August 21, 2015

Nan Lawson

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Nan Lawson is an artist and Illustrator living and working in Los Angeles. There, she lives with her husband and two chubby cats while she daydreams about the perfect pair of glasses and her next cup of coffee. Nan is known for her pop culture portraits and distinct style and use of color. She also works freelance jobs illustrating book covers, magazine articles or creating logos, and she takes part in several group gallery shows on a monthly basis. She draws quirky and nerdy things and characters, which are often inspired by hipsters, cult television shows, and desserts.

 

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August 18, 2015

It Could Always Be Much Worse

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Rendered in a style mimicking traditional blue willow pattern design, artist Don Moyer illustrated these fun It-Could-Be-Worse Mugs that remind you that no matter how bad your day is, things could be catastrophically worse. How bad? Think zombie poodles, pirates, attacking UFOs, and aggressive pterodactyls swooping from the sky. The mugs are a companion piece to his ongoing series of Calamityware dishware with similar abominations depicted on fine porcelain plates first featured here last year. The set of 4 mugs are currently funding on Kickstarter.

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Sometimes, a cup of tea is the only thing that can brighten your day.

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August 14, 2015

Creative Mornings: Action

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This August holds an action packed talk for all you absolutely amazing authentic attendees. Thank you FreshBooks and  Jose Berrio for this awesome illustration. Need to get inspired, meet the mentor of your dreams or simply mingle, munch some delicious Vovo Telo and sip on some delightful Doubleshot Coffee? Wash that all down with Luna water and you are guaranteed to have an action filled month.

Stay tuned for more information on this talk, happening on 28th of August. Our speaker will be revealed soon – so watch this space. Here is a tiny hint : the speaker is an iconic male, who happens to be a closet Afrikaaner Rocker.

great brands are communicated, not designed

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August 14, 2015

It’s weekend!

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Oh yes! Weekend is here! Whether you are going out or staying in, here are some websites you can loose yourself in. The majority of them are single-serving sites. Some are very useful while others, others just plain entertaining.

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1. Noisli
They say that white-noise can enhance creativity and productivity. This site presents a selection of background noises for both working and relaxing.

2. Down For Everyone Or Just Me?
Ever found yourself wondering if a website is down for everyone or if it’s just down for you? This website is a godsend for those moments.

3. Fbomb
Watch in real time how often people tweet the F-Bomb around the globe.

4. NoJPEG
Ever wondered why you shouldn’t use a JPEG for your logo or need a handy way to explain why to a client? Look no further.

5. Cloudpaint
Finally you can re-live the magic of MacPaint online!

6. Un hear It
Suffering from an ear worm? Have a particular song stuck in your head? Don’t worry, the best cure for that is to replace it with an other catchy song. Fortunately there’s a website for that!

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7. Colourcode
If your in search of the perfect colour scheme, perhaps Colourcode is the right tool for you.

8. How Many People Are In Space Right Now?
Find out how many people are currently living in space.

9. NameChk
Check to see if your desired username is still available on dozens of popular Social Networking and Social Bookmarking websites. Perhaps the ideal tool for an expectant parent looking for the best name for their child?

10. Here Is Today
Get some perspective on your day with this great interactive infographic that examines time.

11. The 90s Button
Need to quickly relive the 90s? Check out The 90’s Button, offering instant music from the 90s at the click of a button.

12. CandyBox 
Have you played CandyBox? It’s a pathetically addictive ASCII web game. You’ve been warned!

Well, there you go! Happy weekend to all.

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August 13, 2015

Meet Marc Johns

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It’s Thursday, how delightful.

Meet Marc Johns, an illustrator who creates whimsical drawings filled with dry wit and humour. Whether it’s a man with branches growing out of his head that need pruning, or a pipe that’s trying to quit smoking, his characters are simply, sparsely drawn, yet speak volumes with just a few strokes of the pen. He’s been drawing since he was tiny. He’s not tiny anymore, but he’s not exactly big either.

I generally aim to say as much as possible with as few elements as possible. My work often leans toward humour. Finding the humour in things often leads to finding the truth. I like to create absurd situations, by combining things together that don’t belong, or imagine what inanimate objects would say if they could speak. For instance, the pen I am using to write this draft would probably say: “I’m tired. Can we stop for a bit?” Or perhaps it would say: “I can’t believe you’re making me write this. This is rubbish. Signing cheques would be more inspiring than this.” These are the things I think about. I think about a lot of things. I think about thinking. Don’t try it though, it’s not worth it.

I use watercolours in ways you shouldn’t. I make my own sketchbooks. If I smoked, I’d roll my own. I’d rather draw than rent a movie. Don’t try to start a conversation with me about recent films. I haven’t seen any. I play the guitar. If I was a hobo, I’d learn to play the ukulele, because you could fit one in your duffle bag. My artwork and the materials I use are quite compact. You could fit my studio in a large suitcase.

 

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Humour has a lot of value when it comes to communicating. If your brand needs a little bit of a communication boost, follow this link to see what we’ve got cooking.

great brands are communicated, not designed

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August 5, 2015

UK/Mexico 2015 Logotype – by Alphabetical

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The year long UK/Mexico 2015 festival is the biggest ever cross cultural celebration between Mexico and the UK, hosting a high-profile cultural, academic and trade projects taking place across both nations.

Alphabetical, skilfully created an identity infused with flavours from both countries. The bespoke typeface emerged from uniting a British inspired san serif typeface with a custom Mexican design based on traditional Mayan patterns – which gave birth to a distinctive and flexible tool to use across all the festival’s collateral.

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August 4, 2015

A Splash of Colour

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Happy Tuesday!

This fantastic urban renewal effort displays how graphic design and colour can be used to revamp and revive a town. The government of Mexico recently collaborated with a group of local street artists called Germen Crew to paint a 20,000 square meter mural across the facades of 209 homes in the district of Palmitas in Pachuca, Mexico.

The project shows how design is used to bring about visual and social transformation by temporarily providing jobs and, according to some reports, reduce crime and violence in the neighbourhood.

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You can see a few more photos of the endeavour here.

 

Do you have a brand that needs a little colour or revamp, follow this link to see how :

great brands are communicated, not designed

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August 3, 2015

Wish Upon a Star

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The ‘CSILLAGDA’ (already obsolete word for observatory in Hungarian), that only existed for a short period of 37 years on top of the most famous  of hills, Gellert in Budapest, was named URANIAE. Urania was one of the nine Muses in Greek mythology, patroness of astronomy and astrology; hence the name of the observatory.

Hajnalka Illés fromBudapest, Hungary, showcases her attention to detail and utter skill in crafting line art icons and illustrations. Be inspired, be full of wonder, and have stars in your eyes this Monday morning.

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Design has the ability to leave it’s mark – we think it best to make that mark a beautiful one. Are you starry-eyed when it comes to your brand? Click here:

great brands are communicated, not designed

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August 1, 2015

The Bright Night Project

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Our Creative Director Ross Drakes and his wife Leigh-Anne have launched a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo. They need you to help make an exhibition of South Africa’s most talented photographers and illustrators a reality – to create a Johannesburg based platform to recognise and showcase these works at the level they deserve. What different about this exhibition? It will be held, in the dark.

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In the dark?

The works of these 20 photographers and illustrators will be lit only by the light of the Little Sun – a high-quality solar-powered LED lamp developed by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen in an effort to provide clean, reliable, affordable light to the 1.1 billion people worldwide without access to electricity. This gives us the opportunity not only to create a platform for these incredibly talented artists, but also to shed a little light on others, as many of the Little Suns used in this project will be donated once the exhibition comes down.

Some of the people who are exhibiting:

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We asked the why crowdfunding?

From the get-go, we saw crowdfunding as the place this project would be realised. What better way to make a project a reality than offering the people who want to see it happen, the chance to be part of making make it happen?

We chose the ‘fixed funding’ structure of crowdfunding; what this means is that if we don’t get 100% or our funding goal, the backer will be fully refunded at the end of the campaign (27 August), simple as that. Going for fixed funding was a risk for us but we felt it gives backers the security that if they back us and we reach our goal, boom, the project happens. But if we don’t reach target, poof, backers get refunded and its like nothing happened at all.

 

What’s in it for you?

Entrance to the ‘blackout’ exhibition opening in October. They have reserved this opening for the backers, the people that made it happen. So by backing the campaign, and selecting a ‘ticket’ perk their backers will be able to go and explore the Museum of African Design, in the dark, lit only by the light from their Little Suns. An opportunity to wander the space and discover each piece done by these artists, and maybe even take a Little Sun home.

To watch the The Bright Night Project video, learn more about the project, back it and secure yourself a ticket to the evening, visit the campaign page

 

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July 29, 2015

Sheffield Children’s Hospital gets a cheerful makover

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No more dragging your kids to the hospital any more! Independent designer, illustrator & lecturer, Nick Deakin, has blown some fresh air and a substantial amount of colour into the Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s treatment rooms – making hospital visits a go-go rather than a no-go for kids.

Working alongside the hospital’s charity arts programme, Artfelt, Nick infused the department with his bold characteristic style and a bright colour palette flooding the space. The project is designed to both engage and stimulate young patients and assist in clinical assessment (by providing just the right amount of visual distraction for young patients) – clever!

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Click The Children’s Hospital Charity For more info about Artfelt or the Children’s Hospital Charity’s work.


Design has the power to communicate, evoke the senses and transform the spaces we live in – explore the intangible value of design (reaching much further that aesthetics alone)

great brands are communicated, not designed

 

 

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