Archive for December, 2009

An Unique Creative Space for People of All Ages

Friday, December 18th, 2009

The one thing Ireland is really lacking is an array of specialised indoor Creative Spaces. There is plenty of inspiration outdoors but there are not many indoor spaces with dedicated creative activities for people of all ages within the community.

When I found New York based Moomah and saw all the activities there for kids and adults alike, it definitely seemed like something we could do with here as the dark winter nights set in early. The philosophy of Moomah to provide a space for people to unwind relax and be creative with their kids is admirable. Rather than being entertained, people entertain themselves by doing creative tasks together to really get to know each other by interacting. After all the activities you can sit back to enjoy a coffee or some food. It is a great idea that is excellently executed in its services, activities and thorough branding, even one part of the website even has a page dedicated to creating images as seen here

moomah playful logos

moomah playful activities

moomah signage and bags

With all the excess property in Ireland – perhaps some of the empty ‘ghost estates’ throughout the country could be used for creative spaces and activity centres like Moomah for communities during these dark cold winter nights.

Christmas Shopping in the 19th Century

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

As I unsuccessfully attempted to do my Christmas shopping at the weekend – I was confronted by a vast array of colourful packaging and it got me wondering what it must of been like to go Christmas shopping for my parents or grandparents years ago. So I dug out Label Design by Claude Humbert I bought a few years ago in a second hand book shop which has a diverse range of labels and packaging from the 19th century and the 20th century. As we were reading through the book in the office we thought it would be fun to put together a Christmas shopping list from the book. After work we got busy choosing and scanning the labels we thought we might find in a 19th century home during the festive season. Unfortunately all the labels are in black and white but the rich detail in the designs are still visible to be appreciated. Its amazing how detailed these labels are, the strength of the typography and how incredibly well they have aged. We are currently working on a brand for a food company that is inspired by these type of labels but with a modern twist. Later in the week we might do a 20th century collection of labels that you might find in a home during Christmas in the early 1900’s.

Label designs for British Columbian Salmon, Gingerbread and Damson Jam by Lawrence Joyce Liverpool

Label designs for British Columbian Salmon, Gingerbread and Damson Jam by Lawrence Joyce Liverpool

Beauty products and bathroom items label design      Epsom Salts and Beauty Cream products label design that could of been found in the 1800's bathroom

Beauty products and bathroom items label design Epsom Salts and Beauty Cream products label design that could of been found in the 1800's bathroom

Label design for knife polish and camping furniture that could been on Santa's List! Far right a disinfectant label probably used to clean up after the Christmas party

Label design for knife polish and camping furniture that could been on Santa's List! Far right a disinfectant label probably used to clean up after the Christmas party

Labels for soap from Lautz Bro's and Soapine that could of been a socking filler over the fireplace in the 1800's. Textile labels of clothing from F.S.Cleaver and Nulsson Skirt that could of been under the Christmas tree in the 19th century

Labels for soap from Lautz Bro's and Soapine that could of been a socking filler over the fireplace in the 1800's. Textile labels of clothing from F.S.Cleaver and Nilsson Skirt that could of been under the Christmas tree in the 19th century

What someone would need to buy in the 19th Century to send Christmas cards, pencils, paper, envelopes and postcards

What someone would need to buy in the 19th Century to send Christmas cards, pencils, paper, envelopes and postcards

Detailed labels designed in the 19th century for Royal biscuits, Sweet Chocolate, Dunn & Hewett Cocoa and Walter Williams Mountain Coffee designed in the 19th Century

Detailed labels designed in the 19th century for Royal biscuits, Sweet Chocolate, Dunn & Hewett Cocoa and Walter Williams Mountain Coffee designed in the 19th Century

Labels of liqueur for Elixir De Garus and mineral water designed in the 19th century

Labels of liqueur for Elixir De Garus and mineral water designed in the 19th century

Alcohol labels from Guinness, C.F. Berger Acouvet, Malaga wine and wine from A. Siegfried Merian in Basel designed in the 19th century that might of been in the Christmas shopping trolley

Alcohol labels from Guinness, C.F. Berger Acouvet, Malaga wine and wine from A. Siegfried Merian in Basel designed in the 19th century that might of been in the Christmas shopping trolley to celebrate the festive season

I wonder if you would find these labels for Fine Castor Oil and Bi-Carbonate Soda back in the 19th Century
Labels for Fine Castor Oil and Bi-Carbonate Soda with strong clear typography

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Unfortunately handwritten and typed letter writing has become a dying art. Email allows for instant responses, resulting in the structure of formalities of letter writing being somewhat sidelined. The Letters of Note website offers some fantastic letters from the letter writing era. It is a website that you could spend hours browsing through. When reading through these old letters, you get a unique sense of the need to fit in all the information in one swoop whilst being very charming. The simple personal touch of the signatures on the end of each letter really makes each individual letter that more impressive. We’ve picked out our favourite letters on the website from David Bowie, Cary Grant and Mick Jagger below.

This letter by David Bowie displays a wonderful interest in his first American fan who had written a letter to his London fan club offering to set up an American fan club. It was a lovely reply by Bowie, text version here.

letter_david_bowie

A complete gem of a letter here by Cary Grant thanking Levi Strauss for shirts delievered to his house while suggesting perhaps they should introduce a plain coloured clothing range.

letter_cary_grant

Here is another great letter from a musician, which has a particular interest to us graphic designers because the letter is a brief from Mick Jagger to Andy Warhol inviting him to design an album cover for The Rolling Stones. See the text version of the letter here.

letter_mick_jagger

All images sourced from the great Letters of Note website.

Christmas in the Heart

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Its starting to get close to Christmas and people are noticeably getting into the Christmas spirit so we bought the new Bob Dylan album – Christmas in the Heart, a brilliant album full of old Christmas classics sung by Dylan himself.

bob_dylan

The best thing about the album is that the royalties from the album benefit Feeding America and other international charities. “It’s a tragedy that more than 35 million people in this country alone — 12 million of those children — often go to bed hungry and wake up each morning unsure of where their next meal is coming from,” Dylan wrote on his website “I join the good people of Feeding America in the hope that our efforts can bring some food security to people in need during this holiday season.” For albums bought outside the USA, royalties will go to World Wide – WFP and in the UK the proceeds will go to Crisis. See the excellent video for Must Be Santa below, the first appearance in a music video by Dylan since 1997.

Julius Shulman Architectural Photography

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

“What good is a dream house if you haven’t got a dream?” – Julius Shulman

visual_acousticsThe legendary architectural photographer Julius Shulman passed away earlier this year. Before his passing a documentary, Visual Acoustics – The Modernism of Julius Shulman was made to celebrate the images of modern American architecture captured by Shulman. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman and directed by Eric Bricker the film documents the evolution of modern architecture while paying homage to the man who brought it to the general public attention with such eloquent style.

“Architects live and die by the images that are taken of their work, photographer Julius Shulman has defined the way we look at modernism.”

This memorable passage from the documentary should not just resonate with architects but with other business owners as well, we all live and die by how we are presented to the world and Shulman presented Californian architecture like no other. Shulman was ahead of his time in so many respects, his work signified the importance of highlighting the beauty of the architecture by capturing your imagination. The strong use of lines and the brightness of the Californian sun in his work really invite you into the photograph. Check out further details on the films website here or view the trailer for the documentary here and great photos of Shulman by Kwaku Alston like the one below here.

This great photograph of Julius Shulman by Kwaku Alston, note the humourous sign right foreground of photograph, "Old Age & Treachery Will Overcome Youth & Skill"
This great photograph of Julius Shulman by Kwaku Alston, note the humourous sign right foreground of photograph, “Old Age & Treachery Will Overcome Youth & Skill”


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