They sure don’t make ‘em like they used to… especially when it comes to Christmas advertisements. They were sexist, weird and even downright unhealthy. So grab your matching family pajamas, light up a few smokes, and take a trip down memory lane with these gloriously bad mid-century ads. [Read more…]
If you were “the least bit handy with ordinary tools and not afraid to get your hands dirty” you could build the car in these pictures, read an article in the September 1956 issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine. We’re pretty sure you’d need to be more than “the least bit” skilled to build this from the minimal plans, but we won’t fault the author on his choice of interesting cars. The extremely low-slung roadster was built like a boat, out of materials people would be familiar with: plywood panels covered with mahogany. Now that’s different. [Read more…]
The Soviet propaganda machine was running strong in the early to mid 20th century, and when it came to their highly successful space program, the artists creating the omnipresent posters had truly hit gold.
On 4 October 1957, the country launched humanities first earth satellite, Sputnik, and stunned people the world over as they watched it fly overhead in the night sky (this is the October referred to in many of the posters below). Their program launched the first animals into space, and in 1961 sent Yuri Gagarin on his historic single orbit as the very first human (“Восто́к” in Russian can be seen in many of these posters honoring his Vostok spacecraft). They launched the first woman into space in 1963, beating America by almost exactly 20 years. And those are just a few of their ‘firsts.’ [Read more…]
A strong visual language is the best way to establish brand recognition among your audience, and your logo is the foundation of that visual identity. A well-designed logo complements a brand, oftentimes taking on a life of its own and effectively settling into the cultural consciousness. Not only that, the best logos serve as both a template and a guide as a brand evolves.
Some of the world’s most iconic logos have been refined—though never redesigned—because their design was such an accurate reflection of the brand. Here are 4 classic logos that have been successfully updated for the modern era yet pay homage to their original good design. [Read more…]
With Apple, it’s always been about the inspired and iconic design – and that was certainly true even in the early days. Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple is an insider’s look at those formative years as told through the eyes of designer Hartmut Esslinger. Working side-by-side with Steve Jobs in developing Apple into a global brand, their minds created the look and feel of the Apple IIc and Macintosh. These are the thoughtful concepts that surrounded those world changing products. [Read more…]
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…]