With the closing of the year upon us, looking back at the rather strange and undeniably eventful period of time that was 2016, there is still one important story that needs to be shared here: the transformation of Amsterdam-based perfume house Abel, which we worked on for most of the last twelve months and eventually was presented to the world at Tenue de Nîmes last month. It is a story that started already at the end of 2015 and on many levels became one of the most gratifying assignments completed in the last few years, period.
Although it is often not the first thing mentioned when speaking on these particular things, for us it was first and foremost of the highest pleasure to experience the kind of confidence in our vision as shown by Abel founder Frances Shoemack, who started her brand with two all-organic perfumes in 2012 and came to us in the winter of last year to redefine a new direction for the future. At that point several new fragrances were being perfected by Abel's 'nose' Isaac Sinclair, which would mark an important new chapter that asked to completely rethink all the existing paradigms. Finding strong inspirational anchor points through the traditional start of our proces; a deep dive into, in this particular case, the world of niche parfums, complemented by for instance the work of British poet T.S. Eliot, having a focus on the experience of time, and subsequently finding a visual language that in the richest way possible would translate the conceptual framework on an aesthetic level — over the course of the months that passed it resulted in a sharply redefined strategy, a rigorous repositioning of the brand and aligned with that new direction a completely restyled identity for the, at this point perfected, five piece collection of elegant natural 'living' fragrances that we coined vita odor.
With some time passed, we can look back at both the process and the fruits of the work, and it is safe to say: it makes us as proud as anything we initiated ourselves in the past and it was a unique pleasure to have been part of it all. Now it's time the rest of the world finds out about Abel too! [ Continue reading ]
Although we aren't big basketball aficionados, when Justin Montag (Editor-in-Chief), Chris Dea (Art Director) and Brock Batten (Business Development) launched FRANCHISE magazine six months ago, a complete new perspective on the sport opened up to us. With the current state of basketball publications still being dominated by high definition, high gloss visuals, the trio found inspiration for their magazine in the European independent magazine equivalents from the world of football, who for some years now have brought a much needed contemporary vision to the traditional world of that sport, which FRANCHISE aims to introduce for basketball. Last month, marked the highly anticipated presentation of their second issue, after successfully finding a significant audience since April. The incredible new edition follows up on the debut of the magazine in the best possibly way, showing a next level in the creation of a distinct, artistic visual language and content-wise featuring an interview with legendary NBA fan James Goldstein, a fashion collaboration between Phil Oh & Kalen Hollomon, features on Stephen Baker, Sporting Life and a series named the 'Pixel Hall of Fame', amongst others.
Make sure to pick up and support this unique and exiting voice in the world of basketball. [ Continue reading ]
In a collaboration between Jordi Carles at ...,staat, Pol Pérez' and Josep Román's Barcelona-based design studio Affaire and Baumeister Jung: the beautiful book 'Material Turn' came to life. In it, the photographer Paul Jung and fashion designer Melitta Baumeister —who work on shared multidisciplinary creative projects as Baumeister Jung— hybridize their creative visions to become one, solidifying a moment in time — as beautiful volume-garments are casted out of an otherwise fixed material ànd by capturing the act of wearing it. Through exploration of these areas, the book portrays the relationships that exist between the two bodies, and the way touch and sight may alter the reader’s perception of an object’s qualities.
For 'Material Turn' a number of garments were specifically designed by Baumeister, who generally works with industrial techniques and materials, this time made solely out of three materials: deep black velvet bonded to foam; padded black vinyl; and finally padded white tyvek. In the words of Pérez; the use of these materials helps instill certain preconceptions in the reader’s mind: "black, especially light-absorbing materials, look naturally heavier. At first, the acting that is asked of the model helps reinforce these assumptions: in the first pages, we see her more relaxed and upright when wearing tyvek, whereas velvet dresses are shown as she sits, slouched on a chair, seemingly defeated by its weight."
This behavior slowly fades as the book progresses, dispelling the initial preconceptions — resulting in a captivating proces to be observed throughout the pages of the elegantly designed book, bringing together the talents of Baumeister, Jung, Carles and Pérez & Román into this highly appealing new publication. [ Continue reading ]
Last month, a unique new basketball magazine saw light in Los Angeles, taking a bold position in the extensive existing world of the popular sport full of metrics and predominantly presented through a slick aesthetic. Named FRANCHISE, the beautifully designed magazine approaches the sport strictly from an artistic point of view, having created a raw and diverse visual language far from the usual for their debut issue. The magazine was created by editor-in-chief Justin Montag and creative director Chris Dea, two co-workers up in the Bay Area who both love the sport dearly. During a trip to London, Montag saw how many elegant magazines are being printed in England about football (with the Green Soccer Journal as the prime example, no doubt), which inspired the two Americans to create something similar about the game they love, adding third founder Brock Batten for business development. For the debut issue this resulted in portfolios of UNA Studio’s sharp illustrations, Theophilus Mensah’s beautiful photography of pickup players in Ghana, and NBA Injury R3port’s bizar comics rendered massive. It also features a conversation between Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and the team’s longtime supporter Diplo, as well as a short interview with artist Lauren Fisher, who has created 3D court projections for NBA. The result is by far the most interesting publication on the sport we have ever seen. We don't have much affinity with the sport of basketball, but FRANCHISE might very well inspire some change in that area through its inspirational approach and perspective which we really appreciate. [ Continue reading ]
Featuring an incredible new series by Nick Ballon
In May of last year, Port Magazine founders Dan Crowe and Matt Willey along with explorer Ben Saunders presented an impeccable new title named Avaunt Magazine. It is among the independent magazines which don't just stand out because of its foundational do-it-yourself ethics and fresh creative vision, but als boasting a look and feel which aligns itself with some of the more glossier counterparts. Named Avaunt, a Middle English term based of the Old French word avant (‘to the front’), the magazine is dedicated to adventure in the broadest possible sense. A niche in printed matter on the rise with magazines like Sidetracked and Collective Quarterly being other inspirational names launched in the last few years. For its stories Avaunt will bring the reader endeavours and endurance from the wildest, highest, deepest, coldest and hottest corners of Earth, from respected writers and thinkers, concerning adventures in technology, music, science, style and culture, alongside insights from the pioneers and innovators who are shaping our new world. After two incredible issues having done just that in an utmost elegant manner, we are very happy to finally express our admiration here for the recently launched third issue. Also because the issue features a truly incredible new series by another favorite of ours, photographer Nick Ballon. In the series Ballon photographs Budapest’s Honved Fencing Club with his remarkable photographic eye, being our favorite out of the magazine with overal an inspirational high level of quality, both in its imagery and narrative. Make sure to pick it up somewhere near you. [ Continue reading ]
Last month, iconic Californian streetwear brand Stüssy presented its 7th seasonal Biannual — the magazine that celebrates the new upcoming collection. Where initially it stopped at being only that, over the years it has grown into a standalone publication in which the whole context around the brand is shared rather than just focusing on its own products and stories. It changed radically with Vol - 6, when the very talented Ryan Willms (of the recently stopped Inventory Magazine) took over as the editor of the magazine. Next to a new framework for the scope of the content, Willms' vision also included a new aesthetic for the publication to communicate the new ambitions for the Biannual. All of these elements put together makes the just released Vol - 7 a wonderful standout, the best they have put out so far, promising a lot for the future.
On the pages of the magazine its reader is taken to the island of Jamaica, which has been an inspiration for the brand from the very start through its rich culture, music and grounded lifestyle. On the island, photographer Tyrone Lebon shot his fourth series for Stüssy —very likely his best— exploring Jamaica’s great variety, spending time between Port Antonio and Kingston. Immersed into the Rasta, Reggae and Dancehall cultures of the island, the images convey an honest and exciting perspective of the country. Also dancehall superstar Popcaan is represented on the pages of the magazine. Next to these stories one will find enfant terrible and Bianca Chandôn mastermind Alex Olson, publisher Tom Adler (California Surfing and Climbing in the Fifties!), collage artist Tomoo Gokita, fashion designer Daiki Suzuki, and Hoffman Fabrics, alongside features photographed by James W. Mataitis Bailey, Antosh Cimoszko and Joyce Sze NG in the magazine.
To learn a little more on the interesting new creative direction for the Biannual we connected with Ryan, who in turn gave the word to the brand's in-house designer Chris Glickman, who was kind enough to answer some questions from us right before he took a trip to Japan. [ Continue reading ]
The Amsterdam-based creative mind Ruben Pater, working under the moniker Untold Stories, first caught our attention in 2013 with his 'Drone Survival Guide'. Two years earlier, Pater presented another remarkable project named the 'Borders of the World' notebooks in which he just as masterfully implements a visual narrative on a geopolitical issue - in this particular case having not lost any of its relevance in the years that have passed since (or maybe even becoming more urgent..). Central inspiration for the project are the numerous fortified borders one finds throughout the world. Many of them being heavily guarded -even dividing nations at war like in North and South Korea- or just dividing the fortunate and the less fortunate, like the enclave in Melilla and the Evros fence between Turkey and Greece. Studying these 'walls of the world', Pater observed distinctive patterns in the different fences guarding its nations, which he translated directly onto the pages of the notebooks representing six different borders. The results form a project which still impresses us greatly. [ Continue reading ]
Some months ago we were asked by Utrecht-based studio Autobahn to participate in their '26 Creative Characters' project, which yesterday had its official debut in the newly opened Autobahn Gallery. The ambitious initiative celebrates the typographic diversity of todays graphic design, marking the 10th anniversary celebration of Maarten Dullemeijer and Rob Stolte's design studio. As part of 26 contemporary (typo)graphic designers - among which are Studio Airport, Baster, Jaap Biemans, Martin Pyper, Max Kisman and Thonik - we were invited to create our vision for the letter 'X'. The diverse outcome is a unique mix of styles, materials and ideas, with our design being directly inspired by and executed on a collection of 22 vintage wooden baseball bats, all individually numbered, carrying a little hand painted piece of the X. While creating the project we received numerous inquiries about the unique bats and therefore we decided to make them available for everyone in the newly revived Another Shop (with more coming in the near future!), where you can select your personal favorite numbered piece of the X. [ Continue reading ]
Amsterdam-based luxury travel bag brand Travelteq is one of those brands we have had a very close relationship with for the last half decade, both online in our writings as in the real world. Following a string of shared projects - like visiting the Travelteq factory in 2011 - we are very proud to present the latest and largest collaboration in which we worked together to redefine the strategy, rebuild the brand and restyle the complete identity. In the new vision for Travelteq a direct-to-consumer model is introduced. Key in this new ecosystem is the cutting out of the middlemen, through which Travelteq is able to eliminate high markups - passing the savings to the customers, offering highest quality handcrafted Italian bags and accessories at a revolutionary price point. In line with this new direction an updated aesthetic for the communication of the brand Travelteq was created and introduced in all its different elements on the newly launched website. [ Continue reading ]
Graphics is not restricted to 2D surface anymore in today’s print. While traditional manual techniques like screen printing and letterpress still captivate designers with its handmade characteristics and color choices, new technology encourages them to deliver more visual impact by being inventive with conventional materials. The result is a spectrum of interactive prints and playful life like depictions, which tickle viewers’ fancy. In an attempt to examine the cutting edge of printmaking, 'Print Matters' by inspirational Hong Kong-based publisher viction:ary brings together an amalgam of print designs that have gone beyond pure digital printing. Through more than 110 samples of recent graphic identities, packaging, communications and book designs, this book offers a professional look into the use of varnish, foil-stamping, die-cut, thermal prints, technical folds, and many more, with design specifications. We love this inspirational overview of cutting edge work. [ Continue reading ]
Yesterday marked a highly significant milestone in the 9 year history of our close friends online magazine Fontanel, after the release party on Friday evening at Mendo they officially released their very first printed publication: the definitive showcase of the best design talents who graduated in the Netherlands named 'Dutch Design Talents 14'. The 208-page hardcover book features 19 talents, agency visits, sharp columns and an inspirational dialogue with leading creatives on "the gap" between education and work. This first introduction to an international audience was elegantly designed by Rob van den Nieuwenhuizen (drawswords) and mainly resolves around the 19 talents graduated from renowned Dutch art schools like Eindhoven’s Design Academy, Amsterdam’s Rietveld and The Hague’s Royal Academy of the Arts, after which subsequently a narrative on the overal climate of the current dutch creative culture was formed. Each of the talents is remarkably distinct, one of them is for instance Bob Schiller, who created the EPO Bicycle which we wrote about last year. But despite all the differences in what they created and why, they all share something special in the eyes of Fontanel Chief-editor Willem van Roosmalen: "the combination of a promising attitude and unspoilt creative thinking." [ Continue reading ]
The super inspirational Mannheim-based creative studio Deutsche & Japaner was formed in 2009 by Moritz Firchow, David Wolpert, Ina Yamaguchi and Julian Zimmerman: working in the field of graphic, product and interior design with a rich and highly aesthetic style. Since their start we’ve always been a big fan of their multidisciplinary work. The studio focuses on communication, regardless of its physical condition, environmental, haptical or visual, but always in regard of sustainable experiences, which over the course of the last years resulted in incredible free work, which blends smoothly with commissioned assignments. Next to Moritz' endeavors under the Deutsche & Japaner flag, he has also been running another important source of inspiration named Arcademi; an online publication focusing on (autonomous) creative work from all over the world. To which he added two other amazing projects in 2012; Aesthetics Habitat, through which content is created in collaboration with brands and creative visionaries with thrilling results so far, and lastly in the same year he co-founded a distinguished winery named Love Me Los Angeles, together with wine-expert Katharina Riess, Florian Breimesser. Having been constantly inspired by the creative mind of Moritz, we now ask him about his - general - inspirations. [ Continue reading ]
We have written about the beautiful CITIx60 Art Print Project by Hong Kong-based publisher viction:nary when it was released last November, and they now present another great project in the form of an inspirational book totally resolving around the Chinese character. Considered one of the most intricate writing systems in use, it holds a presence of typographic beauty comprehensible beyond language barriers. Thanks to the growing popularity of Asian cultures, graphic innovations of these centuries-old characters have begun to shine through in the world of modern design, demonstrating excellent skills at crafting ideas and visualizing abstract concepts within complicated forms. The publication by viction:ary gathers works from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and beyond, creating an incredible curation of the most interesting contemporary examples. Stylistically categorized chapters of logo designs and applications offer a close cultural insight into the art of strokes and structure of characters. It then expands the focus to identities, posters, packaging, advertisements and set design. [ Continue reading ]
We are super proud to share our latest work, the new national and international stamps of 2014 for the Netherlands. Together with Fleur Derogee and with the good help of Willem van Roosmalen we’ve created a series of stamps showcasing the very stereotypical icons of the Netherlands in af very, very Dutch way. With a hint to the old Delfts-blue, we transformed the icons into monotone coloured objects, almost like little porcelain statues, or 3D printed if you will, and put them into the abstract Dutch landscapes. All in the national colours red, white and blue. [ Continue reading ]
Say hello to the completely updated website and a new set of Cleartones by our good friend Hugo Verweij - with a newly illustrated world by yours truly Another Company.
The new set, the Cleartones Pure, is based on the 'sine wave'. The sine wave is the only sound in the world which can be called a pure tone. In fact it is the only sound consisting of a single frequency, without overtones. This seems a good starting point for a set of minimalist ringtones, but a single sine wave by itself doesn't sound very compelling. Hugo carefully sculpted it using techniques like frequency modulation and subtle effects can definitely bring it to life. [ Continue reading ]
The national Dutch newspaper Volkskrant invited us, together with Parra, Noma Bar, Andy Rementer, Geneviève Gauckler, Arjan Benning & Nina Broersen, to create an image for their magazine to celebrate Dutch Design and the upcoming Dutch Design Week.
The image we've made is a collection of old and new icons of Dutch Design. From old windmills to the new CCTV building by Rem Koolhaas. From the Rietveld chair and the Chest of Drawers by Tejo Remy to the Egg Vase and Horse Lamp by Marcel Wanders. From the old Fokker and Daf airplanes and cars to the new Joolz strollers. All very Dutch, all beneath sea level... [ Continue reading ]
At this moment I'm on my way to Toronto to celebrate the 175th birthday of Holt Renfrew. A few month back they asked me to create a special design for their Hot@175 Mobile Tour, a cross-country, travelling pop-up shop that will sell exclusively designed, limited edition sweatshirts in celebration of 175 years of style. Six designers from all over the world were asked to join and I was honored to be one of them.
The piece I made was inspired on an old Hold Renfrew brochure cover from 1940. We see a beautiful lady in a fur coat, and just between the word 'Furs' and 'Fourrures' is this sweet little icon of a small animal. It was very subtile, and probably no one really mentioned it since it was very illustrative and the full attentions was drawn by the beautiful lady, but it was there. That little animal was the inspiration mixed with the roman numerals 175 and two little minks hidden in the illustration. [ Continue reading ]
Whilst making the Masters of Malt signature Bathtub Gin, sales director Ben Ellefsen found inconsistencies in the batches of juniper he was using. Inspired by this fact he decided that these inconsistencies could be used for good if he would be able to trace a certain batch of juniper to one particular area. Masters of Malt advertised it's need for quality area-bound juniper and a handful of areas presented themselves with quality juniper which could be used for the production of gin. In the end out of four areas from different parts of Europe the Origin Single Estate gins were created. [ Continue reading ]
Our friends at Deutsche & Japaner updated their portfolio with some amazing work. Deutsche & Japaner was formed by Moritz Firchow, David Wolpert, Ina Yamaguchi and Julian Zimmerman, focussing on graphic, product and interior design with a rich and highly aesthetic style. Since their start back in 2009… [ Continue reading ]
Calepino, the lovely little French notebook company, released a special series of notebooks in collaboration with the graphic and typographic studio from Nantes called La Casse. 'Alteration', as the collaboration is named, is a pack of 3 notebooks, made using manuel letterpress printing. [ Continue reading ]
Copenhagen-based design agency Dyhr.Hagen recently published FAT Magazine. A beautifully made magazine with an international outlook and global scope. Fat stands for Fashion, Art, Type & contemporary genres that offer mutual inspiration. Sounds like everything we love! The second issue, issue B, features some lovely… [ Continue reading ]
It is always good to see print is far from dead, and there are still people investing in good quality and craftsmanship. For more than 12 years ‘Studio on Fire’ is doing a great job in letterpress printing, and keeping the craft alive! The studio started late 1999,… [ Continue reading ]
Karte Design Fabrik, a design collective based in Berlin, Germany, by Garreth and Liz, are bringing some lovely modern stationary. They’ve just released 6 new collections with geometric shapes and muted colours including hand-illustrated Valentines Day cards and a range of Scandinavian and New York inspired… [ Continue reading ]
The Swedish boutique Artilleriet is offering these two limited edition city guides designed by David Ehrenstrahle. One map with a guide of places and experiences in Manhattan, New York of 2010, and one of Paris for the coming year. Limited to 473 pieces and… [ Continue reading ]