Date Archives September 2012

Noke, a whiskey branding concept by Ben Cain

Noke, an alcohol and cola branding concept by Ben Cain

Noke, an alcohol and cola branding concept by Ben Cain

I came across the work of Ben Cain a little over 3 years ago, as he created a desktop wallpaper for the site in collaboration with the folks behind Just Us. It was a beautiful wallpaper filled with deep sea divers which I truly enjoyed, so I thought I’d check back in with him to see what he’s been up to.

Cool enough I came across this great branding project he did for a concept alcohol and cola combination. He’s called it Noke and he’s done incredible job of creating an extremely believable brand. He’s kept the overall palette simple – black, white and bold shock of yellow. I think the font choice is really smart, with a nod to Japanese characters. The height of the letters are really nice as well, especially with the sexy shape of the bottle.

Noke, an alcohol and cola branding concept by Ben Cain

Noke, an alcohol and cola branding concept by Ben Cain

Beyond the bottle design he’s done some really interesting examples of how the brand could be applied to advertising. The height of the letters come back into play with the usage on the escalator gutters, and it stands out strongly on the poster. Overall I really wish this was a real brand, I’d totally drink it. Ok, maybe not, because I don’t drink whiskey with cola in it, but I’d certainly be down to try it.

Top 5 From Los Angeles, I’m Yours: Week Of September 10

Top Five From LAIY: Week Of September 10

Our Featured Interview with Jean-Pierre Mastey of Baxter of California and Baxter Finley
If you work hard and really, really want something, you get that something. Jean-Pierre (JP) Mastey is a perfect example of this. JP wanted to put his mark on a brand and build something that he would want to use. With a history in mens buying and coming from a long line of barbers, he took over heritage grooming brand Baxter of California and turned it into the sleek, hip mens lifestyle brand that it is now. He has a really awesome story.

Levitated ____________
We finally got to check out Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass, a now iconic land art installation at LACMA. For those unfamiliar, the piece places a giant boulder to float over a concrete underpass. It’s a sublime, beautiful art piece but–you know–it’s just a giant rock. That got us thinking: what else could the artist have levitated? After a lengthy brainstorming session, we present our ideas of other objects that could be levitated. Levitated Steve Nash, anyone?

A Look Inside C+M
Also at LACMA is a really well designed coffee shop called C+M (Coffee and Milk). It’s an industrial, modern setting for sipping tea and having snacks while art viewing. It also features well designed objects like Case Study Fiberglass Eifel Chairs and Artek Alvar Aalto’s Three-Legged Stools. One of the most curious features is a digital display that shows what appears to be random numbers: its actually Jim Campbell’s Untitled (for the sun), “a solar powered clock that displays what percentage of the day (light) has passed.”

Rivera’s Hallucination Menu
This is a remarkable food happening: Downtown Los Angeles’ Rivera has a menu that is all about tequila. It’s a multi-course prix fixe meal that gives you several courses of a tequila drink and a food item prepared with tequila. Crazy, right? Chef John Sedlar and team get super crazy and creative with their menu program and–if you hallucinate too much–they even can provide a special rate at The Four Seasons not far from them.

Iko Iko Goes Commercial
Iko Iko is a cute art and design store on Fairfax that we’ve been dying to go to. They recently released a little commercial that celebrates their products in a very straightforward way. It’s an artsy, sophisticated, simple video that says, “Hey! We have cool things. Why don’t you stop by and see these cool things?” The video is a wonderful thirty second spot: we hope all commercials go in this direction.

Christopher Jenner reimagines the Eurostar interior

Christopher Jenner reimagines the Eurostar interior

Christopher Jenner reimagines the Eurostar interior

Christopher Jenner reimagines the Eurostar interior

Being an American I’m not intimately familiar with the Eurostar, the high-speed train that connects London to Paris, but when I look at this rethink by Christopher Jenner I can tell he did something fantastic. As you can see in these photos the seats don’t appear to be bad, but they’re certainly not luxurious. That’s where Jenner’s idea comes in, elevating the ordinary to fantastic and creating a first class experience unlike any out there.

The carriage finished in hardwood, brushed Brass and Carbon fibre illustrates a hybrid of the golden age and the new. Individual accommodation in single seats provides essential armrest services ( air, power, connection ) and retractable privacy, while large screen windows open a view to the World flying by.

I think what Jenner has achieved is an openness and a lightness that the current version is lacking. Fluorescent lights, generally, are never a great idea, though Jenner doesn’t offer up what his alternative might be. While this might be an unrealistic vision, imagine if Eurostar incorporated even 20% of this design? Even that could be a startling change.

‘Small Moments’, a preview of Flying Lotus’ ‘Until The Quiet Comes’

'Small Moments', a preview of Flying Lotus' 'Until The Quiet Comes'

'Small Moments', a preview of Flying Lotus' 'Until The Quiet Comes'

'Small Moments', a preview of Flying Lotus' 'Until The Quiet Comes'

Giving people a taste of what’s to come can always be a good idea. If you get a sense of something before it happens, you may be further inclined to invest in it. That’s exactly what Flying Lotus has done, with the help of Beeple in this stunning video. The amazing imagery paired with snippets of sound provides an unmatched audio/visual combination.

The album comes out October 1, get ready.

A sneak peek of Geoff McFetridge’s new show, ‘Around Us & Between Us’

A sneak peek of Geoff McFetridge's new show, 'Around Us & Between Us'

A sneak peek of Geoff McFetridge's new show, 'Around Us & Between Us'

A sneak peek of Geoff McFetridge's new show, 'Around Us & Between Us'

The always wonderful Geoff McFetridge sent me an email this morning with images from his new show Around Us & Between Us which opens tonight in London at Ivory & Black. The show continues Geoff’s exploration with basic shapes, crafting everyday scenarios out of bold, but basic shapes.

Images are central to my painting. The images are varied, while my treatment of them is very consistent. The imagery is refined to a point of anonymous functionality. The paintings are meant to feel as if they were pulled directly from the lexicon.I paint some things because they are things that I have seen, but more importantly, I believe they are things that the viewer has seen. I am painting from life, but not life purely found in the landscape, but the also psychological, mediated, and transcendental world that infects our consciousness.

I think my favorite pieces are the dots, like the one at top and a few below. There’s this geometric order to the pieces which is broken apart by the inclusion of human figures. And how great is the hand holding the water glass? I stared at that piece for a good 10 minutes, trying to find the order in the seeming chaos.

The show runs from September 14 – October 26, 2012, so if you’re in London be sure to stop by.

Ivory&Black Soho
94 Berwick Street, W1F 0QF, London UK

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Space Suit of the Week

Space Suit of the Week: Dominik Smialowski's "The Pilot’s Melancholy"

Space Suit of the Week: Dominik Smialowski's "The Pilot’s Melancholy"

Space Suit of the Week: Dominik Smialowski's "The Pilot’s Melancholy"

Space Suit of the Week: Dominik Smialowski's "The Pilot’s Melancholy"

Dominik Smialowski casts a skyfarer in the vast green and lush Icelandic landscape with his The Pilot’s Melancholy. The astronaut is all alone, isolated with only the grey, cloudy sky above to comfort him. His suit, intricate with its ties, buckles and features resembles an exoskeleton–a plush shell harded to protect against the elements and possibly loneliness.

Thank to reader Travis for passing these along.

An iridescent interior courtyard: La Defense Offices designed by UNStudio

La Defense Offices designed by UNStudio

La Defense Offices designed by UNStudio

La Defense Offices designed by UNStudio

I’ve seen pictures of UNStudio‘s La Defense Office in Almere for almost a decade. Images of the building are often dominated by the polychromatic curtain walls that shape the project. So it wasn’t until after I had seen images of the project for years that I realized that the entire project wasn’t clad in this iridescent film. In fact, only the facades that face the interior courtyard are exuberantly colorful. The rest of the building’s mass is dressed in a rather plain gray.  According to UNStudio’s website: “The exterior façade reflects the larger urban condition, while the interior façades of the courtyards have been designed with the office tenants in mind.” Here’s a video of the project that highlights the contrast between the project’s two faces:

Beautiful hand-crafted illustrations by Owen Gildersleeve

Owen Gildersleeve 'Stargazing'

Owen Gildersleeve 'Olympics'

Owen Gildersleeve 'Olympics'

Owen Gildersleeve is an illustrator and designer from London. His work involves a number of techniques with much of his efforts focused on creating beautiful hand-crafted illustration and typography.

I have such respect for this kind of hand-made work. The amount of time and delicacy it requires is unbelievable and Owen does it with such refinement and playfulness. You should also take a look at more of his work by visiting his website – there you’ll find a number of pieces he has created for clients such as Harrods, The Guardian, Rolex and The Royal Mail.

The work above are two of his personal projects. The first is called Stargazing and it’s an illustration inspired by the night sky that references various celestial charts. The second is a piece inspired by the recent London Olympics. Both of these pieces (and more) are available for purchase from the website Many Hands, you can also see more of Owen’s work online here.

Humble Yourself – A Film Review of P.T. Anderson’s ‘Hard Eight’

Hard Eight Poster

A significant amount of time in my life has been spent devouring the work of Paul Thomas Anderson. Considering that the California born 42 year-old director has only made six feature films, his achievement in cinema can be attributed to a propensity for quality over quantity. Standing amongst a sea of American and international cinema giants P.T. Anderson has been a constant inclusion on variety of ‘best of’ lists that originate from the venerable American Film Institute to Entertainment Weekly. Each P.T. Anderson film sets the bar higher than the last in terms of execution and cinematic vision. Rumours over his latest film The Master which opens nationwide today, have been feeding the hype machine acclaim that it might be his finest work yet.

Too see how far Anderson has come look no further than his first feature film Hard Eight, starring Gwenth Platrow, John C. Riley and Philip Baker Hall (otherwise known as the library detective from Seinfeld).

One dreary Nevada morning, Sydney (P. B. Hall) meets a broke, down-and-out John (John C. Riley) who is desperate to win $6, 000 cash to pay for his mother’s funeral. The hard-nosed Sydney immediately has a soft spot for John. His effort to be kind begins with a cup of coffee and ends with a trip to Las Vegas, where Sydney is determined to show John how to sustain a living scamming casinos. Cut to two years later and under Sydney’s hand John has experienced the underbelly of casino life with success. When Clementine (Gwyneth Paltrow) enters John’s life, he becomes powerless over her seduction and vows to stand by her side regardless of circumstance.

The functioning mechanism of Hard Eight belongs to the airtight script, and the outstanding performances of the small cast. For a first feature, it is a solid film that exposes the film form that P.T. Anderon has become known for, and has strived to better ever since.

Whether placed under the category of Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Feature Film or Movie of the Year, in some facet this filmmaker has garnered over 80 nominations for his films. He is a director who sets himself apart by bringing us American rooted stories with characters that become defined in their darkest hours. Unraveling a depth that only a director with a taste for dysfunction told within epic parameters could  accomplish.

Hard Eight is available on NetFlix and itunes. The Master opens today nationwide.

‘Birds of Aperture’, two new prints by Paul Octavious

'Birds of Aperture', two new prints by Paul Octavious

Earlier this morning Paul Octavious released two new prints in a series titled Birds of Aperture. The first one is named Sawyer, the second Pilot, these prints are totally fun and a bit whacky, which I think is great. I’m still trying to figure out which one is my favorite. I like the white one because it’s so minimal and almost disguised with the paper. But the black one is so bold and in your face. Choices!