Chinese New Year AND Valentine’s Day right around the corner… stopped by the Munky King 3rd Anniversary and CNY party in Chinatown~ and welcoming in the year of the pig, they even had limited edition trading card sized glicee prints by Luke Chueh, Thomas Han, and Amanda Visell. But what really caught my eye was the PlasticGod Buddha… love the hands. (also found a video of it on youtube below!). Adorably cute store in the middle of one of the chinatown plazas which are really getting far more hipster filled relative to the old school chinese restaurants and stores i remember as a kid. Lots of pics below to give you a feel for the space…
Walking down Third Street today… the Puma store remodel caught my eye, and made me light up, stop walking, and suddenly my friend turned and saw me crouched down taking a cameraphone pic of the signage…
CREATE OPENINGS. AIM HIGH. DON’T GIVE UP.
‘nuff said. and how great are those icons? These are words to live by, and graphics to aspire to. Anyhow, color me inspired… this image makes me smile. Larger image below…
TypeTalk - handwriting fonts with something to say. MFA Thesis project of Amy Papaelias, this is a fun, well executed project that gives fonts some context - both in handwriting style and the way it translates what you’re really saying…. examples above are the Sugar and Spice and the Francophile. Sugar and Spice “replicates the expected speech of a nine year old girl. Socially acceptable roles dictate linguistic choices of emotional expression.” Francophile on the otherhand “asserts the French salutations and phrases to decorate an otherwise English vocabulary.” It is even the actual handwriting of a French woman. I love that Papaelias sees typography as “Visual Pronunciation”.
One of the best parts of being in SF this week, are these ads. They make me smile every time… they are all over the buses, bus stops, billboards, lamp posts, etc. And oh so true… my favorite kind of design, clean simple with bold font and graphics ~ Work of Mortar for St. Mary’s Medical Center ER. More at the Mortar Blog.
Every now and then a car comes along that makes you swoon a little. Last week that was Ray. I’m sure you’ve noticed me gushing about Radar recently as i get more hooked on taking more rather random cameraphone pics recently ~ but being visually driven like i am… i think they have some great branding… from their tshirts and stickers, to flyers and glasses! (yes, you heard me right, schwag shots below.) But most impressive really is this revamped 1965 Ford Econoline that they’ve named Ray, “he is not just a van, he’s a member of our team” as the Radar Street Team Coordinator, he really is that extra something to grab peoples attention, or just bring a smile to everyone that sees him. Glossy chocolate brown on the outside, white and furry on the inside, and baby blue highlights all around - It’s unique, playful, and from a design perspective, i cant get over how sweet the design of those lights and knobs and dials are. Classic and Iconic. More on the branding of Radar below…
Breathtaking new ad campaign for Disney’s Year of a Million Dreams’, featuring photography by genius Annie Leibovitz, and Scarlett Johansson, Beyoncé, David Beckham, Lyle Lovett, and Oliver Platt. My favorite tagline “Where imagination saves the day.” These photographs reignite my love of fairy tales, myths, fables ~ and are a great example of how universal these ideals are… who doesn’t smile at the sight of them?
“Befitting a true princess, Johansson wears a stunning, one-of-a-kind Harry Winston tiara – a dazzling piece in platinum with more than 62 carats of sparkling diamonds and valued at $325,000. The dress worn by Johansson is a custom-made, Cinderella-inspired gown designed by Nicoletta Santoro.” WOW. And when can you find these in print? “The campaign premieres as a special insert in the March issues of Vanity Fair, GQ, Vogue, W, The New Yorker, Conde Nast Traveler and Cookie.”
Full images and a few behind the scenes shots below… and would you believe i first heard about this via Wii News Channel?
PEER PRESSURE! The latest from Alice Wang (of Audio Sticks and Pet Plus) - this time she takes on the issue of peer pressure and how it relates to the public and private aspects of your persona. Oh come on, on SOME level you kind of sort of care what people think about you.
So here is Peer Pressure, which is currently on display at RCA ~ including double sided headphones (for when you want to listen to embarrassing music on the inside, but project ANYTHING else outward), popular mobile (because constantly getting sms’ means you’re popular), fast typing keyboards… and more. Details and closeups below. (And you know i also love this project for its stark black and white look.)
If i had my way ~ this piece would be reformatted into the backpage ad of an old school comic book… you know… like the original sea monkey ads? Because what this process reads like, sure feels like sea monkey colonies in the making… only with spitting instead of the open small packet part.
In light of all the foooood over at Tastespotting today, i’ve been both famished and inspired… especially in the photography realm. Often i find the most intriguing pieces to be the behind the scenes of catalog shoots, etc… take this Kate Spade set for example, the final shots are gorgeous! In a very surreal, retro, playful, glammed out sense… and then the behind the scenes shots manage to balance those same qualities, while adding another layer of realism to them. Basically, they just made me want to run out and take pictures… or start planning NOTed #2. (via love made visible)
On design trends, we’ve certainly been seeing a lot of weaponry showing up - but this revolver/handgun(?) trend has become even more predominant as of late… Laura Sweet seems to have been picking up on a lot of the NOTCOT finds this week, and has compiled quite a comprehensive list of gun inspired goods in her “Stick Em Up! Gun Shaped Stuff” List.
Brilliant doodle filled campaign for Samaritans (see full posters and tv spot below) ~ created by Alex Holder, Oli Kellett, Daryl Corps and Ben Kay at advertising agency Lunar BBDO. Illustrted by Billie Jean. “The campaign for 2007 is based around the idea that doodles are a way of expressing your inner thoughts, and that if there are things on your mind then Samaritans is there to offer confidential support 24 hours a day.” Heart warmingly doodle inspiring…
Green is in. Everyone wants to go green, from corporate to your indie fashionista. The issues have been coming up about “shades of green” (how green IS a product? how do you tell? what are the criteria? etc.)… and just noticed this post over at the HOW magazine blog about GREENWASHING as pointed out in the NYT two days ago. Here are some great snippets - about how design is key in the greenwashing process of consumers…
“A bag of natural Cheetos seemed so much more appealing than the classic cheese puff. Why? Was it the image of a subdued Chester Cheetah rising gently from a farm field bathed in golden sunlight? Like clues to a murder that suddenly point to a single culprit, the mystery in my shopping cart revealed itself. Wheat sheaf by wheat sheaf, sunrise by sunrise, the grocery store shelves had been greenwashed. And I was falling for it.”
“As a design shorthand, it makes subtle use of specific colors, images, typefaces and the promise of what marketers call “an authentic narrative” to sell food. Especially in recent years, greenwashing has spilled out well past the organic section of the grocery store. Even the snack aisle at the gas station isn’t immune.
“Somebody becomes successful with a specific point of view, and the consumer begins to identify with it and it spreads like a virus,” said Paula Scher, a partner in Pentagram, an international design firm. From there it’s only a matter of time before Cap’n Crunch shows up in a hemp jacket, raising money to save the manatees. Buy a greenwashed product and you’re buying a specific set of healthy environmental and socially correct values. “
Colette invites a large number of artists, illustrators, and graphic designers to share their hopes for 2007 in a gallery show entitled “MY 2007“… including Base and Axel du Bus*, Ayako Tagaki*, Fafi*, Genevieve Gaukler, John Maeda, Shepard Fairey, Ryan McGinness, Moriceau & Petra Mrzyk, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Wrongwroks, and so many more. Proceeds to all of these pieces will go to the WWF to aid in the protection of nature and our environment. (*seen above)
Stella Im Hultberg… my art obsession of the week. Her more recent pieces have been mesmerizing me since the Oddica Cotton to Canvas show. There is something about the tea stained paper plus oil and water colors and those dreary bored apathetic droopy edgy girls that pretty much embodies how i’ve felt this week. And can you believe she has a series of prints in her store you can purchase for a mere 20$? signed and titled even.
So who is Stella? According the the bio on her site “Stella is a painter and drawer living in New York City.
Despite her background in industrial design and toy design, she has recently turned to a more personal and expressive kind of creating, showing her works at galleries since last year (2005). When she’s not drawing or painting, she likes to eat while thinking of more food to eat; search for the perfect cupcake; eat ice cream at the park; and just walk around her most favorite city in the world.” More of my favorites below…