July 2009

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Conor Oberst Concert Poster

conor oberst poster

Conor Oberst Concert Poster by Vahalla Studios. Handmade three color silkscreen measures 18″x 24″.

The poster pick series presses on with a piece by Tad Carpenter of Vahalla Studios. I like the limited color palette used in this poster and think that it compliments the scene perfectly. It is quiet yet delightful. The use of pattern throughout the poster is as terrific as the type choices. Plus, I’m a sucker for buildings in a background.

You can purchase the Conor Oberst poster at www.postercabaret.com

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Guest post at Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves

le vaillant petit tailleur

Le Vaillant Petit Tailleur – Illustrations by E. Probest c1963

I’d like to thank Burgin over at Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves for inviting me to guest post on her wonderful blog. If you haven’t been to her site before your in for a real treat. She often features kid’s books from the 1950’s-1970’s and from some of my favorite illustrators including Abner Graboff and Ed Emberley. For my post, I decided to share a french book entitled Le Vaillant Petit Tailleur. You can see all the mages here.

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The Whimsical Works of David Weidman

hong kong festivals stamps

The Whimsical Works of David Weidman – Published by Gingko Press.

David Weidman’s name may not be familiar, but his work certainly is. Weidman began his career as an animator in 1950s Los Angeles, painting backgrounds for Hannah Barbara and setting the standard for the look of cartoons of that era. However, like a true entrepreneur he soon began to work for himself, and went on to establish a style that is today instantly recognizable and iconic. A printmaker, ceramicist, font designer, painter, cartoonist, and silk screener, Weidman never stopped experimenting as an artist. Today at age 87 Weidman’s staggering body of work is just as modern and visually stunning as it was forty years ago. His graphic sensibility and expert use of saturated color palettes evoke the vintage modern look while remaining completely relevant to contemporary designers.

If you don’t have a copy of this book yet, it’s seriously worth picking up. You can can pick up a copy here.

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Mig Reyes – Blog Wars Poster

hong kong festivals stamps

People are dying for blogs y’all

Blog Wars? What the heck is going on in Chicago? People killing each other over raw RSS product? Naw, turns out Blog Wars is a gathering of Chicago’s top dance music DJs—who all happen to run successful blogs.

The poster was created by talented designer and all around rad guy Mig Reyes. I love how Mig breaks up the rigid grid with streams of folkadelic type which parallel the flow and feel of vinyl records. It slightly reminds me of Lance Wyman’s identity work for the 1968 Mexico Olympics which played off traditional Huichol Indian art. I hope Mr. Reyes printed up extra copies of this poster, because I know some people will want to get their hands on this war-torn gem!

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A. Micah Smith / My Associate Cornelius

Upon viewing the work of Micah Smith, aka My Associate Cornelius, I 1) greatly enjoy the Bottle Rocket reference within the name, and 2) love the work.

One of the things i enjoy about Micah’s work is the range and personality found in it. There is a strong sense of playfulness throughout his portfolio; the work feels like it’s active and doing something.

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Hong Kong Festivals 1975 Stamps

hong kong festivals stamps

1975 Hong Kong festivals – official first day cover and stamp set designed by Tao Ho

Tao Ho is a Hong Kong-based architect, designer, teacher, and writer. He studied under Sigfried Giedion and Josep Lluís Sert at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and worked with Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius at the Architects Collaborative. In 1975, Tao Ho designed this first day cover and stamp set to commemorate Hong Kong’s Tin Hau, Dragon Boat, and Mid-Autumn festivals.

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Edward McGowan Illustration

edward mcgowan

Illustration for Cottage Life Magazine

Edward McGowan is an Edinburgh based illustrator with a keen eye for bright colors and rough textures.

This particular illustration, created for Cottage Life Magazine, features a white house surrounded by tall cone shaped clusters of trees and various patches of green. The composition draws one’s eye to the tiny house and skinny path, which connects the earth to the sea. The textures within this piece are coarse, and the illustration itself is reminiscent of those found in my old Social Studies books from elementary school.

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Simmelkiaer Grotesk Type Specimen

simmelkiaer grotesk

Simmelkiaer Grotesk – Grafisk Compagni

I found this type specimen sheet when I was digging through a printer’s collection last summer. Anyone have any info on Simmelkiaer Grotesk or Grafisk Compagni?

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Renegade Craft Fair

renegade craft fair

This weekend the grain edit crew headed over to the Renegade Craft Fair. The event was held at the giganticle Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion. The place was packed with Men of the Yarn and friendly Thimble Queens all carefully curating their collections of handmade goodness. I’ve never seen so many t-shirts and pillows in my life! It was a palace of soft joy!

We had a blast meeting everyone. Handshakes & hugs to the following people: Frank Chimero, A. Micah Smith A.K.A My Associate Cornelius, Lorena Siminovich & the crew from Petit Collage, Sasha Barr and Meagan Claire Hall of Wonder Thunder and Klover Kim (Please don’t break my arm, if you don’t win the next giveaway!)

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Komboh Design & Illustration


Editorial Design for Issue One of Pendulum Magazine (2009)

Ah, the bustling city. This magazine cover by Canadian dynamic design duo, Komboh, has it all: high-rises, cars, trucks, and busy people. Juxtaposing the grime of the city is a thick, clean white coil, which adds a simple graphic element to the crowded urban streets. The design is straightforward, clean, unpretentious, and nice to look at.

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Flight of the Conchords Poster by Patent Pending

flight of the conchords

Flight of the Conchords Concert Poster designed by Jesse LeDoux of Patent Pending.  18″ x 24″.

This week we have our sights on a Flight of the Conchords Concert Poster by Patent Pending. Based in Seattle and headed by Jeff Kleinsmith and Jesse LeDoux, Patent Pending was established by the design duo in 1999.

My favorite thing about viewing the work of other designers is seeing how they approach details in their design. I’m impressed with several parts of this poster and I enjoy that it is understated and relaxed. The typographic work is smart and attention grabbing without too much visual info to distract from it. As a fan of FoTC I think it captures their vibe really well.

This poster is available for purchase at www.postercabaret.com

A Quick Interview with Christopher Simmons

The Good Design Book

Examining some possible layouts.

We recently received news from long-time Grain Edit friends, MINE™, about their new book in the works, tentatively titled The Good Design Book. This book is aimed at those with a critical eye and an interest in how design can affect the greater good.

Combining essays from designers as well as showcasing approximately 70 projects, the book takes a current look this expanding movement, and offers resources for those looking to get involved.

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Jazzin’ the Black Forest: The Guide to Saba/MPS Jazz Records

jazzin the black forest

Jazzin the Black Forest – The Complete Guide to Saba/MPS Jazz Records -Published by Crippled Library c1999

Jazzin´the Black Forest is the story of the SABA/MPS jazz label. It was established during the early 1960s  and is considered to be Germany´s first independent label. From the label’s beginnings up to its sale to Polygram in 1983, SABA/MPS released over 700 LPs. This book features full color images of all the LPs, a complete index as well as poster reproductions.

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Herb Lubalin Archives

herb lubalin

For the Herb Lubalin fans out there, Justin Thomas Kay has just uploaded a slick collection of images from a recent visit to Lubalin’s archive at the Cooper Union in NYC.

In addition to Justin’s Flickr account, you can find photos from the Lubalin collection at 12oz Prophet + So Much Pileup.

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Nobrow Issue 1: Gods & Monsters

Nobrow Gods & Monsters

Cover illustration by Stuart Kolakovic

Nowbrow Press‘ recently sent over their spectacular first issue, Gods and Monsters. Twenty four talented illustrators and designers have been carefully selected to create work around a specific theme. I love all the pieces exhibited in the issue, and a few of my favorites come from Alex Spiro, Reuben Rude, Toby Leigh, Jordan Crane, and Sarah King.

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Poster Pick: Blanca Gomez – Bang!

blanca gomez

Bang! by Blanca Gomez printed on archival giclee, measures 16″ x 20″

This week we’d like to transport you to the wonderful world of illustrator and graphic designer, Blanca Gomez. Gomez is an artist living and working in Madrid, Spain.  Her designs are neat, simple, and often amusing.

Bang! is a great example of the simplicity Gomez offers up in her work. This selection is playful and can’t help but bring a smile to your face. The gentleman is drawn simply and elegantly, while the red heart offers the perfect pop of color in an otherwise somber scene.

Bang! is available for purchase at the Poster Cabaret.

Always With Honor: Design & Illustration Part 2

Always With Honor

Illustrations for Good Magazine by Always With Honor

Let it be known! These are charted waters, literally!

Designed by Brooklyn based creative collective Always With Honor for GOOD Magazine’s June issue, this devastatingly entertaining info graphic depicts the “Largest Bankruptcies in History.” Its design is straightforward, simple, and fun as it uses bright colors and geometric shapes. Each boat appropriately corresponds with the data, with tiny sailboats depicting small money loss and huge cruise ships depicting major losses.

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Swiss Graphic Design Book Now Available


Corporate Diversity: Swiss Graphic Design and Advertising by Geigy 1940-1970

A few months ago we featured the book Corporate Diversity: Swiss Graphic Design and Advertising by Geigy 1940-1970 on grain edit. At the time the book was only available in Europe. We’re excited to announce that it is now available for purchase in the U.S. I highly recommend this book. Don’t sleep on this one! Lars Muller and the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich did an excellent job presenting the material.

You can purchase the Book here. Get it before it sells out!

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Dirk Fowler / F2 Design

Dirk Fowler / F2 Design

Like many, gig-posters provided my first introduction to graphic design. The images seemed to perfectly articulate the ideas and spirit of the bands I was so obsessed with. During a recent “Best of the Best of Poster Designers” conversation, I was reminded of Dirk Fowler‘s work and it’s solid place in design history.

With the speed and ease of the Internet it’s easy to see design trendiness proliferate and to focus on the latest and greatest. In a time of gig-poster saturation, it can be nice to take a step back and see where a lot of current work gets it’s roots and inspirations.

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Abner Graboff

abner graboff

Mr. Angelo by Marjory Schwalje – Illustrations by Abner Graboff c1960

Ward Jenkins has an excellent interview with Jon Graboff over at the Ward-O-Matic.  Jon is the son of the uber talented Abner Graboff, an American artist who illustrated a slew of amazing children’s books during the 1950s and 60s.  In one part of the interview Jon mentions that his brother informed him that their dad had designed the CBS “eye” logo but didn’t receive credit for it. The credit went instead to the chief art director at the network. That art director would be William Golden. Is it possible that Abner Graboff designed the CBS eye logo?

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Marcus Walters Illustration & Design

Marcus Walters

After feeling around, I’ve come to this conclusion: I can afford a relaxing day in the sun and enjoying more work by UK based illustrator Marcus Walters.

Created for Barclays Bank, this illustration is bright and cheerful amidst a neighborhood of homes for sale. The clever type contained within the cloud nicely complements the analogously colored homes. I especially enjoy the intricate details that lie within the trees and the decoration of the homes. Read the rest of this entry »

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