Archives for category: handlettering

As we’ve mentioned before, we occasionally have a lapse of design envy. It doesn’t happen too often… after all, we are a pretty terrifically creative bunch here at Barbour. But sometimes we encounter work that is just so damn brilliant. So good, in a “why didn’t we think of that?” sort of way, that we have to concede our envy publicly (in a good way, of course). In this instance, it’s the illustrious work of New York-based designer and letterer Nick Misani. Though we are absolutely taken with Misani’s entire stunning body of work, we are particularly impressed with his ongoing Fauxsiacs series. Here, Misani hones his stellar lettering skills in the context of realistic mosaic illustrations to great effect. Misani’s work is clearly historically influenced, with a modern twist, and it’s no surprise that he has worked with design icon Louise Fili, perhaps the highest compliment. We will be keeping an eye on this series, which features destinations from around the world. The possibilities are endless, and hopefully coming to a city near you! Prints available here.

Via fauxsaics.com and Instagram

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Just as the title of this intriguing series (and cleverly named… “Alt Disney”) implies, UK artist/illustrator/designer Tom Ward brings some beloved Disney characters into an alternative view. Ward’s depictions are a bit askew, transporting familiar faces that have been with us for some 70 years into the present. We find it particularly interesting how the introduction of the ubiquitous smartphone changes everything in a few of these pieces. And even serves as social commentary, especially in the instance of Ward’s The Sword and the Stone piece where young Arthur has his nose in a phone, basically too engaged to be bothered with the sword. Really makes us think about our collective love affair with our phones, and about possible missed opportunities because of it. The point is, on the surface these pieces are fun, but there really is so much more. Hats off to Ward for striking that balance brilliantly.

More alternative Disney art here and here and here.

Via Instagram

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

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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