Archives for category: Packaging

Photo manipulation, at its very core, is surrealist. The results are often unnerving and illogical, but with photographic precision. London-based creative production studio Happy Finish offers high-end retouching as one of its many capabilities to a vast array of notable clients including Nike, Google, Samsonite, Gillette and Smirnoff, to name a few. Here are a handful of samples of Happy Finish’s work that could honestly stand on their own, outside of any marketing context, as thought-provoking works of art. Hats off to the talented artists at Happy Finish for elevating CGI to a whole new level.

More surrealist work here and here and here.

Via Behance

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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

In recent years, much has been made about America’s addiction to sugar (eye-opening 60 Minutes piece of journalism, here). It really is an epidemic whose impact has yet to be truly realized. But we are slowly waking up to the fact that our sugar-loaded diet is not only making us fat, but it’s also killing us with covert toxicity. New York-based production company Dress Code recently tackled the subject through a thoughtful animated short, aptly titled Coke Habit. Though Dress Code’s usual workload is of the commercial variety, original content plays an important role in any creative enterprise. This superbly crafted surrealist mini masterpiece, featuring arguably the most iconic brand on the planet, tells a true childhood story of staffer “Mike” and his Coke addiction… as in seemingly benign Coca-Cola. From their adept use of color to their masterful storytelling, Dress Code hits all the marks with this brilliant little film.

Via Vimeo and dresscodeny.com

In an effort to pay homage to some superb Italian design manifested widely through consumer goods, Italian-American designer Gianluca Gimini conceived this series of fictional co-branded sneakers. Looking at Gimini’s body of work, particularly this imaginative series, appropriately titled “Sneakered”, it’s clear that Gimini operates on a creative plane not easily defined. At a time when consumers (very broadly speaking) seem to be steeped in the marketing of nostalgia, Gimini capitalizes on that trend and also taps into a youth culture that holds footwear, specifically sneakers, in high regard. Think of it as an exercise in mashing up historical examples of excellent product design with a vehicle that has global youth appeal (sneakers). Brilliant.

Via Behance

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We are thrilled to announce that the Barbour collection of awards has seen significant growth with the addition of several prestigious recognitions.

See live announcement with links here

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Serial projects, that is, ones that are repeated at daily intervals for a set period of time, are really an exemplification of self discipline and ferocious creativity. One such example is a project called 100 Hoopties by Detroit-bred, Los Angeles-based designer and cyclist Jenny Beatty. While completing a masters program at SVA in NYC, Beatty spent one hundred consecutive days immersed in her two loves: design and cycling. Beatty exercised her stellar design skills and unending creativity while reimagining iconic pieces of artwork using only scrapped bicycle parts. In her own words, “The idea came about very serendipitously. I was living above a bike shop that was going out of business, and would walk past coming home every night to a sidewalk filled with left over “junk”. One day I came across a pretty much new set of mustache handlebars with butchers basket and snapped the gem up for future use. The bars/basket sat on my landing for the next 5 months – taunting me to do something with them. When the time came to submit our ideas for 100 days – I tried to think of something that would summarize my life of cyclist and graphic designer. As I was writing out my thoughts, I kept trying to find ways to use this basket and handlebars but it wasn’t until I started thinking about taking it apart that the magic happened.” Magical, indeed. Here are a few of our favorites.

More serial projects here and here and here.

Via 100hoopties.com

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Bucking tradition, and just about every rule in a marketer’s playbook, global powerhouse brand Coca-Cola has taken a bold stance on topic du jour: equality and prejudice. In observation of the month of Ramadan in the Middle East, Coca-Cola has, for the first time in its storied 129 year history, stripped its cans of its iconic script logo in an effort to demonstrate a world without labels. Aptly titled “No Labels”, the campaign is sort of a social experiment to get into the minds of people regarding labels, preconceptions and stereotypes in general. Bearing nothing but its highly recognizable “dynamic ribbon” and the message “Labels are for cans not for people”, the limited-edition cans make a bold and beautiful statement. As designers, we are drawn to the visual simplicity juxtaposed with the powerful message. It’s actually rather telling of the current corporate branding landscape at large: businesses are opting to streamline their identities by making their logos simpler and flatter. Be sure to check out Coca-Cola’s masterful commercial to accompany the socially conscious campaign.

Via coca-colacompany.com

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Balancing work and family is an issue close to our hearts. The culture at Barbour fosters this balance brilliantly, so we listened intently when Amanda Altman of Rochester-based A3 Design took the stage at Create Upstate (see related posts here, here and here) last week. Her speech, entitled Mind My Own Business, explored the ins and outs of Altman’s experiences of not only running, but also refocusing and repositioning, a design studio with her husband, Alan. And all while juggling the demands of marriage and family. We were taken with Altman’s sincerity and candor on a subject that’s not often brought to the forefront. If her articulation was any indication, Altman could honestly have a second career as a life coach for creatives. If we had to choose a highlight, this frank pearl of wisdom pretty much sums it up: “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life… bullshit!”

Altman made a smart choice to show “pretty pictures” of A3’s outstanding body of work while speaking (scroll down for a sampling). Needless to say, the Altmans seem to be balancing masterfully. Really well done.

Via a3-design.com

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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.

Via tanamachistudio.com

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