‘The Tale of The Princess Kaguya’, Coming To The States October 17th

Though there has been a lot of talk around Studio Ghibli closing or simply taking a break it’s refreshing that they are still releasing their films here in the States. Opening October 17th is The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, which was directed by legendary creator Isao Takahata who co-founded Ghibli with Miyazaki. The story is based on the folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter:

Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

To me this is visually one of the finest films Ghibli has released since Spirited Away. I like that the film feels like a dream with rough sketched ideas and abstract sumi-e splatters that create the action. It’s a stark contrast to Miyazaki’s take on anime and a welcome addition to the Ghibli roster of films.

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

Bobby Solomon

September 23, 2014 / By

Lotta Nieminen Brings A Bold Look To A New York Nail Salon

Paintbox branding by Lotta Nieminen

When you think of well-thought out graphic design projects your mind most likely won’t drift toward the world of nail salons. Most commonly their known for shabby neon signs and rows of cheap chairs lined up with thousands of tiny bottles of paints surrounding them. That’s not the case with Paintbox, a new manicure and nail art studio that received a beautiful bit of branding from one of my favorite designer/illustrators, Lotta Nieminen.

Paintbox branding by Lotta Nieminen

Paintbox branding by Lotta Nieminen

For me the idea behind this branding screams “No duh!” in it’s simplicity and that’s exactly why I love it. There’s a perfect elegance to literally turning the words into a box form and that it reads so well. Yet the form takes on a playful nature when the words are separated, allowing other visual devices like imagery or text to inhabit the negative space between.

I’m also a fan of the peachy tone that’s used throughout most of the materials. It’s a warm and inviting tone that allows the color of the nails to truly shine.

Paintbox branding by Lotta Nieminen

Paintbox branding by Lotta Nieminen

Paintbox branding by Lotta Nieminen

Even the nail art imagery itself, which was shot by Jamie Nelson, has a refined look that, while quite stylized, evoke the brand for being way more modern than the shop your mother may have visited. You can see more imagery from the project by visiting Lotta’s website.

Bobby Solomon

September 22, 2014 / By

Sponsored – SocialDoe: Online Portfolios for Creative Professionals

Sponsored – SocialDoe: Online Portfolios for Creative Professionals

Socialdoe provides a simple and effective way to present your projects and passions. Built for creative professionals including designers, photographers, and musicians, SocialDoe’s portfolios provides all the tools you need to present and add an extra shine to your work.

Their custom-branded interface is designed to seamlessly present an array of media, including photos, videos, GIFs, and can consolidate social media profiles and e-commerce sites into one easy to share profile. Whether you’re looking to market yourself to potential employers, network, or organize projects with friends and collaborators, SocialDoe will serve to spotlight your talent.

Sign up and discover the extraordinary portfolios at socialdoe.com.

Bobby Solomon

September 22, 2014 / By

Surreal Purple Dunes Created for Prada Women’s SS15 Runway Show

Prada Women's SS15 Runway Show

When it comes to the fashion world and runway shows creating spectacular experiences to wow an audience no expense is spared. The clothes these days have to share the stage with the stage as the importance of Instagram and the sharing economy continues to grow. Recently, Prada wowed audience members with surreal, immense hills made of purple sand that towered over the parading models for their Women’s SS15 collection.

Prada Women's SS15 Runway Show

Prada Women's SS15 Runway Show

NY Times blog On The Runway had a great perspective of the show which illustrated how impactful the installation was.

The normally exhausted expressions that are plastered on editors’ faces during this time were replaced with actual, honest-to-God smiles (maybe the booze helped). The fashion editor Giovanna Battaglia has been working with some Milan-based designers for their shows this season (she said she would be at fittings all night Thursday night for one show on Friday), but she wouldn’t miss this.

“I’ve been consulting, but I stepped out and said, ‘This is the one, I don’t care, sorry, I have to stop working,’?” she said. “I have to go out and see Prada.”

The grandeur of this effort is brilliant to me. As I’ve been looking at these images I was imagining how difficult it would be to get all that sand to stay in place. A small detail but had to be so important when you have women in super high clogs and heels working their stuff. There’s also a simple beauty to the idea which I think helps it. It’s not over the top like Chanel’s grocery store runway show (which was impressive in it’s own right) but still has quite the wow factor.

Prada Women's SS15 Runway Show

Prada Women's SS15 Runway Show

Prada Women's SS15 Runway Show

Bobby Solomon

September 22, 2014 / By

The First New Track from Aphex Twin in 13 Years and a Look At The Album Design

Aphex Twin - Syro

Electronic music visionary Aphex Twin, aka Richard D. James, is known for his avant garde approach to music, splicing, cutting, and destroying digital sounds for the last 20+ years. Still, it’s been 13 years since his last “studio album” Drukqs was released, leaving a peculiar gap in the electronic music landscape. Since then he’s been DJing across the UK and relocated to Scotland. And now he’s ready to release a new album.

Titled Syro, a word created by his children, the album features 12 tracks and will be released on September 19 (or 22nd depending on your format of choice). I’m not sure what exactly to expect from the album but it sounds like he’s excited for the album and that this is only the beginning. Speaking to Rolling Stones, James said:

Horny. I’m feeling really horny about it. And very smug … I’m in that mode now, so hopefully I’ll stay in it for a while … I’ve got a few more things planned—at least a couple more albums, some EPs, things like that. Some more dance-y things I did about 10 years ago. Experimental things, noise things, weird things. Shitloads of stuff. They’re all pretty much ready to go.

Looking forward to it.

Aphex Twin - Syro

From a design perspective the album features a minimal, slightly cheeky packaging design from The Designers Republic. Long-time Aphex Twin collaborators, the album represents an unseen aspect of producing an album: the cost. TDR founder Ian Anderson explains.

“The intense, and ultimately pointless detail of the list really appealed to me … it was good working with James Burton and the team at Warp to stretch out this mantra that tells the reader everything and nothing about the creation of what I hear was an intensely personal album in the making reduced to the numbers of an album in the marketplace,” he adds.

Quite a conceptual way to go but it makes sense when you think of an artist like Richard James. For me it’s all about the half face screen printed onto the plastic which I’m sure looks crazy on the white sleeves. You can read more about the design of the album and an interview with TDR over on Creative Review.

Aphex Twin - Syro

Aphex Twin - Syro

Aphex Twin - Syro

Bobby Solomon

September 17, 2014 / By

Weather Dial Perfects The Concept of the Minimal Weather App

Weather Dial App

In the last few years we’ve hit a maximum saturation point when it comes to weather apps. They’re easy to make with weather data readily available and a rather straightforward functionality. That said I was surprised by the newly updated version of Weather Dial which features a slimmed down UI and straightforward experience.

weather-dial-2

The app focuses (as it should) primarily on the weather with a subtle reference to the days to come. Swipe left and you can see information on the times of the sunrise and sunset as well as the humidity and wind speed. A light and dark mode rounds things out nicely. The one surprise is when you turn the phone sideways you access an hourly view of the weather which iconically shows you the type of moon and the chance of precipitation chart which animates in nicely, as you can see below.

Weather Dial 2 Perfects The Concept of the Minimal Weather App

My current weather app is Yahoo! Weather, though as I’ve been using Weather Dial I appreciate the straightforwardness of it. The app reminds me of the phrase, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” The font choice allows for a clear legibility, the iconography is considered and overall you see that it’s just the right amount of information to make it perfectly useful.

You can download it for yourself by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

September 16, 2014 / By

An Insect A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

An Insect A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

It might (currently) be weird to admit but I’m quite interested in eating bugs. That is, with climate change upon us and food sources starting to shift there’s a growing interest in insects as a more sustainable source of food, and this concept is interesting to me. It’s also of interest to Noma and their Nordic Food Lab, which I covered on the site recently. Scientific American has a great write-up on their descent into entomophagy, the consumption of insects as food, and trying to prove that bugs are worth eating, for taste and sustainability purposes.

Eating Insects - Noma Science Bunker

The Nordic Food Lab has visited seven countries on five continents where entomophagy is practiced to learn more about traditional methods of preparation. Rather than importing an insect they’ve sampled, they seek edible equivalents that can be found in Denmark, such as members of the same genus or family that are prevalent in the region. Although they’re driven by deliciousness, they also emphasize sustainability. “We’re interested in sustainability in a more systemic way by focusing on how insects may fit into larger food systems,” Evans says.

From a creativity standpoint I find it pretty cool that a team of people is integrating locusts, ants, crickets moths, and bee larva into foods like beer, soup, and ceviche. There must be quite a lot of trial and error in a process like this though I’m sure it’s a part of the challenge. For me personally a larva ceviche sounds like it might be difficult to stomach but in the hands of a team like Noma can it really be so bad?

Bobby Solomon

September 16, 2014 / By

Olafur Eliasson Recontextualizes J.M.W. Turner’s Classical Landscape Paintings

Olafur Elliason Re-Contextualizes J.M.W. Turner's Classical Landscape Paintings

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Elliasson is well-known for his work in sculptures and large-scale installations, often utilizing light or other natural elements. Recently though he’s been heading into new territory, recontextualizing the paintings of landscape artist J.M.W. Turner into circular paintings, bringing the works to a pure form.

Turner’s ability to shape and frame light in his paintings has had a significant impact on my work….In the Turner colour experiments, I’ve isolated light and colour in Turner’s works in order to extract his sense of ephemera from the objects of desire that his paintings have become. The schematic arrays of colours on round canvases generate a feeling of endlessness and allow the viewer to take in the artwork in a decentralised, meandering way.

It’s an interesting idea from a conceptual standpoint, that he’s transformed the light and colors that J.M.W. Turner saw into a sweeping, endless gradient. The abstraction while seemingly simple is intensely scientific. Eliasson is analysing pigments, paint production and application of colour in order to mix paint in the exact color for each nanometre of the visible light spectrum. An ambitious project with really impactful results.

Olafur Elliason Re-Contextualizes J.M.W. Turner's Classical Landscape Paintings

Olafur Elliason Re-Contextualizes J.M.W. Turner's Classical Landscape Paintings

Olafur Elliason Re-Contextualizes J.M.W. Turner's Classical Landscape Paintings

Bobby Solomon

September 16, 2014 / By

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