Archive for the ‘Things we’ve seen’ Category

anthropologie + hatch show print

June 10, 2009

The June Anthropologie catalog is stunning! The beautiful use of type and colors are absolutely wonderful. The creative team at Athropologie collaborated with Hatch Show Print to create the amazing piece. Check it out!

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Antiques by the Bay

June 8, 2009

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If you are able to be in the Bay Area on the first Sunday of the month, I definitely recommend checking out Antiques by the Bay, the Alameda flea market. There is a ton of furniture, clothing and, as evidenced by my photos, lots of collections.

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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.

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!

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.

artstream

May 14, 2009

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Some really great prints I wouldn’t mind having on my wall. I especially like that the last two pieces have the words forest + girl in the titles!

All prints are available through artstream.

engagement photos

April 30, 2009

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If I ever get married, I would love to have Max Wanger do the photography. I love that the personalities of each couple comes through in each of his photo sessions (and that the majority of them are done outdoors).

Sunday inspiration

April 26, 2009

Since I was feeling a little blue about coming into work on a Sunday, Paul cheered me up by taking me for a walk on San Francisco’s Coast Trail that runs along the Presidio to the Cliff House. These little snapshots are nothing exciting, but the walk reminded me to not take for granted the interesting and beautiful things that are all around us.

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The Substance of Style

April 17, 2009

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My favorite movie is The Royal Tenenbaums. In fact I love director Wes Anderson in general; his overarching and meticulous vision and distinct sensibility makes for unique — and to me, near-perfect — films. I was delighted, therefore, to find a five-part, in-depth, thoughtful and well-researched video essay on his influences. I want more things like this in my life, please.

Part 1: Charles Schultz (Peanuts), Orson Welles (The Magnificent Ambersons), François Truffaut (The 400 Blows)

Part 2: Martin Scorsese (GoodFellas), Richard Lester (The Beatles’ Help!), and Mike Nichols (The Graduate)

Part 3: Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude)

Part 4: J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)

Part 5: opening of The Royal Tenenbaums my favorite sequence of my favorite movie — annotated Pop-Up Video style with influences and Anderson’s own innovations.

Both where this is housed, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the author’s (Matt Zoller Seitz) blog The House Next Door are intriguing too, especially for people like me who like thinking ad nauseum about films.

via metafilter

Some fall in love; I shatter

April 13, 2009

In case you haven’t already seen this on 100 other blogs (e.g. itsnicethat) it’s a collaboration between designer Craig Ward and photographer Jason Tozer. They both have some pretty amazing stuff in their portfolios, though this one really gets me. Here’s a writeup on the making of it.

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When I saw You Blow Me Away a few weeks back, I was reminded of another photographer whose frozen explosions are pretty phenomenal: Martin Klimas. I was first introduced to him via the always-fantastic Morning News galleries (which feature several works + an interview with a different visual artist, regularly updated: hundreds of ’em since 2001!)

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Inspired by looking at these artists’ work, I looked on flickr for high speed photography, to try to collect my thoughts, when I found this lovely lovely shot by Aden Tranter that to this designer’s eye is a few words of type away from being an amazing album cover, say for this single for the Handsome Family.

I had nothing to say on Christmas day when you threw all your clothes in the snow. When you burnt your hair, knocked over chairs, I just tried to stay out of your way.
But when you fell asleep, with blood on your teeth, I got in my car and drove away. Listen to me, Butterfly, there’s only so much wine you can drink in one life, and it will never be enough to save you from the bottom of your glass.

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What is it about these shots that impresses me so? Certainly content has something to do with it: Ward and Tozer’s shattering of that phrase of type, and Klimas’ shattering of kung fu figurines each add layers of delicious meaning… And though Tranter’s shot is of a simple bottle, his choice of reddened water and a dull green backdrop are critical, and if you were to crop the Jim Beam logo out leaving only liquid and glass, some the resonance with drunken abandon is lost.

But content aside, I think the root of the appeal can be found in the design-professor-favorite phrase “happy accidents.” Photography and design both involve impeccable, balanced, beautiful composition/layout — and it is usually achieved through careful planning, staging, grid and so forth. And yet sometimes you have a happy accident — whether it’s mistakenly dropping in the wrong cropping of an image or splashing ink or a light leak — which makes the composition work, usually by virtue of its unpredictable disorderliness.

What these high-speed photographers have done is carefully arranged happy accidents. They can’t be assured how the pane of glass, figurine or bottle will break… but they can capture, and then exercise their judicious cropping and editing on, the compositions that the physics of destruction create. The process must be tiresome, messy to clean up and aggravating at times, but when you can catch something as beautiful as these, it is totally worth it.

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(Klimas, again)

Front page news

April 3, 2009

My view of the paper in its vending bin Thursday morning.

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My thoughts went sort of as follows:
1) Things are really tough for The Chronicle that they are selling above-the-fold front page space for ad space. (after the initial shock, and taking the photo, it appears to be a folded-over piece that is printed with half the masthead)

2) Or am I looking at it the wrong way, this isn’t about the demise of print media but about more innovative advertising strategies? I can’t remember the last time I’ve paid attention to an advertisement in a newspaper (I just read Seth Godin make a good point about this, that they’re invisible), and this one turned my head from 5 yards mostly by virtue of its nontraditional placement.

3) The ad covers the news as if to say, this is the cover story of the day. The grafitti tag covers the whole thing with the (possibly unintentional) message of No, I am the story.

4) Ooh, Paul Smith store!

greenery on buildings

April 2, 2009

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I love seeing nature take over city buildings.

scientific adornment

March 31, 2009

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you’ve probably come to know that I love when design and science collide. One medium that lends itself naturally to that marriage is jewelry. Be they realistic or abstract representations, chemical or biological, natural or laboratorical (!), all of these lovely pieces were inspired by the shapes and forms found in science. The next time you need a geeky—yet fetching—gift (for anyone, including yourself), perhaps consider a purchase in the name of science. It’s for the greater good.

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Row 1: Nervous System, Beth Cyr
Row 2: seapod, emily e.p.s.
Row 3: Molecular Muse, Itsnoname
Row 4: Nervous System (both)
Row 5: Nicholas and Felice, Contrariwise

Obacht

March 30, 2009

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I was in Munich last year and came across what may go down in history as my favorite store: Obacht. You know you’ve found the perfect store when you covet, or are lucky enough to already own, everything they sell. Lots of deer, lots of woodgrain, lots of clean lines, lots of hearts fluttering dreamily above my head.

The co-owner of the store (Marion) explained that Obacht roughly translates to something made with “care and attention to detail,” and never was there a more fitting name. The store’s design is my idea of heaven (the owners gathered and chopped those logs themselves) and each item they sell is meticulously chosen (they highlight and support local artistans, often commissioning them to create exclusive products). T-shirts are packaged in amazing glass-lidded canning jars, and each item you purchase is lovingly hand-wrapped (and in my case even re-wrapped when she tried to prep something for packing in a suitcase, but worried that the first wrap job wasn’t “beautiful enough”).

Unfortunately, I don’t speak German, so I’m not sure what is available online and what is available only in the store, but if you’re ever in Munich, stop by and say, “Guten Tag!” Obacht is a wondrous little place and a perfect state of mind.

Christiana Couceiro

March 29, 2009

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While we’re on the subject of modernist collage in the current day, let me give big props to Ms. Christiana Couceiro. I’m not sure where I first saw a link to her stuff at Seven Days, but it looks like art director/design curator superstar Steven Heller caught on too. She made the cover for the last issue of the New York Times Book Review (3.19.09) story on Barthleme and I sincerely doubt it’s the last we’ll be seeing her. Her colors and compositions are remarkable, and she’s both high-modern and refreshingly contemporary at once.

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Some more pics and thoughts after the jump. Bunches more at her site.

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matthew partridge

March 28, 2009

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Matthew Partridge’s collage work is impressive. He’s definitely been bookmarked on my computer!

Font-y Friday: Japan

March 26, 2009

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So, we went to Japan a year ago with our friends and RISD classmates Tim, John and Alex. Three graphic designers, an architect and a uh fashion designer/graphic designer/architect. For those of you who are one or more of these things, take it from me: Japan is so frickin’ awesome.

We went around taking pictures of everything because seriously everything was so rad. We shot manhole covers. We shot shrines that seemed more picturesque than possible. And being designers we took pictures of a lot of type. On this, our second installment of font-y Friday, we’d like to show you a few.

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copper octopus!

March 26, 2009

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Thanks to Noah for being an art pusher. Once I saw this print by Barnaby Ward (Bosley, copper), I had to have it. Cute girl with her cephalopod friend? How could I pass up something so tailor-made for me?

Each limited-edition print in this series (available at Pictures on Walls) is a three- or five-color screenprint with pearlescent, metallic ink, and is signed and numbered. For non-limited-edition (thus, less expensive) work, head over to the artist’s own site.

Dear Gretchen,

March 25, 2009

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I came across Gretchen Nash‘s work last night, and was basically blown away by (and pretty envious of) her book Dear Gretchen,. I haven’t seen the actual book, but it looks pretty fabulous — I am a big fan of art that catalogs fairly mundane life events, old letters, and interesting charts and graphs (in this case, charts made of paper).

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This is what she has to say about her book:

An extensive book that investigates letters that I have kept inside a luggage case since my childhood. The process of the book included finding the word and phrase frequency of the letters, categorizing them by sender, by date, and finally writing personal reflections about each of the senders. Graphs were constructed to reveal the word frequency and each of the 187 letters were thoroughly documented inside of the book.

Gretchen is a recent graduate of California Institute of the Arts, and her book Dear Gretchen, was selected as a finalist in the 2008 Adobe Design Achievement Awards.

via Quipsologies