Alice in Wonderland is just one of the many fictional stories that runs through my head on a daily basis lately (along with The Wizard or Oz among others). This illustration by Tiffany Harris is a wonderful exploration of the story and the characters. The silhouette of the figure is simple, yet the images inside are anything but. Each piece relates to a character, and the allover composition is balanced and yet holds the viewer’s interest. I especially enjoy the Cheshire Cat’s face located towards the upper half of Alice’s head. It is an interesting contradiction. In all the little details, this illustration does what is often hard to do; it captures the viewer’s eye and keep it there for some time, studying all the different pieces that make up Alice’s silhouette. This is a great piece to examine and enjoy when looking for new ideas for my design.
And yet another branding campaign. I have again been looking at what can be done for branding and promotional pieces, and there is a lot out there. It is hard to find a style, and create a system based off of that style that still keeps with the feel of the brand. There are so many variables to get right…or get wrong. This system by Creative Particles is a great example of testing a system and pushing it to its limits. It has several options for textures and colors, and each set is completely thought out. I really appreciate the texture added to each piece via the wood grain. It gives a two-dimensional brand an extra push of visual interest as well as breaching the more organic side of design. I especially enjoy the clean serif typeface contrasted against the horizontal wood grain with a slight shadow to help push the element to that extra dimension. What a great way to push the details in a simple system.
As I work on developing a large project for my “senior thesis,” I have also been reassessing what I think about color, digital mediums, and art and design in general. More and more, I have realized that despite the fact that I do love color and the naming of color, it is all about how to market and capitalize it while making the consumer feel good about purchasing that color. I don’t know how I feel about that part of art and design. Despite all that I am still mesmerized by the charts and color systems Pantone has developed over the years. This packaging by Samy Halim has definitely caught my attention. The aesthetic of the shape of the container, how the color is displayed, as well as the typeface and placement all correlate with Pantone’s system. Each piece is clean and the focal point is on the color. I can’t help but wonder how hard it was to match the Pantone colors when printing and labeling containers, since the whole focus is on the color, but if that is what I think about, then this design was done well and my graphic designer brain is going strong. What a nice way to package color.
Browsing the web today, I came across this system for 100% Chocolate Cafe by Wonderwall. Each piece to this brand clearly fits into the brand’s feel of new, contemporary, fun, and yet sophisticated. What caught my attention first, however, was not the initial packaging design but rather the environment design. I love the feel of the store: elegant yet fun and modern for today’s consumer. I certainly could take a few ideas from this system and how each piece was handled to complete an experience.
When looking at personal branding, this particular example by Ana Hoxha stood out. Each piece followed a system, and the logo and “pick me” text fit throughout each piece. What was most interesting about this system, however, was just how many different pieces it involved. Between CD’s and notepads, each piece fit the brand and the feel, and yet could stand alone. The sheer amount of different promotional items is wonderful inspiration when trying to create my own brand/identity.
Whenever I am looking for awesome examples of branding campaigns, I almost always stumble across Yoobi by Ico. Every time, without fail, I end up pouring over this design campaign along with Ico’s website and their other work. I love the style and atmosphere of Yoobi. The shapes and colors follow through every part of the experience, because this branding is “branding as experience.” Everything from the tables, to the staff, to the print materials, tie together into a cohesive whole. The system is broad, and there are many versions of the abstracted sushi, yet they all work. Each piece that I have stumbled across on different social media platforms stands alone in wonderful design, but at a glance I can connect it to the rest of its pieces. That is exactly what a brand should do. This system also carries my attention, and every time I revisit it, I find some new detail; something that makes the experience that much better. I love this system and I really enjoy the other projects Ico has to offer. Hopefully it is as inspiring to others as it is to me.
Sometimes a new spin on an old idea is just what I need to recharge my design. This is one of those concepts. Renata el Dib’s new take on a poster for ice cream was certainly a refreshing sight. The use of two textures together on opposite sides of a poster, with the intention to roll a corner over, is a wonderful change to a overused dogeared corner. Each texture by itself would not make much sense, and there would probably be disconnect. However, the possibility to roll the edge over and switch the dynamic is perfect. The type is well placed in relation to the way the poster is used. This is a great example of changing up a simple idea and making in new and inviting.
I have been looking at more natural takes on paper choice and a more organic way of creating pieces. This system by Frøystad+Klock definitely has a bit of that. The simple colored paper and the stamp add a wonderful hand-crafted touch. The textures included on each piece help to elevate this design from something more than plain and simple to beautifully designed. Each piece clearly corresponds to a system, but each has enough interest to stand on its own. This system shows how a simple, clean design can be something more, something elegant.