Handwritten "Insta-therapy" with "Content Creator" Timothy Goodman

Curator: Gemma O'Brien
date: August 22, 2014
Categories: Art, Typography
Tags: branding, calligraphy, graphic design, Typography

In the last few years, designers and non-designers alike have embraced typography and lettering in social media to illustrate inspirational quotes, song lyrics, declare their love of coffee and complain about Monday mornings. In Didot all-caps, fashion mavens proclaim “Dress Well or Die Trying,” while avid travelers urge us to “Seek Adventure!” in  a loose-hand written script. 

For budding letterers, readymade quotes are the perfect starting point to apply technical ability, show your calligraphic prowess or experiment with a new lettering style. But there’s only so many times you can see “stay hungry,” “follow your dreams” or “quit your day job” before these affirmations become empty phrases that simply look nice.  

I'm always looking for examples of lettering or type that  illustrate content that's self-generated and honest. I believe the best thing a designer can do with typography when not limited by an advertising brief is to take something personal and make it universal or remind us of the realities of human experience. 

With this in mind, my final Design Envy post was inspired by a series of handwritten Instagram posts from Timothy Goodman (of "40 Days of Dating" fame) titled “Insta-therapy.” They take the form of quotes or stories based on past relationship experiences, fears and memories. In the flurry of cool, over-stylized type and recycled quotes,  these represent a refreshing starting point to consider ideas about the designer as author and the idea of authenticity in lettering and typography.  

I interviewed Timothy Goodman to find out what the Insta-therapy project is all about.

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I Love Dust: An Interview with Co-Founder and Creative Director Mark Graham

Curator: Gemma O'Brien
date: August 20, 2014
Categories: Book & Magazine Design, Illustration, Typography
Tags: Design, illustration, Lettering, Typography

There are few design studios whose work I recall fawning over when I was studying design that still hold my attention now. But seven years after first seeing the work of UK-based studio ilovedust (iLD), I remain envious of their attention to detail, badass-yet-beautiful ornament, killer murals and illustrative approach to type.   I caught up with co-founder and creative director Mark Graham to chat about some of his recent work, what it's like being a boss and who he’d most like to get stuck in an elevator with.  

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Martina Flor Sends Her Typographic "Letter Collections" via Snail Mail

Curator: Gemma O'Brien
date: August 19, 2014
Categories: Art, Typography
Tags: calligraphy, Typography

I first came to admire Martina Flor’s work when I discovered Lettering vs Calligraphy, a project she worked on with calligrapher Giusseupe Salerno. It continues to be a highly valuable resource that explains two distinct ways of crafting letterforms to new designers. Her latest side project, Letter Collections, features equally delightful letterforms, this time printed on postcards that she's sending to people around the world. 

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Vipera: A Collaboration Between Luca Zamoc and Ferran Gisbert

Curator: Gemma O'Brien
date: August 18, 2014
Categories: Art, Illustration
Tags: art, painting, spain
As guest artists at Valencia's Poliniza Street Art Festival in May 2014, Luca Zamoc and Ferran Gisbert spontaneously decided to collaborate on a piece that combines their individual approaches to large-scale painting. The result is "Vipera," a 10-meter long snake that wraps around the wall of the city's Polytechnic University. 
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Miroslaw Balka: The Order of Things

Curator: Wade Jeffree
date: August 15, 2014
Categories: Art
Tags: art, exhibition, sculpture

Miroslaw Balka is a contemporary Polish sculptor and video artist. His show at Gladstone gallery last year was a confrontation of the natural and mechanical. I loved it.

I'm very big fan of large, intrusive and invasive sculptures. (Gladstone is one of my favorite galleries for that). Upon passing the reception desk at Gladstone you see a large white wall covering what usually shows the soon-to-be-viewed gallery space. As you start to open the door to enter the space you're hit with a wall of sounds made by the rushing water on top of the sculpture to come.

Entering the room you're greeted by two monolithic steel containers that completely dwarf you. Their original context is unknown, but the notion of the machine and its empowering drive to propel is evident.

A loud wall of sound is presented and could be confused for a waterfall if not for the overwhelming containers that sit in front of you. The thick black, oil-like substance that's currently being expelled from two industrial hoses into the two four-sided containers could be representative of many things. Is it oil? Is it another form of industrial waste? Or it is simply water and paint? It's re-circulated to continuously spool the liquid around in a fountain-like motion; gallons upon gallons of it circulate in a never-ending flow.

At this point you can take two positions: either walk around and explore the circulatory system that sits behind, or you stand on the plinth in the center of the two containers 10 feet back. After exploring this, I stood on the plinth and began a somewhat hypnotic experience. You're left with the discourse of nature and mechanized world. The scale and sound work together to focus your energy on the piece and the surrounding sound.

The transformation of something so industrial into this serene environment is something that I really love. You're confused as to what it is and you want to know more, but you're left there, watching and listening intently to the subtleties in the wall of sound and what distinctions come from every rotation of the substance. The confusion with the representation of machine and nature is polarizing; How could something so unnatural be so natural once I close my eyes? It's strong in itss appearance and idea, but upon further reading it only gets deeper—I truly loved this piece (and wish I had done it).

What I love most about these types of shoes is their ability to suspend my knowledge for their creation.

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