Design and Art

Visual art and design topics, reviews, articles and random posts on art and design related issues.

IKEA Furniture Is A Snap

IKEA has always been a company that has innovated. It shows in everything from the use of materials, to the adoption of solar power for all of their stores.  They are constantly pushing themselves forward, growing, adapting, changing as they bring new products to market. If you are familiar with IKEA furniture, you probably know that you will be using an Allen wrench, and a screwdriver to get the job done, but now thanks to the designers on the team, you might not.

KEA has recently introduced a series of snap together furniture using a new dowel and wedge system. The new joint is called a wedge dowel, and it’s specifically designed for wooden products. Products like the Lisbo table, for instance, have a small ribbed wedge at the top of each leg, which is then inserted into a pre-machined hole in the tabletop. the joint requires no glue and can be taken apart and reassembled multiple times without damaging the fastener.

IKEA recognized the fact that it included a lot of small fittings with each of their products. The number of parts is often a turnoff for customers, and a waste of resources. By incorporating the wedge dowel, assembly time decreases and IKEA saves money by removing all the metal fasteners.

The special design was initially introduced in 2014 as a proof of concept in the Regissör storage products and Stockholm cabinets. It was tested on these products for 3 years and now IKEA intends to incorporate the system into other pieces.

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The Adventures of Orange, an Aperol Apparition.

There are times when I see a piece of work that I wish I could see in context to the environment, and the video below is one of them. Every time I am at a sporting event and I see the wrap around animation that rolls on those LCD panels that ring the stadium, I’m curious about the pre-vis planning that goes into developing them. And in the case of the video for Aperol produced by Buck, I’m curious not only about how they planned it out, but how they executed it, and what it looked like at the Australian Open. Think about this, you have an animation that has to play in sequence as it wraps around the court, starting at one point, and ending at the same point. And it has an aspect ratio of something like 1500 to 1.

So how do you set that up? How do you plan for delivery to something like a Cayin digital signage system, get everything rendered correctly, and make sure playback is seamless? So many questions, so little time.

With all that said, the animated piece below from Buck is once again a great example of the quality of work these guys do. It captures the Aperol brand so well, plus the casual and somewhat elegant feeling of a tennis open so well. There is a really fresh feel about the look with a retro nod to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s stylistically. The warm color pallet enhances the fact that when this was released it was mid summer in Australia, where an Aperol spritzer would be quite refreshing on a warm summer afternoon. It makes me wish I had been there

It makes me wish I had been there. Not only to see the animation in context but to imbibe a bit as well.

Uinta Golden Ale Packaging Celebrates Our National Parks.

Last year, the National Park Service celebrated 100 years of service, and to commemorate the anniversary Uinta Brewing is ready to release Golden Ale Park Series Beer. The rotating park series was brewed in celebration of the diverse landscapes across the United States and the over 84 million acres of natural beauty that our National Park system promotes and protects. The packaging is available with four different park-inspired packaging that reflects the style of travel posters designed during the height of the WPA era of the 1930’s. While the beer inside the can will remain the same, a refreshing golden ale with an ABV of 5.3% and notes of Wilamette hops and Crystal malts, the outer packaging will feature a rotating line-up of National Parks. right now there are just 4 parks represented, but hopefully they will release more over the next year. I love the design and illustration featured here. It’s a refreshing approach to a product area that can at times be predictable, even in the craft brewing segment.

can-line-up

“Many of the explorations that have inspired our beers have happened in and around National Parks and we’re excited to pay homage to that with this rotating series. We’re fortunate to have five National Parks within 5 hours of the brewery and hope that our Golden Ale encourages consumers to get out and explore those that surround them.”

Uinta’s Chief Executive Officer, Steve Mills

All 400 issues of Communication Arts in Digital Format.

caWell it’s about time. Communication Arts has finally released every issue, 400 in total, of their magazine in digital format. This is every issue dating all the way back to 1959 now available for download. They aren’t free. They are going for $9.99, but if you are looking for solid research materials and don’t want to have hundreds of hard copies lining your shelves, this is a good way to go. When I got the email about this, this morning I was hoping they might be offering a bundle deal. Something where you could get every issue for a fixed price, or buy a decade at a time for a fixed price, but apparently not. This means if you want them all it won’t be cheap. You’ll be spending $3996.00 for every issue from the current one all the way back to August of 1959. If you run a design library, or if you have a firm that can afford it this would be a valuable research tool for past styles, trends, advertising and communication history, and a barometer reading of the sociopolitical landscape from a design communications perspective.

When I got the email about this, this morning I was hoping they might be offering a bundle deal. Something where you could get every issue for a fixed price, or buy a decade at a time for a fixed price, but apparently not. This means if you want them all it won’t be cheap. You’ll be spending $3996.00 for every issue from the current one all the way back to August of 1959. If you run a design library, or if you have a firm that can afford it this would be a valuable research tool for past styles, trends, advertising and communication history, and a barometer reading of the sociopolitical landscape from a design communications perspective.

If you don’t want to drop any cash on these, you can still look through all the covers going back to 1959, and get a really nice overview of how design styles have changed over the last 58 years.

59-spread

 

69-spread

79-spread

89-spread

99-spread

09

17-spread

 

 

 

 

Paper Rainbows. The GF Smith Show Space.

gfsmith1

One more reason to take a trip to London in 2017. World renowned paper manufacturer GF Smith has opened  “Show Space” in London, which along with being a store front, features a gallery that is filled with an installation of colorful paper rolls. Housed across two floors in a building just off Oxford Street, the multipurpose GF Smith Paper Show Space will provide a place to meet consultants, act as an event and exhibition venue, and offer an immersive insight into the company’s products and history.

The concept and creative direction for the 13,000 square foot space was developed by creative partner Made Thought, and designed in collaboration with architects d-raw. The concept is to showcase paper and keep it center stage, with a dark gray palette matched to one of the most popular Colorplan shades, and designed to provide the perfect backdrop for the visual and textural subtleties of GF Smith paper. At the heart of the GF Smith Paper Show Space, a 45-foot wall that presents every paper GF Smith has created or discovered, spanning every shade in the Colorplan range including some of the most precious, and technologically advanced unique papers from around the world.

gf6 gf5 gf4 gf3 gf2

 

Graphic Design Today from Gestalten

coverHaving spent more than half of my life working in the graphic design and communications business I have seen many design trends come and go. One thing that is certain, is the state of graphic design is in constant flux. This is reflected in “Graphic Design Today” an in-depth survey on progressive contemporary graphic design from Gestalten. In recent years, graphic designs relationship with adjoining disciplines such as illustration, three-dimensional installation art, industrial design, interactive design, UI/UX design has pushed the further development of the discipline. And this in turn is  raising the bar for graphic designers.

 

This book from Gestalten examines and documents the current state of graphic design, identifying some of the most visionary young designers at the top of their game with examples of their progressive design aesthetics in the printed form. The book features a wide range of graphic design samples ranging from poster design, book, and magazine editorial design as well as typography. Most of the work is print oriented and shows a trend that I find interesting, a desconstructavist approach to visual design that blends elements of the 1980’s 90’s and early 2000’s into a unique style that intentionally manipulates and distorts traditional rules and ideas with a playful and experimental verve.

Graphic Design Today features  design trends from Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, France, Great Britain and the USA. Through abundant visuals and illuminating texts accompanying each featured project, and a foreword by François Rappo, renowned typographer, and teacher at ECAL Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, this expansive volume provides an in-depth look at the state-of-the-art of contemporary graphic design and is going in my design library.

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Paypal Cut Paper 3D Animation.

The video below from Sehsucht is one of those great examples of where technology and craft come together to create something that makes you question if it is 3D animation, stop motion, or a blend of the two. It turns out it was all done on the computer, but the effect is fantastic. Botht the finished video, and the making of are below showing you how it was done. The finished video looks like animated cut paper and is surprisingly convincing as something that was done with physical materials by hand. The animation was built using Cinema 4D and if you watch the making of video you can see how the team developed the sequence from storyboards, to style frames, to some intense animation sequences that capture the look of layered paper cutouts. Great stuff.

“PayPal isn’t just an online payment method, it is a licensed bank as well. Die Botschaft and SEHSUCHT Berlin developed a nice concept to communicate this and other facts about PayPal.  Our main Character Mr. PayPal is explaining that PayPal is more than just a bank and shows the benefits of using it. We really had fun bringing him to live in this beautiful 3D paper cut world. The goal was to animate everything exactly like it would be done if animated by hand with stop motion techniques. This was a tedious and mind-bending challenge, but fun and every frame was worth the love and passion.”