There are a couple of blogs that I truly wish I could live in. At the very top of the list is Griottes, a French style and food blog created by Emilie Griottes that is so gorgeous that I feel slightly giddy when a new post is up. The handmade whimsical aesthetic, sublime colour palettes and beautiful culinary treats… Oy. When I spotted these Pantone Tarts on Griottes this morning, I fell even more in love with the blog. Simple and stunning with pitch perfect styling, these pastries are an imaginative take on the classic colour chips while showcasing the lovely hues of everyday foods. Is it crazy to hope Emilie creates a tart for every colour in the Pantone swatch book?
As I said on Friday, I am a tad obsessed with colour-focused styling lately. I love these artful and very vibrant compositions on the Urban Outfitters website. My favourite part? The beautiful backgrounds as they transition under the objects from two distinct slices of colour to a lovely gradient of the two hues. Hopefully Urban Outfitters continues creating these colourful groupings as they are rather perfect pieces of eye candy…
Look Books are an inspiring cornerstone of design and retail. I wrote a post for Rena Tom’s site about the various forms of look books, components to consider and some inspiring examples to ponder. I think look books have a life beyond their usual users (fashion) as many product lines and professionals can benefit from creating one. Whether as a beautiful printed piece or digital layout, there is no end to the value look books hold for a maker, collection or brand. Oh and they are often just plain awesome nuggets of design and photography! The styling of look books is one of my very favourite facets of design. If it interests you, take a look at the post here.
I love the surreal and beautiful photography series ‘Bronson Caves’ by artist Brice Bischoff. In Los Angeles’s idyllic (and often used as a film set) Bronson Caves, Brice used long-exposure to capture movement and dance he performed with large sheets of colour paper. The result is a unique capture of time – from a dreamy mist of colour to very clear edges of hue. Brice experimented with the photography style for over a year and I like that he used the same sheets of paper for the entire series. The materials became ripped, worn and discoloured which only added to the intriguing hues and textures created. I like the thought of time going by in wisps of moving colour…
There’s something about the design of a cactus that is just plain intriguing – a mix of a modern architectural shape, sharp needles and paper-like vibrant flowers. Catherine Hope explores these qualities in her colourful photo study titled (much to my delight) ‘It’s a Bit of a Prick’. Sourcing unique examples from Columbia Road Flower Market in London, Catherine creates beautiful compositions of texture and colour that showcase the most dynamic facets of cactus. In addition to having an photograph adorn my wall, I would love a circular silk pillow featuring one of her gorgeous images. Follow Catherine’s study on tumblr for future cactus inspiration.
You may have seen the fantastic imagery of Ikea’s cookbook Hembakat Är Bäst created by brilliant photographer Carl Kleiner and stylist Evelina Bratell last year. The way the ingredients were presented in such modern blocks of colour was just sublime. What a way to imagine the components of cooking. The talented duo is back with another a strong overhead series focused on Ikea’s kitchenware. It’s a unique way to represent products and showcases the clean, uncluttered lines of Ikea’s aesthetic. I don’t know about you but I can see some strange faces emerging in those piles of plates and utensils… (p.s. I posted a couple of the original Ikea ingredient shots because, well, they are beautiful. I hope that prints are sold one day as they would look awesome on a kitchen wall!)
How awesome is that long shot of a studio desk? Thin slices of Mac computers, handwritten notes, strange snacks and Pantone guides – it’s design studio heaven. Oneighty Creative, a design studio in the UK, directed a series of shots in the hopes of “unveiling the process” of creativity and brand creation to their clients (as well as a piece of self-promotion). Photographed beautifully by Adrian Ray, I think that fantastic long photograph and the additional images more than capture the process, tools, steps and overall beauty of studio life. There is no design key on computers! Oh and Oneighty had a great description of the shot and goal: “[a] visualised physical timeline of our brand process which creates a sort of mad hatter’s tea party feel”. I really love seeing the desks and studios of creatives so I can only dream that this overhead photography approach to those spaces becomes an entire book one day…
You know those round nonpareil sprinkles that are liberally tossed about during holiday cookie decorating? Imagine meticulously placing 221,184 of them by hand using jewellery tweezers and a pixelating computer program. Are your eyes burning from that thought? Mine are! Canadian artist Joel Brochu was inspired by a previous project he created exploring the pointillism technique of applying small dots of colour to create a larger image and decided to re-create a photograph with sprinkles. Using a photograph of a beagle by Shingo Uchiyama, Joel needed just six colours of sprinkles (red, orange, green, blue, black and white) to create a surprisingly large spectrum of hues. It’s amazing how colour can be suggested and created with the right combinations and placement. Nonpareils are just 1/16 inch thick so 221,184 of them were needed to re-create the 4′ by 1.5′ photograph. Crazy, painstaking work that makes me wonder what Joel could do with a dozen cupcakes…
I can’t think of a music video that required more dedication to craftsmanship than this one for “In Your Arms” by Kina Grannis. This stop-motion spectacular was created over the course of 22 months by 30 people and required 1,357 hours of work. Oh and 288,000 colourful jelly beans! Sure, it would have been much easier to just employ some CGI and green screen magic but director Greg Jardin was adamant that every single one of the 2,460 frames be assembled by hand and shot individually. Insane, brain-exploded level of commitment to handmade design and crafting a true stop-motion piece. (I love the jellybean test pattern at the end of the video!)
The making of video is a must-watch. How great are those individually marked tubs of jellybean colours?
I am a sucker for unique and colourful food styling. It always amazes me how textures, patterns and colours of a recipe or food can really come to life with some great lighting and thoughtful detail. A stylist with ridiculous amounts of talent in that arena is Dietlind Wolf. I was reminded of his styling and illustrating skill when I saw the series above on seesaw. A wonderfully clever fusion of handsome food and beautiful ingredient illustration. I love this mixed media approach to food styling and photography as there are endless possibilities. Collage next? Or how about graffiti!?
I hadn’t really thought about it until today but it is quite amazing how many shades of brown you can achieve when toasting a piece of bread. For his series ‘Toasted’, photographer Henry Hargreaves created large-scale portraits of pop culture icons with hundreds of pieces of toast. The level of detail and eye for subtleties of hue are quite astounding. A glimpse at the level of work can be seen in the last shot where toasted crumpets are being meticulously arranged to create a portrait of Pippa Middleton. I may never look at a piece of burnt toast the same way again! (Bread toasted by Angela Barrow and Osvaldo Ponton)
(from top: Marilyn Monroe, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Che Guevara, Jim Morrison and Pippa Middleton)
Photographer Alan Sailer seems to find endless objects to explode and the slo-mo results are always fascinating. I love this shot of glued together crayons bursting into a cloud of colourful destruction. It kind of looks like a crayon rocket to a land of arts and craft. To see more of these slo-mo shots, check out Alan’s Flickr account.