A Little Looks at Logos

I had to swap out my whole blog calendar because I got so excited about this video, I couldn’t wait to share it! Oh, lovers of branding and graphic designers everywhere; this certainly is the freshest critique our craft has had in quite a while. And the unexpected source of this charmingly fascinating focus group of one? A 5 year old girl. She’s the daughter of Adam Ladd, the creative mind behind Cincinnati-based Ladd Design, where the focus is on developing effective brand identities. The two of them spent a Sunday afternoon creating this wonderful contemplation of logos through a child’s eyes – and for that, I’m so grateful!

Lifestyle Color Trends SS 2012

A case of the winter blah’s has me craving some color. So I’m looking to the UK’s Trend Bible – one of the best trend forecasting companies for Home Interiors and Kid’s Lifestyle – for a bit of inspiration. I adore their pragmatic approach and unpretentious attitude, but mostly I appreciate the fact that they consistently get it right. Here are the directions they’re predicting in interior lifestyles for Spring of 2012.

Today’s Track – Breathe Me, Sia

Something a little different today: you’ll find TWO little audio buttons below for your listening pleasure. As many of you who’ve followed for a while may know, Sia is among my favorite contemporary artists. So when it came to selecting today’s track, I couldn’t decide between two versions of the same song. They’re both quite extraordinary; one, a seductive slice of dance-y electronica, the other, a powerfully intimate piece best known as the music from the series finale of “Six Feet Under”. Breathe Me (Mylo Remix Version and Original Version) by Sia from the Album Breathe Me (Single), 2004.

Purse Papers

I’m one of those people who needs to have a small notebook on my person at all times. (I’m a big jotterer; which is not officially a word, but I assume you get my meaning.) I thought I had a lifetime supply on hand, as I used to be the Creative Director for a stationery company and had oodles of our samples in my possession. Sadly, the stash is running dry, so I’m keeping my eyes open for acceptable alternatives. (As always, click image to shop!)

Loop - North Lane + Thursday Jotter Set of 2, $8
Loop - Nocturne + Novi Jotter Set of 2, $8
Wit and Whistle - Hive Jotter, $5.75
Wit and Whistle - Herringbone Jotter, $5.75
Wit and Whistle - Dragon Scales Jotter, $5.75
Paper Tree Stationery - Set of 3 Amy Butler Chrysanthemum Matchbook Notes, $2
Paper Tree Stationery - Set of 3 Amy Butler Sunset Flowers Matchbook Notes, $2
Jengs Shop - Chamomile Minibook, $7
Jengs Shop - Blossom Minibook, $4 (sale)
Jengs Shop - Bundle Minibook, $7
Cabin + Cub - Singing Birds Minibook, $3 (sale)

Reimagining your ABCs

I am completely charmed by this piece of motion graphics, created by n9ve, a multidisciplinary design studio based in Turin, Italy. “The Alphabet 2” – starring Helvetica –  is a visual typographic feast, with each letter playfully represented as the word it begins.

  • Direction / Postproduction / Sound Design: Alessandro Novelli
  • Design / Animation / Set Design: Andrea Gendusa & Alessandro Novelli
  • Additional Animation and Set Design: Mario Arcadu
  • Music track: Fréhel “Tel qu’il est” 1936

Do the (Modern) Twist

My last trip to San Francisco unexpectedly morphed into what can only be described as a shopping odyssey: the quest for the perfect coasters. It began well enough, with a couple days of hitting all my favorite haunts in Hayes Valley, the Castro, Fillmore Street, the Mission… suffice it to say, I covered a lot of ground. Then, it snowed. Not in San Francisco, but in Minneapolis, meaning – for the next two days – no flights were to be had. (It’s quite a lovely thing to be stranded in California whilst a blizzard wreaks havoc back home.) Suddenly, I’d been given a second chance. Suddenly, I could right all the shopping wrongs of the previous days – most importantly I would buy those incredible coasters I adored (see image, above); that for some reason decided I did not need* on the first go ’round.  Not only had I made my mind up that I would procure at least 2 sets for myself, but I had also determined that they were THE perfect gift, and would need* several for that purpose as well. If only I could remember where I saw them? And so it began. For two days, I retraced my footsteps (and found a few new spots too) all in the name of buying exquisite, hand-silkscreened silicone coasters by Modern-Twist; a San Francisco based company with a “passion for fantastic food culture” and a decidedly urbane, “eco-chic” design sensibility. And, yes, I ended up with a suitcase full of placemats too.

(*admittedly, the word “need” is being applied quite loosely here)

Today’s Track – Cold Day, The Billionaires

If you live anywhere around Minneapolis, you’ll no doubt have some idea why I chose this track for today… ’cause BRRR – it’s dang chilly around here! Cold Day by The Billionaires from their album Really Real Forever, 2007.

To Each, Their Own: Mac vs. PC

Designed by the talented folks at Column Five Media, this somewhat controversial infographic is based on the findings of researchers over at Hunch. They looked at data from roughly 700,000 of their website visitors to compile seemingly random (Mac users eat hummus!) generalizations about users of Macs & PCs. Thoroughly entertaining, though. (Click image to enlarge)

Aye, Claudia!

I am not really fond of cooking. But I aspire to cook – you know, like a genuine foodie (as opposed to popping a Lean Cuisine in the microwave). Thus began a quest for something to jazz up my kitchen that would also serve to romanticize the act of actually chopping and dicing. Possibly even inspire bonified gourmet activity. Enter Claudia Pearson, a British illustrator based in Brooklyn, whose charming work may deliver just the desired effect.

Radish Salad Silkscreen 12.5" x 19" Print, $45
4 Seasons Tea Towel Set, $52
We Live in Brooklyn 12" x 18" Print, $26
Plum Ketchup 6" x 9" Print, $15
Grilled Peaches 9"x12" Print, $20
Zucchini Pasta 6" x 9" Print, $15
Sweet Tart Soup Artwork

Busting the Creative Block

Fact is, all of us tend to get in a creative slump from time to time. You know, when you just can’t seem to find your muse? Perhaps there are a couple ideas in this video of “29 Ways to Stay Creative” that can provide a bit of inspiration to help you recharge, refocus and ignite your innovative self.

  • Motion Graphics: created by TO-FU, a design studio located in Japan.
  • Content: generated by “Life on Michigan Avenue” blogger Paul Zii
  • Music: “Fairest of them all” by Kammerer

Today’s Track – I Still Feel, Martina Topley-Bird

Writing yesterday’s post stirred up lots of memories about London. I started thinking back to a time when I stayed at St. Martin’s Lane – an excruciatingly hip example of Ian Schrager’s mad-cap vision – and was unable to resist the temptation to purchase the hotel’s signature CD. Fortunately, my shopping folly introduced me to the solo efforts of Britain’s Martina Topley-Bird, whose soul-infused chill now graces an inordinate number of my play lists. I Still Feel by Martina Topley-Bird from the album Anything, 2004.

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