Elda Broglio is an illustrator and designer who focuses on motion graphics and editorial projects. She often employs fluid lines and playful patterns to craft lighthearted drawings that capture the comforts found in everyday actives. In her collection “The Rest”, she illuminates the quiet moments that occur between the chaos that comes with modern life. The pieces feature a tranquil cast of characters such as a commuter riding the train and a gardener enjoying the aromas of his plants.
- Olle Eksell Site & Shop
- This Is Forest — Joel Speasmaker
- MVM — Magnus Voll Mathiasson
- Art School Cliche Spotting
- Posters Discovered in Notting Hill Gate Tube Station
- Vinyl Documentary: To Have & To Hold
- Partisan Memorials in Former Yugoslavia
- Up in the Air- Opening sequence
- Geoff Mcfetridge: Where the Wild Things Are Title Design
- Nikkatsu – Japanese actions films
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Stéréo Buro is a Parisian multidisciplinary studio founded by Diane Boivin, Christelle Ménage, and Silvia Dore. After working at prominent agencies throughout Europe, the trio joined forces to create a new studio and combine their unique and complementary skills. Today they craft compelling work for music festivals, workshops, and exhibitions throughout France. While designing promotional posters and brochures, they explore a wide variety of styles and often push the boundaries of unconventional type.
Stefan Hürlemann uses personal side projects to help him pursue his love for type and experimentation. Since 2016, he has participated in the weekly challenge offered by blankposter.com, a site that encourages artists to design a poster based off of a randomly generated word. This exercise pushes him to use a variety of typefaces and explore different techniques and tools. These explorations have also inspired him to analyze unique themes and move his work in new directions.
Thomas Kronbichler and Martin Kerschbaumer are the creative minds behind Studio Mut. Working with clients in the art and culture industries, they craft vibrant posters for festivals and galleries. Employing simple forms and flawless type, they create great work that is bold and compelling.
The Department is a San Francisco-based design studio with a focus on the restaurant and hospitality industries. I’m particularly fond of their work for Burma Superstar. The bistro’s branding features elegant pattern work and a variety of perfectly paired typefaces. Playing a starring role is the brand’s mascot, a Buddha that wears a warm and welcoming smile. Some of these elements are also present in the identity system of the restaurant’s sister location, a great brunch spot called B Star. Instead of the Buddha, the establishment’s logo is a bold blue “B” that harks back to the signage of 1950s American breakfast diners. The charming graphics have won the hearts of hungry San Franciscans and have helped the eateries stand out for over a decade.
Aart-Jan Venema’s illustrations put a smile on my face. Brimming with loose brush strokes and bursting with color, his work is exuberant and refreshingly childlike. I’m especially fond of the piece above that he created for the Dutch Newspaper NRC. The drawing corresponds with an article that discusses captcha forms which are used to distinguish humans from bots. By creating a hilarious wonderland filled with dogs, ice cream cones, and bowling balls, he portrays the folly of picture captchas and how they can be difficult for users to complete.
Casmic Lab is a versatile design studio based in Valencia, Spain. I am enthralled by their collection of illustrated portraits. Comprised of geometric forms, marbled textures, and lively patterns, the faces are bold and striking. As I look over the drawings, each character’s hypnotic gaze pulls me deeper into the composition and I can’t help but want to study every detail.
Park Jinhan is a talented designer based in Seoul. He often crafts inventive letterforms and layers elements in an intriguing manner. This can be seen throughout his poster work where his intricate, yet structured compositions are full of details that guide the viewer’s eyes through each piece.
Chen Winner is an Israeli graphic artist and filmmaker currently working in London. Highly influenced by printmaking, her animated films contain layered colors, distressed textures, and other elements usually associated with screen printing. This is especially notable in her collaboration with CNN. For the network’s Econundrum series, she created an episode on the ecological dangers of plastic water bottles. Featuring witty and informative imagery, the project won a 2017 World Illustration Award in the Research New Talent category. To watch the video, along with her other films, visit her Vimeo channel.
Steve Wolf is a designer and illustrator who utilizes simple forms and stippled textures to craft gorgeous identity and packaging work. These stylistic elements are particularly evident in his collaboration with Sibling, an ad agency that specializes in culturally inclusive marketing. Wolf crafted naïve, yet intriguing arrangements for a promotional poster series for the brand. The abstract nature of the compositions conjures the audience’s curiosity and interest in the company.
Everyday Practice is a Korean design studio that has a passion for experimenting with different mediums. From animated GIFs to fine art sculptures, their portfolio is full of innovative projects made from a variety of materials. The studio is especially inventive when it comes to constructing unique typography. A very clever type treatment can be seen in their work for the 2017 Seoul International Handmade Fair. Taking the event’s theme to heart, they crafted a colorful tapestry that features hand woven letterforms. The beautiful weaving was photographed and paired with digital type to create the event’s poster.
Ivan Weiss and Michael Kryenbül of the design studio Johnson/Kingston aim to create inventive work that challenges the norm. To keep their designs fresh and unique, they often craft bespoke typefaces and unconventional layouts for posters and websites. They then pair these elements with intricate textures and distorted imagery that signifies the mood of the event they are designing for. I’m especially fond of their work for the 2016 B-Sides Festival. The event’s poster features jagged graphics and an ornate typeface that characterizes the music festival’s edgy, yet playful atmosphere.
Chiii Design collaborates with organizations focused on art and culture. Based in Macau, the studio crafts work for creative events throughout the region. Last year, they designed the branding system for the Y Show, an exhibition that presents the portfolios of local and international art graduates. The identity features purple and pink letterforms strung across an elastic strand that represents the vibrancy of the young artists in attendance.
Fol Studio is a multidisciplinary design firm that strives to be a “brand development partner” for their clients. Their strong branding skills are especially evident in their poster work for exhibitions and film festivals throughout Turkey. I’m particularly fond of their work for the art space Arter. For a retrospective on the controversial artwork of Jake and Dinos Chapman, the studio crafted eye-catching posters that feature mutated letterforms and bright splashes of color. These elements characterize the brands of both the gallery and the artists by featuring the bright hues of Arter’s identity system and signifying the audacity of the Chapman’s portfolio.
Kate Prior is a London-based artist currently working as an in-house illustrator for Urban Outfitters. Her quirky aesthetic fits perfectly with the brand and speaks to its hip and outgoing customers. Her humorous drawings have also caught the attention of Google. Last year, the tech giant commissioned her to create a set of stickers for its messaging app Allo. For the project, she crafted the Cool Beans, a gang of bean-shaped characters that hilariously reflect the wide range of emotions one often shares with friends.
Tishk Barzanji crafts surreal illustrations inspired by modernism and London’s architecture. Brimming with massive windows and shadowy figures, his pieces explore themes of deconstruction and man’s interaction with space. These concepts are also present in his animated work, which demonstrates how objects would move through his mysterious landscapes.
Jon McNaught is an illustrator and comic book artist who captures the small comforts of everyday life. He often draws characters enjoying quiet activities like reading books or making coffee. An avid printmaker, he enjoys crafting linocuts and screen prints comprised of humble shapes and limited color schemes. These simple elements add an extra dose of harmony to his wholesome and serene compositions.
The Geneva-based studio, Cécile + Roger, crafts exceptional work for the Mirage Festival in Lyon, an annual celebration of art and digital culture. Over the past five years, they created promotional materials that capture the innovative spirit of the featured installations and performances.
This year, the festival’s theme was “(Im)materialities”, the idea of transforming a perceived truth. To express this concept, the studio developed an identity system consisting of round splotches, line patterns, and bright hues. The elements hark back to the event’s vibrant laser beams and often unite to form abstract faces. This materialization represents the phenomenon of pareidolia – the imagined perception of pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist – a mirage.
Filled with muted colors and old-fashioned technology, Sébastien Plassard’s illustrations have a vintage flair. The nostalgic imagery often turns surreal and dreamlike as he depicts melting automobiles and horse-car-robot amalgamations. His alluring pieces have added a dash of whimsicality to popular publications such as The New York Times and Télérama.
Basik Packaging by Saana Hellsten
Present your packaging skills to the international design community by submitting a project to the A’Design Award & Competition. From wine bottles to tubes of mascara, the contest reviews packages of all kinds. The jury panel judges each design based on criteria such as form, innovation, material choice, functionality, and more. Winners will receive an A’Design Prize, which includes invitations to the award ceremony in Como Italy, PR support, guaranteed publications of their work, and other services. If packaging isn’t your bag, the event offers other categories such as Visual Communication, UI and UX, Photography and more. To participate, register and submit your work here.
Studio Jimbo often lends its talents to the fashion and music industries. Its ongoing collaboration with the Parisian club night Bye Bye Ocean is exceptionally intriguing. Not afraid of exploration, the studio crafts promotional posters by layering bold letterforms over complex gradients and textures. The unique compositions are just as experimental and vibrant as the electronic music that is played at the event.
Keith Negley is an award-winning illustrator whose drawings easily transition between organic line work and rigid collaged compositions. His illustrations have appeared in national magazines, such as the New Yorker and Newsweek, where he’s covered subjects such as racial discrimination, medicine, and entertainment. In addition to his editorial work, he’s designed striking book covers and contributed to collaborative zines and gallery shows. He’s also published two books of his own titled My Dad Used to Be so Cool and Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too).
Feast your eyes on the work of Ricardo Gonzalez, a talented graphic designer and calligrapher. His passion for lettering was formed at a young age as he grew up admiring his grandfather’s Spencerian handwriting. Today, he creates gorgeous letterforms out of a variety of mediums ranging from spray paint to neon. His scripts have graced the pages of the Washington Post and Oprah Magazine, as well as campaigns for popular brands like Nike and Mercedes Benz. In addition to his commercial work, he crafts colorful murals around the world for festivals and art shows.
ITAL/C is a multidisciplinary studio that prides themselves on their diverse array of projects. From wine labels for small vineyards to global campaigns for large corporations, the studio has collaborated on ventures of all sizes. Adding to this varied collection is their assortment of side projects that express the shared interests of their designers. This work has taken on many forms including board games, animations, and silk screened notecards. Most impressive is Indoek, a surf-centric blog run by the studio’s founders. For the website, they’ve designed apparel, zines, surfboard wax packaging, and even curated a photography show. The blog’s most recent design endeavor is Surf Shacks, a book that documents the homes of surfers around the world and features ITAL/C’s original photography and illustrations.
The speckled textures of Simone Noronha’s illustrations give her work the eccentricity of an airbrushed painting, yet the drama of a vintage grainy film. This aesthetic is perfect for clients, such as The New York Times and Vanity Fair, for whom she crafts illustrations for their inviting, yet serious articles. This visual style was also fitting for her submission for The 69 Project, an online group art show that celebrated music from 1969. While illustrating Led Zeppelin’s song, “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”, she merged simple forms with intricate stippled shading. The combination of these elements capture the bittersweet lyrics and tone of the ballad.
Icinori is the moniker of the design and illustration team Raphael Urwiller and Mayumi Otero. Since 2007, the duo has collaborated on drawings for advertisements and editorial pieces. In addition to their commercial work, they focus on Icinori Publishing, a non-profit that has produced over 30 books and a large collection of prints. Utilizing limited color palettes, speckled shading, and fluid line work, their books illustrate original stories and traditional folktales. To get your hands on their gorgeous products, make sure to check out their shop.
Shrimp Chung is a graphic designer by day and DJ by night. She combines her two passions by crafting promotional materials for Seoul’s vibrant music scene. I’m particularly fond of her work for the fourth annual AMFAIR Showcase, a celebration of Korean electronica. To advertise the event online, she created an animated poster that features unique letterforms made of record sleeves. The poster’s smaller text is also quite striking. She replaced the letter O with large circles that resemble the vinyl albums spun by DJs. To see the poster in action, along with her other animated designs, make sure to visit her site.
Francesca Sanna is an illustrator and author who illuminates serious issues in a welcoming and endearing way. Through her book and side projects, she tackles subjects such as immigration, education, politics, and body image. Her drawings have a strong sense of narrative and feature lovable characters that confront their battles with strength and positivity. Her recent masterpiece is her book The Journey. With simple sentences and enthralling illustrations, she tells the story of a young family who flees their country to live in a safer area. The book’s fantastic imagery and clever use of color beautifully teaches children about the emotions and struggles that refugees often encounter.
Chris Cran Exhibition Catalogue by Stefan Canuel, RGD
Do you have a design, photograph, or rendering that you are really proud of? Submit it to the A’Design Award & Competition! The renowned event is held in Como, Italy and accepts applications for both conceptual and realized projects. Organized into 100 categories, the competition judges all areas of design including Print, Visual Communication, Packaging, and Photography. Entries will be reviewed by a respected panel of designers, academics, and members of the media from countries around the world. In addition to the A’Design trophy, winners will receive marketing assistance, certification support, and other services to help advance their careers. Whether you are a student or a professional, don’t miss this chance to share your work with the international design community. Register now before the upcoming deadline.
We’ve recently added a ton of great books to our shelves including titles from Princeton Architectural Press, Rizzoli, Laurence King Publishing, Thames & Hudson, and more! See them all after the jump. Enjoy!
Brimming with bright hues and bold forms, the work of French designer, Fanette Mellier, is hard to ignore. I’m especially drawn to the identity system she crafted for Frac Aquitaine, an art museum in Bordeaux. At its center is a logo made from a reflected “A”. This emblem resembles the arrows of a compass and guides the viewer’s eye throughout the documents. It is also used to mark gutter folds in brochures, separate paragraphs, and is often superimposed over photos.
Good Apples crafts brand identities and digital experiences for a wide breadth of clients. Especially impressive is their collaboration with OZO Coffee Company in which they developed the visual identity and packaging. After modernizing the brand’s logos, typefaces, and color palettes, the studio created over 50 pictograms to represent the different qualities of the roasts. These symbols are gorgeously displayed on merchandise, apparel, and packaging. I’m particularly fond of the animal icons that signify the regions from which the coffee originated.
Luke Lucas is a talented typographer whose lettering has graced the covers of magazines, the walls of office buildings, and everything in between. From old style serifs to 3D scripts, he’s tackled numerous styles and often utilizes fun textures to give a unique personality to each piece. I am especially impressed with the details within his compositions. His dynamic shading and line work add a gorgeous layer of depth to his letterforms.
Studio Makgill crafts beautiful work that is deeply inspired by their clients’ passions. While crafting the identity for the brewery Wiper and True, Makgill noticed the company’s fascination with nature and the biological process of fermentation. This motivated them to create a packaging system that depicts examples of how humans have used nature to their own advantage. The bottles feature illustrations of elephants performing at circuses, hot air balloons floating in the wind, and much more.
Siobhán Gallagher’s wit and charm shines through her personal illustrations and self-published zines. Her hilariously relatable comics and writings depict the struggles of awkward social interactions, big city living, and modern tragedies such as accidentally liking a crush’s old Instagram photo. This knack for successfully translating contemporary strife has led Gallagher to create editorial illustrations for prominent publications such as MIT Technology Review and Bust. Her collaborative efforts with illustrator John F. Malta are also quite impressive. Together they’ve edited an anthology of apocalyptic art, titled Till Doomsday, and published two editions of their zine, We Out Here. To get your hands on Gallagher’s work, check out her new book, In A Daze Work: A Pick-Your-Path Journey Through the Daily Grind, which was released this July.
Between the first show Poster by Daeki Shim, Hyojun Shim
The 2018 A’Design Award & Competition is now open for submissions. The prestigious event features over 100 categories and will be judged by a panel of esteemed designers, scholars, and members of the press. In addition to receiving the A’Design trophy, winners will obtain career development services, invitations to exclusive design clubs, and other great prizes. The contest accepts applications for realized and conceptual projects from students and professionals. Register now to participate.
Masquespacio is an award-winning creative consultancy that focuses on graphic and interior design. Their skill for integrating the two art forms is especially evident in their collaboration with the furniture company Missana. To celebrate Missana’s 20th anniversary, the studio revamped the brand with contemporary colors, materials, and textures. These elements were incorporated into the website, catalog, and a new line of furniture called The Novelties Collection. To display the new assortment of products, they designed vibrant exhibition spaces like the one seen above. Finally, Masquespacio crafted The Toadstool Collection, their own line of furniture that features mushroom-like seats, a table, and a sofa bench. The pieces were highly inspired by the Memphis movement of the 1980s and the architecture of Michael Graves.
A Practice for Everyday Life is a London-based studio founded by Kirsty Carter and Emma Thomas. Since 2003, they’ve crafted sleek and sophisticated designs for a variety of clients including schools, exhibitions, and fashion brands. I’m especially smitten with their work for Drawing Futures, a conference focused on speculative drawing and its connection to architecture. While branding the event, the studio created Lining Gothic, a custom typeface with squared-off angles. The typeface’s unique attributes accentuate the strong structural nature of the wordmark and its resemblance to an architectural drawing.
Werklig strives to design with purpose and create brands that are “built on truth, not fake stories”. One of my favorite brands they developed is Suomen Jäätelö, a Finnish ice cream company. Especially impressive is the packaging: an unconventionally shaped tub that is covered in a striking pattern. The marbled nature of the graphic is inspired by the perfect elasticity and thickness of the ice cream. It connotes the smooth frostiness of the product and also gives the brand a modern and playful personality.
Another great packaging project is their bottles for Galipette, a French apple cider. The roundness of the bottles and labels are inspired by the company’s name, which translates to “somersault”. Wanting to allude to the rural history of cider and attract an urban audience, Werklig utilized both traditional and contemporary typefaces to craft labels that are “distinctly French and elegant but with a modern twist”.
Bohuy Kim is a Korean graphic designer who runs the studio Odd Hyphen. A strong believer in creative experimentation, he regularly pursues self-initiated projects such as the poster series Visual Impact. In this collection, he plays with unique typography, 3D illustration, and distortion techniques to explore subjects such as concealment, text, and the vicissitudes of patterns. Many of these elements are also present in his promotional posters for the Goopang art group where he employs abstract compositions and neon color schemes with striking effect.
Perky Bros crafted a quirky identity system for Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing. Inspired by beachside folklore, the beer’s packaging illustrates legends of pickpocketing magicians, the invention of the funnel cake, and more. Hidden within the imagery are humorous details and cryptic messages that are a joy to discover as you sip the contents of each can. Sitting front and center is the brand’s mascot; a mystifying three-eyed cat that serves as an ode to the notorious feral felines that lived under New Jersey’s piers.
Raffinerie is an award-winning design studio based in Zürich. A favorite project of mine is their collaboration with the Solothurner Film Festival. Building from an established visual language, the studio developed a flexible identity system that they adapt each year. For this year’s event, they created a comprehensive campaign that included posters, invitations, and a program booklet. The promotional pieces highlight the festival’s energetic atmosphere and simultaneously promote its diverse collection of motion pictures. Prominently featured in the materials is a rectangular “O” which represents the screens the movies are projected on. This “O” is manipulated and morphed into a series of dynamic speech bubbles that interact with the film stills featured throughout the system.
I am smitten with Anna Hurley’s illustrations. Utilizing simple forms and limited color palettes, she crafts playful scenes full of charming characters. I’m especially fond of her illustration “Celestial Hair”. Here, she depicts a woman with a flowing mane that contains a bustling coral reef and a starlit sky. This enchanting piece encompasses the wit and whimsicality often found in her work.
Erik Kirtley is a Stockholm-based designer with a passion for typography and illustration. He beautifully displays his skills through a poster series titled Random Acts in which he documents everyday activities. With subjects such as “brushing teeth” to the more abstract, each poster has its own unique style, but still retains its connection to the larger theme.
Printmaker, JooHee Yoon, has continued to craft whimsical illustrations and prints that vibrate with color and personality. With Enchanted Lion Books she’s published two charming picture books, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and Beastly Verse, both printed with just three colors. She’s also done much editorial work, regularly illustrating for The New York Times, Plansponsor Magazine, and other prominent publications. To keep up with her work and to buy some of her pieces, make sure to follow her on Instagram and to check out her shop.
The Rodina is the independent practice of Tereza and Vit Ruller. Interested in the connections between culture, aesthetic, and technology, the duo explores these subjects through a wide range of medias. Their work is often experimental and utilizes whimsical elements such as neon colors, playful textures, and even the occasional emoji. This quirky nature is especially evident in their identity for the music festival, Itch My HaHaHa. Blending colorful patterns with 3D “blobs”, they crafted animal-like characters that represent the ever-mutating creature that is pop culture. The critters roam through every piece of the campaign as their unique patterns and bright hues represent the different types of music performed at the event.
Amber Vittoria is an illustrator living and working in New York City. She often employs round organic shapes and loose brushstrokes to illustrate the collections of high-end fashion brands. Hoping to empower the female form, she features the outfits on a variety of body types. She also challenges society’s standards of beauty by highlighting her figures’ disproportionate physiques and thick dark body hair. The juxtaposition of these elements highlight the grandiose and inventive nature of high-fashion while simultaneously defying the physical ideals the industry promotes. Her compelling pieces have graced the pages of prominent publications such as The New York Times, Teen Vogue, and Man Repeller.
XYZ Type is a new independent type foundry established by Ben Kiel and Jesse Ragan. They currently offer three beautiful typefaces – Cortado, Aglet Slab, and Export. I am especially impressed with Cortado, an elegant script inspired by the lettering of illustrator Cecilia Carlstedt. Designed to look as much like handwriting as possible, the typeface’s OpenType programming subtly changes the shapes of repeated letters and ends words with organic brushstrokes.
We’ve received some awesome titles from Nobrow Press, PIE International, Rizzoli, Standards Manual, and more. Also included are rad bandanas designed by Hitch, gorgeous linen journals from House Industries, and a collection of architecturally-inspired rubber stamps by Aurelien Debat. Check them all out after the jump.
Büro 146 is an accomplished design studio that collaborates with theaters, schools, and other cultural associations throughout Switzerland. Especially impressive is their work for the Pavillon Le Corbusier, a museum dedicated to the famed Swiss architect. Over the past three years, Büro has crafted promotional materials that beautifully display the institution’s collection. Pulling from the gallery’s iconic multicolored walls, the studio developed a lush tapestry of posters and brochures that highlight the eccentric nature of Le Corbusier’s structures.
Founded by Astrid Stavro and Pablo Martín, Atlas is a brand and design consultancy based in New York and Mallorca. From chocolate packaging to magazine layouts, they consistently craft work that is whimsical yet still remains clean and elegant.
One of their more quirky projects is FS Sally Triestina, a typeface they designed in partnership with It’s Nice That and Fontsmith. The typeface was inspired by Stavro’s hometown of Trieste, Italy and the city’s contrasting architectural styles, cultures, and mindsets. The unique letterforms are beautifully displayed on specimen sheet posters that represent neighborhoods within the city.
Stay Nice is the studio of Rob and Barry van Dijck. The duo crafts dynamic designs for performances and exhibitions throughout the Netherlands. I am especially drawn to their work for Playgrounds, an annual showcase that celebrates contemporary animation, game development, sound and graphic design. The festival’s identity system features lively typography that expresses the exciting and whimsical nature of the event. Flysheets promoting recent guest speakers contain fragmented type that elegantly blends in with the presenter’s artwork. The end results are promotional materials that have proven to be just as striking as the pieces displayed at the exhibition.
Design by Toko is a multi-disciplinary studio based in Sydney. With a focus in branding and spatial design, they crafted a whimsical wayfinding system for the East Sydney Early Learning and Community Centre. The identity features vibrant colors and a rounded/welcoming typeface incorporated into signs that resemble children’s building blocks. In addition, the wooden frames and geometric compositions complement the building’s architecture and the playful nature of the space.
Toko also has a love for avant-garde design. This passion is manifested through side projects, including Gallery by Toko. Here, they aim to showcase artists and art movements that are rarely exhibited in Australia.
Miranda Mayne launched Mira Design in 2015 with the intention to work with small businesses and socially conscious enterprises. Recent projects include One Tenth – a clothing company that supports survivors of human trafficking in Kolkata. For this collaboration, she crafted simple geometric illustrations to be implemented on t-shirts. Mimicking the movement of water and tides, the graphics represent the changes One Tenth hopes to evoke in the lives of others. Her love for minimalism is also present in her fine art. Reducing objects down to their most basic forms, she paints clean, yet striking compositions on handmade cotton papers.
I love personal design projects, so I was thrilled to discover Magdiel Lopez’s daily poster series. Since October 2016, he’s designed a poster every single day. This daily exercise allows him to explore new skills and techniques including painting and pixel sorting. The themes and styles featured in his work transition throughout the year as he often references pop culture and recent events. To see the entire collection as well as time-lapse videos of his technical process, visit his Instagram.
David Rudnick’s passion for music and art history fuels his work as the artistic director of Making Time, a club night focused on transcendental and futuristic sounds. For the event posters, he layers a mélange of elements to create compositions that are just as fluid and vibrant as the music itself. Pulling from a wide variety of materials, his inspirations range from 90’s fashion photography to religious Renaissance paintings. The visuals are then integrated with custom typefaces (often designed himself) to form cohesive pieces that are dynamic and original.
With bright neon colors and lush gradients, Shawna X crafts illustrations that illuminate today’s hottest political issues. In her recent exhibition, Alone Together, she focused on matters that have heightened post-election, such as discrimination, climate change, and sexism. The title of the series is shown most clearly in the mural above. Here she conveys a growing disconnect amongst the American public. Shawna explains, “We allow ourselves to stay within our comfort zones—our pools—but we don’t reach out to the other side for more open dialogue and understanding. We’re either thriving or dying. We’re both awake and ignorant. We’re isolated yet we’re next to one another.”
Triangle Studio strives to design with “rational strategy and emotional harmony” in mind. This mentality helps them create clean and balanced compositions that shine with vivid colors and playful patterns. Based in Seoul, they craft packaging, branding, and editorial work for an array of clients. In addition to their professional projects, the studio releases a quarterly publication called Try Angle Papers. Here they experiment with different techniques, including marbling and papermaking, to create unique notebooks, posters, and postcards.
Specializing in character design, Marylou Faure creates colorful worlds filled with fearless fashionistas, tattooed hipsters, and adorable animals. These quirky and emotive characters have led to collaborations with Google and Glow to create stickers for their messaging apps. The success of the stickers inspired her to launch a set of her own titled, The Feels. Here she proves her whimsical approach to illustration is a perfect match for the medium. Her hungry hamburgers and flirtatious pairs of underwear would make anyone respond with an enthusiastic, “LOL”.
Flipping through Brandon Land’s portfolio, I can’t help but smile at the clever nature of his work. He often creates logos that feature optical illusions and double meanings. I’m particularly impressed with his emblem for the fundraiser Run for Lungs, in which a pair of sneakers resembles a set of lungs. This wit is also present in his personal work and satiric illustrations for Super Deluxe. Referencing politics, pop culture, and sports, these drawings serve as social critiques that shed humor on today’s hot topics.
Jose Mendez’s gangly characters and bright berry color palettes are hard to ignore. His wavy strokes and letterforms derive from his love for graffiti, while his skilled use of contrast stems from his studies in graphic design and animation. Utilizing these signature elements, his illustrations dissect human behavior and explore themes such as consumerism, subcultures, and sexuality. While investigating these topics, Mendez finds himself often drawing food. These illustrations have caught the attention of international culinary publications and led to collaborations with Lucky Peach, Noblerot, and Eat Magazine. Today, Mendez bring his unique aesthetic to an array of clients including, the BBC, Converse, and The New York Times.
Elliot Kruszynski’s illustrations fill me with delight. Using simple shapes, he crafts lively scenes in which everyone, even inanimate objects, proudly sport large toothy grins and are consistently excited. Even when tough situations arise, his characters take them in stride and still find joy. This is often reflected in their amplified expressions that are hilariously relatable and almost emoji-like. Kruszynski’s skill for capturing life’s ups and downs has led to collaborations with a variety of clients including, Anorak Magazine, The Telegraph, and Vice.
Opisso Studio crafts impressive identity and branding work for brands and institutions throughout Spain. Often using geometric forms and bright colors, they create memorable logos, custom typefaces, and striking illustrations. I especially love their logo for Asobal, a Spanish handball association. Using simple flat shapes, they crafted a charming handball player who looks focused and ready for battle.
In addition to their identity work, they often create graphics for some of Spain’s most respected museums. While working with The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, the studio employed a range of typographic styles to convey the spirit of each program. For the museum’s ongoing education series, which encourages experimentation and provides activities for families, Opisso created a robust typeface with playful sensibilities. The letterforms’ modularity expresses the program’s structured curriculum, while the striped patterns and neon colors portray its child-friendly components. In stark contrast, a more somber look was implemented for a retrospective focused on the concept of a “siege” by applying large domineering signage on red and black walls.
Rico Greb is a German designer who often crafts album covers and posters for bands and music festivals. Employing flat shapes and inviting colors, he creates geometric illustrations filled with subtle nuances. A deep look into his compositions reveals minute details that expose hidden characters and telling symbolism. As faces, landscapes, and other images emerge, so does the full story of each piece. Greb’s affection for geometry can also be seen in his collage work, in which he uses mirroring techniques for a heightened effect. These dynamic arrangements are often vibrant and kaleidoscope-like.
Savvy is a design, branding, and architectural studio based in New York and Mexico. While working with a global clientele, they craft sleek and timeless designs that highlight the unique characteristics of each product. This can easily be seen in their work for Index, an art book fair focused on independent publishers. For the event, Savvy crafted a brochure inspired by the range of styles and materials employed within contemporary publications. Featuring a variety of paper sizes and a vibrant flier, the piece encouraged curiosity and exploration. The finished pamphlet was an informative and striking piece of art.
In 1972 and 1973, NASA’s Pioneer 10 and 11 probes were launched into space to explore the depths of the universe. Attached to their antenna supports is the Pioneer Plaque, a gold-anodized aluminum plate designed by Frank Drake, Carl Sagan, and Linda Salzman. The plate depicts mankind with the intent to explain who and where we are to any extraterrestrials that may find it.
Today, accomplished designer and space enthusiast, Duane King launched a Kickstarter campaign to issue exact replicas of the plaque. The reproductions will be made of the same material and hand-engraved by the original manufacturer. To reach a wider audience, laser-etched aluminum versions will also be available. As of now, only three plaques exist – two that are billions of kilometers away from Earth and one on display in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. King wants his backers to experience the magical feeling of holding the unique emblem that may one day share our existence with other beings. To support his efforts, make sure to contribute to the campaign before it expires on June 16th.
828 is a design collective that is proud to live and work in Austin. Collaborating with small businesses and large events like South by Southwest, the studio crafts exciting designs for institutions that make Austin a vibrant city. Inspired by the local culture, their illustrative work often features traditional southern imagery. This is evident in their poster for the Austin-based electro-rock band, Ghostland Observatory. As a valiant eagle rises towards a sky lit with laser beams, it flashes its colorful wings covered in Tex-Mex-inspired patterns. Cleverly representing the band’s Texan roots, funky music, and wild laser shows, the poster was awarded Gold in the 2016 Graphis Poster Annual.
If you’ve recently walked into a record store or flipped through the TV channels, you’ve probably seen the art of Jacob Escobedo. In addition to being the VP of creative design at Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, he immerses himself in a number of side projects. He’s designed album covers for bands, such as The Shins and Broken Bells, and crafted editorial illustrations for The New Yorker, MIT Technology Review, and other prominent publications. Highly influenced by vintage sci-fi book covers and artists like David Pelham and Jean Giraud (AKA Mœbius), his work is filled with galactic scenery and otherworldly characters. These cosmic compositions radiate with pink, blue, and purple rays of light that beautifully glisten against the darkness of outer space. Similar colors are also present in his series of album covers for Adult Swim Singles, a collection of free songs by contemporary musicians. The artwork’s marbled and oozing colors look as though they are dripping before your eyes. This optical illusion is brought to life on the project’s website where the illustrations are transformed into interactive animations.
Looking to expand your creative knowledge? Learn new techniques with Skillshare. The online community offers classes with top artists including prolific designer Paula Scher, logo legend Aaron Draplin, hand-letterer Jessica Hische, typography expert Ellen Lupton, illustrator and designer Jon Contino and more. Lessons cover a number of subjects including, branding, pattern making, and Photoshop fundamentals. In addition, courses are divided into short segments so you can learn at your own pace. For a limited time, Grain Edit readers can receive 2 months of Skillshare Premium for free. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from some of the best in the industry.
Raphael Schoen is a Swiss graphic designer and co-founder of Präsens Büro, a studio based in Lucerne. Often designing for creative events and organizations, he’s produced a wide collection of posters that employ abstract collages and bold typography. In his poster for the dance performance, Ritual Warriors, he created an intricate composition that injected warmth and energy into the otherwise black and white photography. The fluid shapes of the photos further enhance the performers’ movements and create the illusion that they are dancing around the type.
I can’t stop looking at Jee-ook Choi’s poster series for the 20th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. With gravity-defying ladders and characters that sit and fall in multiple directions, the posters pay homage to MC Escher’s surreal and playful compositions. In addition to a vague sense of perspective, the series juxtaposes elements, such as day vs. night and water vs. land, to create an extra dose of mystery and intrigue.
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Lucy Jones is an illustrator, designer, and printmaker based in the UK. She often designs posters for musicians and music festivals and takes on self-initiated projects such as designing book covers for stories in The New Yorker. Brimming with collaged photographs, loose brushstrokes, and handwritten scripts, her work is refreshingly uninhibited. By combining these elements with a small handful of colors and typefaces, Jones creates a signature style that is playful and unabashed.
Nejc Prah is a Slovenian graphic designer based in New York City. An up-and-coming designer with an intriguing style, he’s earned accolades from the Type Directors Club and was named an ADC Young Gun for 2016. In addition to designing at Bloomberg Businessweek, Prah works on freelance projects and is a member of the artist collaborative, Ansambel.
I am especially drawn to his work for the Fotopub Photography Festival, an event in Novo Mesto, Slovenia that aims to educate, inspire, and connect photographers. For the festival’s identity system, Prah used a cracked egg to symbolize the birth of the new ideas and relationships that are formed at the event. This theme became a continuous thread throughout the festival’s promotional materials that illustrate the numerous ways an egg can be broken.
Menta is a branding and packaging studio founded by Laura Méndez. Based in Guadalajara, the studio works with small businesses throughout Mexico. I find their work for Manassé, a French-African inspired boulangerie, to be especially charming. For the bakery, Menta crafted a packaging system that blends Parisian-inspired color pallets with traditional patterns from the West African nation of Benin. The designs are lively yet sophisticated, and the gold foil details add an extra dose of elegance to each box.
Jess Bonham is a still-life photographer that captures stunning images for luxury brands and editorials. Often collaborating with set designers, she uses a variety of materials to create compositions that are sculptural and akin to an art installation. Her photos have illustrated subjects such as death, fetishes, and solitude. In the piece above, she captures the spirit of independence to accompany an article in Evening Standard Magazine about modern attitudes on being alone. In Bonham’s own words, “The article suggests that doing things alone, such as dining and going to the cinema, have now come to represent more of an empowered, independent spirit, than loneliness.”
Are you a fan of design and type related books? If so, these Kickstarter campaigns might be of interest to you. The first supports a stunning reference book on the 1972 Munich Olympic Games’ identity system. The second is a detailed biography on designer W.A. Dwiggins. Learn more after the jump.
I love getting lost in Andrew Fairclough’s illustrations. Not only do they hold the drama and charm of vintage comics, but they also possess “true grit” – an expression he uses to describe his love for halftone patterns and grainy visual noise. These elements add a sense of nostalgia and tactility to his art and were prominently featured in his first solo show, Total Control, at China Heights gallery in Australia. In today’s interview, we discuss the exhibition, as well as his passion for teaching and his latest side project – an online shop for textured Photoshop brushes and vectors.
This is the second part in a two-part interview series in collaboration with our friends at Skillshare. For a limited time, you can take Andrew’s class (as well as many other classes) for free. Click here to learn more and receive 2 months of Skillshare Premium for free.
And now on to the interview…
Felipe Posada is a multidisciplinary visual artist living and working in New York City. I am enthralled by his ongoing project, The Invisible Realm, a collection of digital collages inspired by concepts that have captivated him throughout his life. Bursting with celestial imagery and vintage landscape photography, his pieces often revolve around the themes of space exploration, anthroposophy, and metaphysics. As I study Posada’s surreal compositions, I can’t help but reflect on my own connection with nature and the mysteries of the ever-expanding universe. To see more from the series, check out his Instagram.
The 2017 A’Design Awards winners have been announced! The esteemed award is presented to artists whose work demonstrates excellence in creativity, technology, and design.
This year the contest was divided into 100 categories including Visual Communication, Packaging, Photography, and more. Entries were carefully considered by an international panel of design professionals, scholars, and members of the press. Winners will receive the A’Design trophy, invitations to exclusive design clubs, as well as services to advance their careers. In addition, they will be honored for their accomplishments at the award ceremony in Como, Italy later this year.
Congratulations to everyone who participated! Here are some of this year’s prizewinners:
Spassky Fischer is a graphic design studio based in Paris. Focusing on identity, photography, and print, they often collaborate with museums and festivals throughout France. Last year, they created stunning work for MuCEM, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilization in Marseille. Layering blocks of color, large typography, and a slew of photographs, the studio crafted an assortment of posters, signage, and brochures that beautifully display the museum’s content. The dynamic collage-like layouts radiate with energy and attract museum-goers, pedestrians, and subway riders.
Studio Proba is a multidisciplinary studio founded by Alex Proba in 2013. From designing furniture to painting murals, she immerses herself in a variety of projects including collaborations with stores such as Print All Over Me and Aelfie. For the latter, she created two rug collections that feature playful geometric patterns and pastel color pallets.
Another project I’m drawn to is her “A Poster A Day” series. Each day she designs a poster by visually interpreting questions and stories submitted to her website, all of which fall into the given theme of that year. In her own words, “The first year of ‘A Poster A Day’ was about my life, the second year was about Yours and the third about Ours. The next 365 days are going to be Hers.” The project has turned into a beautiful series of photographs and abstract compositions, including the image above, which answers the question, “What is the most important global challenge right now?” To participate in the project, see submission guidelines at StudioProba.com/Hers.
Caserne translates to “fire station” in French. Like firemen, the Montréal-based design studio believes in dedication and rising above adversity. Building on that theme, the studio has a shop in which they sell fireman-inspired items including tote bags covered in fire hoses and t-shirts that sport the phrase “dedicated”. A personal favorite is a promotional photo calendar they created last year which features an assortment of typefaces found on fire stations throughout Montréal. The charming letterforms accentuate one another and are well balanced.
In addition to their shop, the studio tackles a variety of projects such as food packaging, movie posters, and type design. When crafting the identity for their own brand, they collaborated with the type foundry Coppers and Brasses to create a custom typeface that is “subtler than a siren, but as visible as a fire truck.” Together, they produced a stencil typeface that is applied to Caserne’s entire brand and has won accolades from the Type Directors Club and Grafika 2016.
Kate Bingaman-Burt is a prolific illustrator, educator, and beacon of inspiration. Her passion for encouraging and cultivating creativity shines through her work as an associate professor of graphic design at Portland State University. This love for teaching also extends beyond the classroom, as demonstrated through her many lectures and workshops on drawing and zine production. In these discussions, she highlights the importance of artistic discovery and giving oneself time to explore and create. Additionally, she promotes rule-based projects that allow for a clear set of constraints. These values form the foundation for her latest endeavor, Outlet, a retail/workshop space. In today’s interview, we discuss Outlet as well as her many contributions to the teaching community.
This is the first part in a two-part interview series in collaboration with our friends at Skillshare. For a limited time you can take Kate’s class (as well as many other classes) for free. Click here to learn more and receive 2 months of Skillshare Premium for free.
and now on to the interview..
Muskat is a small studio founded by Claudia Scheer and Manuel Federl, designers based in Berlin and Hamburg. The duo has compiled a lively portfolio after stints at design schools and prominent studios such as Edenspiekermann and Upstruct. During their tenure at TH Nuremberg, they crafted a visual identity for a fictional ballet academy. Incorporated into the identity is Benesh Movement Notation, a collection of symbols that represent choreography. These symbols gracefully unite the type and photography as they dance across each layout.
In our latest round of book picks we feature our favorite titles from Floating World Comics, PIE Books, Gestalten, Unit Editions, Electa, Universe, and more. Included is an enchanting story from our friends at Neighbourgoods, Type explorations from the folks at Spin, and a stunning monograph of the highly underrated Finnish designer Erik Bruun. Enjoy!
Karan Singh is an Australian artist living and working in Tokyo. Drawing inspiration from graphic design and op-art, he crafts illustrations and animations that burst with vibrant colors and bold patterns. His lively work has led to collaborations with an impressive list of clients including Sagmeister & Walsh, The US Open, and American Express. I especially admire his work for group exhibitions such as The Tōkyōiter and the OFFF 2016 Archetype book. To see more of his work and animations in action, visit his Instagram.
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Formes Vives is a creative collective that focuses on creating politically driven work for the common good. Consisting of three designers, Nicolas Filloque, Geoffroy Pithon, and Adrien Zammit, the trio aims to produce work that is original, demanding, and non-commercial. Often working with non-profits and activist groups, they hold a particular interest in crafting visual identity systems without using “authoritarian, tiresome graphic guidelines” that are often associated with corporate brands. This aspiration for individuality has built a colorful portfolio brimming with playful illustrations, bold collages, and large-scale installations.
Ward Heirwegh, is a Belgian designer that runs an independent practice in Antwerp. Often designing for cultural and creative institutions, he created promotional materials for the Bâtard Festival and Bozar, Brussel’s Center for Fine Arts. Bold and intriguing, his work features dynamic typography coupled with abstract patterns and striking photographs. Leaving little room for white space, his layouts are filled with large type that is often fragmented, tilted, or stretched.
In addition to his studio work, Heirwegh teaches at St Lucas School of Arts and gives lectures and workshops across Europe. He also founded Sleeperhold Publications, an experimental research-based platform that has released books, posters, and vinyl records.
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There is a charming simplicity to Charlotte Trounce’s illustrations. With loose brush strokes and simple shapes, she crafts compositions that are whimsical yet elegant. Having a love for fashion, she often draws the ensembles of her favorite designers such as Stella McCartney and Max Mara. This passion has led to collaborations with magazines including Elle and InStyle where she crafted opening spreads and spot illustrations. Equally impressive is her ongoing illustrated pop-up travel guide series. Published by Walker Books, the series guides readers through San Francisco, Boston, Australia, and Great Britain.
Three years ago, we featured the poster work of designer Felix Pfaffli. Today we are awestruck by the work of his latest endeavor, Studio Feixen. Easily transitioning from dynamic compositions to restrained layouts, they tackle a range of styles, yet always remain modern and playful.
While collaborating with the Luzerner Theater, the firm crafted a bold and flexible identity system that builds off of the theater’s most recent program. To highlight how the program explores new spaces, feelings, and perspectives, the system features a medley of compelling shapes and arrows.
Rubio & Del Amo is an award winning design studio based in Murcia, Spain. From print to tableware, the studio pursues a diverse range of projects and makes each of them burst with color and personality. I’m especially fond of their cement and mortar packaging for Divendi. Utilizing bold geometric patterns and a clean layout, they turned cement into a product that looks attractive and modern. Their ingenuity earned them a Gold Laus at the 2016 Laus Awards.
Inspired by pre-digital animation and illustration, Robert Beatty’s work is reminiscent of sci-fi paperbacks and psychedelic albums from the 1960s and 70s. Brimming with ethereal landscapes and otherworldly creatures, his work transports the viewer into a wonderland of lush color and delicate airbrushed textures.
Originally drawn to art through his interest in music, Beatty has gained recognition for designing album artwork for bands such as Tame Impala and Real Estate. While creating these impressive covers, he also crafted a body of unpublished pieces that are now exhibited within his debut book, Floodgate Companion.
When I think of Canada, its mighty red maple leaf immediately pops into mind. But who designed this striking yet memorable symbol? Curious about the country’s design history, Greg Durrell developed a documentary that tells the stories behind Canada’s most influential icons and artists. Through in-depth interviews, Design Canada examines iconic identities including the CBC, CN Railway, the maple leaf, and how these symbols unite the Canadian people. Designers featured include, Burton Kramer, Rolf Harder, and Massimo Vignelli.
Durrell and his teammates, filmmaker Jessica Edwards and director Gary Hustwit (known for Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized), recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to finish and release the project. Donations will fund post production, sound mixing, color correction, and music licensing. If the team reaches their goal, the movie will premiere this fall, just in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary. Backers receive awesome rewards including a digital copy of the film, fun accessories, and posters designed by Ernst Roch. To support their efforts and obtain amazing goodies, contribute to the campaign before it expires on March 30th.
Erich Brechbühl is a Lucerne-based graphic designer passionate about branding and poster design. Combining bold imagery and inventive typography, he crafts dynamic work for museum exhibitions and theaters. I am especially fond of the piece featured above. Inspired by the landscapes of Swiss painter Ernst Hodel, the poster was created for a critical play on Swiss tourism.
Eleni Debo is an illustrator and visual artist living and working in Ghent, Belgium. With loose brush strokes, she crafts playful illustrations for books, editorials, and campaigns for companies throughout the country. Her personal work tells mysterious stories inspired by the transition between wakefulness and sleep, and the link between intimate spaces and the imagination.
Neue is a cross-disciplinary design studio that often collaborates with Norway’s most renowned cultural institutions. Their designs for the Norwegian passports features a vibrant cover and lush internal spreads that highlight the country’s majestic landscapes. When placed under UV light, the pages change color and reveal hidden details within each drawing.
Unconventional materials can also be seen in their work for Statsbygg – the Directorate of Public Construction and Property. Using leftover building materials, they create sleek magnetic blocks that build symbolic keys for the owners of each new building.
Martin Steiner is a German graphic designer who lends his talents to festivals, theaters, and a variety of clients in the cultural and commercial sectors. I’m especially fond of his work for the yearly Fotodoks photography festival. Pairing bold and minimal typography with rich colors and gradients, he creates striking layouts for the event’s catalogs and posters.
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Josh Nychuk is a Canadian graphic designer based in New York. From museums to healthcare brands, he works closely with clients to craft highly conceptual designs that represent their products and values. I am especially fond of his identity system for Hälsa Spa, a wellness center that specializes in flotation therapy. To highlight the spa’s use of natural elements, he created a logo that represents the salt crystals that add buoyancy to the water. The system’s minimal and achromatic aesthetic signifies the facility’s cleanliness and the tranquil nothingness that one feels while floating in the water.
Mast is a studio that loves telling unique stories through their designs. Partnering with companies of all sizes, they create clean and modern branding based on the client’s history and personality.
This is evident within their work for ROAR, a new digital marketing agency. Mast crafted an artful lion logo that emerges within a gold and charcoal color scheme. These elements reflect the brand’s agility and commitment to quality work.
Working under the moniker, The Suffolk Punch Press, Adam Avery illustrates some of today’s hottest topics such as online education and renewable energy. His characters’ eccentric eyes and disproportionate bodies intrigue the viewer and beckon a closer look. Equally captivating, are his colorful blotchy textures that contrast with the clean lines and geometric shapes found within his compositions.
Post Projects is a Vancouver-based branding and design agency that crafts intriguing projects for clients in Canada and the U.S. I’m especially fond of their work for the home décor brand Umbra Shift. Pairing contemporary color schemes and minimal layouts, their editorial and packaging work perfectly reflects the whimsical, yet sleek line of accessories.
Creteleon Bottle by Tasos Polydorou
Do you have a project you’re really proud of? Do you think it could win an award? Start off the New Year by taking a chance and entering the A’Design Awards, the largest design competition in the world. The annual event is held in Como, Italy and accepts entries for both conceptual and realized projects. Celebrating all areas of design, the competition is organized into 100 categories including Print Design, Visual Communication, Packaging, UI and UX, Photography and more. Entries will be evaluated by a grand jury panel composed of design professionals, academics, and members of the press from across the globe. Whether you’re a student or a professional, this contest is a unique opportunity to receive feedback on your work and obtain access to services that can help foster your career. To participate, register your designs before the deadline on February 28th.
When describing themselves, Stockholm-based design studio, Snask, proudly states, “We worship unconventional ideas, charming smiles and real emotions. We see the old conservative world as extremely tedious and as our biggest enemy.” This passion for shaking things up and thinking outside of the box is obvious throughout their design, stop motion, and live action work. Taking on bold projects, like rebranding North Korea and crafting campaigns for female empowerment, the studio has proven that they aren’t afraid of taking on controversial topics in a fun and boisterous way.
I am especially captivated by their inventive use of different materials throughout their designs. From wood, to paper, to cake, they’ve built typography and props with just about everything. For the 2014 Malmö Festival, they created an impressive wooden typographic installation. Measuring 13×8 meters, it was one of the largest physical graphic identities in the world.
To use their creativity in other areas, Snask has submerged itself into a number of projects. The studio started a record label, launched its own line of beer, co-founded Yay Festival, and wrote a book about their failures and successes entitled Make Enemies & Gain Fans. Snask also travels around the world giving inspiring lectures on creative entrepreneurship.
Although I’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, I want to read every book designed by Wang Zhi-Hong. From typography manuals to Albert Einstein’s Ideas and Opinions, Wang has tackled a range of translated volumes for Asia’s book market. Often employing geometric illustrations and minimal layouts, his work is clean, bold, and intriguing. His approach has earned him international recognition including six of Taiwan’s Golden Butterfly Awards, Kasai Kaoru’s Choice Award, and Excellent Works from the Tokyo Type Directors Club. To see designs from throughout his career, check out his book Design by wangzhihong.com: A Selection of Book Designs 2001-2016.
Amur Tiger Vodka Bottle by Guilherme Jardim
The world’s largest design competition, the A’ Design Awards, is now accepting entries. The renowned event is held in Italy each year and features a wide range of creative categories including Print Design, Visual Communication, Packaging, UI and UX, Photography and more. In addition to global recognition, winners gain access to services to further develop their career as well as feedback on their presentation. All entries will be judged by an international jury panel composed of design professionals, scholars, and members of the media. To take part, register your work before the February 28th submission deadline.
Since we last featured La Boca, they have continued to craft vibrant and work that summons feelings of nostalgia. Striving to create emotional connections through pop culture, they design retro-inspired posters, book covers, and album sleeves for clients such as 21st Century Fox, Penguin, and Adele. Their thoughtful and unique approach has not gone unnoticed and has earned them a slew of awards including numerous European Design Awards and Annual Design Awards. To get your hands on their colorful prints make sure to check out their shop.
From Fortune Magazine to restaurants in Croatia, Aleksandar Savić crafts illustrations and infographics for a range of clients around the world. Employing geometric shapes and muted color schemes, he crafts artful compositions that are playful yet refined. I’m especially impressed with his collection of portraits. Although the faces are built with flat shapes, his tactful use of color and striped textures make them dimensional and emotive.
From sporting goods to upscale restaurants, Jay Fletcher works with a variety of clients and tackles a range of design styles. Although he collaborates with large companies like the NFL and Smirnoff, Fletcher is also passionate about working with small businesses, especially in his home of Charleston, South Carolina. Utilizing simple forms, he crafts branding systems that burst with colorful narratives and are instantly recognizable. His inventive work has been recognized by numerous publications including Communication Arts, Print Magazine, and LogoLounge.
Brimming with puffy clouds and the familiar textures of colored pencils, Gizem Vural’s illustrations are deceptively simple. With a balance of sophistication and naiveté, she tackles serious issues such as education standards, carbon emissions, and mental health. This can be seen in the juxtaposition between colors and textures. Employing black and white wiry lines and loose squiggles, she conveys forms of negativity and loneliness. These chaotic strokes often provide a contrast against her robust and colorful characters. Her work has earned her recognition by the Society of Illustrators and a feature in American Illustration 35.
With a passion for graphic and industrial design, Zup crafts two-dimensional projects with three-dimensional elements. This can be seen in their poster series for the NID Fashion Show in which they employ expressive typography that engages with and accentuates the models’ clothing. Building from the shirt’s pleating, the typographic characters add a structural quality that mimics elements of the garment and adds volume to the ensemble.
Founded by Maxime Prou and Adèle Favreau, Atelier Bingo is a French studio that specializes in screen-printed abstract compositions. Employing organic shapes, wild squiggles, and hand drawn polka dots, the studio creates an intriguing mix of colors and textures that are beautifully balanced and refreshingly playful. Through collaborations with companies like Poketo and Element, their patterns have adorned an array of products such as notebooks, skateboards, and blankets.
Based in Aukland, Studio South is a design consultancy that crafts branding, web, and print projects for a range of companies throughout New Zealand. With strong conceptual thinking, they create bold logos and minimal layouts that are sleek and recognizable. In addition, their use of lavish printing techniques, such as holographic foils and UV varnishes, enriches their work and adds an extra dose of flair.
Fashioned from hand drawn sketches, Drew Melton’s typefaces vibrate with personality and flair. From thick gothic scripts to modern elegant flourishes, his fonts provide a variety of aesthetic options that uplift the letterforms. In addition to his commercial work, he also crafts custom lettering for brands such as Nike, Target, and the enamel pin collective Super Team Deluxe.
Timo Kuilder is a Dutch designer who works under the moniker Zwartekoffie. Utilizing simple shapes, he creates elegant figures and landscapes that pop with color. To add depth and texture, he finesses his pieces with delicate gradient-like shading and soft halftones. Although his characters lack facial expressions, they appear active and energetic as their personalities shine through their exaggerated actions and oversized accessories.
Drawing from Egyptian and Japanese folk art, illustrator Lili des Bellons crafts space-aged versions of ancient beasts and samurai warriors. Set amongst barren landscapes, these haunting portraits are glimpses into the everyday lives of these majestic creatures. Adding to the mystery of his work is the strange juxtaposition of the archaic characters and their modern clothing. In each portrait, they proudly sport patterned polo shirts and neon jumpsuits indicative of ‘80 fashion.
America’s public schools are underfunded and teachers are often lacking essential tools to effectively do their job. To address this, Brad and Krystal Woodard of the design studio, Brave the Woods, created Artists For Education (AFE). The artist-led initiative aims to produce posters that educate and inspire students. To support these efforts, a fundraising campaign has been launched as well as an open call for designers to submit art. Submissions that are accepted will be available for teachers to download free of charge. In addition, giclée prints of the designs can be purchased, with a portion of profits benefiting educational programs. Participating artists include: Invisible Creature, Eight Hour Day, Mary Kate McDevitt, Justin Pervorse, Tuesday Bassen and many more.
To contribute to AFE, please visit their Indiegogo campaign.
Vanja Golubovic is a graphic designer that splits her time between Geneva and Berlin. Having an affection for music, film, and theater, she often collaborates with cultural institutions. I’m especially fond of her work for Tresor, a Berlin-based techno club and recording label. Fusing dynamic photography, neon colors, and dense textures, she creates posters that express the music’s pulsating rhythms and the venue’s lively ambiance. Uniting these elements is a rigid grid system that provides a visual hierarchy and represents the illustrious cage that the DJs perform in.
Seoul-based graphic designer, Joonghyun Cho, crafts inventive and highly conceptual posters that capture the essence of the institutions that they promote. This can easily be seen within his vibrant series for the Asia Lighting Design Forum. In each poster, he spells out the event’s acronym with layered gradients that beautifully represent the movement of light and the effects of its properties. Clever and alluring, his work has been recognized by numerous publications including, Communication Arts Korea, Nylon Korea, and Notefolio Magazine.
Bráulio Amado is a graphic designer living and working in New York. From comics to music videos, he takes on a number of creative endeavors and always seems to do so with humor and authenticity in mind. I’m particularly impressed with his ongoing poster work for music venues throughout New York. Abstract and experimental, these designs fuse lush gradients with illustrations and photographs in a collage-like fashion. Adding to these compositions, he layers in expressive typography that accentuates the pieces and acts as an analog counterpoint to the purely digital work.
Founded by Lupi Asensio and Martin Lorenz, TwoPoints.Net is a design studio known for their flexible visual identities (FVI). Rather than being static and repetitive, the studio believes that an identity system should be adaptable. This can easily be seen in their work for ADI’s Delta Awards. Using a series of icons, they created a versatile system that could be incorporated into the event’s branding, typeface, and awards.
Two Points’ appreciation for the efficiency of FVIs also fueled the studio to develop a program that helps their clients create designs on their own. While working with Tonangeber, a website for sharing playlists, Two Points created “supertool” — a program that guides DJs through the design process while maintaining the constraints of Tonangeber’s identity system.
Here it is! Our annual Design Book Gift Guide! In this list, we’ve compiled our favorite titles from the past year. We hope this helps you find the perfect gift for your loved ones this holiday season.
Neo Neo is a Swiss design studio led by Thuy-An Hoang and Xavier Erni. They collaborate with cultural institutions around the world, including Geneva’s Contemporary Art Center and Tokyo’s National Film Center. Not afraid to get a little funky, the studio uses bold and sometimes surprising visuals and mediums within their designs. For Geneva’s La Bâtie Festival, an event in which the city celebrates music and art, the studio employed a long splash of toothpaste as the festival’s key graphic. No matter what they decide to use, their pieces are always chic, fresh, and a testament to the current state of Swiss design.
Kyle Metcalf is a Canadian illustrator whose work has graced the pages of The Walrus, Swerve Magazine, and The New York Times. Using thick black outlines and soft colors, he creates charming characters that are often caught in comical situations. Much of this humor comes from a sense of nostalgia that is present throughout his work. Many of the personalities found in his illustrations seem bewildered by their middle age and yearn for their youth. These themes are also present in his still life compositions that portray novelty toys and articles from the past.
Janne Iivonen is a contemporary devotee of ligne clair, a drawing style made popular by Hergé, the creator of The Adventures of Tintin. Inspired by observing the world around him, Iivonen beautifully captures modern life and the behavioral idiosyncrasies that come with living with today’s technologies. His charming illustrations and relatable characters have helped him accumulate an impressive portfolio of clients including The Guardian, Time Magazine, and GQ.
Looking for gifts for your fellow design-minded friends and family members? Check out our Gift Guide on Canopy where we have organized our gifts into five fun categories – For the Studio, Home, Design Books, Under $20, and For the Kids, but Kinda for Me. See a small sample of the guide after the jump.
Young & Laramore teamed up with artist Michael Cina to brand Upland Brewing’s wood-aged sour ales. Cina crafted abstract compositions that represent the brewery’s careful blending of different batches to create complex flavors. This collaboration resulted in a vibrant packaging and advertising campaign that signifies the craft and artistry that is put into every bottle.
We’ve received some amazing items in the past few months including books from Unit Editions, Princeton Architectural Press, Flying Eye, and more. If you’re looking for gift ideas, there’s plenty to choose from in here. See the complete collection after the jump.
Eric Palmér and Karolina Eriksson run Studio Moss in Gothenburg, Sweden. The designers strive to utilize analysis and research to form concepts that fuel their designs. They often collaborate with artistic exhibitions and festivals throughout Gothenburg and have won multiple awards, including a Kolla! Gold in 2014. Passionate about art education, the designers also teach workshops and tutor at design schools.
Anna Kulachëk crafts vibrant posters for schools, festivals, and entertainment venues throughout Russia and the Czech Republic. Her compositions range from sparse and minimal, to active arrangements brimming with large typography, geometric accents, and bold grids. Her use of saturated colors and emphasized modularity make her pieces ingeniously alluring.
Marius Roosendaal has continued to craft impressive work since we last featured him. He’s invested in a number of self-initiated projects in which he’s designed typefaces inspired by geometry and gothic scripts. I’m especially impressed with his typeface, Causeway, which is highly customizable and can be shaded to appear three-dimensional in isometric perspective. In addition to his typographic work, he’s also released prints of complex explorations with geometric patterns and organic forms. Roosendaal’s work is a great example of how artists can use passion projects to heighten their curiosity, expand their creativity, and refine their skills.
Steve Scott is a London-based illustrator who often tells multiple stories within a single illustration. Like an author writing a novel, he crafts details that enrich the themes of his narratives and reveal the purpose and motivation of each of his characters. He thoughtfully executes his dense compositions by utilizing only 3 or 4 colors at a time. The brightest colors highlight essential elements and guide the viewer’s eyes throughout the piece.
L’atelier Irradié is a French studio founded by brothers Alain and Laurent Vonck. With a passion for photography and experimental type design, the studio creates work that is rich and dynamic. In addition to their commercial work, they’ve launched a series of self-initiated projects that allow them to explore different creative avenues such as collage and 3D modeling. This appetite for creative discovery has fueled inventive work that has been exhibited in galleries around the world and recognized by respected organizations such as the New York Type Directors Club.
John F. Malta creates imaginative work inspired by his teenage years in the Midwest. His zines and comics, such as Baboom! and The Junkyard, are filled with humorous (and sometimes existential) stories full of rebellious skateboarding punks, guitar playing monsters, and cosmic jungle tigers. His neon color schemes and the mystifying large dark eyes of his characters create lively scenes that vibrate with excitement and mischief. In addition to his personal work, he also collaborates on pieces for The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and Valley Cruises Press. To learn more about his illustrations and creative influences, make sure to follow him on Instagram and to take a look at his annual art anthology, Universal Slime.
In this edition of Finds from The Field, we feature awesome tile work and signage we’ve found throughout San Francisco including these amazing tiles at Volta.
Abbey Lossing is a Brooklyn based illustrator who crafts charming drawings and animated gifs full of lively characters and whimsical narratives. Her pastel color palettes and playful use of halftone patterns give her pieces a warm and lighthearted quality, reminiscent of children’s books and comics. Her work has graced the pages of Variety Magazine and The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration as well as Buzzfeed and Vice News. To see more of her portfolio and to take a peek at her process, make sure to follow her Instagram and blog.
Maxim Leurentop is a Belgian graphic designer who formerly worked under the alias Studio Turbo Turbo and with the Antwerp-based studio Mirror Mirror. A passionate photographer, he often couples his photographs with typographic arrangements that are playful and intriguing, yet still easily read.
Estudio Pum proudly states, “In order to find new solutions, we must leave our comfort zone.” This passion for exploration and innovation is evident through the variety of illustrative and typographic styles utilized within their body of work. From playful paper cutouts to refined type-driven websites, Pum proves that they aren’t afraid to tackle a diverse range of projects and visual aesthetics. To expand their creativity and learn how to work with different tools, the studio takes on a number of passion projects including a Risograph printed zine and a line of wooden toys and rattles.
Franklyn in a Brooklyn-based creative studio founded by Michael Freimuth and Patrick Richardson. While designing for a wide range of clients, they strive to “stay trill” and create eye-catching designs that genuinely represent the companies they work with.
Their talent for creating alluring and authentic brands can be seen within their work for Marz Brewing, a collective of brewers and artists. The studio created a flexible branding system in order to easily collaborate with the artists to craft distinctly different labels for each flavor of beer. This innovative approach to branding has led to an alluring packaging system that beautifully symbolizes the diverse personalities of each brewer.
Having a passion for expanding their imaginations and showcasing the creativity of others has led to charming self-initiated projects. They create official Franklyn swag, like toothbrushes and skateboards, and collaborate with designer Kyle Poff to create Matérial Magazine.
In this edition of Finds from the Field, we feature our trip to Sea Ranch – a modern housing community established in the mid-sixties along the Northern California coastline. Featured on and within several of these structures are supergraphics and icons by Bay Area designer Barbara Stauffacher-Solomon. In addition, she designed the logo which can be easily seen on the signage at the Sea Ranch Lodge and welcome center.
Rune Fisker’s illustrations are vignettes of a curious and surreal land. The blank and emotionless faces of his characters add a dose of mystery to his dreamlike landscapes full of leafy vegetation, flying household items, and geometric accents. By depicting just glimpses of each narrative, he creates scenes that are enticingly ambiguous and bound to spark the viewer’s imagination.
A world traveler who has lived in numerous countries, Magoz, is a self-described “nomadic illustrator” currently based in Madrid. His portfolio is a colorful collection of highly conceptual and minimal pieces made up of simple shapes and eccentric characters. He often posts his work on his blog where he also shares artistic advice and the knowledge he’s gained during his travels. He is currently in the process of creating Illustrator’s Essentials, an online workshop inspired by questions readers have left on his blog. His course will give helpful insights how to be an efficient professional illustrator.
By mixing bristled textures with vibrant neon colors, concept artist, Juliette Oberndorfer, creates woodland landscapes that glow with mysticism. The enchanting, yet mysterious air of her work stems from her stark contrasting of darks and lights as well as the distance she places between her characters and her audience. To take a look at her storyboards and animated work, check out her Vimeo and Tumblr.
By racking up a list of impressive clients like MTV and Wired, Swedish illustrator, Sara Andreasson, is bringing female empowerment to major audiences. Utilizing traditionally feminine color pallets, she depicts strong characters that don’t conform to traditional ideas of dainty femininity. Her figures ooze confidence as their unconventional clothing and proudly worn body hair stand out in front of minimal backdrops. She portrays women of all backgrounds and body shapes by using irregular skin colors, like blues and reds, and accentuating their curves with thick bright highlights. In addition to her illustrations, she promotes her message of feminism and individualism by editing BBY Magazine, a publication she co-founded to create a community for female and queer artists and writers.
Thomas Danthony is a French illustrator and designer based in London. His cunning use of light and shadow, combined with his characters’ concealed faces give his compositions a mysterious and sometimes eerie aura. This mystifying mood also lingers into his personal work which often centers around the theme of travel, the romance of going on a journey, and how time can affect our memories of the places we’ve visited.
At first glance, Kyle Platts’ work is as colorful and playful as a Schoolhouse Rock! segment, but taking a closer look might make you blush. As seen in his monthly comic, Vibe Consultant, and his book, Megaskull, Platts utilizes absurd characters and dark slapstick humor to point out societal follies. His more lighthearted illustrations can be seen within his collaborations with Moog Music and the Sydney Opera House. To take a look at his daily sketches and animated work check out his Tumblr and Instagram.
Sam Chivers describes his art as veering “towards that blurry border point between science and nature”. Brimming with fluid topographic lines and colored pencil-like strokes and textures, he creates landscapes filled with blooming foliage and glowing floating interfaces. His desire to constantly fuse nature with technology has built a portfolio that has attracted clients like Adobe and New Scientist. To keep up with his work, make sure to follow him on Twitter.
Ray Oranges is a Florence-based designer whose work has caught the eye of Wired, Monocle, and Creative Review. Focusing on the shapes of his subjects rather than their details, he abstracts architecture and landscapes to create artful and geometric pieces. His extreme minimalism, mixed with his calculated use of negative space and long shadows, gives his portfolio a surreal and dreamlike quality. To keep up with his work and architectural inspiration, make sure to follow him on Instagram.
Dan Woodger is a London based illustrator who uses pastel color palettes and black outlines to create eccentric scenes that are bound to make you chuckle. His portfolio of highly expressive characters has helped him land editorial and advertising collaborations with The New York Times, Heineken, and Google. I am especially impressed with his work for the messaging app LINE, in which he crafted 1000 unique emojis in 10 weeks. To keep up with his work and read his personal insights on each of his projects, make sure to follow his blog and Instagram.
Joseph Navarro is a Costa Rican graphic designer with a talent for typeface design and lettering. His 3D typographic compositions are often lit from unique angles, creating highlights that guide the viewer’s eyes throughout each design. In addition to typography, he also has a knack for crafting sophisticated branding systems and vibrant geometric illustrations.
Giacomo Gambineri is an Italian illustrator and graphic designer. Using thick outlines and story panels, he illustrates articles and reader’s Tweets for The New York Times and New Scientist. His quirky depictions of social issues and popular culture help bring humor to today’s hot topics. To keep up with his work, make sure to follow him on Instagram.
Michael Spitz is a freelance graphic designer based in New York City. From logos to illustrations, he tackles a wide breadth of projects and styles. Having a passion for typeface design, his portfolio is chock-full of innovative lettering and monograms. One exploration that is particularly impressive is a metallic bronze monogram that encases the entire alphabet and blooms from A at its center to Z at its rim. His inventive typographic designs are featured in the books New Graphic Design – The 100 Best Contemporary Graphic Designers and Typism 1 and 2.
When it comes to storytelling, Chinese illustrator and animator, Jun Cen, prefers to veer away from the obvious. His conceptual illustrations portray stories in clever and inventive ways. A wonderful example of this is his work for Plansponsor magazine. In the illustration, a diver is seen searching for obscure pearls in order to highlight the complexities of finding an ideal healthcare plan.
Cen’s innovation is also evident within his cunning use of patterns to represent ice, stone, and fur. Rather than drawing these textures by hand, he employs marbled and blotchy patterns that mimic the lighting and colors of these natural surfaces. To see more of his work and to catch a glimpse of his process, check out his blog and Vimeo.
burkhardthauke is a design studio that isn’t afraid of experimentation. Founded by Ralph Burkhardt and Daniel Hauke, the German studio fuses complex layering and inventive lettering to create typographic posters that vibrate with motion. To craft such innovative compositions, the duo deconstructs words, stretches and expands letterforms with colorful gradients, and uses a number of other techniques to distort type. With work so intriguing, it is no surprise that they win numerous awards from type clubs and design organizations every year. Make sure to take a look at their portfolio and follow them on Instagram to check out their most recent work.
The work of Carl Bender’s design studio, Okay, holds far more merit than its name implies. Having a strong sense of narrative, he creates distinct and memorable brands by integrating his client’s stories into his designs. I’m especially fond of his work for Bender’s Whiskey Co. Inspired by the company’s location on San Francisco’s Treasure Island, the whiskey’s quirky illustrative packaging pays homage to the island’s nautical history and the swashbuckling sailors who have spent time there.
Brooklyn-based French illustrator, Marie Assénat, creates paintings and drawings that have a charming and naive essence. Although her characters are often humorous, her work has a sophisticated flair that has led to collaborations with Le Chocolat Des Français and the French Open. Whether it’s a GIF of a dancing poodle or a painting of a roller skating kitty, her drawings are bound to put a smile on your face.
Erman Yilmaz’s passion for street art highly influences his digital work. Like graffiti, his typographic arrangements intertwine with illustrations in an elaborate and colorful fashion. As the elements converge, he inserts hidden details that add extra significance to the message of each poster. To see more of his work, check out his street art and Instagram.
Josh Cochran’s portfolio is a colorful wonderland that is rich with detail and life. Working with muted tones and hand drawn lines, he creates charming monsters and imaginative environments that one could stare at for hours. His whimsical characters have found their way into conceptual illustrations for The New Yorker and large murals for the U.S. Open and Warby Parker. To keep up with his work, make sure to follow him on Instagram.
Violaine & Jérémy is a French illustration and graphic arts studio founded by Violaine Orsoni and Jérémy Schneider. Unafraid of mixing digital and traditional techniques, the studio often combines custom designed typefaces with impressive pencil drawings. Their projects with Parisian institutions such as the Musée des Arts Décoratifs exude the studio’s talent for creating identity systems that are chic and elegantly edgy.
The illustrations of Spanish artist, Raúl Soria, are filled with vivacious colors, whimsical patterns, and pleasant surprises. Although his work is already lively and often surreal, his use of animated GIFs gives his portfolio an extra dose of charm. Don’t be surprised if one of his characters suddenly gives you a friendly wink or curiously raises an eyebrow.
Did you know that it took Adrian Frutiger three years to design the twenty-one sans-serif fonts that make up the Univers family? Or did you know that in 2010, Milton Glaser was the first designer to receive the National Medal of Arts? On Design Facts,designer and art director, Shane Bzdok, shares facts about the history of graphic design, the people who have shaped the craft, and the impact design has made on our culture. To read these fun facts and submit some of your own, make sure to visit the site today and follow its Twitter page.
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Maite Franchi is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Lyon, France. As seen within her collaborations with Sony, The Huffington Post, and Vanity Fair she crafts editorial illustrations with a bold emphasis on texture and refined color palettes. Often illustrating for articles about cooking and travel, her portfolio is jam-packed with appetizing food illustrations that beautifully pop behind geometric patterns. If pixels were edible, her work would look good enough to eat.
Looking through the portfolio of Lithuanian illustrator, Karolis Strautniekas, feels like stepping onto the set of a film noir movie. Brimming with dark silhouettes, cool tones, and grainy textures, his illustrations tell stories that are seductively mysterious. His work can be found gracing the pages of The New York Times, Forbes, and on his blog where he posts side projects and works in progress.
Twice is a Paris-based design studio founded by Fanny le Bras and Clémentine Berry. The duo combines organic textures and abstract shapes to design chic album covers, posters, and lookbooks. Their use of bright colors and bold photography make their designs just as unique and lively as the music and events they often accompany.
David Biskup is a London based artist whose illustrations have graced the pages of prominent publications such as The New York Times and The Guardian. His signature style combines bright colors, playful characters, and a touch of dark and risqué humor. In addition to his freelance work, he also publishes visual novellas inspired by his personal life and man’s relationship with creativity.
Jordan Metcalf is a Cape Town-based designer, illustrator, and artist who concentrates on type-focused design and lettering. Not afraid to experiment and willing to tackle any letterform, he has collaborated with a variety of clients, including Nike, Adobe, and Harper Collins. His inventive compositions are witty, alluring, and often include a balance of elegant ornamentation and accentuating textures. Although he mostly works digitally, he has also employed tactile mediums such as laser cut perspex and etched wood.
makebardo is a design studio based in Queenstown, New Zealand that specializes in packaging design, brand strategy, signage systems, and wayfinding. The studio highly values minimal design and its power to be memorable and recognizable, as seen in their work for Cargo Brewery. To differentiate Cargo from other premium breweries, the studio aspired to design a branding and packaging system that is as clean and pure as the water that is used to make the beer.
Maud is an award winning Australian agency that strives to address problems with an honest and straightforward approach, creating designs that are driven my human needs and inspired by their clients stories and geographic locations. Their minimal and often typographically focused designs and branding systems have brought urban sophistication to the companies they work with.
Mike McQuade is a Philadelphia-based designer and illustrator. Utilizing collage-like techniques and modular grids, he creates inventive and thought-provoking compositions. These arrangements beautifully illustrate and highlight hard-hitting topics for prominent publications such as Fortune Magazine and The New York Times.
Gary Hustwit, the director of the documentaries Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized, has started working on his new movie, Rams. This will be the first feature documentary about Dieter Rams, an iconic industrial designer best known for his designs for Braun and Vitsoe. The project will explore the untold stories behind his process, philosophies, and inspirations. In order to fund the film, Hustwit has created a Kickstarter campaign that will also help support efforts to preserve Rams’s design archive. If you would like to contribute to the campaign, visit the Kickstarter site before it expires on July 22.
Splitting his time between London and Paris, designer and illustrator Damien Poulain focuses on both commercial and artistic work. A man of many mediums, he uses a mix of colorful materials to create bold simple shapes and charming characters. Through his art, he strives to explore ideas behind fragility, balance, and cultural phenomena.
Inspired by skateboarding and comic books, Sonny Day and Biddy Maroney are Webuyyourkids. The duo layers colorful halftone textures and topographic patterns to create enchanting designs for clients across the globe. In addition to their digital work, they also share a passion for screen printing and hosting educational workshops.
Ludovic Balland is a Swiss designer based in Basel. His studio, Ludovic Balland Typography Cabinet, specializes in editorial layout, typeface design, and photography. The studio has created intricate typographic compositions and clever visual identities for many cultural institutions including Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art and the Festival Antigel in Geneva. This past March, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Culture (BAK) awarded Balland the Jan Tschichold Award for outstanding achievements in book design.
Although he is busy working with clients such as Honda, Adobe, and Verizon, Polish graphic artist Peter Tarka (AKA Grate Studio) still focuses on self-initiated projects to explore different techniques and hone his skills. Using a mix of programs such as Cinema 4D, Photoshop, and V-Ray, he molds textures and patterns into three-dimensional forms to create abstract compositions and unique typographic structures.
Stahl R is a Berlin-based design studio founded by Tobias Röttger and Susanne Stahl. Driven by a passion for research and deep conceptual thinking, the studio strives to give each project a dynamic and custom look. Since launching in 2012, they have developed identity systems, custom typefaces, video campaigns, and websites, for magazines, conferences and music labels. Their work has won several awards including a gold European Design Award and a gold medal from the Art Directors Club Germany.
Jeremie Claeys is a Belgian illustrator based in Paris. Highly influenced by comic books, movies, and music, he creates whimsical illustrations that are geometrically-charged. His personal side project, 100 Weird Faces, is a daily creative exercise in which he experiments with using different techniques.
Australian artist, Georgia Hill, couples hand drawn typography with monochromatic textures, marble patterns, and illustrations on large scale murals and smaller paper and ink compositions. She purposefully keeps the messages within the work open for interpretation, with the hope that audiences will reflect on their own personal connection to the words and locations of the piece.
Rejane Dal Bello is an award-winning Brazilian designer and illustrator currently based in London. After having previously worked for Studio Dumbar in Rotterdam and Wolf Olins in London, she now runs her own firm that specializes in corporate, nonprofit, and cultural sectors. She currently teaches at St Joost Art School and often volunteers her creative services to underprivileged communities and charitable organizations.
French digital artist, Guillaume Kurkdjian, crafts charming 3D illustrations and looping animations that are imaginative and chuckle-inducing. His jovial creations have caught the eyes of many and have lead to projects with numerous companies including Ikea and Lacoste. Inspired by his interest in various art forms, Kurkdjian runs an online magazine, La Maison Wertn, that focuses on collaborations between artists.
Matteo Colella is a graphic designer and typographer based in Singapore. His gridded typographic layouts and knack for minimalism combine to beautifully deliver information for the cultural institutions that he often designs for. His work as been displayed at the National Museum of Singapore and was recently featured in the book MIN: The New Simplicity of Graphic Design by Stuart Tolley.
Pedro Veneziano is a graphic artist based in São Paulo, Brazil. His 3D illustrations and animations are beautifully rendered with remarkably realistic textures and lighting. He ingeniously employs a variety of materials and typographic explorations to create a unique universe within each of his compositions.
Sebastian Weiss’s photography is fueled by his interest in unique architectural urban shapes. In addition to being a photo columnist for Architectural Digest Germany, he is one of the most popular architectural photographers on Instagram, posting under the alias Le_Blanc. With each photograph, Weiss strives to capture a building’s pure essence by separating it from its surroundings and context, and solely focusing on the details that create its distinct visual language.
Having worked for Vogue, Penguin, The New Yorker, and many other prominent names, Malika Favre’s illustrations are in high demand. Aspects of her aesthetic come from her background in both math and design. She credits her use of spot colors and minimalism to her time working as a graphic designer, and her clever use of optical illusions and shadows come from her background in physics. Originally from France, Malika now lives in London.
Amsterdam based illustrator, Leonie Bos, is highly influenced by printmaking and 20th century architecture. To create her fictional buildings, she digitally layers colors and textures to generate a screen-printed affected. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and numerous Dutch newspapers.
Tiago Galo is a freelance designer and illustrator based in Lisbon. Influenced by unconventional cinema, comics, and people watching, his series of red and blue illustrations are simply charming no matter what peculiar situation his pudgy characters find themselves in.
From his editorial work to his personal projects, Jeff Östberg’s illustrations are inspired by his love for city life, music, and fashion. With soft color pallets and hints of graphic patterns, he strives to capture the essence of each of his subjects, characters that are often inspired by people he encounters in his everyday life in Stockholm.
Alex Trochut’s covers for the Penguin Books Galaxy Series beautifully capture the unique essence of the captivating stories that made each book a pioneer of its time. The covers’ typographic compositions and bright colors are inspired by the books’ settings and narratives. For Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), Trochut cleverly arranges the type to highlight and represent the clash of views addressed in the novel. The word “stranger” appears facing a different direction than “strange land.”
Josh McKenna is an East London based illustrator and designer inspired by everything tropical. His bold geometric shapes, bright colors, and voluptuous vacationing characters give his portfolio a whimsical and sultry personality. Only two years out of school, Josh’s success is impressive, having already worked with GQ, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired amongst other prominent publications.
Mainstudio is a Dutch design studio founded by Edwin van Gelder. The studio creates identity systems, books, and interactive digital media. They begin each project with an editorial typographic approach that eventually progresses to fuse content and graphic forms. By applying innovative printing techniques to their designs, the studio has won numerous international awards, including ‘Best Book Design from all over the world’ in 2013 from Frankfurt’s Stiftung Buchkunst and the Leipzig Book Fair.
Tyler Deeb is a self-taught designer, based in Louisville, Kentucky, who specializes in print, identity, and product design. His beautiful typography and detailed illustrations have graced the pages of publications such as Entertainment Weekly and Fast Company. Deeb’s successful 2012 Kickstarter campaign to produce a set of playing cards, a side project he designed in between freelance jobs, evolved into Misc. Goods Co., an online shop where he sells his card decks, screen printed posters, and a collection of accessories.
Highly influenced by horror movies and Italian Art Deco, Daniel Zender’s colorful yet eerie illustrations have added some edge to numerous publications including The New York Times and Variety. He has illustrated hard-hitting issues such as war, security, race relations, and water waste, and has published is own comics and zines like Giving In and Nope.
Alec Doherty is an illustrator based in London. In addition to his whimsical labels for Partizan Brewing, Doherty’s colorful and imaginative work can be seen on magazine covers, restaurant walls, and newspaper spreads. Recently, he has been crafting hand painted woodcuts that are just as intricate as his illustrations.
Sigurður Oddsson, also known as Siggi Odds, is a designer and illustrator currently living in Reykjavík. Having grown up in Vancouver, Odds is highly influenced by Northwest Coast aboriginal art and its use of limited forms and colors. He is currently an art director at Jonsson & Le’Macks and has pursued numerous side projects such an interactive music composition entitled The Infinite String Quartet, collaborating on a line of quilts, designing album covers, and creating a series of posters using the phone app Doodle Buddy.
Supero is a Swiss design studio that strives to make contemporary, yet timeless, work that slightly bends the rules of Swiss Style. The studio often collaborates with the Contemporary Art Museum of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Neuchatel’s Musée d’Art et d’histoire, designing lively and elegant posters for the museums’ exhibitions and events.
New Metaphor Books is a new online bookstore that specializes in rare and unique books that focus on graphic design, film, architecture, fashion, and photography. The shop’s collection features diverse views on each art form and is a true treasure trove of amazing out of print books.
Dan Christofferson, AKA BeeTeeth, is a designer, illustrator, and painter based in Salt Lake City. His portfolio is largely inspired by Utah’s history, cryptic Mormon symbolism, and the early days of the West. Christofferson’s affinity for maximalism is evident within his detailed gauche and acrylic paintings and the elaborate handmade frames he houses them in.
Garbett Design is an award winning Australian design studio founded by Paul Garbett and Danielle de Andrade. Having grown up in South Africa, both designers are influenced by the bright colors and geometric shapes found in the art of their homeland. To stay playful and enrich their creativity, they try to incorporate found items and different medias, such as string and folded paper, into their creative process and final designs.
As the art director of Esquire Malaysia, Rebecca Chew employs a variety of techniques to bring a fresh perspective to the magazine’s articles and product styling. Utilizing multiple medias, and unorthodox materials, she creates colorfully imaginative (and often provocative) editorials that lead viewers to further examine the controversial topics and unique merchandise she is presenting.
Keith Shore’s imaginative designs for Mikkeller help the Danish brewery stand out within today’s competitive world of craft beer. With limited color palates and a distinguishable cast of characters, each label tells a whimsical story inspired by the beers’ unique ingredients. Shore’s gouache-like qualities, bold patterns, and distinct figures make Mikkeller’s products instantly recognizable in bottle shops across the globe.
Kristina Krogh is a Danish designer and artist based in Copenhagen. With a fascination toward organic textures, she creates chic geometric collages that explore the graphic rhythms found in nature. This can be seen in the way she layers wood, cork, stone, hair, and other materials into images that are dynamic and brilliantly balanced. Many of these attributes will be displayed in a new line of home accessories she will be launching this summer.
Pouya Ahmadi is the principal and founder of Programme, as well as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois School of Design in Chicago. In addition to his personal practice and academic contributions, he has collaborated with the Experimental Film Society (EFS) through a series of posters that draw attention to the group’s members. Of particular interest is his work for Rouzbeh Rashidi’s, Closure of Catharsis. Through the placement of type and precise geometric incisions, he evokes the mood and pulsating rhythms of the film.