Archives for category: Design

It’s not often that we, the general public, are exposed to the ancestry of superheroes and other fictional characters. Stories of family roots have sometimes been depicted on the pages of comic books and graphic novels, and briefly on film. But Italian photography duo Carlo Marvellini and Andrea Marvellini, otherwise known as Foto Marvellini, have documented their heritage through some very impressive “historical” portraits. We are really taken with the authenticity of their work… well done. In their own words: “The historical company “Foto Marvellini – Milano” was founded when photography was born. As their old motto used to say, the Marvellini brothers performed “Portraits for everyone. Even for those who don’t want to be portrayed”. Through the generations Marvellini’s historical grew higher, becoming a great gallery of phantomatic characters. Hidden until today, this precious collection is now spread all over the world, as Andrea and Carlo Marvellini, the last heirs, desired.”

Another “historical” post here.

Via fotomarvellini.com and Facebook

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Let’s face it, emojis have infiltrated the general consciousness. When your mom is using them, you know they’ve hit the mainstream. These small digital images used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication are now becoming the subject of art itself, which is another touchstone of cultural proliferation. Wildly talented Toronto-based letterer/designer/artist Christopher Rouleau has created a typographic set of letterforms using these tiny icons in fantastic ways. They are not simply cobbled together haphazardly, but thoughtfully constructed to reveal a variety of nuances in unexpected ways. For one, the emojis used start with the letter they are creating. We love Rouleau’s out-of-the-box thinking. He rolled out the set, one-by-one via his Instagram recently. Rouleau is no one hit wonder… be sure to check out his body of terrific work here.

Via Instagram

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Type geeks rejoice! We love inventive type, like this stellar work by Madrid-based art director/designer Andrés Momó. Fittingly for “DASHAPE” sneaker event in Spain, Momó literally threaded sneaker laces in the shape of letters to form the title of the event. The care he took with the letterforms shows. And somehow, this just wouldn’t be the same if it was digitally rendered… Momó taking the time to create this the old school way gets major props in our book.

Via Behance

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Tilt–shift photography/videography is a technique often used to simulate a miniature scene. The selective focus style manipulates real-life scenes to look like small-scale models. Amsterdam-based photographer/designer/videographer Martijn Doolaard recently unveiled a mini-masterpiece utilizing this very technique. Entitled The Little Nordics, this short time-lapse video is a sort of love letter to the stunning landscapes of Norway and Iceland. In his own words, Doolaard gives a little back story: “Most parts are recorded in summer 2013. Prior to my trip to Norway I did not really have a plan for a movie. I visited Norway twice before and this time I wanted to go to some places I didn’t see before like Geiranger, Atlanterhavsveien and Trollstigen. Along the way I shot some timelapse videos of the fjords. Once I arrived in Geiranger I really enjoyed watching the hustle and bustle down the fjord. Ferries sailing back and forth through the fjords, kayak cruises arriving and departing and cars crawling up and down the steep roads. I liked the idea of portraying Norway as a cute little world while it’s known for it’s large scale nature and remote landscapes.” Doolaard is truly gifted, nailing every detail, from ambient sound effects, to the music and tempo. We could watch this over and over. Well done.

Via Vimeo and Facebook

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We find the manipulation of wood just fascinating. In the right hands, the possibilities are endless. In its natural state as trees, wood can obviously be quite beautiful. But the notion that an artist can create objects that harken back to their natural state, even after having served a function, is really quite something. The extraordinary work of Paris-based French-Argentinean artist and designer Pablo Reinoso speaks to this very idea: “For the series entitled Spaghetti Bench, Pablo Reinoso used public benches, which are anonymously designed and travel across cultures with an out-of-time, old-fashioned quality, as a starting point for his reflections. Started in 2006, these new creations have multiplied and found homes in very diverse places. In line with his work on Thonet’s chairs, the artist explores once again the seat as object. Yet this time it is no longer the object but matter that frees itself from its function and pursues its fate of wood, tree, plant. Reinoso stages benches that, after having accomplished their task as furniture, revert into growing, climbing branches. This freedom is expressed in a movement that embraces architecture, wandering through places, exploring their nooks and crannies, and giving free rein to its whims.” The fluidity of his work, juxtaposed with the perceived functionality of the traditional park bench, makes for some thought-provoking art. Each seems to tell a story. We are particularly taken with the Romeo and Juliette bench that climbs a balcony overhead. Incredible.

Via pabloreinoso.com

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At first glance, it’s not immediately apparent what these round masses are. But upon closer examination, it’s clear that these are actually very familiar sights (albeit from a disorienting angle). Chinese photographer Lo Cheuk Lun and his Shanghai-based photography studio, Stuff, shot these shampoo-lathered heads for monthly international fashion magazine Numéro. While the concept is rather interesting, this could have been sort of dull and uninspiring. In the skillful hands of Cheuk Lun, however, the series really comes to life. It’s executed perfectly, and we’d love to see even more hair types. It’s a wonder this wasn’t conceived sooner. Well done.

Via wwwstuffcom.com

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Accomplished Singapore-based art director/designer Thomas Yang has two passions in life: design and cycling. Yang merges the two (quite expertly, we might add) by way of this ongoing collection of limited edition cycling-related prints, aptly titled 100copies (sold here). You don’t have to be an avid cyclist to appreciate this brilliant work from Yang. His process involves a strategic use of bicycle tires as stamps, essentially creating bold renderings of architectural landmarks from around the world. So far, Yang has produced four different architectural designs — “The Cyclist’s Empire” (Empire State Building), “God Save the Bike” (Tower Bridge), “Bicycle Mon Amour” (Eiffel Tower) and “The Unforbidden Cyclist” (the Forbidden City) — among other items, like posters, tees, stickers and tote bags. We’re looking forward to seeing what Yang comes up with next.

Via 100copies.net

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Snakes get a bad rap. And they have throughout history. Perhaps it’s their cold-blooded, slithering and hissing disposition, but snakes have long been feared and associated with evil. London-based photographer Andrew McGibbon attempts to change that perception with his compelling series, cleverly named Slitherstition. By photographing his serpentine subjects from overhead and on brightly colored backgrounds, McGibbon is able to capture them in a vulnerable state, and emphasize their inherent beauty and grace. McGibbon has a terrific sense of color, paring the reptiles with interesting, vivid background colors to compliment their almost graphic exteriors. McGibbon is also quite the articulate wordsmith, explaining this project in more depth: “While a great many species of animals are subject to projections of man’s metaphorical thinking, I don’t see another – not even venomous counterparts, like spiders or scorpions; or sharks which hide in murky depths, waiting (as the horror movies have us think) to rip us apart, which is thought of as so deadly and demonic. The snake is insidious, while the serpent is all-mighty and terrifying. From ancient symbols to pop culture and schlock horror, from Medusa to Freud, the snake is a single unifier, a common enemy unanimously held in hideous regard – it is, everyone agrees, evil. These images, then, are a result of my attempts to break down our suppositions of the animal. As with all victims of an ‘othering’ process, the serpent deserves a second look, beyond its slithering and dark hypnosis.”

Another snake-related post here.

Via andrewmcgibbon.co

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Long-term, intricate, handmade projects are not what we’re accustomed to at Barbour. But when we see such undertakings, we have a certain appreciation for them all the more. A superb example is this absolutely remarkable piece by Beauty & the Beast, a still production house, specialized in Ad Photography, Craft, CGI and Post-Production in the Eastern European country of Moldova. The project, entitled I Will Maintain, was inspired by Russian illustrator Ivan Belikov’s personal work interpreting various coats of arms (an intriguing series worthy of a post all its own). The folks at Beauty & the Beast spent a laborious six months planning, designing and producing this fine interpretation of the Netherlands coat of arms. And they did a fantastic job documenting the process. It should be noted that the hundreds of individual pieces were not crafted with a laser cutter or any type of machinery, but by hand. The multi-level assembly is just astounding, adding depth to an already complex work of art. We are truly in awe.

More papercraft posts here and here and here.

Via beautyandthebeast.eu

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The decorative art of mosaics dates back thousands of years, yet this art form never ceases to amaze us (here and here and here). Artists continue to find new ways to push boundaries, creating intricate photorealistic works with a variety of materials. One such master is British mosaic artist Ed Chapman. Influenced by artists like Chuck Close, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jamie Reid, Chapman works with a variety of materials to create some incredible pieces, often inspired by music, movies, and pop culture in general. One particularly notable piece is Chapman’s Jimi Hendrix portrait comprised of thousands of Fender guitar picks. It was auctioned off several years ago for £23,000 (over $37,000) at Abbey Road Studios in London as part of Cancer Research’s Sound & Vision fundraiser. Chapman also creates works commissioned by private art collectors and corporations from around the world.

Via edchapman-mosaics.co.uk

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