1. List

    I’ve never really got saunas not being a fan of either semi-nudity or having a REALLY HOT FACE but a new magazine of that name might modify my thinking. It’s the brainchild of Luis Dourado who is working with a multi-national team of editors and curators to produce “a transversal and unarmed journey through creativity and creation.” Each issue will focus on a single practitioner, taking the time to really get to know them and their work through beautiful big imagery and chapters like “Disrobe,” “Recline” and “Sweat” (the sauna holy trinity).

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    We’ve seen some fantastic installation art recently, ranging from the Interactive Thunderstorm in Philadelphia, to The Rain Room in London. And now – joy of joys – we’re reflecting on more amazing installation art for y’all to dive into. This time we’re in the Bockenhelmer Depot, in Frankfurt, Germany. Ready? Right, let’s GO!

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    You may have noticed that the weather’s taken a bit of a turn recently. Cold, crisp mornings have been replaced with drizzly misery, and the overcast grey skies we’re being treated to each day make it hard to stay cheerful. At times like this we like to console ourselves with large quantities of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It doesn’t matter what’s on the menu as long as it’s hot and there’s loads of it.

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    We’re really excited to announce the full programme for In Progress, our one-day creative conference this December. We’ve curated an eclectic line up set to inspire, celebrate and offer insights into a range of disciplines – showcasing groundbreaking projects from 2012 and forecasting who and what are going to lead the way in 2013.

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    On the list of things I know nothing about, horse racing falls between haberdashery and horticulture (yeah, it’s an oddly anachronistic alphabetical list ok?) but that didn’t stop me loving Just So’s new film for Dunhill. It tells the story of Sam Waley-Cohen, who in 2011 became the first amateur jockey to win the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup and the subsequent quest to defend his title. But For The Love is actually about much more than that, touching on themes of loss, passion and pressure and it’s shot with mesmerising cinematic flair, packed full of gorgeous shots.

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    It’s a big, nay strange statement, but Mary Katrantzou’s new collection is kind of what I imagine all the babes of the earth get to wear in the afterlife. These stamp-inspired outfits are showing just why Mary Katrantzou is hailed as a goddess by the fashion world, her ability to make clothing that is elegantly ethereal, but still means cold, hard business. If this is Mary thinks spring and summer of 2013 looks like, then so be it. Dress me, Mary, dress me.

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    There’s something of an updated Edward Hopper feel about the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG advert featuring melifluous Scottish actor Dougray Scott. The spot begins with The Doug leaving a late-night diner before embarking on a minute-long meditation on the nature of desire, seemingly with reference to his past, his career and the transient nature of fame. Of course in the end the car wrongfoots what he thinks he knows, but it’s really beautifully shot and well-scripted.

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    This might not be all that new (it’s not new at all actually) but we’ll be damned if we can’t show you a cracking good interview just because it’s not as fresh as it might be. Last year Freunde von Freunden went and met Nathan Cowen and Jacob Klein – the guys behind Haw-Lin – in their Kreuzberg flat and spent the day illuminating us as to how their business operates. We’ve been huge fans of Nathan and Jacob for a long time now, but somehow this slipped through our net. Regardless it’s a charming snapshot of two men at the forefront of contemporary visual culture and Freunde von Freunden should be commended for their enviable nous for a good film.

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    People with more than one string to their bow never cease to amaze me (speaking as someone with a decidedly single-string talent pool) and multi-disciplinary artist Céli Lee is one such creative. Her portfolio boasts animation, graphic design and digital collage but it is her illustration work that really stood out. It’s so easy to lose yourself in her painstakingly-constructed creations where her skill and patience combine to super-pleasing effect. Occasionally there’s a hint of something recognisable (an eye say, or an arm) but on the whole they revel in their own abstraction and with careful use of colour and a sumptuous way with texture, Céli creates worlds which take on their own beguiling aesthetic rules.

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    When was the last time you saw a really cool billboard? It doesn’t really happen anymore, right? They’re all like “shop here” or “watch this” or (at this time of year) “something something Christmas.” Get ready to have your aesthetic envy stoked then by photographer Robert Landau who spent the 1970s and 80s documenting the album adverts on LA’s famous Sunset Strip. With the music industry at the apogee of its powers, his new book provides a great snapshot of a certain time and place when legendary bands’ billboards jostled for attention in all sorts of eye-catchingly creative ways.

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    “Plants, abstraction, noise music, darkness, patterns, poetry, masks, cosmic sex, sunsets, landscapes, ceremonies, or stones can be found as recurrent topics of the images and sounds you will stare at from our garden.” Hmm, well if that one-liner isn’t an incentive to want to know more about this independent publishing company, I don’t know what is.

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    Snappy dressers and stylish types listen carefully, we’re about to show you a little piece of fashion excellence from the inimitable Kenzo and their men’s F/W 2012 collection. We’ve already demonstrated their collaborative genius in the form of Carl Burgess’ womenswear promo, but like all great brands, Kenzo know only too well that the follow up needs to be just as good as the original.

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    AHHH! This is SO good I have the urge to hang up my pen, forage for the more disposable objects in the world and try to furnish my life with colour instead. Perhaps it’s best to leave it to the masters, and Roos Gomperts has expertly transformed the everyday “throw-away” items we’re saturated with in our consumer-based 21st century into colourful, appealing nuggets of delight. Most of the objects transformed in Ceramics for Plastics are the functional, dull inconveniences that leave us scrambling for the recycling bin, or trying to hide them away in a cupboard that’s slightly too small for all the pint sized disposable cups.

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    It makes sense for a trend forecasting event to include some trend forecasters among its eclectic line-up, and it makes even more sense to get some of the most sought-after around. FranklinTill have their fingers firmly on the creative pulse, with a portfolio full-to-bursting with innovative and interesting design-led work for a range of clients and regular columns for Computer Arts and Viewpoint pinpointing the themes and ideas which are shaping the world around us.

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    Pies, factories, ale, top hats and football matches all speak of an era in Great Britain that we are used to seeing glimpses of in the art of L.S.Lowry. This cold, smokey era is completely reborn in John Broadley’s old fashioned illustrations full of strange twists and turns. His funny-looking characters that range from Dickensian men to Bash Street Kids go about their daily business in reams of pretty hilarious comic strips.

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    We’re quite the fans of Emily Kai Bock and so once again everything stopped in the It’s Nice That bat bunker at the announcement that Emily has created another stunning new music video. As we crowded round the screen, waiting in anticipation for Sebastien Schuller’s latest single to prime itself in HD, I think everybody was expecting to experience the ethereal – especially with the knowledge that this video saw the return of Emily’s collaboration with cinematographer Evan Prosofsky (the pairing which propelled Grimes’ Oblivion video onto the worlds cultural radar, becoming a defining moment in 2012).

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    Do you ever find waves of depression gliding through you when you flick through the endless fashion adverts in magazines? Do you ever feel like life’s a bit much when you’re ascending the escalator of Selfridges in a gormless haze? Yeah, high-end fashion can be a bit much.

  18. Opinion-list

    Editor Rob Alderson explains why the time felt right to take part in the D&AD student briefs for the first time this year and asks how we should best approach the judging process to make sure we hold the work up to the right standard…

  19. Rubic-list

    Studio Rubic are a pair of Swiss designers based in Geneva who only opened for business in early 2011. In their short time as a commercial partnership they’ve produced a huge body of work, covering everything from comprehensive branding projects to one-off niche print jobs. Where they really excel however, is in the production of bound printed matter. Their book works are objects of exceptional beauty; clean and communicative but with enough attention paid to their tactile and purely aesthetic qualities to make them wholly approachable and often highly desirable. Mark our words, Rubic are undoubtedly ones to watch in the future.

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    What a nice surprise to discover that what I first thought were some particularly beautiful Flickr photos turned out to actually be incredible paintings by artist Alex Roulette. What you may at first assume are very well recreated holiday snaps are actually fictitious scenarios completely fabricated out of Alex’s mind. The summer memories format reminds you of all the photos of friends you’ve taken that no one else will know the value of, which is given an interesting spin by the fact that Alex has made these people up, they were never real, and what you are seeing never happened. A strange concept now that we are all so used to seeing thousands of internet-based images a day of things that did happen, and didn’t take anywhere near this level of imagination.

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    Swedish photographer Gustav Adbåge isn’t afraid of the dark, oh no. In fact, Gustav uses the darkness almost as an accessory to his camera, taking pictures in the pitch-black dead of night with a super bright flash. The results of this are nothing short of magical, with his flash exploding and splashing all over fences, branches, snowflakes and swans to the delight of his fans (me)

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    There are plenty of photographers out there throwing liquids all over their studios to capture what the eye cannot see in timely detail, and Japanese photographer Shinichi Maruyama is very well known for his elegant fluid photography. However, his latest project Nudes breaks from his usual output, tracing instead the fluidity of the human body, capturing it’s elegant, stroking movements which over a given time produce a visual effect that almost appears sculptural without losing the element of motion.

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    There was plenty of chatter around the new short film from comic book legend Alan Moore and photographer/filmmaker Mitch Jenkins, the trailer for which aired last week. In just 90 seconds it established an unsettling atmosphere of darkness and depravity, populated by strange burlesque performances and terrifying clowns which all suggests that Alan and Mitch have really gone to town. While on set, Mitch also took a series of photographs which give us an interesting insight into how it came together. The film is out next week, and we are, like many others we suspect, counting the days.

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    Todd Eberle is an acclaimed New York City based photographer who has focused his lens on both art and architecture since breaking into prominence in the early 1990s— most famously gaining international recognition for photographing Donald Judd’s art and furniture. After looking back at some of Todd’s projects, we were struck by the precise portraits of America’s architecture and landscape which act collectively to reveal observations on a society unified by a distinct, minimalist architectural identity.

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    London based multidisciplinary designer and film maker Keiichi Matsuda has been garnering attention for his experimental and innovative work in recent years and it’s not hard to see why. Blurring the boundaries between virtual and physical worlds, he uses video, architecture and interactive media to change and enhance the ways in which we engage with our environment.

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    If everyone’s being nice to you this morning and it’s getting to you, counteract it immediately with this gore-heavy, monochrome illustration from French artist Jérôme Meynen. His impeccable 3D draftsmanship and ability to make characters that still look amiable, despite pulling someone’s guys out on a flight of Escher-like stairs, are second to none.

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    Ansel Adams, the godfather of American landscape photography is one of those creatives who is always a sheer pleasure to revisit. The man responsible for fixing an idea of how we see the United States and its monumental topography still has the ability to strike the viewer dumb with his work, however familiar we think we are with it.

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    It’s been a good while since we featured Evelin Kasikov’s work on the site. The London-based Estonian made a name for herself, after graduating from St Martin’s, for her unique application of traditional embroidery techniques to re-imagine CMYK printing and RGB on-screen imagery. Since graduating she’s been producing work for the likes of Wired, The New York TImes, Dezeen and The Guardian. Not a bad start to a freelance career.

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    Let’s all play Sonic the Hedgehog and ride our bikes naked! Graphic designer Sebastian Koseda has an ability to produce visual communication in a way that’s always fun, intriguing, striking or simply beautiful. Recently graduated from Middlesex University, Sebastian has picked up various awards from YCN, ISTD and D&AD, and the reason for all the accolades becomes very apparent as soon as you look at the variety and strength of Sebastian’s portfolio.

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    It’s fair to say that most of the time public safety information tends to be hectoring, patronising or just plain dull, so it’s great to see a different, and much more interesting approach. Melbourne Metro wanted to point out that mindboggling acts of stupidity on and around their network could have fatal consequences and so McCann turned to musician Ollie McGill and animator Julian Frost for this maddeningly memorable little ditty called Dumb Ways To Die.

  31. Riikkasormunen-list

    Finnish illustrator Riikka Sormunen is an emerging name here in the UK at the moment; she’s big in her homeland already but has yet to make a name for herself in our neck of the woods. Prepare for all that to change though as she’s featured in the winter edition of Wrap magazine and has literally just released a Big Mother monogram with NoBrow – and it’s not at all hard to see why.

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    It’s always a pleasure to receive the first issue of a shiny new magazine and there was plenty to enjoy in the inaugural issue of Blink’s new journal Discipline that winged its way to us recently. Designed by the ever-excellent Inventory Studio, Discipline reflects the “convergence of ideas across creative disciplines with a focus on media and communication” which in theory sounds a bit serious. But in reality there’s loads of great content, in particular a fine piece on creative legend and Blink founder Bob Lawrie, a great profile of hip MEATliquor designers Shed and a photoshoot with Kindness’ Adam Bainbridge (and a cat).

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    You may recognise Rob’s incredibly friendly illustration from such publications as the much-adored Young Colossus which almost single-handedly changed the way we look at album artwork. The publication, made in collaboration with Maccabees singer Orlando Weeks, is a testament to the good-natured, happy style for which he has become so well-known. This illustrative style seems to carry through to his bookshelf too, as you’ll see below when Rob tells us about the lengths he once went to to get Vladimir Nabokov’s Collected Stories to a friend…

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    “Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” Yeah maybe Voltaire had a point, but I’m sure if he’d known about Things and the lovelies who send us them, he’d have added: “Let us send tonnes of post” to that list. So join us on our jolly trolley stacked high with the Things that blew our socks off.

  35. Weekendermain

    Hey gang. How’s your week been going? Really? You did what? You filthy, filthy devil. That’s right, The Weekender’s back, and it’s going to smash into your bewildered face just like the hangover’s probably going to tomorrow morning. Until then, onwards to our doom…

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    We are super proud to announce that our December conference In Progress will be supported by Lowdi, the portable wireless speaker with exactly the right amount of attitude.

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    We love introducing new people to you and we’re always happy to see the creative juices positively flowing through the blood of graduates each year. And so it is with graphic designer and illustrator Abigail Burch who has recently graduated from Nottingham Trebt. Abigail grabbed our attention with her self-promotional book which allows viewers into her world, welcoming everyone with personal insights such as her love for a cup of coffee – a fondness shared only with the sound of rain and old books!

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    Take a moment in your day to gaze in amazement at these fantastically creative transformations of the humble, versatile garden chair. This particular chair design is embedded in our perceptions of garden life, yet hardly registers on our conscious visual radar. I mean, how often do we notice the noble plastic providers of adequate comfort while we chow down on the delights of a summer BBQ?

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    Despite our love of prattling on, sometimes it’s the artists themselves who best articulate the qualities of their work we so admire. So it is with Kate MccGwire, who describes her extraordinary feather creations as being “both sensual and deviant in equal measure.” Kate is best known for her huge pieces where slicks of feathers become organic masses and take over the gallery space in beautiful and unsettling ways. Her new show opening in London next week focusses on less overwhelming but no less intriguing pieces, smaller sculptures of incredible form and texture which seem to throb with an inner vitality.

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    You may have noticed from some of the articles we’ve posted over the last few week that we used to have a bit of a crush on the now-defunct Studio8. Those guys knew how to design great stuff and were instrumental in shaping some of our (well mine at least) interests in graphic design. But while we were sad they decided to close their doors, we’re thrilled that they’ve all gone off to develop their own practices and are still producing work that gets us pretty damn excited.