Anagrama is a design studio in Mexico that I am constantly in awe of and is definitely among my favourites anywhere in the world. It really feels like they have pattern, colour, branding and interior design super powers! I love this identity system created for Micheline, a stationery boutique in Mexico. Keeping in mind the company’s catalogues were brightly coloured and their work is often similarly hued, Anagrama created a brand focused on striking black and white pattern and texture. A perfect mix of creating a unique voice for Micheline yet still allowing their work and colourful creations for clients to take centre stage. And how gorgeous is their workspace? What an amazing mix of black, white, colour, pattern and texture.
This has got to be the tiniest piece of street art ever. Artist Slinkachu, who is known for his small scale art, created this piece in a narrow alley of Grottaglie, Italy as part of the FAME Festival. From the details of the shutters and human forms to the perfectly aged balconies, the detail and intricacy of Slinkachu’s colourful clothesline is just plain unbelievable. One of the most magical and joyful pieces of street art I’ve ever come across.
I absolutely love this genius calendar by Mytton Williams Design. The calendar consists of 12 pencils, one for each month. The days of the month are printed along each pencil and are sharpened off during daily use. My favourite part? The pencils are colour coded to match the seasons or expected temperature of each month. A fantastic piece of design and perfect antidote to sterile work calendars!
Most of the time, gift wrapping involves trying desperately to remove a stubborn price sticker and/or trying to remember if you took the price tag off. But, if you stop and look, price tags are pieces of design like any other and the good ones feature distinct colour and typography. I really love this Price Label Gift Wrap designed by Daniel Eatock as it turns a sometimes nuisance into celebratory confetti.
I’m a big sucker for stationery and desk supplies. Well, I should clarify – I’m a sucker for colourful and unique desk supplies! Those standard yellow Post-it notes kinda give me the creeps. These Sushi Memo Blocks are so handsomely designed and colourful that they can only induce happiness when sitting on your desk.
Vancouver origami master Joseph Wu is one of my favourite artists and his new piece, A Tear for Japan, is yet another beautiful paper creation. This piece is a work in progress and you can watch it evolve here. Just as it is, I love the simplicity and strength evoked. Showing a tear shed for Japan but also a symbol of hope as the tear is small in comparison to the powerful and bright red rising sun.
It is hard to believe that only a week has gone by since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan took place. With every horrifying image that emerges, it is hard to think of much else. The only positive that has come to light is not only the courage and resolve of Japan but the support issued by people all over the world. Over at poppytalk, I read about University of British Columbia students who are selling paper origami cranes to raise money for Japan aid. Cranes are a symbol of good luck and legend has it that if one folds a thousand cranes, they will be granted a wish. With a similar passionate wish for Japan’s recovery in mind, I made this week’s colour me happy theme the intricate and beautiful art of origami. Learn more about the UBC crane project and other ways to aid Japan here.
Love these black and white paper art letters by French designer Jerome Corgier. It always feels like each letter of the alphabet has its own personality so it is nice to see that captured in the very different designs and typefaces used. My only wish is to see these beautiful works of art photographed on white. It feels like the coloured gradient backgrounds are distracting from the contrast and strength of pure black and white. That being said, I love the intricacy and depth of Jerome’s letters and you can view the whole alphabet here.
I was halfway into preparing this week’s colour me happy theme of water when I heard about the horrific earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Needless to say, upon viewing the devastating images, I quickly abandoned my theme.
When I was a designer for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, I worked on a merchandised product that required separate editions for many different countries. Part of the product was an information booklet. To save money, the booklet was reproduced in black and white for every country except for one. I was told that Japan placed so much value on colour, their version would be the only exception. With that comment, I realized Japan might be my kindred spirit. Across architecture, textiles, stationery, food, fashion and every other avenue of design and art, there is so much innovation and astounding creativity in Japan. Watching the tragedy unfold, I feel what I am sure so many others do – totally helpless. I was thinking of that booklet project and, while I realize this post might not colour anyone in Japan happy, I hope it serves as a tribute and show of support to a nation that saturates so much of its life in vibrant, joyful colour.
This Universal Wrapping Paper isn’t just attractive, it contains a fantastic idea. Using the concept of a word puzzle, it allows the user to customize the paper for any required holiday. Such a brilliant idea by Fabio Milito and Francesca Guidotti. I can only imagine the colour co-ordinated pens that could be used on this handsome black and white paper.
La Félibrée is a French festival that celebrates the language, culture and traditions of the Occitan. Since 1903, this festival has taken place on the first Sunday of July in a different town in the Dordogne region of France. I imagine there are many fantastic elements to this celebration but I have always been mesmerized by the sheer amount of incredible decorations. The town holding La Félibrée is bathed in spectacular colourful displays of handmade paper flowers as they are strung across every conceivable surface. It is such a beautiful display of craftsmanship and the bright colours punctuate the celebratory occasion. I would love to see a behind-the-scenes account of how the kilometres of paper flowers are created each year!
I find these ads for Bic pens brilliant. The lifespan of the ubiquitous ballpoint pens are tested to last for two kilometres, a distance equivalent to six Eiffel Towers, two Tower Bridges or four Empire State Buildings. What a clever and effective way to describe just how long the pens should last. The sole use of the very recognizable Bic pen blue across the entire ad (even the logo) is a final brilliant touch of brand in a fantastic ad campaign.
Love these handsome silkscreen prints by brainstorm print & design. Using bold colour palettes and design, they feature the layers that make-up the ocean, earth and atmosphere. Such a brilliant and bold poster for any science, nature or design lover.
Yesterday marked the official month anniversary of plenty of colour! As a result, I thought confetti should be the theme for this week’s colour me happy feature. I love confetti and how its vibrance and motion makes for fabulous photography. Tossing pieces of bright paper in the air and letting them fall where they may? That has to colour you happy. (p.s. the top photo is of Times Square New Year’s Eve confetti testers checking their product. How do you get a job like that?!)
Life Calendar by Barcelona-based Brigada Creativa allows you to sum up each day by drawing a face onto a colourful dot. I love the idea of this bright and graphic poster on an office wall. I imagine it provides some insight as well – patterns and arcs that emerge. It would be so interesting to look at a whole year in this way.
How can you not love a pop-up book? This series by graphic designer Daisy Lew is a unique type of pop-up book as it takes advantage of every angle. Each spread features New York’s famous cityscape from the sideview and a famous New York icon such as the Big Apple, the Chrysler Building and taxi cab from the top view. Such a fantastic piece of paper art.