‘Our Nation’ by Shine 2009

Shine 2009 - Photo by Osma Harvilahti

Since featuring the Finnish band Regina on the site a few months ago I’ve really been enjoying listening to them. I was delighted last week to find an email from Sami Suova sitting in my inbox letting me know about a new track he’s released with Regina bandmate Mikko Pykäri as part of their band Shine 2009.

The Helsinki-based duo create some really chilled pop. Their tracks are filled with throwbacks to the early 90’s and sweet tinges of balearic pop – it really is a winning combination. Last year, they released their debut album Realism, a great (and beautiful Santtu Mustonen designed) LP, which featured – amougst other things – the particularly great New Rules.

‘Our Nation’ shows a promising start for what will undoubtably be a great follow-up album. Its combination of a crisp dance beat and some sweet drowsy vocals form to make a track that harks back to the glory days of the Madchester scene. More details on the band (including US tour dates) can be found on their Facebook page.

April 9, 2012 / By

Kingsley Amis Book Covers by Jonathan Burton

Jonathan Burton - Kingsley Amis Book Covers

Jonathan Burton - Kingsley Amis Book Covers

Last year, Penguin asked illustrator Jonathan Burton to create a series of book covers for their Modern Classics series of Kingsley Amis novels. I think the resulting work look amazing, and I was shocked, surprised and impressed to read that Burton had a really short deadline to produce these covers. On his blog Burton wrote that he got into a rhythm of illustrating one cover a day and he did so over the period of just one week. The resulting finished work is pretty unbelievable!

It’s also great to see an illustrator who writes about the process of how their illustrations comes about. Burton’s blog The Unreachable Itch is a fantastic archive for any illustrator who wishes to peer into someone else’s working process. It’s filled with insight, understanding and beautiful images that show how his work evolves. It’s something that I highly recommend you check out!

April 5, 2012 / By

U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency – A Design Project by Bureau Bruneau

U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency - A Design Project by Bureau Bruneau

U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency - A Design Project by Bureau Bruneau

U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency - A Design Project by Bureau Bruneau

U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency - A Design Project by Bureau Bruneau - postal

For his thesis project at Norway’s Westerdals School of Communication, Oslo-based designer Ludvig Bruneau Rossow cleverly rebranded the post-apocalypse by choosing to create a new identity for the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Imagining a dystopian society set in the year 2030, Rossow’s project depicts FEMA as the governing body of a planet close to extinction. It’s a really fantastic set-up for a self-directed project and I love how Rossow has executed it. His crisp retro-styled branding examines how important design can be, and in his imagined post-apocalyptic world he playfully shows the necessity of good graphic design.

From instruction manuals to food supplies, Rossow has created a system which aims to ensure an effective reconstruction of a new global society. Focussing sensibly on analogue-technologies, his designs are simple and clear. Many have a multifunctional use, based on the understanding that the world of 2030 now has a limited amount of supplies. Food rations are packaged with clear symbols that link their contents with the room in the facility that they belong to. Manuals are designed with important information on how to repair, build and fix things. It’s some really excellent art-direction and I love the photographs taken by John Tøsse Kolvik.

More photos of the project can be seen on Rossow’s website, where he works under the name Bureau Bruneau. Also make sure to check out the rest of his website – it’s a beauty!

April 3, 2012 / By

Great geometric illustrations by Mitch Blunt


Mitch Blunt - Google Think

I think these illustrations by Mitch Blunt are great. They’re clean, clear and straight-forward but deep down they’ve also got an underlying intricacy to them which works really well. Mitch is originally from the UK but he’s now currently based in Seoul. Over the years he has worked for clients such as Bloomberg BusnessWeek, Diplomat Magazine and Google. His work is often playful and there’s a nice combination of flat textured shapes and bright colors in everything he makes. Make sure to check out more of his work online here.

April 3, 2012 / By

‘Here In Heaven 4 & 5’ (CFCF Remix) by Elite Gymnastics

Elite Gymnastics

Minneapolis-based chill-wave duo Elite Gymnastics have been slowly building traction over the last few months, and this remix by Montreal producer CFCF has certainly caught my attention. Its simple and dreamlike instrumentation soothes and lulls while strings build upon a simple piano loop to form a haunting eight-minutes of beautiful music.

The track is taken from the band’s Ruin 3 EP which features remixes and covers by the likes of How to Dress Well and Physical Therapy. Released free of charge from their site Ruin 3, the EP is well worth adding to your music collection. It’s also available to pre-order as a Combo Package with RUIN 4, which is released May 8 through Acephale.


April 2, 2012 / By

The wonderfully strange paintings of Sophie Alda

Heavy Brains by Sophie Alda

Block of Flats by Sophie Alda

Melon Static by Sophie Alda

There is definitly something kind of strange about these paintings by the English illustrator and painter Sophie Alda. That said, there’s also something kind of wonderful about them too. Painted in gouche, her images are filled with beautiful pastel shades and are populated with odd and ugly characters. The flat nature of her paintings is really beautiful, but for me it’s her warped view of people that I really like. They’re strange, awkward and creepy – yet in many ways they feel like very honest depictions of people.

If you get the chance and if you’re a fan of the absurd make sure to check out more of her work online here, I’m particullarly fond of her Wobbledogs, GIF PARTY!

March 29, 2012 / By

Imeüble Shelving by Bjørn Jørund Blikstad

'Imeuble' - Shelving by Bjørn Jørund Blikstad

I was flicking through an old issue of Wallpaper today when I came across these great looking shelves designed by the Norwegian designer Bjørn Jørund Blikstad. I love the idea of shelving units that make a statement, and that’s exactly what Blikstad’s design does.

Called Imeüble, the completed piece is made up of a series of modular and brightly colored shelves and Blikstad believes that the 3D nature of his design will help people to easily remember exactly where they have put their documents, books and whatever else they need to store. “I’m interested in storage” he tells Wallpaper. “Everyone wants to make beautiful chairs, but there hasn’t been that much innovation in ways of storing things.” He certainly has a point, and I definitely think he’s on the right track with this excellent design.

Although originally created in 2009 as part of his Master’s degree from Oslo’s National Academy of the Arts, Imeüble was officially launched last month through By Corporation at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. More details about the shelves can be found on their website here.

March 28, 2012 / By

The beautifully drawn illustrations of Kareena Zerefos

'Kareena; The Siren Girl' by Kareena Zerefos

'Girl with Raven' by Kareena Zerefos

'From the Menagerie' by Kareena Zerefos

The Sydney-born and London-based artist Kareena Zerefos creates these stunning images using graphite, markers and ink on paper. Her work often explores the connection between children and animals, and that childhood desire to “run away and join the circus.”

Indeed, Kareena herself notes that her work is inspired by a yearning to escape. Her images are about journeying to a world of make-believe, and for her, this has led to illustrations that are filled with isolation and bittersweet nostalgia. They are beautiful images and the combination of her style and the touching nature of her subject matter form a magical body of work which I’d be quite happy to escape to for any length of time.

March 27, 2012 / By