Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Field Notes


Last week, I was lucky enough to attend a talk from graphic designer Aaron James Draplin. Besides being a great entertainer, and terrifically inspiring designer, he introduced us to his line of notebooks; Field Notes.

Inspired by field notebooks used by farmers throughout American (and Canadian) agricultural history, these little notebooks are a throwback to times when paper and pencil were essential, and kept on hand at all time. Special editions have included crop inspired designs, state inspired designs, flower inspired designs, and more. Neat, simple, well designed and functional. Important hallmarks of smart design. I'm definitely going to get my hands on a few of these soon.

(Also, check out Draplin's designs at www.draplin.com. Slick stuff)

Jump Rope Bag

When we think of great advertising we don't usually think about our shopping bags (they're usually pretty boring) but YKM's jump rope bag design is definitely an attention getter. This is a really great example of how print is an awesome advertising tool when used right.

Art Deco Inspired Branding

Vegan cookie dough company EatPastry, needed branding that would set them apart from their competitors, so they hired Moxie Sozo who came up with this great design. Each container is decorated with hand illustrated, art deco inspired, images. They are a beautiful addition to your gourmet grocery store shelf! 

Tugboat Print Shop Woodblock Prints

I stumbled on this amazing print shop called Tugboat the other day. They create incredibly detailed woodblock prints and have fantastic photos detailing the process on their website. The amount of craftsmanship and artistry is mind-boggling. I want at least one of each! Even the woodblocks themselves are wall-worthy!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Cielito | Package Design

Cielito is a Latin American reinvention of the coffee-house experience. A place that surprises, comforts and engages all senses through its space, ambiance, taste, colours and histories. Cielito draws inrpiration from Mexican history and it’s symbolism, colours and illustrated graphics of the late 19th and 20th century. Their graphic language is really recognizable with a universal appeal. I love how their designs are really cleanly laid out with a focus on typography. 

Friday, 20 April 2012

Business Card Inspiration!

Business cards have been on my mind lately. As an aspiring designer, I'm trying to figure out the best way to brand myself, and business cards have a pretty important role in all that. An interesting business card can mean the difference between someone keeping your contact info around, or tossing out with the rest of the white, rectangular garbage. Plus, a well designed business card is a little taste of a designer's talent and style. Minimal? Quirky? Outside-the-box? Handmade? Slick and glossy? What to do!? I'm not sure I'll go as crazy as the cards pictured above, but they've definitely given me some food for thought. (Or, eye-candy for thought at least!).

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Kingdom Animalia | lovely packaging

Enormouschampion, located in the USA, designed this line of packaging and wooden animals called Kingdom Animalia. The boxes are constructed out of recycled cardboard and are offset printed. I like their colour scheme and how its a little more mature than the typical bright and vibrant children colours. The packages have good graphic elements and the typography is laid out nicely.  

Kraken Rum Bottle Label

The label for Kraken Rum is one of the best print labels I've ever seen. Check out their gorgeous website here.

TACN Packaging

TACN Studio

I came across this Vancouver based design studio while looking for packaging inspiration. They've created several beautiful, clean, classic and memorable bottle designs and labels. I'll admit to being heavily influenced by smart packaging when I'm buying wine. My favorite in this bunch is the B Frank wine label — it gives you space on the label to write why you're really drinking/giving this wine. Clever.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Inkjet Transfers - Printing on Metal

I came across this great tutorial on YouTube when searching for ways to print on metal. You need a gigantic laser printer to do this, but the results are pretty amazing, and makes me wonder about what else I could print artwork on...hmmmm. The results were really gorgeous and luminous. Anyone want to go halfsies on a large-format Epson with me?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Screen Print Basics

Screenprinting 101: How to Design for a Screenprinted Project

Screen printing pops up everywhere. From posters, to tshirts, postcards and limited edition keepsakes, screen printing is a classic and beautiful way to distribute innovative images. When intending to screen print designs, designers need to keep a couple of things in mind. Screen printing doesn't handle gradients or opacity well, and it doesn't work like digital or offset printing. VCC Graphics have put together a great guide to designing for screen prints, check it out!

Fancy Tape

These fancy tape rolls are a great example of cool print ideas! You could use the lace one to decorate furniture, add a border to the wall, or even fancy up a vintage mirror. The hinges would look awesome for packaging, on a bookshelf or desk.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Start Here: Linkable Notebooks

The design team at littlefury came up with a great idea and Start here notebooks were the product. The notebooks link together increasing organization and functionality, they needed a great packaging design too. littlefury gave the packaging a clean and simple design while still maintaining its usefulness. All the notebooks have 100% recyclable covers and stain, tear, and water resistant synthetic paper inside. Find the notebooks here!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Print Is Evolving: 3D Printing

Along with everything else, print is evolving. 3D printing is being seen more and more. This project, titled Arkitypo, by London based design studio Johnson Banks is a complete set of 3D printed letters that each showcase a different typeface from history. An example is the letter C, designed using the typeface Courier. The design makes use of typewriter keys, because this particular typeface was used in 1950's typewritters.

To see all the letters visit johnsonbanks.co.uk

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Curious Mixture

This could possibly be one of my absolute favorite packaging designs. The use of Lost Type Co-ops' Tomasso, and clever marketing creates an absinthe bottle worth purchasing and never consuming. Not only does Stig Bratvold have a fabulously minimalist approach, but a touch of whimsy almost makes the entire design light-hearted. The dark bottle could have been heavy and drab, but excellent choice of display type in a beautiful contrasting silver gives the feeling of a bottle straight out of an apothecary, and the burlap sack gives an additional texture that compliments the design instead of fighting for attention.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Bia van Deventer

Bia Van Deventer designed this beautifully vintage inspired album for the band, Manouche. I’m loving the typography, attential to detail and colour palette.

Gorgeous Tea Packaging

This is some of the prettiest tea packaging I've ever seen. I love how clean and simple it is, not to mention the shape of the tea bag itself is stunning. The shape of the box is intriguing as well. Lovely work by Natalia Ponomareva from Russia.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Vintage Logo Inspiration

http://www.psdbucket.com/vintage-logo-badges-set Vintage logos mimicking old fashioned seals and embossed stickers seem to be all the rage these days. Check out these PSD vintage logo files on psdfiles.com You've gotta pay for those if you want them, so why not use these lovely logos to inspire your own design! Think how good something like this would look printed out on stickers, or adorning letterhead and envelopes. You've got all of human history to draw from, let the vintage designs flow!

Letterpress Studios

Cast Iron Design Company created a beautiful identity for Letterpress Studios (Jack Sinclair). How amazing are these pieces? Nothing has as much impact as a simple colour palette (black, baby blue, and the cream of the paper), beautiful typography, and a fun design. Promotional pieces were printed (at Letterpress Studio) to advertise this small and growing production house. I particularly loved the combination of a slab serif with a tall condensed font. Spot on.

Burlap & Paper

This collection of photographs is attributed to Discover Paper

Print does not always pertain to strictly paper and packaging, so whilst browsing on of my absolutely favorite blogs, I came across a match made in textural heaven: burlap and paper. And while I love the idea of combining the rustic potato sack and course (or linen blend) paper, hop on over to Discover Paper and see for yourself.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Manual: Loose Leaf Publishing Project

 Manual Creative is a design studio based in San Francisco. Every year they publish an edition of Loose Leaf; a carefully picked selection of artworks by artists, designers, and photographers. Each edition comes with pre-punched holes and aluminum pushpins that allow you to display the Loose Leaf on the wall. The unbound format makes it possible to change the image on a whim. This is a really great way to show the work of some very creative people and get their work out there.

To get your own Loose Leaf visit www.looseleafeditions.com