February 2010

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Sanjay Patel Interview


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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Studio EMMI

Studio EMMI

East London design group, Studio EMMI, has a fantastic selection of work. The work shown above was designed for The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts, and was also a recipient for Sappi’s 2009 Ideas That Matter award. The illustrations by Lucy Vigrass are wonderful — I want to jump in to any classroom scene with a typewriter!

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2010 California Design Biennial

california design biennial

2010 California Design Biennial – Call for Entries

Between now and April 2010 Louise Sandhaus and Derrick Schultz will be seeking graphic/communications design projects to include in the 2010 California Design Biennial that will be held at the Pasadena Museum of California Art in the Summer of 2010.

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Tom Eckersley

Tom Eckersley, Graphic Design, Illustration, 1960s, 1980s

Pakistani International Airlines poster (1960)

English artist and designer, Tom Eckersley (1914-1997), created numerous posters from the 1940s to the 1980s. Eckersley’s work communicates strong messages by employing bold overlaid colors, simplified forms, and informative text.

This poster, created for Pakistan International Airlines, depicts a dapper looking gentleman in Swiss garb. His playful image is simple, clean, bright and colorful; a stark contrast from the dark turquoise background. The composition is pleasing to the eye; as the figure gazes at the distant aircraft, we too are gazing at his cheerful image. Let’s all go to Geneva!

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Naive: Modernism and Folklore in Graphic Design

naive modern

If you’re interested in the artists featured on grain edit, I think you will appreciate today’s book. Naive: Modernism and Folklore in Contemporary Graphic Design documents the recent wave of design work inspired by Classic Modernism. I received a copy in the mail not too long ago and was impressed by the roster of artists featured in the book. We’ve covered many of the artists including Matte Stephens, Helen Dardik, Scotty Reifsnyder, Spike Press, Tes One, Adrian Johnson, Doublenaut, Darling Clementine, Andrio Abero, Methane Studios and Tad Carpenter on grain edit over the last couple of years, but there were still many I was unfamiliar with. My only complaint is the lack of a proper introduction as it would be nice to know more about the selection process. There are several artists in the book that seem out of place. I had a hard time seeing a connection between their work and modern design from the 1940- 1960s. But overall it is a solid addition to any designer’s library. More info + pictures available at the publisher’s website.

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Hey Studio

Hey Studio

Barcelena design studio Hey has a swath of cool projects. One of their latest, Calendar, features stylized illustrations of some of our favorite cultural and historical icons. Mr. Miyagi, Hulk Hogan, Poseidon, and Inspector Gadget are just a few. Like a good icon, these illustrations are minimal — leaving only the bare essentials to reference their counterparts.

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Infinity Owl by Aesthetic Apparatus

bulgarian stamps

This week’s poster pick was done by Aesthetic Apparatus. The owl has enjoyed a lot of attention from artists in recent years, and this owl will undoubtedly hold yours.  Note the eyes, this guy is an infinitely hypnotizing character. The greens used here are nice and bold and add an excellent touch of color. You can pick up this poster at postercabaret.com!

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Josh Brill Studio Visit

josh brill

In the fall, we featured Portland, Maine based artist and designer Josh Brill’s Flora Fauna series. The series included a colorful collection of bird illustrations, and was well received on grain edit as well other sites across the blogosphere. So, what’s Josh been up to lately? I traveled to Portland over the Christmas break and had the chance to catch up with Josh. We talked about living in Portland, his awesome collection of records from the Blue Note label as well as projects he’s currently working on.

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Johnny Kelly

johnny kelly the seed animation

Image from The Seed

London based animator and illustrator, Johnny Kelly, has an impressive body of work. This particular image, from his short animation The Seed, depicts the journey of an apple seed through its natural cycle of life. The Seed features stop motion and 2D animation, with faceted paper cut forms, vibrant colors, and a lot of attention to detail.

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Bulgaria Black Sea Resorts Stamps 1972

bulgarian stamps

1972 Bulgaria Black Sea Resorts stamps

These stamps depict the Bulgarian Black Sea resorts of Zlatni Pyasatsi (“Golden Sands”), Druzhba (“Friendship”), Slanchev Bryag (“Sunny Beach”), Primorsko, Rusalka (“Mermaid”), and Albena. I’m not sure who designed this set, but I suddenly want to bask in the Bulgarian sunshine.

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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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Up in the Air- Opening sequence

up in the air

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).

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S.britt Interview

S.britt interview illustration

The latest addition to our interview series takes us to the lush green mountainsides of Portland, OR, home to Powell’s Books, incredibly delicious food carts, and one of my favorite illustrators,  S.britt. I originally found his work in 2002, and it piqued my interest in the illustration we feature on Grain Edit today.

Inspired by artists such as Ed Emberley and Richard Scarry, S.britt’s work employs playful images, bright colors, and a sense of humor (aka FUN). In today’s interview, S.britt discusses some of his favorite things about Portland, his education, and reveals his interesting creative process. This is one interview you don’t want to miss!

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Michael Johansson

michael johansson

Strolls through time and space – Michael Johansson 2009

Really cool found object installations by Swedish artist Michael Johansson.

Michael has this to say about his work, “I am fascinated walking around flea markets finding doubles of seemingly unique, though often useless objects I have already purchased at another flea market. Despite the fact that I did not have any use for them even the first time, the desire to own two of these objects becomes too strong to resist. The unique and unknown origin of the object increases my desire to want the double – the unlikelihood of this sensation repeating itself produces an attraction that is too strong to resist.”

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Pigeon Post: Valentines Series I

pigeon post valentines

Keith-yin Sun and Judi Chan of Pigeon Post have created a wonderful set of postcards celebrating timeless stories of undying love from around the globe. Inspired by myths and folklore, the set consists of six beautifully designed cards in the shape of a stamp, honoring the tradition of sending mail. This particular postcard depicts Hinemoa & Tutanekai from Aotearoa (New Zealand). Read the rest of this entry »

Live Now

Live Now

Friend of Grain Edit and all around good guy, Eric Smith, recently emailed to say that his Live Now project has been updated. Live Now is a collection of designers, illustrators and (most importantly) friends—collaboratively pursuing the idea of “living now.” Communicating through artwork, literature, relationships, exhibitions and more, the project attempts to engage participants to live conscious and happy lives.

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This Week’s Poster Pick

Dirk Fowler / F2 Design

This Week’s Poster Pick is The Books/ Boston, MA poster designed by Dirk Fowler.

You can pick up a print at the Poster Cabaret.

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Paul Rudolph Drawings

paul rudolph drawings

Callahan Residence, Birmingham, Alabama 1965 – Rendering by Paul Rudolph

Architect Paul Rudolph (1918-1997) was known for his much-loved (and loathed) Brutalist yet spatially complex buildings. As one of the pioneering figures of the ‘Sarasota School of Architecture’ in the late 1940s, Rudolph gained a worldwide audience with his innovative design for the modern American home. His best known architectural masterpieces are the Yale School of Architecture, the Government Service Center and the Crawford Manor. By the late 70’s and into the 90’s, Rudolph who was unmoved by the Post-modern dominance in architecture, steadfastly continued to design powerful Modernist structures now gracing the urban skylines of the Far East.

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Remed Paintings

Remed painting

Feeling indecisive? Not sure what’s going on? Baffled?

This painting by French artist Remed, entitled Clair Confus (Clearly Confused), uses alternating patterns and bright punchy color to achieve a potentially unstable mind state. Remed’s eye popping collection of paintings employ interesting geometric patterns and forms often exploring inner workings of the mind and explorations of the body. Read the rest of this entry »

Win a tour of the Eames House

eames house

Just got word of an awesome giveaway over at House Industries.

Win an Exclusive Eames House Sunset Tour
Tours by Eames Demetrios and Lucia Atwood, grandson and granddaughter of Charles and Ray Eames.
Date: March 11, 2010
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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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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