Article Archive

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    At last month’s Nicer Tuesdays the brilliant Ken Wong of ustwo gave us a terrific insight into how narrative informed and permeated the studio’s hugely popular Monument Valley game. “There is no blowing things up or high scores,” Ken explained, “just geometry and impossible architecture and forgiveness.”

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    It’s been eight years since the London Design Museum last redesigned its website, but last week one of the design-world’s most enduring riddles – why does one of the world’s leading design bodies have such an anachronistic web presence? – was resolved. Dutch consultancy Fabrique worked with q42 developers to create a new site with pared-back navigation, new type treatments and a much-needed elevation of big, beautiful imagery to the level it deserves.

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    For his new single New Dorp. New York featuring Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, SBTRKT released his first animated music video yesterday; a smoky, surreal trip to New York featuring one swaggering, mask-wearing dog. It’s a weird and unsettling trip as we follow this creature stalking through a city that may or may not be New York, and it marks an interesting new visual direction for the artist. We caught up with SBTRKT, director Fons Schiedon and his creative collaborator A Hidden Place.

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    I’m all for embracing new modes of experiencing literature, but when choosing to read novels on an iPad or tablet requires that you select a dull digital alternative cover – one with a hunk of Helvetica slapped thoughtlessly over a low-res image, or similar – I can’t help by find myself reaching for a paperback. Fortunately publishers like Frenchies Les Livres Mouvants are a step ahead of their game, commissioning beautiful books covers for their digital reads which will even out the playing field.

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    To celebrate the launch of their new Paris-based art direction studio Avant Post, Quentin Berthelot, Johan Mossé and Adrien Weibel created Stop Départ. They worked with photographer Samuel Guigues to make a whole series around the neat motif of the start of an athletics race and so open their studio with a bang. Simple, stylish and well-executed, the theme hints at the studio’s ambition, gunning for gold, and suggests that it’s more than capable of achieving greatness with repeated gilt tones throughout the posters and cards. If they keep producing work of this calibre, we expect to see them on plenty more podiums in the future.

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    John Tebbs is an English gardener who, frustrated by the fact that “many of his working days are held hostage to the weather” founded The Garden Edit in the winter of 2013. His idea was to spend his downtime as productively as possible, creating an online store of beautiful objects which he sourced and sold himself. The resulting curated collection reflects John’s faultless aesthetic, selling “minimal, well-designed products from craftspeople, artists, publishing houses and family-run businesses” alongside a Journal which features short articles by some of his favourite figures about their own horticultural escapades, from rooftop gardens to illustrations of plants.

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    The term athlete is actually a vague catch-all word that encompasses a great variety of body types, depending on the specialist’s chosen discipline. This new project from photographer Paul Calver and art director Gem Fletcher celebrates what the pair call “the perfectly imperfect form of an athlete’s body” by focusing on a boxer, a martial artist, a runner, a bodybuilder and a sumo wrestler.

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    The interactive designer Jake Barton always says that you can prototype in the studio as much you like, but you only learn about a space once you see how people really use it. That was the philosophy underpinning Heineken®’s Pop Up City Lounge on which we partnered with the famous beer brand for the London Design Festival.

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    To celebrate the launch of the Autumn issue of Printed Pages, we’ll be giving you a taster of some of the articles all this week. Below you’ll find a short excerpt from the story as well as a couple of images; for the full piece you can buy the latest Printed Pages here.

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    The mass Scandinavian cultural crush which saw us all become obsessed with the food, TV shows and chunky knitwear of our northern cousins seems to have abated somewhat but that won’t stop Lundgren + Lindqvist.

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    This month’s Nicer Tuesdays event sees us bring together four photographers who approach the discipline in unique and inspiring ways.

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    Spectacular promo film here from Reebok, inviting you to “give me your classics and I’ll show you the future.” As well as taking you swerving around northern A-roads in a BMW E28 M5 (dream car) stopping briefly on the way to pick up a blonde girl in the leafy suburbs (dream babe) this short film perfectly promotes the nostalgia associated with the Reebok Classics.

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    The Google robot is an odd creature. We have Marion Balac to thank for the discovery that, in a bid to maintain the anonymity of the people caught in its shots for Google Street View, the search engine blurs out every single face it comes into contact with. This includes the likes of Las Vegas’ Sphinx monument and giant gold-covered Buddhas, resulting in a bunch of monuments who have been forced into anonymity by the tech giant’s stringent privacy measures.

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    It can’t be every day that a UK studio gets approached by a leading Russian bank after a brand identity for their new app. So when we heard that NB Studio have created Zhuck, a banking app with a brilliantly satirical edge – an app which actually jeers at the user, goading them into working a bit harder, like a personal trainer who helps you gain pennies instead of losing pounds – we had to learn more. Nick Finney, creative director, answers my questions and reassures me that no smart-phones were harmed in the making of this app.

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    Anna Burns is a set designer with a taste for the ambitious. Who could forget her work with Thomas Brown where they created B-Movie inspired installations out of flammable umbrellas? For her latest work Anna has collaborated with Michael Bodiam on a series inspired by nuclear catastrophe and our contradictory attitudes towards it – apocalyptic fear on the one hand and weird fascination on the other.

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    To celebrate the launch of the Autumn issue of Printed Pages, we’ll be giving you a taster of some of the articles all this week. Below you’ll find a short excerpt from the story as well as a couple of images; for the full piece you can buy the latest Printed Pages here.

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    NACHTDIGITAL was once described as Germany’s “best kept festival secret” but now with a cult following that snaps up its entire ticket allocation in minutes, maybe organisers can be a little more creative with the visuals they commission.

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    Women wear clothes. Men do too, actually, but they weren’t the subject of this investigation into our relationships with the things we wear, started by Canadian writer Sheila Heti and brought to fruition with the help of artist Leanne Shapton and co-editor of The Believer Heidi Julavits. Between them, and with the help of 639 other women, they authored Women in Clothes, the satisfyingly chunky new tome which considers every aspect of the way women think about what they choose to put on their bodies, from tote bags and digital wristwatches to the wardrobes of their mothers and questions such as “do you ever wish you were a man?”

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    Ghent-based graphic designer Jelle Martens makes work which might be described as design with a heavy dollop of fine art added in. Working predominantly on record sleeve design since graduating two years ago, he has created projects for record labels Other People, Software and Unday Records among others, employing his unique mixture of colour, texture and manipulated imagery to create designs which are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

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    Say welcome, one and all, to Noam Weiner. This Israeli illustrator’s recently ramped up her editorial work, illustrating for several national newspapers and magazines, often with a political or satirical bite. In an illustration for an article on criticism, she cleverly combines a deal with the devil with a hearty dose of mutual back-scratching to make a point about the tangled relationships up the tower of power. We prefer her work at its most minimalistic, when she conveys maximum meaning. Of her older work, the simplicity of her comics version of the classic kids’ adventure book Hasamba is captivating.

  21. Weekender-list

    It’s been a long old week kids, and like the Friday afternoon trip to the cornershop to buy a 20p pic ’n’ mix we’re here and ready to reward you for dragging yourselves through it with bucket loads of funny, cool and interesting stuff that we’ve uncovered this week. This way please!

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    The new issue of Printed Pages is fresh-ish off the press! For the Archive feature this issue we interviewed Teal Triggs, a writer, professor, educator and zine aficionado whose collection of printed matter rivals any we’ve seen. We were lucky enough to spend an afternoon excitedly exploring her collection of Riot Grrrl zines, which we photographer Samuel Bradley photograph en masse, so we thought it was only right that celebrate the launch of the magazine with a Riot Grrrl-themed playlist. It’s by no means exhaustive, so feel free to add songs in directly, or to comment with your suggestions below!

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    Suited and booted we come to you for this week’s Studio Audience, dressed, as Maisie points out, like an awkward family waiting to go to a wedding. (It was our AGM you see, AKA Annual Dress Up For Work Day.) Don’t worry though, we’re our usual barmy selves despite the posh frocks, talking about our bread and butter, art and design. You can listen using the SoundCloud embed below or you can subscribe via iTunes here.

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    For the Autumn edition of Printed Pages we interviewed Australian comics artists Simon Hanselmann and Grant Gronewold about their incredible work, living together, and their fictitious escapades with Rupert Murdoch. We found out about how they met in a dirty Tazmanian club, toured Australia together with their bands and eventually started to get successful in the world of alternative comics. Then we asked them to film a little teaser for the piece, and this is what they came up with. It’s probably not for the feint-hearted…

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    For me, stumbling across Roger Minick’s archive of photographs of sightseers at tourist destinations is akin to opening an old box in the attic and finding a heap of jewels stashed in it. The Sightseers Series began in 1976, when while teaching photography workshops in Yosemite National Park, Roger was distracted by the hordes of visitors posing for photographs in front of the views.

  26. Thingslist

    Quite frankly, I’ve gone mad for mags this week. Once you delve into the world of independent magazines, you realise there are more on offer than your commute could ever possibly be long enough give you time to read them all. Those cherry-picked by yours truly this week explore documentary photography and the photo-essay, (Huck and Aint-Bad ), cruel corporations (Adbusters ) and independent magazines themselves (Gym Class). For a dash of variation and because it was simply too lovely to leave out, a box of charming notebooks printed by French studio L’imprimerie du Marais for your visual delectation.

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    Photographer Victoria Ling has the kind of portfolio anyone would be envious of, brimming with exquisitely polished photographic work; still life compositions created for high-profile clients and personal projects alike. Her work achieves the kind of ethereal polish that makes you wonder how much of it could possibly real, but the majority of her imagery is all captured in camera, as she explains below…

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    The work of Brian Edward Miller is a cross between the digital and the retro: his sketches could easily be found in the satchel of a 1950s art student, but when put into the computer and twiddled with they look just as at home in a high-tech animation for a company like Adobe. “My goal is to provide quality illustration and storytelling with the professional hard working ideals my family modelled to me and to chase down that elusive vintage aesthetic which played such a powerful role in my childhood,” Brian states on his site. Judging by the list of people who have commissioned this guy of late, it seems like we’re not the only ones to find his work impossible to look away from.

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    Even if you haven’t seen it, you’ll have heard of it, because Gone With The Wind is still, 75 years after its release, the most successful blockbuster of all time. David O. Selznick’s multi-Oscar winning film has weevilled its way deep into the American – and the world’s – subconscious, creating so vivid a cultural memory we’re almost tricked into believing we lived through it all too. Even a lass like me, “southern” only in the east London sense of the word.

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    Illustrator Eleonora Marton’s raw, bold aesthetic lends itself perfectly to large scale design, so we were happy to discover that rather than confining herself to witty, irony-soaked zines and sweet watercolour portraits, she’s unleashed her talents on a huge series of A3 posters and smaller flyers too. Using recurring imagery in varying forms – legs, animals, furniture and toys all feature – she creates posters for upcoming events which tick all the boxes event posters should. They’re eye-catching, interesting and incredibly informative, and what’s more, she makes it look incredibly easy. Just trying spotting that record player wheat-pasted up on a street corner and not taking a step closer to find out what it was advertising.

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    Stumbling across the portfolio of photographer Sam Bush, you’ll immediately be struck by the diversity of his work. His singles all demonstrate a refined aesthetic and a coherent style of lifestyle photography that’s incredibly on point. Then there’s the energetic chaos of his gig photos, featuring sweaty, heavily-tattoed guys and girls kicking the crap out of each other in the mosh pit. And then you stumble across a large series on riots – it’s a mixed bag, but a mixed bag of delicious treats.

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    Almost two years ago to the day we discovered the work of a Californian photographer who had immersed himself in remote American communities embracing the “back to the land movement” and created an extraordinary body of work in the process. Lucas Foglia’s A Natural Order uncovered a side of US culture we’d never seen before, presenting extraordinary lives in the manner of a Flemish master; with rich chiaroscuro, atmospheric composition and a simple honesty that comes from wanting to represent fact as clearly as possible.