There's a good article about packaging design for fashion at the International Herald Tribune by author Alice Rawsthorn.
Most have opted for one of two default design styles for their boxes, bags and logos (or visual identities, as graphic designers call them). One style belongs to what we'll dub the Voguettes. These are the brands with forgettably pleasant packaging, whose logos look more or less like Bodoni, the elegant serif typeface that Alexander Liberman adapted in 1947 to create the lettering that spells out Vogue's title on the magazine cover. Now that style seems very Vogueish, which is presumably why Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Dior, Piaget, Pucci and Vera Wang have adopted similar typefaces.
I've been stumbling across Milton Glaser references and weblinks a lot in the past week. His own website offers some great essays and musings on design. The 10 Things I've Learned essay rings quite true. Should you wish to learn more about his early work, UPPERCASE carries the monograph, The Push Pin Graphic.
UPPERCASE is included in the "Hot Chocolate" section of this new Canadian home design and lifestyle magazine. It's great to be featured in a national magazine (with my photo of our bookshelves included in the table of content graphics as well), but it is particularly fun to be included in the first issue of a newly launched magazine.
First issues of magazines typically have more editorial content and have had significant development and production time. From a design perspective, they are interesting to analyze. The first issue must grab the attention of its target audience (and advertisers) and present the publication's personality with confidence and a distinct style.
Since the folks at Chocolat were kind enough to contact me a few months ago about inclusion in this issue, I won'd be too hard on their design team. However, my main recommendation would be to narrow down the selection of typefaces. There are simply too many, and none of them are particularly refined faces nor do they relate visually to the rather charming masthead.
As a fan of the American homestyle magazine, Domino, I can see that Chocolat is borrowing some of the visual language that Domino has well established in the past few years. I can also see the influence of Martha Stewart's latest magazine, Blueprint, particularly in the masthead and choice of decorative typefaces. Although I see the value in referencing existing magazines and therefore borrowing on their success and subject recognition, it would have been nice for a Canadian magazine to explore some new visual territory.
The trend in magazines is the lifestyle shopping magazine. Many magazines are basically a glorified catalogue of shopping websites, or a paper version of a design style blog (Design Sponge). Domino does a nice job of balancing editorial with the web links and shopping info so that the reader doesn't feel like they're reading a gigantic illustrated shopping list. For me, there is a tangible reason to buy Domino or Blueprint: both the magazines offer a diversion into well-designed world of typography, photo styling, colour and content. For less than the price of a movie ticket, I can be happily entertained for a few hours or more. Other than the personally memorable page on UPPERCASE, Chocolat didn't leave an lasting impression on me. I was left wondering when the new issue of Domino comes out... how nice it will be to curl up on the couch with a new issue!
As a comic book enthusiast, it's refreshing to come across a book that takes the medium seriously. Published by Princeton Architectural Press, Strips, Toons, and Bluesies appreciates the significance of comics; the role they have played historically and their impact on popular visual culture.
Four essays explore issues such as the relationship between comics and animation -how the emergence of comic strips like Felix the Cat and Little Nemo influenced early cartooning; the 'Underground' comic movement of the 1960s and 70s which pushed boundries with the highly sexual 'Tijuana Diaries' and other counter-culture publications; Jaime Hernandez's 'Locas' stories published in Love and Rockets during the early to mid-eighties which explored the depiction of marginalized subcultures in Southern California; and a look at the portrayal of African American characters during the 1960s, namely by Robert Crumb, Mad Magazine, and Stan Lee's character 'Black Panther'.
Compiled by D.B. Dowd, professor of art at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, and Todd Hignite, founding editor of Comic Art magazine and author of In the Studio: Visits with Contemporary Cartoonists, this compilation begins to explore the significance of an often-overlooked cultural document.
Available at UPPERCASE $27.95
Thank you to everyone who came to Art Central last night – it was a really great crowd! The Motherland: Russian Advertising and Propaganda Posters was off to a great start, with over half of the available posters sold. Since we have only one of each poster available, we recommend that you come by and see the show soon.
I wish I could read Russian, because this book on typography looks fantastic. Found via KaK, the Russian graphic design magazine. The magazine seems to focus on design from outside of Russia, and there are many image archives of entire annual report and book designs by western designers such as Cahan and Associates.
If my deciphering is correct, the book was designed by Letterhead, who have also done some work for MTV's Russia Music Awards
. (Why am I surprised that there's an MTV Russia?) Letterhead is also involved in Daily Type.
A marvelous collection of vintage paper treasures. Each collection contains at least 100 grams of paper ephemera dating from the 1900s to 1980s. May contain, but not limited to: vintage labels (food, liqueur, cigar & pharmaceutical), postcards, clips from old magazines, sewing patterns, postage stamps & rescued letraset. All authentic articles, no reproductions! I've personally assembled each pack.
$25 plus shipping. Available online soon - for now, please email us to order.
Vintage papers protected by clear vinyl, sewn into pencil packs/mini clutch purses by Janine Vangool.
$22 plus shipping. Available online soon - for now, please email us to order.
Eclecto Paper content details.
"Does the Catholic Church pour its wine into mouldy earthenware pots? I think not."
- co-founder Tony Wilson
As one of Britain's most influential record labels in the late 20th Century, Factory Records brought high design into the mainstream and introduced cutting-edge innovation to the music world. Between 1978 and 1992, the label launched the careers of Joy Division, New Order and the Happy Mondays (among others), opened the legendary Hacienda club in Manchester and developed an emblematic system of assigning inventory numbers to every single piece it ever created.
Founded by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus, two genuinely passionate music enthusiasts, and later taking on burgeoning designer Peter Saville, Factory Records' unique and chaotic story has been explored again and again over the years, in documentaries, articles, even in the 2002 film Twenty-Four Hour Party People.
Author Matthew Robertson compiles every 'FAC' item in this book; album covers, stationary, poster art, even legal documents in order to exhibit the label's non-conformist approach to design and how it set them apart from their contemporaries, and gave rise to some of the most original album sleeves the era.
Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album is published by Thames & Hudson Ltd., London. 2006. Available @ UPPERCASE $44
The Russell & Hazel products have arrived and they're glorious! Russell & Hazel (Minneapolis) makes stylish paper products and office supplies — mix and match them to create your own papergoods wardrobe. We're the first store in Alberta to carry their products.
The shipment that arrived today was full of outstanding items from the Japanese publisher, P.I.E. Books. Pictured above are a few tantalizing slices. Some other new items include journals by Tim Biskup and Gary Baseman, plus their limited edition "Modular Populous" set of cards in which you can mix and match Baseman and Biskup heads, torsos and bottoms to create bizarre creatures.
I can't stop admiring this arrangement of books: "Days", a beautiful hardbound book of postcards; "Chewing Gum's Wrapping Paper Collection"; and the "Salvia Guide to Tokyo", which makes me want to hop on the next plane to Japan.
Since this was my first order from this publisher (I hadn't seen many of these books in person), I ordered only a single copy of each... so come in soon to claim your favourite!
We've just recieved a shipment of new children's books, including "Little 1," illustrated by one of the greatest graphic designers of the twentieth century, Paul Rand.
Written by his wife Ann, this book is full of clever wordplay and tells of Little 1's quest for friendship through engaging graphic shapes, line and colour. Ideal for ages 5-8, this title also makes learning addition easy and fun!
Ann Rand wrote four children's books with her husband, the man responsible for some of the best known graphic icons of his time, including the logos for ABC, IBM, and UPS.
Fresh Dialogue Six
New Voices in Graphic Design:
"Friendly Fire," published by Princeton Architectural Press, is the sixth book in the Fresh Dialogue series; a convening of emerging designers in an evening of candid discourse, humor and controversy. Moderated by fellow designer James Victore, Crye Associates and 'the 62' explore issues of ethical responsibilty and explain how their design work has contributed to societal progress.
Crye Associates focus their efforts on engineering and industrial design; work ranging from basic household products to elaborate military items. Recent projects include redesigning camouflage patterns for the U.S. military, and creating an exoskeleton for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. The Crye studio deals constantly with ethics and political bureaucracy in their mission to better protect those that are protecting the U.S. The 62 create projects that involve sustainability, social activism and community initiatives. By organizing events such as bicycle refurbishing for kids in the Bronx, creating memorials for unmarked slave graves, and collaborative anti-war poster desing, the 62 hope to inspire a vision of environmental, societal and political progress.
The AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) lost their sponsor and received tons of flack for putting these two studios together on stage, but the outcome is an understanding of their very distinct contributions, and their obvious passion for their craft. As a young design student, I found this book especially inspiring, especially in seeing that both studios are self-started, fueled by a strong desire to affect societal progess, be it municipally or globally. I think it's important that designers remember that they have a responsibility to use their talent not only to inform but also to improve the world around them.