Noma Bar is a man of few strokes. But don’t let the simplicity fool you. His talent lies in his efficiency in depicting characters and social issues. With bold colors, shapes and one or two icons he captures the spirit of a person. Other times he communicates a message on a social issue with amazing clarity while adding a bit of humor to everything. Whether the message is about violence or equality, his straight-forward visual approach is refreshing.
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The opening film sequence for Up in the Air (2009) takes the viewer on a journey through the clouds and across the abstract landscapes of America. Each still is like a vintage postcard. The moving sequence is inter-cut with slides of lush greenery, dusty canyons, and intricate cityscapes. And the cherry on top? Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings’ “This land is your land” is the soundtrack behind the film edits that make the images float, glide, spin across the screen. It kicks the sleepiness out of the aerial footage and gives it a boost of vibrancy. The studio responsible for this, Shadowplay Studio, also made film titles for Juno (2007) and Thank you for Smoking (2005).
Young people working in the printing industry in Czechoslovakia from 1920s to mid century were graced with a beautiful journal, Typ. The decision to use only a couple of colors, lots of negative space, play with alignment, and change the placement of the title kept the design on the forefront, in the late 40s and today.
2009 International Year of Astronomy Poster designed by Simon C Page
Simon Page is a self-taught graphic design whiz with a mathematics background. He takes shapes and morphs them into cerebral abstractions. His style shifts around futuristic digital designs and 1960s minimalism, trotting the delicate line between simplicity and detail. His International Year of Astronomy 2009 poster designs caught the eyes of discerning design writers, including the New York Times and Creative Review. It may be the year for Astronomy but its equally a big year for Page, his posters got a boost in sales from all the acknowledgment he’s been getting in print and on the web.
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.
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.