April 2009

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The Architecture of Gomorrah – La Vele di Scampia

la vele di scampia

I recently saw Gomorrah, which took the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, and was definitely intrigued and curious as to the origins of the beastly, monolithic sail-like housing complexes where the movie was shot. La Vele di Scampia, or the Sails of Scampia was an offshoot of the post-war modernist social housing explosion gripping the world, including Naples, Italy where it was located. Each complex, shaped like a sail, consists of apartment units with stairs leading to central walkways on each floor. The result is a spectacularly open public space in which people can see and be seen.

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Jeffrey Bowman: Illustration & Design

Jeffrey Bowman

Can’t see the wood for the trees – Poster for shop opening.

Today we would like to introduce you to UK based illustrator/designer, Jeffrey Bowman whose work has been influenced by everything from space exploration and the wonders of the universe to the intricacies of type face creation and pattern repetition.

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Ladislav Sutnar: Catalog Design Progress

catalog design progress

Catalog Design Progress: Advancing Standards in Visual Communication by K. Lonberg-Holm and Ladislav Sutnar – published by Sweet’s Catalog Service ©1950

Really excited to present today’s book. It’s a classic by the highly underrated designer Ladislav Sutnar.

Ladislav Sutnar was born in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia on november 9, 1897. He was educated in Prague. In 1939 he traveled to New York as an exhibition designer for the Czech Pavilion at the World’s Fair. Due to the war he ended up staying in New York and was later hired by Sweet’s Catalog Service. It was here along with Sweet’s research director K Lonberg Holm that Sutnar would produce a body of work that would help to lay the foundation of information design as we know it today. One of the books to spawn from that partnership was Catalog Design Progress. The book chronicles the pair’s thoughts and experimentations with the layout and organization of information.

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Graphic Design Twibe for People on Twitter

Wayne Pate

A twibe is a group of Twitter users interested in a common topic who would like to be able to communicate with each other.  On each twibe’s page, there is a list of twibe members.  There is also a tweet stream that lists tweets from twibe members which contain key word tag.

We created a twibes for grain edit, mid century modern and graphic design.

Join the graphic design twibe here.

Join the mid century modern twibe here.

Join the grain edit twibe here.

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Catch us on Twitter @grainedit

Grain’s Eye View: A Glimpse into Wayne Pate’s Studio

Wayne Pate

Wayne Pate runs a whimsical design studio in Brooklyn, NY called GoodShapeDesign. He has the best doodles, and also sells playful prints on his website. Today, we have the pleasure of getting the Grain’s Eye View on Wayne’s studio, including info on his favorite objects and some handy organizing advice.

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(Another) Update to Designers on Twitter!

Grain Edit / Designers on Twitter

Holy twit! It doesn’t stop! Designers seem to be jumping on Twitter left and right. It’s turning out to be an awesome community of designers. If you haven’t made the Twitter jump yet, then here’s a little more incentive. And if you’re already up on Twitter, here are some new faces.

Some of the new people on the list include House Industries, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Ministry of Type, Monocle, Chris Glass, Jason Munn, and Kid Robot among others.

Check it out. Follow your favorites. Tweet it up!

50+ Designers on Twitter: Our favorites to follow.

Advice to Sink in Slowly

Advice to Sink in Slowly

Advice to Sink in Slowly is a great idea. It’s an ongoing series of posters designed by recent graduates aimed at helping and inspiring first year students. All incoming students at participating Universities receive one of the posters.

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Till Wiedeck: Graphic Design

Till Wiedeck

German based designer, Till Wiedeck, really melts my heart with his fabulous collection of type. This particular typeface, titled “HM Melt,” was inspired by a simple letter “a” found in a mid-’70s edition of The World of Logotypes by Al Cooper. It’s terrifically impressive that he was able to create such a fresh typeface solely based around the shape of one letter. I really love his experimentation with geometry and the positioning of various drops, simulating that the type is really melting!

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Richard Perez / Skinny Ships

richard perez


I’m really impressed by this work from Richard Perez. His typographic and illustration work is super fancy. He seems to have no problem navigating styles as well as tackling a variety of design projects — his work ranges from hand drawn type and illustration, to identity and traditional design. All of his work is direct, and compelling with great execution and color palettes.

It’s really refreshing to see the enthusiasm and personality in all of Richard’s work. It’s also nice to see that we share a few things in common, including VHS tapes, Lincoln, and kittens.

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Sneak Peek at Rilla Alexander’s Studio

rilla alexander

Rilla Alexander is a member of the well known and respected art and design collective, Rinzen. The group’s posters and album covers have been exhibited at the Louvre and their large scale artwork installed in Tokyo’s Zero Gate and Copenhagen’s Hotel Fox. Today she gives Grain Edit readers a sneak peek into her studio and shares some of her favorite objects.

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Grain Edit & Poster Cabaret

poster cabaret

poster cabaret

You may have noticed our new poster picks section in the right column. We’ve teamed up with our friend Lad at Poster Cabaret and every few weeks we will be highlighting a piece from the the online store’s collection of limited edition gig posters and hard to find art prints. Poster Cabaret carries posters by many of the artists we feature on grain edit including: The Small Stakes, Aesthetic Apparatus, Matte Stephens, Vahalla Studios, Delicious Design League, Doublenaut, Invisible Creature and more.

Our first poster pick is the Beck Concert poster designed by Jason Munn of The Small Stakes

poster cabaret

Mein Erster Brockhaus – German Children’s ABC Book

mein erster brockhaus

Mein Erster Brockhaus – Ein Buntes Bilder – ABC c1963 Published by F.A Brockhaus Wiesbaden Germany

What young German boy wouldn’t want a book filled with Spargel, Spatz, Specht and Schwable? (most of those were birds..but one was asparagus. I’ll let you guess which one.) This alphabet book is filled with those little dudes. If I ever go to Germany, I’m taking this book with me. I’ll be name dropping German nouns all day. This is the OG way to learn a language. Watch out Rosetta Stone!

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Dress Code interview

Dress Code

Welcome to the latest addition to the Grain Edit interview series. But wait, there’s a twist! We sneaked a book review into the mix as well. I know, very tricky.

Our latest interviewees are Andre Andreev and Dan Covert. They’re from New York City, and they’re known as Dress Code. They recently published a book entitled Never Sleep, which details their experience and transition from design students to design professionals. Never Sleep is a practical and vital guide for design graduates wondering what to do after school.

At the combined age of (roughly) 50 Andre and Dan’s work has been recognized by I.D., CommArts, Print, Graphis, Metropolis, The Type Directors Club, The Art Directors Club, CMYK, HOW, Adobe, Steps Field Guide to Emerging Talent and Young Guns. They met while studying graphic design at California College of the Arts and worked at MTV before starting Dress Code.

OK, so get your game on already:

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Frederic Chaubin: Photographs of Soviet Architecture

frederic chaubin

“Druzhba Holiday Center Hall” (Yalta, Ukraine, designed by Igor Vasilevsky 1984)© Frederic Chaubin

Fascinating photos from Frederic Chaubin. Many of his images feature strange buildings from the former Soviet Union.  Most of the structures were built during the 1970s and 80s and look like something straight out of Sci-fi movie.

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Janine Rewell: Graphic Design & Illustration

Janine Rewell

Finnish designer and illustrator, Janine Rewell, has a wonderful way of fusing colorful detailed illustrations with clean, simple type. There are surprises in every corner of her work, this piece being no exception.

Created for the Helsinki in Berlin music festival in 2008, we see a lot of musical imagery, with guitars, flutes, and keyboards hiding throughout the illustration. I especially like that there are even tinier images playfully hiding within the text. It reminds me of playing “Hidden Picture” while reading old Highlights magazines at the Dentist’s office as a kid. I also enjoy Rewell’s use of wine bottle and martini glass buildings. Although densely clustered, her composition is right on, implying “”We’re gonna drink, listen to good tunes, and have fun!” Wahoo!

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Zdenek Ziegler Posters

zdenek ziegler

Poster for Vysoka Zed’ (The High Wall) c1964 Directed by Karel Kachyna

Stunning posters from the Czechoslovakian designer Zdenek Ziegler.

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Hotel Aranyhomok

hotel aranyhomok

Hotel Aranyhomok – Kecskemet, Hungary

Beautiful luggage label for Hotel Aranyhomok. The hotel still exists. Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks to Everyone That Entered the Giveway!

Thanks to everyone who took part in our giveaway! It was great to see all your comments.

We randomly selected our 2 winners in the  House Industries/ Alexander Girard Giveaway earlier this evening.

Our winners will be listed at the bottom of the Grain Edit Email Update and Grain Edit RSS Feed.  For those of you who subscribe to the email updates, the email should arrive soon.

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Many Thanks to House Industries for sponsoring this giveaway! Be sure to check out their full catalog of fonts, objects and clothing as well as their Alexander Girard collection.

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Stay tuned for our next giveaway, coming soon and have a great weekend!

The Art and Illustration of Kevin Dart

Kevin Dart

Very happy to run across the work of Kevin Dart this morning — he has some serious talent going on. His rough textures and sketchy illustration style combine so nicely with the clean 60′s style graphics and type. His work feels like a perfect fit for Seijun Suzuki’s gangster movies. And I love an airplane with a swoosh. I also want that suitcase. So yummy.

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Giveaway ends at 5pm PST – Not too late to sign up

alexander girard blocks

If you haven’t signed up for our House Industries/ Alexander Girard Giveaway it’s not too late. Giveaway ends at 5pm today (04/10/09).

Grain Edit Featured on DaWanda

DaWanda

Thanks to the wonderful folks over at DaWanda for inviting us to curate a collection of our favorite items from their website. DaWanda is a European based marketplace for artists and designers to sell their work.

Check out what we picked here.

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Twitter list update

Grain Edit / Designers on Twitter

Holy tweet! Designers and Twitter seem to go great together. Since we posted our 50 (or so) favorites last month we’ve seen a lot of new designers popping up on Twitter, and we forgot to mention some designers as well. We decided an update was in order.

Some of the new faces on the list include ISO50, Invisible Creature, Design Sponge, Okay Great, The Dieline, Wink, and more.

Check it out. Follow your favorites. Tweet it up!

50+ Designers on Twitter: Our favorites to follow.

Vintage Porsche Posters

vintage porsche posters

Europa-Bergmeister 1966 designed by Volz

Typography at 200mph. Amazing Porsche posters designed by Erich Strenger and Volz.

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Tim Gough interview

Tim Gough

(Photo credit: Adam Wallacavage)

The next addition to the Grain Edit interview series takes us to Philadelphia: City of Brotherly Love, home of founding father Ben Franklin and the Liberty Bell, and double agent Tim Gough. A man of mystery, by day, Tim works as the Art Director for the Philadelphia Weekly. By night, he emerges from the cheese steak littered streets of Philly to do one thing: rid the world of dull illustrations.

Tim successfully melds images of spies and monstrous creatures with bursts of color, densely clustered patterns and rough textures, creating dynamically rich works. In this interview, he discusses his hometown and background, perplexing experiences after college, influences, and his creative process.

And now to reveal the enigma…

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Not too Late to enter our Alexander Girard / House Ind. Giveaway

alexander girard blocks

If you haven’t signed up for our House Industries/ Alexander Girard Giveaway it’s not too late. Its quick, easy and free to enter. Giveaway ends soon though, so sign up before we cut off the entries.

Click here for all the details of the giveaway.

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Corporate Diversity: Swiss Graphic Design by Geigy 1940-1970

corporate diversity

Corporate Diversity- Swiss Graphic Design and Advertising by Geigy 1940-1970. Published by Lars Muller +Museum fur Gestaltung Zurich – Back cover image of Acaralate canister designed by Markus Low in 1967

The fine folks at Lars Muller have just published an excellent book titled Corporate Diversity: Swiss Graphic Design and Advertising by Geigy. I know alot of designers (myself included) that are extremely excited over the release of this book. It chronicles the work of the design studio J.R Geigy AG which was a launching pad for one of the great periods of Swiss graphic design, in the 1950s and 1960s. It’s amazing to see the quantity and quality of the designers associated with Geigy. Under the leadership of Max Schmid for many years, the studio employed Roland Aeschlimann, Karl Gerstner, Jörg Hamburger, Steff Geissbuhler, Andreas His, Toshihiro Katayama, and Nelly Rudin, among others. Freelance designers such as Michael Engelmann, Gottfried Honegger, Armin Hofmann, Herbert Leupin, Warja Lavater, Numa Rick, and Niklaus Stoecklin were also used. In the 1960s, the Basel office, most especially George Giusti and Fred Troller, was involved in developing the studios of the subsidiaries in the United States and the United Kingdom, placing more emphasis on advertising. This is the first comprehensive presentation of Geigy design, an important Swiss contribution to the international history of design.

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New Work From Wink!

Wink - Rebel Green

Wow! Super snappy new work from Wink. Wink is always on-point design-wise, and this is no different. Their latest work is for Rebel Green, a new aesthetically conscious and eco-friendly company with products aimed at reducing and reusing.

I love the illustration and typographic work throughout the product line — it harkens back to a simpler and more honest time. I’ll admit I’m not the best at washing before ingesting fruit, so this very well might be what I need. How about them apples!

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Designer’s Bookshelf: Michelle McCormick

Designer and blogger, Michelle McCormick, has an incredible eye for collecting an array of bits and baubles. Her bookshelves house a wonderful assortment of books, colorful stamps, and tons of interesting objects, all of which are featured on her blog Inspiration Resource. Michelle has a great eye for intricate details, and her blog showcases various themed collections, posted daily as sources of inspiration.

Michelle happily shares all of these things with the readers of Grain Edit. Enjoy!

And now, over to you Michelle!

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Ongoing Events & Resources

ANDREW HOLDER AT SUBTEXT GALLERY

Andrew Holder - Subtext

More Andrew Holder! Here at Grain Edit we love Andrew’s work, and it’s awesome to see him popping up in more shows and galleries. We just want to see his work up here in the Bay Area! I guess we’ll have to wait. But if you are down south, be sure to check out Andrew’s show in San Diego at Subtext Gallery & Design Bookstore. It’s going on until April 26th.

Press release from Subtext Gallery: Andrew Holder is a recent graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and his talent has earned him shows in Australia, San Francisco, and now in his home away from home, San Diego. Andrew has already built up a steady flow of clientele, including Roxy, Poketo, National Geographic, The Toronto Times, and Arkitip Magazine. He was born in St. Augustine, Florida, but spent most of his youth growing up in San Diego. His work has a hint of Scandinavian folk-art with a modern-day twist. Sleepy seaside towns and country landscapes are prominent in his pieces, made up of simple geometric shapes and organic line work. Andrew’s pieces are memorable, distinct, and beautifully engaging.

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Four Bold Types to Build Dense Word Images + Doodle Socking!

 type specimen book

Four bold types to build dense word images c. early 60s?

Beautiful type specimen booklet produced by Typefoundry Amsterdam and imported by Amsterdam Continental. Includes samples of Egyptian Bold Extended, Annonce Grotesque, Egyptian Bold Condensed and Old Gothic Bold Italic.

From the intro of the Booklet:

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Afreeka! DJ OM and DJ Makossa Psych Mix and Monthly Show

 AFREAKA

Flyer design: Mike Schofield Resource Room Productions

Deejay OM is a long time friend of mine. We used to roll around Northern California hitting busted record shacks and dirt malls while bragging about our latest private press lp scores. The man has an insane record collection. He’s the guy with the Og PI-R Square 45 you wish you had. Make that 10 copies you wish you had. Every first Wednesday of the month at the Attic in the Mission district of San Francisco OM along with DJ MAKossa lay down some seriously rare grooves. For tonight’s show (April 1st 2009) they will be showing the 1978 Brazilian Psychedelic horror flick Hallucinations of a deranged mind to accompany the music.

Today for grain edit readers OM and MAKossa have prepared 2 special live sets. They drop everything from raw American psych to spaced out funky electronics ala Pierre Henry. OM starts off his set with a classic psych cut by Animated Egg and eventually works into a track off his Reheated Naan and Curry lp that is so hard that it will break your face. MAKossa serves up a killer Turkish track, Jamaican chatter and drums thicker then a hippopotamus covered in maple syrup.

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Ward Jenkins: A Very Busy Man

 ward jenkins

One of our favorite illustrators from the Pacific Northwest is Ward Jenkins. He has to be one of the busiest guys in the biz. He creates amazing illustrations, chats it up on twitter, contributes to Drawn!, maintains several flickr groups (here and here), runs a fantastic blog (his blog is one of the first blogs I started reading) and on top of all this he just completed his first children’s book, which will be published by Simon & Schuster in June 2009. I’m starting to think that Ward is not one person, but rather a small organization with one heck of a cool name.

Ward just released 7 new prints in his Ward-O -Matic Etsy Shop (I know, he has a shop too, where does get the time?) To celebrate he’s holding a giveaway. To enter you have to leave a comment on this post by 11:59 midnight PST on Wednesday, April 1st, 2009. The winners will be announced on Friday, April 3rd.

Visit Ward’s blog to enter the giveaway.

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