Chuck Taylor 1970 HI ‘Woven Textile’ Sneakers

Chuck Taylor 1970 HI 'Woven Textile' Sneakers

I’m a big fan of high tops, but I’ve never been a Chuck Taylor kind of guy. There’s nothing wrong with a good pair of Chuck’s, they’re probably the most iconic American shoe around, they simply haven’t been my style. That said, there’s an exception to every rule, and these new 1970 HI ‘Woven Textile’ sneakers caught my attention immediately.

Chuck Taylor 1970 HI 'Woven Textile' Sneakers

I love the loose knit, multi-colored, chunky yarn that envelopes the shoe. It’s an effect that could really go wrong or look quite tacky. It was smart for the designers to go with more muted yarns and only blending in a subtle bit of color, which pairs quite well with the vegetable tanned leather, creating an overall sophisticated, bohemian touch.

Chuck Taylor 1970 HI 'Woven Textile' Sneakers

They’re not for everyone, and that’s why they’re so great. You can grab a pair for yourself (they’re unisex!) over on Bows & Arrows.

Bobby Solomon

October 28, 2014 / By

Create Realistic Mixed-Media Waterscapes with a Free Guide from Craftsy (Sponsored)

Create Realistic Mixed-Media Waterscapes with a Free Guide from Craftsy (Sponsored)

Have you dreamed about capturing the ocean’s beauty on canvas? Discover foolproof techniques for drawing and painting crashing waves, picturesque ponds and much more with Craftsy’s free, exclusive guide: Secrets to Creating Realistic Waterscapes in Mixed Media.

Gain all the essential skills for success when you take advantage of instant access to 21 pages packed with step-by-step mixed media tutorials, tips, and tricks, from artist Antonella Avogadro. From drawing flowing water to realistic water drops, learn everything you need to know.

Download the free guide at Craftsy.com.

Bobby Solomon

October 27, 2014 / By

Sophisticated Branding for Fort Point Beer Company by Manual

Fort Point Beer Company Branding by Manual

Crafting unique, standout labels for a new beer seems like an awesome challenge. Making sure that the brew stands out in a competitive market can be difficult as well as creating a look that feels unique and original. Manual, the SF based design firm, has struck gold with this sophisticated look for the Fort Point Beer Company, a craft brewery located in San Francisco’s Presidio.

The brewery resides in a historic Presidio building that was formerly used as an Army motor pool. Their iconic location—close to both the Golden Gate Bridge and the Fort Point National Historic Site—provided inspiration for a modular, illustrative brand identity. The result is a brand that locals can identify with and, as the brand grows and becomes available throughout the nation, can be regarded as the new San Francisco craft beer.

Fort Point Beer Company Branding by Manual

I’m a sucker for gold these days (my team will back this up) and the black, white, and tomato red color combinations really make me happy. The geometric patterns have a playful nature which remind me of the work of Mary Blair, and at the same time honors a San Francisco landmark.

Fort Point Beer Company

The choice of a Copperplate Gothic-esque font pairs well with the bold, geometric lines that make up the label. It has a feeling of being both contemporary yet classic, bringing to mind the early days of San Francisco. The overall branding is extremely charming and inviting, and when you see the bottle it certainly looks like something new that you want to try.

You can see more images from the project by clicking here.

Fort Point Beer Company Branding by Manual

Fort Point Beer Company Branding by Manual

Fort Point Beer Company Branding by Manual

Bobby Solomon

October 27, 2014 / By

David Chang: “I Hate Fancy Beers”

Miller High Life Print by Alan Hynes

As I write this I’m sipping on a Miller High Life, are is it’s been dubbed, the “Champagne of Beers”. I acquired a taste for it back in 2010/2011 when I was attempting to freelance during a recession. At the corner liquor store near my apartment was 40s of High Life which only cost in the ballpark of $2.50. So long as you kept the 40 oz. cool it was actually a pretty damn good beer. Even Bon Appétit agrees.

Which brings me to my point, this recent article by David Chang for GQ espousing his love for cheap beer. As he says in the article, which I also agree with, rare, obnoxious, snooty beers are great, this is not the reason for his piece. His argument centers around the area that he cares about most: that cheap beers pairs well with food. Here’s the paragraph where he knocks it out of the park.

For all the debatability of my rant here, let me make one ironclad argument for shitty beer: It pairs really well with food. All food. Think about how well champagne pairs with almost anything. Champagne is not a flavor bomb! It’s bubbly and has a little hint of acid and tannin and is cool and crisp and refreshing. Cheap beer is, no joke, the champagne of beers. And cheap beer and spicy food go together like nothing else. Think about Natty Boh and Old Bay-smothered crabs. Or Asian lagers like Orion and Singha and Tiger, which are all perfect ways to wash down your mapo tofu.

Couldn’t agree more. Also, as I tend to find random things when I research posts, I found the really sweet Miller High Life print by Alan Hynes (at top) which you might want to snag. Only $40.

Bobby Solomon

October 27, 2014 / By

Everyday Surrealism: Chuck Anderson’s Skillshare Class About Creating Art from Photos

Everyday Surrealism: Chuck Anderson's Skillshare Class About Creating Art from Photos

Chuck Anderson

Lately I’ve been really impressed with the creative photography that Chuck Anderson has been posting to his Instagram lately. The aesthetic blends surrealism and blown out lights and colors which make for a visual feast. Now he’s offering a course on how to do similar things with your own photos in this Skillshare class titled Everyday Surrealism: Creating Art from Photos.

Artist Chuck Anderson is known for his surreal, colorful aesthetic and the way he merges photography, design, and art. In this 45-minute class, join Chuck as he photographs 3 scenes—architecture, a still-life, and a landscape—and then transforms each into a collaged work of art using (amazingly) a single mobile app.

Throughout the class, Chuck shares his vision so that you understand the philosophy behind every technique. You’ll refine your eye as a designer, sensibility as a photographer, and imagination as an artist. Whether you want more experimental images for an upcoming exhibit, album cover, show poster, wall print, or even your Instagram feed, this class is the perfect combination of vision, technique, and real creativity.

Bobby Solomon

October 24, 2014 / By

Peter Mendelsund Discusses Cover Design with NPR’s Fresh Air

Peter Mendelsund

World-class book cover designer Peter Mendelsund recently sat down with Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies to speak about his craft. The interview covers the why of a book jacket, why dead authors get the best covers, and the future of physical books. My favorite part was his anecdote on the process he goes through when he designs a cover. We should all beware creating “Frankenstein” designs.

DAVIES: And typically, how many versions will you make up?

MENDELSUND: Before I’ll show a jacket, I’ll tend to make a hundred and up various versions of a jacket for it. And that’s before I show in to an editor or an author. And when I show something, I tend to show one – the one that I think really works. I tend not to show multiple options because that sort of engenders confusion in people. And then there’s this kind of – there’s this kind of thing that happens where people look at the various things you’ve made, and they want to pull the aspects of the various comps that they like and put them together in kind of a – into a kind of a Frankenstein jacket. You know, take the color from this one. And the type from that one. And the imagery from that one. Can you make something out of that? One of the interesting things about jackets is that the material isn’t really transposable in that way. You know, one jacket works well with those components. You know, you bring in a different color, and all of a sudden, everything falls to pieces. So I like to show one thing only when I show the client.

Bobby Solomon

October 22, 2014 / By

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Nancy McCabe

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Nancy McCabe

Nancy M

When I come across a well-designed pattern I tend to marvel at the time and effort that must have taken place to achieve such perfection. In my mind I see it as an artist creating a jigsaw puzzle in their head without the photo on the box to guide them. One such master is Nancy McCabe, a surface designer from Chicago who runs No Ocean, a design studio that specializes in surface designs and prints. She sells her patterns for commercial uses such as fashion, home/interior, print and web design, as well as a beautiful series of graphic scarves.

For Nancy’s wallpaper we decided to go with her Ink Dots pattern. I love the texture and complexity, I love that it’s graphic and bold. I’ve had this on the background of my iPad for a week now and have received several positive comments, to which I responded, “It’ll be on the site soon.”

Bobby Solomon

October 22, 2014 / By

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