28 July 2013

Wanderlust alive and well

Lately, I've had a big hankering for travel again. Maybe it's because I follow too many photographers from all over the world on Instagram. Or I could easily blame it on Lisa Congdon, who's incredible honeymoon in Paris photos made me feel like I was on the trip with them! I remember Paris. I visited eons ago, but do remember the food, art, history and grey skies like it was yesterday. Actually, grey is what I remember most about Paris since I was there in January and it rained pretty much every day. But no matter, I don't mind rain and it was just as beautiful and moody as ever. So to quell my wanderlust and recent Parisian pining, I just put Paris in Color in my Amazon cart by the super talented Nichole Robertson. Soon enough I'll be seeing Paris in a whole new color!

Photo: Amazon

27 July 2013

Charging up

Looking for a new iPhone charger? Look no further then LA-based Bluelounge's new charging dock Saidoka, it angles the iPhone for optimal use and you're not chained to the nearest outlet. Best of all, it's compact and in budget. Read more over at Cool Hunting, then pick one up here. And be sure to check out some of Bluelounge's other great tech products.

Photo: Cool Hunting

Architecture in jewelry

I'm a sucker for geometric forms and patterns, so it's no wonder I find NYC-based designer Yumi Endo's jewelry extraordinary! Her collection CUT features unique geometric forms/graphics inspired by architectural details and urban patterns found in New York and other cities she's visited. And I love seeing the photos of what ultimately inspired her pieces. She's a multi-talent who works as a Senior Designer at Frog Design too. Check out her portfolio here.

Photos: Yumi Endo 

Climbing the walls

Installation projects come and go, but some are just so creatively cool you remember them for a long time. When I first saw the Dalston House by Argentina artist Leandro Erlich, I was mesmerized. I thought, 'Okay, how is this being done?' They're actually lying on the ground, reflected in a huge mirror that looks like the exterior of a London townhouse. Brilliant! Commissioned by the Barbican gallery, the installation will be open to the public as part of the London Festival of Architecture 2013 until 4 August. If you're in the London Borough of Hackney, it's surely an Instagram moment. It's looks weird, but that's the whole fun of it! More over at Dezeen.

Photos: Dezeen

26 July 2013

Inflatable summer

When The Cool Hunter (TCH) put out a call for designer Inflatables, Pablos Crespo Pita of imaisde in Spain gave them exactly what they were looking for; a minimalist, functional float that's flexible, stable, comfortable and practical. I suspect the CHAT Inflatable will be the hottest item on land and sea this year, but you've got only two weeks to get your sweaty hands on one... well, make that three, it's a 3 unit set. The CHAT collection of Christina (red), Henry (blue) and Athina (yellow) is available until 5 August and includes 6 hooks to connect to the others so you can, what else, chat with your friends in the sea, in the sand or in the pool. So relax, chat, sunbathe and get some summer here!

Congrats to Pablos for the award winning design!

Photos: imaisde

23 July 2013

Pajama party jam

I'm currently having a moment... and craving this delicious looking Blackberry Maple Chia Seed Jam from Going Home to Roost. GHTR is a great blog on everything handmade and anything homegrown and its author, designer, foodie, crafter Bonnie Christine, is as creative as they come and surely gives Grace Bonney a run for her money. Sorry Grace, love you too, but Bonnie's got it going on for me! Get the recipe for Blackberry Maple, Strawberry Lemon and Blueberry Vanilla here. They're vegan, pectin-free, gluten-free and super easy. Thinking these would be great for breakfast for my upcoming girls-night-in pajama party! Yes, I just said pajama party.

Photo: Going Home to Roost 

Carry the Clip

Peter Bristol has the kind of mind I'd like to get into. The Clip Bag is just one of his uniquely clever projects. He's also Creative Director at Seattle-based Carbon Design Group, creating products that define what comes next.

Photos: Peter Bristol

Handcrafted in Swedish style

The Swedish Handicraft Movement is for real, and now their graphic identity and communications is too. Established in 1912, the National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies celebrated their 100th anniversary last year and what better way to celebrate then to handcraft it, literally. I love every detail of this handcrafted brand! Stockholm-based Snask created the new brand by hand and engaged the societies own members in creating the logo; every object in the logo is carved, knitted, painted and shaped by professionals. Take a closer look at the process on the Snask site here. It's superbly fitting and exudes the true essence of the organization and its over 17,000 crafty members.

Photos: Snask

18 July 2013

Mad maps

A while back I came across the extraordinary work of Charlotte, NC-based Karen O'Leary and frankly, I'm a fan of anyone who can work an X-acto knife with such precision... and no bandaids! Her hand-cut maps are delicate in nature and showcase incredible detail around every corner (no pun intended). Check out the many cities she has available on her Etsy site.

They don't come cheap however, but you can obviously imagine the ridiculous amount of time it would take to create one of these maps. And let's face it, not only do you need some mad X-acto skills, you need a huge amount of patience. Those alone are worth the price! She also has map prints and original ink drawings available that are just as cool in various sizes with framing options if those suit your wallet better. Either way, they are a one-of-a-kind piece of art and great conversation piece for your wall!

Photos: Karen O'Leary

17 July 2013

Whimsical wedding invite

Wow, it's been a while since I blogged. Things have been a little crazy around here, but I finally found time to stop for a moment and check in to see what's happening in the design world. And the first thing I saw was this extraordinary wedding invite ensemble by One Plus One, a husband and wife graphic design and illustration team in Winnipeg Canada. The entire invitation suite (including save-the-dates, a program booklet, accommodation cards and custom stamp) is bright, fun and whimsical, and completely sets the tone for a wedding even I would want to attend! And it's letterpressed too, the icing on the cake! Read more about how this beautiful design came to fruition right here.

Photos: One Plus One

05 July 2013

Walk, don't run

Wandering is good for the soul. I think it's absolutely fine to burn the map and get lost once in a while and be exhilarated by seeking out new territory. Yes, traversing a strange city without a map can be a little nerve racking, but you discover things you would not have known otherwise and that's the beauty of curious wandering. However, if you prefer to be led strategically without fear of the unknown, then the new line of street maps targeted specifically at assisting New York City's pedestrians has you covered.

The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) teamed up with wayfinding specialists City ID, industrial designers Billings Jackson Design, urban planners RBA Group, cartographers and geographic information specialist T-Kartor and PentaCityGroup, a special consortium of designers that includes Pentagram's New York office to create WalkNYC, a unique mapping system not only for visitors, but even the most savvy, long time resident. The maps' most notable feature is the perspective, while most public maps always depict north as being up, WalkNYC maps are oriented in the direction the viewer is facing. Wayfinding of this kind isn't new, London, Helsinki and Japan have had them for years, but its proven effective and surely makes for a reduction in amount of lost tourists roaming cities near and far.

The reason I think the WalkNYC wayfinding is beautiful and functional, is the sheer amount of thoughtful details in the overall design; a customized version of Helvetica (Helvetica DOT) was created to compliment the original iconic graphic language of the New York City Subway system developed by Massimo Vignelli, unique graphic icons were designed specifically to match the details in 18 pt. Helvetica DOT, illustrative drawings of landmark buildings help orient the viewer, the color palette is inspired by the colors of the city meant to evoke the glass, steel and concrete character of New York and a circular element on the map depicts what is within 5, 6 or 8 minutes of walking from your stand point. All stellar execution!

via DesignBoom: "The biggest lesson for me was how unique it is to do wayfinding in a major urban area like New York. Wayfinding for an airport, as challenging as it can be, has fairly simple goals: get the departing passengers to their gates, and get the arriving passengers to baggage claim. The goal of an urban wayfinding program is no less than exposing everything the city has to offer to anyone, coming from any direction, going towards any destination. Where do you put the signs? How much do you say? How do you say it? You have to anticipate the needs of millions of users, no two of which will have exactly the same frame of mind." -Michael Bierut, Pentagram

Read more about this spectacular wayfinding project on Pentagram. And the next time you're in NYC,  I dare you to get lost!

Photos: Pentagram

04 July 2013

Happy Independence Day!

May your burgers, beers and blueberry pie be everything you wanted and more. Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe holiday!
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