I wanted to project the Frieze personality — authoritative, confident, on the pulse — by creating something that was contemporary, instead of trendy. I wanted to create something intelligent — a design that can evolve with time and last. Setting up design principles and a typographic palette rather than a rigid system is what I’m striving for.
It certainly does look a lot cleaner and sharper. The organization and layout seems to be on par with a publication like Monocle, and it certainly fits the same crowd for the most part. Really excited to grab a copy for myself this weekend.
Saw this going around Twitter this morning and had to post it here. The guys at Invisible Creature did the cover of Seattle Weekly this week for their Voracious dining guide, along with the main image for the section. The cover is really good, but the main section image is REALLY good. It’s brilliant how they were able to combine food into the landscape like that, and the colors and textures are fantastic. That’s no mountain, it’s a loaf of bread! The font that the word “Voracious” is in is a nice touch as well. If you’re in Seattle you should totally snag one of these to spruce up your coffee table.
For the 2012 Global Design issue of Wallpaper* Israel born, London based illustrator Noma Bar has taken his inventive illustration style and applied it to entire rooms. Using paint and designer objects like lamps, chopsticks, and stools, he’s created these images that define the eight countries profiled in the magazine. My favorite three are above, though hands down the best one has to be the Japanese version. It’s amazing that he was able to portray both a geisha and a giant pink monster. Pure brilliance. You can even snag these in print versions to liven up your space.
For those starved for a journal of food writing infused with fresh design ideas, all prayers to the spirit of the stove have been answered in the form of the Lucky Peach, a new magazine from American publishing house McSweeney’s. The quarterly culinary publication is the brain child of Korean chef and restauranteur David Chang of Momofuku fame and writer Peter Meehan. Together, they present a seasoned medley of writing, art, and graphic recipes that delves into the study of a single subject in the culinary sphere. The premier issue, which is all about ramen, dishes out a heaping bowl of insight on that portion of Japanese cuisine. There is also a nice digression into Chang’s favorite egg preps, because a dissertation on ramen would not be complete without some discussion on the egg.
Pulling it all together is the art direction and design of Brian McMullen, Walter Green and editor-in-chief Chris Ying, who commissioned a number of talented contributing artists to create a visual presentation chock-full of illustration, photography and unique layouts that is more savory than a simmered kurobuta pork bone broth. A sure favorite is Mike Houston’s “Tokyo Ramen God” letterpress work printed at his New York collaborative Cannonball Press on a 1938 Model 24 Vandercook proofing press using vintage wood and lead type and hand-carved woodcuts. Also visually appealing is the colorful, comic book style art of Baltimorean Daniel Krall. Even a quick flip through the 174-page periodical is sure to satiate those with an appetite for a left-field, experimental approach to publication design.
Over the weekend I poured over the new Spring/Summer issue of Apartamento magazine, reading nearly all 223 pages. For those unfamiliar, Apartamento describes itself as “a magazine interested in homes, living spaces and design solutions as opposed to houses, photo ops and design dictatorships. The magazine is a logical result of the post-materialist mind shift. People are bored with the ostentatious and über-marketing. There is a real quest for identity in the midst of mass production and globalization, and that quest leads to what is personal, what is natural, what is real.” And that’s really what it is, interesting stories and features about interesting people in interesting places.
One part that really enjoyed were these brick creations, created by Ana Dominguez and Omar Sosa. I love how they used such simple materials but did so much with them. I think these constructs also look so good because of the photography, which was done by Nacho Alegre, who was assisted by Robbie Whitehead. These are moody and playful, both at the same time, though I have to say, seeing these on the screen is nothing compared to the richness of the print version. A big thanks to Robbie for sending these over to me.
Michael Salu is the artistic director of Granta Publications where he works across the divisions of Granta and Portobello Books and Granta magazine. Having previously designed a range of covers for almost every reputable publishing house in Britain, Salu is intimately familiar with the challenge of creating an eye-catching cover with visual elements that draw in a reader and reflect the literary content. No stranger to feminine imagery, he first came on board with Granta in time to create the art for its Spring 2010 “Sex” issue, which resulted in the ever-popular “this-is-not-a-purse” cover and a related set of films inspired by the writing.
For Granta magazine’s issue 115, “The F Word,” which focuses on feminism, Salu was faced with the daunting task of developing a visual concept for a theme that explores the ways in which feminism continues to inform, address and complicate the balance of power between the sexes. Luckily, Salu is a self-described man “raised in a world of women.” Armed with his insider knowledge yet heeding Simone de Beauvoir’s warning that even “the most sympathetic of men never fully comprehend woman’s concreted situation,” Salu considered the current blueprint for beauty prescribed by popular media, such as Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, with the intent being to create a female “DIY Identikit” magazine cover. The result is a comical combination of connect-the-dot cleavage and windswept hair that grazes the title. The tongue-in-cheek text that forms a pouting mouth is also clever. It’s another one to add to his growing arsenal of memorable cover art.
Granta Publications presents some nice online features where Salu discusses the making of “The F Word” cover and the selection of art chosen to complement the content, which includes the work of three moving-image artists’ individual responses to the stories in Granta 115.
I had the pleasure to be apart of another issue of Afterzine, the infrequently published art magazine that’s run by my good buddy, Hamish Robertson. This issue centers around Los Angeles, which I have lots to say about, but here’s what Hamish had to say:
“What began as a single-section issue with invited interpretations of “coincidence” by chance evolved into an exploration of the city of Los Angeles—a place I had mistakenly assumed to be lacking in happy accidents.”
The issue features a ton of creative people involved like Mike Mills, Miranda July, Zooey Deschanel, Andrew Andrew, Ben Jones, Peter Mendelsund and lots more. From these previews I’d definitely say it’s going to be a great read.
Kyle and I actually contributed together, putting together a map of our 10 favorite places in Los Angeles. We’re pretty opinionated, and we tend to frequent a lot of local places. I thought it would be fun to release our map as a wallpaper this week, since I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Everything was hand-painted by myself and then put into Photoshop to be tweaked.
Always a favorite, this time around Dan Funderburgh brings his aesthetic for patterns and designs rooted in nature, repetition, symmetry and geometry to the cover of Diner Journal‘s 18th issue, titled “Communities, Communes and Cults.” For the instant illustration, Funderburgh created a harmonious layout of alchemy tools and kitchen items on laser-cut and engraved colored matboard. Like an alchemist transforming base metals into gold, Funderburgh takes everyday objects and through painstaking industry creates ornate two-dimensional silhouettes. Yet, as much as his art demands hard work from him, it also requires ours. The eye that does not look with haste but slowly meanders across the planes of Funderburgh’s designs will be repaid by the pleasurable surprise of his unique use of instantly familiar objects and tremendous attention to detail.
The appeal of Funderburgh’s ornamental design clearly lies in its complexity. But there is also a deeper appeal, which is the advocacy of traditional craftsmanship and the appreciation for the tools and functional objects of different eras. There is a certain dignity in making something by hand that the craftsman (or -woman) in all of us can identify with. It is not surprising, therefore, that one of Funderburgh’s creative inspirations is William Morris, father of the Arts and Crafts movement, whose often-quoted advice is, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Through his work, Dan Funderburgh opens our eyes to the beauty of many everyday household items and gives us a new appreciation for functional man-made objects as art. For additional information on Dan Funderburgh and to see more images of his work, visit his Flickr and somewhat recently-created and quite lovely Tumblr; visit his 12ozProphet site for occasional news.