Article Archive

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    We’ve sung the praises of Dutch designer Michiel Schuurman more times than we care to remember (it’s four times actually, this is the fifth) but with good reason. The printmaking wunderkind has yet to be beaten as the master of complex process. He’s still using all the techniques, all the inks and all the geometric patterns he can lay his talented hands on. As with every one of his pieces though, his style is constantly evolving and adapting, with each new project serving as a blank canvas into which he can channel all his experimentation. Also the results are still unbelievably cool. Praises sung again!

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    It’s probably just the beautiful absurdity of the work on display but Sean Fennessy’s photographs of Melbourne artist Troy Emery’s studio made us all laugh out loud when we saw them in the office. Troy’s renowned for his creation of sculptural animal forms decorated with gaudy materials. His multicoloured pooches and giant glittery bears evoke joy wherever they’re seen. Sean Fennessy is known for his clean, graphic style of photography with a portfolio that covers everything from still-life to travel, lifestyle to architecture. For some reason the marriage of these two creative talents works beautifully; the maximal artist and minimalist photographer bouncing off each other to create a fantastic editorial series.

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    Longtime fans of Toro Y Moi will already know Chaz Bundick to be a man with impeccable visual stylings, and a portfolio which stretches way beyond logos and album covers to include album launches turned art exhibitions, screen-printed posters and a heavy involvement with the concepts behind his music videos as well. Today marks the launch of Chaz’s debut album Michael under the name of his dancier side project Les Sins, which we decided made for an ample excuse to get a look at his Bookshelf. And my god it’s a good one.

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    In the summer of 1979, several legs boarded a ferry travelling from Dieppe to Plymouth. However unlike most other legs making the journey, these didn’t have any feeling in their toes.

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    You could be forgiven for taking a cursory glance over the MAAD site, as I did, and assuming that it was dedicated to a design collective more diverse and comprehensive than we’d ever even seen before. Because that it kind of what it looks like. In fact, MAAD stands for Masters in Art Direction and belongs to ECAL, aka the Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, in Switzerland, and the website serves as both a pamphlet for prospective students and an archive for the projects of previous ones, making it one of the best thought out university sites that we’ve ever seen.

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    Scrolling through design agency AKU’s portfolio is a joy. The standard of their work is great, but what draws me in even more is their clever image selection signposting each project. It’s only now, seeing it done so well, I’ve realised how important this step is – it’s key in getting people excited enough about your work to click through.

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    Tieten met Haar is Valentine Gallardo, Alexander Robyn, Nina Van Denbempt, Mathilde Vangheluwe and Jana Vasiljević. The name roughly translates as “tits with hair” and their goal is “to create a platform for other upcoming artists, to present and publish their work as well as our own, and promote it, in Belgium as well as at different European comics and illustration festivals.”

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    Maybe it’s because he’s always coming over for beers, catching up with us on the phone when we realise we miss each other, or just generally being a most excellent pal, but we sometimes forget to update you with what Ed Monaghan’s up to – I guess we just assume that you know already. But it’s been nearly a year since we last tooted his trumpet and waxed lyrical about his work, and in that time he’s got himself an agent, produced a bunch of excellent commercial projects and started work on some ambitious bits of personal work that we’re holding our breath for (rumour has it they’ll be arriving early next year). Anyway, here’s a few tidbits from the last few months for you to feast your eyes on, and marvel some more at his psychedelic prowess.

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    Did you know that the first episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared has had nearly 21 million views on YouTube so far? With that in mind, since launching three days ago, the third instalment of the cult series is marching quickly towards the million-hit mark. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 3 is the much-anticipated follow-up to the very well-recieved previous epidoes which you can see here and here. This time, the characters are spending a day in the countryside, having a delicious raw chicken picnic when suddenly their day is dampened by a pesky butterfly landing in their basket of meat.

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    Helsinki-based agency Prakt were brought on board to design the identity for the tenth anniversary of the Mikkeli Illustration Triennial in Finland – no mean feat for an agency whose instinct might be to turn to illustration to get their message across. “The triennial went back to its roots: all techniques and themes were welcome in the competition,” founder Matti Tuominen explains. “We didn’t want to create more illustrations for the exhibition already showcasing the best Finnish illustrations.”

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    It’s been well over a year since we last featured Aron Vellekoop León’s work, and boy has the Spanish graphic designer and illustrator been busy since. Still using his traditional printed aesthetic, his new work is full of lovely grainy textures and dusky tones that use shapes and layering in a great way.

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    Just over a week ago It’s Nice That’s Jamie McIntyre and I took a train from London to Glasgow to the much-antiticipated Graphic Design Festival Scotland. We had been invited by Beth Wilson and James Gilchrist, two students who had recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art. During their degree the two had found themselves working best when together, and decided to form Warriors Studio as a duo. They began thinking about the climate of graphic design in Scotland, the need for something new and exciting and – most importantly – what the hell they were going to do when term ends and they were turfed out to fend for themselves.

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    We’ve long been fans of design duo Kasper Florio, and the new work on their site certainly doesn’t disappoint. Once again showcasing their mastery of monochrome, a series of posters for Musik in Ausstellung at Zurich’s Helmhaus is particularly striking, taking a typography-led approach alongside an eclipse graphic. We know the designs had some of our readers talking last week, noting that Mother Design’s Sundance Film Festival identity also used the eclipse device – so it’s clear we’re not the only fans of Kasper Florio’s creations.

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    Viviane Sassen has enjoyed an impressive ascent over the course of her career in order to get to where she is now. Having spent several of her formative years living in Kenya, the artist and photographer has moulded a unique and distinctive style permeated by references to her childhood memories of Africa: luscious, vibrant colours, strong forms and sculpted silhouettes all feature heavily in her work.

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    Brazilian studio Casa Rex’s beautiful book project, Mateus, Marcos, Lucas e João, may be aesthetically gorgeous, but it’s something of a risky proposition. The book takes the idea of the Biblical saviour and transposes it into the 21st Century, by replacing the idea of Christ as saviour with cellulite cream as saviour.

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    The Weekender is like the online equivalent of the bucket full of sweets that your mum keeps next to the front door on Halloween to hurl at the kids who come trick or treating. Except we’ve replaced the treats with art and design, so you’ll have to get your calories elsewhere. As the Criminologist says, “I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.” Off we go then!

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    Easily the most daunting periods of the art school experience are the summer before you arrive and the entire year after you’ve left; The former fills you with an unpleasant anticipation and the unshakable feeling that you’re heading off to be bottom of the pile once again. Sure you were the biggest fish with the best drawing skills in the tiny creative pool that was high school, but now you’re off to battle it out with other equally talented folks for the next three years; you’ve got every right to be nervous. The latter is justifiably terrifying because you’ve got your whole life ahead of you and a mountain of debt to start dealing with. What was the point of that degree again?

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    I’ve never wanted to applaud anyone more than the guys behind this project. Tech-wizards Jankenpopp & Zombectro have created a very special website that transports you back to your childhood and the days when you were just about getting to grips with a computer. Entitled Windows 93 the simulator is actually inspired by Windows 95 with its trademark grey, moveable boxes and somewhat threatening pixelated icons. The duo have thought of everything and have left no stone unturned when it comes to recreating how computers used to look and feel, which subsequently makes it totally hilarious.

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    Is it us or has everyone gone way more bonkers for Halloween this year than ever before? Whatever, we’re jumping on the bandwagon, and have put together a spectacular, terrifying mixtape for you. This year we decided to concentrate on a particularly fantastic sub-genre that is spooky, psychedelic songs from the 1960s. Back then countless bands were teaming up in groups and calling themselves things like “The Five Blobs,” “Don Hinson and the Rigamorticians” and “Frankie Stein” to deliver some of the creepiest, grooviest songs in existence. Even if you’re not that into it, putting this on at a Halloween party tonight for everyone to bop to is far, far cooler than just putting on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, again.

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    It’s become so easy to be sniffy about Shoreditch, all besmirched as it is with lecherous city-boy drunks, Johnny-come-lately “street food pop ups” and guided pub crawls for hapless young backpackers. But while we won’t bother to go into the tired old complaints about gentrification, it’s important to recognise the perfect storm of creativity, East End charm and some awesomely peculiar characters that made the place so alluring in the first place.

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    “It’s been funny seeing ‘Robert Redford to sign off’ on our work plans in recent months," Mark Aver, Mother Design New York design director tells us, revealing the new identity for the 2015 edition of the Sundance Film Festival. The independent film festival, which started in 1978 in Utah, is chaired by Redford, who from the sounds of it, takes quite a hands-on approach.

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    Hardly anyone’s been on an uphill-climb as fast as Tyrone Lebon. One day he plopped into our lives with his photographs and films, and then the next minute he’s everywhere – shooting people all over the world and being talked about by countless magazines and websites. Just to reassure us that he’s no flash in the pan he’s just created this fantastic, informed collage of a film.

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    As it’s Halloween, it’s a good time to remember the true masters of horror. One that immediately springs to mind is of course scarer extraordinare Stephen King, with his hair-raising ability to reduce many of us to quivering wrecks through menacing characters and devilish plot twists.

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    It’s rare that we have cause to feature a single illustration project on the site, but Scott Gelber’s recent work for The New York Times is quite an unusual case. The Texas-based digital artist seriously impressed us this week with his illustration for an editorial that questioned whether or not video games could be considered art. It’s an issue that’s cropping up increasingly online, and one which undoubtedly requires a careful touch to illustrate. Scott’s solution camouflaged various computer game characters within famous paintings – the one that was finally used is, I believe, a character from Assassin’s Creed – compositing sketches of numerous high-profile characters in works like the Mona Lisa, Judith Slaying Holofernes and Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe. Pretty impressive work for a guy who usually specialises in GIFs. More of this please Scott.

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    If you’re anything like me, the 1990s were a decade dedicated to pogs, the Spice Girls, Hey Arnold and Clarissa Explains It All and with those keys players to occupy us it’s no surprise we were too busy to pause and take note of all the great slang vocal being flung around. Fortunately i-D were more than happy to recount the lot in their classic alphabetical fashion, and they even recruited the marvellous Layzell Bros to help them.

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    Andrea Grützner’s images from her series, Tanztee are bold and brilliant, capturing the interactions of a rural Eastern German community in a beautifully eye-catching way.

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    This week we chat Rebecca Wright’s fantastic article about the drop-off rate of female design students, Graphic Design Festival Scotland and Darren Cullen’s controversial Pocket Money Loans pop up shop. You can listen using the SoundCloud embed below or you can subscribe via iTunes here. See you next week!

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    Back in March, Professor Phil Cleaver released a small but weighty new book entitled What They Didn’t Teach You In Design School. The book sought to fill people in on the finer points of design education often skimmed over by busy tutors, and the result is a funny, nitty-gritty-hitting publication that is genuinely useful! For our Back to School feature we asked Phil to share a few of his favourite, most memorable excerpts from the book. Enjoy!

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    Johnny Dufort is a photographer from Cornwall who is currently living and working in London. That’s about all we know of him thus far, but we’re dead certain it won’t be the case for long; the young’un was picked up by i-D earlier this summer as one of the new generation of photographers, and as they so aptly phrased it, “learn their names, because you’re going to need them!”

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    No magazine gets snapped up and devoured like Apartamento when it arrives into the It’s Nice That studio – there’s something about its size, understated beauty and incomparable wit that makes it irresistable. It states that it’s an “everyday life interiors magazine,” but it’s so much more than that, providing in-depth interviews with some of the coolest people who walk on this earth, with snooping photographs of their dwellings to boot. Now on its 14th edition, I wanted to ask Omar Sosa, the magazine’s much-loved founder, a little about this issue, those in the past, and where Apartamento is headed.

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    French design duo My Name is Wendy caught our eye earlier this year with the innovative D/I/M/E/N/S/I/O/N typographic poster series. The studio recently launched a new site showcasing some great new projects that suggest the pair’s Bauhaus-esque graphic approach is going from strength to strength. Two projects particularly intrigued us – the first being a poster series which acts as a part of a wider project in which the studio creates the fictional land of Meteor.

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    The internet is a weird and fantastical thing when you really think about it – fuelling so much more than our social lives and procrastination, it’s a constantly growing, unpredictable entity. Celebrating the wonders of the world wide web are animation studio Buck, based in Los Angeles and New York.