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Art + Design

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Happy Friday! This is just a quick note to let you know that there are FOUR new designs in my shop, as well as a FREE worldwide shipping (on almost everything) promo at Society6 that’s running through Sunday, June 28. Oh, and wall clocks are 20% off!

All prints are available in five sizes ranging from tiny to huge, and are printed on 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin-free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. They look awesome.

Rise & Shine
Still Ill
Oh What Now
Je t’aime…moi non plus

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Spotted this morning on It’s Nice That: Finnish creative agency Bond has created a typeface based for the Moomin brand based on Tove Jansson’s hand-drawn comic strip lettering. Given the success of the books that have been collected and reissued by Drawn & Quarterly over the past few years, I’m not surprised that this alphabet has been commissioned. It’s lovely, of course, and really captures the spirit of Jansson’s letterforms without pretending to be hand-drawn.

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The reissues are all beautifully done, by the way. Story-wise I’m more a fan of the Moomin novels than I am the comic strips, but visually, the comics are pretty phenomenal.

Top: Moomin Valley Turns Jungle
Middle: Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, Book One, Book Two, Book Three
Bottom: Moomin’s Winter Follies

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As an aside, I’m fascinated by the similarity between the Moomin Font (and Tover Jansson’s original lettering) and the one designed by Arne Jacobsen for Aarhus City Hall in 1937—currently available printed on lots of gorgeous housewares from Design Letters. I never noticed that before. Those Nords and their pointy-tipped Grotesque typography! Cool.

Typeface graphics via Bond

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It’s been pretty gray and dreary in New York this week (Why is it 55° in June??), and I was yawning around my office drinking my second cup of coffee this morning when an email from Areaware popped up in my inbox and made me smile. Behold, the world’s most perfect paper clips!

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Photo via Daphna Laurens

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The paper clips (cleverly named “Paper Clips”) are the work of Dutch designer Daphna Laurens. They began life in concept only as part of an exercise to create 60 “imagination tools” using only the color black. Now that they’re in real-life production, they come in sets of reds, greens, and, of course, black.

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Areaware has a really cool section on their website called Origin Stories, where they delve into the design process of their products through prototype illustrations and photos from their designers. I love seeing this kind of stuff! There’s a section on the beginnings of these paper clips, and I must say…I’d like a large print of one of those drawings almost as much as I’d like to stock my office with the clips themselves. Perhaps more so. Aren’t the shapes so lovely?

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Photo via Daphna Laurens

Going a little deeper, I found a photo of the cast metal objects that were created by Daphna Laurens’ studio prior to their life as paper clips. A great example of how “working with form can result in functional objects with, nonetheless, a fluent visual appearance.” Yes!

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I don’t often mention on my blog what’s happening in my shop, K IS FOR BLACK, but I’ve been adding some new stuff these last few months and there’s a free shipping thing going on today this week, so…why not?

My two most recent prints are Are We There Yet and Volkswagen, New Mexico (I took that photo in Truth Or Consequences, not in a town called Volkswagen, hah). I must have summer on the brain in a big way, because they both feel very put-on-your-sunglasses-and-go, don’t they?

UPDATE:
Free worldwide shipping extended through Sunday, June 7!
✚ No code required, but you must use this link to activate the promo

Free shipping excludes framed prints, stretched canvases, rugs and clocks

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Most of the designs in my shop are available printed on other products, of course, including t-shirts, pillows, mugs, phone cases, totes, clocks, wall tapestries…and so on. I’ve now tried out almost everything Society6 offers, so if you have any questions, fire away!

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The latest addition to the line are LEGGINGS (!!!), and I am kind of obsessed with them. I’ve been wearing these Bright Droplets leggings as pants, and I love seeing people’s reactions to them on the street. Lots of smiles! I now want to get everything printed on leggings.

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I’ll stop talking about my own work now!! I don’t know why it still makes me feel embarrassed, but it does. Which is weird, because this is my blog? (That’s not a question. This is my blog.)

OK, go check out the new stuff at K IS FOR BLACK and get yourself some free shipping! Happy Sunday!

UPDATE:
Free worldwide shipping extended through Sunday, June 7!
✚ No code required, but you must use this link to activate the promo

Free shipping excludes framed prints, stretched canvases, rugs and clocks

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I’ve had Sydney-based typographer, illustrator and artist Georgia Hill on my radar for ages now. I keep hoping just the right book cover project will come along and I’ll be able to hire her, but in the mean time, I really want to share some of Georgia’s incredible work!

The posters above were created for agency Vault49’s New York office. You can see the full series on Georgia’s website.

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Illustrated lettering for Good Things Are Everywhere. Check out the progress shots—I always love seeing how artists work, especially when that work starts with a pencil.

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Last year, Georgia created this gorgeous mural for the Australian coffee roastery Single Origin Roasters, as well as an illustration for their “Random Acts of Art” coffee bag series. So cool. (Single Origin Roasters has a very nice interview with Georgia on their blog, by the way!)

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I’m really into this mural, “Can’t It Be So Simple,” painted on the back of the (now-defunct) Tate Gallery. I have no idea what goes into translating art from the page to a wall, but it must be amazingly satisfying to see your work at that scale!

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Holy. Moly. When I look at work like this, I kind of just feel like putting away any drawing/painting implements I own and forgetting that I even have hands, because…it’s just that good. This is a poster Georgia created for Travis Egnor. Beautiful.

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And finally…woah. This is part of Georgia’s Instant Slow Jams series, and I’ll be staring at it, glazed over, for the next four hours, while listening to this.

Make sure to check out more of Georgia Hill’s work on her website. She also has a great Instagram where she shares lots of progress shots and sketches and stuff!

All images via Georgia Hill.

I don’t know if it’s because of the time I recently spent in Marfa with Daniel, or it has to do with all of the still-living (!) plants in my apartment, but lately I can’t get enough of cactuses. Cacti. Whatever. Or maybe it’s succulents in general, since I can never seem to remember what makes a succulent a cactus.

Anyway, I put together a little collection of some of my favorite cactus-themed stuff. I want all of it! Greedy, so greedy…

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1. Amelie Mancini / Cactus tote
2. Budi Satria Kwan / Cactus print
3. Sea & Asters / Geometric Cactus Planter
4. Simka Sol / Cactaceae leggings
5. Confetti Riot / Cactus print tea towel and pillows—white and peach
6. Visual Cities by Mariadiamantes / Cactus print

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1. Banquet Atelier & Workshop / Ten Cacti and Paddle Cactus screenprints
2. Sian Keegan / Cacti phone case
3. The Kingpins / Michael Cera Cactus button
4. The Black Vinyl / Early-1800s illustrated cactus chart
5. Nuukk / Cactus stamps
6. Make-Ready / Cactus print

Speaking of cactuses (I’m having a hard time with the word “cacti” for some reason), when was the last time you listened to 3rd Bass? I had The Cactus Album on heavy rotation during 1989 and 1990, and then 3rd Bass just kinda…evaporated. It’s a FANTASTIC album, though, and it still sounds great (maybe even better) 26 years later.

As an interesting (debatable) aside, did you know that 3rd Bass and The Smiths have something in common? Other than being white guys with tall hair, I mean. They both used the same sample! If you skip ahead to the 22:18 mark above, the beginning of “Triple Stage Darkness,” you’ll hear it: You are sleeping, you do not want to believe. You are sleeping… Now, if you’re a Smiths fan who appreciates Morrissey’s excellent use of samples, you’ll know that this is the very same sample used at the end of “Rubber Ring” (3:33 mark). Crazy, right? And considering how obscure the source of this sample is—a flexi-disc included with a 1971 book about communicating electronically with the dead, written by a Latvian psychologist named Konstantin Raudive—I think it’s mayyyyybe safe to assume that someone in 3rd Bass was a Smiths fan, and that mayyyyybe they actually took the sample from a Smiths record and not from the original source…but what do I know! Those crackles sure sound like they line up, though. Cool.

(How’s that for a tangent?!)

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One of the things I’m hoping to accomplish with my new blogging schedule is taking the time to post about graphic design I love. Despite the fact that I design stuff for a living, I’ve kind of shied away from posting about commercial art here on the blog. My hope is to focus primarily on print, packaging, and other tangible objects, but my only real guideline is that the end product was designed for a consumer market.

I’m pretty sure I discovered Toronto-based Greenhouse Juice Co. through Anabela’s (gorgeous) Instagram feed. However it happened, my eyes glazed over as soon as I started looking at their bottles, and then a fresh juice company had a new admirer…a mere 500 miles outside their delivery zone. Maybe someday I’ll have a chance to actually try one of these delicious-looking juices, but for the time being, I’m happy to just look at these lovely bottles! Greenhouse Juice Co.’s brand identity was designed by Sarah Dobson.

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OK, packaging design aside, do you not feel like drinking ALL of these things today? I know I do. I keep looking at the subtle ombre of the Piloto and wishing a bottle of it would materialize on my desk. I mean…Brazil nut milk and cold brew coffee? How could that not be delicious?! Gimme. That Pink Milk blend is fascinating, too. I can’t even really imagine what it tastes like. A cool, creamy borscht, perhaps?

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Even if you, like me, live too far from Greenhouse Juice Co. to be a real customer, I still recommend following them on Instagram. Their beautiful photos make me want to drink more juices, which is a good thing. They have a really lovely blog, too, with articles about wellness and tons of great recipes, most of them vegan. This wild mushroom and leek stew is so up my alley.

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Of course, if you do live in Toronto (lucky you!), you can visit Greenhouse Juice Co. in person and drink as much juice as your wallet can handle! All of their locations look super cute.

All photos via Greenhouse Juice Co.

Around this time last year, I put together a collection of furniture and housewares for sale through Chairish. Since then, Chairish has grown to include a pretty mind-bogglingly impressive selection of not only furniture, but art—vintage, antique, and new.

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When Chairish came back to me recently asking if I’d be interested in creating another collection for them, this time consisting of art pieces, I didn’t hesitate. (The also asked if I’d like to do another giveaway. Yes, of course! Scroll down for the details on that…)

You can see my entire collection of 50 pieces of art over at Chairish, but here are a dozen that I particularly love…and covet.

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1. Alexander Calder – ‘Red Sun’ lithograph
2. Vintage black metal letter A
3. Arc de Triomphe paint-by-numbers
4. Heather Chontos – ‘The September Collection No. 9′ painting
5. Pierre Soulages – 1972 Olympics lithograph
6. H.R. Bresel – Haitian Farm Scene painting

By the way, if you’re interested in selling art (or anything!) through Chairish, you can get all the details on how it works in their Seller Guide. They also have an iPhone app (direct link, in case you’re reading this on an iPhone) that makes the whole process seamless, from photographing your stuff to getting it listed on the site.

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1. Silk-screened moon
2. Bronze Kinetic Sculpture – Dancing Man
3. Pair of Native American weavings
4. Maija Isola/Marimekko – ‘Lokki’ wall hanging
5. Mid-Century Scandinavian tapestry
6. 19th century lake scene painting

Giveaway time! Here’s how it works:
Enter your email address on the Door Sixteen + Chairish giveaway page.
Entries will be accepted from March 25th through April 8th.
One lucky winner will receive a $200 site credit to shop at Chairish! Yay!
If you’re the winner, I’ll notify you via email.

If you win the giveaway, you can spend it however you want—either on artwork I selected for my collection (I made sure to include a number of of pieces under $200!) or on anything else for sale at Chairish.

This post was written in partnership with Chairish, but all words, opinions, and selections are entirely my own.

“The Cinematic Portrayal of Graphic Designers in Film & Television”
Film by Ellen Mercer & Lucy Streule

HAHAHAHAHA. Well, what can I possibly add? Nothing other than this, I guess…

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Image source unknown, possibly created by magic

Yes, it’s a shirt. And yes, this is a subject I’ve delved into a few times on the blog in the past in the context of my approach to home renovation and my own self-image (side note: I need to re-read that post today), but James Victore—designer, artist, teacher, truth-speaker, all-around hero—nails it on a regular basis:

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Feck Perfuction

“Designers are too concerned with the idea of ‘perfection.’

“Perfection is the death of creativity. Perfection lacks spontaneity and surprise, instead it assumes ‘knowing’ and certainty. Creativity is about being OPEN and curious but perfection is closed tight in its search for an answer. ONE ‘right’ answer—but creativity is not math. Perfection also assumes that you are smarter than your audience because you know the ‘right way’ and the ‘rules.’ But this attitude leaves no room for your audience to be involved in your process. Creativity, like a good joke, slowly pieces together in your audience’s brain until it explodes with ‘A-HA!.’

“Perfection stops you from starting projects or even relationships because you are not ready or perfect. And it stops you from finishing or shipping projects because they are not ready or perfect. The weather, the economy, the atmosphere will never be perfect, your timing will never be right, you will never be perfect. But you know what’s better than perfect? Done. Done is better than prefect.”

#DesignLikeYouGiveADamn

Boom.

I’m currently taking James Victore’s Bold & Fearless Poster Design course at CreativeLive, and it’s FANTASTIC. I don’t care what you do for a living, what you wish you did for a living, or how much experience you have in whatever it is that you do: This course is for everyone. Highly, highly recommended!

UPDATE: I just got an email alert letting me know that Bold & Fearless Poster Design is now 25% off! Use the code Victore2015 before 2/1/16 to get the discount. Nice!!

I took his Radical Typography course on Skillshare last year, too—also incredible. Sometimes you just need that push toward fearless imperfuction!

Image via James Victore’s Instagram