December 2009

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The Jazz Loft Project

From 1957-1965 W. Eugene Smith, a prolific American photographer, documented New York jazz musicians in his small loft and ended up with 4,000 hours of audio and 40,000 photographs. His dilapidated loft in the wholesale flower district was the place for late-night jam sessions for Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Steve Reich, Zoot Sims, Roland Kirk, and Alice Coltrane. He also recorded drug addicts, neighborhood cops, radio programs about aliens, MLK and JFK on the radio, James Baldwin and Frank Lloyd Wright in interviews. When Smith died, he accumulated 1,740 reels of tape. Below are some of his photos and tape boxes from his collection.

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Jingle Bells illustrated by J.P. Miller

jingle bells, j.p. miller

Take a look at these adorable smiling faces filled with holiday cheer!

J.P. Miller’s illustrations for Kathleen N. Daly’s Jingle Bells (1964) are just so festive and inspirational! The story is a nice twist on the old holiday tune, and is about a sleigh full of animals that help Santa when he needs it the most. I love Miller’s use of color and texture to achieve different values, and his depiction of animals are always so whimsical. Did you notice they’re all smiling with sweaters on?

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Denmark Christmas Seals 1962

denmark christmas seals
1962 Denmark Christmas Seals designed by Erik Petersen

Glædelig Jul! In the early 1900s, a Danish postal clerk came up with the idea of selling Christmas seals to raise money for children with tuberculosis. Over 100 years later, these “cinderella” (unofficial postage) stamps have become a worldwide holiday tradition. In 1962, Erik Petersen designed this sheet of Christmas seals, depicting the gamle håndværk (“old trades”) of Denmark. I want to live inside this illustration; I’d stop by the pipe maker’s shop on my way to pick up some candles and clogs.

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Kitsune Noir Poster Club

kitsune noir poster club

Jez Burrows – Walden (Part of the Kitsune Noir Poster Club)

Over the next several months, several design blogs (including grain edit) will be collaborating with the stellar art & design social network Society 6. First up is the Kitsune Noir Poster Club. Bobby of the excellent Kitsune Noir asked five of his favorite artists to interpret books they really enjoy into a print that will be a lasting work of art.

The project includes:

Jez Burrows – Henry David Thoreau’s Walden

Mark Weaver –  Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

Frank Chimero – Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter House Five

Cody Hoyt – David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest

Garrett Vander Leun – Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

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Sanna Annukka Shop – Soul Birds

sanna annukka

Sanna Annukka Limited Edition Wooden Soul Birds

Sanna Annukka recently launched a new portfolio and online store. I love these solid brown oak Soul Birds which are now available for pre-orders in her shop. I’ll have to add these to my Christmas list!

On her website, Sanna shares this bit about the the Soul Bird which stems from Finnish mythology. “In Karelia there was an ancient belief in the Sielulintu or Soul bird. The Sielulintu was thought to deliver the soul to newborn babies and also to transport the soul to the afterlife at the moment of death. It was believed the Sielulintu protected a persons soul at it’s most vulnerable; when dreaming, and it was tradition to keep a carved wooden bird by the bedside to keep the soul safe during sleep.”

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Limited Edition Grain Edit T-Shirt Available for Pre-Order

grain edit t shirt

Grain Edition #01 – Limited Edition Grain Edit T-Shirt designed by Invisible Creature

We are excited to announce the Limited Edition Galaxy Blue Grain Edit T-Shirt designed by Seattle’s own Invisible Creature. We love the design and hope you do too! The 5 color t-shirt features a gaggle of cool creatures sitting down for story time (my favorite is the little guy with the red and blue eyes). Each shirt is lovingly screen-printed by the guys and gals over at Blue Collar Press right here in the good ole USA.

The shirts will be $20 till this Friday at Midnight (PST). After that the price jumps up to $25. Also for every t-shirt you purchase you will receive 1 entry in the 2009 Grain Edit Holiday Giveaway Bash.

*** Please note this is a PRE-ORDER. We will be receiving the shirts at the end of Dec and shipping orders the first week of January. ******

You can PRE-ORDER the Limited Edition Galaxy Blue Grain Edit Shirt here.

For more details + pictures etc.

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2009 Holiday Wish Lists (UPDATED)

holiday list

Dear Santa, Hanukkah Harry, and Kwanzaa Ken:

Searching high and low across the vast realm of the interwebs, we’ve collectively compiled probably one of the hugest lists imaginable with some of our favorite artists! We’ve all been on our best behavior, assisting elderly ladies and gents across the street and working our fannies off. Please take a moment to give this list a good read, and say you’ll bring some of these things our way!

Grain Edit & Friends

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Introducing the Grain Edit Job Board

grain edit job board

Introducing the grain edit job board. For job seekers, we already have some listings posted plus on the main page of the job board you can sign up for job alerts or subscribe to the job listings RSS feed. We’ve also created a twitter account for the job board , so you can follow listings there as well. We’ve added a link to the new section in our top navigation, so you can easily access the listings whenever you want.

For companies interested in posting a listing to our job board, we offering a special discount. Use the coupon code ‘promo’ to receive 50% off.

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ISO50 Interview

Scott Hansen ISO50

For this exciting addition to the Grain Edit interview series, we kept it local — seeking out one of San Francisco’s finest, Scott Hansen, aka ISO50. My first acquaintance with Scott came in the spring of 2005. The pre-Grain Edit crew had headed up to a lecture in Sacramento featuring Scott discussing his work and process.

I love the work of ISO50 just as much now as I did way back in ’05. It has a great historical reference, while still remaining contemporary. Scott does a nice job of combining clean, graphic forms alongside texture and pattern.

In this interview Scott talks about his entrance into graphic design, his creative process, his interest and involvement in music and photography, and, among many other things, his top 5 favorite albums.

So, pull up a chair in one of your favorite Dolores Park cafes (or imagine yourself there), and take look:

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Robert Samuel Hanson Illustration

robert samuel hanson

By land, sea, and air, this illustration takes us everywhere!

Created by illustrator Robert Samuel Hanson for Monocle magazine, this landscape playfully takes us to the scenic countryside to the bustling city. The piece is nicely laid out, with a very clean, matter-of-fact style.I really love all the details Robert’s included, from the tequila truck and Mayan temple, to the billboard advertising cerveza and masked news person…this is where I want to be today.

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Hybrid Design interview

Hybrid Design studio

Hybrid Design was formed by the husband and wife design team of Brian Flynn and Dora Drimalas. The San Francisco based firm has worked with a diverse body of clients including Nike, Upper Playground and Vans. The dynamic duo are also the brains behind Super 7 and Hybrid Home.

In today’s interview Brian reveals some of his influences, shares insights on managing a design firm, and even manages to squeeze in a somewhat obscure reference to Cameo.

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Criterion Collection DVD Covers

Cover for The Bad Sleep Well (1960) – Directed by Akira Kurosawa

The Criterion Collection is well-known for restoring rare, unique and cult classic films from famed directors like Akira Kurosawa, Jean-Luc Godard, Luis Buñuel, and Wes Anderson. Equally respected is their cover art and supplements to their DVDs. For 25 years, Criterion Collection has been pairing art house films with strong design. From typography to photography, they elevate box art to poster art with work that never cease to impress.

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Vintage Audi Poster

vintage audi poster

Just found this vintage Audi poster over at AisleOne. Looks like it was created sometime between 1968 and 1972 by Armin Hofmann. Simple and elegant.

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Mark Giglio Studio Visit

mark giglio studio

Pen Pencil Stencil is the online home and physical workspace of Mark Giglio. Mark is an amazing illustrator/ designer who’s worked on projects with a diverse mix of companies including: 2k by Gingham, Apple, Dwell, GSP, Nike, Tolleson Design, and others. Recently I had the pleasure of hanging out with Mark at his Oakland based studio.

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Kurokawa Nakagin Capsule Hotel

nakagin capsule

Nakagin Capsule Tower (AKA The BC25 Capsule) designed by Kisho Kurokawa

The 60s and 70s were an exciting period for Japanese architecture. In particular, the Metabolist Movement which was founded by a group of futuristic visionaries, including late architect Kisho Kurokawa, puts forth ideas of “large scale, flexible and extensible structures that facilitate an organic growth process”. Perhaps the most exemplary metabolist building is the Nakagin Capsule Tower built to accommodate bachelor salarymen in downtown Tokyo.

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Lotta Nieminen Illustration

lotta nieminen

I spy with my little eye—a dapper gentleman suffering from writer’s block!

Created for Markkinointi & Mainointa (Marketing & Advertising) magazine by Finnish illustrator Lotta Nieminen, this illustration has varied textures and layers that work so well together. The color palette is cool and complementary, and I really dig the different shapes that she uses to accentuate the man’s face and clothing…symmetry at its finest!

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