Archives for category: Design

Hyper-realistic drawing and painting is an incredible skill that really gives us pause. Especially in the age of high resolution cameras on just about everyone’s phone, and the proliferation of Photoshop-aided art. We sort of take realistic and surrealistic views for granted, but when we look at super-realistic art done by hand, like the work of Australian artist Joel Rea, we ponder the extraordinary artistic dexterity involved. Rea’s breathtaking work clearly draws much inspiration from nature, particularly the ocean. And for anyone who has tried, depicting water realistically is no small feat. Never mind clouds, sand and the human form. Rea’s masterful paintings are not only visually precise, but also do a fantastic job of conveying emotion, whether it be a sense of fear, hope or liberation. These contemporary surrealist works have some real substance, and we look forward to what the future holds for this phenomenal young artist.

Via joelrea.com.au

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Just this week, Uber unveiled a global rebranding that not only strayed a bit from its recognizable logotype, but also introduced a rather detached set of app icons. Can’t say that we suffered from extreme design envy over the previous Uber logotype, but it was fine. While their new logotype seems like a step in the right direction (thicker letterforms and tighter composition for maximum readability), the highbrow concept behind the app icons and larger identity seems rather misguided, and will surely be lost on most. Yes, Uber’s official statement references “bits and atoms” (“The unique aspect of Uber is that we exist in the physical world. When you push a button on your phone, a car moves across the city and appears where you are. We exist in the place where bits and atoms come together. That is Uber. We are not just technology but technology that moves cities and their citizens.”) In theory, the thought process behind the concept, which is customized identities for specific markets that aim to draw colors and patterns from “art, architecture, tradition, old and new fashion, textiles, the environment”, is a thoughtful one. But from a branding perspective, it seems to dilute the impact of the Uber brand as a whole. And that doesn’t even address that larger concern that the icon itself is not identifiable in any way as Uber. Though we had issues with the previous icon employing a dissimilar “U” letterform from the Uber logotype, at least it was just that, a letter U. This icon, or rather set of icons – one for riders, another for divers – make no effort to resemble the new Uber logotype in any way. Why abandon the “U”? Our view is not the basis of some pretentious design theory, but simple human nature. In our estimation, the biggest stumble here was not hiring branding experts for the task. We are not knocking in-house designers… they are often immensely talented with an invaluable familiarity and investment in a given brand. But this was surely not a 12+ months-long task meant to be spearheaded by a non-designer CEO. There are experts in the field who do this sort of thing, we are among them. We hear the cry among our peers: “Help us help you!” Sure, the presentation of Uber’s new identity is slick, but the principals behind the design concept as a whole indicate a lack of design leadership. An unfortunate case of just looking pretty, but not meeting a brand’s true potential.

Visuals via Uber

 

 

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After:

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New look. Same ride.

A video posted by Uber (@uber) on

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It wasn’t long ago we featured the work of Hungarian photographer/artist Flora Borsi. Once again, Borsi brings a certain edginess to the art of digital manipulation. While retouching can sometimes be seen as gratuitous, Borsi elevates photo-manipulation to an art form. Her work is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. In her latest series of self-portraits she calls Animeyed, Borsi poses with animals in such a way that they seem to share an eye. Her work has an interesting way of coming across as playful, but also slightly uncomfortable at the same time. Creative, clever and captivating. Once again, we love it.

Via floraborsi.com

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California-based artist and teacher Russell Powell gives new meaning to the term “hand painted.” Inspiring his young students and tens of thousands of Instagram followers, Powell has mastered the art of hand stamping, which is way more difficult than it sounds. We’re not talking elementary finger painting… Powell operates on a much higher artistic level. In short, he expertly paints (usually a portrait) on the palm of his hand, but does so rather quickly so it doesn’t dry. Then transfers it to paper or some other surface for preservation. It really is brilliant, and executed masterfully by Powell. Saying nothing of his stellar painting skills, conceptually it just works so well. The inevitable prints of his fingers and palm become an integral part of his work, making every single piece truly unique. One word: badass.

Via Instagram

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#handstamp #create #rihanna #lion #wings #pangaeanstudios #wherethesidewalkchalkends music by #eminem #rihanna @badgalriri

A video posted by Russell Powell (@pangaeanstudios) on

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🙏🏼 #handstamp #create #facepaint #mlk #pangaeanstudios #wherethesidewalkchalkends #u2

A video posted by Russell Powell (@pangaeanstudios) on

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This one got away from me.. #handstamp #create #adele #pangaeanstudios #wherethesidewalkchalkends @adele

A video posted by Russell Powell (@pangaeanstudios) on

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#handstamp #facepaint #create #michaeljackson #pangaeanstudios #wherethesidewalkchalkends

A video posted by Russell Powell (@pangaeanstudios) on

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#handstamp #facepaint #bodypaint #create #audreyhepburn #pangaeanstudios #wherethesidewalkchalkends

A video posted by Russell Powell (@pangaeanstudios) on

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Given all the snow in the news lately, we thought it fitting to peek at the work of street artist simply known as Faust. Paying homage to a favorite pastime for most who have grown up with even semi-snowy winters, he brings his impeccable calligraphy skills to snow-covered surfaces in a series he calls Snow Script. Faust fuels that childlike urge to run his fingers through the snow by stealthily adorning surfaces after a fresh snowfall with his stellar typography, then documenting it. Be sure to check out the rest of his killer work for an impressive roster of clients, including a mural just a stone’s throw away from our Rochester studio (photos below).

Not exactly the same, but vaguely reminiscent post here

Via Behance

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It’s no surprise that we’re big fans of photographer Emily Blincoe (previous posts here and here). Blincoe splits her time between Austin (ampersand) Nashville, creating some compelling photography, that’s both thoughtful and fun. A quick look at her typographic ampersand series, now several years old and aptly titled “This Ampersand That”, is long overdue. We eat up (pun intended) series of this nature. Photography (ampersand) typography… is there anything better?

Via Tumblr

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Make no mistake, the captivating portfolio of Thailand-born, Sydney, Australia-based photographer/designer Peechaya Burroughs is no child’s play. Though her work is certainly whimsical and intrinsically approachable, it boasts no less artistic merit than fine art of a different nature. Burroughs’s minimalist approach to mostly hand-manipulated works is striking in a vast ocean of tricked out Photoshop work (which has merit in its own right, but the work of Burroughs is sort of refreshing in some ways). In her own words, Burroughs explains: “My photographs mainly consist of things that I create or manipulate by hand. Occasionally I use Photoshop when enhancing the idea and presentation of an image fits well. Driven by childhood memories and very much fascinated by children’s imagination and their quirkiness, the direction of my photography is light, easy to approach with a little touch of everyday optimism.”

Via peechayaburroughs.com and Instagram

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The work of Montreal-based Mathieu Lévesque is, quite simply, a masterclass in food photography. We are in awe of Lévesque’s ability to apply his own creative vision to everything he (re)touches. His attention to detail is remarkable. And the wit and whimsy present in so much of his work elevates it to the next level. We are engaged on many levels by his work… inspired, envious and hungry!

Via Behance

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The late great David Bowie has been a cornerstone of pop culture for decades. So it’s no surprise that visual artists around the world have paid tribute to him and his chameleon-like persona over the years. Here’s a sampling of some of our favorites. R.I.P. David Bowie

 

Pablo Lobato (Buenos Aires)
Via Flickr
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Vincent Altamore (New Jersey, USA)
Via Blogspot

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Ed Chapman (London) see previous post here
Via edchapman-mosaics.co.uk

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Marta Zawadzka (Poland)
Via martagallery.com

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Steve Payne (UK) see previous post here
Via Tumblr

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Karen Clark (New Jersey, USA)
Via Facebook

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Conceptual food photography has got to be one of our favorite niche disciplines lately, only confirmed by this excellent collaboration between Sydney-based creatives Enrico Becker and Matt Harris. Created as visuals to accompany editorial on genetically modified foods, these photos could easily stand on their own. We love the choice of colors and thoughtful compositions. The pastel tones of the produce, along with the bar codes of course, push the work into surreal territory. And quite effectively, we might add. In his own words, Becker explains, “As shooting style, we were going for a more pastel monochromatic still-life style approach. The end result of the shoot was combined in an awesome two-spread magazine layout with a well written article about genetically modified food by Matt Harris. The idea was to create a combination between the photography and the written text.” Oh, and did we mention these guys are also students? Nice work, by any measure.

Via enricobecker.com

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