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    LBN: Creative direction of the music artist Roxxxan

Graphic Design

High quality graphic design and art direction on show on new LBN website

Posted by Rob Alderson,

You know what people don’t use enough? Initials. Americans have the right idea, liberally sprinkling their names with single letters (i.e. Hunter S Thompson, F Scott Fitzgerald) but us Brits have never quite got the hang of it. There’s a reductive confidence to stripping away all but the first letters of your names, discarding the supplementary vowels and consonants and saying, this is me, unaffected, bold and uncompromising. Of course some letters are undeniably weaker than others (you know who you are F) but when Luciana Britton Newell came to naming her art direction and graphic design studio, she knew she was onto a winer with LBN.

The Central St Martins grad who previously held senior design positions at Burberry, Aquascutum and Vivian Cipolla has just launched her new website, and as well being a thing of simple beauty in and of itself, it’s full to bursting with a host of eye-catching projects across print, web and identity design.

LBN is not about faddish bells and whistles, but clean, crisp, communicative design, where composition takes on a choreographic quality.

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    LBN: Art Direction for the Aquascutum LTD collection

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    LBN: Art Direction for the Aquascutum LTD collection

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    LBN: Art Direction for the Aquascutum LTD collection,

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    LBN: Art direction/design for The Play Ground Issue 1

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    LBN: Art direction/design for The Play Ground Issue 1

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    LBN: Art direction/design for The Play Ground Issue 1

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    LBN: Art direction/design for The Play Ground Issue 1

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    LBN: Art direction/design for The Play Ground Issue 1

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    LBN: Identity, website, print materials and photography for The Loft Project, a private East London supper club

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    LBN: Identity, website, print materials and photography for The Loft Project, a private East London supper club

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    LBN: Identity, website, print materials and photography for The Loft Project, a private East London supper club

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    LBN: Advertising campaign and branding imagery for SCP Contracts

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    LBN: Advertising campaign and branding imagery for SCP Contracts

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    LBN: Advertising campaign and branding imagery for SCP Contracts

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    LBN: Art direction and design for The Companion, a one-off magazine about thinking in design

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    LBN: Art direction and design for The Companion, a one-off magazine about thinking in design

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    LBN: Art direction and design for The Companion, a one-off magazine about thinking in design

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Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

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    I was surprised to learn that Amsterdam’s HOAX studio don’t seem to have been on the site before, and faced with their wide-ranging portfolio it was a challenge to focus in on a narrative that made sense. Founders Bram Buijs, Sven Gerhardt and Steven van der Kaaij joined forces based on their “shared love for typography, material and experimentation” and this passion for fresh creative thinking runs throughout their work.

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    Creating a cohesive identity for a design conference might not seem like such a tall order, but the reality of producing flyers, bags, programmes and that all-important logo mark for an international event isn’t as simple as you might think. For starters there’s an abundance of conferences out there, each with it’s own unique look and feel, so creating visuals that present a point of difference will always pose a challenge; secondly how on earth do you make a talks timetable look exciting?

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    Boasting PVC-clad bottoms, surreal jazz photography and beautifully-rendered risograph prints of basketball hoops, Shabazz Projects’ homepage certainly offers a well-curated and striking experience. The LA-based publishing platform was founded by Hassan Rahim and Brian Okarski, releasing art, photography and design-focused books and objects, all with a run of 200 or fewer editions. Stand-out pieces include the Various Basketball Hoops risographs, which put a whimsical spin on these often weary-looking monoliths; and Eric Wrenn and Antje Peters’ Jazz photographs, which place instruments against a dramatic plume of smoke. Hassan and Brian say their aim is to “provoke and surprise,” and from the images on their site alone, they’re certainly not letting themselves down.

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    Many a blue-sky-thinker and envelope-pusher has been extolling the virtues of meditation and mindfulness to pseudo-spiritually swell their business jargon lately. So it’s refreshing when a beautifully branded, creatively-minded product emerges that promises to offer that lucrative “pause from modern life.”

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    If all the magazines and small publications that used the internet as their subject matter were dumped on your head it’d be curtains for you – there’s bloody loads of them. Some, like Offscreen, deal with the people that make digital culture happen and try to bring these unsung heroes out from behind their screens into the RGB limelight, others, like French publication Nichons – Nous Dans l’Internet (Tits – We In The Internet) are more conceptually-minded, analysing and assessing the social and cultural phenomena brought about by the ubiquity of technology.

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    Setting up a design studio and changing your name to a cool pseudonym is a good two-fingers-up to life on the quiet side. Parisian designer Julien Ducourthial decided to make this leap, and now overseas The Jazzist, offering bold, fluoro design work “serving in fields of graphic design, illustration and art direction in digital & printed media.” When Julien emailed us he told us he was inspired by 8-bit imagery and cartoons, which gave us an immediate inkling that we were going to like his work. Anyone looking to commission a great French designer any time soon? Julien is your man.

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    We haven’t featured Oslo-based studio Heydays on the site for a while but a quick check-in with their portfolio shows they’re still producing top-quality work for an eclectic range of clients. Nöra is a design house based between London and São Paulo which among other things supplied the seats for the World Cup stadia in Brazil. Heydays wanted a look and feel that felt “sophisticated with a stylish twist.” The pointillist type treatment pulls this off neatly and there’s some impressive animated elements you can see below as well. Keep up the great work team Heydays!

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    When it comes to a trendy commission, a restaurant in east London that serves everything on the bone is right up there. Credit is due then to Burgess Studio, whose identity for the eatery doesn’t take itself too seriously. Built around a nice typographic wordmark and the simple idea of making the all-important bone into a smile, the look and feel rolls out seamlessly across everything from bags to cups, menus to the website. It’s simple, it’s striking and it steers well clear of some kind of terrible hipster overload, all of which is to be very much commended.

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    It’s been a while since we last checked in with Stockholm-based Bedow studio but there’s a host of new work to enjoy over on their site as ever. I was particularly drawn to their ongoing collaboration with Essem Design, “a Swedish manufacturer of artisanal hallway interiors.” Bedow used a refreshingly straightforward way in to what might seem like rather a niche product, building an identity around the Swedish words for “hello” and “goodbye” – the utterances most commonly heard in a hallway.

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    Producing graphic collateral for one of the world’s largest international contemporary art fairs is a brief that would have some graphic design studios quaking in their boots, but when London-based Studio Frith was approached by Frieze Art Fair they accepted with relish.

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    “Churn out” always sounds like a derisive expression when referring to exceptional creative work, but the prolific nature of some studios means it’s the only one I like to use use to conjure up the relentless mechanical precision with which these studios proceed – and I definitely don’t mean it derisively. And so to Praline, the products of whose churning we’re here to admire.

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    For graphic design types, the opportunity to run wild with a printer’s various techniques is pretty much the dream brief, and Mexican agency Anagrama have well and truly lived that dream. They were one of seven agencies studios invited to create a notebook with Imprimerie du Marais, and they were given free rein to experiment with effects like hot foil stamping, microembossing, silk screening and sewn binding.

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    When David Mckendrick told us he was leaving Esquire and setting hop a new venture with Wallpaper* art director Lee Belcher, we were fascinated to see what the fruits of such a top-notch collaboration might look like. Last week we got our answer, when a copy of the new Christie’s magazine came dropping through our letterbox.