As the 2011 year rolls to a close in a few hours, I thought I would post a design wrap up for 2011. The list below are the top 10 design posts on my blog for the year. These posts represent the highest number of page views related to the “Art and Design” Category. Some of them I understand, others not so much. None the less this is the list, the readers choice in a manner of speaking. If you had a fave that didn’t make the list, post a comment and let me know what your fave was.
This little series of digital paintings made with ArtRage for the iPad is coming to an end. I have. Vintage 60’s Jag, and the Brabham Martini F1 started. I hope to finish by January 1, but realistically it might not happen. Each one of these take quite a bit of time to research, sketch, create the detail drawing, and then paint out, so if the Brabham isn’t done by the end of the month I hope you’ll understand.
Today’s ArtRage Motor Sports auto is a classic early 60’s Ferrari, in non-Ferrari colors.
One design area that I have always found challenging is package design for the wine and liquor industry. You are designing for a highly competitive industry where your design has to stand out in a sea of bottles, and well-defined brands. This is much harder to do than you think. I say this from personal experience. I have designed liquor packaging that tested well, and the client loved, yet failed to convert into the massive sales the client was looking for. One company that has been extremely successful in this field is Stranger & Stranger.
Stranger & Stranger’s motto is “Don’t fit in. Stand out.” and everything about their package design does exactly that. It is why they have been so successful and won so many awards since they were founded in 1994. Their ability to combine witty editorial, with outstanding illustration, lettering and physical design has consistently produced some of the best packaging in this category. Their attention to detail in every aspect of the design process is what sets this firm apart from the others. Every one of the designs they produce is truly about display, and presence.
Stranger & Stranger is a packaging design and branding company specialising in alcoholic drinks. Since 1994 we have named, researched and registered wines and spirits brands worldwide. We’ve created bespoke and innovative bottle shapes, labels, closures and all secondary packaging.
We’ve created marketing support material and environmental dressing. We’ve supervised production to the highest standards.
We’ve won a pile of awards along the way but most importantly we’ve helped sell a
billion bottles of beer, wine and spirits in one of the world’s most competitive markets.
Two years ago I was in Las Vegas, a city I truly loath but felt compelled to vacation in over Thanksgiving. Out of the 5 days I was there there are 3 things that stand out as wonderful. A trip to the Grand Canyon via Helicopter, Cirque Du Sole, and a pair of Hermés shoes that I tried on after shopping for a Hermés scarf for Kristy.
That pair of Hermés loafers is quite possibly the best thing that has ever touched my feet, and if I were a bit more free with my money I would have bought them. I just couldn’t justify dropping $2500.00 on a pair of suede loafers that I know would be scuffed and bruised with in a year. The reason I mention the shoes is two fold.
First off one of my favorite type foundries in the world, “House Industries” has produced some amazing merchandising, typography for Maison Hermès. Alphabetic Equestrian for the storefront in Tokyo, Japan. If you happen to be in Tokyo, the display is up through January 17th. (by the way my birthday is the 19th, and I wear a size 13 shoe. the loafers are tan suede, if you car to purchase them for me)
The second part of this is one of my favorite book publishers, Gestalten, has dropped an interview with House Industries Ken Barber. If you are a designer, typographer, artist, or someone that is simply interested in art and design, this is a great video to watch. The video is beautifully shot and edited, and filled with insight from an industry leader.
I’m on a big ePub, integrated publishing kick the last couple of days. I think it is because I am trying to get a couple of personal projects finished and published in both book, and ePub form. In the process of trying to figure out the ePublishing extensions for Adobe InDesign, I came across a pretty cool website that does what I need to do in just a few quick steps.
DeckPub is a template driven ePublishing system that lives on the web and produces some really wonderful results. It’s fast, and easy to use, and while it might not be as robust as a native iPad app it produces solid useable results. In addition to publishing, DeckPub offers statistics and analytics to track traffic, page views, linger time, and click through rates.
DeckPub is still in beta but it shows promise, and looks like it would be a perfect fit for light ePublishing, especially for things like slide decks, product presentations, look books etc.
The Adventures of TinTin, which opened earlier this month is a prime example of the blending of technology, and integrated product development. The movie which is based on a series of classic comic books created by Belgian artist Georges Remi (1907–1983), who wrote under the pen name of Hergé. Those comics have been reissued in book form by HarperCollins who licensed the film rights to Steven Spielberg. Both parties being smart and savvy business types saw an opportunity to extend the experience even further, and on movie launch day HarperCollins released an interactive book, as an iPad app.
The app, costs $5.99 in iTunes, and contains features that will ‘immerse you in the world created by the filmmakers’, creating a direct tie to the film which in turn keeps the buzz alive and potentially stimulates more product sales.
The application features viewing characters and environments in 360 degrees, and one of the best features I think; the option to “scrub” through the original illustrations by Herge and compare them with the animation from the movie.
The app was published by HarperCollins in partnership with Holopad.
In addition to the interactive book, Gameloft has produced a companion Tintin game that was released on the same day the movie hit theaters. Yet another example of holistic thinking when it comes to product development in conjunction with content. The days of developing support products after the movie hits are long gone. I expect to see even more of this in the near future, and not just for children’s movies either. Expect this kind of product development to happen across the board.
Google has really been stepping up its game with their advertising in the last 6 months. Here we have another really well executed spot for “The Web is What You Make of It” campaign for Chrome. The spot is beautifully shot, skillfully edited fun to watch, and informative.
“Inspired by the real story of G. Rajendran, an artist from Tamil Nadu (Southern India) who used the web to bring the dying art of “Tanjore” paintings back to life and became a successful businessman in the process. The art is supposed to have originated in 1600 A.D and is an important part of the local social and cultural heritage.”