Book binding has seen many variations, from the iconic Penguin paperbacks to highly unusual examples like this from late 16th century Germany. It’s a variation on the dos-à-dos binding format (from the French meaning “back-to-back”). Here however, the book opens six different directions, each way revealing a different book. It seems that everyone has a tablet or a Kindle tucked away in their bag (even my 90 year old grandma), and so it sometimes comes as a surprise to remember the craftsmanship that once went along with reading. [Read more...]
Charles and Ray Eames were more than just designers. One of the visual arts most famous and influential married couples, they redefined much of the world that now surrounds us. They also touched multiple disciplines, leaving their mark on architecture, furniture design, interior design, exhibition design, toy design, fine art, photography, and film. They saw themselves as educators and they were definitely innovators. [Read more...]
The city is a typeface jungle, and three Japanese friends venture far and wide to find and recreate the most unique specimens. Scouring the streets for noramoji – or “stray text” – Rintaro Shimohama, Naoki Nishimura and Shinya Wakaoka locate quirky letterforms on charming corner stores, retro barber shops, and old-school local haunts. Analyzing the shape, scale, and weight of the letters they encounter, they then create a full digital set of characters that capture the distinct personalities of the found text. [Read more...]
Frank Lloyd Wright was a complex individual to understand. He was celebrated as a genius architect, which he undoubtedly was, but he was also an incredibly complex and flawed individual.
Wright is undeniably on the top of the list of great architects of history. He designed some of the greatest buildings of the twentieth century including Fallingwater, The Guggenheim Museum, The Imperial Hotel, the Johnson Wax Office Building, and his groundbreaking Prairie Style and Usonian houses. His buildings were an attractive organic-looking alternative to the boxiness of conventional Modernism. He used natural materials, preserved ornament, and hand-craft in construction. He emphasized the horizontal over the vertical, against the grain of the growth of skyscraper oriented cities which he detested. [Read more...]
Some logos were just meant to have babies. Take the Crocs logo and set it up with the Lacoste crocodile and what do you get? Some majorly jarring fashion and a logo that fits together all too well. That’s the gist behind Ryan Loomis‘ intriguing project Logo Mashups. He’s taking some of the most iconic brands and matching them with their most appropriate brand buddy. [Read more...]
When Mad Men’s Donald Draper chats about the 1960 Volkswagen ad with his team, he’s rightfully awed. This introduction of the bizarrely shaped auto to the American market was far from the norm. In those days, most car ads looked something like this or this, and while other companies were producing their largest cars ever – advertising “wide-track” steering and selling it with models sporting tuxedos and cocktail dresses – Volkswagen said we should “think small” and that their car was a “lemon.” [Read more...]
It’s likely you didn’t even notice the architecture of the gas stations you pulled into this last labor day weekend… but if you did it was probably not because they looked good. Most places you fill up have had their design considered for about 0.2 seconds – before moving on to placing the soft drinks quickly at hand, the dingy toilets hidden somewhere out back and the credit card machine handy. That hasn’t always been the case however, as seen by these beautiful modernist designs from the bygone era – when cars were chrome covered and filling up the tank was the station attendant’s job. [Read more...]
With an aged patina of motor oil and the healthy scent of flaming exhaust wafting through the air, BMD Design out of Bordeaux France has some vintage influenced designs that will get any motorhead or rummage sale enthusiasts mouth drooling. Forget about digital perfection, this is the hand-made, home-spun article and the rubbed off paint is there to prove it. BMD has made a name for itself with old-school iconography and well organized flourishes of typography… it’s a style often attempted but rarely executed with such deft skill. [Read more...]
The products created by soft-drink companies rarely change, so how do you keep your brand feeling fresh, relevant and enticing? Redesign the can! Soft drinks have been a part of world culture since the early 20th century, with their iconic logos often dominating the landscape and making a mark on the subconscious of thirsty nations. Travel to cities like New York and you’ll see gigantic Coca-Cola billboards towering overhead, brightly displayed in neon and on jumbo-trons. Travel through countries like India and entire buildings can be haphazardly covered with dozens of individual signs featuring their ubiquitous logos. [Read more...]
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