Friday, August 31, 2007

Bloomin' Fabulous

Through our travels of the past week or so, we happened upon a lot of outdoor art exhibits as well as great architecture, museums, and galleries. One exhibit we stumbled upon twice (once in Oslo, Norway and once in Stockholm, Sweden)... therefore, I figure it earned some kudos on this blog.

It was a huge outdoor photography exhibition in a public square, displaying 100 images by photographer Steve Bloom, accompanied by thought-provoking quotes by legendary thinkers. The images were so striking that you couldn't help but be drawn in. The exhibit was entitled "Spirit of the Wild." According to Steve's website, this is worldwide event with work also being showcased in Leeds, Dublin, Moscow and Amsterdam. He has also published a book of this work, which is available for purchase.


Click here to see his entire exhibition slide show. Below is a teaser of his work. All work is the copyright of Steve Bloom.






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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Well, it's been a whirlwind tour of Scandinavia. We took a 12 day cruise stopping in the ports of: Oslo, Norway, Copenhagen, Denmark, Stockholm, Sweden, Helsinki, Finland, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Tallin, Estonia. Every city had its own personality and charm. They were gorgeous in their own right, and had so much to discover. Besides the architectural beauty of the cities, the artwork was wonderful. We stumbled into open air exhibitions, design museums, sculpture parks, etc. It was so exciting and enriching from both a cultural standpoint and an artistic one. Though I suppose those two are often intertwined. I'm still working through all the pictures and info that I want to share. So in the meantime, I thought I would just post a few pictures of the cities from our trip. I hope you enjoy them. I will be back soon with some more substantial posts :)

In order these are: 1. Farmland seen by train on the way to Harwich, England. 2. The Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen. Dedicated to Hans Christian Andersen. 3. The Vasa Museum in Stockholm. 4. Stairway leading up to the Astronomical Clock in City Hall, Copenhagen. 5. Yusupov's Palace, St. Petersburg 6. Church of the Spilt Blood, St. Petersburg. 7. Tallin building. 8. Water ways.


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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Time for a Makeover

Greetings from Scandinavia! I'm having such a blast here, and the design is just incredible. But until I'm back with time to distill all the pix, here's something to keep the inspiration flowing....

Fast Company recently highlighted some packaging redesigns by some very familiar companies. I love that companies are starting to reevaluate their standard "look"... that they've had for, like, a billion years... and give it a refresh. The most successful formula is to find out what works in your current packaging, then toss the rest away and break boundaries. As long as you stick to your core values and propositions, you'll be a winner.
I think consumers are far more tuned in to packaging than they used to be. I'm sure we can thank Target and Apple for some of that shift. And I think it's good. Just because a product is inexpensive, or common, doesn't mean that is can't be beautiful. The world is a bit crazy, and I think people want to surround themselves with pretty things.

Click here for the article.

And here for a slide show of makeovers.


I think the Rembrandt is gorgeous. I would buy it for the box alone. Oh, and the Herbal Essences! Just stunning. It's a product I would be proud to display in the bathroom. And the patterns on the new Kleenex are wonderfully contemporary.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sing it Terra

Here's a great song I came across by Terra Naomi. And such a fab story... She wrote this song "Say it's Possible" after being inspired by "An Inconvenient Truth." She posted it to YouTube, and it became a hit! She now has an album coming out at the end of the month.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summer Dreams





The Royal Parks foundation of London is hosting Deckchair Dreams. This initiative collaborates with 25 artists to create designs for canvas deckchairs which feature throughout 8 London parks. This year, in addition to celebrity artists, 126 school children have created their own designs, three of which will appear among the collection.

In addition to brightening up the parks, introducing people to contemporary artists, and involving local school children, you can buy you own limited addition chair. The funds go to continuing the work of the Royal Parks Foundation. Unfortunately the Damien Hirst chair has already sold out (shocking! not.). But if anyone is looking for a great gift, my birthday is coming up soon, and a set of 2 would be lovely ;) Haha.

Click
here for the site and all the designs. Below are some of my favs: Michaela Edwards, Ben Fogle, and Damien Hirst.

BTW, I'll be taking a blogging hiatus for a bit while I travel Scandinavia. Hopefully I'll have lots of goodies to share when I return.



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Monday, August 13, 2007

People in glass houses




Shouldn't throw stones. But they should take lots and lots of pictures. Architect Philip Johnson's famous Glass House in New Canaan, CT was opened to the public for the first time this June. As a former resident of the area (well, not of New Canaan, but of the less desirable town next door), I have driven by the property before and always wondered what it was like. And now I know... it's remarkable. Grace Bonney of design*sponge and House and Garden recently took a tour and posted a lovely slide show of images.

However, as cool as it is, I have a feeling I would manage to walk into several walls.

Click here for the slide show.
Click here for the Glass House web site, which includes ticketing and visiting information.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Just because...







... it's too pretty to pass up. Veer always manages to find new and creative promotions. From quirky fashion and accessories, to "summer activity" books, and beautifully designed catalogs. I love them because they talk to designers in a language we appreciate... beauty.

Here are some pix from their stunning "type city." Who would have thought typefaces could be so gorgeous! They now sell these images as perfect letterpress prints. A set of 10 is available here for $55.

Click here to explore the city for yourself. (The interface is equally sweeeeeet.)

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

LiveSurface

This is so cool! As a print and packaging designer, I spend a lot of time "comping" digital images to show how designs will look on pack, on a bottle, on a hang tag, on a display, etc, etc. This requires copious amounts of scaling, skewing, perspective, shadow and highlight placement. And while it looks ok, it's never perfect. So I am smitten with LiveSurface.

They have created a stock catalog of some of the most common items that need comping. They're all photographed as a blank canvas and saved as a hi-res TIF, which is good enough for offset printing! Beyond having a blank canvas to work with, they've created layers and masks in Photoshop, and pre-built vanishing point planes. It all sounds a bit technical, but basically you size your flat artwork on their template, paste it into the appropriate layer in Photoshop, and the vanishing point planes snap it into the correct position/perspective/etc.
All this, and only 30 bucks a pop! Also, if you sign up with them, you'll receive a link for 1 free download.

Check out the video here to see how it works. Or browse the shop here.



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Friday, August 3, 2007

Trend: Watercolor



Ok, I'm going to go out on a limb here and highlight a "trend" that I'm seeing a lot of these days –Watercolor. That's right, remember those runny paints that you used to play with in kindergarten? Some of us have even gone so far as to try them again in more recent years. Personally, I'm TERRIBLE at it. I always end up with a big runny lot of colors. But, luckily some people have a far better flair for it than I do. And now, I'm seeing watercolor used all over the place... from websites to advertising... and I love it. It adds such a nice, personal touch to mediums that are often impersonal and digitally rendered. I'm ALMOST inspired to try it again.

(
You heard it hear first. Above is the beginning of the latest edition of the Nori Studios website.)

Here are some sites currently leading the way. In order: Anthropologie, Daily Candy, and Kasil Jeans.


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