Date Archives October 2012

Mysterious Beauty in Daniel Evans’ Series ‘3 Months in Another Place’

There’s something strange and mysterious about these photographs by the Liverpudlian photographer Daniel Evans. Taken between September and November of 2010, the photographs come from a much larger series of images called 3 Months In Another Place.

Evans says that the series is made up of photographs of the things that he finds interesting. He created the series while out with friends, on his bike or getting lost in the woods. “The project combines both portraits and still life images of people i know and spend my time with” he says, “[it combines] objects that I use or go past on a day to day basis.”

Despite this simple description of the work it feels to me that this series somehow becomes greater then its parts. Looking through the photographs it’s easy to draw a connections between many of the images; from the crumpled metal of the car, to the girl holding tinfoil and onto the tinfoil-covered furniture. There’s almost a Lynchian surrealism about them and whether intentional or not, these thematic elements seem to hint at a strange unsettling narrative. You can view the full series of work online here.

Letterpress, The iPhone Game You Need To Buy This Second

Letterpress, The iPhone Game You Need To Buy This Second

I’m not one to play a lot of games on my iPhone, but every now and then I’ll randomly get hooked on something. Earlier today I saw mention that Loren Brichter, creator of the third party Twitter app Tweetie and all around smart guy, had created a new app called Letterpress. The best way i can describe the app is a word search crossed with a Command & Conquer style game. As you make words you being to take over the game board, which means you have to strategize against your opponent who wants to control the game board as well. I’ll admit this isn’t the best description, and the game has a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the mechanics it’s easy AND fun to play.

What’s really impressive to me is the amount of detail and polish that Mr. Brichter put into this app. When you swipe between games the animations are fluid and stunning. When you pull up the Played Words list you can swipe it downward and it falls off the screen (always in a random direction). The sound design is flawless. Everything you touch and interact with has a reactive sound that fits the action. Basically everything you interact with has been thought about, carefully considered, and exquisitely refined. It may look like a simple spelling game, but it’s infinitely more complex.

It’s also been the first time ever that I’ve given a shit about Apple’s Game Center. The only way you can play Letterpress is by adding friends in Game Center, otherwise you can’t do squat. In the last 12 hours I’ve added about 7 friends, which is about 7 times more than I had before. For that act alone Mr. Brichter should be applauded. He’s also perfected the idea of the paid upgrade. You can unlock the “full version” for 99 cents which gives you the ability to play with multiple friends (something you’ll want) as well as giving you some new themes for the game (which helps to personalize your game). It’s such a common sense upgrade (that also takes no time at all) that makes you wonder if everyone out there will upgrade immediately.

To give you an idea of how much I love this game, I’ll admit that I’ve been playing this game for about the last 10 hours, non-stop. I’m telling you now, download this app, pay for the upgrade (and support an indie developer), and have fun with your friends, you won’t regret it.

Demon Hill #2 designed by Julian Hoeber

Demon Hill #2 designed by Julian Hoeber.

Demon Hill #2 designed by Julian Hoeber.

Demon Hill #2 designed by Julian Hoeber.

Demon Hill #2 is not the name of some haunted house that has appeared to greet and frighten visitors this halloween, even though the two may have something in common. LA-based artist Julian Hoeber created his installation (for a gallery in West Chelsea) which make visitors deliberately uncomfortable by distorting their sense of balance. Without the use of strobe lights or fake skeletons, Demon Hill 2 can make visitors queasy.

According to the gallery’s website, Hober has created the “free-standing structure based on the architecture of ‘gravitational mystery spots.'” These spots “usually lay claim to being sites of supernatural power or geological anomaly to explain a severe effect of disorientation and vertigo for the visitor, when in truth these effects are the result of an architectural trick. Hoeber’s version uses the same crooked structure as the roadside attraction, but reveals the device behind the hoax, while never diminishing the effect.” LA folks may be interested to learn (or recall) that  “Demon Hill #2 is a variation on Demon Hill, Hoeber’s outdoor sculpture made for the Hammer Museum in 2010.”

The Halloween Wallpaper Project featuring Meredith Sadler

The Halloween Wallpaper Project featuring Meredith Sadler

Meredith Sadler

It’s our third day of Halloween inspired wallpapers continues and the awesome art just doesn’t stop. Today we have the work of Meredith Sadler, a Toronto based illustrator who’s style is rough and textural with lots of bursts of color. She’s illustrated a wallpaper that feels like the quintessential Halloween look – spooky ghosts, haunted houses and a foreboding crescent moon hanging low in the sky. I love the way she played with colors on this piece, the way the sky blue lines of the house contrast really well with the background. And the ghostly trail weaving through the houses has such a great color shift as he makes his way through the neighborhood.

A big thanks to Meredith for a wonderful wallpaper and check back in tomorrow for another!

Beautiful illustrated textiles by Klaus Haapaniemi

These throws and bedspreads are really beautiful! Woven from hand dyed wool yarns and silk, they’re made by the artist and designer Klaus Haapaniemi alongside designer Mia Wallenius. The duo have created a fantastic range of textiles that not only include these throws but also shawls, cushions and scarves. On top of that they also make beautiful ceramics, prints and seasonal decorations. They’re certainly a busy studio!

Influenced by nature, Finnish folklore, fantasy and traditional decorative arts with a modern twist, they create some of the nicest textiles I’ve seen in a very long time. You can view the complete range on their website here.

Mollusk Surf Shop Raglan Crew

Mollusk Surf Shop Raglan Crew

Oftentimes it can be difficult to find a nice sweatshirt, something to throw over a heathered tee or button-up. When I spotted this raglan crew from Mollusk Surf Shop I realized that it would perfect for the impending cold. It comes in two colors, a Navy and a Faded Dartmouth (that means green), and is made in the U.S. from domestic materials. What I love about this sweatshirt is the V detailing in the neckline, the long cuffs which you know will be helpful to keep your hands warm, and the colors are perfect for the fall.

Words of wisdom and inspiration from Michael Cina

Michael Cina portrait

Hearing the back stories or words of wisdom from those you respect is always a great way to learn. What works for them could potentially work for yourself. Recently Michael Cina, artist, designer and all around Renaissance man, updated one of his sites Cina Text with a number of questions that people have asked him with well thought out, detailed answers. I was pouring through the site last night, there’s a whole lot of content, and I’d suggest taking a look and soak in some wise words. Here’s one of my favorite questions.

You’re a bit of a renaissance man—you’re an artist, a designer and a typographer—how does that play out when you’re designing for an album cover, where do you start first: with the art or the typography?

Recently I have been thinking about this topic. I feel that design is an exploration of semiotics, the visual language of what all images say (typography included). That is my main guidepost for producing an album cover. I am trying to use album covers as a mode of communication.

A lot of times I start with visual ideas and more often than not, I leave type twords the later part of the process. I can do anywhere from 10 to 100 visual ideas, so by that time, the image becomes a little more elevated in its importance.

The typographic aspect of the project is usually me getting myself out of a corner that I put myself in by not thinking about more about the typographic aspect. I use type sparingly on a lot of covers, but I am always aware of what it is saying.

Recently I started on a cover using typography as the main element. After two hours of working on it I ended up doing a cover with no type on it at all!

The Halloween Wallpaper Project featuring Haik Avanian

The Halloween Wallpaper Project featuring Haik Avanian

Haik Avanian

We continue our week of Halloween inspired wallpapers with this super clever approach by Haik Avanian. Rather than showing a bunch of different candies Haik went the opposite route and blew up a Tootsie Roll to an extreme proportion. It’s definitely pop art inspired and I think the simplicity of a piece like this works so well as a wallpaper. A big thanks to Haik for such a wonderful wallpaper, and be sure to check in tomorrow and the rest of the week for more wallpaper goodness.