I recently visited Barcelona, which is a very inspiring city for a designer. One evening I was looking for a typical tapas restaurant in the old streets of the city and I stumbled on the restaurant Bar Brutal, which has a great visual identity, with wide letterings painted on windows. Eventually I ate in another place but back at home I looked for the creator of this nice graphic design work and I discovered Lo Siento, a design studio full of character.
I recently saw The Tale of Princess Kaguya, last movie from Ghibli studio, directed by Isao Takahata. As a big fan of animation movies and Ghibli studio, it's always a great time to see their production in theatre. Based on an old japanese tale, the story has an interesting philosophical aspect but could be understood and appreciated by a large audience, like almost all the Ghibli's productions. By the way, we can find a kind of melancholia as in the last movie of Miyazaki, The Wind Rises.
But more than the story, the graphic style of the movie is really amazing. Mixing up charcoal sketching and watercolor, the design is far away from the other Ghibli movies, even if we can find a derivation from the style of My Neighbors the Yamadas. The drawing is full of life and keeps a lot of spontaneity from the hand of the animator, giving a nice dynamics. This is balanced by the watercolor coloring, with different atmospheres according to the scenes. The whole animation is great, especially on the first scenes when the main character grows up in the moutain. Nature, birds, insects, trees... are simply very beautiful. And as usual with Ghibli, the children are full of energy and their moves and attitudes almost perfect.
A great movie, with strong graphic and scenaristic choices, where animation is at its best !
Trough her work, artist and activist Courtney Mattison shows the oceans beauty and diversity, with a special focus on seafloors. Her ceramic creations are directly inspired by sea life and we can find a lot of amazing details and textures in her pieces of art as well as in her decorative production. Her goal, through her creations, is to "influence policy makers and the public to appreciate the fragile beauty of our endangered marine ecosystems". A very interesting approach, mixing up art and science with a fine subtlety, as a result of her interdisciplinary BA in sculpture and marine ecology.
Guillaume Fizet is a french movie director and motion designer. He works for movies and TV industry and created a lot of credits and opening titles, for channels like Eurosport and movies like Dany Boon Supercondriaque, but he also directed his own short films. His work is an interesting mix up of techniques and graphic styles.
For some years, knitting is becoming trendy, and we can see it more and more used by artists (as well as some other textile techniques). Far away from scarves and bobble hats, artists consider knitting as a medium, in order to create real pieces of art, without any utility.
Tracy Widdess, a Vancouver based artist, explores the knitting technique with a very personnal approach, by creating a series of masks. Inspired by science-fiction and old horror movies, these unidentified creatures are made with high precision, with a lot of details, giving them a curious credible look. With a bit of imagination, their show could even recall old ethnology photographs.
Here in France, (and I presume in some other countries too), Stromae is a very well known artist, having a large success these last years. One very special thing about him is his look, colourful and original. The artist has even launch his own apparel brand, inspired by his visual identity. And this identity is a great success in itself, with an amazing work of graphic design. The singer asked the belgian agency Bold to conceive it, and commonly they defined an isometric graphic system, inspired by Escher's famous impossible figures and african fabrics. Each song has its own pattern, based on a common grid. We can also notice the typographic work, with a special typeface derived from Century Gothic, in the same idea as the whole identity. And the icing on the cake : Stromae talks about his design agency in his interviews, something rare enough to be mentioned !
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