Here is a gem of a video documenting the trials behind the design of the great PBS logo by Herb Lubalin. The vintage motion graphics are perfectly imperfect and glowing, and its great to see all of the early iterations of the logo, which are documented within this post.
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Tony Dispigna may be a very influential craftsman to today’s “throwback” design connoisseurs without many realizing. In 1969, shortly after graduating from Pratt, Tony joined forces at the legendary Lubalin Smith & Carnase. He has worked to produce notable classic typefaces like Lubalin Graph and Serif Gothic. Tony is currently a professor at Pratt and the New York Institute of Technology, and has also taught at SVA. Although much of Tony’s work is based on type, he also has a really good sense for creating wonderful logos, as you will see below.
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Château Vacant is Yannick Calvez, Lémuel Malicoutis and Baptiste Alchourroun, a group of French creatives who have hopped the Atlantic and set up their collective in Montréal, QC. As it states on their website, “We create images and videos thinking with objects and spaces.” Their work is eclectic, cutting edge, and slick, with media ranging from graphics and video to photography, illustration, and installation.
Genis Carreras, a Catalonian living and working in London, recently created this wonderful series of posters which attempt to explain complex philosophical theories through basic shapes. The resulting graphics are perfect in their colorful and elegant simplicity. Check out Genis’ site for more great work.
Kevin Stanley Harris is a Designer & Illustrator making a new home in the big East Coast city after recently relocating from Colorado. Claiming pride from being born in the 90s, this youngin’ has some good chops for great imagery and I look forward to seeing more of his work in the future
Roman Klonek is a Polish illustrator in Dusseldorf, Germany. His Eastern European roots are very evident in his work, which is often colorful woodcuts of natural scenes full of interesting characters. As Roman states about his work, “You will find a bizarre balancing act between propaganda, folklore and pop.”
Gwenola Carrere is an illustrator from Brussels, Belgium. She creates intricate and playfully crafted images. Some of my favorite works of hers are from a series of illustrations for Revue Dada titled “Made in Russia”. Influenced from 1920s & 30s Soviet illustration, she borrows attributes from this period while adding a bit of her own contemporary European twist.
Maxwell Loren Holyoke Hirsch is an extremely hard working illustrator with a client list as almost long as his name. Maxwell moved East from West a little over a year ago and has not slowed his momentum one bit. With a style that is crunchy and organic while maintaining digital shine and freshness, he continues to regularly submit work to such editorial powers as The New York Times, Bloomberg, The New Yorker, and more and more and more.
Hailing from Arizona, Chaz Russo, also known by his studio moniker ReckerHouse, creates some really nice visuals. The image above is an illustration depicting the bombing of Hiroshima for the wonderful Momentus Project. His works which showcase a use of faceted geometry combined with a muted and restrained palette are my favorites of his. Take some time today to check out more of Chaz’s imagery.
Denis Carrier, working under the moniker Studiofolk, is an Illustrator from France who makes images that are full of good feelings. His work is a great balance of both digital and analog approaches to illustration and exists 50/50 in vector and hand-drawn formats. Denis is also a co-founder of design studio PNTS.
Great friend of Grain Edit and infinitely talented designer Gavin Potenza has just updated his online portfolio with a number of strong editorial pieces. You may know of Gavin’s grainy work through these solo projects, or as one half of creative duo Script & Seal with our very own Liz Meyer.
Louis Swart was a packaging Designer in the Netherlands in the 1960s and 70s. Working in the design industry between the young ages of 13 and 40, Swart greatly paved the way for the future of Dutch package design. You can read more about the life and work of Louis Swart as well as view more of his great work at the Graphic Design Museum Blog.
Joel Speasmaker, also known by his studio moniker Forest, just updated his website with a big pile of great design. You may know of Joel’s pursuits through the early 00s magazine The Drama, or through more recent work as Editor of Swindle, Art-Director of Anthem, or on a more personal level through his series of zine editions: Forest Small Books. Joel continues to work hard and is always keeping it moving, so pay his new site a visit! Read the rest of this entry »
Contemporary Sculptor Takenobu Igarashi started his career in the early 1970s as an extremely talented Graphic Designer, quickly attaining international acclaim for his axonometric style of form and typography. Takenobu Igarashi has created identity systems, signage, products, packaging and graphics for notable instituions such as GRAPHIS Magazine and MoMa, and has work now rests in the permanent collections of museums all over the world. In 1994 he put his design talents to rest and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career as a Sculptor. He is currently the President of Tama Art University, where he had originally helped to set up the first program for “computerized design” education in Japan.
Multi-media designer Justin Harder produces mainly motion graphics for music videos and commercials, but his online portfolio also boasts a rather nice collection of static images. From geometric throwback typography and thick black logotypes, to illustrations and more experimental computer graphics, this LA based creative has a lot of hard work under his belt.
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Michiel Schuurman is a Dutch graphic designer in working in Amsterdam. Schuurman’s personal work specializes in typography and poster design which often boasts a rather maximalistic approach. His practice of combining bright colors, warped glyphs, harsh perspectives, and acidic patterns creates some awfully intriguing eye-candy, which he often screen prints himself. Read the rest of this entry »
Hailing from Melbourne, Australian designer Sam Chirnside creates some fresh graphical work. Sam’s visual themes tend to weigh on the cryptic side with his use of darker imagery and glyphic geometries to create stunning type. I really enjoy his use of grainy textures to add dramatic tone and give the work the perception of being rendered in pencil. Sam’s client list includes Volcom, 55dsl, and Handsome Clothing. On his website he also holds down a great inspirational blog with his own work sprinkled in.
London-based illustrator & designer Ryan Todd creates refreshing work; Taking a great understanding of how to use bright colors best, combined with a wonderful retention towards simplicity, his work leaves you with pleasant thoughts and emotion. Ryan states that his focus is on “producing ideas-led images which exercise forms of creative thinking and wit.” He also holds his desk at East London image factory: OPEN
Sawdust is the amalgomation of London designers Rob Gonzalez and Jonathan Quainton. They create sleek, intelligent, and award-winning work, focusing mostly on bespoke typographics, which seem to commonly combine bold geometrics with fragile vector strokes. Sawdust has gained a client list which includes BMW, Nike, Ogilvy & Partners, Saatchi, Virgin, Orange, and many many more.
Magnus Voll Mathiasson is a co-founder of Norwegian powerhouse design firm Grandpeople. His personal work, however is equally as powerful and intelligent. MVM’s illustrative designs hold warm bodies of smooth color, crispy textures, and a rich sense of volume. Although initially appearing heavy on abstraction, Magnus claims that his focus is on research driven work, and that “A strong conceptual foundation is important to secure strong aesthetics.” I’ve included details from some of his recent projects.
Chicago, Illinois based designer Eric Ellis produces clean and colorful graphics via a mixup of classic and contemporary influences. A recent graduate of Columbia College, and now an employee of Ogilvy & Mather, Eric is steadily continuing to create a plethora of awe-inducing imagery for us. For more of Ellis’ work, dig around through his site a bit, and be sure to also check out his great collection of #2 pencil sketches, Noon Studio.
Australian designer Heath Killen creates “visual communication with purpose & poetry.” You may be familiar with some of his work from his multitude of experimental redesigns of movie posters. Heath creates stunning and vibrant compilations of color, shape, and emotion, to give expressive imagery to works of jazz, theater, film, and more. Heath appears to be one of those designers who never stops experimenting, which seems to have resulted in a rather unrecognizable lack of separation between personal and client work.
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Jeremy Pettis is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based designer who creates some really amazing throwback typographical treatments. You may be familiar with his “26 Types Of Animals” project, in which he creates unique bespoke treatments through an alphabetical list of animal types. Jeremy’s website is dedicated mostly to that project, but you can find more real gems of work by digging through his flickr.
2011: Living in the Future was originally published in 1972, but has now been brought back to print upon realization of the book’s accuracy, inaccuracy, and irony. Geoffrey Hoyle, a science fiction author, future visionary, and product of his astronomer father, wrote the original text, predicting such glorious technologies as “vision desks,” “vision phones,” and personal automated breakfast factories. There is also talk of people only working 3 days a week, with a traffic-free commute. Playfully illustrated with wonderful projections of our modern-day utopia by Alasdair Anderson, this quick read would be great for both the coffee table and story time with the kids, so they can think about what those crazy people in the 70s were like.
Center of Attention is an online collection of vintage record center labels by designer Simon Foster. Simon’s collection contains some real colorful gems of labels, which seem to be mostly from the 60’s and 70’s, although he has a few more antique examples. Although the aging crisp graphics, imperfect printing, and retro typefaces are super intriguing, my favorite thing about these old labels are the classic song titles; with such great hits as “I’m Gonna Miss You (Like the Devil),” “T-R-A-M-P,” “The Machine Demands a Sacrifice,” and “Fattie Bum Bum.”
Network Osaka is a wittingly self-proclaimed “artist pretending to be a designer” (I’m too used to seeing it backwards). With the presentation, style, and workload of a full-on design studio, he creates strikingly bold and intimidatingly intelligent, yet beautifully simplistic imagery. What I really love most about Derek’s work, however, is that he has a great sense of when and how to use heavy, solid bodies of color. Some of my favorite graphics are from 26 piece alphabet card set with Artist As Citizen; “Extinct”. Derek Kim, as he also is known as, is a Parsons graduate with a BFA in communication, carrying a respectable client list which holds such names as Wieden+Kennedy, Nike, Esquire, and YWFT.
Japanese cute & dreamy music duo Lullatone recently posted this great video of small noise-producing exercises, titled “Experiments Around the House.” I really enjoy the simple yet very visually appealing colorful scenes, with content that draws upon a cuter parallel to the work of artist Koki Tanaka. Lullatone has many other great videos and visual projects that a design inclined mind would appreciate and are very much worth checking out.
Jelle Martens is a young image-maker from Gent, Belgium. He creates highly geometric and minimal work, borrowing much inspiration from the roots of his not so ancient ancestors. I really enjoy these simple shape and collage experiments most out of his work. They have a very striking and organic feeling to them, and are like precursors to logotypes. More work is also viewable at his Flickr.
Hailing from the Netherlands, illustrator Sue Doeksen creates wonderful worlds that are overpopulated with bright colors and friendly shapes, with mediums ranging from physical, digital, pencil-drawn, paper-cut, and animated. Judging from the massive amounts of blissfully exciting work on her blog, Sue is clearly one of those artists that doesn’t give up: most likely because she can’t stop creating.
Zurich, Switzerland based Philipp Dornbierer, a.k.a. Yehteh, is a digital illustrator and designer. Philipp has a great way of basing his work around rather doomy symbolism, such as swords and hooded executioners, but juxtaposes them with bright colors, pleasing patterns, and some friendlier icons to create joyfully accessible imagery. Some of my favorites include his collaborations with stateside’s Andy J. Miller. With a client list including Carhartt, IBM, and 55DSL, I think we can expect to see a lot more great things from this guy in the near future.
Ohio based image-maker Andrew Neyer displays a wonderful portfolio featuring a myriad of colorful illustrations and artwork, as well as well designed items such as zines and shirts. His work feels like snapshots; peeking into the inner workings of an everyday world in motion.
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Wucius Wong’s 1976 release, Principles of Three-Dimensional Design, is an educational book aimed at helping designers and artists wrap their heads around the physical space of objects. Concentrating on the use of simple planes and lines in geometric constructions combined with a thorough breakdown of our understanding of three-dimensional objects, Wong demonstrates how seemingly complex configurations can be easy to plan and construct. What I really want to share with you, however, are the tremendous images of models and diagrams created for the pages of this publication. Read the rest of this entry »
Taking another look back into San Francisco design studios as they stood in the late ’70s, I bring you the second in a series of posts from the book Graphic Design San Francisco. Today, we’ll take a look at Keating & Keating, who in present day is known as Kate Keating Associates, Inc., a heavy hitting SF corporate design firm.
“Keating & Keating have an attitude toward their work that can be stated in a definition of graphic design as ‘the architecture of visual communication.’ They believe that a project should entail not just applied cosmetics, but rather must be approached from a thorough problem-solving process in order to be successful.” Read the rest of this entry »
With a collection of 3,250 glorious icons, Handbook of Pictorial Symbols is great inspiration for any designer. Gathered from sources from around the world, these elegant yet minimal icons are a reminder that simplicity is truly key. Below is a small selection of my favorites from the book.
Graphic Design San Francisco is a book that was published in the late ’70s by the Institute for Graphic Design (which would later become AIGA SF) and Chronicle Books. For the first in a series of posts about the works of San Francisco Bay Area designers and firms, as their portfolios stood on the brink of the ’80s, I present to you Harry Murphy + Friends.
“The Philosophy of Harry Murphy + Friends is to maintain design work of consistently high quality, while producing a large volume of projects involving an exceptionally wide range of related disciplines, frequently with rigorous deadlines.
Since locating in the San Francisco area in 1966, Harry Murphy + Friends has won over 700 national and international design awards for architectural graphics, space design, environmental art, corporate identity, print graphics, and packaging.”
For my first post here at Grain Edit, I’m going to share one of my favorite design books from my bookshelf: American Trademark Designs. Published in 1976 by Dover Books and written and compiled by Barbara Baer Capitman, this book is chock full of 732 delicious black, bold, and inky vintage logos. My favorite aspect of this book is that it showcases extremely recognizable logos that have been stamped into the back of our eyelids (IBM, Mr. Peanut, Pepsi-Cola, Playboy) right alongside rarely seen identities created by tiny firms for tiny companies. Some marks are also showcased next to their former, replaced versions, displaying the brand’s evolution.
I’ve scanned some of my favorite graphics to share with you. A portion of this book is also available for view in Google Books, but it’s much more interesting on paper.