Kitsuné Sheds Light on Fresh Talent with Kitsuné Maison 16

Kitsune-Covers-8

I have a special place in my heart for Kitsuné—years ago the label’s flagship compilation releases turned me onto entirely new genres of music. Their “Sweet Sixteen Issue,” the sixteenth iteration, is due out November 3rd. To celebrate, they’ve enlisted the likes of 23 different illustrators to come together in reimagining the series’ familiar album artwork. It’s a switch up for the music label/fashion brand/design shop, but certainly a welcomed one that’s sure to put a spotlight on a bunch of talented individuals.

StyleCartel_Buzz_Bottega

Under the impulse of Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki, Maison Kitsuné was founded back in 2002. A trip to Japan inspired the two to unite their passions around a wholly single concept: a structure of multiple guises, combining fashion, music, and design. Since then they’ve firmly established themselves as a unique concept of trendy and modern luxury intermingled between fashion and music. Their boutiques now span from New York, to Paris, and Tokyo. Most recently they rocked the New York Fashion Week with their ‘Effortless French’ campaign and have begun opening cafés in France and Japan.

StyleCartel_Buzz_Bottega
StyleCartel_Buzz_Bottega

2005 saw the release of their first Compilation Kitsuné Maison. These mixes quickly came to people’s attention by signing the talent of artists like Simian Mobile Disco, Hot Chip, Two Door Cinema Club, Gossip, Digitalism, Cut Copy, and many more. To me, they’ve got an ear for upcoming talent and usually bring them to the scene before anyone else.

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The music’s great and all, but what immediately managed to capture my attention about the compilation releases was the artwork. Created by co-founders, Åbäke, it’s visually simple but extremely striking. Save for some divergences here and there, the releases always feature the familiar line-art featuring the illustrated faces of that release’s musicians. Hey—if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right?

Kitsune-Covers-2

This year they’re switching the artwork up with fresh new work composed of drawings by 23 exciting new illustrators scouted by the label. Each artist was founded on Instagram and asked to illustrate, in their own way, one of the sixteen musicians featured on the mix. Loaëc states “Maison 16 is more gentle and tender than its predecessors… [It’s] constantly morphing into new shapes and ideas.” Kitsune-Covers-6

You can view the complete artworks, as well as find links to the artists’ Instagrams, here. Come November 3rd you’ll be able to purchase the release here. Kitsune-Covers-7

Nick Partyka

October 23, 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

High Tide Creates A Stunning Golden Invitation for Women’s Luxury Brand, Honor

Stunning Golden Invitation for Honor by High Tide

Since my childhood the idea of the “golden ticket” has always seemed like a miraculous dream. Obviously I’m referencing the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and the way in which the children could get a tour of the fabled and mysterious factory. Which to me is why these invitations for the Fall/Winter 2014 runway show of women’s luxury brand Honor are so enticing.

Stunning Golden Invitation for Honor by High Tide

Designed by New York design studio High Tide, the invitation’s front side features a mirrored gold foil debossed with the Honor logo, which contrasts beautifully with the rich walnut wood on the back side. I can only imagine receiving one of these in the mail and how special you might feel, this shining, beautiful piece of design that been so meticulously thought out.

Stunning Golden Invitation for Honor by High Tide

Stunning Golden Invitation for Honor by High Tide

Be sure to look at the rest of High Tide’s work as well, an enviable body of work with an impressive roster of clients.

Bobby Solomon

October 22, 2014 / By

How LA Design Studio notNeutral Changed The Way We Experience Coffee

How LA Design Studio notNeutral Changed The Way We Experience Coffee

When a delicious meal has been set before you have you ever stopped and wondered if the vessels it is being served in are enhancing the flavors, smells, and presentation ability? Most likely not, but if you’re an obsessive barista working for the most well-respected small coffee chain in America, finding that level of perfection might be an idea you dwell on.

That the story of the Lino cup, a creation between ex-Intelligentsia Director of Innovation Kyle Glanville (who now runs my favorite coffee place Go Get ‘Em Tiger) and LA design studio notNeutral. Together they experimented to figure out a more optimal cup for coffee drinking.

The entire R&D process took over a year. Triangular-shaped cups intended to capture precious aromas were nixed (turns out, a triangular canvas makes for terrible latte art). Handles were shaped and reshaped. The cup’s interior curvature, or slope, was meticulously calculated, with notNeutral printing one 3D prototype after another for Glanville and his team to test in Intelligentsia’s lab. There, they pulled shots and poured milk, videotaping the entire process so, like coaches watching tape, they could replay the footage in slow motion and catch flaws in play.

“Sometimes the latte art would break,” Glanville says. “The flow of the milk would go under and bubble up on the other side, breaking the pattern at the top.” The slope was corrected. More prototypes printed. More milk poured. More tape replayed.

Food Republic has the whole story which I found fascinating. These cups are only the beginning with more on the way, including these Gino cups, which are double-walled glass vessels which they released just last week.

Bobby Solomon

October 21, 2014 / By

Dangerous Popsicles: Would You Eat a Cactus or HIV Shaped Popsicle?

The old chef’s saying is that you with your eyes, and artist Wei Li’s collection of Dangerous Popsicles puts this adage to the test. She’s created unique sets of ice pops, one based on assorted forms of cacti and one based on the shape of life-threatening diseases, each of which begs the question: Would you eat these?

Designer and artist Wei Li’s collection of cacti-inspired prickly popsicles are beautiful, yet dangerous. These popsicles intrigue people with their other-worldly looks while directly alluding to the unpleasant experience of being poked by a cactus. Imagine our tongues, one of our most sensitive organs, being “massaged” by these spiky surfaces. Will pain bring pleasure?

While trained in user experience design, the designer is less concerned with enhancing user-friendliness, and more interested in the aesthetics of user-unfriendliness, and even uselessness.

Building from the cacti collection, Li’s second suite of popsicles are inspired by life-threatening viruses. What might an HIV popsicle taste like? Or would you even taste one in the first place? By fusing repulsion and delight, Li’s work emphasizes that the eyes and mind can taste as well as the tongue. The popsicles are nothing but water and sugar, but ideas of deadly viruses and the spikiness of cacti stimulate a sensory reaction, even before the first taste.

What a fun concept for a project. I’m glad that there are people out there who choose to address peculiar ideas like this.

Dangerous Popsicles: The Aesthetics of User-Unfriendliness

Dangerous Popsicles: The Aesthetics of User-Unfriendliness

Dangerous Popsicles: The Aesthetics of User-Unfriendliness

Bobby Solomon

October 21, 2014 / By

Seams is a Playful Celebration of Ceramics, Color, and Process

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

Seams is a collection of five molded ceramic tableware centerpieces designed by Benjamin Hubert Ltd for the Italian manufacturer Bitossi Ceramiche. This project came about as part of the studio’s research into creating mass-produced products with one off details by manipulating a traditional ceramic manufacturing process.

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

In the ceramics world, seams are a common unwanted side effect created during the casting stage of manufacturing. Typically they’re trimmed off before the piece is set, but the studio thought that by including them in this work these small imperfections might actually enhance the final outcome. I think it’s a really nice touch and that the seams add a unique decorative detail that celebrate the process of how the work was formed. To get a better sense of this process you should check out the short animation below:

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

Benjamin Hubert Ltd is a London based studio founded in 2007. Comprising of a team of industrial designers, researchers and engineers who work across a broad range of sectors including furniture, lighting, consumer goods, architectural installations and interior design.

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

Bitossi Ceramiche are a world-renowned manufacturer of ceramic-ware who have been making work since the 1920s. Based in Florence, the factory have collaborated with a whole host of famous designers in the past including people like Arik Levy, Fabio Novembre and the Bouroullec Brothers. This collection was completed earlier this year and is Benjamin Hubert Ltd’s first collaboration with the company.

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

More projects from Benjamin Hubert Ltd can be seen on their website.

Philip Kennedy

October 21, 2014 / By

Places To Visit: Barcelona’s Delicious Looking Praktik Bakery Hotel

Praktik Bakery Hotel

You know that underlying feeling of spontaneously running away from everything and living somewhere new and different? Those feelings have been stirring around for a while, particularly focused on the cities of Madrid and Barcelona. Through a little research and bit of Internet digging I stumbled upon the enticing Praktik Hotels, located in the Eixample district of Barcelona.

The Praktik Bakery, a hotel that has the fully operational Baluard Bakery at it’s heart, sounds like a dream come true to yours truly. You can imagine how enchanting it must be to wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through your window.

Praktik Bakery Hotel

Complimenting the delicious aromas is a cleanly designed hotel that’s lined with white tile and rustic brick throughout. The tiles in the bathroom (as seen below) are phenomenal as well. How could you not take a selfie with those luscious blues as the backdrop?

Praktik Bakery Hotel

Prakitk Bakery Hotel

Praktik Bakery Hotel

Praktik Bakery Hotel

Praktik Bakery Hotel

Praktik Bakery Hotel

If you’re one of those people prefer to drink your meals then perhaps you should check out the just opened Praktik Vinoteca who’s theme is centered around wine. A boutique hotel similar to the Praktik Bakery, here you’ll find an ambiance made up of warm woods decorating the space, a clear reference to the iconic wine barrel.

Bobby Solomon

October 21, 2014 / By

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