Archives for category: handlettering

Posters are some of our favorite, yet challenging, projects. Poster design is a marriage between visual aesthetic and the delivery of information, between textual and graphical elements… the very fundamentals of graphic design. It should come as no surprise, then, that an institution as important and influential as the New York Film Festival places great emphasis on this visual embodiment of its annual event. Festival organizers manage to recruit some truly respected artists and photographers year after year for its remarkable posters. Below is just a sampling, starting with this year’s by renowned sculptor Richard Serra.

Via nytimes.com

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Melbourne, Australia-based contemporary artist Ben Frost has a pop art aesthetic with a subversive, confrontational spirit. In some of his most recent work, Frost essentially uses mainly (junk) food and pharmaceutical packaging as a canvas for his bold illustrations inspired by pop culture, Roy Lichtenstein, and manga. His mashups are not random, though… Frost exhibits his mastery of juxtaposition with these works in a way that can be truly provocative. Through his work, Frost continually pushes boundaries and challenges social norms while addressing our advertising-soaked, consumer-obsessed culture. In his own statement, Frost describes: “By subverting mainstream iconography from the worlds of advertising, entertainment, and politics, he creates a visual framework that is bold, confronting and often controversial.”

Via benfrostisdead.com

Our penchant for serial works never diminishes. There’s just something about the natural order of things that is so satisfying. Glasgow-based illustrator/designer Jack Daly taps into that systemization while exploring his love of illustration, typography, and travel with his aptly titled Wanderlust Alphabet. And we have to say, the results, so far, are pretty great. It goes without saying that Daly is a terrific artist, and his adept use of color and sense of composition really make each of these pieces sing. Having just tackled the very beginning of the alphabet so far, Daly differentiates each letter/city with signature landmarks, architecture, local customs, etc. We are really taken with Daly’s style and cannot wait to see this alphabet grow. The possibilities are endless! In the meantime, prints available here.

Via Behance and Instagram

We have long commented on the convergence of history and art. They are intrinsically intertwined, reliant on one another in many ways. So when an artist turns the documentation and storytelling aspect of said junction on its head, we surely take notice. For his series The American Revolution Revolution, Denver-based artist Shawn Huckins masterfully juxtaposes early American portraiture with social media jargon. Thoughtfully conceptualized and brilliantly executed, Huckins’s incredible work succeeds on so many levels. And it’s also important to note that these are physical paintings, should Huckins’s artistic ability ever come into question. Huckins is a superb American artist who is clearly inspired by American Neo-Classical painters, as well as more contemporary Pop artists. In his own words, Huckins explains the series: “The American Revolution was conceived through an exchange of a few well-formed ideas communicated in person and by handwritten letters. Imagine what George & Co. could have done with the Internet. Or not. Technology influences how much we know and what we believe, as well as how quickly and intelligently we convey our ideas. But does how we communicate govern the value of what we communicate? The physical act of typing very fast on small devices has undeniably impacted spelling, grammar, and punctuation, encouraging a degree of illiteracy that has become the new social norm. As goes our grammatical literacy, do our social and cultural literacies follow?”

Via shawnhuckins.com

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When done well, reimagining movie posters (here and here and here) never gets old. Movie poster design presents a unique challenge to designers… it’s usually one of the first representations of a movie people see, so there’s a tall order to embody an often complex story with a single image. French designer and illustrator Flore Maquin is clearly up to that challenge. Maquin has a knack for designing movie posters extraordinarily well. We love her bold style, which is evident throughout her pieces. And she has a clear appreciation for typography. But it’s her genuine esteem for cinema that really shines through here. These creations feel like a labor of love, and that’s what makes them truly special. Well done.

Via flore-maquin.com

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There’s “plenty” to love about the work of Argentinian designer/art director (and co-founder of Buenos Aires-based motion studio Plenty, and now at the helm of Playful studio) Pablo Alfieri. His vibrant and playful portfolio is crammed full of lighthearted designs that are heavy on conceptually and compositionally sound foundations. Though we don’t know him personally, we can safely deduce that Alfieri’s irreverent sense of humor shines through his fantastic designs. Be sure to peruse his robust portfolio, but we will simply leave you with a New Year greeting (yes, made from bendy straws). Hope you love Alfieri’s work as much as we do. Oh, and happy 2017 too!

Via Behance

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We have a thing for series, as you might have noticed from many of our posts. And serial projects, in which artists produce artwork for a specified stretch of time, whether it be daily or weekly or monthly, are some of our favorites (here and here and here). We recently stumbled upon 36 Days of Type, a yearly open call inviting designers, illustrators and visual artists to share their view on the letters and numbers from our alphabet. Originally conceived by Barcelona-based designers Nina Sans and Rafa Goicoechea, this creative initiative has literally generated tens of thousands of entries, and is now in its third year. The work of Belgian designer Mario De Meyer caught our eye, and led us to a virtual treasure trove of typographic wonders. For the 2016 edition, De Meyer dove head first into his varying letterforms, producing a variety of beautiful designs, each worthy of standing on its own. De Meyer’s imagination seems boundless, integrating depth and a terrific sense of color into his compositions. We’re looking forward to seeing what De Meyer whips up for 2017!

Via Behance and 36daysoftype.com

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On this Election Day, we bring you some of our favorite works inspired by this historic election season. In order: Boston-based artist and collage master Molly Scannell; Brooklyn-based artist and educator David Hollier; Nashville-based artist and sculptor Herb Williams (previous posts here and here); Brazilian artist Butcher Billy (previous post here); Nashville-based (Rochester-born) painter Kristin Llamas. Politics as the subject of art has never been more prevalent. Whether it be the polarizing nature of this particular presidential election, or the reach of social media (probably both, actually), talented artists from all over the country and world have been churning our artwork inspired by this moment in history. Let’s just hope everyone is as energized to vote. Go vote!

Via Instagram, Instagram, Flickr, Behance and kllamas.com

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You must admit, the “pumpkin spice” phenomenon that has taken over in recent years may be getting bit out of hand. We find premature pumpkin spicing particularly offensive (as does this guy)… we do not need pumpkin spiced anything in August! In any case, with the autumnal flavors creeping in, so do all the colors, textures and visuals of the season. We love food-related typography (here and here and here), so when UK designer Daniel Coleman pulled back the curtain on his process for this fittingly delicious take on pumpkin spiced typography, we were immediately intrigued. In his own words, Coleman discusses the project: “Esquires’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is the coffee chain’s hero product for Autumn 2016. We were asked to produce a key visual that captured the Esquires brand points of being artisan and handmade, whilst conveying the products ingredients as authentic (and not just a syrup shot). We designed a visual that captured those standpoints, with a particular focus on the authentic ingredients. By creating the type out of cinnamon, we could emphasise the flavour in the latte. To further set the mood, we added leaves and key ingredients around the typography. We experimented with various ingredients, looking at what gave the greatest clarity, colour and perception of flavour. Given the nature of the product we decided to work with cinnamon. The type was created by adjusting a font named ‘Beyond the Mountains’, making sure it had no complete bowls, eyes or loops. The next step was to laser cut it out onto card to create our stencil. The final result took a few experiments, using varying amounts of cinnamon to ensure the best detail and legibility.”

Via Behance

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Chalking has been growing in popularity for years, in part due to the increased visibility of incredible artists like Dana Tanamachi (here) and others (here and here). There seems to be a mini movement in Japan right now involving blackboards and chalk (more here). As the saying goes, “everything old is new again”, blackboards, which are now being replaced with whiteboards, possess a sort of novelty these days. Hirotaka Hamasaki, aka Hamacream, is a Japanese art teacher with incredible skills and thousands of Instagram followers. His ability to recreate intricate familiar works of art (on a chalkboard, no less) is just stunning. Though the impermanence of this medium is a bit unnerving to us (we’d want to preserve these works for a long time), they are no less brilliantly executed for having been created with chalk. Truly inspiring.

Via Instagram and Twitter

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