Loved this talk from Jonathan Adler about his road to success and how failure at first and getting fired from a bunch of jobs didn’t hold him back!
He has built his homewares brand around the concept of optimism, irreverence, spirit and memorability, things which I think also ring true for aspects of my own work.
I was able to check out one of their cool stores in the Upper West Side when I was living in New York and it was so colourful and cool.
Beautiful Patterns by Matthew Craven
S&W New Identity
Sagmeister & Walsh have a new identity to signify their partnership. It’s pretty amazing for Jessica Walsh actually. I know she was very accomplished to start with, but to be partnering with arguably the most famous name in graphic design at the mere age of 25 is pretty inspiring.
The branding’s minimal black and white style is not unlike my own, so naturally I’m a bit fond of it. It’s funny how they have developed on Sagmeister’s design history, to create a humourous company brand. Many will know Sagmeister is pretty famous for not being shy when it comes to incorporating his own nudity into work. Their slogan ‘We will do anything for design’ is pretty believable really. The studio branding is minimal but also has a lot of personality, which is a nice mix and really allows the message to be king.
With a rather kinky take on stationery design, they have really taken their daring brand direction and run with it. Got to say I’m a bit fan of ampersands and it definitely communicates the new partnership in an effective way.
The new Sagmeister & Walsh website describes the project as: Stationery system for our new partnership, Sagmeister & Walsh. We printed 500 condoms with our logo on it, as well as 500 pencils that show accurate data relating to average penis size.
I really like the photo of their website on the iMac, iPad and iPhone, completed with the branded pot plant. How’s that for an shot.
How funny would it have been, to have to be the project manager in charge of looking around for a condom packaging manufacturer?
They also have a bunch of new staff photos. Some naked. Some completely dressed in space suits. They must be suggesting their are innovators and pioneers of sorts. Or maybe they just thought it would make for a pretty funny juxtaposition!
Jay Z claims he is a designer?
I was just on the Brand New blog today and they have a section on the best and worst identities of 2012. I was immediately drawn to number 12 on the list of the worst identities, The Brooklyn Nets basketball team rebrand, which was apparently designed by Jay Z of all people, a part owner in the team.
It seems like a lot of celebrities these days like the idea of being designers, but are forgetting that they don’t actually have the skills to discern the subtleties between good and bad design.
I’m all for simplicity but I think if anything it ended up taking a backwards step.
I loved Armin’s comment:
“Whether Jay Z opened up Adobe Illustrator and set the type on a curve himself or not remains a mystery but one thing is for sure: the logo family is technically worthless and embarrassing.”
The apparel is also looking really strange with a bunch of hip hop inspired designs which range from okay to just plain ugly.
You can read the article here: The Brooklyn Nets: I Call Technical Foul
If you are still not disputing his taste level, check out the logo he is apparently ‘universally recognised’ for.
To make matters worse, he’s being sued 7 million from the actual designer, for unpaid royalties dating back around 17 years. He also named his daughter ‘Blue Ivy’.
Computer Arts Collection
I’ve really enjoyed reading the first magazine in the Computer Arts Collection (Volume 2): Graphic Design. I picked it up in NZ at this great Magazine Shop that I wish they had in Brisbane called Mag Nation. They have all sorts of magazines including a lot of art and design ones as well as a good collection of design books. It’s a bit pricey at $39, but it’s a UK magazine so it has to be shipped, and is definitely worth it.
Sadly I took it to the airport with me and it got a bit water damaged in my bag. I painstakingly divided each page with tissues and napkins I stole from this japanese food shop at the Airport, but the damage was pretty much already done at that stage! Anyway, it’s still readable so that’s the main thing.
What is so unique about this magazine, is how in-depth and insightful it is. It has a bunch of great case studies from interesting global projects, which was probably my favourite section. Some of the case studies included the Bardot ice cream brand, designed by Landor Associates and the redesign of USA Today (Newspaper) by Wolff Olins NY. You get to find out all sorts of interesting information, like the timeframe, what the brief was, their process, and who was involved. There is also a a5 booklet inside about branded apps which was very interesting, a section on design trends, an interview with Michael C Place of Build and a studio which documented their process through an entire project for this event they held across 46 pages, so it was very detailed.
Other issues in the collection include Typography, Branding, Advertising, Photography and Illustration. You can buy online here
I was really taken by the branding and store fit out of a Karen Walker store on a recent trip to Auckland over Christmas. She is a New Zealand fashion designer, with a number of boutiques around Auckland. While being a high end label it has a distinctly vintage and kitsch look to their brand and I really like this kind of juxtaposition of high and low elements. These days it’s definitely not enough to just design beautiful clothes, you need a consistent brand covering all touch points and it has to tell an interesting story. Karen Walker does a great job at this.
Below is a personal photo I took of the Ponsonby store. Things like the neon sign, seal lamp and swan pot plant give the store a quirky, kitsch look but it is overall balanced by a minimal and considered layout.
The Jewellery look book features old black and white photos with the jewellery superimposed in, once again creating an interesting contrast and a fun feel.
Some other images:
Some Exciting MTV Stationery
Motherbird, a fabulous Melbourne Studio ‘refreshed’ MTV’s corporate stationery recently. They were given an open brief and an obviously large budget (what a dream project). What resulted was some very on brand design, featuring a youthfully florescent colour palette, fun hand-drawn typography and brand language and some funny photocopied faces.
Photos from the Motherbird website, see more at: http://motherbird.com.au/selected-work/mtv-stationery/
In Paper Love
I’ve been loving the stationery company Rifle Paper Co ever since I discovered them in Melbourne earlier this year. The designs are by Designer/Illustrator Anna Bond based in Florida. I’m also a sucker for anything map related to this 2013 Cities Calendar is definitely on my To Buy list! It’s sure to have you dreaming of all the wonderful places you could visit all year!
What a cute little logo too.
Thing’s I’m Loving at the Moment
The Hungry Workshop’s Rituals Letterpress
White on White
Type cut out of food