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.


Showcasing Each Letterform in 3D ::: Architypo ::: The Final Alphabet

Johnson Banks is the firm that took on this request from a suggestion made from their client, Ravensbourne. The request was to see if they’d take their 3D prototyping skills to the next level and create a 3D expression of the current alphabet. Each letterform is showcased in a different expression of itself – repeated, stacked, rotated, scaled, skewed, while still maintaining parts of its recognizable shape. Not only that, but each font or typeface they used – whether they chose to use the lowercase or uppercase letterform – each detail in these 3D constructions was carefully considered and reflected in the description as well. This is Arkitypo: The Final Alphabet.

Take for instance the letter “H” for a moment…

The Letter H | Helvetica

Helvetica
Originally designed in 1957 as Neue Haas Grotesk, its 1960 version was renamed Helvetica. Given that its name was based on ‘Helvetia’ (Latin for Switzerland) it was no surprise that it became the vanguard of the Swiss style, and the typeface of choice for corporations across the world for the last fifty years.

Now, having read that – look again at their approach. They incorporated the letterform that’s made up of all of these recognized names who use “Helvetica” as their chosen typeface for branding the company. (Nestle, Blaupunkt, Basf, Target, Kawasaki and more…)

Let’s look at the letter “C” now…

The Letter C | Courier

Courier
Courier was originally commissioned for 1950s IBM typewriters, but soon became the standard font throughout the then-emerging industry. As a nod to the torturous days of jammed machinery, this ‘C’ is built from a small forest of typewriter keys.

This being a little more literal in its translation is still quite clever in its expression. The execution of these typewriter keys, overlapping, stacked, rotated… they create interesting angles and shadows upon one another. They mimic the true shape of the letter, while tying back to the history of the font. Impressive interpretation!

Here’s what they created for the letter “I”

The Letter I | Industria

Industria
Originally designed for The Face in 1984 by Neville Brody, Industria was released publically as a font in 1989. It has a mechanical structure of straight strokes, rounded corners and square inner spaces that refer back to Art Deco and design pioneers such as Ladislav Sutnar.

This could be a sculpture I’d feature in my living room! To take a letter, observe its rigid form  and then create a piece that not only adds movement… this piece also ties back to its Art Deco movement with this ultra thin case used in this industrial interpretation.

The result can be seen in this video – which shows 360 degree renders of each letter sculpture.

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.

Cool Photoshop Tutorial that Replaces Color with Words

 

 

Even though it says it’s meant for CS4, it’ll work for any version you have installed. Basically, this will work best with a high-contrast photo. The more distinct your light and dark areas, the better visual translation you’ll see. This tutorial seems pretty simple, and I have yet to try it out, but when I do – I’ll edit this and will repost my version. Check it out here.