Map It

To promote their new book and digital templates, by Dutch graphic designer Joost Grootens, Gestalten published the interview above detailing the contents of the book. Grootens is an expert at filtering and translating complex data into visually compelling atlases with a narrative. 

Grootens, who is program leader of the Master of Information Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven, offers up insight on how books—and atlases in particular—let us reach a better understanding of the changing world we live in by stemming the flood of images and data. Very much rooted in design devoted to clarity yet not shy of taking an unconventional approach, Grootens and his team are dedicated to creating contemporary objects that offer their audience the ultimate in information experience. Watch the video.

ABSOLUT Glass.

ABSOLUT VODKA commissioned Designer Thomas Feichtner to design of a new vodka glass to compliment their new hand crafted small batch vodka , ABSOLUT ELYX. The vodka is distilled from wheat that is grown within a few miles of the distillery, in the original copper kettle from 1921 used by ABSOLUT.

Drawing inspiration from other design projects he has been working on, Feichtner created a three leg glass that is produced by hand with the highest quality workmanship of which was key to this vodka’s concept. The glass picks up formally on many of his previous works while retaining an independent character.

“I’m fascinated by the formal alternation between positive and negative, between sine and cosine. And here, I absolutely wanted to separate the glass’s body from the surface upon which it stands and thereby also create a visually independent and self-sufficient object,” Thomas Feichtner

To compliment the glass, and the special vodka ABSOLUT and Thomas Feichtner have created a unique cocktail to go in it. The “Absolut Feichtner” which is comprised of a bit of wheat syrup and lime juice, and a shot of Peychaud’s syrup and a dash of Angostura Bitters. I haven’t tried it yet, but the ABSOLUT web site describes it as “rather light in body with floral aromas, supporting the vodka’s natural taste. The soft coppery hue that refers back to its origin: The nearly 100-year-old copper kettle No. 51 in Åhus, Sweden.

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Veydra Cinema Lenses for M4/3 Cameras

Three years ago when my house was broken into, all of my DSLR gear was stolen. The only gear I had left was my Olympus EP2, and 4/3 lenses for it. At the time I decided to not replace my DSLR, and go exclusively with the Micro 4/3 mirrorless format for both still and video work. One of the biggest challenges has been finding high quality lenses designed specifically for shooting video on a Micro 4/3 camera like the Panasonic GH4 or Olympus OMD. The ones that exist are either cost prohibitive to own, or require an adapter to work with my camera bodies. That is why I got all excited about this new KickStarter project from Veydra.

Veydra is planning on producing a set of premium cinema lens made specifically for filmmakers using Micro 4/3 cameras like the Panasonic GH4, Black Magic Cinema Camera, Olympus OMD, and more. The thing I like is the feature set listed on the site which includes, Resolution that exceeds 4K, Cinema 0.8 module focus and iris gears, Consistent front 80mm outside diameter & 77mm filter threading, Similar length for quick lens changes, Constant T2.2 aperture for easy lighting set ups, Brass plated mounts for durability.

Then there is the price. At $3200.00 for the entire set, this is a bit of a steal. Especially if the quality of the lenses is good as Veydra claims on their KickStarter page. I hope these guys make their goal, because this looks really exciting for the film making community, especially those of us working with small budgets.

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“Shadows” for the 10th annual Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival.

This is such a simple idea, and it is executed so well. Each of the stingers for the 10th annual Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival were inspired by the the photography of Pol Ubeda Hervas. Director  the metaphor of empty shoes as a testament to those filmmakers who are filling them and creating phenomenal documentaries around the world. The shots are simple. A slow, small tracking camera movement, with the action taking place in the shadow. Each visual represents an individual award: Best Director, Best Cinematography, Editing, Jury Award etc. Once again keeping it simple renders solid results. Love them.

Director: Omar Khalifa
Producer: Shereen Ali
Senior Producer: Jaime Siordia
Director of Photography: Chris Moon
Art Director: Yasmin Al-Naib
Assistant Producer: Ashiq Khan
1st AC: Cenon Costales
Editor: Rob Nield
Motion Design: Vlad Illiescu
Music: Pierre Serafini, The Shift
Driver and Support: Ibrahim

Hedgehogs

The two-minute short for wildlifeaid.org.uk is about the declining population of hedgehogs in Great Britain. While the demise of the beloved hedgehog is concerning to me, especially since they have dropped from 30 million to 1 million since 1950, I really want to talk about the wonderful animation quality of the video. Directed by Kris Hofmann with Illustrations by Sandra Dieckmann, the animation is a really nice blend of 2D and 3D techniques that creates a really unique and memorable look for the short. Being memorable is exactly what a PSA needs to do, and Wildlife Aid with the talented crew they hired to produce this have done just that.

Targeting STORY.

Just in time for the Thanksgiving / Christmas season New York concept store STORY has teamed up with big box retailer Target to create a curated holiday gift shop that features carefully crafted items designed to fit an eclectic group of needs. Brand consultant Rachel Shechtman founder of STORY refreshes the store design and the merchandise inside every 4 to 8 weeks, a fairly aggressive schedule for a store overhaul, and the current theme is “Home for the Holidays”.

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To achieve the latest design and product offering Shechtman worked hand-in-hand with the team at Target to create the store look and feel. “Home for the Holidays” features a curated gift guide that is set inside an environment designed to feel like a home. The current theme will be up and running until January 4th 2015.

Working  with the direction of interior designer Jason Bell, STORY, has transformed their 2,000-square-foot space into a mountain retreat. Each section of the store is designed to offer products for the gift recipient. There is a fur-lined section for her that even has a bathtub, a rustic patio with gift ideas for him. A modern living room with a fireplace furnished by HearthCabinet Decorative Fireplaces for entire family.

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Inspired by an image of Aerin Lauder’s Aspen ski lodge, they drew inspiration for the fit and finishes of the space. Wood, stone, create texture and an open airy feeling within the space. Local artists Nick Bakita and Matthew G. Wells created a mountain range installation of wood to anchor the back wall.

By partnering with Target, STORY was able to leverage Target’s favorite private label offerings from Archer Farms, and Target exclusive items from designers like Nate Berkus. The two hundred products STORY is featuring were hand picked directly from the Target headquarters and offer New York shoppers a something for everyone gift assortment from over 100 brands.

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STORY’s curated  collection features has a focus on Made in America items this year capitalizing on this hot trend with buyers. The store is showing Faribault Woolen Mills, Merona, TOMS for Target collection, and a variety other items including gourmet food items from Vosges, hand crafted and embroidered items from Coral and Tusk, and beauty items from Birch Box.

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“Wall”

With yesterday marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, I wanted to post images from illustrator Tom Clohosy Cole‘s book “WALL”. The illustrated book tells the story of  a family torn apart when their father was stranded in the West following the division of the city in 1961.

The book is filled with gorgeous illustrations  that help tell the tale of the family’s attempts to reach each other and reunite. The visuals add a beautiful human element to this complex political event that spanned decades.

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