past of this working dock by the Huangpu River.

Photos: Archilovers website

Graphite quotes

Tina over at Swiss Miss is always posting the most interesting found items. Like these really cool Graphite Pencils her friend bought at Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Each are inscribed with a quote from a famous artist like Claude Monet, "Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment," and Marc Chagall, "Great art picks up where nature ends."

The pencils are made from laquered top quality graphite and can be purchased here.

Photo: Moderna Museet

11 June 2012

Photo of the week

Rome, Italy. The shade of orange on this building was stunning! I loved the worn texture of the paint and the carefully pinned wires.

09 June 2012

Welcoming Flora

Hands down this is the best birth announcement I've ever seen! Vibrant and fun, it sure beats the sleeping baby pic and proud parents humdrum. It was designed by Invisible Creature for their very own Don Clark. Flora's one lucky girl! The announcement was screen-printed by D&L on French Muscletone.

Photo: Invisible Creature

Celebrating surf

It's not hard not to embrace what's going on in the surf industry when you live in a popular surf town, even when you've never touched a surf board in your life. Let's just say I'm more of an earthy gal than a water gal. So this year celebrates 60 years in business for the iconic brand O'Neill and they hired Kyle Alexander (who's got stunning portfolio work!) to capture models that include members of the O'Neill Surf Team for their Spring/Summer 2012 print campaign. The shots are spot on casual surf with vintage coloring that make you want to pack your bag and head to the beach. Supposedly, they were shot on a few secluded beaches along the central California coast. Now, I'm not one to brag about my beautiful little famous beach town that's the perfect background choice for a surf campaign, but I sure do think the backdrop I'm seeing in some of these posters, looks more like Southern California (um, San Clemente pier?) than Central California. Nonetheless, 60 years in business... now that's definintely worth bragging about! Congrats to O'Neill and its team!

Photos: CommArts website

Music to my eyes

Estudio Tricota is an Argentina-based design studio that produced this gorgeous work for Calma, a folk music festival. The typographic details are a beautiful symphony for the eyes! The hierarchy is perfection and it doesn't overwhelm the viewer. They've got plenty more where that came from and a style all their own, see more at their Behance site.

Photos: Grain Edit website

08 June 2012

Bellissimo modern design

Since coming back from Italy a few weeks ago, I'm in an all things Italian mood. I'll probably pop Roman Holiday into the DVR this weekend to quench my thirst for a little more Roma. In the meantime, I'll probably need to fix my eyes on this gorgeous tome by PIE Books, Italia Modern Design book. Focusing on Italian graphic design from the 1950s-1970s, the pages include many of the heavy hitter designers like Bruno Munari, Giovanni Pintori, Max Huber, Enzo Mari, Pino Tovaglia, Albe Steiner and more. However, because PIE Books is a Japanese publisher, its been a bit of a challenge to locate online. But I found a link someone posted at the Grain Edit site about this fabulous book... the ISBN is 978-4-89444-576-5 and they were able to get a copy through Kinokuniya in NYC for $38.75.

On a side note, I'm hoping the exhibit graphic Modern now through through July 26, 2012 at Fordham University at Lincoln Center, makes its way West. It brings together over 75 works of graphic design from USA, Italy and Switzerland from 1934-1966. Definitely a show to see!

Photos: Grain Edit website

05 June 2012

Mouth watering

Truth be told, I really wanted to call this post Finger lickin' good, but it just didn't seem politically correct after Googling the phrase and finding out it also was a series of adult films, you know the ones I'm talking about (thankfully KFC coined the phrase long before the movies). So let's just say the identity for Bill's Fried Chicken by Kyle White is mouth watering delicious... or 'deep fried delicious!' For the Mississippi and NYC-based designer, the goal was to create a visual system that celebrated the unique atmosphere, food and culture of the restaurant. The color palette, whimsical background illustrations and lettering are definitely unique, eye-catching and so well done. Bill's Fried Chicken looks like the kind of place you can sit down, kick back with some good food and have fun. And the menu doubles as a fan to cool down during those hot summer days. Yes, the branding alone would get me into Bill's!

View more of Kyle's incredible work here. He's also the one with that super cool workspace.

Images: Kyle White website
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