Last I knew of Lladró they were beautiful – if a little twee – classic porcelain figurines which decorated the living rooms of mums everywhere in the 80′s and 90′s.
However now the Valencia-based company are collaborating with cutting-edge artists to give a contemporary, irreverent twist to the classic porcelain collectibles, presumably with the aim of appealing to a younger market.
The most recent collaboration sees Paul Smith working closely with Lladró’s artisans to produce mischievous confetti and covered masked animals. Like the rest of the pieces in the collection, the new figurines come in two sizes: large (52cm tall) in a limited edition of 250 and small (30cm) in a numbered edition. Besides going on sale in Lladró’s and Paul Smith’s own shops and their online stores, the new The Guest by Paul Smith figurines will also be available in a select network of galleries and concept stores.
Find out more on Lladró Atelier and The Guest at here.
Spanish agency Bisgràfic have been producing some excellent print and identity work from their base in the town of Vic, Catalonia.
Having recently opened a new studio in Barcelona the team decided to celebrate the move and have taken the unusual step of inviting several Barcelona-based designers to create a welcome poster for their imminent arrival. To their credit a who’s who of the Barcelona design community, including Hey, Toormix, Atipus, Folch Studio and Forma & Co accepted the offer and created posters to welcome the new arrivals.
According Pep Alcàntara, creative director of Bisgràfic, this project is a great example of the creative community that exists in Barcelona –
“when a colleague invites you to participate in a creative initiative here the answer is always yes!”
Delighted by the great response from contemporaries willing to say “hello” in poster form, Bisgràfic plan to print all of the posters submitted before organising a get together of all the participants where the posters will be exchanged. In the meantime you can check out all, the designs at Benvingut Bisgràfic Barcelona.
As sources of inspiration go, sand might seem like a difficult one to get excited about. Well, not so for Syrian Talin Hazber, who is now an architect doing research on solidifying sand, in order to challenge and celebrate its natural qualities.
Talin explains what it is about the gritty stuff which has inspired her to craft it into works of art:
“I have always been fascinated with the desert around me, the dunes scenery and how one can easily lose the sense of direction, space and views… I now look into transforming this lyrical natural scene into a spatial and rhythmical experience.”
As part of her research into the micro and macro qualities of sand Talin has created fully functional sand lamps – entitled Tranquility Nodes. The aim of these, intricate, granular lamps is to create an intimate setting while influencing their space, in a way that appears to affect the composition of their environment.
Having already spent years exploring different techniques of solidifying, moulding and engineering sand, we found out that Talin has big plans for the future – literally and figuratively:
“My intention is to create architecture, landmarks and sand structures that people can relate to in the massive scale of the desert. I dont see it anywhere and anytime ending… the potential found in the grain of sand are beyond one’s expectation”
Explore some of Talin’s first fine-grained footprints on her journey to creating these sand landmarks…
Angelique explains the background of the name Jour Blanc:
It refers to a weather condition where the horizon disappears into the sky and all reference points are lost. The visual identity is a graphic representation of this phenomena, based on the reflection of the light & its path.
The scarves themselves reflect the meteorological foundation of the brand, by combining patterns based on natural elements and geological textures with simple geometric shapes.
Designed in Paris and manufactured in Lyon the scarves are available via the Jour Blanc shop.
Motion designer Matt Frodsham and lifelong fan of Less Than Jake fan has created this music video for their new single Do The Math.
The video reflect the lyrics of the song, the first line of which is “Do the math, because you only have so many hours”. Now anything that relates to mortality can be a pretty heavy subject, however the lyrics are set to a upbeat tune and Matt has captured the concept of the song in a really irreverent, fun way.
Character were created based on the things which are important to the band, they wanted to avoid the obvious answers such as family and friends, which appears to have left mostly music and fast food! These favourite things are then basically subjected to a looneytoons-style butchering by a series of tooled up timepieces.
The finished piece takes the form of a 2D, flat colour animation. And that leads on to the second reason I thought this was post worthy (the fist being it’s pretty freaking awesome), Matt has documented the entire month long process of creating the animation on his blog, both his creative approach and project workflow. We think this is pretty fascinating and could be a really useful resource to any aspiring motion designers.
Time well spent Matt Frodsham.
After leaving her role as art director & founding member of En Garde, a design studio based in Graz, Austria, Verena Michelitsch made the move to NYC, working for Sagmeister & Walsh, Pentagram and currently ROANDCO.
Her portfolio has a great balance of typography, illustration and graphic design. I particularly like the illustrated project overview in which each project has a little illustrated icon.
If you have a couple of minutes today make sure you watch this short film by Shaun Bloodworth about Firth Rixson, a steel forge in Sheffield. It’s fascinating to see people work with such precision on processes that I would have thought to be completely automated these days. It sure makes working at a computer feel pretty insignificant.
San Francisco-based startup Mark One has begun accepting pre-orders for Vessyl a smart cup which can analyse whatever liquid is poured into it at a molecular level. Co-founded by Justin Lee and Yves Behar, along with the Fuseproject team, Mark One aims to create desirable products that inspire people to make healthier choices.
Within seconds Vessyl can identify what’s inside, with the contents name appearing on a digital screen on the cup’s side, such as ‘orange juice’ or ‘beer’, it can even detect whether coffee is strong or weak, and the difference between Coke and Pepsi.
While a clever gimmick, a cup that can only identity liquids wouldn’t be doing anything the average user couldn’t do with their own mouth. In short, it’d be pointless. The real value in Vessyl is its ability to tell you the liquid’s dietary content such as calories, fats, sugars and caffine. These results are then synchronised with an accompanying smartphone app available for IOS and Android devices.
Using the app the information is tracked in real time and can be tailored to the user’s individual needs and goals, such as ‘weight loss’, ‘regulate sugar’, ‘sleep better’, ‘stay hydrated’ and ‘build muscle’. In order to provide more accurate net calories and hydration awareness Vessyl also connects with popular activity trackers.
As beverages are the #1 source of calorie intake Mark One VP of Health – and medical doctor – Mark Berman, hopes the technology could be life-changing –
“As you use the Vessyl, it’s going to learn more about you and your consumption habits and patterns,” Berman says. “But the main goal is actually to help you make healthier and more informed decisions in real time.”
While Yves Behar, co-founder of Mark One explains the thinking behind the design process of the product –
‘integrating breakthrough technology into everyday products is always a challenge, at the same time, this is exactly how design makes tech products easily adoptable in life,’
‘for vessyl, we made the cup comfortable and familiar, and made the display of the information discreet and only visible when needed. the faceted exterior surface is just enough of an indicator that something might be different about the cup, and provides it with a porcelain-like surface reflectivity.’
Overall we think this is a fascinating product and if it works as promised – and initial prototype reports are positive – it could be a hugely innovative and more importantly very useful self-tracker.
Well, now that England are out, why not cheer yourself up by watching this lovely animation from Richard Swarbrick.
And if you couldn’t care less about England, then watch it anyway!
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Frank Shepard Fairey one of today’s most infamous and perhaps most influential american street artists. You’ll likely know him for his “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” or OBEY sticker campaign, in which he appropriated images from a supermarket tabloid. If not then you will have definitely have come across his poster for the Obama election campaign which caused a mixed reaction in the press for it’s message as well as for the it’s legal issues.
Film maker Brett Novak recently shot this short interview with Shepard Fairey in which he discusses the themes and messages around his work as well as explaining the Obey story, giving us fascinating insight into his life.
Matik are a Los Angeles-based creative studio, who specialise in “multisensory design, interactive experiences and the development of epic moments”.
One such epic experience was created in collaboration with Sonos for Re/code Code Conference 2014 where an immersive audio / visual experience was developed exploring the “transformation of Sonos’s HiFi sound into immersive “cymatic” patterns”.
If that all sounds a little too high-brow for your tastes, then you might be more interested in their Toilet Paper Launcher collaboration with SOAP Creative and Disney:
To find out more about Matik, visit their site.
Walls looking a little bare are they? Even if – like mine – they’re already packed with design ephemera, you might want to make some space and to check out Side Effects.
It’s an online showcase of emerging young artists from the Balkans who’ve been busy producing some rather nice, large-format silkscreen prints.
In addition to last years original launch collection of 10 prints created by 10 different artists, Side Effects has now added three brand new limited edition art prints by Belgrade-based Sandra Milanovic and Danijel Savovic.
We’re loving this illustration of Van Persie’s now almost iconic diving header against Spain from the infamous 5-1 World Cup game. Illustrated for Adidas by talented Kiwi Andrew Archer.
Glasgow-based Axis Animation is one of Scotland’s leading CGI animation studios, working with bluechip video game publishers such as Electronic Arts, Sony Entertainment and Bethesda.
The artistic direction of Axis’s work is what really stands out, their trailer for Dead Island 2 made its debut during Sony‘s E3 press conference last week and has already created a huge amount of hype with its high-energy, comedic tone. It was also a big departure from the their much darker and provocative 2011 trailer for the original Dead Island.
MD Richard Scott puts Axis’ success down to hiring the best people possible – the studio of just over 30 people consists of 12 different nationalities – and valuing creativity and skill-set over software experience, with the latter being taught on the job. It’s certainly a formula which works for them.
If you’re interested in hearing more about Axis, they’ll be giving a Gab talk, Thursday 26 June at Citizen M, Glasgow.