Who says only warm, sunny scenes should be the subject of idealized landscape photography? Self-taught fine art photographer Mikko Lagerstedt makes the case for his native Finland, which is not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about breathtaking natural beauty. But it clearly should be, at least when seen through the lens of Lagerstedt’s camera. His ability to capture the emotion of places through photographs is quite special. Lagerstedt’s work has an almost dream-like quality, with atmospheric beauty abounding amid a deafening silence. His imagination is vast, and the magic he creates with photographs is really something. His photographs truly speak for themselves.
Most designers know that sometimes in order to really grab an audience’s attention, you need to be edgy, perhaps even controversial. This notion is not lost on Brazilian-born, Hamburg, Germany-based art director Felipe Nunes Franco. His refreshingly unexpected approach to soliciting something as virtuous as organ donation, of all things, is both tongue-in-cheek and thought provoking. For his series, Everyone Has Something Good, Franco skillfully illustrates how even notorious bad guys, both real and fictional, literally have good hearts. Franco’s subjects include Bin Laden, Hitler, Darth Vader and (wait for it) Justin Bieber! Given the sad state of the world, this series could really be ongoing. We’d love to see more!
We’re not exactly sure of its origins, but perhaps you’ve heard of the folklore that claims dog owners begin to resemble their precious pooches over time. Hamburg, Germany-based freelance portrait, editorial and commercial photographer Ines Opifanti explores this notion in her ongoing series entitled The Dog People. While she’s not exactly sold on that claim, Opifanti does subscribe to the belief that owners become really good at interpreting their pets’ subtle mannerisms. We think Opifanti is really on to something with this… great series that could truly go on and on. It should be noted that these are authentic pairings of pet and owner, not models. Strong concept aside, Opifanti is clearly a very skilled photographer. Really nice shots. We love this all around.
Exercises in typographic and mosaic compositions bring us back to our early studies as designers. Not because they are novice or effortless, but because they touch on the fundamentals of good design. Italian artist/designer known as Antonio Village9991 is quite adept at both, as exhibited by this sampling of his impressive body of work. For almost twenty years, Antonio has been creating these digital compositions that are much more difficult than they may look. It takes an acute sense of space and a savvy discernment of color to engineer these beautifully intricate pieces. Antonio’s work lends itself to multiple viewing distances… truly incredible details up close, with the larger image emerging the further away you move. Some may rely on complex algorithms to accomplish this, but what makes Antonio’s work so special is that it comes from his creative thought processes and keen attention to detail. One word: wow!
Traditional painterly techniques combined with a modern graphic sensibility makes for some very compelling work. American-born, Berlin-based artist James Bullough’s body of work is the perfect example of this striking juxtaposition. Bullough has a penchant for realism, but also employs a masterful geometric style that sort of fractures his compositions. And his sense of composition is at the heart of what makes his work so effective. Not only does Bullough produce more standard size paintings and drawings, but he also works in a much larger scale to create killer murals. Bullough cites a wide range of artistic influences, and adapts them beautifully. His notable technical skill paired with his appreciation for urban graffiti converge in a perfect storm. We are in awe.
We really enjoy art, design and photography that makes you look twice… where things are not quite what they seem. Atlanta-based BBDO creative director Stephen McMennamy achieves this beautifully with an ongoing project he calls #ComboPhotos. Rather than employing Photoshop to seamlessly merge photos to create these juxtapositions, McMennamy simply stacks two separate photos with conceptual and compositional similarities. The result is often humorous and unexpected. He plays with scale in a really terrific way, and we particularly love that it’s not perfectly seamless. Very well done. We’re sure his almost 50,000 Instagram followers would agree.
We at Barbour are not only in the business of making our clients look good, but also helping them present smarter and more efficiently. Originally created by Dutch designer Maurice ten Teye, this superb infographic is worth sharing for its clarity and spot-on advice. The best that we can do as designers is preach these rules… and avoid the dreaded starburst at all costs.