Ancient structures within labyrinths, tessellating totems, and faceless generals—these are the landscapes created by Matthew Craven. A recent graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts, he renders mixed media optical illusions that are as bold as they are perplexing. With an emphasis on black and white patterns and natural shapes, Craven’s work recalls the past while capturing a completely modern aesthetic.
Pablo Delcán is a design wunderkind. His book cover art continues to enthrall with clever takes on Vladimir Nabokov and Jules Verne classics as well as reinterpretations of stories like The Three Little Pigs. (It’s hard not to fall for a story rendered entirely out of strips of bacon!) And though he continues to rack up impressive book jacket credits, his lettering skills are just as worthy of awe and applause.
In a short video aptly titled “Lettering”, Delcán showcases various lettering pieces including a series of chalk drawings done on a blackboard in his kitchen. Inspired by the front page news on that day’s New York Times or New York Post newspaper, he sets a boundary of 2 to 3 colors and gives himself 20–40 minutes every morning to create a single chalk drawing that stays up for a day before being erased the next morning. Though ephemeral in execution, his skill is both sharp and enduring.
Though once considered more of a learned skill than an elevated art form, mixology has gone one to become a phenomenon. Whether you’re a purist and revere the classics or prefer the thrill of spirited invention, concocting cocktails is a marriage of science and innovation. Australian creative agency The Monkeys has taken that concept a step further with Mixionary, a series of color-blocked posters that celebrate the most beloved cocktails through deconstructed screen prints.
Punctuated by beautiful typography and eye-catching imagery, High Tide is a new creative studio focused on engaging design. Recently launched by art director and illustrator Danny Miller and brand marketer Ariel Stark-Benz, the Manhattan-based studio already counts venerable spectacle company Warby Parker as a client. “We always aim to create work that is unique, simple, timeless, and ideally helps people communicate better with the world,” says Miller. I would argue that simplicity factors into their work too.
I’ve always wondered if there’s a term for those of us continually attracted to the simplicity of Scandinavian design. Once you give in to the clean lines, natural elements, and pops of color, it’s often hard to gravitate towards any other aesthetic. It’s a design style that continues to expand internationally, too, as evidenced by Gestalten’s recently published book, Northern Delights, as well as through an enduring popularity on Pinterest. I was thrilled to recently discover Morten & Jonas, a unique Norwegian design company that creates everything from modern furniture and bookends to cake stand lamps built by prison inmates.
There are dog beds, crates, carrying cases, and even strollers, but has there ever been a dog hammock? Japanese architecture firm Torafu has answered with a resounding yes (er, “hai”). The Wanmokku, which translates to “architecture for dogs,” is not only an easy-to-assemble plywood frame that acts as a hammock support, it encourages the use of a dog owner’s own clothing to attract their beloved four-legged friends.
Though currently built to accommodate a Jack Russell terrier or other smaller dog, one might argue that it might also work for cats, rabbits, and ferrets. Simple, clever, and utterly charming, the Wanmokku serves primarily as a snuggle space for your pet. But it works as a mini trampoline too.
Nike’s latest collaboration with Liberty of London departs from the usual floral print and enters digital image territory. Entitled the Pixel Pack, the new collection introduces the Virtual Light Liberty print which was culled from screen projections. Inspired by the work of artist Tim Head, the enlarged pixels now adorn four Nike styles too.
Steeped in tradition and built by friendship, Hopewell is a new design workshop producing artisan-minded products. Founded by art director Eliza Kenan and fine artist Clair Oswalt, the company takes its name and ethos from the Hopewell Exchange System, a Native American cultural exchange that saw various materials transformed into handmade products that were then traded. Though Kenan and Oswalt have a wide range of handmade experience between them—from painting to woodworking—their first Hopewell offering is centered around quilts.
The new documentary Very Semi-Serious gives a rare glimpse behind-the-scenes of the New Yorker, specifically the cartoon department. An active part of the magazine since 1925, the cartoons have come to define the publication with their sardonic wit and wry take on humanity. Filmmaker Leah Wolchok tried to get the documentary project off the ground years ago only to receive a “no” from New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff. But in the last six years, she’s continued her plight taking on producing partner Davina Pardo in the process. They were finally granted access to the magazine’s cartoon department and archives, and editor Bob Mankoff, which is a rarity, and are currently in production to tell the story of legendary cartoonists in the past, present, and future.
It’s hard to give a painting by Sachiko Kanaizumi a quick glance. They’re the type of paintings that beg for long stares and cocked head contemplation as you behold the surreal and whimsical worlds she creates. Fairy girls inhabit a heap of discarded books while bats swarm little ladies bobbing in an unusual stream. Kanaizumi’s work is captivating and mysterious all at once, and so is she.