Date Archives January 2013

Original Mac Computer Made Out of Legos

Original Mac Computer Made Out of LEGO

Chris McVeigh, a Halifax based designer, recently released this brilliantly designed original Apple Macintosh computer which is made entirely out of Lego bricks. If you’re unfamiliar with the original Mac you can click here and you’ll see just how spot on he got it. It’s the details, like the extra room for your fingers where the disk drive is, or the fans on the side, even the corner on the back of the computer, it’s spot on. Chris made an update to his Flickr page saying he’ll share the building guide for this model in the next couple of weeks. For those interested, be on the lookout.

Beautiful Images from ‘Stay Troublesome’ by Alana Paterson

Image from 'Stay Troublesome' by Alana Paterson

Image from 'Stay Troublesome' by Alana Paterson

It’s hard to know exactly what the title of Alana Paterson’s new series of photographs – Stay Troublesome – refers to. Her beautiful images of the American landscape feel calm and composed. In many ways they’re almost the reverse of troublesome. Yet, there’s also a feeling of adventure in this series. Old maps, rucksacks and road trips hint at journeys into the unknown and they evoke a sense of moving to new places. These are images about always moving on and perhaps it’s this sense of transience that the title referees to. ‘Staying troublesome’ feels like a motto for reckless abandon. It feels like a cry for moving to new pastures and always being ready for adventure.

Certainly it seems that Alana Paterson enjoys new places. Her bio says that she’s based in Vancouver, B.C. but over the last few months she’s been to Portland, New York and New England (she even adds that she’s available to travel over the next few months too). Originally getting into photography by shooting photographs of her friends at skate parks, her portfolio is filled with a great collection of personal projects. It also includes a growing list of impressive work with clients that include brands such as Norse Stores, HUF and Brixton. You can see more of her work online here and make sure to check out the full series of Stay Troublesome on her site here. It’s a beautiful collection of photographs.

Image from 'Stay Troublesome' by Alana Paterson

Image from 'Stay Troublesome' by Alana Paterson

Image from 'Stay Troublesome' by Alana Paterson 5

Modern Woodworking by Pana Objects

Pana Tofu Set

Pana Shady Clock

Pana Small Ville Charger Covers

Pana Snappi Wall Hangers

It’s easy to be attracted to the array of beautifully designed wooden products by Thailand’s Pana Objects. Created by a group of design friends whose aim is to infuse modern life with the simplicity of woodworking,  they craft white ash wood and maple into everything from faceted wall clocks to wooden caps for iPhone chargers in the shapes of airplanes, mountaintops, and clouds. Desk accessories like the Tofu set, a series of six blocks shaped to hold pencils and paper clips, seem to put the fun back into functional.

Pana’s vow to “make your life more fun and meaningful” is directly reflected in everything they create, whether you’re in need of an iPad stand or a set of button wall hooks. Oh, and just in case you need a wooden lamp that moves like a playful puppy? They’ve got that, too. Check out their full collection here.

Pana Frank Lamp

Hudson Made Soap Packaging by Hovard Design

Hudson Made Soap Packaging by Hovard Design

Hudson Made Soap Packaging by Hovard Design

When most people think of soap I’m guessing they think of pure white. Since the beginning of soap advertising in the early 1900’s the idea of a white bar of soap has been intertwined with that of cleanliness. I have the same connotations with Q-Tips, toilet paper and towels. So when you see a black bar of soap it certainly stands out as something different, it makes you stop and pay attention.

Hudson Made Soap Packaging by Hovard Design

The folks at Hudson Made have released a black soap called Worker’s Soap, which combines the scents of cedar wood, patchouli & tobacco. That’s my kind of soap. The packaging though was created by Hovard Design who did a fantastic job at making the packaging feel both contemporary with a suitably subtle nod to the past. The embossed black type on charcoal paper is stunning, the condensed type feels crisp and bold, and the typewriter font brings that touch of nostalgia which isn’t overbearing. I think the bit of leather string with the bolo tie might be a bit much, but it certainly doesn’t taint the overall packaging in my mind.

You can see more photos from Hovard Design by clicking here, as well as a case study for the entire Hudson Made branding project by clicking here.

Kyle Bean and the Art of Handcrafted Design

Kyle Bean dragonfly

Kyle Bean chicken prop

Kyle Bean Plane

Kyle Bean instruments

With entertainment seemingly going the way of 3D and CGI these days, I find my preferences leaning more towards the handmade. Not that I’m a purist or anything, but I love the mechanics of built sets and costumes  (hello, Muppets). I’m so inspired by some of our posts this week, like Philip’s piece about Shugo Tokumaru’s plastic silhouette music video, that I’d like to highlight the art of prop styling. We flip through magazines or watch videos sometimes not realizing that an enormous amount of work has gone into the creation of what we experience in seconds. Kyle Bean is an artist who comes to mind.

A well-respected British designer who has worked with dozens of publications and brands, Bean’s work involves using simple materials to reinterpret everyday things. Meticulous and beautiful, his pieces capture your attention beyond just the story he’s trying to tell through them; the construction alone is a story in itself. From a dragonfly built out of matches and a chicken made of eggshells to a modern version of the paper airplane, his work inspires. I had a hard time choosing images, but you can enjoy them all here.

Newman Camouflage Shoes by CLAE

Newman Camouflage Shoes by CLAE

Newman Camouflage Shoes by CLAE

Newman Camouflage Shoes by CLAE

My obsession with camo seems to be unwavering. I recently came across these shoes from Clae, a model called Newman, which comes in two pretty rad colorways – tan and black camouflage. The patterns are rather subtle, especially on the black version, each looking like they could be a part of a carefully considered car interior. I mean that in a really good way.The pattern lines up with weave of the fabric in just the right way. I’m not sure though which I think is better, the tan or the black camo, they both certainly have their merits.

You can snag yourself a pair by clicking here.

‘Cirrus’, A Trippy New Video for Bonobo – Directed by Cyriak

'Cirrus', A Trippy New Video for Bonobo - Directed by Cyriak

'Cirrus', A Trippy New Video for Bonobo - Directed by Cyriak

We featured some pretty rad videos on the site yesterday, so I figured I’d keep the trend alive with this new video for the song Cirrus by Uk musician, Bonobo. The song itself is an evolution of Bonobo’s sound, with a bit more of an upbeat rhythm to the track and less violins this time around. It’s certainly a winner in the sound department.

As for the video it was directed by Brighton-ish based director Cyriak who’s known for his somewhat mind-bending videos. The video for Cirrus is no different. What starts out as a few simple repeating elements soon becomes a chaotic collage of video snippets that take on a life of their own. He says that he uses Photoshop and After Effects for most of his animations, which I find totally astonishing. I’d suggest watching this video several times so that you can fully appreciate the amount of work he had to put into this incredible music video.

Thanks to Matthew Gore for the tip.

Re-Covered Books Contest: ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ by Haruki Murakami

Re-Covered Books Contest: 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami

'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami, Cover Design by John Gall

I’m pretty sure some of our readers might be crazy. I haven’t done a Re-Covered Books contests in a little while, at least not since our failed attempt at trying to re-cover The Hobbit (we only received about 6 entries). This time around I decided to take a vote and let you the readers choose which book we re-covered, and and of the four choices you decided to take on Haruki Murikami’s, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

The novel is about a low-key unemployed man, Toru Okada, whose cat runs away. A chain of events follow that prove that his seemingly mundane life is much more complicated than it appears.

This is not only a bold choice, this book is really weird, but it’s also had the honor of having two spectacular covers by two amazing designers: Chip Kidd and John Gall. They’ve set the bar incredibly high, so I’m expecting some really great entries. For a bit of reference check out this collection of covers from around the world. Some are good, some are meh.

'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami, Cover Design by Chip Kidd

For your cover I want you to take the weirdness and originality of the book and channel that into the design. I think some contemporary with a slight bit of weirdness is an interesting take, which is also so different from what both Kidd and Gall have done. No bird toys either, that’s already been done. I think the idea of contemporary psychedelia could be an interesting route to try as well, for those of you who are brave.

Princeton Architectural Press Prizes

UPDATE: I’ve partnered up with the Princeton Architectural Press to give away the pretty awesome prizes you see above. How cool is that?

RULES

• Save your images as JPGs at 800px wide, 72 DPI, RGB mode – this is super important! There are no height restrictions (within reason) but be sure to send images as separate JPGs. Feel free to play with the dimensions and have fun with what you make. Submitting a front and back cover will certainly help your chances, but is not required. You can enter up to 3 times.

The winner will receive a $100 gift card to Amazon, and perhaps some more fun goodies that I’m digging up.

• Label your files “Firstname-Lastname-Wind-Up-Bird.jpg”

• Send all entries to contest@thefoxisblack.com with the subject “Re-Covered Books: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle“. Cut and paste what I wrote there, it’s super easy and it helps me keep track of your entry.

• All entries are due Saturday, February 23, 2013 by Midnight PST.

If there are any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments. I look forward to seeing what you come up with and be sure to tell your friends/classmates/pets to participate as well. Good luck and have fun!

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Essays on Reality by Greg Barth

Greg Barth

Greg Barth

Greg Barth

These short animated pieces by Swiss artist/director Greg Barth are a brilliant exploration of clever, minimalist 3D aesthetics all done without the use of CGI. There are camera tricks and green screen elements, but all of the sets and objects were physically filmed. Barth uses these scenes to tell an abstract, surreal tale with some heavy conceptual framework including commentary on American consumerism and the Arab Spring. This sobering subject matter contrasts surprisingly well with the clean, dimensional imagery and adds to its surreal effect. I particularly enjoy the final piece of chapter 2 with gravity-defying cans dressed in world flags. I still can’t quite figure out how it was shot. Barth is an accomplished designer/director working in the commercial realm as well; you can browse some of his other work and read more about the process behind Essays on Reality on his site.

2,000 plastic shapes come to life for Shugo Tokumaru’s ‘Katachi’

Shugo Tokumaru - Katachi 1

Shugo Tokumaru - Katachi

Poland-based creative duo Kijek/Adamski have done some amazing work in this new video for Katachi by the Japanese multi-instrumentalist Shugo Tokumaru. For anyone who knows the painstaking process of stop-motion animation then you’ll know exactly how impressive this video is. Made with approximately 2000 silhouettes extracted from PVC plates using a computer-controlled cutter, the video is a rush of color and a parade of movement. For Kijek/Adamski, the video is “an everlasting chain of convulsive memories”.

Tokumaru’s track itself is pretty wonderful too. Taken from his latest album In Focus?, the album was released late last year in Japan and came out in the US last week through Polyvinyl. There’s a free stream of it currently on Under The Radar which I recommend you go check out. It’s a wonderful album!