We are compelled to check in on the work of renowned Russian illustrator/graphic designer Eiko Ojala every so often (here and here) because he’s just so good. Ojala’s style is distinct… we now recognize it from a mile away. These are truly mixed media endeavors, mixing digital illustration, paper textures, and both real and artificial shadows. His adept sense of color, composition and depth are hallmarks of his incredible body of work, which includes illustrations for a variety of impressive clients including The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Herman Miller, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American Mind, Ebony Magazine and The New Yorker. Here’s a sampling of some of his more recent work, including a children’s book he recently illustrated (available for purchase here). Enjoy.
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.
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.
Romania-born, New York City-based illustrator/designer/art director Daniel Nyari employs a distinct style of bulbous shapes and bold colors in a geometric and cubist sort of way. And we love it, as do his impressive roster of clients, which includes ESPN, Wired, GQ, Adidas, National Geographic, Microsoft, Men’s Health, among others. Nyari says he wants “to make art that looks like it was made by a computer which thinks it’s human.” His process is methodical and based on a grid, and this thoughtfulness shows. Nyari’s body of work is comprised of a great deal of football (soccer) projects, which is clearly a passion, and derives naturally from his European roots. But make no mistake, this is not a hobby for Nyari. He’s a terrific illustrator who has found his way and is making his mark in a crowded landscape of creatives.
It’s been a week now, and we’re still stimulated by our experience at Create Upstate (related posts here, here, here and here). One unexpectedly enlightening address, Anatomy of a Maker, was given by Dora Drimalas, Principal of San Francisco-based Hybrid Design. Drimalas, along with her husband Brian Flynn, is at the helm of this full-service creative agency. Not many firms can tout a client list as impressive as Hybrid’s: Nike, Disney, Apple, Microsoft, Sony and Yahoo, to name a few. One might assume with such corporate powerhouse clientele, the leadership at Hybrid would be solely focused on churning out work at a breakneck pace to meet countless and differing demands. While client needs are certain a priority at Hybrid, Drimalas and Flynn seem to have a distinct passion for the timeless craft of design. This creative spirit doesn’t necessarily oppose a frame of mind needed to manage corporate demands, but certainly bucks a stereotype. When global paper manufacturer Mohawk approached Hybrid a couple years ago to reevaluate their perspective on paper in an increasingly digital world, Drimalas and company drew from their personal enthusiasm, philosophy and high regard for the heritage of craftsmanship. With that partnership, Mohawk Maker Quarterly was born. It’s much more than an indulgent paper promotion, it’s a publication with real substance. Drimalas spoke to the content within the latest issue (No. 6) with great fervor, explaining that the relatively recent dominance and ephemeral nature of digital communication positions print communication, like many other time-honored aspects of art and culture, at an elevated level. With a swing of the cultural pendulum, printers and designers are once again craftspeople, reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts movement over a century ago. It’s what Drimalas referred to as Arts and Crafts 2.0. The morsals of food for thought that Drimalas posed are too numerous to mention here. We were inspired not only by the content of Drimalas’s discourse, but also by the flawless design and printing of the Maker publication. Contact your paper rep if you do not have one of these in your hands.
Via hybrid-design.com and mohawkconnects.com
Continuing the theme of our fantastic experience at Create Upstate last week in Syracuse (previous post here), we’d like to introduce you to Curtis Canham of CSA Creative Studio. Canham is an art director/designer/educator based in the Albany area with an impressive and diverse portfolio, from sophisticated packaging to illustration-driven infographics to consumer-facing web design. Along with running a full service design studio, Canham also finds the time to educate the next generation of designers as a design professor at The Center for Art and Design at The College of Saint Rose in Albany. With all of this important work, Canham, believe it or not, is also working on publishing a fundamental typography book. Busy guy, indeed. Last week, Canham ran a table in the marketplace at Create Upstate extolling the virtues of a-holes that quickly caught our attention. A-holes? What the what!? Canham drew us in with his impassioned discourse about his forthcoming book, A-holes: A Type Book. He enlightened us on such things as the anatomy of a-holes, historic a-holes, famous a-holes. and families of a-holes. All of this perceived potty talk may elicit gasps from those who don’t know any better. But being the typography nerds that we are, we, of course, understand and appreciate the double entendre. Aside from the obvious, an a-hole is also the negative space, or counter, within the “A” characters. Canham’s book taps right into a brand of humor we Barbour folk love. With only 5 days left, Canham is in the home stretch of a Kickstarter campaign to fund a first printing of his 130-page book. Don’t be an a-hole… pledge a few bucks, please.
Via csacreativestudio.com and Kickstarter
Gabe was particularly taken with all of this, and his name was fittingly drawn for an A-hole t-shirt at Create Upstate! In his own words, “you are what you wear.” Bahahahahaha!
A couple members of the Barbour team had the honor of witnessing a speaking engagement by the incomparable Dana Tanamachi at Create Upstate in Syracuse last week. The event itself was terrific, from the impressive venue (great food, btw), awesome vendors, and stellar lineup of speakers. One highlight was undoubtedly the inspirational work and philosophy of Tanamachi. Honestly, we’re not saying anything new here, just bowing down, as most who are exposed to her transcendent work tend to do. Texas-bred, Brooklyn-based Tanamachi, whose lettering work is quite ubiquitous (you’ve probably seen it, or a rip-off of it, and may not have realized it was hers), seems quite gracious, humble, passionate and sincere when discussing her craft. She’s not some Brooklyn hipster who is too cool for school. Her tremendous talents seemed to have emerged over time, and her rise in the design world happened organically, which we truly admire. Tanamachi is a rock star among our peers, and we are just happy to have spent an engaging hour in her presence. Here’s a small sampling of her formidable body of work… prepare to drool.