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Lost Charley Harper Paintings Rediscovered

Charles Harper

I’d like to thank Rena Hopkins of the Charley Harper Art Studio for passing on the good news that a lost trove of original Charley Harper paintings have been rediscovered. These paintings were commissioned for the Ford Times and Lincoln Mercury Times Magazines and include many pieces from Charley’s beloved bird series. You can find out more info at the studio’s exciting new blog. Original Harper prints for Ford Times magazine are available for purchase here.

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Charley Harper prints in ABC’s book

charley harper abc book

Charley Harper’s ABC’s – published by AMMO Books c2008

Greg over at daddytypes always posts top notch modern design goodies for kids and dads alike. Yesterday he posted this sweet ABC book which features Charley Harper prints. At $10 this is a must for any Charles Harper fan.

You can buy the book here.

Also worth checking:
We posted a bunch of images of the heavily sought after Giant Golden Book of Biology, written by Gerald Ames and illustrations by Charles Harper (Copies sell for $300 +!) Click the link below to see the image gallery.

Charley Harper illustrations – Giant Golden Book of Biology

also see:
Charley Harper Ford Times

Edie Harper

edie harper

I just received some sad news. Edie Harper, the wife of the late Charles Harper passed away last week. Edie, a talented artist in her own right, was known for her beautiful illustrations of biblical stories.

The official announcement from the Harper Estate after the jump

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Charles Harper Illustrations – Giant Golden Book of Biology

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Giant Golden Book of Biology – An Introduction to the Science of Life c1961
Text by Gerald Ames and Rose Wyler – Illustrated by Charley Harper

It doesn’t get much better then this. This is Charley in his prime.

“In a style he called “minimal realism”, Charley Harper captured the essence of his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements. When asked to describe his unique visual style, Charley responded:

When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures. I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all the elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilized parts; and herein lies the lure of painting; in a world of chaos, the picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe.[cite this quote]

He contrasted his nature-oriented artwork with the realism of John James Audubon, drawing influence from Cubism, Minimalism, Einsteinian physics and countless other developments in Modern art and science. His style distilled and simplified complex organisms and natural subjects, yet they are often arranged in a complex fashion. On the subject of his simplified forms, Harper noted:

I don’t think there was much resistance to the way I simplified things. I think everybody understood that. Some people liked it and others didn’t care for it. There’s some who want to count all the feathers in the wings and then others who never think about counting the feathers, like me.”

– Wikipedia

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Charles Harper: Illustrations for Ford Times

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Charles Harper’s work looks just as fresh and exciting today as it must of looked 40 years ago. Its been great to see a renewed interest in his illustrations mostly due to the recent release of Todd Oldham’s book Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life. Heres a small sample of Charles’ work for Ford Times. The issues featured above are from the mid to late 60s. In addition be sure to check out the Charles Harper Flickr group. Enjoy!

Book Gems from the South of France

On a recent and most adventurous trip to the South of France, I had the pleasure of visiting the small village of Montolieu. Known as the “Village of Books,” Montolieu has a grand array of artisans that specialize in book binding and printing as well as antiquarian bookstores specializing in everything from vintage periodicals and antiquities to comics, art and kids books.

Today’s post will unearth some of my favorite finds from my trip, including books illustrated by J.P. Miller, Charley Harper, and Alain Gree.

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Octoberama

charles harper
Octoberama by Charley Harper / 30 inches x 30 inches

The Poster Cabaret is now carrying select pieces by the late Charley Harper, including this print entitled Octoberama: a fitting title for the approaching Fall season. Harper was a master in his use of color and ability to reduce elements to their simplest form. These are reflected in the warm, subdued shades of orange, yellow and red seen in the leaves above.

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Clayton Junior: Illustration

London based illustrator, Clayton Junior, has a keen eye for precision as shown here in this image from the “A View From London” exhibition at the London Transportation Museum. Here, he depicts the hustle bustle of the city in a delightful way by cohesively weaving the intricate details of buildings and people with an eye-catching color palette. If I had my choice, I’d want to be one of the kids on the scooter instead of the commuter with the briefcase.

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Sanjay Patel Interview

Ramayana

Chronicle Books has just released Ramayana: Divine Loophole the latest book from Pixar animator and illustrator Sanjay Patel. As one of the core legends of Hindu mythology, Ramayana recounts a tale of Rama, a god-turned-prince, and his quest to rescue his wife Sita after she was kidnapped by a demon king. Sanjay is able to breath new life into this 2500-year-old epic tale with over 150 pages of lush, detailed illustrations.

In this interview, he gives us a glimpse into the making of the book and some of the challenges he faced along the way.

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Leandro Castelao

Sweet birds! I’m really digging this work from Buenos Aires designer / illustrator Leandro Castelao.

The illustrations of animals seem to have a Charley Harper-esque quality to them, but I love how they’re taken to a new “exploded-view” type level.

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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!

Sincerely,
Grain Edit & Friends

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alphabeasties and other Amazing Types

alphabeasties

I’ve been a fan of Werner Design Werks for a few years now, so I was excited to hear about their recent release of alphabeasties: and other Amazing Types. This beautiful children’s book features animals crafted out of typefaces. How about an alligator set in Volta EF? You got it! There’s even a dachshund made out of “d”s set in Bauhaus. Gary fans rejoice!

In the same vein as Bruno Munari’s Alfabetiere, alphabeasties achieves a perfect balance of fun and well-executed design. Pick up a copy for your your kid, but don’t be suprised if you end it keeping all to yourself.

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Upcoming & Ongoing events

CHARLES HARPER EXHIBITION

The Public Trust / Charley Harper Exhibition

Charley Harper fans rejoice! The Public Trust is currently running an exhibition of Mr. Harper’s works throughout April. That massive Charley Harper book is amazing, but man, wouldn’t it be great to see the actual paintings in person? If you’re in the Dallas, TX area and happen to go, let us know how it is!

Thanks to James for passing this along!

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THE PRACTICE SESSIONS APRIL 2 – 4 2009

The Practice Sessions

The Practice Sessions is a workshop and panel discussion by Antonio Carusone, Frank Chimero, Duane King and Matt Owens taking place at the National Student Show & Conference in Dallas, Texas. The Practice Sessions was created by Thinking for a Living, an ever-growing platform dedicated to the concept of open source design education. Through a network of topic specific design sites with a focus on education and resources, we share our thoughts, inspirations, critical analysis, design histories and individual experiences relating to a career in design.

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Eleanor Grosch interview

Eleanor Grosch, Pushmepullyou Design, illustration, interview

I first stumbled upon Eleanor’s work while out shoe shopping a few years ago. I found a menagerie of Keds slip-on shoes with the loveliest animal patterns ever-imaginable…doves, giraffes, camels, and even cows! It was love at first sight!

Since that shopping extravaganza, I came to learn that the wonderful Ms. Grosch was behind those whimsical designs. Her work incorporates carefully chosen color palettes with geometric shapes and attentive lines, much in the style of her hero, Charley Harper.

In addition to designing for Keds, Eleanor has also designed for Alien Workshop, Urban Outfitters, and Chronicle Books. Her work diversely appears on rock posters, skateboards, apparel, and various publications. This past April, Print Magazine honored Eleanor as one of their New Visual Artists of 2008.

Before we bite into the meat of this interview, I’ve gathered a few nibbles and goodies of Eleanor’s work from the past years:

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The New YouWorkForThem Site

YWFT-new-site

YouWorkForThem just launched a brand new site this week. If you are unfamiliar with YWFT, it’s an online store that carries books, t-shirts, posters, stock images and more.

We love books at Grain Edit so, we took some time to browse through the book section and select some of our top picks.

We’ve included links below each description, so you can get more info/purchase the book if you want to.

Dave’s picks

charley-harper

Charley Harper –  An Illustrated Life

This mammoth 420 page book put together by Top Designer Todd Oldham is a wonderful tribute to Charley Harper. The book is filled with full color examples of Charley’s stunning work.

Click here for more for more info/ purchase a copy.

steven-harrington

Steven Harrington: Our Mountain

I love Steven Harrington’s illustration style and this book serves as a wonderful overview of his work. This copy is signed and drawn on by Steven Harrington himself!

Click here for more for more info/ purchase a copy.

pino-tovaglia

Pino Tovaglia: The Rule That Corrects Emotion

We received a copy of this book from the publisher a few months back and loved it. You can see our review of the book here. YWFT got in some copies and now you can own a copy of this hard to find Italian import too.

Click here for more for more info/ purchase a copy.

brockmann-grid

Grid Systems in Graphic Design

Josef Muller Brockmann’s magnum dopest. The definitive book on grid systems. Every designer should be required to own this.

Click here for more for more info/ purchase a copy.

wim-crouwel

Wim Crouwel Alphabets

I really want a copy of the Wim Crouwel monograph: Mode En Module, but this book will have to due for now. Mode en Module has been out of print for a while and now goes for crazy cash. Wim Crouwel Alphabets (as seen above) is now of out of print as well and I’m sure it won’t be long before it increases in value. YWFT them still has a few copies, get your hands on one while you still can.

Click here for more for more info/ purchase a copy.

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Ethan’s Picks

How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul

As a design student, I am constantly looking for that juicy “tell-all” graphic design book. The one where you learn everything about being a real designer before actually getting a job. I love hearing different tips and tricks from seasoned designers. But my quest is over, because that book is here.

Adrian Shaughnessy breaks the process down into the necessary steps: how to find a job, being freelance, setting up a studio, running a studio, the creative process, etc. All of my burning questions answered in one book! Adrian also includes interviews with Neville Brody, Rudy VanderLans, Andy Cruz, and Natalie Hunter, among others, plus a forward by Stefan Sagmeister.

Click here for more for more info/ purchase a copy.

Beautiful Losers

One summer I spent a month attempting to learn how to skateboard. In the three years since then I’ve probably only landed two tricks successfully. I either got hurt or was too intimidated. Beautiful Losers is a way for me to vicariously live out my 1990s street and skate culture fascinations, without having to get on a skateboard.

Beautiful Losers tells the story of how artists and designers like Shepard Fairey, Spike Jonze, Mike Mills, Barry McGee, and others built their own art community independent of the mainstream art institution.

Click here for more for more info/ purchase a copy.

Adrian Johnson interview

Adrian Johnson - Illustration

In the midst of Grain Edit’s one year anniversary, we’re super excited to bring you this interview with Adrian Johnson. Mr. Johnson is a UK-based designer/illustrator whose work spans editorial, print, motion, and his own self-initiated projects. He has designed for Mastercard, Giant Robot, Vodafone, and Stussy, to name a few. In the interview, Adrian talks about his background, inspirations, creative process, and of course, zeitgeist.

A lot of work nowadays is stylish, and fun, and cool, but can ultimately become irrelevant due to poorly executed ideas, or lack of decent concepts. I see Adrian’s work as a nice balance between kick-butt graphics and style, and smart ideas that get through to people.

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Invisible Creature interview

Don  Clark disney pic

Invisible creature is the three-time Grammy-nominated Seattle based design duo of Don and Ryan Clark. Including their work while part of Asterik Studio and current work for Tooth & Nail Records, the two have created hundreds of CD packages and limited edition silk-screened posters. A small sample of their Client list includes: Foo Fighters, Chris Cornell, and Billboard magazine.

Their work is inspiring and fun to look at and they have no problem with experimentation. I’m amazed by their ability to consistently create quality work in a broad range of media.

In this interview, Don Clark shares with us some of the history of Invisible Creature and an exclusive look at the process behind “family portrait”, a piece in their recent gallery exhibition titled Haven.

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Wink interview

Wink Design - graphic design studio Minneapolis

My first introduction to Wink was four or five years ago when their packaging for Sunmilk was making the rounds in the design magazines and annuals. Since then, I’ve tried to keep an eye on their work. What has impressed me the most about Wink has been their ability to consistently produce top notch work.

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Designers bookshelf: Sean + Nicole Flores

sean_nicole_flores_book_collection
When grainedit asked us to show our book collection for their blog, we were pretty excited. Getting it done, however, was half the battle. Not that we were lazy, okay, we were a little lazy, but the hard part was figuring out what stuff we liked the most.

It’s not that easy, here’s how it went:
Sean: [Looking though first shelf] “Oh, I like this one, this one too, we should put this one in”

Nicole: [sighs] How many do you plan on doing? That’s too many.

So here you go, a look at our bookshelf and here are some of our favorites.
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