Designer Matt Chase Creates Powerful Graphics That Are More Like Pieces of Art

Matt Chase

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting designer/illustrator Matt Chase at a meet-up over beers. Curious to see his work I was excited to see that he does fantastic work around editorial illustration and publication design. His work is highly stylized and full of graphic punch, illustrating strong messages with only the minimal elements necessary. You can see that he’s been influenced by some of the great designers out there but I feel like he brings his own unique touches to his pieces.

If you dig his work you can purchase some of them (like the beautiful piece above for The Great Gatsby) over in his shop. The sprinkle popsicle skateboard deck is calling my name.

Matt Chase

Matt Chase

Matt Chase

Matt Chase

Bobby Solomon

September 29, 2014 / By

Thom Yorke Surprisingly Drops Brand New Album, Available Via BitTorrent and Vinyl

Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

Seemingly out of nowhere Thom Yorke dropped a new album titled Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes this morning, to the delight of Radiohead nerds around the world. In typical Thom Yorke fashion he opted to release the album through a rather unconventional source: BitTorrent. For $6 you receive a BitTorrent bundle that contains eight tracks and an extremely odd music video featuring close-ups of Yorke’s face and him jumping around with boxing gloves. You be you Thom. You also have the option of buying the album on vinyl which looks pretty rad, though it’s £30.00 price tag might be a tougher pill to swallow. Still, I’m sure it was pressed in a very small edition so you may want to snag one while you can.

Bobby Solomon

September 26, 2014 / By

Ambio, A Stylishly Designed Lamp Filled With Bioluminescent Bacteria

Ambio, A Modern Lamp Filled With Bioluminescent Bacteria

Fusing nature and technology is an interesting practice. Biomimetics is sure to be a field ripe with potential in the near future though a few intrepid designers are already start to spearhead the way. Teresa van Dongen, an Amsterdam based designer who also studied Biology at the University of Amsterdam, hasn’t gone completely biomimetic but you can see the principles in her Ambio light. The “lamp” is filled with a glowing bacteria that was collected from octopi, which when shaken lights up with a beautiful blue tone.

Ocean waves glowing blue in the dark of night, anyone who has ever experienced this knows how magical it looks. The phenomenon is caused by bioluminescent bacteria in seawater that emit light in response to oxygen and movement. This principle inspired me to combine my passion for design and biology in a bioluminescent light installation.

It’s a pretty great idea that certainly has potential for using nature as a source of light. If someone can figure out how to keep the bacteria alive in the glass tube, or create a synthetic version of the bacteria (whatever that might mean) you could imagine these as potential night lights. The physical design of the lamps are also aesthetically beautiful as well, truly adding to the beauty of the idea.

Ambio, A Modern Lamp Filled With Bioluminescent Bacteria

Bobby Solomon

September 25, 2014 / By

A (Farm) House in the Hamptons

Barn House by D’apostrophe Design

Barn House by D’apostrophe Design

Located in the quite hamlet of Remsenburg near New York’s Westhampton, Barn House is a beautiful home renovated from a faux barn that was originally built in the 1980s. Today it stands as the weekend home of Le Pain Quotidien CEO Vincent Herbert and his family.

Barn House by D’apostrophe Design

Designed by Herbert’s close friend – the interior architect Francis D’Haene of D’Apostrophe Design – the project seems to have been a real passion project for the client and designer, with D’Haene mixing old and new to excellent effect.

Barn House by D’apostrophe Design

I love the rustic charm on the outside of the home. D’Haene seems to have really wanted to maintain this and even added wood salvaged from a 200-year-old Canadian barn to add to the personality of the outside. Inside is a different story all-together. Almost nothing from the original interior was. Low-ceilings and dated surfaces were quickly scrapped and replaced with an interior which pares everything back to the bare essentials. It makes for a great interior and I would certainly love to spend a couple of long-weekends in this wonderfully minimalist retreat.

Barn House by D’apostrophe Design

Philip Kennedy

September 25, 2014 / By

Steven Soderbergh Recontextualizes ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ To Highlight It’s Staging

Steven Soderbergh Recontextualizes 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' To Highlight It's Staging

Steven Soderbergh Recontextualizes 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' To Highlight It's Staging

Only a director like Steven Soderbergh would be intrepid enough to turn Steven Spielberg’s classic Raiders of the Lost Ark black and white and overdub it with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack music, all in the name of learning. In a recent post on his site he uses this version of the film to teach staging of scenes, an art that Spielberg did masterfully.

I value the ability to stage something well because when it’s done well its pleasures are huge, and most people don’t do it well, which indicates it must not be easy to master (it’s frightening how many opportunities there are to do something wrong in a sequence or a group of scenes. Minefields EVERYWHERE. Fincher said it: there’s potentially a hundred different ways to shoot something but at the end of the day there’s really only two, and one of them is wrong).

It’s actually really interesting to watch the film in such a different way: no color, no dialogue, and a very contemporary soundtrack that’s cut to each scene. My only complaint is that there’s no way to like this, thus no way to be able to watch this on the Vimeo channel on my Apple TV. Watching this on my Macbook Pro is definitely not as impactful as the experience on my TV would be.

Bobby Solomon

September 24, 2014 / By

Barnes & Webb Employ a Creative Solution to Help the Honeybees

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You may have noticed that bees have been popping up here and there and the Fox is Black recently. Why? Quite simply: they’re important, not only to our own well-being but for that of the greater Earth too. Unfortunately in recent years their numbers have been dropping and their environments disrupted. Barnes & Webb of London have come up with a wholly creative solution that attempts to mitigate the issue. Their service offers bees right in your backyard and all the delicious honey that comes with doing so. What grabbed my attention was their detail to design, branding, and the arts, as they cleverly combine the three in order to uplift their service and aid the honeybee’s plight.

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Apes curamus et nos curant (we look after honey bees and they look after us); the tiny insects are integral to the environment but also economies. In the past 60 years, the number of honeybee colonies has fallen drastically from six million to two-and-a-half million present. According to the US Department of agriculture, one mouth in three benefits from honeybee pollination. That’s huge. How huge? As of June, President Obama launched a task force tasked with protecting the bees, investing $50m into research and action to combat the decline.

Environmental responsibility is becoming a popular public affair and more light is being shed on the honeybee issue. It’s businesses like Barnes & Webb that demonstrate, quite optimistically, how we can tackle these topics with a flair of creativity.

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Barnes & Webb install and manage beehives across London, providing raw, local honey and all the pleasures of urban beekeeping without any of the hassle. The concept is more or less as a result of a key insight: you don’t have to have 100 acres to help the honeybee. Every lawn, every yard, and even rooftops can pitch in. When it comes to honeybees, the smallest change can affect the global food supply—so customers can rest assured knowing they’re making a valuable contribution.

The creative approach trickles down into the product itself too. The package design is smart, clean, and minimal, which makes a traditional product feel modern and makes honey and the honeybee stand out on your shelves or kitchen cupboards. Engaging and proactive.

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Aside from the packaging, Barnes & Webb work with local talent to further help their brand stand out and place the honeybee on a pedestal. They’ve collaborated with designer Anthony Burrill to produce a one off print and identity, which the brand uses extensively, from posters to advertising. They’ve also seen commercial work be produced on behalf of Olivia Whitworth, an English architect turned illustrator, who adds charm and personality to the company’s image.

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The fun doesn’t stop at their packaging or advertising—just last week over 30 artists and illustrators created unique artworks that went on display and were auctioned off to fund the company’s not-for-profit campaign activities. Of the talent featured was Burrill, Edward Monaghan, Jean Julilen, Essy May, Adrian Johnson, Robert Hunter, Jody Barton, Stevie Gee, and more.

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Connecting bee lovers and keepers, artists, designers, environmentalists, and the wider public, Barnes & Webb use these events to ultimately raise awareness on the issues faced by the honeybee and other important pollinators. They believe in “combining the creativity, knowledge and passion of individuals and organizations to create initiatives that benefit the bees and our environment. A powerful network for positive change.”

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While it’s often easy to get cynical when it comes to environmental affairs, Barnes & Webb’s approach is refreshingly optimistic. Their service demonstrates that the issue can be aided with creativity and design.

Whether we like it or not we have a duty towards the planet, as recent years have seen us leave a negative impact. What many forget is that we therefore have the power to incur the inverse and work towards responsibly inhabiting what we’ve come to know as home. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, right? I believe Barnes & Webb are on the forefront of this positive change, their approach will serve to hopefully inspire others.

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The aforementioned collaboration and event was the first of many that the Barnes & Webb has planned. Follow the brand’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for updates on forthcoming events.

Nick Partyka

September 24, 2014 / By

Peter Mendelsund Teaches Book Cover Design on Skillshare

Peter Mendelsund Teaches Book Cover Design on Skillshare

I don’t tend to post about many online classes but this Skillshare class certainly caught my attention. The extremely talented Peter Mendelsund is offering up his knowledge for an upcoming class on book cover design, teaching how to read as a graphic designer, iterate with imagination, and breaking the “rules” to make your message stand out.

Skillshare conducted an interview with Mendelsund on their blog, and I this question and answer in particular stood out to me.

Why is lifelong learning important to you?
PM: Lifelong learning is crucial. I had been one thing for most of my life [ed. note: a musician] and changed very late to a new career. I’m extremely aware of the twists and turns that life can take, and I think the key is really to maintain an open mind over a long period of time. Life is long: be open to the changes that present themselves to you.

You can sign up for the design class by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

September 23, 2014 / By

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