I love the Hermetic series by creative Italian company Seletti. Unlike the regular plastic type, these handsome fridge containers are porcelain with colourful silicone tops. Not only will your fridge look instantly full of good design but your leftovers can go straight to the oven without the negative health effects of heating plastic. Come to think of it, your leftovers can go straight to your dinner party table without anyone knowing any better!
Flowers are definitely one of the best parts of the world of colour and one of my biggest personal influences. From a vivid magenta-blue to glowing golden yellow, there are hues found in florals that are simply unmatched. I have been visiting the blog of Barcelona floral studio Flowers by Bornay for a few months now and have fallen in love with their untraditional creativity, eye for colour and use of flowers in a beautifully architectural way. Bornay makes exquisite bouquets that are often seen on the cover of Vogue España but it is their bowls of compact blooms that I find the most striking. These big floral dishes become their own colour palettes while showcasing the mesmerizing shape, texture and patterns of different flowers. They feel almost textile-like, don’t you think? In addition to a fabulous portfolio, Bornay’s blog frequently posts flowers inspired by artists, movies and occupations. I love their bouquets and arrangements created for a tailor, fisherman, Monet and James Bond’s Goldfinger. Yep, their blog needs to be one of your bookmarks!
From dishes of architectural blooms to high fashion editorial bouquets to blog arrangements created for pop culture icons, it is hard not to be wildly inspired by Flowers by Bornay. They turn flowers into true design. Add to all of that a distinct talent for stunning textured colour and you can see why Bornay is a true ‘colour hero’. One day, when I finally make it to Barcelona, I hope to visit the Bornay studio and see magic in action. Don’t be surprised if I get in trouble trying to smuggle a bouquet in my suitcase…
Black music notes sprinkled across a white page have their own beauty deeply rooted in tradition and history. However, I am always intrigued by news ways to visualize music – particularly with colour. Designer Laia Clos, of Barcelona’s Mot Studio, created a visual language called “SisTeMu” that turns every note of music into a system of geometric shapes and bright colours. Laia has explored several pieces of music in creating this language but perhaps most notable is her interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Using the lead violin position, a system of colours are used as musical notes and the tempo of the music dictates the size and placement of the circles. While I can’t say I completely understand SisTeMu, Laia’s language really gives a sense of “seeing” music in a uniquely mesmerizing and colourful way. I would love to get my hands on Laia’s booklet explaining how the system works! I would also love to see this idea applied to modern music. Can you imagine a gorgeous coffee table book devoted to the hits of The Beatles, U2 or similarly iconic artists? Hmm… perhaps one day a conductor will ask his orchestra to start again from the turquoise section!
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!
This book and video of the Wimbledon Men’s Final (Federer vs. Nadal) by designer Bryan Ku is the perfect merger of three of my very favourite things: books, tennis and cleverness. How brilliant and creative to interpret a sport this way. Love those sport scores in iconic tennis ball yellow-green too. Here’s hoping Bryan ponders doing a whole sport series!
I’ve always loved Picasso’s portrait of his adored dachshund, Lump. Picasso loved animals and his work is rich with depictions of them. In contrast to his usual beautifully complex style, I love Picasso’s animal drawings for their simplicity and minimalism. There is even a book devoted to the artist and his best friend – Picasso & Lump: A Dachshund’s Odyssey. I love this drawing and that so many of Picasso’s pieces have his dachshund as a muse but most of all, I love that a dog named Lump became an icon in modern art!
Olly Moss is a British designer and illustrator who you can add to my ‘obsessed with’ list. He has an obvious abundance of creative chops but it is his cleverness that never ceases to amaze me (case in point, his sea-saw illustration I posted about a couple of months ago). Olly just opened a solo show at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles called ‘Paper Cuts’. The exhibit features over 350 laser-cut and hand-finished silhouettes of pop culture icons from the cast of Saved by the Bell or Seinfeld to animated Disney classics to Cliff Huxtable in one of his crazy sweaters. I love the juxtaposition of historical cameos with modern pop culture. A brilliant concept, six months of exquisitely detailed paper work and fantastic styling in vintage frames all add up to a spectacular show the is overflowing with Olly’s talent and cleverness.
The Rubik’s Cube is an iconic 1970′s 3D puzzle with the ultimate goal, via twisting and turning, of organizing the squares into six solid colour sides. But how would you solve that puzzle if you couldn’t see the colours? The Braille Rubik’s Cube designed by Konstantin Datz seeks to answer that question with striking results. The braille word is used for each colour so the hues are felt and the puzzle can be solved. A thoughtful and really beautiful piece of design.
There are many reasons I love iconic designer and filmmaker Saul Bass. He was ridiculously talented in so many areas of design and I hope to feature more of his legendary projects in the future. At the moment, I am semi-obsessed with Saul’s 1962 children’s book called “Henri’s Walk to Paris” about a young boy’s adventures in the City of Light. I have attempted to buy this gorgeous book for years but it is a difficult and expensive hunt. A recent bidding frenzy on Ebay ended at almost $500. While remaining hopeful that it is published again one day, I continue to just stare at the images of the book pages. What a showcase of fantastic 1960′s design/illustration, whimsical typography and spectacular use of vivid colour. That simple drawing of hats as the zoo crowd? I love it. Back to Ebay I go…
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…
I knew this morning’s Royal Wedding of William and Kate would be a true celebration of colour, pomp and circumstance. It certainly didn’t disappoint! The gorgeous, timeless beauty of Kate’s ivory Alexander McQueen dress, the vibrant crimson and royal blue military outfits and the rainbow of fancy frocks and fascinators – what a feast for a colour lover! Cool hues, particularly in the blues, appeared to be the most popular fashion choice but every part of the colour spectrum was represented. I particularly love that coral flower worn by one reveller. As I write this, the wedding reception has yet to begin but I’m hoping more colourful photos emerge from that part of the event. I am thrilled that I got to have a party at 3 am and watch such an iconic and colourful celebration of two people that seem so down to earth and in love. Let’s hope William and Kate make colour a priority when they are King and Queen! I have some decorating ideas for Buckingham Palace…
I have always loved designer David Klein’s iconic posters for airline TWA. Created in the 1950′s, the illustrations are gorgeous depictions of travel destinations. It would be great to see modern airlines return to advertising that motivates one to travel rather than photos of aircrafts and details of bargain deals. From the star-filled city of Los Angeles to the romantic layers of a Spanish flamenco dress, David perfectly captures the essence of colour-filled travel spots. I don’t think I have ever seen an illustration of New York that I love more!
If the irritation of folding a map up along its original creases drives you insane, Crumpled City Maps by Palomar might become your new best friend. Described as “soft city maps for urban jungles”, the fabric travel companion takes seconds to open, weights on 20 grams, is super durable and 100% waterproof. Any worries about ripping a map or trying to quickly fold up tourist symbol while in a shady area are gone! Sure, GPS is everywhere but is it as fun and stimulating as a fabric map? (p.s. I’m also liking the colourful packaging and country icons)
The Kingdom Animalia are a creation by Brooklyn-based Enormous Champion. Crafted in the USA and made with sustainably harvested maple and non-toxic paint, the wooden animals are a perfect combination of brilliant design and environmental consciousness. The packaging design is fabulous. Fantastic typography, design and colour. I think my favourite part is the box edges and tiny animal icons that appear. I just love these modern wood animals and their brightly coloured edges. From product to box to the perfect packing material, The Kingdom Animalia represent simply outstanding design.
This advertisement for Iberia, the main airline in Spain, is ridiculously clever. Utilizing the normally mundane strips at the entrance of airport baggage carousels, the iconic bullfighter symbol of Spain promotes direct flights to the European nation. The vivid red not only captures the traditional cloth used by bullfighters, it makes the advertisement hard to ignore. I love design that turns something grey and regular into something really special. Genius!
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.