Archive for May, 2009

Font-y Friday: Wayne White

May 29, 2009

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Todd Oldham has a book coming out in a few days, entitled Maybe Now I’ll Get the Respect I So Richly Deserve. It’s not about himself; he’s got respect aplenty after all. It’s about Wayne White, and honestly it’s a hilariously appropriate title for the first comprehensive monograph of an artist who’s been making awesome and original art for 30 years.

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Beauty’s Embarrassin!

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What’d I Tell Ya?

His M.O. for the last decade has been basically painting giant, usually funny typography “realistically” into mass-produced “kitsch” landscape paintings — that is to say, using their perspective and lighting and often reflections and gravity too. This, years before things like Panic Room‘s opening titles made a trend of floating type in physical perspective, or for that matter before indie artists made upcycling/overpainting found art cool.

Oh, and he used to do sets for Pee Wee’s Playhouse, and directed Peter Gabriel’s video for “Big Time” — possibly the best video ever. Several more paintings [PG-13 for language], and the Big Time video (because we both know it’s been too long) after the jump.

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So Awkward

May 28, 2009

We don’t generally post things like this, but I just came across this amazing blog. Jessica and I could hardly breathe we were laughing so hard at some of these. At one point I literally almost fell out of my chair and was covered in mascara from crying. Check it out if you need a laugh.

Here are two of our many favorites.

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by-julia-awkward

The ties that bind

May 27, 2009

So, father’s day is coming up and you can’t figure out what to give the guy who has everything? There’s always the safe bet of a tie. (Actually, the hipster ties we’ve rounded up here are probably more suited for your beaux, or yourself, than your dad.)

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Credits and lots of commentary after the jump.

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Twitter on Paper

May 27, 2009

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“Putting Tweets On Paper Since May 26, 2009.”

Generally I am a pretty early adopter of technology, but I am still totally behind on the twitter phenomenon. I finally set up an account a week or two ago, and have yet to post any updates (and probably never will). Basically I have stuck my head in the sand when it comes to Twitter — until now.

Twitter on Paper is a hysterical new project from Sam Potts, where you submit a request for a tweet on paper and he will mail it to you. I definitely recommend checking out the about page, which ends with this question:

Why would anyone want a tweet on a piece of paper?
I have no idea.

I too am unsure why someone would want a tweet on paper, and yet, I sort of do.

chicken salad

and kissing tweet

via Swiss Miss

Portland TONIGHT: DDC at Office PCX

May 27, 2009

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In case any of our readership is in Portland, we’re so jealous that you get a chance to see the solo show of DDC/Aaron Draplin. Not just an art show but “Portland’s greatest selection of cool office supplies.”

6-8pm at Office. Read all about it.

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Draplin’s aesthetic — which you might recognize from Field Notes, the new Recovery.gov logo*, or his lovely hair organizer — is a mix of working-class Americana and 50s – 70s modern graphics, with occasionally an amazing burst of maximalist minimalism. I am so down to get one of the “career spanning” posters for the show (which features pretty much every project DDC has done since its inception and has today’s date in the title) when they go on sale next week (click for gianter version).

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We are lucky enough to own an earlier iteration of this sort of thing that Draplin did for the Wurst Gallery’s We Heart Gocco show in 2006. It’s all sorts of design-geeky (8: Pantone 123, 42: Futura Bold, 45: CMYK misregistration) and a great introduction to this singular designer.

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*It’s unclear how much of the recovery.gov and TIGER logos was done by Draplin, how much by Mode and how much by Chris Glass but he has both on his poster. In related news, have you seen Chris Glass’ He-Man and the Masters of Univers shirt concept? Can you believe that these are the guys making our federal logos these days? Our new president is so rad.

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oslo national academy of the arts

May 26, 2009

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It’s always interesting seeing what design students are working on these days. Pretty nice colors and textures found on Under Construction.

Cardon Copy

May 25, 2009

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Cardon Copy is a pretty awesome project from designer Cardon Webb in which he redesigned found fliers and tear-offs and then replaced the originals with his redesigned posters. Conceptually I think it is a pretty neat project, but I also like that each poster was designed in a distinct style.

More posters after the jump.

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BLVR RDR: First Issue

May 23, 2009

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VOL 1, ISSUE 1 March 2003

THIS IS THE FIRST BLVR RDR ISSUE REVIEW, WILL IT REALLY BE THE LAST:
Yes. No. It’s complicated.
Lots more after the jump.

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Heather Benning’s Dollhouse

May 22, 2009

So, I know that many people have already blogged about this (we found it on Famille Summerbelle’s blog, who found it on Design Shimmer), but I am insanely in love with Heather Benning’s life-sized dollhouse from 2007. What’s not to love? Farmhouse? Check! Dollhouse? Check! Canada? Check! The Saskatchewan artist converted an abandoned farmhouse in Manitoba into a full-sized, livable dollhouse. And, oh, how I’d love to live in it.

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Oh, and on a doll-related note, a current project of Benning’s is Field Doll, a 12-foot tall mixed-media sculpture of a doll that Benning has carried around with her on her travels.

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Enjoy more photos of Benning’s delightful dollhouse after the jump.

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Font-y Friday: Rubik’s Cube Font Generator

May 22, 2009

I thought this was so cool, it just begged to be a second Font-y Friday.

For the assignment, “Produce a visual representation for the word ‘Move’,” Jas Bhachu created a rubber stamp set that can be used in varying combinations to create type. I love the packaging and instruction booklet too.

I wish it were available to purchase, because I really wanted to buy one for Owen (he was always a huge fan of using the letterpress equivalent when setting metal type).

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via Design Observer

Font-y Friday: Upright Scripts

May 22, 2009

Scripts, love ’em or hate ’em? Certainly a lot of them seem stuffy or old-fashioned, but, there are certain styles that still look fabulous after all these years. We’d like to look at one of our favorite subsets of script, the upright. Whether inspired by the Nineteenth-century French model or the mid-century modern craze for brush-written uprights, we can’t resist the charm of this style.

They are enjoying a recent resurgence in popularity, fueled largely by the efforts of superstar typographers Alejandro Paul and House Industries, both of whom have revived mid-century styles and made their own new faces. Here are thirteen of our favorites; credits after the jump.

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upright__0002_Studio-Swing
upright__0000_Cocktail-Shaker
upright__0003_HouseLeagueNight
upright__0004_EdScript
upright__0005_TyoUpright
upright__0006_Glengary
upright__0007_Cartoleria
upright__0008_Pendulum
upright__0009_Fling

upright__0010_Mousse-Script
upright__0011_Alphaluxe
upright__0012_Peregroy
upright__0013_Uplink

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show posters

May 20, 2009

Three of the four experts are going to see the Decemberists play tonight at the newly-restored and reopened, historic Fox Theater in Oakland. Since I’m a big fan of silkscreen, gig posters and the Decemberists, here is a collection of some of their beautiful show posters.

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Even more posters, and all the poster credits, after the jump.

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my new chair

May 20, 2009

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Thought I’d share with you all my new chair. Funny how a new piece of furniture can bring me so much joy. If you like vintage furniture as much as I do, definitely check out Amandromeda online!

feeling felty

May 20, 2009

I am fantastically fond of felt. Needle felting, pressed-fiber felt, felt in all forms. It’s fuzzy and comforting, yet substantial and strong. Here are a few fabulous felty finds from Etsy.

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Row 1:
Lemon Yellow Bear Brooch by ememem; Little Lamb by johnstill (Three Bags Full)

Row 2:
Wool Pebbles by Make Your Presents Felt; Tiny Egg People by asherjasper

Row 3:
Monogram Clips by Banana Pies; Nels the Narwhal by skunkboy creatures

Row 4:
Felted Slippers by French Press Knits; Large Oak Leaf Earrings by hi tree

Row 5:
Iced Donut by ThreeFive18; Sandwich Set by Curly Clips

Kusho

May 19, 2009

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I find these shots by Shinichi Maruyama absolutely stunning. He photographs (extremely fast) midair combinations of water and black ink. Not only is the subject matter a reference to traditional sumi paintings and calligraphy, but formally an exploration of the variety of ways the two – light/dark, opaque/clear – oppose and combine with each other, making them an apt metaphor for just about everything. I love the thoroughness of this exploration almost as much as the beauty of the individual pieces.
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Lots more, and higher-res, at shinichimaruyama.com.

via graphic-exchange.

New Work from Noah Dasho

May 19, 2009

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Noah Dasho just sent over some images of a beautiful new etching he just finished called Conversations. It is a 12″ x 16″ two-plate etching (softground, aquatint, spitbite) with added watercolor.

View some of Noah’s older work after the jump.

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hues for you.

May 18, 2009

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Thought I’d do a little post with some old photos I’d taken while out and about in San Francisco. Funny how these photos were all taken at completely different places/times, but they somehow all go together. Happy Monday!

Jenny Holzer: PROTECT PROTECT

May 15, 2009

We went to a number of museums on our trip, but hands-down the most interesting exhibition we saw was Jenny Holzer‘s Protect Protect.

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Jenny Holzer, “MONUMENT”, 2008.

Texts: “Truisms”, 1977-79; “Inflammatory Essays”, 1979-82. © 2009 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Photo: Vassilij Gureev. Collection of the artist; courtesy Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers, Berlin and London; and Diehl + Gallery One, Moscow

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Jenny Holzer, “For Chicago”, 2008.

Texts: “Truisms”, 1977-79; “Inflammatory Essays”, 1979-82; “Living”, 1980-82; “Survival”, 1983-85; “Under a Rock”, 1986; “Laments”, 1989; “Mother and Child”, 1990; “War”, 1992; “Lustmord”, 1993-95; “Erlauf”, 1995; “Arno”, 1996; “Blue”, 1998; and “Oh”, 2001. © 2009 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Photo: Attilio Maranzano. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, commissioned through the generosity of the Edlis/Neeson Art Acquisition Fund

The show includes a variety of media, not only the LED signs that Holzer is best known for (shown above, but, as you might expect, the pictures can’t begin to do them justice), but also a series called Redaction Paintings which reproduce government documents about torture at large scale. The show is incredibly affecting; the matter-of-fact tone of the transcripts of marines discussing a war we are still engaged in can be a little hard to stomach, but are very important to read.

Here is an excerpt from The Whitney’s text about the show:

The works in this exhibition feature selections of Holzer’s writings from 1977 to 2001, as well as declassified pages from U.S. government documents she has used as source material since 2004. The exhibition’s subtitle PROTECT PROTECT derives from texts detailing plans for the Iraq war, yet it also relates to the problematic power of personal desire, as encapsulated in one of Holzer’s best-known statements: PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT.

Whether she is using her own idiomatic texts, borrowing the words of international poets, or citing formerly classified materials containing policy debates, battle plans, and testimonies of American soldiers and detainees in U.S. custody, Holzer works between the public and private, the body politic and the body, the universal and the particular. Always timely, she provides a range of opinions, attitudes, and voices in works infused with formal beauty, sensitivity, and power.

Holzer is a favorite of ours from way back. She appeals to our love of type and also a social consciousness in artwork that is rare. From her Truisms, which were like incredible bursts of keen observation executed in a variety of media, through Lustmord, which dealt rather chillingly with text from the abusers and the abused (sometimes cut into skin or tagged onto bones) to this use of declassified torture documents displayed large or on flashing LEDs, she has consistently made thought-provoking use of texts.

To read more about the show, click here. Protect Protect is on view at the Whitney until May 31st.

Font-y Friday: BKLYN type

May 15, 2009

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1. Negative space typography remaining on the facade of an old fabric warehouse.

2. Fabulous awning-side metal letters on a Hotel in the Besties’ neighborhood – note that not only does Greenpoint turn around its curve, but Square actually tilts up a bit to fit as well.

3. Handpainted sign for a Haitian Baptist church with both blackletter and sans serif lettering. I love the mix of careful, studied shapes and disregard for details: the wild line weights and spacing letter to letter in “New,” the awkward sans “S.”

4. Subway poster for Mira Schendel show at the MOMA. We saw this poster on our final day in NY, but didn’t end up seeing the show. The poster made us pretty excited though (this is totally in the vein of some of our faves: Martin Venezky and Simon Evans).

We saw a lot of beautiful typography walking around New York, and it made us want to snap more photos around more often, because it’s really just a matter of paying attention: we have urban type this good in San Francisco too after all!

The Botanic Gardens

May 14, 2009

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As we’ve mentioned, Owen and I just got back from the East Coast. The first leg of our trip was spent in Washington DC and the second half in New York.

If you are going to DC, I definitely recommend checking out The United States Botanic Garden. It’s steps from the Capitol, and we were planning on visiting that, the outdoor gardens and the Library of Congress buildings, but it was raining absurdly hard, so we ended up spending all our time in the conservatory. Thankfully, there are tons of beautiful plants and flowers to see even without visiting the outside gardens. I know it is a bit simple to write a post that essentially boils down to “flowers are pretty,” but the Botanic Gardens were really lovely, the orchids are formally so interesting to look at and it is a great place to spend an hour or so on a rainy afternoon. Plus, since so many artists and designers draw inspiration from nature, it offers a great opportunity to get exposure to plants you wouldn’t normally see.

For some information of the history of the Botanic Gardens, click here.