I spotted this Barbiturik shoelace packaging on Lovely Package this afternoon and was instantly smitten. Test tubes featuring a mix of typefaces and stuffed with colourful fabric? I’m sold. Shoelace packaging is rarely an example of great design but these might set a new standard. From the tubes to the bright contrasting colours of laces and aglets, I wouldn’t mind having the whole set simply as a desk accessory! Barbiturik was created by Rémy Hernandez after he suffered a skateboarding crash that left him a quadriplegic. His passion for skateboarding sparked the creation of the brand. An inspiring story you can read more about here.
One of the things that amazes me the most about colour is how easily it can convey a message or emotion without any words required. This horrifyingly clever Preparation H advertisement by Shawn Couzens and Gary Ennis is the epitome of that quality. The brilliant placement of glowing red doesn’t need a single world to get the (rather painful looking) point across.
I love this cover for Domenica, the Sunday magazine of national Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. Verona studio Happycentro were asked to create a piece focused on food without actually using food as a material. The studio chose paper as their muse and designed some truly handsome shelves of modern papercraft food. I love that faceted red apple, striped pink onion and fabulously patterned banana. If only milk came in such sleek cartons…
I have posted about the sublime embroidery work of Evelin Kasikov before but with every visit to her website, I am reminded of Evelin’s immense talent and am inspired to post again. A project that I just love is her Stitched CMYK Colour Chart. Embroidering the cyan/magenta/yellow/black or CMYK colour model required in colour printing, Evelin creates a handmade printing process that charts colours combinations by an interval of 25%. Designed for the Digital Soirée event at Central Saint Martins, this piece is a beautiful fusion of meticulous handmade design and the technological aspects of printing. I can’t wait to see where Evelin takes her fantastic CMYK embroidery talent next. Perhaps a completely embroidered Pantone guide?!
I’ll admit it, I laughed over these Dear Cab Driver Napkins for far too long this morning. I blame Monday? With those notes your mother used to pin to your mittens in mind, you can now enjoy some festive beverages with no worries of pesky details like your address and money location. These cocktail squares are sure to be the hit of your next party (as long as your party can live up to their wild expectations!)
How spectacular is this cover for Novum Magazine by German design studio Paperlux? The colourful triangle pattern is beautiful in its own right but the ingenious printing technique that creates moldable facets and insane texture is extraordinary. The ‘making of’ video shows the sculptural paper piece in motion as well as a glimpse into the technology and methodical design required to create the cover. Colour, texture, pattern, printing brilliance and paper sculpture? Not sure it gets better than that.
As of this week, I am officially a member of Rena Tom’s blog contributor family and I am thrilled! Rena is a mastermind of retail strategy for creative businesses, entrepreneurs, designers and retailers. She also shares her considerable knowledge via speaking engagements and workshops as well as columns on design*sponge, poppytalk and in UPPERCASE magazine. On top of all that, she has managed to create her own blog jam-packed with vital and inspiring information for retail and creative businesses in general. I have been a frequent visitor for quite some time so I was honoured when Rena asked me to be a contributor on her site (along with a handful of intimidatingly talented individuals). Every second Wednesday on Rena’s site I will be posting about design trends and inspiration in retail. As always, colour will be main topic! Please join me there if you are interested. My first post went up this morning and I can’t wait to see what future retail details we can explore. Thanks Rena for a fabulous opportunity…
Pantone Hotel is a boutique hotel in Brussels devoted to colour and designed around the famous Pantone Matching System. Although it opened last year, my obsession with visiting has not dimmed one bit so I decided I had to post about it. Designed by architect Olivier Hannaert and interior designer Michel Penneman, the building feels very similar to Pantone swatches with bright white features creating a canvas for saturated bursts of colour. Each of the seven floors is focused on a different hue so you can decide if you want to stay in a passionate red room or a tranquil blue one. I like how the room numbers are three Pantone swatch numbers. The hotel lobby is the cheerful heart of the colour drenched building and houses the biggest selection of Pantone licensed products worldwide. From the coloured glass on the exterior to the rugs of small vivid squares, I love how every detail has been thought of and that they all embrace Pantone swatches with wit and style. Maybe one day, we will have a conference in this embassy of colour and discuss the world of hue with a Pantone mug in hand?
Designed by Proud Creative, I love this branding for luxury jewellery firm Guy & Max. Most jewellery companies seem to go down that “pretty proposal” route but Guy & Max feels bold, masculine and fiercely modern with a high fashion edge. Oh and I think their shop has the most beautiful awning I have ever seen. By using just the right shades of black in just the right geometric pattern, the piece feels like a sculptural work of facets. Same goes for the business card as it feels like a paper sculpture rather than a flat piece of paper. Throw in some sublime macro photographs of diamonds and this branding is officially gorgeous. With such a great look, I can only imagine the stunning jewellery being created by Guy & Max.
Colour Nativity is the latest thought-provoking creation of industrial designer Sebastian Bergne. A set of seven handmade and painted wood blocks make up a minimalist nativity scene while the wooden storage box becomes a manger and the gold divider becomes a modern Star of Bethlehem. I love the way the pieces look in the box. Like a religious television test pattern perhaps? It’s quite striking how such an iconic scene can still be recognizable when reduced to a simplistic set of blocks. The power of colour, proportion and placement is certainly on display in this piece. A Christmas decoration to consider for your modern mantle…
Flowers, cones, leaves – nature is never short on extraordinary inspiration. Kathy Klein deconstructs objects of our environment and uses the parts to create unique flower circles called “danmalas”. From the sanskrit ‘dān’ meaning ‘the giver’ and ‘mālā’ meaning ‘garland of flowers’, the designs created showcase the stunning colour, texture and shape in nature and how they can be brought together to create completely new patterns. Kathy has made her beautiful danmalas all over the world and after spying a few quick shots of the circles in place, I am obsessed with seeing more. A danmala coffee table book please! (You can order your own danmala or purchase Kathy’s prints and cards here)
When it comes down to it, make up is just pot and tube colour swatches. Perhaps that is the main reason that the displays, design and styling of cosmetics is always inspiring to me. I just love the whimsy and handmade-feeling design of Topshop’s make up line created by designer Sarah Thorne. Their main line is a chic mix of matte greys, uncoated paper, black patterns and hand drawn illustrations. In addition, each fashion season sees the launch of trend led make up range with inspirations such as ‘sand storm’, ‘festival’, ‘heavy duty’ and ‘smoke and mirrors’. I love how detailed and just plain artistic the packaging is. How stunning is the sandstorm mountain range packaging with dashes of colour and pencil lines of gold? The illustrations look like there were drawn with make up and the pieces feel like art. From metallic foils to scalloped box edges to the hand drawn type that unites all the products in every range, Topshop makeup are worth buying simply as examples of beautifully crafted design.
I’m intrigued by the idea behind Australian artist Lizzie Buckmaster Dove’s ‘Tide Project’. For one lunar month in 2010, an art project was created between London, Barcelona and Coledale using found objects in the tides that connect the three places. The result is graphic and vibrant hand cut paper art that uses unique colour palettes to represent the very different cities (you can view all the pieces here by scrolling to the far right). Of the series, my favourites are ‘Tide Project, Things to be Forgotten, Moon and Moon ii’ with their geometric cuts, absolutely gorgeous colour palettes and dreamy lunar inspiration. It still amazes me what can be created with a common paint chip…
I just discovered, via a home construction project, that lumber crayons exist. Until last week, I used pencil when working with wood for a project. Little did I know a world of colourful lumber crayons was living in the local hardware store. Available in a wide range of colours, lumber crayons last 10 times longer than ordinary crayons and are water, fade and smear proof on wet or dry wood, metal, concrete and most other surfaces. Colourful and technically amazing? What a schmuck I was with that silly pencil. I am quite partial to the hexagon shaped and florescent lumber crayons. Maybe it is time to go to the hardware store on a colour-finding mission?
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!?