What with collaborating with David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame), redesigning one of Australia’s most respected photography magazines and wading through the Associated Press’ fashion film archive to create a video for Sydney band Love Deluxe, it’s been a busy couple of months for Melbourne studio Lost Art. Given David Byrne’s new record American Utopia is his first since 2004, it’s been released with a fair amount of fanfare, but the record itself is only a small fragment of a much bigger multimedia project titled Reasons to Be Cheerful. The project’s aim is to spread happiness through a website dedicated to positive articles, and some inspired collaborations that actually put Byrne’s cheerfulness into action.
Lost Art was asked to work with Byrne and his team on the visuals for the campaign for Reasons To Be Cheerful, and developed a newspaper-inspired identity with a serif typeface with highlighted text. The typographic layout for the campaign came from Byrne himself. “As Reasons To Be Cheerful shares good news stories that are true events, the idea is that the design also feels factual – like good news,” says Chris Hopkins of Lost Art. The brief came as a bit of surprise when the studio received an email from Byrne’s record label, Todo Mundo, last year, but it’s been fun to work on. “Todo Mundo’s projects are thoughtful and inspired, such as David’s recent collaboration with the Detroit School Of Arts. We can’t ask for anything more really.”
Meanwhile the studio has also redesigned Australian photography magazine Photofile, a stalwart of the Australian creative scene that was first published in 1983 by The Australian Centre for Photography. “The milestone of reaching issue 100 presented an opportunity for a redesign,” says Chris. “We were fortunate to work to an open design brief, largely because I feel we share similar sensibilities as the Director of ACP. Collectively, we wanted the publication to be as timeless as the artists contained within it, from Rennie Ellis to Bill Henson to Paul Graham to Robert Mapplethorpe.”
The idea of timelessness was also important for Lost Art’s work for Sydney-based electronic musician Love Deluxe. When first listening to the glossy up-beat electronica the team found the time period of the tracks hard to place. Spotting a similarity to classic magazines like Twen, Eros and Nova, which look often look far more contemporary than their creation dates, Lost Art decided to create an campaign for Love Deluxe’s EP, singles and video that take a journey through the history of fashion magazines, using archive photography and film from the Associated Press and British Movietone. Lost Art collaborate with 78-year-old Swiss photographer Hans Feurer on the project, who shot for many of the titles the campaign draws from. “There’s almost 100 covers featured in the video,” says Chris.
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