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My first reaction upon being greeted by the above images was to smile. These are two pieces from Toykyo, the rad Belgian-based firm. They seem to wear many design-hats, and have work on an interesting variety of projects. Their personality definitely remains visible throughout their work. I love the the stylized shapes, simplicity, and bold use of color. Plus, major points for working in a Pacman ghost next to an elephant!

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Amanda visell art prints, sculptures and vinyl toys

amanda visell art prints and vinyl toys

Giant metal robots feeding toasts to kids, double decker bus eating elephants, pooping unicorns eating ice cream, and this is just for starters! These are just a few of the paintings you’ll see at Amanda Visell’s website. Some of which have come to life in the form of limited edition wood / resign figures and sculptures.

Swindle magazine has a nice interview with her where she shares her appreciation for vintage Walt Disney concept art and her beginnings as an artist.

(via dinosaurs and robots)

Kyle Metcalf

Kyle Metcalf

Kyle Metcalf is a Canadian illustrator whose work has graced the pages of The Walrus, Swerve Magazine, and The New York Times. Using thick black outlines and soft colors, he creates charming characters that are often caught in comical situations. Much of this humor comes from a sense of nostalgia that is present throughout his work. Many of the personalities found in his illustrations seem bewildered by their middle age and yearn for their youth. These themes are also present in his still life compositions that portray novelty toys and articles from the past.

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Estudio Pum

Estudio Pum

Estudio Pum proudly states, “In order to find new solutions, we must leave our comfort zone.” This passion for exploration and innovation is evident through the variety of illustrative and typographic styles utilized within their body of work. From playful paper cutouts to refined type-driven websites, Pum proves that they aren’t afraid to tackle a diverse range of projects and visual aesthetics. To expand their creativity and learn how to work with different tools, the studio takes on a number of passion projects including a Risograph printed zine and a line of wooden toys and rattles.

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Gift Guide: Home & Office

Gift Guide

Here’s our picks for home and office gifts! Included are prints, desk sets and plenty of stocking stuffers. See all the goods after the jump.



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Justin Pervorse Interview

Justin Pervose Interview on

Continuing our series of process related interviews, we chat with illustrator and designer Justin Pervorse. A Bay Area transplant via Atlanta, Justin has been relentlessly perfecting his craft over the last decade.

I first caught wind of Justin’s talents during his tenure at Mailchimp, where he injected his infectious personality into a series of slick illustrations and campaigns for the email giant. He has since moved on to Dropbox’s internal design department, a position that has allowed him to further expand his creative capabilities. Through the support of his peers, Justin and his team have created a series of self-initiated projects that explore and uplift the spirit of the brand. In today’s interview we highlight one of these projects, delve into his workflow and discuss his earliest days as a designer.


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Josh Brill Interview


Josh Brill / Lumadessa Interview

I was first introduced to Josh Brill and his work though through his Flora Fauna collection. With nature serving both as a catalyst and a muse, the ongoing series explores and catalogs the identities of plants and animals from around the world. To illustrate these explorations Josh chose to eschew conventional realism in favor of a style that echoes cubist techniques. The end result is vibrant, bold and visually intoxicating.

In addition to sharing the same passion for illustration and design, I was excited to discover that Josh and I shared a similar upbringing. We unknowingly haunted the same swimming holes and drank from the same slush puppy wells while growing up. This served as fodder to fuel our friendship and with this in mind, i’m delighted to present today’s interview with him.


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Brad Woodard Interview

Brave the Woods interview on


It’s hard not to get lost in the vibrant landscapes of Brad Woodard’s work. His colorful illustrations beckon a response of thought and feeling and invite us to view the world in a more gentle and naive way. A native of the Pacific Northwest, he migrated south to Austin (via Boston) where along with his wife, he set up shop as Brave the Woods – a small but dynamic creative studio. With a burgeoning product line and an impressive client list that includes Target and Old Navy, the gifted duo have established themselves as an emerging force in design. In today’s interview we chat with Brad about the software that drives his workflow, his passions outside of design and more. Enjoy!


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/Sponsor/ Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2013

Over one-thousand creative minds are set to descend upon Cleveland for three days in August to see 20 speakers, 20 designers, and over 40 bands at the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2013.  Will you be one of them?

Now in its fourth year, WMC Fest is the premier art, design, and music event in the Midwest. Founded by the Cleveland based creative agency Go Media designer and partner Jeff Finley, Weapons of Mass Creation Fest inspires, motivates and celebrates those who live to create.

Running August 16 through 18, this year’s Weapons of Mass Creation Fest will feature over 70 performances and will include inspiring talks on topics such as graphic design, art, entrepreneurship, leadership, productivity and creativity.  Jaw-dropping art and design shows will highlight both local and regional talent including album art, t-shirt design, typography, poster art, toy design, fashion design and illustration. Over 40 bands will hit WMC’s intimate stages, and attendees will also be treated to epic breakdancing battles from bboys and bgirls from all around the country.

Attendees can look forward to speeches from Jon Contino, Brandon Rike, Kern and Burn and These are Things as well as the design work from Derek Hess, Strawberry Luna, Derrick Castle and Lauren Marx.

Those interested in attending WMC Fest are encouraged to purchase tickets online before they sell out!

Inspiration guaranteed!

Interested in sponsoring the Grain Edit Feed? Visit our sponsorship page for more info.

Recently Received

map the world

Fresh goods from the field! Here’s the latest batch of items to hit our shelves.

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From the Job Board: Tinybop

tiny bop

Lead Designer – Tinybop (Brooklyn/DUMBO, NY)
Must have a love for toys, games, and picture books.

You can subscribe to our job listings via RSSEmail or follow at Twitter and Facebook.

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Gary Taxali Interview

gary taxali

Today’s Grain Edit interview is brought to you by guest contributor Deva Mirel, and features the words and works of illustrator/fine artist Gary Taxali. We catch up with Gary after he returned in early May from his first solo show abroad at The Outsiders in London. Gary lives and works in Toronto but is originally from India. Here he discusses his most recent show, locating the desi in his work, why kids love him, and some straightforward tips on being in the business of making art.

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2011 Grain Edit Holiday Giveaway Bash

hp laptop

–The Giveaway is Now Closed —

The holidays are here so, it’s time to celebrate! Our annual giveaway bash is just one way for us to thank all of our awesome readers for another amazing year. For our 2011 Holiday Bash we’ve put together incredible lineup including gifts from Chronicle Books, Laurence King Publishing, Lars Muller Publishers, Katie Kirk, Alberto Cerriteno, Tad Carpenter, Christoper Simmons/Mine, Albert + Marie, Liam Devowski / Teenagers in Love, Owen Gatley, Jesse Lefkowitz, and Paper Punk.

A special thank you goes out to HP. In addition to donating a HP ENVY 14 to the giveaway they supplied us with laptops to use with our blogging and manage the shipping of items from our store.

Now on to the giveaway!

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Paper Punk

paper punk

Paper Punk is a startup company that’s equal part hands-on toy, art piece and educational tool. Founded by Grace Hawthorne (ReadyMade magazine co-founder), Paper Punk is the result of her many years engaging people with design and encouraging them to create with their hands.

Punks are constructed out of foldable, brightly colored die-cut paper blocks — each kit comes with stickers and instructions for building and customizing your robot, dog, or car. I love the built-in ability to remix and customize your own creations. The systems uses simple shapes and a variety of patterns allowing you to build a wholly unique creation.

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Anorak Magazine Interview

Anorak Magazine

Our latest addition to the Grain Edit interview series takes us to London, home to the Mum and Dad of Anorak Magazine – Cathy Olmedillas and Rob Lowe (aka Supermundane). Anorak Magazine is “The Happy Mag for Kids” that features imaginative stories, engaging games, and activities illustrated by talented illustrators such as Adrian Johnson, Marcus Walters, Sasha Barr, Clayton Junior, even Grain Edit’s own Liam Devowski. In this interview, Cathy and Rob discuss the origins of Anorak magazine and take us behind the scenes of making the publication. They also drop some BIG news that you don’t want to miss!

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Ben Newman

Ben Newman

A while back, Grain Edit pal Sanjay Patel enthusiastically showed us a comic titled Ouroboros by British illustrator Ben Newman. In addition, he also showed us an awesome vinyl toy based on the comic. I was completely smitten with what I saw, and have had a major illustrator-crush on Ben’s work since then. His style is fresh and unique with its fun characters, bright colors, fuzzy textures and complex layering of shapes, and this piece from a developing print series “Masks” is no exception.

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IC Full Circle Show at Super7

invisible creature

We’re excited to announce that Invisible Creature will be showing a collection of work at Super7 in San Francisco, opening on April 23rd at 6PM. Included in the collection will be a number of illustrations from their late grandfather, Alfred Paulsen. In addition, they will debut the first colorway of Leroy C., the newest member of Super7’s Monster Family!

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Tad Carpenter Interview

tad carpenter

Our latest Grain Edit interview takes us to Kansas City, Missouri–the City of Fountains, headquarters to Hallmark Cards, and home to illustrator and designer Tad Carpenter. Tad’s has the clarity of a designer with the artfulness of an illustrator. His work is whimsical, fun, and smart as he uses a colorful lovable style to create a myriad of characters and illustrations. In this interview, Tad discusses some of his favorite aspects of his hometown, his influences and creative process, and provides a glimpse into his studio as well as something not many folks know about him.

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Meet Sozi & Her Idea


I’m a big fan of Rilla Alexander’s work, so I was super excited to hear about her new book, Her Idea.  Through beautiful illustrations and fun rhymes Rilla chronicles the journey of a little girl named Sozi who struggles to put her concepts into reality. Although the story is presented in a picture book format,  I’m hesitant to call this a “children’s book” as I believe the message resonates with all of us. This tale is especially timely as many of us are seeking to change our procrastinating ways as part of our new year’s resolutions.

In this interview, Rilla shares the inspiration for the book and some of the challenges she faced along the way. Here we go!

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2010 Holiday Wish Lists

Grain Edit Holiday Gift Guide
Dear Holiday Spirit(s):

We’re approaching the end of 2010, a year filled with work, work…and did we mention, more work? Seeing as we’ve all been on our best behavior, please take a look at the wish list we’ve compiled with some of our favorite artists and friends. It’s much BIGGER than last year’s list and excited to share it with you. Please say you’ll bring some of these goodies our way!

Yours Truly,
Grain Edit + Friends

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Julia Rothman Interview

julia rothman

Today’s Grain Edit interview series takes us to Brooklyn, New York, home to illustrator Julia Rothman. I remember first being introduced to Julia’s work through her repeat pattern tutorial on Design*Sponge. The process blew me away, and caused me to fall in love with the multitudes of energetic inventive patterns and fresh illustrations she creates.

In this interview, Julia discusses being a native New Yorker, the influence of Sweet Pickles books (YES!), and the process behind the creation of her latest book, The Exquisite Book. She also reveals something that most people don’t know about her…find out more after the jump!

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Aurélie Guillerey: Illustration

Aurelie Guillerey, illustration, France, French Illustration

Summer is officially here, and what better way to spend it than a day at the beach!

This illustration, created by French illustrator Aurélie Guillerey, depicts just that with its cast of characters enjoying a day of fun in the sun. The composition is balanced as it focuses on kids making a pretty awesome sand fort while having other people enjoying outdoor activities in the background. The use of color is cheerful with the perfect amount of textures to highlight small details. Let’s go fly a kite!

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Blanca Gomez Interview

blanca gomez

Today Grain Edit is proud to present Blanca Gómez of Cosas Minimas. Blanca is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator based in Madrid, Spain. You may remember her work as featured on Grain Edit’s on-going poster pick series. We like her clean and simple style and took some time to talk to Blanca about her work and creative process. We hope you’ll enjoy it.

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Go Faster: The Graphic Design of Racing Cars

grain edit go faster
This video provides a very interesting look at the design of racing cars in 70s. The graphics on these care are incredible — very minimal and nothing at all like the logo-plastered cars of NASCAR.

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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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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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Modern SeeSaw

spacetime wall art

The girl on the end is seriously hating on the little dude. Ride on bro!

I came across this ad in an old Italian design magazine a few years back. I scanned in the image and quickly forgot about it. In my haste I forgot to write down any relevant information. Now I’m stuck without a clue as to who made this super cool kids toy.

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Neither Fish Nor Fowl interview

jim datz neither fish nor fowl anna wolf photography

(Photo by Anna Wolf)

Let’s travel to the boogie down borough of Brooklyn, New York — home to the colossal rides and hot dogs at Coney Island, the beautiful Central Library, and one of my favorite illustrators Jim Datz.

For those who are in the know, Jim goes by the moniker Neither Fish Nor Fowl. His work is reminiscent of olden times, with images of sailors, explorers, keystone cops, and mustached men in bowler caps.

In this interview, he discusses his transition from architecture to illustration, dapper gents and hippies, his creative process, and reveals something that most folks don’t know about him.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

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Vintage Esquire Covers: 1953-1961

vintage esquire june 1955

Over the highways and byways we go on the free and open road!

Esquire magazine’s June 1955 issue playfully depicts a typical aerial view of a freeway using toy cars and colored paper. It’s composition is simple and engaging, with its bright primary colors, windy roads, and cars on the move. I especially enjoy the smart and effortless integration of the magazine’s mascot, Esky (designed by E. Simms Campbell), into the area within the highway and in the highway itself. The tiny map of the Motor City is a nice touch too!

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Vintage German “Vero Construc” Booklets

Vero Construc, Germany, Graphic Design

Vero Construc toy construction kit -1975

Nuts, bolts, and sprockets! These are the makings of fine toys, as well as these awesome vintage booklets!

Created for the East German toy company Vero in 1975, these colorful booklets itemize all of the pieces included in the “Construc” construction kit and instructs children in building a stop light. The back cover reads, “Toys With System for the Creators of Tomorrow’s World.” How inspiring!

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Kevin Dart interview

kevin dart

Original Soundtrack from Yuki 7 film, Roman Rendezvous

The latest addition to our Grain Edit interview series takes us to the sunny, pigeon littered streets of Los Angeles: home to Hollywood – movie capital of the world, and artist Kevin Dart. Heavily inspired by films and artwork from the ’60s, Kevin beautifully creates the dazzling, glamorous, exciting world of Yuki 7: a gorgeous feisty international globe-trotting spy.

In today’s interview, Kevin transports us to the year 30,000, discusses his adventurous background, and of course his inspiration for creating the Yuki 7 character. Before we get started, here are a few examples of Kevin’s work…

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House Industries interview

alexander girard

House Industries is not your typical type foundry. Unlike most foundries that strictly focus on type design, House take things one step further. Their fonts become springboards to new ideas and products that are often integrated into themed experiences complete with lush packaging and slick catalogs. A great example of this is their work on the 2004 release of Neutraface. They created a reproduction of Richard Neutra’s Boomerang chair and pillows to coincide with the release of the font collection. In addition, they created limited edition packaging (with die cuts and metallic inks) to accompany the hard copy of the fonts. In an age when people more and more seek cheap and immediate goods,  I cherish these premium experiences.

House Industries most recent project pays tribute to the modernist designer Alexander Girard. In my opinion it is their most impressive collection to date. It includes a Type Family, a Nativity Set, t shirts, alphabet blocks, lettering, Marilyn Neuhart designed Casa dolls and more. We spoke with Andy Cruz (Co-owner and art director) about the research and development of the products.

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50+ Designers on Twitter: Our favorites to follow.

Grain Edit / Designers on Twitter

Alright, so Twitter is the hot thing right now. Somewhere in-between blogging and instant messaging, it’s a super addicting way to see what the design community is up to. Frank Chimero just ate a muffin? It’s crepe day at Chronicle Books? @gogograce just blipped The Style Council? I’m in!

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Grain Edit is Coming to Singapore

I have an upcoming trip to Singapore. Can anyone suggest places to visit? (museums, shops, lounges, restaurants, etc.) Is the toy museum worth visiting?

Also I while I’m in Singapore I’d like to contact a few designers/design firms in regards to a studio visit we could feature on Grain Edit. Can anyone suggest any designers/design firms I should contact? If anyone wants to meet up while I’m in Singapore just send me an email the contact page.

Helen Dardik

Helen Dardik

Helen Dardik‘s bird patterns make me happy. All of her work makes me happy, in fact. Helen is an Ottawa (by way of Israel, Siberia, and Ukraine) based illustrator/designer/painter/toy maker. Her work is a nice combination of type, color, texture, and pattern. I love her loose, whimsical style.

Helen is represented by Lilla Rogers, and has an orange blog!

Marilyn Neuhart Interview


Marilyn Neuhart dolls for the Textile & Objects shop circa 1961 – photo credit Todd Webb of maXimo

The Scout has an excellent interview with Marilyn Neuhart. Marilyn along with her husband John worked as designers in the Eames Office during the late 1950s. She also worked with Alexander Girard in developing the graphics as well as a line of dolls for Girard’s Textile & Objects Shop in New York City. In part of the interview, Marilyn mentions that she would drive around Los Angeles with Girard looking for toys and folk art. That must of been a blast.

Well enough of me rambling. Read the whole interview here. Check out the rest of the Scout while your there. It’s a great site.

Mad Men, Mad Furniture, Mad Type


My wife and I just started watching Mad Men and I  think we’re hooked. Every Sunday night we run upstairs to catch all the dirt going down with the Drapers and the rest of the lot. Not to mention, drool over all the cool furniture! That house in Palm Springs in tonight’s episode had some amazing mid century modern pieces including George Nelson cigar bubble lamps and an Eero Saarinen womb chair. Besides the furniture, I love looking at the type they use on the sets. Mark Simonson has a great post on his blog regarding the type choices for the show.

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Matte Stephens interview

matte stephens interview

I’m really excited to present today’s interview. Matte is one of my favorite artists and an all around rad guy. Matte makes amazing art and lives in a house with lots of cool modern furniture. In Matte’s conversation with us he shares some of the people/things that inspire his work, the characters that frequent his paintings as well as a glimpse into his studio and home.

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Japanese graphic design in the 1950s exhibition

1950s japanese graphic design exhibition

1950s Japan: The blossoming of the graphic designer exhibition book

1950s japanese graphic design exhibition

Packaging –  Honen salad oil – design by Kenji Ito 1959, Snow ice cream -design by Tadashi Masuda 1959, KAO soap – design by Hideo Amano 1958

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Steven Harrington touring art show

steven harington art show

For those of you in Europe Steven Harrington has an artshow touring through Paris, Milan, Berlin and Barcelona. In conjuction with the tour Steven is releasing his first solo book.

In addition to the book, He is also releasing some custom shaped and designed limited edition element series decks, a paper toy and 10 new prints. You can check the tour dates, SH book info, day by day photo blog of the tour and in progress shots here at the Our Mountain website.

Tour kicks off June 5th in Paris.

Staffan Wiren book cover illustration

Staffan Wiren book cover illustration
VÃ¥rt svenska samhälle – by Sixten Björkholm c1963

Cool book cover illustration by Staffan Wiren. Great example of swedish modern illustration from the 1960s.

On a sidenote, just talked to my friend Joe Beats and he’s got a killer mix online that he put together for designer vinyl toy store Munky King. Listen to the mix here.

(Staffan Wirén book cover via David at the Klockarp institute)

Mike Davis interview

Mike Davis - Burlesque design of North America

Mike Davis aka Mike the 2600 King is part of a design collaborative known as Burlesque of North Of America. In addition to their design work they are a full service screenprinting studio.

I first ran into Mike while on a cross country record digging trip in 2003. My friends and I were crashing with some of the cool cats at galapagos 4. They heard that Mike was spinning at one of the local clubs, so we decided to check it out. Mike was laying down some serious funk/ soul heat that night and the club was packed. Later I found out that in addition to be a great dj, he was an excellent designer creating posters for my friends at anticon.

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Alexander Girard alphabet blocks

[pictobrowser 10159078@N03 72157603948664997]
Alexander Girard alphabet blocks designed and produced by House Industries

Many thanks to the guys at House Industries for sending over a box of goodies. Included in the box was a set of Alexander Girard alphabet blocks. These blocks were the result of a collaboration with the estate of mid-century designer Alexander Girard, the 28 wood blocks feature alphabets based on the forthcoming Alexander Girard font collection and a cleverly-adapted House Industries factory logo puzzle. I have been jocking these blocks since day 1. They have been on my want list for a while. My wife and I don’t have kids yet, but when we do, I can tell you one thing for sure. There is no way the kids are going to touch these! ha! These are daddy’s blocks!

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