I saw the Cubes Perpetual Calendar in the MoMA online store was instantly smitten. Oy, the vibrant CMYK colours on a handsome black base. Have you seen a more attractive calendar? Love the brilliant use of space as months are printed in different directions to make six cube sides turn into 12 months. Great design, full of colour and good for the environment? I am in love.
Look up “gorgeous” in the dictionary and I imagine you will find these Stars by Seb Lester prints (right next to a photo of George Clooney of course.) Sparkling gold ink screen printed by hand on royal or midnight blue paper, the dreamy Van Gogh quote is beautiful from a distance. But, upon closer look, the word stunning doesn’t seem to do justice to Seb’s typography made up of ‘hundreds of thousands of tiny stars’. Limited editions of 100 prints, both colours are sold out which kind of shows that you should never drag your feet when buying art! I will dull the pain by dreaming of a second edition…
Designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have collaborated with Danish textile company Kvadrat to create ‘Textile Field’ – an installation of vibrant blue and green foam rectangles. Part of the London Design Festival, the fascinating structure will stretch 30 meters long and 8 meters wide in Victoria and Albert Museum’s Raphael Gallery. The field of textiles is truly interactive and is meant to be walked on, sat on or laid on. The Raphael Gallery houses some of the oldest and most important pieces of Renaissance art in the world so this modern installation will create a striking juxtaposition. Oh and the colour! What a feast for the eyes. The piece will debut on September 15, 2011 as the festival opens. Hoping to post some photos of the real thing when it appears. Anyone fancy a trip to London to see a room of spectacular colour?
I am mesmerized by N SKY C, a website that showcases the average colour of the New York City sky every five minutes via a block of colour. Hover over the block and you see a webcam snapshot of the sky in that five minute period. Created by web designer Mike Bodge from the viewpoint of his Noho and East Village facing desk, the website is a beautiful representation of weather, sunsets, sunrises and the transitions of a day. I love that each day can be summed up in its very own colour palette.
The Indigo Bunting is a small seed-eating bird that migrates from south-eastern Canada to northern Florida to South America. That’s all very interesting but l can’t focus on anything but that stunning shade of blue! Living on the opposite coast, I have never spotted one of these natural works of art but I imagine they are gorgeous comets of brilliant blue as they fly through the air. Interestingly, female indigo buntings are brown year-round while males are brown in the winter and vibrant blue in the summer. If you ever needed evidence that nature makes the most incredible hues of all, indigo buntings are proof positive!
UNA is the official wine of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. Combining 20 wines from native grapes, UNA highlights the rich history of Italian wine as well as expressing “the true spirit of Italy, the love for their land, the expertise, art and industriousness of its people”. Italian studio Cibic Workshop designed this packaging that begins with a gorgeous locking box made from ash wood, a popular tree throughout Italy. The bottle shapes are meant to reflect a man and woman with the masculine red merging a classic Italian flask with an iconic Bordeaux bottle and the feminine white showcasing a redesign of classic clear Italian wine bottles. A handsome and luxurious package design that puts a modern spin on Italian history. One of my favourite details? How the key ribbons match the pops of colour on the bottles!
I am already pretty in love with India as it is a country that embraces colour like no other. While trying to learn more about the nation, I saw gorgeous images of Jodhpur, a city in Northern India with the nickname “The Blue City”. One glance at the cityscape and its abundance of vibrant blue hues and the nickname needs no explanation. There seem to be many theories as to why the heavy use of blue exists but most focus on the past caste system, mosquito and termite prevention or the ability of blue architecture to remain cool. Whatever the reason, this part of India is pretty magical. Blue homes, brown desert features, bright sari patterns and a rainbow of market goods – Jodhpur is the perfect spot for a true colour lover!
Companhia Athletica, a gym chain in Brazil, created this calendar to inspire clients to stick with their workouts. As each month is ripped off the calendar, a more fit form is revealed. I love how the colourful paper edges overlap and give the whole piece a topography idea. A really clever and engaging design idea that doesn’t even need one word of copy to get its point across. Perhaps, with this bright calendar hanging on your wall, it would be harder to miss a gym visit!
Few companies have one signature brand colour and almost none have that colour for over a century and a half. Just say Tiffany & Co. to someone and they instantly conjure up that aqua blue hue the jewellery meca is so famous for. I spotted this original Tiffany Shipping Barrel from the 1920′s on Pinterest and became instantly obsessed. Used to ship silver and china, the barrel is handsomely weathered but has retained the instantly recognizable and gorgeous Tiffany blue. The New York address, 1920′s typography and one-of-a-kind details don’t hurt either. How amazing would this look as a side table? It appears I was to late to for this beautiful piece of iconic branding and colour but maybe someone has a similar barrel hiding in their attic? I’ll be watching this auction house just in case…
How fantastic was Andy Warhol’s official letterhead? His passion for colour and eschewing the conventional are certainly evident in his personal branding!
I can’t say I’ve ever seen a stepladder that I would consider to be a piece of fabulous design. That all changes with Strep by Workshop Peekaboo. The painted wood stepladder was inspired by Japanese steps. The angles and blue are just so gorgeous. I have my fingers crossed Strep becomes widely available and in a wide range of colour. How amazing would a couple of these look in front of a studio bookshelf?
British talent Rob Ryan is one of my very favourite artists. What he creates out of paper, meticulously cutting intricate shapes, is truly phenomenal. On top of all that creativity, Rob has an amazing gift for beautifully poetic words. I plan to feature Rob Ryan in a future post devoted to his work but I couldn’t resist sharing his Royal Wedding commemorative plate design for William and Kate’s big day. What a welcome change from the wedding-cliche riddled commemorative designs I have seen around. I love how the traditional British lion and unicorn fuse seamlessly with Rob’s whimsical design and trademark birds/flowers. The gorgeous blue, white and gold accents are elegant, modern and so very British. As always, I particularly love Rob’s words as they are a perfect reminder of what all the hoopla should really boil down to at the end of the day:
“The Crown and the Throne and the lions and the unicorns & the bowing & scraping and all the Palaces and the privileges are worth nothing if you will not spend every day of your life with me until I die. April 29th 2011″