Archive

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    This month’s Nicer Tuesdays will take place at Downstairs at Mother and we’ll be exploring the world of satire. We’ve invited some great speakers who have combined their creative skills with a sharp sense of humour to provide insightful and down right funny social commentaries. 

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    With a brief such as the word “courage” there’s like, a bajillion things you could do. The possibilities are so endless that you would most likely end up doing something a bit complicated to try and represent such a loaded term. Hats off then (literally) to Miriam Abrahams who tackled this subject in the most simple way possible: to hand over some scissors to her little sisters and play “makeover”. Not much point in writing any more here, just watch it and then give her a big round of a applause because that girl is so brave.

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    It’s hard to process just how good this collaborative project between painter Elizabeth Peyton and joy-bringing publishing house Nieves is. Peyton has carved out a very comfortable niche for herself in the art world, with stark, romantic paintings of iconic figures of pop culture. Her works suggest late nights, frank discussions and hedonistic lifestyles of the kind of people that have fantastic dance moves and record collections as big as their drinking habits. Cool people. So with her work plus a generous spoonful of sincere loveliness on Nieves’ part, this publication is pretty much the best thing you can get your hands on in the world today. The book, entitled The Age of Innocence is a homage to Edith Wharton’s novel of the same name, and a reminder that whatever era you reside in there will always be love, and kissing.

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    Funny how one massive monkey became one of the most iconic stars of the silver screen, but that’s life. To celebrate his 80th birthday, what better gift could there be than to create a series of limited edition hand printed posters for his die-hard fans? To celebrate this primate’s special day, cinema print-merchants Dark City Gallery has teamed up with La Boca to create a series of prints that reflect what the film really is, and that’s a powerful love story.

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    Lawrence Zeegen is a man of many talents; illustrator, dean of design at the prestigious London College of Communication and one of the top three hat wearers I’ve ever met. He was kind of enough to share some of his wisdom ahead of a busy week when he joins yet another important organisation and begins a dream creative commission…

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    Window dressers often go unnoticed, don’t you think? Involved in their own unique brand of set design, they create micro-universes designed both to frame and to contextualise a fashion designer or retail outlet’s vision, and yet unless they’re dressing the enormous storefronts of Louis Vuitton or transforming Selfridges into a submarine they rarely get the credit they deserve.

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    Everyone thinks they’re a street photographer these days, that they’re a someone who manages to “capture a generation” by taking photos of their overpriced noodles or that they’re the modern day answer to WeeGee because they took a photo of their friend being sick outside a club in Dalston. The fact is, that there are few photographers whose work actually smells like coffee and roll-up smoke, is as funny as a hungover joke, and is a squinty, hands-in-pockets portrait of people in their mid twenties as the images captured by Nick Pomeroy.

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    Have you ever flicked through the pages of the bulky fashion bible, Wonderland magazine? It’s got so much colour and attitude it’s almost top shelf material. The interviews are fun, the photography features are pure magic and the pages are so glossy it’s almost the same sensation as trying to keep hold of a buttery fish. Excitingly, Wonderland has had a wee bit of a redesign of late after being passed carefully into the hands of designer Alistair Hanson.

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    The only thing better than a pool party is a naked pool party, we all know that. The only thing better than a naked pool party is a selection of amazing paintings of fictional pool parties to rival that of the Club Tropicana video. Illustrator Tal Granot has got a lovely collection of paintings depicting all kinds of frivolities, mostly based around the four golden "sh’s – shwimming, champagne, shports and shellfish. Check out the rest of Tal’s work if you’ve still got the Friday feeling on this Monday morning (I do).

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    Now I know what those of you unfussed about graphic design are thinking: “Turn up the heat? On a magazine layout and some fancy fonts? Are you sure?” but the answer is yes, we are! Because Melbourne-based design studio Confetti’s creative direction for The Sex Issue of Spook magazine fits its brief perfectly; sultry cerise print on black pages, super-erotic portraits framed on crazy backgrounds, fonts that wobble as though they were viewed through heatwaves in the middle of a desert, and that retro 1980s aesthetic that screams Grace Jones swathed in leopard print and black satin. I mean, those are two chunks of text shaped like boobs! Frankly, if this doesn’t have you hot under the collar then no graphic design ever will.

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    It’s becoming a habit of ours (well, mine) to feature Osma Harvilahti’s work on the site about once every six months. The first time was in August of last year, then in January of this one and here we are again with more updates. Thing is, Osma keeps on taking off on adventures around the world – to Kenya, Singapore and Morocco, New York and London – then coming back with incredible snapshots of these places that feature portraits of strangers, chance encounters with a monkey, oranges on windscreens and chance occurrences of incredible complementary colour. How he manages to find these images (all of them feel like a series of unique discoveries) we’re really not sure, but long may it continue. We can’t get enough of this stuff.

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    So it’s Monday morning, which usually means we greet you with a rousingly upbeat music video to perk you up for the week ahead. Not so this week. Instead we’ve got Keaton Henson, a man whose never written a song that couldn’t reduce you to tears and William Williamson, a film-maker who puts out incredibly honest and focussed short documentaries when he’s not shooting music videos. Together they’ve produced some incredible videos together and this latest piece for You is no exception. The concept is simple but it’s impeccably shot and the song is intense. Sorry if it makes you cry. Enjoy!

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    What do Whale Trail (a game where you pilot a grinning whale through the clouds), Rando (an app that lets you anonymously share photos around the world) and the new Hudl tablet from Tesco have in common? Very little to the untrained eye, but each is the product of digital design agency ustwo™. We loved Whale Trail, it cost us a lot of precious hours in the studio, and we thoroughly enjoy using Rando, which leads us to believe that the Hudl is going to be right up our street too, even if we’re still struggling to get our heads round the concept of a Tesco tablet.

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    It always seems to be Friday, doesn’t it? What’s that sound? Hm? Oh, that’s just the sound of your life rushing past before your eyes. No you can’t have another one. Why not, you ask? Because life isn’t fair. It isn’t long either, this train ride’s going to be up before you know it. So sit back, buy an overpriced coffee and put your feet on the seat in front (naughty). We’ve got some things we want to show you…

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    Back in January we reflected on the absolute marvel that is Jack Cunningham whose hilarious animations and bloody brilliant illustrations melted the coldness of that bitter, bitter month. So we kept him close; his animations of punching ducks, robotic space men and smoothly boiling kettles reassuring us with all their wonderful weirdness on those darker days. So obviously we were ridiculously excited when we saw his blog updates announcing his new website covered in new work. And it’s all changed, his style refined but stronger than ever. Stripping back to finer lines and some brilliant black and white animations, this simplifying somehow just adds to their hilarity, articulating the giant conks and their flared nostril sneezing, the chair that walks to catch its owner at the end of the day or the businessman dreaming of water skiing. Peruse at your leisure.

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    Alright so it turns out last week we weren’t all that honest with you. The editor-in-chief is still MIA somewhere in Scandinavia, or maybe Iceland. We couldn’t hear what he was saying through all of his thick winter clothes and ski mask. He’ll be back soon enough, but in the meantime you’ve got another assistant editor-hosted Studio Audience which, by all accounts, is the best one ever. Yup, by ALL accounts. Let’s have a listen shall we?

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    If you thought that Johnny Depp made for a charming drug lord playing George Jung in Blow, please allow yourself to be swept away by the papier mâché realness being brought to you directly from the very skilled hands of William Child. For his final project the freelance illustrator, animator and designer made a brilliant short film about the bloody work of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, complete with hand-built sets, bags of powder stuffed into gutted fish, scuba divers and a jacuzzi. I know. I have no idea how he did it either.

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    Like my films, foods and taste in music , I like my fashion with a good helping of unsubtle and comic references to history. As you can see from these exuberant pictures fresh off the catwalk, this S/S 14 collection from sartorial cuties Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana is taking all the best bits of ancient history and injecting them with concentrated SASSY.

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    Those polaroid moments have come to mean something else now. Holding on to a sense of the snapshot, they are nostalgic by the nature of their production, catching a moment just as it passes but in their aging are now a film type imbued with a sense of history, transforming contemporary scenes into memories. And the transitional landscapes of seaside towns are perfectly suited for its film, already coated with that seaside holiday romanticism. Recognising the wonder of this relationship, photographer Rhiannon Adam’s located the ideal seafront, travelling to Margate, “the gateway to the sea”, a place stained with the memories of countless British summer holiday; of fish and chips and rock and ice cream and plastic buckets and a lot of concrete and arcades and created Dreamlands Wastelands.

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    Mario Zucca makes work that’s immediately American. The Pennsylvanian illustrator takes his visual cues from Robert Crumb and the kind of colour palettes that feel familiar form the days of Mad. As far as client lists go, he’s got a big one having commissioned by everyone from The New York Times and Maxim to Crayola and ESPN. It goes without saying that he’s great at what he does, but we’re especially keen on his autobiographical drawings of him and his family through the ages, rendered beautifully in the pages of his sketchbook. Once you’ve seen his uncle Vince grooming a cat you’re sure to be a lifelong fan of this excellent illustrator.

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    Argh Play-Doh was so much fun, smelt so good, tasted grim but made everything look brilliant and you could even bake it so your multicoloured figurines could be set in stone forever, until a limb dropped off and was eaten by the dog. Everything was a masterpiece pretty much, but I bet you never did this. The brain child of artist Eleanor Macnair, Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh sees famous photos remade in the more-fun-than-clay material and then photographed, capturing Grace Jones’s uber flexibleness in fluorescence whilst ensuring Bill Brandt’s Nude with Elbow remains just as alluring. It puts all of those miniature animals to shame really.

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    I, for one, don’t have very exciting neighbours. They don’t really have parties. They’ve never knocked on the front door for a pound of sugar dressed surreptitiously in a trench coat and little else. When I was younger, Pat at number 12 had the nicest Yorkshire Terrier called Wellington, but he was pretty much as animated as it got down our street.

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    Don’t worry folks, Gustav Almestål has taken a break from making food look all sexy – we know that your jelly legs couldn’t take much more of that. Instead he’s teamed up with food stylist Niklas Hansen to make it look absolutely delicious and very very colourful in a wonderful shoot for issue two of The Gourmand, in a way that only such magical collaborations of different crafts manages to do.

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    Brave of a confectionary company to tackle imitating a british confectionary staple, but let’s give them three cheers for doing a ruddy good job of the packaging design. Helsinki-based agency Bond were commissioned by leading Nordic sweetie makers Cloetta and came up with this super-colourful homage to the Bassett’s Allsorts we know and love. Haven’t had one of these sweets for ages, and now I really, really want them. Those colours! It’s a packaging designer’s dream!

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    Amanda Greenberg is something of a rare gem. Residing and working in Brooklyn, NY, she creates digitally refined pencil and ink drawings which seem to resist being pinned down to any clear category. Executed in black on white and peaches and cream pastel shades, the characters she conceives are as original as they are beguiling. Repeated in series to create whole crowds of cool-looking girls, or clad in ethereal leaves and deep in thought – this is desktop screensaver candy if ever I saw it! We caught up with Amanda to talk about autumn in New York, balcony gardens and to find out how she goes about her working day.

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    Hot on the heels of this month’s Nicer Tuesdays, we’ve teamed up with MINI to bring you another night of inspirational talks around the theme of their recent NOT NORMAL campaign – and as a massive thank you to our readers for supporting our events – we’re making this one free to attend!

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    From slyly reading Fifty Shades on the tube with your bag covering your crotch, to merely playing with phallic vegetables in the supermarket, being rude is FUN! Yeah these illustrations are pretty saucy (these are the least NSFW I could find) but how brill are they? Spanish illustrator and artist Pablo Gallo is inspired by couples practising the Kama Sutra and keeping a firm grip on the book during copulation. He’s also apparently inspired by jazz and literature, so there’s a few drawings of Kafka and Chet Baker thrown into the mix just to keep you on your toes. Enjoy!

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    I don’t really see myself as the paranoid type but I have to confess to a very occasional and irrational fear that when the technological apocalypse comes (and it will, you mark my words) I’m going to be one of those goons left behind by people with real world skills. As someone who spends more than their fair share of time online I’d be useless in a world without electricity. How do you make a fire? With the switch of a button. Cook a meal? Pretty much the same way. And what about boiling water for tea? Look, I don’t have a clue ok, there’s people out there whose job it is to know these things so I can just keep on tapping away at my keys.

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    England has been looking fairly grey of late, so Simon Priestley’s colour-drenched photographs of India came as a welcome reminder of the exoticism and excitement which lies just beyond the M25 ringroad.

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    Angelo Pennetta’s outtakes have been sitting in our reference files since he first got put on the site back in 2012. Back then, his appeal stemmed from the fact that he seemed to be the only photographer online who A: dared to put his outtakes online as equals to his commissioned work, and B: as someone who could make even the surliest of models crack a toothy smile.

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    It is always a treat when we re-visit a previously mentioned creative’s website to discover some delicious updates to get our teeth into but let’s just say that a banquet wouldn’t describe well enough the copious amount of work graphic designer Ghazaal Vojdani has produced over the last three years. And it would have to be the fanciest of feasts, the finest of dining, because despite the voracity with which she has worked, the quality has not slipped once. Her work is smart, bold, with a sensitive eye to good typography and colour. Strength comes from her attention to layers, allowing text to both sit confidently apart from its effective background which continues to exist as an independent work in itself. Her oeuvre is vast and with so much already behind her with are excited to see the undoubtedly fantastic projects she launches herself into next!

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    So we seem to have the hots for swimming pools this month from Franck Bohbot’s dramatically shot photographs of pools with perfectly still water to Malika Favre’s snazzy illustrations of sun-bleached bodies lounging around the pool. But here is something other; our favoured delights abandoned, decaying and stained with a nostalgia for a lost past.

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    It’s pleasant to escape to a pencilled world of meadows and willow trees when you’re in an office all day, which is probably why Dukhoon Gim’s images appeal so much to us. Rather than a showcase of skill and dedication with no real idea behind it – which so often hyper-real art can be – Dukhoon’s images have these weird little touches to them that tempt you to lean in even further. A bit like the girl in the painting in The Witches, there are tiny characters lost in these drawings, added on as if afterthoughts, that beckon to you to come and join them on their inflatable whale, or whatever it is they’re playing with. Don’t mind if I do.

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    You can spot some pretty interesting things if, when walking around a museum, you take your eye off the exhibits for a moment and instead focus on the environment they’re shown in. Sometimes even the Mona Lisa or Michelangelo’s David can pale next to the semi-audible chatter of camera-clad tourists and locals, glances between invigilators, shopkeepers, waiters in museum cafés, ticket sellers…

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    Hold on to your hats kids because this is a little more complex than it looks. The images above and below show the work of Particules Studio, a french product design duo doing remarkable things with simple objects. Their Objets Sans Âge series in particular pushes traditional materials in wholly unique directions, fusing ceramic, wood and exposed electrical circuitry to produce radios, alarm clocks, speaker systems and light switches that are uniquely tactile.

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    It doesn’t matter how creative you might be – every now and again the sheer monotony of the daily slog can drag you into a little grey pit of dullness and boredom. You can’t help it, it’s just how it goes. Peaks and troughs, right?

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    All us cultural city-dwellers go to trendy book fairs, right? It’s just the done thing. Hands up if you go there to read books? (No hands). Hands up if you go there to look cool and lurk babes? (All hands). Thought so. Trendy New York blog Gothamist decided that the best way to cover the recent New York Art Book Fair was to photograph the cutey cuterson bookworms that were storming the venue to get their hands on limited edition tomes. Photographer Scott Lynch prowled the babe-saturated fair and produced a genuinely amazing and surprisingly un-pervy review of the event. We know where we’ll be next September and it’s not London.

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    Way way back in the halcyon days of 2009 we featured a young (almost) graduate named Benjamin Wilkerson Tousley, a design student at Indiana University who’d had the good fortune to design Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House, arguably the best record of that year. Since then we haven’t heard much from Ben, though he’s been keeping himself busy. Not only has he completed his thesis, he’s also got two more Grizzly Bear albums in the bag and an enormous amount of work for other music clients.

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    This week assistant editor James Cartwright suggests that the reason for Google’s logo redesign success is that people trust them as a brand and respect the service they provide. But is he wrong? As ever we welcome your comments below…

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    What a lovely evening we had last night! In the cavernous depths of Shoreditch Studios, with the rush of the train rumbling overhead, 100+ people cosied up to watch five fantastic talks from creatives who were all heavily inspired by London in some shape or form.