Maybe you’ll like this video, it’s about artist Stephen Powers. Powers borrows the beautiful hand-lettering techniques from an era when billboards were painted onto the sides of buildings instead of pasted on billboards, but instead of urging you to BUY THIS, his work broadcasts encouraging and lovely sentiments. In this video, Powers talks about his work and and a project to paint a mural at each landing of an ordinary stairwell. It’s a smart way to make this often used and often overlooked circulation space a more enjoyable experience.
“They had the guts to tape a Canon 7D to a mini helicopter… & it paid off”, said my friend Sue on Twitter the other day and she wasn’t half wrong. This video by the Austin-based BMX Company Mutiny Bikes is pretty sweet. Filmed at Austin’s new skatepark, it’s a great short video and I recommend you check it out. Mykonos by Fleet Foxes has never sounded so good and I’d recommend it for its beautiful shots of raw-concrete as much as I would for it’s sweet slow-motion stunts. Mutiny Bikes have been producing wonderful videos for over three years now and you could easily loose an hour of your day making your way through the archives of their vimeo page – which, as you’ve guessed, is exactly what I recommend you do.
My Grandpa Jud used to play records for me all the time as a kid. I would sit on his floor while he propped his feet up, sat back in his worn leather chair, and smoked apple tobacco from his pipe. Whether it was rock or gospel, grandpas head would nod to the rhythm of the beat. I would always know what record was playing by the spinning colors and patterns in the center of the player. The rotating gradients would put you in a trance, only to be stopped by grandpa changing the record.
Paul is good at making simple things into pieces of art, and these are no different. He’s propped a camera over a turntable and left the shutter open, creating this dreamy images. The way the colors and parts of the record blur together is so beautiful, each of these look like airbrushed illustrations rather than photographs, and that’s why they’re so special looking. What you see above, from top to bottom, are The Beatles, Fire Fall, Burl Ives and Dan Fogelberg… pretty fantastic, right?
When I first saw BIG’s winning design for the upcoming Greenland National Gallery for Art, I thought to myself, “They’re building it on Neptune.” While that isn’t entirely true, the geniuses behind the project saw it fit to drop the entire museum directly into the shoreline, letting it melt into the environment. The effect is stunning and otherworldly, like something from a sci-fi movie, which in my mind means that they’re got something good.
My favorite part is the giant window cut out from the center of the structure. It’s the fact that it’s not just a circle, it’s this odd shaped window that shows the ocean from the upper portion, and a sample of the shoreline from below. You can see what I mean by looking in the third and fourth photos above. If you’re interested in seeing more I’d suggest you click here.
I’m really excited to share this new Sights & Sounds series, and so happy to see people who are equally excited to create something rad. I’ve been a big Animal Collective fan for years now, and I felt like they had the right vibe to really inspire some great looking wallpapers. Our first wallpaper in the series is for Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished. Recorded back in ’99, the album is technically the work of Avey Tare and Panda Bear, the other guys hadn’t joined the group yet, and was heavily inspired by Avey Tare’s move from Baltimore to New York. It’s amazing how you can so easily hear the very foundations of their style in this album. The production, while not the greatest, is the one thing that makes it feel not quite right. Nonetheless, it’s actually a pretty amazing album, Panda Bear’s drumming in particular is something to hear at the very least.
To illustrate the album our fearless curator Andy chose Nick Iluzada, who has one of the coolest last names ever. Before this project I wasn’t familiar with Nick’s illustration work, which is a total shame. Nick has a wonderful sense for color and motion, check out his Footbawlerz series to see exactly what I mean. The variety and creativity in his sketchbooks is also something worth checking out as well.
Here’s what Nick had to say about his wallpaper:
“I created this image simply with the hope of capturing the feel of some specific tracks (most notably Chocolate Girl, Untitled, Someday I’ll Grow To Be As Tall As the Giant, and Alvin Row) with the album title as the jumping off point. While the record sways back and forth between gritty, high-pitched noise and serene textures, I felt that there was some sort of middle ground that could be worked with in terms of bringing the imagery away from it’s Baltimore (make everything neon rainbows) roots and a subdued yet coarse feel would do just the trick.”
A huge thanks to Nick for creating such a beautiful wallpaper and Andy Mangold for choosing such a talented guy. Check back next Wednesday at 10AM PST for the next wallpaper in our series, Animal Collective’s Danse Manatee.
The folks over at Office were recently tapped by Ogilvy & Mather New York to work on IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign, which would “show the world that the thinking and technology that’s needed to solve the world’s biggest problems exists today.” So they crafted together a huge branding and identity project that ended up being influenced by Paul Rand’s work fro IBM during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. In my opinion, the results were phenomenal. Their bold uses of shape and color not only make the ideas some progressive, they instantly grab your attention and make you want more.
I think it’s also important to point out that their use of white space is nearly as important as the shapes, colors and body text. It’s just the right amount of white space, which lets you breathe and really take in each object properly. In the end, I’m not sure if this makes me feel like IBM is “cool”, honestly I’m not even sure what they do anymore, but this is a great step in the right direction.
Check out the gallery below for the individual posters.
Writing like an architect isn’t just writing in all caps. Randomly, I’ll get asked, “Did they teach you how write like that in school?” The answer is yes and no. Yes, I spent too much time my freshman year trying to make perfect, Ching-approved block letters; but no, it wasn’t until I started lettering (for fun, in my free time) that I started to develop a lettering, however flawed, that was unique but also recognizable as architectish. This free time I used to practice the alphabet was often when I was supposed to be doing other things and didn’t want to fall asleep. Who needs coffee when I can turn over this meeting agenda and fill it with letters? Through inane critiques and redundant lectures, my pencil kept moving which helped me trudge through.
So this guy, Doug, made this video instructing you how to write like an architect. I don’t think you need anything other than paper, something to write with, and patience to start, but if you’d like to carry a small triangle in your shirt pocket nobody is going to stop you. I’m actually not crazy about his particular letters because they are harder to read but are uber architect-y. The thrust of his advice is great: “Your letters need to seem animated while still appearing orderly and neat.” But it’s harder than it sounds and looks. Maybe you’ll have some free time soon to practice.
It’s been a few months since the last Sights & Sounds wallpapers, so I figured it was time for more music influenced wallpapers. This time around we’re going to visualize the music of Animal Collective, the Baltimore based weirdo-rock outfit who are always expanding their sound.
To curate this round of wallpapers, I’ve asked Baltimore designer Andy Mangold to gather the troops and create a well-rounded group of creative individuals. Andy is a phenomenal graphic designer who creates inventive logos, beautiful posters, creative branding and so much more. He’s also the founder of Friends of the Web, a team of designers building websites and mobile apps, as well as Love & Utility, which collects beautiful paraphernalia.
There are eight wallpapers total, and I promise that all of them are stunning. I was really excited by how well they all turned out. I think you’ll be excited too. The first wallpaper will be released at 10AM PST, so be sure to check it out and come back every Wednesday for more.
There’s something fantastically off in the photos of Rafael Bonilla Jr. Yet another talented Angeleno, Bonilla Jr. takes what seem to be mundane photos of rather ordinary things, but in each one there’s something slightly magical and unique. Sometimes they’re obvious, sometimes it takes a second to realize what’s off. And that’s what so cool about them, that you need spend a little time with each photo to see what’s exactly going on. This is honestly the tip of the iceberg to his work. He also makes some really bizarre computer created images as well as videos that would certainly keep you a busy for a while.
I will never not root for the underdog, which is why I’m so moved by these images from Jill Mullin’s book, Drawing Austism. Showcasing work from over 50 autistic artists, it’s fascinating to glimpse their perspective on art and their world, especially since autism, Asperger’s, and other sensory disorders are now sharply increasing in children. It’s great to see cultural responses and channeling autistic challenges into something so beautiful and productive. It makes me so happy to see these people’s intricate minds used in a way that a keeps them from feeling marginalized in society.
You can see and read more about the book at 50 Watts.
To purchase a copy for yourself, click here.
Here’s some similar things that entranced me and sent me right into the autistic’s captivating brain.