Graphic Design Archive

  1. Marco_papiro_pb_1

    Adoring pretty much anything Panda Bear-related (his amazing interactive website, his brilliant music, his very lovely hair), we felt it was high time we shed some light on the man behind his wonderful record sleeve designs, Marco Papiro.

  2. Julia-pj_harvey_graphics_1

    When we popped to Somerset House last week to ogle PJ Harvey recording in a box we spotted some powerful exhibition graphics, designed by London-based studio Julia. The designs are shown online on PJ Harvey’s website, but really come to life at Somerset House, where they sit illuminated on the wall of the holding pen-like space visitors stand in before being led to the basement area that houses the recording studio box.

  3. Ged-palmer-int-list

    I came across Ged Palmer’s work for the first time a couple of years ago over a boozy pub lunch with my dad, and since then I’ve followed his progress in hand lettering and sign-writing with interest. His skill in this traditional medium has gone from strength to strength, with new techniques and processes added to his arsenal on a regular basis, and what started out as a simple flair for type has progressed into a fully-formed talent for fashioning works of graphic brilliance.

  4. Pentagramlogobook1

    If Pentagram’s Micheal Bierut reckons a book can “make better designers of all of us,” its likely to be a pretty useful tome. The designer was heaping praise on Logo: The Reference Guide to Symbols and Logotypes by Michael Evamy, which is just about to launch its new mini edition with publisher Laurence King.

  5. Fonshickmann-list-int

    A couple of weeks back we had Fons Hickmann, founder of the eponymous design studio Fons Hickmann m23 in Berlin, talk us through his favourite publications, so that we could get a bit of an insight into his taste, influences and inspirations. In the process, we found out that the studio has recently begin working on Germany’s Greenpeace Media. “For Greenpeace Media we design magazines, posters and even packing tape,” the studio’s website explains. “Working with political and social topics has always been important and close to the heart of m23.”

  6. Arndtbenedikt-posters-list-int

    Scrolling through Frankfurt-based design agency Arndt Benedikt’s website, I get the impression that somebody in the studio is sneaking off every half an hour to immortalise some of the fantastic design work they’re creating in poster form. Or maybe managing partners Felix Gross and Falko Ohlmer are just really into posters – in which case, hurrah! Alongside remarkably advanced work like this campaign for Greenpeace, and some mature corporate design work they make these: bright, dynamic and joyous posters, for everything from a spell teaching at the University of Applied Sciences Mainz to an open air party in Hamburg. They’re informative and really nice to look at, which is all we need from our large-scale printed matter.

  7. Bedow-record_mania-int-list

    Swedish design studio Bedow isn’t new to branding musical enterprises. Back in 2013 it produced a clean, minimal identity for Canadian record label More Than Human. That work was nice, but its latest offering for Stockholm’s internationally renowned store Record Mania might be even better.

  8. Isabellucena-tarot-int-list

    When it comes to Tarot cards we’ve pretty much seen it all. Since the arrival of the Rider Waite deck in the early 20th Century nobody in the western world has really changed the game and made The Fool, The Ace of Wands or The Hierophant look all that different from Pamela Colman Smith’s incredible drawings. But recently designer Isabel Lucena has had a crack at it, and the results are surprisingly refreshing.

  9. Thamnesandhudson-cover-list-int

    For a young boy who grew up in the suburban Midlands, the west coast of the USA is really the America of my imagination, far more so than the refined cities of the Eastern seaboard, the vast expanses of the rural states or any of the other myriad landscapes to be found between sea and shining sea.

  10. Jorgeleon-amigo-int-list

    It’s always refreshing to see a creative being really honest about the challenges of a particular brief before showing us their solution. So it is with Barcelona-based graphic designer and art director Jorge León, who sets up his work for the Amigos skate shop by referring to the “many problems” it had encountered with its brand.

  11. Unnamed

    International design agency IS Creative Studio has done some elegant branding work for both rotisserie AND grilled chicken restaurants. And both identities look refreshingly tasteful. The studio’s work spans print, product and retail design, and its practice is based on extensive research and a desire to always go beyond the product at hand. Or indeed the chicken. Founded in 2010 by Richard Meza, the agency produces great work that shifts aesthetics seamlessly. From visuals that wouldn’t be out of place on a summer’s day in Capri in 1965, to fast food stereotypes and what is described as “type [broken up] to simulate chunks of fruit swimming happily in cream,” it’s a bunch of consistently impressive design work.

  12. Screen-shot-2015-01-26-at-10.12.37

    It’s little surprise that Mike Lemanski’s graphic design work has been something of an It’s Nice That favourite, and since we last posted about him in 2013 he’s not let his style slip. Mike’s site boasts some beautiful, mature designs for Feuilleton magazine, which takes articles from various international publications such as The New York Times, translates them into French and publishes issues every quarter.

  13. Hardyseiler-hannover-list-int

    When Hanover-based designers Bureau Hardy Seiler and web design agency Created by Monkeys decided to pitch to design the identity for the Freies Theater Hannover, they found themselves faced with a dilemma. The theatre hosts every flavour of live performance going, from puppetry and musical shows to experimental dance, and all in one flexible and family-friendly space. How could they create a graphic language to match that?

  14. Charlottedelarue-list-3-int

    Illustrator and art director Charlotte Delarue’s varied work shows her to be an uncommonly talented illustrator, conjuring incredibly realistic portraits out of paper and pencil safe in the knowledge that she doesn’t need to do anything more to make them impressive. Her art direction is of another ilk entirely, however – she works with the likes of electro acts Chromeo, Justice and Kavinsky to draw up impactful logotypes and album artwork concepts that can be spotted from miles away, from the golden legs which reappear on almost every Chromeo album cover to Kavinsky’s mysterious blue-tinged scenes.

  15. Parades-artdillier-sale-int-1

    When you’ve got a load of Christmas stock to flog at the start of the new year there’s only one way to go; have a big sale. But everyone else has had that exact same idea, and it’s a pain in the arse to make a sale look good right? Wrong! If you’re smart you’ll hire Bordeaux’s Bureau Parade to come up with a bespoke solution to communicate your low, low prices. Geometric shapes, bold colours and a playful use of typography meant that everyone knew about the sweet deals at Bordeaux’s most high-end shoe retailer, Michard Ardillier, without the store having to Xerox a bunch of giant red signs à la Tie Rack. Nice solution to an often overlooked problem if you ask us.

  16. Cometsubstance-sleeve-1-int

    We’re big fans of Comet Substance, graphic designer Ronny Hunger’s poster-producing alter-ego. Since we last featured him back at the tail end of 2013 Ronny has shifted from the Xerox collage aesthetic to slicker lines and high production values, without losing any of the depth or attention to idiosyncratic details of his earlier work.

  17. Oyalstudio-dishonestmanifest-int-list

    Portugal’s Royal Studio are not just winningly adept at creating bold, interesting and creatively ambitious visual treatments – they’re also terrific at writing the most intriguing project summaries I think I’ve ever seen. There’s a fine line between being weird and funny on the one hand, and gratuitously wacky on the other but these guys manage to pull off descriptions that mirror the invention, and occasional iconoclasm, in their work. Take The Dishonest Manifest, a series which seems to be ridiculing the preoccupation with how posters look as opposed to how well they do their job. The clearest indication of this is a long, thin creation with the phrase “Don’t give a fuck about content” repeated over and over again.

  18. Bonhams-auction-catalogue-int-4

    The idea of London’s auction houses, all stuffed to bursting with hushed voices, incredible art, taut-faced women and a nonchalant yet overpowering scent of money (I’ve never been to one, if you hadn’t guessed) make them feel like something of an alien concept. A place not for the likes of me, and one happy to remain in its exclusive bubble. But recently a series of innovative redesigns have suggested that perhaps a new aesthetic sensibility seems to be settling into the high-end fabrics of these places. There’s a sense they’re working to rethink their approach to their brand and how it looks.

  19. Mobydigg-aaberaward-1-int

    How many design studios can you think of who are named after a mis-pronounced classic novel? Because Munich-based design studio Moby Digg is, and that fact, coupled with their fun, bright site, propels them above most straight-laced studios in our book.

  20. Aaronvinton-kidsong-1-int_copy

    Aaron Vinton graduated from CalArts in 2009 and has since been producing idiosyncratic, skilled and occasionally creepy graphic design. Clearly influenced by the working processes of the days of yore, the thematic span and style gauge in his work are reminiscent of studios like Push Pin, whose work would adapt to context seamlessly.

  21. List

    Designed by Minna Sakaria, Carolina Dahl and Maria Ines Gul, this great identity for the upcoming Royal College of Art’s School of Communication Work-in-Progress show is a modular representation of the works in progress that’ll be exhibited. Made up of a set of parts, the typeface allows for each element to contribute to any number of letterforms or abstract shapes. As well as existing online and in print, the specially-designed typeface has been printed on stickers with the intention of interrupting the RCA’s corporate identity in a playful and productive way.

  22. 1.-of_drippy_donut_copy

    “Designing for Odd Future was a little bit like working for a bunch of slightly familiar homies, who have ridiculously awesome ideas for apparel and a lot more money than you,” says Chris Burnett, a Portland, Oregon-based designer who got in touch recently to show off his rather awesome site.

  23. List-retor

    Without wishing to sound like a pretentious little shit, when a book arrived entitled Greetings from Retro Design, I have to say I did a pretentious little internal sigh. Perhaps rather unfairly, “retro” has become something of a dirty word, connoting brands or enterprises desperately clawing at a carefully identified young “target market” that appears to have a penchant for buying overpriced second hand clothes in Brick Lane and fetishising ephemera from a youth they probably never lived through.

  24. Corinne_gisel3

    Corinne Gisel is a graphic designer and writer with a self-appointed “special knack for editorial design.” Deserving of this accolade, Corinne is a graduate of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and describes her working process as: “always aim[ing] for flawless typesetting,” with a balanced focus on “content and language… sender and receiver.”

  25. List

    As one of the biggest independent magazines in the world, Kinfolk, has become a strange publishing phenomenon – a print-only title published in multiple languages that’s managed to find huge captive audiences in nations as diverse as Japan, Russia and the USA. It tips itself as “a slow lifestyle magazine… that explores ways for readers to simplify their lives, cultivate community and spend more time with their friends and family.”

  26. Vincent

    From the dainty digits that show off wedding rings to the Marigold-clad hands that demonstrate the power of toilet cleaners to the precious paws that poke at futuristic gadgets, it’s easy to forget that the hands that advertise are attached to bodies and heads we seldom see.

  27. List

    Presenting Matt Chase, the editorial illustrator living and working in Washington DC, who can transform a wishy-washy concept into a solid hunk of imagery with a snap of the fingers. You’ve likely seen his work already without knowing it – maybe in the New York Times, on the cover of one of Douglas Coupland’s novels, or perhaps in the Wall Street Journal if you’re that way inclined.

  28. List

    Hanneke Minten and Saskia Pouwels are Hats & Tales, a design duo from Rotterdam adept in strategy and branding work. They “focus on all the visible translations of the complete design concepts we create. From an event style to motion, from signage to posters, from visual identities to silkscreening and from strategy to impossible collaborations.” Last week they sent us a friendly little video re-introducing themselves and their work, so we felt obliged to take another proper look at their portfolio – it’s been almost three years since we last checked in.

  29. List

    With trends and zeitgeists evolving faster than us mere mortals can keep track of, sometimes a helping hand in watching over what’s going on in the creative world can be necessary. Fortunately branding and communications agency 3 Deep have taken it upon themselves to help us out by creating a broadsheet which redefines “our engagement with luxury while celebrating those at the nexus of creativity, art and commerce.”

  30. List

    “Breath of fresh air” might be an expression used mainly by teachers when describing particularly astute pupils, but it’s so applicable to Dutch designer Bram Kinet’s lo-fi posters that I can’t help but bandy it about. The type is large and retro, the colour combinations are unexpected and there’s a collage-influenced, freeform element to his style that’s reminiscent of the posters junior school kids use to advertise their school discos, in the absolute best way. A man with an owl head and a red felt-tip penis surfing on a large flat fish, for example? How could we resist?

  31. Jurgen_maelfeyt_home

    Jurgen Maelfeyt is a designer and co-founder of Gent publishing platform Art Paper Editions. His design work achieves an uncommonly effective balance of concept and function; making work that is playful, with an incredibly broad frame of reference that is still readable.
    Jurgen’s visual references span the latter half of the 20th Century, chopping between psychedelic hippy crystals, Technicolour landscape photography, acid house and New Wave cinema. These considerations run through to the production values of every project, working with processes and materials that reflect the idea and the purpose.

  32. 2

    There are cool designers, and then there are those of Leslie David’s calibre, who gaze nonchalantly down upon their pretenders with a talented eye and a practice so diverse that it firmly establishes their spot among the higher echelons of creative standards. Paris-based Leslie has a been around for some time now, and her client list is an incredible testament to the quality of her work, featuring some of the greatest players across fashion, music, media and retail. Specialising in brand image for fashion and culture brands, her aesthetic blends illustration, design and typography in an always unexpected and never less-than-excellent blend.

  33. List-2

    January is a time for new beginnings, and our inaugural post about Bureau Sandra Doeller proves that to be very much true. Sandra, who was previously one half of Doeller-Satter, has broken out alone, anointing her new studio with a remarkably striking project for Frankfurt’s Museum Angewandte Kunst. Overlaying bold but simple text-driven posters with playful hand-drawn type, a grinning smiley face and huge drippy lettering, Sandra breaks out of the traps of rigid uniformity with both the exhibition newspaper and the posters which accompany it.

  34. List

    Of all the subcultures that have shaken Britain to its stuffy, reserved core, skinhead culture is perhaps both the most influential and the most misunderstood. Marked by an instantly recognisable aesthetic comprising fashion, music and print media, it has seen so many markedly different variants, from rudeboy culture to neo-Nazism, that it’s little surprise it’s so often misinterpreted.

  35. Main9

    You don’t get as much editorial illustration and art direction like this as you used to. Back in the day, this sort of visual pun-based work was used to illustrate pretty much every article under the sun in order to quickly get a hard-hitting point across and lure readers in to the actual story. Nowadays people like The New York Times Magazine are some of the only guys who still use this method – and when they do they call on Javier Jaén. The Barcelona-born designer spends the majority of his time collaborating with art directors, photographers and illustrators to concoct clever, pleasing visual cues that sit comfortably among the pages of big-dog publications such as The New Yorker and The Washington Post. You don’t get many more “simple idea, well executed” examples than in Javier’s portfolio, not to mention the rather beautiful last line on his online bio – “He has still not written a child, planted a book, or given birth to a tree. Everything is waiting to be done.”

  36. List

    Horror and sci-fi are genres that often conjure up a certain visual aesthetic: one that’s typically dark and complex. Their winding and strange narratives tend not to lend themselves to graphic, Swiss-style simplicity – or at least so we thought, until we saw the work designer Daniel Reed has created, inspired by Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series. Taking cues from mid-century Swiss graphic design and the Bauhaus school, the posters take the numbers from within Stephen’s texts as their starting point.

  37. List-1

    Just before Christmas an excitable Jane Stockdale came bounding into the studio with even more energy than usual to tell us about a graphic designer she’d just met in Barcelona. We hastened to check out his website, flicked through a bunch of projects and quickly realised that Jane’s enthusiasm was totally justified – Arnau is indeed a man of many talents.

  38. List-leif

    We’re huge adherents of Leif Podhajsky and in particular his design and art direction for the music industry. His work on the Kelis album Food was one of the stand-out album artwork projects of 2014 and so it’s great to see him picking up where he left off as we head into the new year.

  39. Newlist

    We featured Johann’s work a couple of years ago when he had just graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie’s graphic design programme. Described by his then screen printing master as working “ghetto style,” with hand-drawn layers, energetic line work and confident colour-ways, Johann seems to have come a long way without losing any of that skilled spontaneity.

  40. List

    In his terrific biography of London, Peter Ackroyd talks about the futility of trying to capture the essence of a complex, chaotic city in a map, however painstakingly-detailed its composition. Cities are more than a collection of streets and stations, and once we accept this then map-making becomes something much more interesting, as we are freed from traditional conventions of how and why maps are put together.