An Interview with Annie Atkins, prop designer for The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Creative Review has an interview with Annie Atkins, the designer who worked on creating all of the props from Wes Andersen’s newest film, The Gran Budapest Hotel. She, along with production designer Adam Stockhausen, worked to create the imaginary world of Zubrowka and all the items that might inhabit it.

CR: Can you talk us through the process for creating the various graphic props in the film? How closely was Wes Anderson involved in this?

Wes is completely involved in every aspect of his filmmaking, and I worked very closely with him and the production designer, Adam Stockhausen, every day. This film was particularly fun, I think, from a graphics point of view, because we were creating this entirely fictional country that Wes had written – the State of Zubrowka. It meant that every little detail had to be made from scratch – flags, banknotes, postage stamps, everything. Adam had already collected a huge amount of reference from 1930s Eastern Europe when I joined them, and I would start each graphic prop by showing Wes a real artefact from the time. I would show him redrafts of designs sometimes 20 times a day. Wes has a very graphic sensibility – that’s evident in all his films, of course.

You can see more of Annie’s work by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

March 11, 2014 / By

Advice For Young Creatives

Advice For Young Creatives

Over the past few days I came across some rather good advice which I thought I’d share. I think it particularly pertains to younger designers but there are kernels of wisdom for creatives of any age or expertise.

The first is a piece titled The New Design which is written by Naz Hamid, who is the principal and designer behind design studio Weightshift. His article does a nice job of articulating how schools aren’t teaching young creatives what they really need to know and what designers themselves, schools, and the design industry can do to help change that.

It’s no surprise the web industry will innovate and fill in the gaps where the schools fell short. If we as industry professionals have learned anything, it’s that the web is one of the few places left where invention is still alive and innovation happens daily. The rise of self-created conferences, workshops and gatherings, held by those who actually practice in the field and are captains of the industry, are perhaps better than what schools can and are able to do now. […]

It’s like they’re set up for failure in a world where The New Design is now ruling.

We do a lot of interactive work here, of course. It’s integral to the studio, so the portfolios young designers send in should reflect as such. Understandably, in some cases these are just form emails. And certainly, some have identified with a selection of the work we do, but perhaps they haven’t fully recognized that a more likely match will come from having a body of work aligning with our own.

It’s not just their fault or ours. Here’s what we both may be able to do.

The second is a piece by Eric Hu, formerly of OKFocus, who shares some random (but quite on the nose) thoughts about internships and their role in the design industry. Internships are such a bizarre grey area these days and I really enjoyed how Eric was able to articulate the many aspects.

If we must accept the notion that internship is an inherent part of a design practice then we can only conclude that the main benefactor should the student and not the studio. This thought should be the driving force behind each decision from the studio. Who is really benefitting from asking the intern to stay late tonight to finish a job?

Bobby Solomon

March 11, 2014 / By

Criticism of Olive Garden’s New Logo Leaves A Bad Taste In My Mouth

Olive Garden Logo Redesign

“Opinions are like elbows, everybody’s got one or two.” I think this phrase to myself a lot. I find it applies especially well to the realm of design. And it’s certainly true when you’re talking about logo redesigns, the Internet’s favorite subject to shit on. I’ve certainly shared quite a few of my own opinions on the site, though in recent years I’ve tried to bring constructive criticism to my posts so I don’t add to the senseless noise. Last night I started to read about a new logo redesign for Olive Garden by Lipincott, which was generally being panned. Curious I took a look at what all the fuss was about… and honestly couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about. And boy was there a lot of fuss.

Continue reading this post…

Bobby Solomon

March 6, 2014 / By

Flower Arrangements Vol. 1 by Ted Feighan

Flower Arrangements Vol. 1 by Ted Feighan

Flower Arrangements Vol. 1 by Ted Feighan

You might know Ted Feighan, but most likely by the moniker he makes music under, which is Monster Rally. He makes referential music that sounds like a contemporary update to songs you might hear in a tiki bar. As it turns out Ted is also a talented collagist who makes his own album covers. To further show off his collage work he’s created this sweet little zine called Flower Arrangements Vol. 1, a crazy mixture of exotic flowers, wild animals, and ancient artifacts. The zine is 36 full color pages, an edition of 100, and their signed by the artist.

You can buy a copy for yourself by clicking here. More images from the zine below.

Flower Arrangements Vol. 1 by Ted Feighan

Flower Arrangements Vol. 1 by Ted Feighan

Flower Arrangements Vol. 1 by Ted Feighan

Bobby Solomon

March 5, 2014 / By

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