Saturday 30 July 2011

Saturday 23 July 2011

Too Ostentatious?

This is the same text set in another cut of the same typeface (Poetica) both inspired by Arrighi's script. This one obviously has a ton of ligatures, alternate glyphs, endings, swash capitals, etc. Is it too much? Too fancy? Thanks for your input. Below is the original I typeset yesterday (Centaur).

Brothers Grimm

Here is the first version I feel comfortable showing. You will have to trust that it is the last of many many experiments. Choosing the typography (the simple typography on top) was one of the more challenging parts. I looked at book cover archives from the 20s as well as the work of London-based designer David Pearson. I tried out about 20 different classic serifs in different weights and degrees of capitalization. I eventually settled on Centaur (designed by bruce rogers in the early 1900s--the italic was based on Arrighi's calligraphy... which i LOVE!!)
I'm targeting these books to an adult audience (the original Grimm fairytales are not without their share of violence, death, sex, and tragic endings), but I still want to communicate the whimsical, folkloristic nature of this type of narrative.
I've been looking at monograms a lot in the past few days and decided a kind of monogram might be the way to go to add a decorative element. The custom of monograms is typical of the time in which these books were first published and it allows me to add some dynamism to an otherwise very static (intentionally) layout.
Anyway, enough talk. As always, comments and opinions are very welcome.

Friday 22 July 2011


I've been thinking about what books to make jackets for... I think it's very important to be familiar with the content of the book before attempting to design the cover, but there are very few authors who's books I've read three of. I think Jane Austen, David Sedaris, and J.K.Rowling might be the only ones. None of those really appealed to me. So I was thinking, may I bend the rules and do three books of fairytales:
  • New Fairy Tales :: Hans Christian Anderson (the little mermaid, the snow queen, the ugly duckling, etc)
  • Stories of Fairy Tales from Bygone Eras :: Charles Perrault  (little red riding hood, puss in boots, bluebeard, etc)
  • Children's and Household Tales :: Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm (cinderella, sleeping beauty, snow white, etc)
May I cheat and do that?

Tuesday 19 July 2011

PSA Posters on Chronic Dehydration

My three finished PSA posters on the importance of staying hydrated. A little bit on the right is getting cut out of the column... you can click to enlarge / see the whole poster.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Good ol' Dihydrogen Monoxide

Upon additional research, I've learned that the chronic dehydration problem in the US of A is further exacerbated by how overmedicated the American population is. We have a headache, we pop a painkiller; we feel sad, we take some Prozac; we get wrinkles, we inject some Botox... Though there is a certainly place and a need for medication (serious depression for example is more than just being a little sad, and requires meds), one cannot deny America is particularly pill happy.

That said, overmedication can make dehydration even more dangerous: when we are dehydrated, our body goes through a variety of crisis management processes that can manifest themselves as headaches, asthma, high blood pressure, weight gain, depression, mood swings, etc. These all happen for a reason, but by taking meds, we are tricking our bodies into not feeling the pain that would normally alert us that something is wrong. Therefore, we are getting more and more dehydrated.

Back to design: so, I'm going to package and advertise water as if it were a pharmaceutical product (using water's lesser known name: Dihydrogen Monoxide) and make a PSA campaign around that. At first, I wanted to use Helvetica, since it's so anonymous and utilitarian looking... but I'm so sick of seeing Helvetica, so I finally settled on DIN. I am having a passionate love affair with DIN in this period. 

the label, for example, would look something like this--oh, and the kerning was fixed since this version... it's pretty horrible here.

Chopsticks Magazine Cover

I know this is not related to class, but I was just honored to win the Chopsticks NY magazine cover design competition; which means I will be joining two other designers as the cover artist for 2012. This is my proposal for the New Year's cover. Visually, it's inspired by the format of the postcards that are traditionally sent at the new year in Japan. I made a woodblock print (2 plates/colors) because it not only references a medium that was often used in traditional Japanese arts, but also reproducibility and seriality.
This cover is up against two others, both really beautiful; the magazine wants the internet to decide who gets the first cover of the year. If you want to go to the site and vote, click here, you don't have to vote for me (though I would definitely love to win). Sorry for the digression, back to school work now.

you can click to enlarge
this is one of the two wood plates I made

NY Winter Survival Kit

Here is the finished survival kit, made from three thrift shop items.
I love the typefaces I used, and they are both free: Lobster and Franchise Bold

Saturday 16 July 2011

Chronic Dehydration

So, between 75 and 80% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. We've all heard that we have to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, but we we don't necessarily realize is that being dehydrated can cause or exacerbate a variety of conditions; including:
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Asthma and Allergies
  • Joint Pain
  • Heartburn
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney damage
  • Weight gain (with it's negative cholesterol effects)
  • Premature aging
Drinking enough water (not soda, tea, or coffee, but plain water) is the single most important thing we can do to for our health.

This is what I want to do my PSA posters on. I finally found a topic... it certainly took long enough. Now, I have to find some sort of design direction/concept for the posters. 

Monday 11 July 2011

Packaging & Identity

I went to the two Goodwill stores and finally decided on these three items:

  • a mug
  • socks
  • a set of two small hand warmers
It was a rainy day, so I guess I was in the mood for comfort and warmth.
I'm thinking of making a kit of some sort... something kind of funny to survive long New York City winters. Here are my glamorous three objects:

I stumbled upon the identity for a London-based supermarket designed by Unreal studio. I love how simple, effective, and utilitarian the design is. delicious.