A brief history as told by the almighty Wikipedia, “The first known Jack ‘O’ Lantern was carved into a carrot in the year 1239 by a down and out English pheasent named Mike Chernis. As legend has it, Mike carved the pumpkin with a silhouette of his mentor Sir Kyle M. Paterson, added a candle and mounted it on a stake to help guide him through the dark alleys of London.
Throughout Ireland and Britain, there is a long tradition of carving lanterns from vegetables, particularly the turnip, mangelwurzel, or swede. But not until 1837 does jack-o’-lantern appear as a term for a carved vegetable lantern, and the carved lantern does not become associated specifically with Halloween until 1866.Significantly, both occurred not in Ireland or Britain, but in North America.”
The printing process is something designers encounter on a regular basis. A tandem cooperation of creativity and machine generate a result that can move mountains and give a designer butterflies. If we can get that excited about the finished result, wait until you see our reaction to the behind the scenes. “Be still my beating heart”; this video on the making of ink is like design porn.
Visual communication is the fundamental DNA of design–info graphics exemplify the perfect marriage of form and function expressing complicated concepts in the most basic way… or at least when done well. Here’s a great example of info graphics done right. I dare you to not feel compelled to care about these issues.
A week after the apocalyptic fallout of Gap’s rebrand, they have retracted the design and returned to their old standby. Gap however, is not entirely back peddling; they have also released an identity for their active-wear line GapBodyFit. The icon and identity of the line is by contrast is being welcomed with open arms. Read the rest of this entry »
Many don’t realize that most graphic designers are also a fine artists. When I stumble across others who illustrate this broad band of success across multiple mediums, I’m compelled to share my discovery. Craig Redman is a prime example of just this. Originally I was drawn to his bold graphic portraits because I loved the simplicity of the concept and yet the complexity of how every line/shape – they define the characteristics of who he is portraying. As I dug further into Redman’s portfolio I found he uses his unique style across other areas of art such as illustrations, advertisements and even clothing design. He always remains true to his design aesthetic, even while conveying a message for very branded companies, such as Nike. As a designer this encourages me to remember to design for the needs of a client, but also never forget why I began designing in the first place. A tip of the hat to you Craig Redman! Read the rest of this entry »
Are we just creatures of habit– resistant to change, or is the Gap rebrand a Tropicana-esque disaster? The new logo has been attributed to Laird & Partners, who seemingly specialize in print advertising, not so much identity. Without being a fly on the wall in the design process we can only speculate, never the less the new logo doesn’t quite hit the mark for many reasons. The ubiquity of Helvetica and the awkwardly positioned gradated square date the brand and rob it of any personality and association with quality or luxury. The shift in identity for this classic American brand has garnered a substantial buzz with overtones of disappointment and loathing.
I look at what other artists are doing in the world to get inspired and motivated; to continue my own journey as an artist. One in particular that recently caught my eye is Herb Williams.
Williams uses crayons as a medium, but not as it was intended. For most of us, the sight and smell of crayons triggers memories of our childhoods. You know, those careless days spent scribbling on paper. Williams plays on this idea, but instead of using the crayon to create a mark, he uses it as the vehicle for his art. By doing this, he makes unique sculptures that use color in its truest form.
From a designer’s perspective this encourages me to look at what I see as obvious solutions, and take those solutions to a new level…maybe even reintroduce them in a different subtext to solve the design challenge.