Incredible Calligraphy, Drawn to Look Like It’s 3D

As a graphic designer, I have an EXTREME admiration to those who also appreciate typography and the skill behind it. The art of hand-drawn type – and even drawing on paper – is not something you witness in person as readily as you once did before our digital age. When’s the last time you noticed someone on the train or sitting in the park with their sketchbook? Scratch that. When’s the last time you looked up from your own phone to pay attention to what’s happening around you – to notice someone like Tolga Girgin who’s been going to town on a type rendering not two seats over from you in your favorite coffee shop.
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::: Typography You Can Interact With :::

Meet the artist, Alida Rosie Sayer

Not only is this designer experimenting across the gamut with creating a very tactile approach to typography, but she has carefully cut out each of the numerous layers to also enhance the overall experience of interacting with her artwork. This is so you can touch it, watch it move, distort, undulate, manipulate – right before your eyes. It really is quite genius how well this whole series turned out.

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Graphic Design Pieces from Japan in the 1960’s and 70’s

I’m fascinated by the Japanese culture with their incredible attention to detail and precision when it comes to learning and perfecting their craft. I think too many people in this world celebrate mediocrity – in the class room, in the work force. It’s almost as if it’s an attempt to create a population of people that just blend in with each other… sheeple, if you will. But, that’s a whole other topic I will save for another post in another blog some day. Back on the topic of design, the Japanese, their culture and strength in tradition… Here’s a group of people who strive on a daily basis to stand out from one another. The competition is so great they have to make their mark, get noticed, be unique. It was true back then, and it’s even more true now. As an Ikebana artist myself, I can only hope that I can honor their traditions with each arrangement I create. As a graphic designer, let me start by saying I am in awe just by looking at each of these pieces, their composition, style of illustration, use of color and technique. Hence, my second post to showcase these designs.

To follow up to my previous post – which focused on showcasing designs from the 1920’s and 1930’s – I’d like to jump ahead and show some of my favorites from the 1960’s. In other places around the world, graphic design was being represented by some of the legendary greats. From Saul Bass, creating those various movie posters – to Paul Rand’s LSD-inspired psychedelic designs for concert posters and album covers. From the type of music people listened to, to the style of film that captivated viewers, experimentations with psychedelic drugs crossing over with bright colors in fashion – all of these influences both visually and audibly helped to shape design around the world, and design work in Japan reflected this as well. Take a peek at some of these design pieces…

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If you’d like to see more, visit the Gurafiku site. It contains an extensive collection of Japanese posters and other graphic design pieces that can be previewed by selecting the various decades. For example, browsing through the Japanese movie posters, for instance, is an incredible way to spend your lunch hour. Just an FYI, I’ve also included a few of my favorite (and more recently designed) posters within the slideshow of images… for your viewing pleasure of course. Enjoy!

 

Japanese Posters and Magazine Covers from the 1920’s and 30’s

From a graphic designer’s point of view, these selected pieces really stand out – not only compositionally, but in the style, the execution, the precision, placement of elements, eye flow, use of color, juxtaposition, foreshadowing, perspective, typography and all of the other buzz words you can throw in there. They all work so well and serve as exemplary pieces, together to represent this collection, but also each stands out uniquely in their own way.

What I love in seeing examples from artists this era is the pure artisanship on display. With a ticking clock in today’s design world, I feel the true mastery of art and technique has gotten lost in the concept of time. It’s become more about getting done what you can in the time allotted, rather than doing your best in however long that takes. Quantity first – and as a result, quality suffers. Whereas back then, it was more important to take time to master the art of using pen and ink on paper, as you can see in their various styles of illustration in each of these pieces. You were known by the work attached to your name. That meant something in order to be distinguished as an artist – regardless of where you lived in the world. However, the Japanese took honor and their work to a much more serious level.

From a historical point of view, they represent best Japan at that time – the influences of the war, the changes in political views and social changes that were moving through the nation. These also represent some of the European influences with hints of Cubism, Constructivism and Surrealism in these works.  These ads, posters and magazine covers mark the beginning of when communication design emerged in Japan. Some people referred to these works as “city art” with hopes of appealing to urban consumers through avant-garde visuals, trendy at that time with styles initiated in the West. The significance around these pieces as a whole created an awareness of the larger world, and therefore, they established many of the principles of early graphic design in Japan.

 

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From the book of Modernism on Paper: Japanese Graphic Design of the 1920s-30s by Naomichi Kawabata

 

To see more examples, please visit this link here.


No More Candy for These Drunken Toddlers!

JACK DANIELS WHISKEY-INFUSED, CHOCOLATE-EATING… BABIES???

This is definitely one of those instances where the style of advertising and the cultures between agencies around the world differ and push boundaries. At first glance, I immediately thought, “Oh that sleepy baby is so cute!!!” Then, when I saw what the ad was for (whiskey-infused chocolates), the image had a totally different connotation. Let’s just say that my secondary reaction was a bit more surprised they took it there. Then, after collecting my thoughts, I gave the entire campaign another look – and well, it’s really freakin’ cute. Not everything you see is “real.” I’m pretty sure parents aren’t going to be “swayed” into getting their children drunk. More importantly, I’d be willing to bet there aren’t any toddlers that will be lured into the deep, dark realms of whiskey-hood either.  It was effective in making me look… and look back, and look back a third time!  On a side note, I wonder why no female toddlers were used in the making of these ads… Is this hinting that advertising is still a man’s world?  (Just kidding… calm down… no need to have a hissy!!)

In this hilarious print ad campaign by Dentsu South America, adorable images of “drunken” toddlers are used to sell chocolates infused with Jack Daniels whiskey. L’Univers de Chocolat is a highly regarded French confectionary in Sao Paolo, Brazil, started by Chef Nicolas Galland. Dentsu has been the world’s largest single-brand advertising company for almost 40 years and this “Funny Baby” campaign won the creative directors, Felipe Cama and Alexandre Lucas, a Gold Outdoor Lion at Cannes National Advertising Festival 2010. These charming pictures were photographed by Rogério Miranda, who was voted the 13th best advertising photographer in the world in 2004, by Archive magazine. While some may find the inebriated baby ads controversial, I can’t help but wonder where I can get some of these chocolates.  — Visual News, article found here.

Hand-drawn, hand-cut type in this beautiful letterpress poster

Created by Darren Newman, this poster was created to promote the “Typeface” film for its premiere in Manchester. The film itself showcases a print shop located in Two Rivers, Wisconsin – a small rural town where most all of the factories have shut down and businesses are struggling. This film also pays homage to this incredible print making craft which peaks the interest of so many design enthusiasts. Personally, I love the style of these letterforms – they remind me of something you would have seen Herb Lubalin pull off back in the day. The curves and variances in the line widths are just so beautifully constructed!