Category Design

Color inspiration: Vintage pansies

Found this old greeting card at an antique store and really enjoyed the CMYK printing. Super inspired by the way the colors blended, and the overall noise pattern in the background is a really nice touch.

Ban Ban Bar & Chicken branding and graphics by Peculiar Familia

Ban Ban Bar & Chicken branding by Peculiar Familia

Instagram has introduced me to a lot of interesting, new designers and one recent favorite is Peculiar Familia. Headed up by Carlo Jensen, the Australian designer recently launched a new project in the form of Ban Ban Bar & Chicken, a new restaurant in Adelaide serving cold beer and Korean fried chicken. Peculiar Familia was responsible for the branding and graphics, and the eateries playful identity revolves “around a custom pixel font designed to echo the tile interior.”

Totally in love with the italic pixel font, it’s a sheer pleasure to look at. I’m still a fan of an Yves Klein blue, you can’t go wrong there, and the illustrations everywhere are super charming. It’ll be great to see how this identity continues to evolve. And I really want one of the shirts below because that’s me! I’m always hungry!

Ban Ban Bar & Chicken branding by Peculiar Familia

Ban Ban Bar & Chicken branding by Peculiar Familia

Ban Ban Bar & Chicken branding by Peculiar Familia

Studio Brasch introduces “Digibana”

Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, has been around since the 7th century and is taught in over 1,000 different types of schools of throughout the world today. In recent years, the art form has started to be reconsidered, though the primary theories of shape, line, and form still ring true. So what would ikebana be if you removed plants entirely, relying on the limits of computers instead?

Studio Brasch introduces Digibana

Studio Brasch, led by Anders Brasch-Willumsen, has been posting some interesting pieces on their Instagram called “Digibana,” which are described as a “futuristic ikebana practice where moments of beauty are created and preserved only by a constant stream of likes and shares.”

I find this project so interesting because the very nature of ikebana is nature. If ikebana is informed by modern and emphasizes a connection to nature, can that nature truly be represented digitally? I do like that Brasch-Willumsen’s explorations range the gamut from realistic to synthetic, crafting these delicate objects which are beautifully unnatural.

You can see more images on the Studio Brasch Instagram.

Studio Brasch introduces Digibana

Studio Brasch introduces Digibana

Casa Bosques melds chocolate with design, creating delicious results

For the past six months I’ve been working out how I can combine my love of design with my passion for food. I started a pop-up brasserie called Le Filou with my buddy Nate Isreal, which was fun and successful, and makes me want try more ambitious efforts. Then I see inspiring works like Casa Bosques, a chocolate project from Savvy Studio, which makes me really want do make some left-field works.

The guiding concept behind Casa Bosques is to bring each project to its maximum capacity and expression. This is why Each CBB project is carefully manufactured using high quality raw materials. Collaborators are thoughtfully selected; Casa Bosques looks for experts that are passionate about their specialties, and also feel motivated by the constant search for perfection. Casa Bosques Chocolates is our first project in the entity, a collaboration with the master chocolatier Jorge Llanderal. Twelve different editions will be produced, one every season.

Casa Bosques Chocolate

The packaging design is exquisitely minimal, with playfully laid type set in a sans and monospace variety. I love the square image as the containing device for information, which is used again as a full-bleed print on the inside of the packaging. It imparts a touch of personality and a hint of context to what the flavor of the chocolate is.

Casa Bosques Chocolate and Apartmento collaboration

These fun details extend even further with the collaborations they’ve done, such as the one above with lifestyle magazine apartamento. The bar was made in honor of the magazine’s 10 year anniversary, and in true apartamento form, features a photo of a toilet taken by Katarina Šoški?. On the inside is the trademark pattern that adorns the side of the magazine which really makes this feel like a perfect, honest collaboration.

Speaking to the flavors, they’ve picked some really unique takes like Shiitake Mushroom and Puffed Quinoa, or the Pink Peppercorn which I’ve bought. Pink pepper has a delightfully mild, slightly floral flavor to it, and paired with the dark chocolate, makes for a winning combination.

You can splurge on a few bars for yourself by clicking here.

Ben Medansky partners with Koio to make a pair of sneakers inspired by ceramics

Ben Medansky partners with Koio to make a ceramics inspired shoe

Has there even been a pair of shoes whose design were inspired by ceramics? Not to my knowledge, and that’s what makes this collaboration between Los Angeles ceramicist Ben Medansky and New York shoe brand Koio so remarkable. Medansky is well-known for his bold ceramics, which feature speckled glazes and pops of Yves Klein blues, odd, geometric clusters, and repetition of angular shapes.

Ben Medansky partners with Koio to make a ceramics inspired shoe

Applying those same principles to a pair of sneakers sounds challenging, but the resulting outcome couldn’t have turned out more perfect. What catches your eyes first is obviously the cobalt blue sole of the shoe, which is such a stunning color. Complimenting it is the speckled leather uppers which bring a nice balance to the shoe, as it would be in Medansky’s ceramic works.

“The speckle on the leather was appropriated from the clay body I use that has a high iron content. I also wanted to create something that I had not seen before which led me to the ceramic accent on the laces that I call shoellery, like jewellery for the shoe.”

I think the “shoellery” is such a fun, quirky detail. In a time of Off-White zip ties it’s refreshing to see a natural material being integrated into a shoe like this. All in all it’s an unusual but beautifully executed collaboration. You can snag a pair of these for yourself by clicking here.

Ben Medansky partners with Koio to make a pair of sneakers inspired by ceramics

Ben Medansky partners with Koio to make a pair of sneakers inspired by ceramics

Ben Medansky partners with Koio to make a ceramics inspired shoe

Color Inspiration: Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter ’18 collection

Color Inspiration: Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter '18 Show

I’m always looking for inspiration for my projects and the world of fashion is always fertile ground to draw from. Last week, Marc Jacobs showed his FW18 collection at New York Fashion Week and it was a stunning affair. He sent down the runway a love letter to 1980’s haute couture, made up of exaggerated over coats, layers of scarves, and dramatic hats that transformed models into mysterious femme fatales.

What really spoke to me were the striking color combinations and the intense contrast of each piece that made the show all the more profound. The hues were vibrant and jewel-like, which radiated against deep shades of olive, plum, and blacks. The palette is certainly evocative of the 80’s but thanks to his styling and color pairings these look feel contemporary and of the now.

I’ve pulled swipe from Marc Jacobs personal and brand Instagrams to give a more comprehensive look of the output and the decisions that went into the clothes. I mean, how cool are the hairdos below? Those gradients are everything. Hopefully this sparks some ideas in your own work!

Color Inspiration: Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter '18 Show

Color Inspiration: Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter '18 Show

Color Inspiration: Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter '18 Show

Color Inspiration: Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter '18 Show

Bold shapes inspired by México’s Caribbean come to life in the work of Hola Lou

Hola Lou - Artist

Last year I came across the work of Hola Lou, a visual artist and graphic designer based in Mexico, who’s site I frequently visit to see what new pieces she’s added. Her style, inspired by her right now home of Mexico’s Caribbean, incorporates bold, geometric shapes brought to life by an invigorating color palette. This the kind of art I want to wake up to in the morning, that gives me a feeling of good energy and life.

Hola Lou - Paintings

Hola Lou - Prints

One thing I really appreciate about her online store is that she has a range of products at all different prices. If her original paintings are out of your price range you can snag one of her giclées or screen prints which are equally beautiful. She even has a “freebies” section where you can download some of her works as wallpapers for your mobile devices.

Hola Lou - Freebies

Spotted: York freshens up their branding

New branding and logo for York - Peppermint Patties - Hershey

I stopped by the store last night for some much needed “post-airport craziness” bubbly wine, and I was waiting in line at the register I happened to notice a new logo and branding for York. You know, the Hershey company that makes peppermint patties.

The mark is a really nice evolution from the previous version, but what I specifically love about it is how the lettering mimics the look of the peppermint icing inside of a peppermint pattie. If you’ve ever taken a half bite of one of these the icing tends to be slightly stringy and a little messy, and the mark does a great job of mimicking that physical quality of the candy (quite literally in fact at the end of the circle container around the logo).

The letter forms themselves are way more elegant and considered. The old Y is kind of a hot mess balance-wise, with the over inflated upper and shrunken descender. The O to the R has a really nice playfulness, the K flows nicely into the circular container around it now, and I’m a big fan of the Y descending down and out of the blue container lozenge. Getting rid of the “Get the sensation!” tagline really helped the overall lock-up as it provides a lot of great negative space above and below the logo, giving it a much more elevated feeling overall.

New branding and logo for York - Peppermint Patties - Hershey

As you can see in the gross, conveyer belt photo I took above, they don’t seem to be printing that distracting dot pattern on the package which I think is a plus. I thought it was helpful to see how the metallic package is really quite striking with the pop of royal blue, and how the white of the logo has a nice contrast with the blue.

Overall, this is a beautifully refined word mark/focused branding effort that most consumers won’t notice, but clearly it’s remarkable enough for me to notice at a busy check stand. Now the big question: Anyone know who did the work? I’d love to be able to credit them! Email me if you have details.