Archives for category: Design

Transforming everyday objects into art holds a special place for us. It harkens back to childhood thoughts, when our minds wandered while staring out the car window at cloud formations that looked like other things. Or when we’d doodle with no purpose other than to document our own whimsical musings. These days, artists apply conceptual thinking to this cherished pastime, and the results are often special and surprising (here and here and here). Included among those artists is German-born, Australian-based Domenic Bahmann (aka Domfriday). What started as a personal exercise in creative thinking has since populated his Instagram page, which piques the interest of almost 60K followers. And, in turn, has even led to retail opportunities due to popular demand (here and here). In his own words, Bahmann explains: “In 2013 I started my own creative challenge called ‘Stop, Think, Make’. I had to come up with a new image or illustration at least once a week. Since then I try to see the world in the way I used to when I was a child. Staying playful and curious isn’t always easy in our busy modern world.”

Via Instagram

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Sure, we’ve seen paper cut art before (here and here and here), and we’re very fond of it, by the way. But we’ve never seen anything quite like this. London-based artist/photographer Rich McCor (otherwise known as @paperboyo) brilliantly pairs his paper cut skills with his keen eye for photography. And the results are clever, playful and unexpected. McCor’s carefully crafted silhouettes are brought to life against sometimes familiar and iconic backdrops. While his work may seem simple in concept, there’s no doubt in our minds that these smart compositions require much more skill than one may think. Needless to say, we are thoroughly impressed and inspired. And his growing base of 175,000 Instagram followers would surely agree.

Via Instagram

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No matter what you think of CNN’s new corporate font, aptly named CNN Sans, CNN’s investment in not only the font itself, but this humorous, highly-produced video touting its attributes seems like a win for those of us who hold the value of typography in the highest regard. As far as we’re concerned, increased awareness of the importance of typography can only be a good thing. Albeit, there are some haters who consider CNN Sans to be a blatant ripoff of Helvetica (CNN even acknowledges the, um, resemblance between the two). In case you’re wondering about possible copyright infringement, no worries… CNN Sans was developed by type foundry powerhouse Monotype Imaging, who has brought us ubiquitous typefaces such as Times New Roman, Gill Sans and Arial. Oh, and they own the rights to Helvetica.

Via cnncommentary.com

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Japanese artist and student Hikaru Cho seems to employ her stellar artistic skills with a single purpose: illusion. Whether it be illustration, body painting, or sculpture, Cho aims to woo viewers with deception… in a (usually) playful, lighthearted manner, of course. Her work can be a bit unnerving at times… adding extra eyes, misplacing ears, etc. On the other hand, she also likes to play with food, disguising one food as another, for example. No matter that subject matter, Cho’s work certainly intrigues. Her personality shines through, which is impressive considering her tremendous skill set. It’s hard to believe she’s still a student! Cho certainly has a bright future ahead… we’re going to keep an eye on her.

Via hikarucho.com

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Upon quick initial inspection, it’s hard to tell what medium New York artist/photographer Sam Kaplan is working with. If you guessed sticks of chewing gum, you’d be right. Yes, these colorful, intricate, quite beautiful structures in the series he aptly calls Unwrapped are made of gum. We are big fans of art made from everyday objects (here and here and here), and Kaplan’s work fits nicely into that niche, but with a certain level of sophistication that really transforms the objects. We credit this to Kaplan’s superb implementation, not only by way of his thoughtful architectural prowess, but his masterful compositions and impeccable photography skills, which elevate each piece well beyond ordinary. This series would not be what it is in the hands of a less capable artist… we applaud Kaplan for his creative thinking and brilliant execution.

Via samkaplan.com and Instagram

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Organizing the Emerald City… #gumunwrapped

A video posted by Sam Kaplan (@samkaplanphoto) on

Philippine-born, Florida-based photographer Dennis Ramos has a penchant for atmospheric black and white photography. We are particularly fond of his architectural work, which casts a haunting glow over his subjects. Seen through Ramos’s lens, the world seems to stand still, and his skilled eye has a way of really accentuating the beauty of architectural lines by way of light, shadow and reflection. Really beautiful work.

Via dennis-ramos.com and Behance

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Pop art is alive and well. Having materialized in the 1950s as an alternative to the traditions of fine art, the movement draws from popular culture and often relies on irony. As we’ve noted before, our highly connected, celebrity-obsessed culture is a breeding ground for such art, so it’s no surprise that it seems to be a particularly thriving art scene these days. And many artist have emerged as household names through the years, such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. Though not quite that prominent (yet), Brazilian artist and designer known as Butcher Billy has a tremendous body of work that pushes pop art forward, while also paying tribute to the past. Butcher Billy is “known for his illustrations based on the contemporary pop art movement. His work has a strong vintage comic book and street art influence while also making use of pop cultural references in music, cinema, art, literature, games, history and politics.” This is just a small sample of his extensive, diverse portfolio. If you didn’t know Butcher Billy’s work, now you do. Killin’ it, indeed.

Via Behance and curioos.com

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It’s been a while since we featured the work of Los Angeles-based design and illustration studio DKNG (previous posts here and here). Since we had just looked at some stellar minimalist bird illustrations, we thought DKNG’s dog breed illustrations a fitting followup. Design duo Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman were commissioned by Golden Doodle “lifestyle brand for dog lovers” to illustrate ten of their favorite dog breeds, which were eventually used for some rad swag aimed at dog lovers. The results are terrific! We love DKNG’s bold, clean style.

Via dkngstudios.com

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Minimalism is often just the right treatment for getting to the essence of a visual identity (previous examples here and here and here). And that is precisely the case with Minneapolis-based designer/art director Tony Buckland’s project, Birds of Minnesota. You don’t have to be into ornithology or bird watching to appreciate this work, there’s an aesthetic appeal that stands on its own. Buckland’s objective is to “edit the defining characteristics of each bird down to the absolute minimum without losing the essence of the bird.” And he achieves that brilliantly. An ever-growing collection of prints available here.

Via birdsofminnesota.com

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