I’m always envious of the awesome names illustrators sometimes work under… Sneaky Raccoon is the artist name and work of London (& Manchester) based freelance graphic illustrator and designer, Anna Mullin — who specialises in the areas of bespoke illustration with a focus on animals and nature, identity design, typography and unique characters (including custom vinyl toys for both commercial commissions and private collections). Find her sneaking around on twitter and check out her shop.
Posts by Luke Tonge:
Brent Couchman is an independent graphic designer based in sunny San Francisco, California. Originally hailing from the Lone Star State where he developed branding, packaging & illustration for Fossil, Brent moved to the Bay Area to work with Hatch design.
Love these book covers by designer Isabel Urbina Peña and how beautifully they are presented. Isabel is a cover designer at Random House in New York City and the creator and writer of Rants from a Stranger a fully hand-lettered publication influenced by print, zines and comic books.
Friend of FFF Mike Rigby has been in touch to let us know about a recent piece of work Interbrand Australia completed for Darling Harbour. I asked Mike to explain a bit more about the project:
“Darling Harbour really is an extraordinary, larger than life place. So my partner in crime, Chris Maclean and I were determined to try and create something unique. We needed an idea simple enough to unite the precinct, big enough to compliment the architecture, and different enough to stand out in people’s minds.
We rejected a lot of concepts before finally settling on the idea of an inflatable brand. We then spent 2 weeks of hard-core research and development with our talented senior designer Mike Tosetto in order to get the typography working properly. What followed then was 14 months of designing, presenting, convincing, and planning.
It was a huge team effort involving so many people at Interbrand Australia and we’re all delighted with the result. Full credit must go to our client – the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority for believing in our ideas and for executing so spectacularly. I think it’s safe to say that not many government departments would consider commissioning 20ft inflatable letters!” Nice to see daring work like this getting produced – credit to the team for seeing it through. You can see more from Interbrand Australia on their blog, Standapart, and follow Mike on twitter.
Born out of a relentless need to explore, Picturing Thoughts is an great ongoing personal project written & designed by Iancu Barbarasa. It ‘turns thoughts into images, thereby creating space for more interesting thoughts’. — The title is inspired by Alan Fletcher’s book, Picturing and Poeting, and some of the imagery is reminiscent of Fletcher’s work. You can see more of Iancu’s commercial work at iancul.com and find him on twitter.
Following the success of last year’s exhibition and sell-out talks, BCNMCR returns to Manchester introducing the work of the some of the most exciting creative studios and designers from Barcelona. A selection of internationally-renowned, independent studios and designers hailing from the vibrant Spanish city will showcase their work in a FREE exhibition at TwentyTwentyTwo, between Thursday 27 March and Wednesday 23 April 2014.
This year’s celebration has swelled from five to eleven: ALEX TROCHUT, BROSMIND, SOLO, TOORMIX, LAURA MESEGUER, ATIPUS, CLASE BCN, TWO POINTS, FOLCH STUDIO, FORMA & CO and BERTO MARTINEZ, with some designing exclusive new work especially for the show.
Giving UK-based creatives the opportunity to learn more about the design approaches of a number of guest speakers and take part in a public exchange of ideas, BCNMCR will again stage a series of talks with visiting creatives. After experiencing overwhelming demand for tickets in 2013, this year’s talks will take place on Friday 28 March 2014 in the intimate surroundings of St Peter’s Church, Manchester, home to the Hallé Orchestra.
The exhibition is again organised and curated by home-grown designer and frequent visitor to the Catalan capital, Dave Sedgwick. Tickets go on sale soon so sign up for more details, and keep an eye on their twitter account.
MIDWAY a Message from the Gyre is a beautiful short film by visual artist and cultural activist Chris Jordan. It chronicles the daily lives of the Laysan albatrosses that flock to the tiny Midway atoll in the Pacific Ocean to nest amongst abandoned WWII machinery. It is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the ‘Pacific Garbage Patch’.
Since 2009, Seattle photographer Chris Jordan has been traveling there to photograph the effects pollution is having on its feathered inhabitants. The birds, which feed on squid, fish and other food near the water’s surface, have been accidentally ingesting plastic flotsam and feeding it to their chicks, causing thousands to die each year.
The project has been expanded into a feature film, MIDWAY, currently in post-production and expected to premiere in early 2014 – you can see the official trailer for it here.
The still photography by Jordan is also compelling.
Anthony Burrill has produced a new piece of work for Manchester’s Print and Paste collective. Entitled North and South, it is a collaborative piece between Liam Hopkins of Lost Heritage, Dave Sedgwick (part of P&P) and Anthony.
Dave contacted Anthony early in 2013 and asked if he would be interested in the art and design project, which takes an unused billboard in city centre Manchester and asks different artists and designers to produce a piece of work to be pasted up monthly.
“I contacted Anthony as I have always admired his approach to work. Around the same time I was working with Liam at Lost Heritage and he suggested it could be possible to make oversized wood type blocks for the project. We started to talk and it seemed a great idea for Anthony to take on”, says Sedgwick.
“As soon as I mentioned it to Anthony he was interested and intrigued. Anthony designed the individual letters and Liam set about making them in his workshop”.
Each letter was printed on the Heidelberg Cylinder press at Adams of Rye in East Sussex. The prints were then pasted on to the billboard to complete the final piece. The work is entitled North & South in reference to the wooden letters being made in the North and printed in the South. It’s also a nod to Anthony originally growing up in the North and now living and working in the South of England.
“It was a great project to be involved in” says Anthony, “As soon as Dave contacted me I was keen to be part of it. The idea of using wood block type at billboard size was exciting, something I hadn’t seen done before. And of course I was keen to produce a piece of public art for my home town.”
The individual letter prints are now available to buy from Anthony’s website and the original artwork is on Lower Ormond Street just off Oxford Road in Manchester for the rest of January and February 2014. The letter prints are available as limited edition posters from Anthony’s website.Print & Paste is a collective based in Manchester and has featured the likes of Build, Si Scott, Daren Newman, Stan Chow and Steve Lambert.
Our good friend Craig Oldham, now working under the title The Office of Craig Oldham, has been commissioned to create the campaign for the D&AD New Blood Awards 2014.
By combining D&AD’s previous Student Awards, Graduate Academy, and New Blood Exhibition, the New Blood programme has simplified its structure in order to help even more young people enter the creative industries. For the first time, anyone under the age of 24, as well as recent graduates, will be able to enter the internationally renowned Awards scheme.
Building on last year’s New Blood concept of “the power of yellow”, the campaign explores the wealth of opportunity and possibility that comes from entering the Awards. Oldham explains:
“Using info graphics allowed the campaign to take on a fresh visual language (away from tired old pencil-puns) that was flexible enough to roll-out through different initiatives and applications. Because D&AD and New Blood is about more than just winning, it also gave us a vehicle to communicate everything that D&AD does and stands for.”
The D&AD New Blood Awards 2014 briefs are now available to download here.
Chris Smyth has been in touch to let us know about the new ‘one of a kind multi-disciplined platform’ called the Creative Arts Network, built to explore the influence of the Church in the contemporary arts world today. Identity and web design by Leeds based Boxhead.
Smyth: “The Church’s reputation in the arts has been reduced to tacky fluorescent wayfinding outside cold dark lifeless buildings. The inspiration behind the work never changed; there are 2.18 billion Christians around the world, which is nearly a third of the global population. Yet creatives have become embarrassed by the idea that their work may be connected to the Church. We only realised the need for the site when hundreds of creatives from all over the world started applying to join the platform.”
The Creative Arts Network was launched to train, showcase and equip creatives. To celebrate good work and build a multi-disciplined platform of designers, photographers, illustrators, musicians, songwriters, developers, painters, artists, animators, dancers and other visual and audio communicators. It is for professionals as well as students, mostly working in, with, or for Churches across the world.
One of our favourite photographers, Jonathan Cherry, has been in touch to let us know about some updates to his portfolio – including more of his stunning medium format portraits. He is currently available for editorial, freelance and collaborative work worldwide.
Founded in 2012 by a group of Art Directors and close friends, Wedge & Lever is an independent design studio based in San Diego, California. They have some excellent work to their name – some great editorial & art-direction – not least the brilliant redesign of Transworld Surf magazine that is worth taking a closer look at.
You might have seen, like I did, the sound bites publicising Unit Editions recent tome FHK Henrion: The Complete Designer and wondered if they’d got the right chap –
“The designer FHK Henrion has no equal in British graphic design history. No UK designer – then or now – can match his sheer depth of accomplishments and range of abilities.”
– Quite a claim, but one you learn is totally justified as you slowly soak in the wealth of information provided by Adrian Shaughnessy in the substantial front section of this monograph. Henrion surely is the most underrated graphic designer of the latter part of the 20th century! If you don’t believe me, read the book – it is only through reading it I realise just how little I knew about FHK and his incredible life. Not only are Unit Editions putting out some incredible books, they’re offering an education few other publishers or even educational courses can match. Thanks to titles such as this, unsung masters like Henrion and Schrofer might now rightly feature in ‘all-time-greats’ roll-calls alongside the more familiar names of Rand, Bass, Vignelli, Aicher, Olins, Lubalin, Dorfsman, Crouwel, Brownjohn, Fletcher etc..
Steven Heller describes the book as “a tour de force of design, writing and editing, representing the designer as entrepreneur principle at its best” and in the same interview on Printmag.com Shaughnessy explains that it took about 14 months of solid work to complete – and it shows (Check out that interview). The effort that goes into researching and cataloguing a body of work such as Henrion’s is huge, but it makes for a book you will want to return to again and again. Much of the content feels very contemporary / modern, a reflection of the quality and timelessness of FHK’s output. Just as the UE Herb Lubalin title of last summer was my pick of the year (previewed here) this edges it for me in 2013. The production values are of course predictably extravagant – the 544 page hardback housed in a foiled slipcase, complete with protected corners – feels as good in your hands as it looks on the shelf.
If the FHK title is beyond your budget however there’s still more good news from Unit Editions… The huge Lubalin monograph proved so popular it totally sold out in a matter of months, but it has just been reissued in a new compact format, at less than half the price of the original! If there is a designer in your life who wasn’t fortunate enough to get the oversized version (or a space on your bookshelf), this is not a book to miss out on. All book orders made on the Unit Editions website before Friday 20 December will include a Christmas gift: a free copy of Projekt: The Polish journal for art and design. With at least 6 new titles on the cards for 2014, including one I know you’re all going to go crazy for, it looks like things (thankfully) show no signs of slowing down at UE.