31 August 2012

Helvetica goes woodsy

Helvetica wood letters? Excuse me for a second while I get giddy, fall off my chair and pass out for a moment. Okay, I'm upright again, breathing heavy, but alive. Helvetica and wood is a wonderful combination and France-based designer Fabien Barral knows this! He's taking a little sabbatical and wandering the world about this year with his wife and daughter. One of the advantages of being a graphic designer and the ability to work from anywhere in the world, providing you have internet access.

He made the journey to Bali early this year and life has never been the same. He met up with a wood craftsman to create a line of Helvetica collection of wood letters he had been looking to do for some time. The project, dubbed, Mr. Cup, will be made from two different woods, one from recycled teak, the other from Suar wood, a local common wood in Indonesia. Both collections will be in limited edition of 500 letters and will be on sale soon at Mr. Cup. Such craftsmanship and beauty!

Stay up to date on Mr. Cup and his blog Graphic Exchange.

Sleeping with Z's, literally

The typographic geek would really love these... and I'm including myself  of course. Designed by Laurie Rosenwald, and developer of the "How to Make Mistakes on Purpose"workshop, the sheets are available at IKEA.

29 August 2012

Some classic 8-Bit

It's true, I grew up playing classic 8-Bit video games like Pac-Man, Mario Bros and Space Invaders. With little Pitfall, Breakout and Night Driver thrown in for good measure. So if I didn't become such a minimalist adult, I would totally have these cool, retro video game roller blinds in my room by Direct Blinds.

Photo: HiComsumption

Skarp... I mean sharp, packaging

As always, Ikea delivers the smartest, uber minimal packaging, rooted in their affordable and innovative values. The new Skarpsill (lightly seasoned anchovy herring) packaging, created by Stockholm Design Lab, is no exception. SDL also won a Core77 Design Award for the packaging. No surprise!

Photo: Wallpaper

27 August 2012

Crafty cool

If you haven't seen Donna Wilson's crafts, you must! Originally from Scotland, Donna creates the most whimsical and fun products from her studio and workshop in London. She does everything; lambswool blankets, quirky creatures, scarves, tableware, socks, tea towels and more. Her color and creativity amaze! It's easy to see how her studio is committed to making things that customers will treasure. Is there anything this artist can't do? I think not! My favorite, the fox scarf.

You can even download a catalog here to view her vast array of products.

Photos: Donna Wilson website

26 August 2012

Gorgeous glass

Atlanta-based artist Kathleen Plate gives glass bottles a gorgeous second life. Her Smart Glass Jewelry, made from recycled soda, wine, beer and salad dressing bottles, includes necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Every piece is beautifully transformed and wearable with everything! But she also creates lighting fixtures and commission pieces from her custom glass art studio for the home, office, even special events. See more of her brilliant work here.

Photo: Smart Glass Jewelry website

A slant over the competition

The Slanted Door is known for its amazing Vietnamese food, but also its chic design because of the very talented San Francisco-based Manual Creative. Manual recently redesigned The Slanted Door and developed a logo and associated visual language that is as modern and sophisticated as the restaurant itself.

Via Manual: The resulting mark references the ‘slanted’ aspect of the name and utilizes a single line to bring a distinct and memorable element to the identity. With family being a core value of the Slanted Door group, this unifying line also conveys the notion of connection.

The gorgeous identity is applied in copper ink and foil across a muted, sophisticated color palette and the paper menus fold at an angle, providing a simple, unusual touch.

Photos: Manual. Night photography: Aya Brackett

Book Review

It's been a while since I posted a new and exciting book, so today I've got one! Found on the fabulous Mint blog by Ellie Snow, Design:Paper is the first in a new informative series of design documentaries which offers the best of design in practice. There are approximately 300 beautiful designs using paper as the medium. Holiday cards, business cards, wedding invitations and paper art abound, the book also contains detailed essays and insights from the designers and authors relating to the materials, craft and construction of the featured projects. Those are the kinds of things that really make a book worth buying, to hear in detail from the designers about the overall process is invaluable. And let's face it, you know anything to do with paper gives me goosebumps!

A big congratulations to Ellie too, her super cool washi tape Mint business card (bottom photo) was featured in the book!

Photos: Mint

25 August 2012

The Braid office

I'm a huge fan of Braid, a creative and consulting business run by two sisters (Kathleen and Tara) in Oklahoma, who specialize in small business branding. I simply cannot describe in words how creative this dynamic duo is, so feel free to take a long look around here.

I really want to compliment them on how much I love their new office space. With a little trade between the master bedroom and the original home office in Kathleen's airy, historical home, I think the new space is simple, functional and fantastic! And that wall color, perfection! I don't think they even repainted it from the original bedroom color. The decision to work from home is not a difficult one, but you need the right balance of people, space, and client work to make it successful. It's quite obvious Braid has the perfect formula! And in the words of Kathleen, "If Jeff Lewis can run a business and make millions from his living room so can we."

Here's to all the great folks who work from home. We know how hard we work and the challenges of running our own businesses, but we wouldn't trade it for the world... or a cubicle!

Photos: Braid website

24 August 2012

A BIG thank you!

I was super excited to receive my illustrated name by the oh-so-talented Chris Piascik yesterday, done in support for my contribution to his amazing 1000 Days of Drawing book. Thanks Chris, I love it! I can see a little built-in smile between the L and Y. Looking forward to finding the perfect spot on my wall for it!

Image: Chris Piascik for Lynne Door

21 August 2012

Bring on the beach

Sandbox Industries sure knows how to bring the beach to work!

Learn more about Sandbox Industries on Path.To.

Photo: Path.To

Drifting along the coast of Maine

I'm back from a wonderful week in Maine my friends! It wasn't all R&R as I unpacked boxes, directed my parents like a traffic cop and ensured the the 'garage' sale pile was bigger than the 'keep' pile. But it was great to be surrounded by quietness, beautiful trees and a few thunderstorms here and there. However amid the chaotic unpacking, we did find some time to enjoy a place that bring us sheer joy, Oqunquit. If you haven't been to Ogunquit, it's a must for your travel list. Go ahead, just Google it and you'll see why. One of the many reasons I like Ogunquit so much is the artistic residents. Many create items from or with the beauty that only Maine can deliver. Not just in Ogunquit of course, but all over the state. Like Phippsburg artist Michael Fleming, who builds furniture, artwork and lamps from the natural sculptures of driftwood. Nature provides him with the form, texture and color and he follows by adding metals, glass and textiles to create beautiful, one of a kind pieces!

Read more on Fleming and his home at The New York Times.

Artist statement: "I'm enthralled with the often overlooked and simply beautiful objects found along Maine's shores. Ordinary life in Maine is what inspires me. It's natural and abundant beauty - the people, the ever changing tides and weather, the light...being connected with such unparalleled surroundings, how can one not be inspired?" -Michael Fleming

Photos: Michael Fleming website

12 August 2012

Looking mighty fine at 100

So, as I prepare for my trip to New England this week, I've got all the things that make up a perfect NE summer on my mind... and that includes, of course, the Red Sox. (Sorry Yankee fan blog readers, I'm a Sox girl, don't hate me). This year marks the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park (April 20, 2012 to be exact) and Ashton Design created a gorgeous limited edition book that highlighted their role in the historic revitalization of "America's Most Beloved Ballpark."

Via Ashton Design: This book chronicles the outcome of bringing the beloved ballpark to its glory days while showcasing our firm’s commitment to excellence in environmental graphics. For more than 10 years, we teamed with Fenway Park’s architects and management team to bring “modern nostalgia” to Fenway Park. Saving the park from demolition meant that the fans wanted to keep the memories and the history, but at the same time demanded a state-of-the-art facility. Ashton Design was tasked to ensure the integrity of its nostalgia did not fade.

It doesn't matter that this Baltimore-based design agency probably contains more than a few Oriole fans, but no matter... they knocked it out of the park for the Sox creating environmental graphics and wayfinding systems that bring a perfect combination of nostalgia, yet newness to the entire Fenway experience. Home run my friends!

Photos: Ashton Design

Picnic table pleasure

You'll never have to get up from this picnic table to get a refill! Designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, the table features a built-in wine cooler right down the center made from a galvanized steel gutter. Cheers to that!

Photo: Dwell

11 August 2012

Giddy as a girl scout

I have to admit, I'm as giddy as a Girl Scout thinking about spending time in the quiet Maine woods next week, helping my parents get settled into their new home. There really is no better place to enjoy all the pleasures that summer brings than Maine. And I'm secretly hoping we'll get some humidity induced thunderstorms, California weather surely lacks for this East Coast girl! So here are a few things that remind me of summer and the good things we should be doing; gathering with friends and family, picnicking, emptying sandy beach bags, sitting under the night stars and simply enjoying every moment.

Top to bottom: Sarah Elizabeth Shop block-printed place mats; state shaped cutting boards from AHeirloom; the classic Adirondack chair from L.L.Bean; tote bags for the beach from Sea Bags.

Photos: Sarah Elizabeth Shop, AHeirloom, L.L.Bean and Sea Bags.

10 August 2012

Super cool iPhone cases

If you didn't know, Chris Piascik is one of my favorite illustrators. And here's something else you might not have known, he's got a ton of iPhone cases and skins emblazoned with his amazing work available over at Society6! And recently he added six new favorite patterns to choose from. But I'm strongly debating between Best Burrito and Enjoy the Goddamned Moment (a reference from my other main man Draplin).

Photo: Chris Piascik website

07 August 2012

Tuesday typography treats

Found some pretty slick typographic projects and monograms over on Behance this morning from Cape Town designer Jordan Metcalf and Mexico-based designer Jorge Mercado. The top two are Jordan's work for Poets & Writers magazine and Boston magazine for the 'Best of Boston 2012' issue and bottom two are samples of Jorge's stunning monograms. Both of these designers are clearly skilled artisans and execute ridiculous typographic work!

Photos: Behance website

06 August 2012

Prefab perfection

I'm just loving the simplicity and light-filled design of this prefab home in the Swedish countryside of Tyresö. And the raised deck overlooking the lush backyard is perfect! The house was designed by Stockholm-based architecture firm Claesson Koivisto Rune. Named the 'Plus House', the two-story prefab home has the generic proportions of a traditional Swedish barn house and is available from prefab manufacturer Arkitekthus. See more of the best prefab homes from Missouri to Switzerland over at Dwell.

Photos: Dwell website
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