Ancient structures within labyrinths, tessellating totems, and faceless generals—these are the landscapes created by Matthew Craven. A recent graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts, he renders mixed media optical illusions that are as bold as they are perplexing. With an emphasis on black and white patterns and natural shapes, Craven’s work recalls the past while capturing a completely modern aesthetic.
Pablo Delcán is a design wunderkind. His book cover art continues to enthrall with clever takes on Vladimir Nabokov and Jules Verne classics as well as reinterpretations of stories like The Three Little Pigs. (It’s hard not to fall for a story rendered entirely out of strips of bacon!) And though he continues to rack up impressive book jacket credits, his lettering skills are just as worthy of awe and applause.
In a short video aptly titled “Lettering”, Delcán showcases various lettering pieces including a series of chalk drawings done on a blackboard in his kitchen. Inspired by the front page news on that day’s New York Times or New York Post newspaper, he sets a boundary of 2 to 3 colors and gives himself 20–40 minutes every morning to create a single chalk drawing that stays up for a day before being erased the next morning. Though ephemeral in execution, his skill is both sharp and enduring.
Though once considered more of a learned skill than an elevated art form, mixology has gone one to become a phenomenon. Whether you’re a purist and revere the classics or prefer the thrill of spirited invention, concocting cocktails is a marriage of science and innovation. Australian creative agency The Monkeys has taken that concept a step further with Mixionary, a series of color-blocked posters that celebrate the most beloved cocktails through deconstructed screen prints.
Punctuated by beautiful typography and eye-catching imagery, High Tide is a new creative studio focused on engaging design. Recently launched by art director and illustrator Danny Miller and brand marketer Ariel Stark-Benz, the Manhattan-based studio already counts venerable spectacle company Warby Parker as a client. “We always aim to create work that is unique, simple, timeless, and ideally helps people communicate better with the world,” says Miller. I would argue that simplicity factors into their work too.
I’ve always wondered if there’s a term for those of us continually attracted to the simplicity of Scandinavian design. Once you give in to the clean lines, natural elements, and pops of color, it’s often hard to gravitate towards any other aesthetic. It’s a design style that continues to expand internationally, too, as evidenced by Gestalten’s recently published book, Northern Delights, as well as through an enduring popularity on Pinterest. I was thrilled to recently discover Morten & Jonas, a unique Norwegian design company that creates everything from modern furniture and bookends to cake stand lamps built by prison inmates.