Dana Tanamachi creates stunning nature-inspired pieces for Instagram headquarters

Dana Tanamachi's creates stunning nature-inspired pieces for Instagram headquarters

When I think of the most talented people in lettering my list includes Louise Fili, Jessica Hische, Erik Marinovich, Gemma O’Brien, and of course the incredible Dana Tanamachi. It’s been a joy to watch her work grow and evolve on Instagram as she handles immense murals, covers for books and magazines, and so much more. Very recently she completed a stunning triptych for the Instagram HQ which speaks to the growth of the platform over the years.

“This triptych was created by hand-cutting adhesive stencils, meticulously placing them on the birch boards, then painting a gradient on top of everything, and finally peeling off the stencils to reveal the beautiful woodgrain below.”

Dana Tanamachi's creates stunning nature-inspired pieces for Instagram headquarters

This first design illustrates IG’s infancy—strengthening/connecting roots, giving voices, and cultivating simplicity. The flowers shown here are a mix of the earliest spring flowers and oak leaves/acorns. The latter of which are tiny things that have the potential to create entire forests.

Dana Tanamachi's creates stunning nature-inspired pieces for Instagram headquarters

This middle design illustrates IG’s adolescence—connecting voices, creating empathy (the stems intersect like two clasped hands), and bringing communities and cultures together. The flowers shown all bloom in midsummer.

Dana Tanamachi's creates stunning nature-inspired pieces for Instagram headquarters

This final design radiates from the center (expanding, growing, exploring) using a variety of wildflowers, symbolizing the the beauty and wild-ness a future full of possibilities holds.

Lovely work, as always.

House Industries set to release new book, ‘The Process is the Inspiration’

House Industries - 'The Process is the Inspiration'

One of my fondest memories of early design inspiration was receiving type catalogs from House Industries. In the mail. Like a physical object that I could admire, obsess over, and still to this day, maintain a collection of. I hope some of you readers remember these catalogs and/or still have some stored in your library, they were masterful examples of printing and typography.

Their work at this point is legendary so I’m thrilled to see they’re releasing a new book titled The Process is the Inspiration on May 30.

The Process is the Inspiration is a collection of helpful lessons, stories and case studies that demonstrate how you can transform obsessive curiosity into personally satisfying and successful work. If that’s not enough, there’s also plenty of over-intellectualized post-rationalization supported by hundreds of new images, our signature top-secret printing tricks, and thousands of Oxford commas. Most importantly, this book shows that there’s no sense in waiting for inspiration because inspiration is already waiting for you.

Couldn’t be more excited. This book almost feels overdue as they’ve been at this for over 25 years now and are still at the very top of their game with no signs of slowing down. Netflix needs to take note for their upcoming series Abstract, House Industries should obviously be a part of series 2!

You can pre-order The Process is the Inspiration by clicking here.

House Industries - 'The Process is the Inspiration'

House Industries - 'The Process is the Inspiration'

House Industries - 'The Process is the Inspiration'

House Industries - 'The Process is the Inspiration'

Geotic releases “Actually Smiling,” dance music for when you’re alone

'Actually Smiling' by Geotic - Art by kyttenjanae

A lot of electronic music is made to dance to. Whether you love Karl Kox, Underworld, Black Madonna or even Skrillex, they make music that’s loud and is truly meant for large venues where people dance in the dark. That’s the opposite of what Will Weisenfeld, aka Geotic, is trying to achieve with his upcoming EP Abysma.

“So much of dance music is about partying and going out and having a really hardcore social experience,” Wiesenfeld says. “Dance music has never been that for me. So much of my experience listening to music is being by myself – at home or in my car.”

I can totally relate to this. It’s a sound that feels comfortable for your every day. The first single off the album is titled “Actually Smiling” and it’s filled with poppy synths and angelic harmonies swirling together to make a highbrow video game soundtrack.

“I see it as being a comfortable middle ground between that crazy hyper-emotive EDM and the hyper minimal deep dark club stuff,” Wiesenfeld says. “I like both of those things in different amounts, but I like the middle ground most. It’s not showy, it’s just a comfortable emotional zone.”

I also wanted to point out the extremely rad cover art by kyttenjanae. She makes the craziest 3D renders in a candy store of colors, abstracting the human shape in the most fascinating ways. Her work is phenomenal.

Abysma comes out May 31 on Ghostly International.

Netflix teases upcoming documentary series, ‘Abstract: The Art of Design’

Abstract: Art of Design

At this point there’s a documentary about nearly every topic. And now, thanks to Netflix, design is continuing to become more mainstream. Sure, we have Gary Hustwit’s documentary trilogy of Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized. Outside of Helvetica though, they mostly played to those particular audiences.

Abstract: The Art of Design, will be a documentary series that focuses on a wide variety of creatives (think Chef’s Table but for design) which Netflix describes as showcasing “their creative process, explore their work, and discover how their innovative designs have profoundly affected our every day lives.” Featured in the series is Paula Scher, Christoph Niemann, Platon, Tinker Hatfield, Ralph Giles, Bjarke Ingels, Ilse Crawford, Es Devlin.

It’s a pretty phenomenal line-up, but I find it interesting that there are some folks like Bjarke Ingels who I’d classify as an architect, not a designer. Same with Christoph Niemann, phenomenally talented but I’d certainly put him more int he camp of illustrator. Either way, it’s great to see creatives in our line of work being highlighted in this way. Hopefully the show is a hit and we get several seasons to enjoy.

The series starts streaming February 10.

The dreamy, fictionalized worlds of Charlie Schuck

Photographer and director Charlie Schuck caught my eye with his knack for composition as well as his use of color and texture. His work captures a dreamy, fictionalized lifestyle, a wonderland of pristinely knolled items that compliment each other perfectly. Even his less composed pieces, like the arrangement of oysters or the woman with the lamp below, employ a deft use of negative space that focuses your eyes and their attention.

Charlie Schuck

Charlie Schuck

Charlie Schuck

Charlie Schuck

Charlie Schuck

Charlie Schuck

Powerful floral portraits by Ayumi Takahashi

Ayumi Takahashi

I’m a sucker for bright colors, plants, and strong women, which means Ayumi Takahashi’s work is right up my alley. She’s a well-travelled artist, being born in China, raised in Japan, moving to California to study at Art Center and then London at Central Saint Martin. She’s currently settled in New York, drawing, painting, and designing for clients like The New York Times, Paramount Pictures, Coca Cola China, and more.

What I love about her work specifically is the boldness and the cleanliness. I was totally sure that the images you see here were all digital. I was totally wrong, as they’re all done in acrylic, with all the edges finished so perfectly. Her color palette is extremely lovely as well, she does a great job of contrasting colors to give emphasis, it’s extremely well done.

If you dig her work you should check out her online shop. She has 16″ x 20″ prints available as well as smaller (and affordable) originals, one of which I happened to buy. Support artists you love!

Ayumi Takahashi

Ayumi Takahashi

Ayumi Takahashi

Ayumi Takahashi

Time To Inspire

Rodrigo Tello

Today is a difficult day for me, and I believe a lot of people feel the same way. It’s hard to imagine what the next four years are going to look like. I’ll admit, it’s a bit daunting. Last night, while I was on the exercise bike, watching that horrid countdown to inauguration, all I could think of was, “What can I do to help?”

I landed on reinvesting in this site, taking up writing again (I’m still a horrible writer, FYI), and getting back to what I started. Sharing beautiful ideas, inspiring projects, writing about the new… that’s what I can do. With all the bad that’s going on in the world hopefully I can bring some positivity, and shine a light on the people who are doing amazing work.

To help kick things off, I’d love help from those of you out there who still read the site to contribute. If you think someone/yourself is doing amazing work, email me and let me know: thefoxisblack@gmail.com

Animated Gif by Rodrigo Tello

How to have the most #000000 Christmas

How to have the most #000000 Christmas

#000000. Most designers are familiar with this hexadecimal code and understand it represents the color black. Black is timeless, it’s chic, it’s mysterious. A color that, when worn, works for any occasion, pairs well with any other color (yes, even blue, don’t believe the myth), and gives anyone wearing it a sleek, sophisticated look. Black products tend to look futuristic (Apple is particularly good at this) as well as seeming to be more precious and luxurious.

No matter the application, black will never go out of style. Please enjoy this list of products that explores the range and versatility of #000000.

Fellow Stagg Pour Over Kettle

Calling The Kettle #000000

Stagg Pour Over Kettle by Fellow – $79

Claire Vivier -  Asphalt Flat Clutch

For The #000000 Eyed Girl

Asphalt/Black Flat Clutch by Clare V. – $215

Blu Dot Toro Modern Lounge Chair

The #000000 Throne

Toro Modern Lounge Chair by Blu Dot – $1299

Études Etoile Black Accent Sweatshirt

The #000000 Letter

Etoile Accent Sweatshirt by Études – $138

Garrett Leight Milwood Sunglasses

Framed in #000000-ness

Milwood Sunglasses by Garrett Leight Optical Company – $315

Ghostly International Coffee Mug & Canister

I Drink My Coffee #000000

Canister and Mug Bundle by Ghostly International – $70

Goodbye Doormat by Parra

#000000 Omen

Goodbye Doormat by Parra – $54

Makr Black Speckletone Notebook

Little #000000 Book

Speckletone Notebook by Makr – $28

Karl-Johan Table Lamp by New Works & Signe Hytte

Turn On The #000000 Light

Karl-Johan Table Lamp by New Works & Signe Hytte – $265

Shinola & Zippo Matte Black Lighter

For The Man in #000000

Zippo Lighter by Shinola – $50

B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

A Sound Most #000000

A2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker by Bang & Olufson – $399

ADIDAS Tubular Viral W sneakers

A Walk in the #000000 Forest

Tubular Viral W Sneaker by ADIDAS – $103