Sunday, 26 July 2009

Nick Keppol - Things Fall Apart

I mentioned in my last post that I stumbled upon Nick Keppol's Typography work that led me to his Photography collection from the last post, but I just thought id show some of the type stuff too, as this one in particular is very nice. The mixture of illustrative custom type with just enough legibility is perfect. The letters look as if they have just been washed away by the tide on a beach or blown away by a breeze, but still with saying that they don't look like fragile letters, the letterforms are quite strong and Nick has done well to have such seemless fragility with such strong letters. Saying this though I think the work in the initial sketch gives the idea a little more room to breathe, the cracks in the type are more evident, where as in the finished piece the stronger stone like cracks have been replaced with waterlike droplets.

Nick Keppol - Neon Boneyard

I found some of Nick Keppol's Typography work on another online blog, and it is some pretty nice stuff, but while I was browsing around his website I found some of his Photography work, which really spoke to me, especially this 'Neon Boneyard' collection. Its a collection of photos from a scrap yard in Las Vagas, and the story behind each piece of scrapped type basically from
various casinos and hotels of old from Vagas coupled with the nice setup and composition of the shots makes for a nice collection of images, with a strong narrative. I think something that also spoke to me from this collection of images is Nick's choice of equipment, as at the moment I also favour using my 40D with a 10-22mm lens for those shots of urban landscapes where you just want to get as much in as possible. Another thing which is evident in all of the shots is vignetting, were all of the photos are darker in the corners due to the wide angle of the lens, this is something that happens very often when shooting with the 10-22, but in some cases can add to the composition of your subject by framing the image. In my opinion the darker edges add to the series of images and Nick has played to the weaknesses of the lens to make them work for him.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Theo Kamecke's Moonwalk One

Last night on the 40th anniversary of man landing on the moon I watched the first UK showing of Moonwalk One, NASA's Never seen before documentary that got 'lost'. And although everyone has seen the famous 'One small step for man, One giant leap for mankind' footage and the pictures of Buzz Alderin and Neil Armstrong on the moon I had never thought of the effect this event had on the whole planet at the time, because I'd always taken it for granted as I'm sure most people have who weren't alive at the time. It was as well as being an amazing achievement the biggest media event the world had ever seen, literally being watched by the whole world. Then again some of the footage does look no more realistic than the special effects in films of the late 60s and early 70s, so do we give the conspiracy theories some room to flourish? Though according to CNN its only 6% of people who believe the conspiracy theories, the footage is pretty unbelievable, but it would be, its the first footage man on the moon. Whether the conspiracy theories are to be believed or this truly was mans greatest achievement, this documentary gives a fascinating insight into the event. The music and narration is very reminiscent of the early star trek films but the overall documentary allows you to feel like you have gone back in time and you can feel a little bit of what it must have felt like to have witnessed the greatest single event in our history.

Lush Magazine

This is the new LUSH magazine cover by Paul Sych. I've just spent a year in Toronto some of which being taught by this guy, and every piece of his work that he has shown me I've loved, this is no exception. The ever so slightly off focus of the cover shot just gives the artwork above it enough room to breathe and take over the piece but without being too cluttered or intrusive. The two photos messily stitched together just gives the photo that little something extra, and gives the artist the opportunity to mix these two styles of illustration above the picture which would not have worked together without it. Then there is the new Lush logo, which has gone completely in the opposite direction to the old logo. The new logo with its extreme thicks and thins is very elegant, soft and smooth compared to the old logo that's allot more Gothic, hard and sharp. I just love how the 'L' and the 'U' of the new logo are completely identical exept for the height of the second line.

Monday, 20 July 2009

The OCAD Building, Toronto

As you walk along queen street west which is a relatively old looking street in the heart of Toronto you are bound to look up one of the intersections and have a shock, the OCAD (The Ontario College of Art and Design) building is a huge black and white cube on 26m coloured stilts. The first time I stumbled upon the building I fell in love with it, just the idea of having the extension of the old building hovering above it on stilts was completely new. The building was designed by Aslop Architects in 2004. The idea was to raise the new extension above the surrounding buildings to allow natural light into the studios that fill the two story cube without being too intrusive into the skyline of the area. The building is a talking point that compliments the epicenter of Toronto's design industry. With such a radical building design there are bound to be people who love it and people who hate it, I fall into the former category. But whether you love it or hate it you have to agree that the idea and execution of the building is fitting for the building that holds Toronto's new creative minds.

Mauritian Tribal Coral Masks

Unfortunately while i was out without my camera i stumbled upon an amazing craft stall in Mauritius, they had a collection of very unique tribal masks made completely from natural materials from that area of the island. One was particularly striking that was made from coral and coconut shells, it had a starfish for a mouth and looked a little bit like a bondage mask because it was like the person was being restricted from talking by a large starfish that was over the mouth. It was interesting to see how so many natural objects that were all so individual and different could be brought together to make such an intricate and balanced looking mask.

Esquire USA July 09 (cover)

Whether it was Bar Rafaeli the sports illustrated swimsuit model naked or the edgy handwritten type all over her that made me pick up this magazine i'm not sure. But the thing i definitely did like was the juxtaposition of the neat blocks of justified type a few shades darker than the background colour against the dark, contrasty, messy handwritten feel of the text covering her body. Whats also interesting is the different handwriting styles that are used on her, some of it seems to be the designers handwriting, and then the rest is more thought out. The 'H' of 'He' in red also brings your eye in to the 'Stephen King' above it because of that difference in colour, it also shows were the story starts if you were to try and read it from her body. The last little touch I liked with this was the 'Continued on page 57' on her inner thigh, giving you the relevant information but in a subtle way that blends in with the rest of the type but does not take away from it by being too obvious, or too close to the body type. The designer that had the pleasure of covering the swimsuit model in type this month was James Victore. Since September 2006 Esquire have had a very obvious house style with their covers, with allot more aesthetic design based ideas behind the normal text found on a magazine cover compared to their rivals. In the Majority of their covers since September '06 they have had a large amount of text on the front cover, but not necessarily just for reading. The normal text found on the front of a magazine showing for example article titles and so on has been transformed in these recent covers to something more, its part of the cover, its an interesting backdrop for the main subject or usually celebrity to step out of in the cover shot. Yes it shows briefly whats in the magazine but it gives you so much more to look at.

When Feng Shui Crosses The Line

I recently stayed in a resort called Legends on the north coast of Mauritius. On our arrival my sister and I both noticed the resorts 'obsession' with the yin-yang symbol, we would later find out they also had an 'obsession' with Feng Shui. Feng shui is said to be the relationship between humans and objects, and those objects space within the universe. It also relies heavily on the yin-yang theory that everything should be balanced. In recent years Feng Shui has taken a step into the western world were apparent Masters of Feng Shui are employed by westeners to ensure the interior design of their home complies with that theory. Something that seems to be more of a status statement, fashion trend or fad more than the original intended use of the theory. Anyway our room had been designed with this in mind, this was obvious by the open plan like feel of the room to the point were the shower and bath were part of the bedroom and only separated by see through bamboo blinds. Something my sister and I were obviously not impressed by as we were sharing a room. This I imagine would not bother the majority of the guests in the resort as they were mostly honeymooners, but the fact that we had a twin room surely shows that if you don't want to sleep in the same bed, you don't want an open plan bedroom bathroom mix with no privacy. Either the importance of the room layout according to Feng Shui was too important to the hotels architect / designer or they put no thought into different room designs according to sleeping arrangements. There are certain cases within design were functionality is compromised by the form of the item and if it backs up the idea then this can work but surely a hotel environment is not somewhere were you should allow and Feng Shui to rule over common sense and functionality and good design.

The Troika Cloud in Terminal 5

I recently flew from Heathrow terminal 5, and on my way up to the business class lounge i found myself going up and down the escalators over and over again looking at this bean shaped object suspended between the escalators constantly transforming the patterns that covered it. Not only was the constantly changing pattern mesmerizing but the rain like sound that accompanied the 4638 mirrors fliping around also had a certain enjoyable quality and made it come to life. Once i sat down in the lounge i opened the Creative Review i had just bought in WHSmiths to my suprise i found the Trokika 'Cloud' that i had just been staring at for twenty minutes, it won a Yellow Pencil for Digital Installations, something i was not so shocked at as i had jus spent twenty minutes just looking at it going up and down the escalators while the rest of my family went to sit down and thought i was a bit strange. So maybe it is something that can only really be apreciated by those who look for creative things constantly in the world around them, my step dad for instance had flown from the business class lounge at terminal 5 a couple of times before and had never looked at it, my sister simply said ''yea thats cool''.