Category Illustration

Designer Matt Chase Creates Powerful Graphics That Are More Like Pieces of Art

Matt Chase

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting designer/illustrator Matt Chase at a meet-up over beers. Curious to see his work I was excited to see that he does fantastic work around editorial illustration and publication design. His work is highly stylized and full of graphic punch, illustrating strong messages with only the minimal elements necessary. You can see that he’s been influenced by some of the great designers out there but I feel like he brings his own unique touches to his pieces.

If you dig his work you can purchase some of them (like the beautiful piece above for The Great Gatsby) over in his shop. The sprinkle popsicle skateboard deck is calling my name.

Matt Chase

Matt Chase

Matt Chase

Matt Chase

Barnes & Webb Employ a Creative Solution to Help the Honeybees

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You may have noticed that bees have been popping up here and there and the Fox is Black recently. Why? Quite simply: they’re important, not only to our own well-being but for that of the greater Earth too. Unfortunately in recent years their numbers have been dropping and their environments disrupted. Barnes & Webb of London have come up with a wholly creative solution that attempts to mitigate the issue. Their service offers bees right in your backyard and all the delicious honey that comes with doing so. What grabbed my attention was their detail to design, branding, and the arts, as they cleverly combine the three in order to uplift their service and aid the honeybee’s plight.

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Apes curamus et nos curant (we look after honey bees and they look after us); the tiny insects are integral to the environment but also economies. In the past 60 years, the number of honeybee colonies has fallen drastically from six million to two-and-a-half million present. According to the US Department of agriculture, one mouth in three benefits from honeybee pollination. That’s huge. How huge? As of June, President Obama launched a task force tasked with protecting the bees, investing $50m into research and action to combat the decline.

Environmental responsibility is becoming a popular public affair and more light is being shed on the honeybee issue. It’s businesses like Barnes & Webb that demonstrate, quite optimistically, how we can tackle these topics with a flair of creativity.

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Barnes & Webb install and manage beehives across London, providing raw, local honey and all the pleasures of urban beekeeping without any of the hassle. The concept is more or less as a result of a key insight: you don’t have to have 100 acres to help the honeybee. Every lawn, every yard, and even rooftops can pitch in. When it comes to honeybees, the smallest change can affect the global food supply—so customers can rest assured knowing they’re making a valuable contribution.

The creative approach trickles down into the product itself too. The package design is smart, clean, and minimal, which makes a traditional product feel modern and makes honey and the honeybee stand out on your shelves or kitchen cupboards. Engaging and proactive.

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Aside from the packaging, Barnes & Webb work with local talent to further help their brand stand out and place the honeybee on a pedestal. They’ve collaborated with designer Anthony Burrill to produce a one off print and identity, which the brand uses extensively, from posters to advertising. They’ve also seen commercial work be produced on behalf of Olivia Whitworth, an English architect turned illustrator, who adds charm and personality to the company’s image.

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The fun doesn’t stop at their packaging or advertising—just last week over 30 artists and illustrators created unique artworks that went on display and were auctioned off to fund the company’s not-for-profit campaign activities. Of the talent featured was Burrill, Edward Monaghan, Jean Julilen, Essy May, Adrian Johnson, Robert Hunter, Jody Barton, Stevie Gee, and more.

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Connecting bee lovers and keepers, artists, designers, environmentalists, and the wider public, Barnes & Webb use these events to ultimately raise awareness on the issues faced by the honeybee and other important pollinators. They believe in “combining the creativity, knowledge and passion of individuals and organizations to create initiatives that benefit the bees and our environment. A powerful network for positive change.”

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While it’s often easy to get cynical when it comes to environmental affairs, Barnes & Webb’s approach is refreshingly optimistic. Their service demonstrates that the issue can be aided with creativity and design.

Whether we like it or not we have a duty towards the planet, as recent years have seen us leave a negative impact. What many forget is that we therefore have the power to incur the inverse and work towards responsibly inhabiting what we’ve come to know as home. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, right? I believe Barnes & Webb are on the forefront of this positive change, their approach will serve to hopefully inspire others.

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The aforementioned collaboration and event was the first of many that the Barnes & Webb has planned. Follow the brand’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for updates on forthcoming events.

James Murphy Teams Up With IBM To Turn Data About Tennis Into Music

James Murphy Teams Up With IBM To Turn Tennis Data Into Music

Finding the intersections between music, technology, and design are often challenging but when it’s done well it can certainly open up new worlds. A perfect example of this is the partnership between James Murphy, of LCD Soundsystem fame, and technologies company IBM who together creating “music” from tennis data supplied by the US Open. The video below does a good job of explaining how they code works and how they created an interface that was familiar to Murphy.

The outcome is quite unique, especially something on this scale. You can visit IBM’s Soundcloud page to get a taste of all the music that’s been created so far based on the data and it’s pretty staggering. It’s like an endless mix of chiptune tracks endlessly looping into one another. This Round of 16 collection is a perfect example as it runs almost 7 hours in total length, non-stop, back-to-back.

Adding to the experience is the fantastic artworks created for round by New York based artist and illustrator Karan Singh. I had been thinking about featuring Singh on the site recently though this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. His work is this mish-mash of hyper-saturated, flat colors which create the illusion of 3D shapes. I imagine this had to be a pretty fun yet exhausting project to work on. I’ve selected some of my favorite images below to give you a sense of the variety he’s created.

James Murphy Teams Up With IBM To Turn Tennis Data Into Music

James Murphy Teams Up With IBM To Turn Data About Tennis Into Music

James Murphy Teams Up With IBM To Turn Data About Tennis Into Music

James Murphy Teams Up With IBM To Turn Data About Tennis Into Music

James Murphy Teams Up With IBM To Turn Data About Tennis Into Music

You can also see more of Karan’s pieces over on his Behance page.

Neasden Control Centre Brings Typography to the Table with Branding for Artisan Restaurant

Neasden Control Centre - Illustration and Branding for Artisan, Manchester

Neasden Control Centre - Illustration and Branding for Artisan, Manchester

UK-based illustrated Stephen Smith has been working under the name of Neasden Control Centre for almost 15 years. One of his most recent projects has been illustrating the menus for Artisan; a hip restaurant and bar in the Northern-city of Manchester. NCC’s approach here has been to serve up a delicious selection of hand-drawn type; presenting a great choice of ‘A’s’ that no doubt echo the variety of choices found within the menu.

Neasden Control Centre - Illustration and Branding for Artisan, Manchester

This is not the first time that NCC has worked with Artisan. When it opened last year he worked on the overall identity for the space. Bringing site specific artwork, illustrations, installations and murals to every corner of the Spinningfields located space. The restaurant covers a vast 12,000 square foot area, so it must have been a massive undertaking for the one-man studio. You can see more shots from the interior on his website.

Neasden Control Centre - Illustration and Branding for Artisan, Manchester

I also think that his work for the set-menus is just as strong and, while I was going to put this down to his excellent choice of a bold black-and-white palette, it’s clear to see that the lunch and kids menus work just as well in color. His choice of bright primary colors add just the right amount of cheerfulness for day-time dinning. I think they look great.

Neasden Control Centre - Illustration and Branding for Artisan, Manchester

More work from Neasden Control Centre can be viewed on Stephen’s website.

Ricardo Guasco Re-Interprets Mondrian, Bringing Life To The Neoplasticist Works

Ricardo Guasco Appropriates Mondrian

When you look at a piece of art, you see something unique, and when I look at a piece of art, I most likely see something uniquely different. When Ricardo Guasco saw the paintings of Mondrian, he didn’t see minimalism, he saw room/rooms for people. Ricardo is an extremely talented illustrator based in Alessandria, Italy who makes really energetic, expressive works that you can’t help but enjoy.

These pieces though caught my attention because they’re unexpected. Seeing an abstract figuring sitting in a Mondrian like it’s a jungle gym, laying on one like it’s a roof, or utilizing the panels like it’s a kitchen is such a great concept.

You should absolutely see more of Ricardo’s work by clicking here.

Ricardo Guasco Appropriates Mondrian

Ricardo Guasco Appropriates Mondrian

Tony Stella Creates Rich, Inky Posters for the Best Films of the Last 100 Years

Tony Stella Illustrations

Illustrator Tony Stella seems to have a dream job. As far as I can tell he spends his days drawing beautiful posters for Criterion, illustrating and interpreting the best films of the last 100 years. His style utilizes a lot of ink drawings, paired with big colorful swashes of watercolors. The imperfect hand-done style only lends to the charm of the pieces which really captures the spirit of the films, amazing works from directors like François Truffaut and Jacques Tati.

View more of Tony’s work by clicking here.

Tony Stella Illustrations

Tony Stella Illustrations

Tony Stella Illustrations

Found through Notebook

An Animated Book Trailer for the Italian Release of Haruki Murakami’s Upcoming Novel

An Animated Book Trailer for the Italian Release of Haruki Murakami's Upcoming Novel

Following up on Nick’s fantastic piece on Haruki Murakami’s new novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, reader Fabio Valesini sent me a link to a trailer he animated for the Italian release of the book. It’s interesting to see such a different take on the material compared to the Knopf/Harvill Secker that Penguin Random House is putting out.

An Animated Book Trailer for the Italian Release of Haruki Murakami's Upcoming Novel

Though I haven’t read the book yet it feels like Fabio has certainly captured that ethereal, kinda weird Murakami feeling. When I read his work I always get this sense of alien mystery, that you’re never sure what might happen next, which is reflected in the trailer. Really nice work.

Artists Explore the Theme of Silence for Nobrow

Kali Ciessmier for Nobrow 9

“What does silence look like? How is it expressed? Can it be visual?” These are the questions Nobrow posed to over 40 international artists and illustrators for the ninth edition of their magazine. It’s a fascinating theme and one which has produced a wide-range of outcomes. Amongst its 128 pages you’ll find scenes of contentment, intimacy and the surreal as well as stories of the mundane, the morose and the amorous.

Owen Davey for Nobrow 9

As with previous editions, this version offers artists a limited 4 way color palette to bring their imagination to the page, and this restriction brings a wonderful unity to the magazine. The pink, orange and blue tones are a beautiful combination and it’s a joy to see how each artist plays with this restraint through their work.

Merijn Hos for Nobrow 9

One of the nicest things about Nobrow’s magazine is that it works as two magazines. On one side it contains large illustration work (as shown in the post), while the reverse is filled with stories by comic artists and visual storytellers.

Jun Cen for Noborw 9

If you’re in any way interested in contemporary illustration I can’t recommend this publication enough! With over 40 artists involved, it’s hard to imagine a more comprehensive magazine. For those interested in the work featured here, it includes (from the top) images by Kali Ciesemier, Owen Davey, Merijn Hos, Jun Cen and Ella Bailey.

Ella Bailey for Nobrow 9

Nobrow 9 is currently available to purchase from the Nobrow website.